In moving testimony Wednesday, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino defended the nation’s police officers, calling them heroes who put their lives on the line to keep the public safe.
Bongino testified before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on police brutality and racial profiling, arguing that while it is important to hold police officers accountable for wrongdoing, defunding police departments would result in “chaos and destruction.” He pleaded with Congress to stop the “Defund the Police” madness “before someone gets hurt.”
In his opening statement, Bongino offered his condolences to the parents of George Floyd, a career criminal who died last month while in police custody in Minneapolis. “I can only hope that you take some solace in the justice that we all pray is to come,” he said.
In testimony earlier Wednesday, Floyd’s brother described how George pleaded for his life while office Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Bongino, who was an NYPD officer from 1995 to 1999, and is now a conservative commentator and Fox News contributor, said he realized that there are officers out there who “aren’t suited for the job.”
“Some have caused trouble, sometimes worse,” he said. “But my experience is this is rare and becoming rarer.”
Chauvin was arrested May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. A charge of second-degree murder was added on a few days later.
Even though a handful of people of all races fall victim to police brutality every year, and even though virtually everyone who saw the arrest video agreed that Floyd’s death was a travesty, the incident sparked nationwide protests, riots and calls for police reform. And even though the incident happened in a Democrat city in a Democrat state, the organized left have sought to weaponize it against President Trump and his supporters.
It turns out that the Floyd and Chauvin knew each other very well and had a history of not getting along while working as security at the same nightclub, casting further doubt that his behavior was influenced by race. Chauvin was known to be overly aggressive with patrons at the club too.
Bongino described how NYPD officers ran into burning buildings on 9/11/2001 while office workers were running out of the building to escape the flames.
“There are the types of people I was honored and deeply privileged to work with,” he said. “The Defund the Police movement will target these heroes,” he added.
The conservative commentator warned that everyone will suffer if the left’s push to defund police departments is heeded.
“Removing these heroes from your communities and my community will do nothing but ensure chaos and destruction,” Bongino said. “Police officers are the front lines, putting themselves between the evildoers among us and the honest, hardworking Americans just yearning for some security and prosperity in a small slice of Americana.”
The movement to defund, or in some cases disband, police has seen support from Democrats including Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who hails from the state where Floyd died. Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender told CNN Monday that “the idea of having a police-free future is very aspirational.”
Bongino said that Americans “should commit to police accountability,” but said that “we can do it without shredding the thin wall between civilization and chaos.”
He went on to discuss how he regularly learns about officers who have been killed or injured and warned that other people could find themselves in harm’s way if departments are defunded.
Bongino said that there are “few jobs as stressful as policing,” noting that he gets phone calls and emails several times a year notifying him of the death of injury of one of his former comrades on the job at the NYPD.
“Imagine if that happened with your job?” he said. “Think about that for just a minute.”
He added, “that’s policing. That’s what they do. They risk their own lives for yours.”
Bongino shared what the wife of a police officer once told him after an event at which he spoke.
He said she told him “the most wonderful sound in the world to the spouse of a police officer is the sound of velcro at night.” The reason for that, he explained, is because it’s how a police officer’s body armor is secured on his body. And when that body armor comes off and that sound echoes in their ears, the families of these heroes know that they’re finally home safely.”
Bongino added: “I ask you please, with the greatest of respect and humility, please stop this defund the police abomination before someone gets hurt.”
Ask a spouse of a police officer why the sound of velcro at night is the greatest sound in the world –– then you will have a tiny idea of what it's like to wear the uniform.
The battle over law & order is not one our society can afford to lose.
My opening statement to Congress: pic.twitter.com/M28SLXJd5h
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) June 10, 2020