Two independent fact checkers have now confirmed that Senator Tillis’ attacks on Cal Cunningham around law and order are false. Cal has made it clear that twenty-first century policing will require an increased investment in law enforcement, not defunding it, and that violations of civil and Constitutional rights and racial issues demand action and substantial change, which is why he released his priorities for constructive change in policing.
The News & Observer confirmed that Senator Tillis’ claim that Cal cut funding for law enforcement while in the state legislature “mischaracterizes what happened.”
- “Cunningham fiercely defended his record, saying he stood “shoulder to shoulder” with law enforcement officials.” [News & Observer, 9/29/20]
- “Cunningham released this summer a policing reform plan that calls for more spending on law enforcement.” [News & Observer, 9/29/20]
- “What you need to know: Tillis’ statistic mischaracterizes what happened.” [News & Observer, 9/29/20]
- “The vast majority of the budget ‘cut’ comes from the transfer of the Community Service Work Program from the public safety budget to the Department of Corrections, where it was merged with the Division of Community Corrections.” [News & Observer, 9/29/20]
PolitiFact rated Senator Tillis claims “false” and found that Cal does not support defunding the police:
- Cal: “Twenty-first century policing reform will require increased investment in law enforcement, not defunding it.’” [Politifact, 8/19/20]
- “That same day, he published an op-ed elaborating on his position. Cunningham said he supports a program that issues grants to police departments that reform their use-of-force policies.” [Politifact, 8/19/20]
- “‘I’ve, in fact, very specifically said I don’t support defunding the police,” Cunningham said.” [Politifact, 8/19/2020]
Senator Tillis’ attacks against Cal are just another way to distract voters from his own record of failing to stand up for all North Carolinians in Washington.