police violence

Ragan Clark / AP Photo

In the weeks since protests against police brutality began in Minneapolis, calls to reform, defund or abolish the police have been escalating. Demands for reform or cuts to police budgets aren’t new among activists, but a pledge by the Minneapolis City Council to “dismantle” the police department is unprecedented. The mayors of Los Angeles and New York City have also announced that they would both divert city funds from police departments to social service budgets.

Practically speaking, what would it mean to “defund” the police? On Second Thought sat down with Cedric Alexander, former police chief of DeKalb County, and Michael Leo Owens, associate professor of political science at Emory University, to dissect the history and meaning behind the language of the protest movement.

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, rage that had accumulated over centuries of racial violence spilled into the nation's streets.

From Atlanta, Macon and Savannah to London, Amsterdam and Paris, protesters are flooding streets that, only weeks ago, stood nearly empty due to fears of COVID-19. The crowds are unprecedented in their size, diversity and condemnation of police brutality and systemic racial injustice. Despite early property damage, largely peaceful protests have gained momentum over the course of the last week. 


Grant Blankenship / GPB

Before 18-year-old Sadonna Fleming picked up a megaphone and led about 800 protesters through the streets of Macon,  she introduced police officers to her mother, who introduced herself as "Sadonna's mommy."

"Hi, Sadonna's mommy," a Bibb County Sheriff''s deputy said in return. Then he explained how deputies would protect marchers on their route.

Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean and Michael Brown are just a few of the names that represent a violent reality for millions of black people in America.

According to data from the Washington Post, black Americans are shot by police officers at a disproportionate rate.

On Second Thought For Monday, October 23, 2017

Oct 23, 2017

This year a federal court in Chicago ruled for the first time that workers can’t be fired based on sexual orientation, extending workplace protections in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the LGBT community. Yet, a Georgia judge ruled against a similar case. Now that case is up for appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jameka Evans claims Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah fired her for being a lesbian. Earlier this month, 18 state attorneys general filed briefs in support of Evans's petition.

Gwinnett Officers Charged; Police Say Video Showed Assault

Apr 27, 2017
Gwinnett County Police Department

Police on Wednesday filed charges against two fired Georgia police officers who authorities say were captured on video kicking and hitting a man during a traffic stop. On Thursday morning, Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni had turned himself, with Master Officer Robert McDonald expected to follow sometime later in the day.