Police Reform

Police reform is a hot-button topic since the killing of George Floyd igniting protests around the world. since the start of the Dereck Chavin trial and subsequent guilty verdict, police reform is again a national discussion. Political psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi, Ph.D. discusses.    

With the guilty verdict of officer Derek Chauvin for murder, there have been non-stop discussions on Capitol Hill and in the news media about what comes next.

Leading up to the trial, there was a renewed enthusiasm to pass legislation on policing. The House passed the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act”, but afterward the sole Republican — Lance Gooden –to vote in favor, reversed his position, posting on Twitter that it was a mistake. Here is what the Act would do.

Dr. Bart Rossi discussed police sensitivity training in this segment.

So, like everything else on Capitol Hill, it seems that police reform is again a partisan issue.

After the death of George Floyd last year, the country erupted in protests nationwide. In fact, worldwide.  People from all walks of life, from blue-collar workers to teachers, to grandmothers, marched and protested against the injustice of the man’s death at the hands of police. It is not an uncommon occurrence in America that unarmed black men die at the hands of police.

Yet the narrative from conservatives didn’t address the death. Instead, they focused on shaping a narrative that protesters were looting and rioting, causing damage and chaos. Their usual suspects were ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter.

After law enforcement killed a protester in Portland, then-President Trump responded to large protests with a show of force. In some cases, plain-clothed people abducted protesters off the streets in unmarked cars.

“We’ve done a great job in Portland,” Trump said, speaking at the White House. “Portland was totally out of control. They went in and I guess they have many people right now in jail. We very much quelled it. If it starts again, we’ll quell it again, very easily. It’s not hard to do.”

Tucker Carlson, the Fox opinion host, went so far as attacking George Floyd. His attempt was to point out that Floyd was not a good guy; not an innocent victim. But there are two points here. First, this incident wasn’t about the character of George Floyd, it was about the conduct of the police in general and Derek Chauvin in particular. Second, while Floyd was clearly resistant to being taken in, he was handcuffed, and never a threat to any of the officers. The video of the incident clearly shows he was especially was not a lethal threat. The emotion was high in the street and the courtroom.

Police Reform

In the wake of it all, statehouses across the country have been passing anti-riot legislation.

So what’s next? The GOP had mixed reactions, with some supporting the verdict, others claiming they didn’t follow it, and yet others — like Marjorie Tayler Greene speaking in defense of law enforcement.


There is rising pressure on the Senate to do ‘something’ regarding police reform, but it seems to remain partisan. Dr. Rossi joins WINK News to discuss why he believes that there is a middle ground, despite the deep divide. He bases this on his years as a clinical psychologist working with mayors and law enforcement across the country.


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