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Police Officers' Perspectives On Demands To 'Defund' The Police

AP Photo/Ragan Clark, File

(This program was originally broadcast on June 18, 2020)

Before he murdered George Floyd on Memorial Day in Minneapolis, former police officer Derek Chauvin had been the subject of 17 previous complaints of misconduct.  As streets around the world filled with protesters against police use of force and violence against people of color, further examples of the very kind of behavior that animated the demonstrations took place, including peaceful protesters being violently dispersed in front of the White House, and the shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.  

The calls for changing the way police interact with the public range from complete abolition of police departments to reforms in training, more transparency, fewer barriers to prosecuting officers, and prohibiting certain aggressive techniques such as chokeholds...

Today on this archive edition of Midday, conversations about police reform, from a police perspective.  Coming up a little later, Tom is joined by Matthew Horace, who has served in law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels, including a stint as an ATF agent in Baltimore; He has trained police here and abroad, and he is the author of The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism and Injustice in America’s Law Enforcement.

We also speak with Chief Melvin Russell, whose 40 year career in law enforcement was spent with the Baltimore City Police Department. When he left the force a year ago, he was the BPD’s acting deputy commissioner of administration and the founding chief of the Community Partnership Division. 

But Tom’s first guest is Officer Seth Templeton, who has been a patrol officer with the Baltimore County Police Department for five years. As protests became widespread around the world and here in the Baltimore metro area, Officer Templeton wrote an open letter to a protester that was published in the Baltimore Sun.  It quickly became one of the paper’s most-read and most-shared articles.

Because our program today was pre-recorded, we can’t take your calls and emails.

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