As protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue across the US, many advocates are calling to defund the police, sparking heated debates over just exactly what this means.
While there is no concrete definition, Sen. Kamala Harris (D) claims that defunding the police does not mean abolishing the police, but rather reallocating a portion of funds from policing to other social services.
On Monday’s episode of The View, Harris argued that we need to reimagine how we enact public safety in America.
“We have confused the idea that to achieve safety, you put more cops on the street,” she said.
Kamala explained that since one-third of most city’s budgets go to policing, many other social services and insitutions are underfunded and understaffed.
“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,” she said.
In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced plans to decrease the LAPD’s budget by as much as $150 million and direct those funds to education, health care, and job training for communities of color.
On Tuesday, Harris expressed her support for this initiative. “I applaud Eric Garcetti for doing what he’s done,” she said on ABC’s Good Morning America.
“We need to recognize that if you invest in communities, they will be healthy, they will be strong, and we won’t have a need for militarization of police.”