Ted Williams calls push to defund police an 'overreaction' to George Floyd death: 'You're hurting citizens'

Criminal defense attorney and Fox News contributor Ted Williams told "Bill Hemmer Reports" Monday that the push by activists to defund the police in the wake of George Floyd's death was an "overreaction" that would have devastating consequences for poor neighborhoods.

"Look, I'm saddened that this man died," Williams said, "but we cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater. This is what they're doing when you're talking about defunding [police]. You're hurting citizens in that neighborhood."

Williams' comments come amid growing calls to weaken law enforcement in the wake of Floyd's May 25 death while in Minneapolis police custody.

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The Black Lives Matter movement has called for "a national defunding of police." Notable Democratic politicians as well as several celebrities have echoed the sentiment.

"This is when defunding should take place," Williams said. "Whenever there's no more crime in America, then that is when I want police departments defunded."

Fellow Fox News contributor and former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy echoed Williams' sentiment, adding that he is "worried" that "even if you don't defund the police, I don't want the police out on the street feeling they can't do that job."

"It's not only that ... you know, the wealthier communities can make alternative arrangements, they can plan, get private security," McCarthy added. "The places where we have crime, where crime is a real problem ... they're the ones that will suffer from the police not being present.

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"You can see that happening already," he went on. "Look what happened when the police stood down in most places. Smoking wreckage all over the country."

Williams, a former Washington D.C. homicide detective, told host Bill Hemmer that when he first heard calls to "disband" police forces, his reaction was, "Have y'all lost your mind?"

"Who are you going to call on?" he asked. "Ghostbusters to protect the community?

"Law enforcement is a necessity in communities," Williams concluded. "We have crooks out here. We have people out here who are trying to harm other people and we need law enforcement."

Fox News' Ronn Blizter contributed to this report.