While the President of the United States was tweeting about Colin Powell not voting for him, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker and other Democratic lawmakers were working on creating legislation around comprehensive police reform, which was announced this morning (June 8).
Harris appeared on The View to discuss the Justice in Policing Act and gave co-host Meghan McCain a quick lesson on preparation.
McCain started, “Many activists right now are calling for a defunding of the police. I want to know from you, do you support defunding and removing the police from American communities, and if not, why do you think there is such a hard time being differentiated right now between defunding and reforming police departments?”
Trying to answer her question, Harris said, “So Meghan, I think that a big part of this conversation really is about reimagining how we do public safety in America. We have confused the idea that to achieve safety, you put more cops on the street instead of understanding to achieve safe and healthy communities, you put more resources into the public education system of those communities, into affordable housing, into home ownership, into access to capital for small businesses, access to health care regardless of how much money people have.”
Harris further explained her plan on how to create healthy communities when McCain retorted with, “Are you for defunding the police?”
“How are you defining ‘defund the police?’” Harris quizzed.
“Well, I’m not for anything remotely for that so I would ask the protesters the same thing. I assume, and again, this is something that is new to me, I assume, it’s removing police,” she stumbled.
“Again, this is something that has just come into my understanding recently.”
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Harris explained again repeating herself saying,, “We need to reimagine public safety in America," and continued, “to have cities where one-third of their entire budget is going to police, but yet there is a dire need in those same cities for mental health resources, for resources going into public schools, for resources going into job training and job creation? Come on.”
Co-host Sunny Hostin also chimed in to provide her colleague with a more drummed down understanding of what defunding the police would actually entail.
“Defunding the police doesn’t mean abolishing the police. It means taking some of those funds that are typically one-third of the budget of a city and giving some of those funds to services like education and mental health resources.”