The Bottom Line

What happened to ‘defund the police’?

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, different communities have started to reshape their police forces.

Americans have been debating the role of the police for decades, but the debate was energised last year during nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

For many in the white majority, the police must be defended at all costs. If there are proven cases of abuse, they can be resolved on a case-by-case basis. For the rest, the police are seen as the main mechanism that enforces the status quo on society, including racial inequality.

Brooklyn College professor Alex Vitale tells host Steve Clemons that Americans should rethink policing, especially when dealing with schools, the homeless, and mental health cases.