“We cannot allow mob rule,” Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., told “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday reacting to growing calls to defund police departments following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last month.
Loeffler made the comment shortly before the Senate planned to hold its first vote on Wednesday on their “Justice Act” police reform legislation, which would hold officers accountable with an enhanced use-of-force database, pursue restrictions on chokeholds and create new commissions to study law enforcement and race.
“We are a nation of the rule of law,” Loeffler said on Wedesday, noting that "mob rule" will take place “if we defund the police.”
“That's exactly what the Democrat want to do, they have a move to defund, dismantle law enforcement,” she added.
The Georgia GOP senator spoke on “America’s Newsroom” the morning after at least three men brandishing long guns were seen near the Wendy's restaurant in Atlanta where Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot during his arrest June 12.
One man, who said he was holding a 12-gauge shotgun, told reporter Steve Harrigan he was armed because there were no longer police officers to protect them. Another man said he lost confidence that the city's police were committed to their pledge to “serve and protect.”
“The police aren’t allowed here because they’re not here to protect us,” the man with the shotgun said.
Loeffler told host Ed Henry on Wednesday that what is happening in Atlanta is “totally unacceptable,” adding that she stands “strong with law enforcement.”
Early Wednesday, the Atlanta Police Department told Fox News in a statement, "APD is monitoring the situation and plans to coordinate with community leaders and the Wendy’s property owner to address security issues and help preserve peace for this community as soon as possible."
Loeffler noted that she recently introduced legislation that would withhold federal highway funding from states and local governments that reduce funding to law enforcement without a clear budgetary need amid the "defund the police" push from some Democrats.
She said not having police officers would hurt all communities.
“It hurts everyone in our country when we don’t have law and order, when we have mob rule,” Loefller said. “This is the vision that the Democrats have for our country.”
“It's a great example of why we need to move this bill to the floor, why we need to stand strong with strengthening law enforcement to rooting out bad apples,” she continued.
She went on to say that “everyone wants that” and “this cannot be politicized.”
“We’ve got to protect our citizens,” Loefller stressed.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz, Morgan Phillips and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.