Biden campaign says candidate does not support defunding police

The recent death of George Floyd has spark calls for defunding police department

Updated: June 8, 2020 - 4:55pm

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Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's campaign said Monday said that the candidate does not support defunding the police, following the death of George Floyd after being arrested by Minneapolis police.

“As his criminal justice proposal made clear months ago, [former] Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded," campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told reporters. "He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain." 

Bates also reportedly said Biden nevertheless supports the "urgent need" for reform – which would including more funding for public schools, mental health and substance abuse treatment programs – so that officers can focus on policing.

He also said Biden is calling for more police training to avert "tragic, unjustifiable deaths."

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