An MSNBC contributor said Friday she believes it’s time for there to be a “clearing out” of police departments around the country and she would like the Biden Justice Department to make that a priority.
“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski led the segment by ticking off a few of the most recent police-involved shootings and deaths involving black men like George Floyd and Daunte Wright before asking Dr. Christina Greer, an associate professor at Fordham University, if it is simply a problem of policing.
“Mika, I’m sorry, I’m still jarred every time I see the video of Derek Chauvin leaning on George Floyd. We can’t get immune to that, that’s one,” Greer began.
“I think we have a real conversation about institutional change. You know, many of the police officers in the Minnesota Police Department have gone through extra training and clearly, it didn’t work,” she added.
“We’ll see that when the other remaining officers go on trial in August,” Greer, a political science professor who focuses on elections, politics, and race according to her bio, added.
Greer went on to praise President Biden’s picks to head key offices within the Department of Justice while expressing hope they would push to take control over local departments.
“I think a great start is that we have Merrick Garland at the head of the DoJ and hopefully some really substantive change, if we confirm Kristen Clark, the work of Vanita Gupta and Civil Rights Division will really set some precedent not just in the DoJ that will hopefully trickle down to police departments across the country, large and small. It’s beyond just a few bad apples. It’s beyond just a few incidents,” she said, before suggesting that mass firings are in order.
“We have to have a real, systematic, widespread clearing out of officers and officers who aid and abet type of behavior,” Greer added. “There are far too many communities and families who have gone through this very same thing that the Floyd family has gone through and we don’t even know about it.
“So you think about what that does to a community, it has to be a systemic change from Washington, D.C. to police departments across the country,” she said.
Greer appeared to suggest that the Biden administration should engage in more of the same type of ‘consent decrees’ with police departments that were often used during the Obama administration. While touted as reform agreements, critics said they were really aimed at replacing effective police practices with left-wing criminal justice policies that worsened crime because they hamstrung police.
A consent decree reached in Chicago in 2015 as a result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, for instance, led to a 60-percent spike in homicides in just over a year, according to a University of Utah study.
For its part, the Trump administration sought to end consent decrees and instead provide local departments including Chicago with more resources to fight criminal behavior.
“At a fundamental level, there is a misperception that police are the problem and that their failures, their lack of training, and their abuses create crime. But the truth is the police are the solution to crime, and criminals are the problem,” then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in October 2018.
Also, critics of Biden’s picks to lead the DoJ Civil Rights Division have said they have a history of racial activism that they will employ against local departments with impunity.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has exposed past controversial theories about the physical, mental, and spiritual superiority of blacks that Clark pushed while she was attending Harvard University.
And Republicans largely opposed the nomination of Gupta, who was narrowly confirmed this week, over past politically divisive rhetoric she used as head of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.