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Police Reform: How It Works And What It Might Look Like

Demonstrators march against racism and police brutality and to defund the Minneapolis Police Department on June 6, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators march against racism and police brutality and to defund the Minneapolis Police Department on June 6, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)

In Congress, and across the country, there are calls for the reform of police departments. We look at what that would mean.


William Riley, chief of the Inkster Police Department. He was hired by the city of Inkster to transform the Inkster police force after it settled a police brutality lawsuit in 2015. ( @wtriley6)

Alondra Cano, she represents the Ninth Ward on the Minneapolis City Council. George Floyd was killed in her ward. She is one of nine council members who voted to dismantle the Minneapolis police department and rebuild it from scratch. ( @AloCanoMN)

Tracie Keesee, co-founder and senior vice president of the Center for Policing Equity. 25-year veteran of the Denver Police Department. Former deputy commissioner of training and deputy commissioner of equity and inclusion for the New York Police Department. ( @PolicingEquity)

From The Reading List

Washington Post: “ Black police chiefs express anger and dismay as they try to change their departments from within” — “The day that George Floyd’s cries for his mother reverberated across the country, Chief William T. Riley III walked up to a group of his officers discussing the horror they had seen.”

NPR: “ Police Reform Legislation Moves Swiftly Through New York State Legislature” — “New York’s legislature moved swiftly Monday to pass a first wave of police reform legislation, including a ban on chokeholds, a prohibition on race-based profiling, and a measure requiring police departments and courts to track arrests by race and ethnicity to help identify patterns of bias.”

New York Times: “ Minneapolis Will Dismantle Its Police Force, Council Members Pledge” — “Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council — a veto-proof majority — pledged on Sunday to dismantle the Police Department, promising to create a new system of public safety in a city where law enforcement has long been accused of racism.”

The Guardian: “ Movement to defund police gains ‘unprecedented’ support across US” — “The movement to defund the police is gaining significant support across America, including from elected leaders, as protests over the killing of George Floyd sweep the nation.”

Washington Post: “ ‘Defund the police’ gains traction as cities seek to respond to demands for a major law enforcement shift” — “A movement to slash funding for police departments or to disband them entirely has surged in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis police custody last month, with activists, local leaders and elected officials calling to drastically reshape public safety amid nationwide protests of police brutality.”

Politico: “ Democrats to unveil sweeping police reform bill as pressure mounts for action” — “Top Democrats will unveil a major police reform bill Monday morning as they seek to quickly respond to the demands of protesters nationwide calling for racial justice after the killing of George Floyd.”

CNN: “ There’s a growing call to defund the police. Here’s what it means” — “There’s a growing group of dissenters who believe Americans can survive without law enforcement as we know it. And Americans, those dissenters believe, may even be better off without it.”

Washington Post: “ After this crisis, policing should never be the same” — “As the nation reels from the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, leaders in law enforcement have an obligation to offer an alternative to the violence and excessive force that Americans are witnessing.”

The Economist: “ How to fix American policing” — “America is engulfed in its most widespread, sustained unrest since the late 1960s. It was sparked by an act of police brutality caught on camera.”

WHYY: “ Will there be police reform in the wake of George Floyd’s killing?” — “In the days since George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police officers, there have been protests across the country calling for an end to racist police practices.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.