The 'Squad' Has Spent Over $1 Million on Private Security While Pushing To Defund the Police

April 21, 2023

Members of the progressive "Squad" have spent a combined $1 million since the start of their push to defund the police, according to a Washington Free Beacon review of campaign filings.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and her five fellow "Squad" members have spent a combined $1.03 million on private security services since May 2020, when the push to defund the police took off in response to the death of George Floyd. As crime spikes nationwide, the lawmakers have defended their lavish security spending as they work in Congress to strip their constituents of police protection on the streets.

"You would rather me die? Is that what you want to see? You want to see me die? You know, because that could be the alternative," Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.) said in 2021 when pressed by a reporter about her private security budget. Just moments earlier, Bush told the reporter, "Defunding the police has to happen."

No other member of the "Squad" spent more on private security than Bush, who has doled out $680,000 on personal protection services since May 2020. Among Bush's reported private security guards are her husband Cortney Merritts and her close friend Nathaniel Davis III, a St. Louis spiritual guru who claims to be a master of psychic self-defense who can summon tornadoes with his hate.

Ocasio-Cortez was the second-biggest spender among her colleagues in the "Squad," paying $199,000 for private security services since Floyd's death. Despite enriching her personal protectors, Ocasio-Cortez on Monday criticized New York City mayor Eric Adams (D.) for boosting rookie cop salaries from $42,000 to $55,000—the officers' first raise in seven years.

"We are now at a point where officially, most officers are paid more than a teacher with a master's degree serving these same kids involved in these same incidents," Ocasio-Cortez told Comedy Central host Jordan Klepper. "When we are taking all of those resources and demanding that every single department—except the militarized one—be cut, we are sending a message about who and what we care about."

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), who said in June 2020 the Minneapolis Police Department was "rotten to the root" and should be dismantled entirely, came in third, spending $77,000 on private protectors since May 2020. "Squad" members Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) spent $53,000 and $12,000, respectively, on private security services.

Coming in last was Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.). The sole male member of the "Squad" spent just $7,900 on private protectors, in May 2021. Bowman has New York taxpayers to thank for his low private security budget: The Democratic lawmaker requested and received a special police detail to guard his home after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, the New York Post reported.