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Politics with Amy Walter: The Politics of "Defund the Police"

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Georgia’s Primary, George Floyd’s Funeral, and Congress’ Approach to Police Reform

As the coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty for the upcoming general election, many Americans are reconsidering how they’ll cast their ballots. This week, many primary voters in Georgia were greeted by long lines and malfunctioning voting machines. The chaos surrounding Georgia’s recent election has raised questions about whether or not the same issues will reoccur in November. 

Also, George Floyd was laid to rest in Houston following weeks in which thousands of Americans took to the streets to decry police brutality in his name. Meanwhile, Congress is reckoning with how to respond to the protests and calls for police accountability. Two national reporters join Politics with Amy Walter to discuss the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, how Republicans are responding to calls for police accountability, and Georgia’s flawed elections. 

Guest Host:

Matt Katz, WNYC


Nick Fandos, Congressional Correspondent for The New York Times

Laura Barron-Lopez, National Political Reporter at POLITICO 

Congressman James Clyburn on his Time in the Civil Rights Movement and Addressing Systemic Racism 

This week, Democrats introduced the Justice in Policing Act on Capitol Hill.  If passed, the bill would prohibit chokeholds, ban some no-knock warrants, tracking police misconduct at the national level, and make it easier to pursue legal and civil action against the police. The momentum for the bill stems from the uprisings against police brutality after George Floyd was brutally killed by police officers in Minneapolis. Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina reflects on his time in the civil rights movement and what he hopes to accomplish through the Justice in Policing Act. 


James Clyburn, Congressman from South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District and Majority Whip

How “Defund the Police” has Become More Palatable to the Mainstream

The killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis has shifted the way Americans see policing. Recent polling from The Washington Post found that 69 percent of Americans found “the killing of Floyd represents a broader problem within law enforcement.” While many high-ranking members of the Democratic Party don’t support calls to defund the police entirely, the notion of some form of defunding is picking up traction. A conversation about the politics of defunding the police.


Alex Vitale, Author of "End of Policing" and Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of The Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College

Andrea Richie, Researcher at the Interrupting Criminalization Initiative and author of "Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color"

How Minneapolis Plans to Dismantle Their Police Department

Minneapolis has been in the national spotlight since George Floyd was killed by police on video. Although the events there sparked protests across the nation, the city is also a catalyst for change. One progressive city leader, Steve Fletcher, has been working on police reform since he took office in 2018. He was among nine members of the Minneapolis city council that recently announced their commitment to dismantling the city’s police department. 


Steve Fletcher, Minneapolis City Council, Ward 3

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