The Houston memorial for George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer weeks ago, took place today. After the video showing the former officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck went viral, it ignited a nationwide debate over police brutality, violent protests, and of course, racism.
But one of the issues that are currently front and center in the national conversation is police reform and questions regarding whether or not states and cities should defund their police departments. As can be expected, the corporate press and high-profile Democrats are calling for measures that could go as far as abolishing local law enforcement agencies.
The majority of the Minneapolis city council has signaled that they would support defunding the police department. Lisa Bender, the president of the city council came under fire when she argued that calling the police when someone breaks into one’s home “comes from a place of privilege,” and that she desires to see a “police-free society.”
Others, on both the left and the right, have acknowledged that robust changes to policing must be developed to decrease the number of incidents involving police brutality. But are these calls for change going to result in anything tangible?
This was a question I was asked to answer in a recent appearance on RT. You can see the clip below.
The bottom line is that this is an election year. Everyone vying for public office has something to gain by using this tragedy to increase their chances of winning in November. While some might be sincere in their calls for change and have genuine motives, there can be no doubt that Floyd’s death will continue to be politicized.
However, as I said in the interview, it will only be after November that we will know if people truly want change, or if they are willing to go back to business as usual. Will those who are advocating for real solutions be singing the same tune after the election season? Or will we have to wait until there are more examples of police malfeasance to cause enough outrage to affect change?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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