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WATCH: Kamala: ‘Wrongheaded’ To Think Only Way For Safer Communities Is More Police
Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks outside Headliners Barbershop on September 22, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking with black voters in Flint, Michigan, on Tuesday, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris told them, “Let’s talk about America’s failure when it comes to creating safe communities. It is outdated, it is wrongheaded to think the only way you’re going to get communities to be safe is to put more police officers on the street. What we have to do, and what we will do is reimagine public safety. If you want a safe community you have to invest in the health and well-being of that community.”

Harris has decried the idea of having more police on the street before; in June, appearing on ABC’s “The View,” Harris was asked by co-host Meghan McCain what “defunding the police” actually meant. Harris replied:

I think that a big part of this conversation really is about reimagining how we do public safety in America which I support which is this: 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.

“That’s how I think about this,” Harris continued. “You know, in many cities in America, over one-third of their city budget goes to the police. So, we have to have this conversation, what are we doing? What about the money going to social services? What about the money going to helping people with job training? What about the mental health issues that communities are being plagued with for which we’re putting no resources?”

But as Reason magazine reported in August, most blacks want at least the same number of police in their communities, if not more:

As calls to defund and abolish the police grow around the country, a new poll by Gallup finds that a large majority—81 percent—of black Americans want the same or increased levels of police presence in their neighborhoods. Just 19 percent of black Americans said they want the police to spend less time in their neighborhoods, a figure that accords with earlier surveys finding that only 22 percent of black Americans want to get rid of police forces as we know then.

Most blacks want the same or higher number of police in their neighborhoods while they see them more than other communities; National Review noted they “observe police in their neighborhoods slightly more than other groups, 32 percent saying they see police officers often or very often in their area, above the national average of 24 percent of all Americans who say the same.”

In late August, Michael McHale, the president of the National Association of Police Organizations, stated, “As a senator, Kamala Harris pushed to further restrict police, cut their training, and make our American communities and streets even more dangerous than they are.”

“The differences between Trump-Pence and Biden-Harris are crystal clear,” he added. “Your choices are the most pro-law enforcement president we’ve ever had or the most radical anti-police ticket in history.”

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