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PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor moderated a panel of Democratic politicians on July 17, addressing the racial justice movement and calls for police reform. She was joined by Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif. and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Watch the panel in the player above.
The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans prompted nationwide protests against police brutality and reignited conversations about the need for police reform in the U.S.
The panel, which was hosted by Meridian International, explored police reform measures being proposed at both the national and local levels.
Policymakers in certain states, such as Minnesota, have recently pursued bold reforms to divest funding from police departments and put that money toward other social services, such as mental health and education. In the case of Minnesota, most of those policing reform proposals have been blocked by state Republicans.
House Democrats passed a sweeping police reform bill last month that would mandate a national database of use-of-force incidents, as well as restrict police chokeholds and set up new training procedures, including more robust use of body cameras. The Democrats’ bill would have revised the federal statute for police misconduct and held officers personally liable for damages in lawsuits, as well as banned the practice of sending military equipment to local law enforcement agencies.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order that calls for many of these same reforms, but intends to incentivize, rather than mandate, the changes for police departments by tying them to federal grant money.
Courtney Vinopal is a general assignment reporter at the PBS NewsHour.
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