Researcher Howard Henderson on Reimagining Police in the U.S.
December 16, 2020
Thanks to Michael Barajas with the Texas Observer for speaking with our founding director Dr. Howard Henderson on how we can reimagine policing in America.
From the article:
Texas Monthly: Even the words “police reform” carry a lot of baggage because past incremental reforms haven’t stopped police brutality. What’s different now?
Henderson: Now you have 70 percent of Americans saying we need police reform. That’s never happened. And they not only support reform, but they’re also saying they support Black Lives Matter.
In the annals of history, the United States is a fairly young country, and as a country ages, so does its consciousness and its understanding. The fact that we were able to see George Floyd die before our eyes in less than nine minutes messed people up. Then you also had Breonna Taylor in Louisville and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. These back-to-back killings just didn’t make any sense. Plus, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so more people are watching this on TV in real time. Then you have one of the highest unemployment rates that we’ve seen in a long time, dwindling resources, and just whole communities being decimated. And then the fact that Black [children] are five times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID [than white children]. I think more Americans finally see all of this injustice and are just tired of it.