Transcript for National debate over defunding the police
So yesterday thousands turned out for memorial to George Floyd in Houston. As protests continue across America, calls to defund the police are taking center stage. Now, the term defund is causing a lot of controversy and confusion on both sides of the aisle apparently because there seems to be different interpretations of the concept. Sunny, I'll come to you first. What is the biggest misunderstanding here? I think the biggest misunderstanding comes from those who aren't that familiar with law enforcement. It's something that I spent the majority of my career doing. The biggest misunderstanding is that people think that defunding the police means abolishing the police. That's not true. There are three different reactions to what you can do in terms of combatting police brutality, especially police brutality in black and brown communities. We know that's where it's disproportionate. You can either reform the police departments, you can either defund the police departments or you can disband the police departments. What we've generally seen is we've seen reforming. We've seen deescalation techniques. We've seen body cameras. We've seen bias training. That hasn't necessarily worked. We know not all police departments have done it. We know police officers are turning off their body cameras. Implicit bias training doesn't seem to be working. The next step would be defending the police departments. That means taking some of those funds -- and let's face it there is about $6 billion sent to the police departments. You take parts of those budgets and send it to social services in the communities. Things like mental health, things like education. There are schools that have cops, but don't have school nurses. They don't have mental health professionals. They have cops, but they don't have coaches. Those funds will go there. Having interviewed so many police officers they don't want to respond to 911 calls with mental health issues. They want mental health professionals to respond. The majority of 911 calls are for mental health issues. The last and most rarest form of combatting police brutality is disbanding police departments. It's rarely done. It was done in I think about seven years ago in Camden, new Jersey. What happened there is it was disbanded. Officers are then basically -- they re-apply for their positions. People in the community apply for their positions. They're retrained, but it looks very different. It's so rare that it's only been done a handful of times. It hasn't been done in big metropolitan cities. It's an option people are considering. This discussion was going on when I was a community prosecutors in the late '90s. Bill braton said it's been going on for 50 years or more. It's not a new discussion. People are relegating it to a slogan. That's not what this is about. It's about saving lives. Joy, you're a former English teacher. What does defund mean to you here? Well, sunny said basically everything that needs to be said about it. The real word should be reform. Defund sounds very scary and people so they're going to eliminate the police department. Of course that is a ridiculous -- on its face. No one is eliminating a department that protects people. If I'm getting mugged I want the police coming to my aid. It annoys me when they weaponize a term. The term black lives matter, I'm interested in that. Certain people I know say all lives matter. The explanation that someone gave which I think is brilliant, well, the house is on fire on this block. This house is on fire. These other houses are also not on fire. Yes, these matter, but this is the house that's on fire right now. I think that, you know, people take the words and distort them. Even the so-called pro-life movement. Pro-lifers are happy to be pro live until the person is born. Then they drop social programs and continue to not be pro-life. They call it pro-life, but it's really anti-abortion. Then say it like that is my -- and as sunny points out Biden and Pelosi want to get rid of choke holds which sounds so in human to me. Also if you're going to barge on people's houses, knock on the door show. Every police show I've ever seen they knock and say police and then go in. Why is it certain states let police go into the house without warning them. They need a national database for tracking police misconduct. They keep sending them to one precinct and another. It remind me of the catholic church where a certain rogue priest is an abuser. Instead of kicking him out and sending him to jail, they send him to the next parish. These things are all systemic and need changed. Meghan, you think this is risky for Democrats? Yeah. If you were to hire me to advise you to run for office, there are a few tenants of politics that have not changed. One is if you're explaining, you're losing. There's a lot of explaining going on on this. If you mean reform, say reform. If you mean defund, S defund. People are confused. Congresswoman ilhan called for the complete dismantling of the police department. It's rotten to its core. I don't know what explanation you need for this. Joy, you don't like things being weaponized in politics for a term. This is giving trump a great campaign slogan. Again, I understand and hear loud and clear what you're I've been reading and watching for the past day. I understand there's a lot of people that say reform. Reverend Al Sharpton said this is confusing to people -- excuse me misleading without interpretation. I saw a video of a Minneapolis city council woman who said it's a privilege for me to be able to call the police department if someone broke into my house and someone was trying to hurt me. Listen, you guys can spin and say everything you want. Politics at the end of the day is real simple. It's about slogans. Defund the police is a great one for the trump campaign. Wait, wait, wait. I got something to say. You must explain. I'm going to explain to bill Barr who says there's no systemic racism. Eric Garner, George Floyd couldn't breathe. Tamir rice was 12. If you can't look at that and say, we have an issue and we have to sit down and talk about it and figure out how to make the good cops better and get the bad cops out of the way, no one that I know wants to get rid of the police department. No one. Congresswoman ilhan does. No. I think she wants to reform it. It sounds better. Both sides always do -- they do the better word. The truth of the matter is no one wants the police department gone. We celebrated the police department during 911. We celebrated the police department in covid times. What we're saying is, those are the great things we want the police departments to continue to do and to take care of the people. But these other things that we're seeing day after day on television because people are filming, those guys, those things have to change. And there is no question that there is a problem. What I don't understand is why no one is saying from the police side, yes, we get it. We're seeing the same thing you are and we got to get rid of the bad apples. Why does everything start with no we can't? Why doesn't it start with we see what you're talking about? Let's come together and figure out what to do.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.