Sen. Kamala Harris speaks out on police reform

Harris tells "GMA" whether she believes any Republicans will support the sweeping legislation she and three other lawmakers have introduced.
4:34 | 06/09/20

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Transcript for Sen. Kamala Harris speaks out on police reform
Mary Bruce, thanks investment. Let's bring in kamala Harris from California. Thank you for joining us this morning. We just saw Mary's piece and saw what president trump said yesterday slamming Democrats saying radical left Democrats are behind defunding the police. How do you respond to that? Yeah, well, it's just -- it's creating fear where none is necessary. Listen, here's the thing. George, we all witnessed the tragic murder of George Floyd. People protesting in the streets are protesting what has been a long-standing issue in America. That needs to be addressed. And it can be done in a way that does not require us to create fear in people. The reality of it all is this, there needs to be accountability and consequence for anyone who breaks the law and breaks the rules and so what we're talking about in our package of bills is doing just that. And separately, we've really got to get to a point where we agree the status quo is wrong. It's just wrong. You know how you create more safety? You fund public schools and it wouldn't be the case in America today two-thirds of our public schoolteachers come out of their own pocket to help pay for school supplies. Create more safety, people have access to health care and it's affordable. The way you create more safety the jobs in the community and economic opportunities and accession to capital and you can look at any middle or upper middle class suburb in America, you don't see police presence there. But what you do see there are good schools. People have jobs and have incomes that help them get through the end of the month. In Los Angeles, mayor Eric garcetti saying take some of the money and invest it in health initiatives and training issues for youth. I support investing in communities so that they become more healthy and therefore more safe. Right now what we're seeing in America is many cities spend over one-third of their entire city budget on policing. But meanwhile we've been defunding public schools for years in America. We've got to re-examine what we're doing with American taxpayer dollars and ask the question, are we getting the right return on our investment? Are we actually creating healthy and safe communities? And that's a legitimate conversation and it requires a really critical evaluation. I applaud Eric garcetti for doing what he's done. Does it mean we need fewer police on the streets of America right now? It means that we need to invest in community, George. It means that we need to invest in educating our children when if you look at it over a course of time, we have defunded public schools in America. It means that we need to create economic opportunities in the midst of this coronavirus which is still present, 90% of minority and women owned businesses, small businesses did not get access to the ppp. That's got to change. 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. Right? We have to stop that. We have to stop militarization of police. That doesn't mean we get rid of police. We have to be practical. Does Joe Biden have the formula right, don't defund the police but condition federal money on reforms in policing? Listen, Joe Biden believes that we need to reform the system and I couldn't agree with him more. Do you have any hope right now of getting Republican support for your reforms? I do actually, George. You know, when I look at these marches, people who seemingly have nothing in common are marching together shoulder to shoulder speaking about what is our collective desire to achieve the ideals of our country including equal justice under law. And I think -- you look at Mitt Romney who was the Republican nominee for president. And he was out there with the people saying the phrase, black lives matter. I feel very hopeful about this because this is just -- it is literally it should not be a partisan issue. This is about the fact that good policing is good for America. That racism hurts all Americans regardless of their race. Senator Harris, thanks for joining us this morning. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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