On Tuesday, Derek Chauvin was convicted by a jury of killing George Floyd in an act of police violence on May 25, 2020.
Joe Margulies '82, professor of law and government at Cornell University, is a civil rights attorney and expert on criminal justice reform. He says the verdict in Chauvin’s case underscores that police should only respond to calls requiring an armed officer.
Margulies says: “Thoughtful observers know that the Chauvin verdict is the first step, not the last. But where are we going? To me, the answer is simple: The police should respond only to those calls that unambiguously require an armed, uniformed officer.
“If we paid a brain surgeon to teach French, no one would consider it disrespectful to the surgeon if we shifted funds to hire more French teachers. That's what it means to defund the police: create, staff, and fund alternative providers who can do what the police can't do and shouldn't attempt.”
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