The following is the transcript of the Vice Presidential debate tonight, specifically an excerpt where when asked what we can do to improve the relationship between people and the police Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Kaine responded increased gun control.
Elaine: All right, let me move on. The issue of law enforcement and race relations. Law enforcement and race relations. After the Dallas police shooting, police chief David Brown said “We are asking cops to do too much in this country. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops. Not enough mental health funding, drug addiction funding, and schools fail.” Do we ask too much of police officers in this country? How would you specifically address the chief’s concerns.
Sen. Kaine: That is a very fair comment. We put all that on police’s shoulders. I was a city councilman and mayor in Richmond. When I came in, we had one of the highest severance rates in the states. We fought very hard with our police department and reduce our homicide rate nearly in half. When I was governor of Virginia, we worked hard. We had — governor of Virginia, we worked very hard. We worked together.
Here is what I learned as a mayor and governor. The way you make immunities favor and the way you make police saver is through community policing. You build the bonds between amenity and the police force, bonds of understanding, that’s between the community and the police force bonds of understanding. When that gap narrows, it is safer for communities, and for the police. That model works across our country. There are other models that do not work, and overly aggressive more militarized model. Donald Trump recently said we need to do more stop and frisk around the country. That would be a big mistake because it polarizes the relationship between the police and the community.
Here is what we will do, focus on community policing. We’ll focus on a comprehensive mental health reform package that Hillary Clinton worked on with law enforcement professionals, and fight the scourge of gun violence in the United States. I am a gun owner. I am a strong second amendment supporter. When I was Governor of Virginia, there was a horrible shooting at Virginia Tech, and we learned through that painful situation that gaps in the background record check system should have been closed and could have prevented that crime. We are going to work to do things I close background record checks.
If we do, we will not have the tragedy we did. One of those killed it at Virginia Tech was a 70-plus-year-old Romanian Holocaust survivor who had survived the Holocaust, survived the Soviet Union takeover of his country, but then, he was a visiting professor at Virginia Tech, and could not survive the scourge of gun violence. We can support the second amendment and do things like that ground check to make us safer and police safer, too.
Gov. Pence: My uncle was a cop, career cop. On the beach in downtown Chicago. He was my hero when I grew up. My three brothers and I would marvel at my uncle when he would come out in his uniform, sidearm at his side. Police officers are the best of us, and men and women, white, African-American, Asian, Latino, hispanic, they put their lives on the line every single day. Let me say, at the risk of agreeing with you, community policing is a great idea. It has worked in the Hoosier state. We fully support that.
Donald Trump and I want to make sure law enforcement has the resources and tools to be able to really restore law and order, and for the cities and communities in this nation. It is probably why the 330,000 members of the police endorse Donald Trump as the next President of the United States of America because they see his commitment to him, to law — to them, to law and order.
They hear the bad mouthing that comes from people that seize upon tragedy as a reason to use a broad brush to accuse law enforcement of implicit bias or institutional racism. That really has got to stop. When an African-American police officer in Charlotte, and all-star football player who went to Liberty University, followed his dad into law enforcement, joined the force in Charlotte in 2014, was involved in a police action shooting that claimed the life of Keith Lamont Scott, it was a tragedy. We mourn with those who mourn, we grieve with those who grieve, and we are saddened at the loss of life.
Hillary Clinton actually referred to that moment as an example of implicit bias in the police force, where she was asked a week ago, whether there was implicit bias in law enforcement, should correctly answer was that there is implicit bias and everyone in the United States I just think what we ought to do is stop seizing on these moments of tragedy. We assure the public we have a full and complete and transparent investigation whenever there is a loss of life because of police action, but Senator, please, enough of this seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement probably by making accusation of implicit bias every time tragedy occurs.
Sen. Kaine: People should not be afraid to bring up issues of bias in law enforcement.
Gov. Pence: I am not afraid to bring that up.