Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California on Tuesday said she applauds Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for his move to cut about $150 million from a planned increase to the city’s police budget but that the ongoing push for law enforcement reform “doesn’t mean we get rid of police.”
“I support investing in communities so that they become more healthy and therefore more safe,” Ms. Harris said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I applaud Eric Garcetti for doing what he’s done.”
Asked if the country needs fewer police officers on the streets right now, she said: “It means we need to invest in communities.”
“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,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean we get rid of police — of course not.”
Ms. Harris, who has a background in law enforcement as a former attorney general of California, has been mentioned as a potential vice president pick for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden.
Mr. Biden has said he does not support defunding the police, a movement that has taken hold in some circles on the left and in some localities across the country after the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody.
“Joe Biden believes that we need to reform the system, and I couldn’t agree with him more,” she said.