Kamala Harris
“We still have a lot of work to do in terms of addressing racism, addressing bias, and being true to what we should be, which is a country that sees the dignity in all people and gives them dignity. This is something that I have experienced personally, it is something I care deeply about, it is something I’m always going to fight against. We really can be better than this. I know that” Senator Harris told Telemundo’s morning show. KamalaHarris.org

In a live interview on Telemundo’s “Un Nuevo Día," U.S. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) shared her views on the national protests, police reform, and the increase of racial and social tensions in the United States, including her own experience with racism. During her interview with Francisco Cáceres --an exclusive to Hispanic TV -- Harris also spoke about her viewpoint regarding the movement to defund the police, Joe Biden as a potential president, and her possible candidacy as the Democratic vice president in the upcoming presidential elections.

Senator Kamala Harris is a lifelong public safety and civil rights leader, and a former Democratic presidential contender. Elected in 2016, she was the second African American woman in history to be elected to the U.S. Senate, and the first African American and the first woman to serve as Attorney General of the state of California.

Find below excerpts from the interview with Telemundo's "Un Nuevo Día.”

Francisco Cáceres: We have seen you supporting racial equality not only in the streets but yesterday you and other top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Cory Booker, introduced the “Justice in Policing” Act. Could you please briefly explain what that bill entails?

Kamala Harris: It’s about requiring accountability for police officers who break the rules and break the law. So, it does a number of specific things: One, right now in America, if a police officer uses excessive force, the question that is asked in the courtroom is simply, ‘was that use of force reasonable?’ But, as we know, you can find a reason for anything. What we are saying is it’s fairer and just to ask ‘was that use of force necessary?’ So, that’s one of the things we’re going to change. Another is we want to change that… we are going to have… give the United States Department of Justice the ability to investigate police departments that have a pattern and practice of discrimination against any people – Latinos, African Americans, whoever – but is there a pattern and practice of discrimination?

We also want to make sure that when there is a finding of excessive force, the investigations are happening by an independent investigator. So, what that means is not the attorney that works closely with that police department every day, but an independent investigator so that we can know there is no conflict of interest when they are investigating whether there’s been an abuse of power by the police.

FC: I just want to get this clear – are you saying that you are OK with taking funds from the police and investing them in those programs you mentioned? Or, are you more in line with Joe Biden who says that ‘don’t defund the police but condition federal money on reforms on policing?’

KH: I agree with Joe Biden. We need to reform the system and do it in a way that we put resources into the communities… We should de-militarize police departments, we should not be putting millions of dollars a year into military equipment for local police. That is money better spent inputting into public schools. Do you know two-thirds of our public-school teachers come out of their own pocket to pay for school supplies for their students? We’ve been defunding public education for years. Let’s understand when communities have education when children are educated, you see fewer crimes. So, it’s a matter of looking at the system as a whole and thinking about where is the smart investment to create healthy and safe communities. That’s the point.

FC: We are in an election year, and you have endorsed Joe Biden who has committed to choosing a female running mate. You’ve been the front runner in several lists of potential VP candidates, and it seems that the current climate of support for racial equality makes you an even stronger choice. Would you accept if Biden asks you to be his running mate?

KH: You know... I would and I’m honored to be part of the conversation. But I want him to win – he has to win. And I want him to make whatever decision is necessary to make sure that he wins. We, in this election in November, have so much at stake. We have Donald Trump in the office right now who has broken the promise to DACA recipients, who have…separated children from their parents at the border, who speaks words that are about dividing and spewing hate in our country, and dividing the people of our country. We need a new president. We need someone who cares about the people, who honor the dignity of people, and who will lift up the condition and the spirits of the American people – and that’s going to be Joe Biden.

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