Episode 210
Jun 9, 2020

Defund police? Then what?

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Today, we'll talk with civil rights attorney Tahir Duckett about the case against spending billions on police, why reform efforts have failed and where that money could go instead. 

Following two weeks of sustained protest over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, the City Council there voted to explore dismantling its Police Department. Minneapolis is among the few cities now seriously considering the work of activists and academics who’ve tracked the failure of police-reform efforts. It is looking at alternate systems, pledging to build new options for public safety.

But defunding police forces is only half the equation. Our guest this week, civil rights attorney Tahir Duckett, explains that municipalities could reinvest the billions of dollars going to law enforcement back in their communities. Cities could give residents more options for getting help with difficult situations involving mental health, homelessness and minor conflicts.

With crime at historic lows in much of the country, many Americans’ perceptions of what police do day to day is skewed, said Duckett, who’s also a founding executive committee member of Law for Black Lives-DC. He said the sustained nationwide protest after Floyd’s death means this movement to defund, rather than reform, police feels different.

“Most of America is starting to see police for what most Black neighborhoods have experienced for decades,” he said.

Plus, we’ll talk about facial recognition and reopening the economy, and “The Uncertain Hour” host Krissy Clark answers the Make Me Smart question.

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Here’s a list of some of the stuff we talked about today:

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The team

Molly Wood Host
Jody Becker Interim Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Sam Anderson Associate Producer