Some of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates took on criticism theyâ€™ve faced from the black community in remarks to the National Urban League Friday.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) addressed the civil rights organization at its conference in Indianapolis.
Buttigieg has faced criticism over his admitted failure to produce a diverse police force in South Bend. Buttigieg says he could have used more federal help.
â€œWhat we need is nationwide support for a culture that would not have police regarded as soldiers on a battlefield but as community problem solvers,â€ Buttigieg says.
Harris has taken criticism for her career as a prosecutor, with some arguing she canâ€™t lead on criminal justice reform. But she says it was her experiences with racial bias that prompted her to become a prosecutor.
â€œWhy do we only have to be on the outside, on bended knee or trying to break down the door?" Harris says. "Shouldnâ€™t we also have a role on the inside, where the decisions are being made, in a way we can influence the change that must occur?â€
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) also spoke.