A Tasmanian Labor candidate who appeared to agree that police should be abolished can expect a stern talking to from the party.
Franklin candidate Fabiano Cangelosi - who this week denounced Labor's poker machines and protest laws policies as the party's election campaign continued to lurch from crisis to crisis - posted a link on his Facebook page in July last year to an article by a US human rights lawyer in The Atlantic magazine which argued police should be abolished.
The article, titled How I Became a Police Abolitionist, spoke of police violence and argued for alternative methods of preventing crime, including spending money and time reducing the causes of violence.
"Defunding the police is one step on a broad stairway toward abolition," it said.
A person on Facebook asked Mr Cangelosi if the article was an accurate representation of his views.
Mr Cangelosi replied that it was.
Liberal campaign spokesperson Michael Ferguson said Labor Leader Rebecca White "must act decisively and publicly denounce Mr Cangelosi's views on policing and disendorse him as a Labor candidate".
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"It's one thing for Mr Cangelosi to oppose Labor's policies on pokies and workplace protection laws; it's quite another for him to oppose the entire concept of the police force."
Mr Ferguson said Mr Cangelosi's views on policing were so extreme they made the Greens look mainstream.
Labor's Shadow Police Minister, Jen Butler, said abolishing police was "an absolutely ridiculous suggestion and is certainly in no way reflective of Labor policy".
It's deeply disrespectful and I will be having a strong conversation with Mr Cangelosi.Labor's Shadow Police Minister Jen Butler,.
"If anything, going forward, Labor will be announcing more support for our police service and ensuring frontline police can do their jobs as safely as possible."
Ms Butler said abolishing police was not Labor policy and every Labor candidate knew that.
"Every candidate knows that they sign up to the policies that Labor has and we are 100 per cent committed to providing police with the resources to do their job to keep both Tasmanians and themselves safe," Ms Butler said.
Labor did not directly answer a question about whether it would disendorse Mr Cangelosi over the Facebook material.
Mr Cangelosi, a Hobart lawyer, said on Thursday he was speaking on Facebook about very serious problems in the US, particularly in relation to the death of George Floyd.
"I do not support police abolition in Tasmania," he said.
"I would say in Tasmania the position is quite different.
"I was referring to the American situation."
He said he did not support the abolition of any Australian police force.
"Tasmania's police forces are stretched thin with duty officers conducting responses to issues unrelated to core policing work," he said.
"These responses lead to more stress on officers, who, despite their best efforts, are not trained health and social crises triage specialists and should be free to conduct core policing duties.
"In fact, we need more police officers just to safely engage with the current volume of core policing work."
Another prominent Tasmanian lawyer, Greg Barns SC, said Mr Cangelosi was talking in the American context and his views about US police were not uncommon.
"I share his views about police abolition in the United States," Mr Barns said.
"In the United States, far too many police forces murder and otherwise kill thousands of African Americans and there is a very good argument for abolishing many of the functions of the police in the United States."
Earlier in the week, Mr Cangelosi said he would not stand down as a Labor candidate despite his criticism of the pokies and protest policies.