Black Lives Matter and Cori Bush Pay for Private Security. Now They’re Teaming Up To Defund the Police.

Rep. Cori Bush unveils her plan to defund the police (Twitter).
July 20, 2023

A Black Lives Matter leader on Tuesday heaped praise upon Representative Cori Bush (D., Mo.), a member of the "Squad" who employs expensive private security guards, for introducing a plan to defund the police.

Bush teared up as Shalomyah Bowers, a member of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation board of directors, called her a "brilliant" and "strategic leader" for reintroducing the People’s Response Act, a measure that would fund unarmed social workers to respond to mental health emergencies instead of police. Bowers said the bill was a critical step in upending "a law enforcement model that harms our communities" and abolishing the "prison complex" designed to "tear down black families." Bush said her bill would prevent "thousands of deaths and abuses" of black people at the hands of police.

Neither Bush nor Bowers will have reason to fear for their safety should they succeed in abolishing the police. Bush has paid over $680,000 on a crackpot private security team since 2019 that includes Nathaniel Davis III, a self-proclaimed master of psychic self-defense who can summon tornadoes with his hate, and Bush's husband, Cortney Merritts. Black Lives Matter spent $1.7 million on "professional security services" for its leaders in 2022, the charity reported in May.

Bowers’s appearance at Bush’s press conference comes as Black Lives Matter seeks to rehabilitate its image following a series of financial scandals. Black Lives Matter revealed in May that it lost $8.5 million and saw the value of its investment accounts plummet by nearly $10 million in 2022, but that didn’t stop it from doling out $1.6 million to Bowers’s consulting firm that year.

Black Lives Matter celebrated its 10-year anniversary on July 13 with a week-long "Defund The Police" ad campaign equating police to modern-day slavery for black people. The campaign "will highlight the numerous reasons why funding the police doesn’t work—why militarizing the police doesn’t work, and why state-sanctioned violence enforces modern forms of slavery for Black people," Black Lives Matter said on its website.

Bush’s fellow "Squad" member, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.) was also at the Tuesday press conference, where she equated policing to "policy violence that is literally killing our people."

To help make her point, Pressley called upon the words of radical communist activist Angela Davis.

Davis knows a thing or two about violence. She vigorously defended communist dictators during the Cold War, justified the actions of a Palestinian terrorist who bombed an Israeli grocery store in 1969, and defended her fellow Black Panthers who tortured and killed a 19-year-old that same year. Davis earned herself a place on the FBI’s Most Wanted list in 1970 after weapons she owned were used in a Black Panther terrorist attack at the Martin County Civic Center in California that resulted in the deaths of four people including a judge. A sympathetic all-white jury acquitted Davis in 1972.

"For too long policing and incarceration have destabilized families, have ravaged our communities robbing us of countless black and brown lives," Pressley said. "In the words of Angela Y. Davis, prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear people."