Politics

Here Is Where Joe Biden’s Top Choices For Vice President Stand On Defunding The Police

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden has condemned defunding the police, but where do his possible picks for Vice President stand on the issue?

Despite some voices in the Democratic party calling for defunding the police, a few of Biden’s top candidates for Vice President have not come out against the “defund the police” movement, something Biden has rejected himself. In a Monday interview Biden told CBS News: “No, I don’t support defunding the police,” while in Houston to meet with the family of George Floyd, who died while in Minneapolis police custody after an officer put his knee into the back of his neck for over eight minutes while he was handcuffed and on the ground.

“I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness. And, in fact, are able to demonstrate they can protect the community and everybody in the community,” Biden continued.

POSSIBLE VP PICKS & THEY STAND ON DEFUNDING THE POLICE:

  • Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris: Even though Harris served as the former Attorney General of California and has a long history of working in law enforcement, Harris has continued to dodge the question of defunding the police in multiple interviews. The California Senator also praised Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s decision to cut $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget, saying Tuesday on Good Morning 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?” Harris said. “That’s a legitimate conversation and it requires really critical evaluation. I applaud Eric Garcetti for doing what he’s done.”

 

  • Democratic Massachusets Sen. Elizabeth Warren: The former presidential candidate said Monday that defunding the police is “not the term I would use” but said that it is important to “listen to the pain and the lived experiences of the people who are protesting.” Other then that, Warren has been quiet on the issue.

 

  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms: Bottoms said Tuesday, that defunding the police is “a very simplified message,” adding “I think the overarching thing is that people want to see a reallocation of resources into community development and alternatives to just criminalizing … behavior, so I think it’s incumbent upon us to help people articulate that frustration,” Bottoms said in an interview with 11Alive earlier this week.

 

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: Whitmer said Wednesday that she supports the “spirit” of the “Defund The Police” movement, adding that she just not want to actually get rid of them. “The spirit as you just articulated is really just about reprioritizing and rebuilding communities, not just policing,” Whitmer said on an Instagram live with The Root.

 

  • Florida Rep. Val Demmings: As a former police officer, Demmings has not called for defunding the police but did say the Minneapolis City Council is “is being very thoughtful” when asked about their effort to dismantle its police department. Demmings in a statement Monday said: “To be clear: the overwhelming number of men and women in law enforcement are good, decent people who are a blessing to our nation. I have personally served with many of them. However, we desperately need additional changes to hold bad cops accountable. This legislation combines decades of work by the Congressional Black Caucus and the House Judiciary Committee to give America’s police departments the guidance, support, and accountability needed to protect and serve every American equally, regardless of their race.”

The Daily Caller contacted every Senate Democrat, including Harris and Warren, asking if they would consider defunding the police after a majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged to “dismantle” the city’s police department as their solution to police violence after George Floyd’s death. Not one Democrat responded or condemned the Minneapolis City Council for pushing to defund law enforcement. (RELATED: Senate Democrats Refuse To Say If They Would Consider Defunding The Police)

On Tuesday night protesters stormed Seattle, Washington’s city hall and declared a portion of the city as “cop-free” and an “autonomous zone.” Seattle police also say they are not responding to calls for help and that there are armed protesters operating checkpoints. (RELATED: No Police, Extortion Of Private Businesses: Inside The Latest On Seattle’s Downtown ‘Autonomous Zone’)

Several Democrats, such as West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin have strongly condemned the idea of defunding the police, saying “You can’t defund the police, that’s stupid, it’s crazy and anyone who talks about that is nuts,” Manchin told Politico. “You have to have the police.”

Only 16% of Americans support defunding police departments, according to a YouGov poll released Monday.