By ESTHER CASTILLEJO, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — As President Donald Trump kicked off the Republican National Convention Monday, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., the Democratic vice presidential nominee, responded to the president’s claims he is the “law and order” president, during an exclusive interview with World News Tonight anchor David Muir.
“We’re on the eve of the Republican National Convention. The president will label himself as the law and order president, but we have seen in this country that tens of thousands of Americans from all backgrounds protesting and demonstrating in the streets demanding that this country root out systemic racism. You joined the protest after George Floyd — how do you make sure that they are heard, that they see change, while you still support law enforcement in this country? Can you do both?” Muir asked Harris.
“Absolutely,” Harris responded. “The movement that we are seeing take place in the streets of America by the hundreds of thousands involving people of every race, age, gender, has been a movement to say… there needs to be accountability and consequence for anyone who breaks the rules or breaks the law — including police officers — but also that we need to reimagine how we are creating safe communities.”
Harris joined Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for a joint interview, their first since accepting the Democratic nomination, conducted by Muir and Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts for a special edition of 20/20 called The Ticket: The First Interview, which aired Sunday on ABC.
Harris, who joined a Black Lives Matter protest in Washington, D.C. in June, said solutions have to address systemic racism at its roots, pointing to differences between communities of color protesting police brutality, and more affluent communities.
“The way to create safe communities is to invest in those communities, invest in high rates of homeownership, invest in public education in schools, invest in access to capital,” Harris told Muir during a joint interview with Biden. “If you look at any upper-class suburb in America, you will not see the kind of police presence you see in those other communities, but what you will see: high rates of homeownership families who have jobs, they don’t have to worry about paying bills by the end of the month, access to capital for small businesses, thriving public schools — and that’s what we’re talking about doing. Let’s deal with the issues that face America, including the need to invest in the health and well-being of communities, as well as requiring accountability for people who break the rules and break the law.”
Trump has repeatedly labeled himself the “law and order president” — tweeting those words more than a dozen times — and has pounced on his Democratic rival, Biden, and his running mate, Harris.
“In Joe Biden’s America you and your family will not be safe,” Trump told supporters during a tele-rally earlier this month. “You and your family will not be safe,” he repeated as he promised to “immediately surge” federal law enforcement officers in several cities around the country.
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