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HEARTLAND HERALD

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Sen. Ted Cruz’s Exchange With Biden Nominee Over Defunding Police

Video Team 


Editor’s note: Kristen Clarke, nominated by President Joe Biden to be the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, testified Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Below is a transcript of her conversation with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Sen. Ted Cruz: Welcome to both of the nominees. Ms. Clarke, as I look to your record, I see the record of someone who has spent a career as a partisan advocate. Last year, you wrote an op-ed in Newsweek entitled, “I Prosecuted Police Killings. Defund the Police—But Be Strategic.” Do you still believe it is a good idea to defund the police?
Kristen Clarke: Thank you, Senator, for that question. I do not support defunding the police. The impetus for writing that op-ed was to make clear that I do not support defunding the police, and I spent considerable time talking about the need to channel resources to places such as mental health treatment to alleviate some of the burdens that we place on the doorstep of law enforcement, some of the issues we ask them to wrestle with that are outside their core competency, but if I—
Cruz: Ms. Clarke, we have limited time. You say you don’t support defunding the police, you just said it twice. The title of your article was “Defund the Police.” But let’s not just look to the title, your article begins by saying that the national protests we saw last year, quote, “opened up space for transformative policy discussion,” and you then continue to write, and this is a quote, “Into that space has surged a unifying call from the Black Lives Matter movement: ‘Defund the police.’” Do you really believe ‘defund the police’ is a unifying call?
Clarke: I don’t support defund the police.
Cruz: I’m reading from your article.

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