“There’s no question there needs to be police reform,” the former Republican president says in a podcast
Former President George W. Bush recently spoke about Derek Chauvin‘s murder conviction and voiced his opinion about police reform in America, stating there’s “no question” that it is needed.
Bush, the nation’s 43rd commander-in-chief, appeared on an episode of The Dispatch Podcast, entitled “George W. Bush Paints E Pluribus Unum.” During the interview, conducted by hosts Sarah Isgur and Stephen F. Hayes, the Republican member was asked about the Chauvin trial. Chauvin, a former Minneapolis Police officer was convicted of second and third-degree murder of George Floyd last May after putting his knee on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes.
Bush stated that if he had to give the country a grade following the verdict of Chauvin, he would give the country an “A,” since “the trial was fair and justice was served.”
He then isolated police officers in the country and how they were to be evaluated following Chauvin’s conviction, stating that while law enforcement is good as an institution, bad members needed to be identified.
“The question is, ‘What grade do you give police people?’ And the answer to that is overall good, except police departments need to learn to weed out those who don’t hold our fellow citizens in the same regard as they hold themselves. And there’s no question there needs to be police reform.”
Although Bush states that police reform is necessary, he does not believe in the rhetoric that the police need to be abolished. “But I think one of the lessons that people will learn over time is that there’s no question there needs to be police,” Bush said. “And so again, I’m optimistic about the country’s capacity to take on real issues. And there is a real issue in police accountability.”
Bush continued to champion law enforcement institutions, stating that people should be encouraged after institutions held during the insurrection on the Capitol building on January 6. However, he also stated that said institutions need to be just and fair.
Bush acknowledged the forthcoming cases of police-related shootings of Black Americans, stating that the incidents being caught on video and going viral not only help bring attention to the matter, but make Black shootings seem more prominent than in the past.
“Now, you know, we’ll see these other cases are going to be adjudicated. I mean, the truth of the matter is there have been a lot. You wonder how many might have been exposed with the Internet.”
Bush’s stance on police reform has seemed to change from his previous opinions in the past. The Los Angeles Times reported that back in 2000, when he was governor of Texas and running for president, Bush had a different view on the federal government getting involved with local police issues.
The Justice Department has often investigated local and state police departments over allegations of corruptions or unconstitutional treatment. Bush was against this practice, stating that the DOJ was “second guessing” the police.
“I do not believe the Justice Department should routinely seek to conduct oversight investigations, issue reports or undertake other activity that is designed to function as a review of police operations in states, cities and towns,” Bush was quoted.
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