Squad Member Cori Bush Defends Private Security: 'Suck It Up, and Defunding the Police Has To Happen'

August 5, 2021

Democratic Missouri congresswoman and "Squad" member Cori Bush defended her decision to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for private security as she simultaneously stressed the "need to defund the police."

Bush—a defund-the-police activist who has shelled out nearly $70,000 on a personal security detail using campaign funds—defended the spending during a Thursday CBS News appearance, telling her critics to "suck it up, and defunding the police needs to happen."

"So if I end up spending $200,000, if I spend $10 more on it, you know what, I get to be here to do the work," Bush said. "So suck it up, and defunding the police has to happen. We need to defund the police and put that money into social safety nets, because we're trying to save lives."

While Bush credited the security detail with keeping her alive, she has also argued that "investing more money in policing is always bad" and will lead to the deaths of more black people. Bush in June called policing "another system of bondage" through which "slavery quite literally lives on today."

Bush, who represents St. Louis, has specifically maligned the city's police as "the deadliest police force in the nation." In April, she praised a decision from Democratic mayor Tishaura Jones to cut $4 million from the department's budget and terminate 98 officer positions, which came the year after the city experienced its highest homicide rate in five decades.

"For decades, our city funneled more and more money into our police department under the guise of public safety, while massively underinvesting in the resources that will truly keep our communities safe," Bush said.

Some Democrats have sought to distance themselves from the controversial anti-law enforcement movement. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), a staunch ally of Bush, has said, "Nobody I know who's running for office talks about defunding the police."