first elected official to publicly state he was reviewing correspondence on the topic, the Council released a public statement about their plans regarding police reform. Their specific 3-point platform of "set a higher standard for use of force by police, outlaw certain deadly tactics such as chokeholds, and require police officers to intervene if a fellow officer is committing a crime or violating department policy," fell flat with many of their progressive constituents.
For a Council that touts itself on the cutting edge of progressive policy, many saw the proposal as being years behind the current hot topic that has arisen out of the nationwide protests in the wake of the George Floyd murder case: defunding or abolishing the police. A Zoom meeting held by several councilmembers later Monday evening was criticized by some for having the formal announced panel dominated by elected and appointed public officials. Meanwhile, residents opposed to defunding the police warned of crime surges, chaos, higher gun sales, and the prospect of fleeing Montgomery County altogether if the Council were to defund the police.
Monday was also a day that some high-level Democrats nationwide began to express second thoughts about the Defund the Police slogan. "Joe Biden does not believe that police should be defunded," a Biden campaign spokesperson said in a statement. Prominent progressives countered that phrases once considered extreme have become mainstream in a short time. "Not long ago, 'Black Lives Matter' was *also* a rallying cry for justice that politicians worried polled too poorly, was too 'divisive' & required 'too much explanation,'" U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D - NY-14) tweeted. "Now Mitt Romney is saying it. Progress is a process. It’s normal to work through discomfort along the way."
It will be interesting to see which way the Council breaks on the issue. Montgomery County has clearly broken far to the left of establishment Democrats like Joe Biden in recent elections. Twitter was not low-volume in providing feedback to the Council on Day 1.