STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, and that is a conversation happening right now, this whole debate over defunding the police. The Democrats’ nominee, Joe Biden, has said he’s against defunding the police but, of course, is for investing more in social services and other programs.
What does defunding the police mean to you and is it necessary?
ABRAMS: I think we’re being drawn into this false choice idea. The reality is, we need two things — we need reformation of how police officers do their jobs, how law enforcement does its job, because what happened yesterday to Rayshard Brooks was a function of excessive force and the decision that — the fact that they were either embarrassed or, you know, panicked led them to murder a man who they knew only had a Taser in his hand.
We know that the murder of Breonna Taylor means we have to reform no-knock warrants. We know that in the state of Georgia, we also have to look at the larger judicial issue of the fact that people can use citizen arrest laws to murder men like Ahmaud Arbery in the streets.
So, reformation is absolutely important. What we saw happened in New York is a part of this.
I served in the state legislature for 11 years and I served on the committee of (ph). I took action to increase police accountability. I took action to address the issues of criminal justice reform. But I also know that we have to have a transformation of how we view the role of law enforcement, how we view the construct of public safety and how we invest not only in the work that we need them to do to protect us, but the work we need to do to protect and build our communities. And that’s the conversation we’re having. We’ll use different language to describe it. But, fundamentally, we must have reformation and transformation.