Watch | Mike Pence and Tim Kaine go head-to-head on police violence.
VP candidates: We need criminal justice reform
In a vice-presidential debate that repeatedly devolved into prolonged bouts of interruptions and arguments over which presidential candidate likes to insult people more, there was at least one substantive discussion of an important issue: implicit bias and institutional racism in policing.
At one point, the candidates even agreed on the need for criminal justice reform that focuses on community policing, where officers work closely with -- and get to know -- members of the communities they serve.
'Community policing is a great idea'
"At the risk of agreeing with you, community policing is a great idea," Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence said.
That, however, was the only area in which Pence and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine agreed when it came to police violence.
The rest of the candidates' exchange on police violence focused on whether politicians and the public should talk about institutional racism and implicit bias after police shootings of black individuals.
Pence: Excuse to bad mouth cops
For Pence, the answer was no.
"[Police officers] hear the bad-mouthing that comes from people that seize upon tragedy in the wake of police action shootings as a reason to use a broad brush to accuse law enforcement of implicit bias or institutional racism," he said.
Pence then accused Kaine of "seizing on tragedy" to accuse cops of racism.
"Senator, enough of this seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement broadly by making the accusation of bias every time tragedy occurs," he said.
Here's Pence accusing Kaine of using a "broad brush" to accuse officers of racism.
People shouldn't be afraid to bring up issues of bias in law enforcement.
Kaine: We must talk about bias
Kaine disagreed, saying racial bias does exist within American police forces -- and the only way to solve it is to talk about it.
"People shouldn't be afraid to bring up issues of bias in law enforcement," Kaine said. "If you're afraid to have the discussion it will never happen."
Kaine brings up Philando Castile
Kaine then brought up Philando Castile, the black man who was fatally shot in July in front of his girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter by a police officer in Minnesota. He referenced the fact that Castile had been pulled over 49 times in the past 13 years, mostly for minor infractions.
"He was killed for no apparent reason," Kaine said, adding that Castile was well-liked in his community."
Kaine to Pence: I can't believe you're defending the position that there's no bias in policing— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) October 5, 2016
Mostly, Kaine was incredulous that his opponent shied away from talking about bias.