RALEIGH, N.C. – For months, the country has been grappling with social unrest, as frustrations have overflowed following the killing of unarmed Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement. There have been calls from activists to defund the police, but for his part, in his second term agenda President Donald Trump says he wants to “Defend our police" and fully fund and hire more police and law enforcement officers.
AJ Daoud is a familiar face in Republican circles in North Carolina. This year, Daoud is reprising his role as a delegate at the Republican National Convention. Prior to getting involved in politics, his first career was in law enforcement.
“Most of what is occurring boils down to the basics of who you hire, who you train, the mentality, or the atmosphere of the actual workforce that you are dealing with in your police departments,” Daoud says.
Just this week, another police shooting has made national headlines – and led to more frustration that led to riots – and calls to defund the police. But as Republicans take the stage this week at the RNC there is a major push back to the idea of reducing funding for law enforcement.
“And we are going to make it clear that this president, this vice president and this party will always stand with the men and women who serve on the thin blue line of law enforcement. We're going to back the blue,” Vice President Mike Pence told a crowd of delegates on Monday in Charlotte.
In the party platform carried over from 2016 it states:
"The men and women of law enforcement — whether patrolling our neighborhoods or our borders, fighting organized crime or guarding against domestic terror — deserve our gratitude and support. Their jobs are never easy, especially in crisis situations, and should not be made more difficult by politicized second-guessing from federal officials.”
“But even as anarchists mindlessly tear up American cities while attacking police officers and innocent bystanders, we Republicans do recognize those who earnestly strive for peace, justice, and equality,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, said during his primetime RNC speech on Tuesday.
For Daoud, he says he believes relations can improve, and history has proven that.
“I think what we are seeing today is an evolution of what has happened in both police departments and in our societies that have probably not brought us back to the violent eras of the police clashes in the 60s... but very, very similar,” he says.