Valerie Jarrett: 'Democracy depends upon having law enforcement'
© Greg Nash

Former White House senior adviser Valerie JarrettValerie June JarrettJacobin Editor-at-Large: Valerie Jarrett's support for Citigroup executive's mayoral campaign 'microcosm' of Democrats' relationship with Wall Street Hollywood gives Biden's digital campaign final star-studded push Cedric Richmond's next move: 'Sky's the limit' if Biden wins MORE said in a new interview that she does not agree with calls from some activists to defund police departments following George Floyd's killing, calling instead for more resources and training.

In an interview with Time, the former Obama administration official warned that "democracy depends upon having law enforcement."

“The challenge here is that much of our law enforcement we know is not just.” Jarrett told Time. “I might argue you might need more money for law enforcement — in recruitment and training, adding equipment, maybe body cameras, other types of resources that are available so that the public can see what’s going on.”


“The question is, are we really using our law enforcement in a way that is fair and just and that builds this bond of trust?” she continued. “And I think that’s a much more complicated question than simply should we cut their funding or not.”

Jarrett's comments are a departure from calls from some progressive Democrats to move funding away from police departments to other services, including social welfare programs, that have arisen in recent days as a response to Floyd's death and those of other black Americans at the hands of police.

Protests have engulfed cities around the U.S. for weeks following Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody. Video shows a white officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes.

Nationally, Democrats have embraced a host of reform issues as part of a legislative response, including mandating the use of body cameras nationwide and reducing the pipeline of military equipment to police departments.

Jarrett was at the White House in 2014 when the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., led to similar protests in many cities.