Possible 2021 Virginia GOP candidate for governor (he says he’s going to decide by October 1, and is a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of likelihood to run), former State Senator and former Virginia State Trooper Bill Carrico, had some interesting – and revealing – things to say yesterday in an interview with “Virginia FREE” and “Bearing Drift.” Check out the video, below, and also some highlights from his comments on “defunding” the police, “defelonizing” assault on police, etc. (note: bolding added by me for emphasis). From what I’ve seen, Carrico’s views are pretty standard among Virginia Republicans, which in some cases (e.g., agreeing that “we should have a national registry for bad police officers” or “we need to do more training on how we de-escalate and make arrests”) is fine as far as it goes, but in other cases (e.g., Carrico’s wildly overheated rhetoric about “building a criminal empire and we’re gonna look like Chicago”) is neither accurate nor helpful at all. Also, Carrico’s hostility to police unions and collective bargaining is notable…and also, presumably, very common on the political right.
Carrico: “The biggest thing that you’re getting ready to see [in the upcoming Virginia General Assembly special session] is the bill that that just was signed – takes effect in 2021 – of collective bargaining. What you saw in Minneapolis, what you see in Chicago, what you see in these big cities where agencies are able to unionize and collectively bargaining, is where the problems really begin to grow. And so what you want to do is you want to have agencies where their leaders have the ability to professionally handle these situations without having to have a union to collectively bargain with what they do with their employees.”
Carrico: “In this reform that the Black Caucus put out there…now you’re defelonizing assaults on police officers, making it misdemeanors. And you know the badge represents authority, it represents the people; the people have given that individual the authority to remain and keep order. But now you’re watering that down, you’re just saying, well it’s not a felony if you assault a police officer, it’s just a misdemeanor – they’re actually assaulting you because you gave them the authority. And so all these things that they’re calling reform is nothing more than an attack to make sure that law enforcement doesn’t want to respond. Now you’re going in their package to only daytime service of warrants. Well everybody knows that the criminals work under the cover of darkness, and you’re not going to be able to serve warrants at night. So you’re just creating another layer for the criminal enterprise to grow. And so we’re not defunding police. we’re building a criminal empire and we’re gonna look like Chicago”…Sovereign immunity allows the state to operate in good faith without being having frivolous lawsuits constantly thrown at them and end up paying out millions of dollars because a jury may not like law enforcement.”
Carrico: “There’s a difference between defunding and reforming. I think law enforcement has to reform…evolves as culture evolves. And you know, one of the problems that we’ve had in the past and the reason we see a lot of problems is all the cuts that have been made to law enforcement over the years. And so their ability to train and do new things kind of gets put under the radar because they have to use their money to operate. I think we should have a national registry for bad police officers, that’s number one. We shouldn’t be hiring bad police officers; if they’ve left one agency and they just go to the next. I think that we need to do more training on how we de-escalate and make arrests. We’re in an area of time now where people are having so many and the mental issue is becoming so prevalent we need all of our law enforcement trained in de-escalation and in identifying these things. Defunding police when the government’s job number one job is to keep this public safe, the governor’s number one job is to keep the public safe, and you’re not able to operate as going to school, going to work or gatherings without having a sense of safety. So when we talk about police reform, this conversation about defunding them, taking money away from them is the wrong thing to talk about. We need to talk about funding them, giving them the resources, giving them the training, making them the professional agency that you want to make them, so that you don’t have the systemic problems that exist “
Carrico: “I want to make sure Virginians are safe and that they are prosperous and I don’t know of anybody in the Commonwealth of Virginia that don’t agree with that”