TORONTO, June 25, 2020
- ACLU president Susan Herman says 2015 ACLU report on Minneapolis police, the force that killed George Floyd this May, proved department was 'highly racist'
- Herman articulates her vision for defunding the police, says minor reforms of police departments aren't enough
- Herman joined WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood, and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal at the 30,000-attendee online event Collision from Home
TORONTO, June 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- ACLU president Susan Herman today said a 2015 report on the Minneapolis police proved the department was "highly racist" – five years before one of its members killed George Floyd this May. Herman made the remarks at the 30,000-attendee online conference Collision from Home, produced by the team behind Web Summit – the world's largest tech conference.
"In 2015 the ACLU did a report on the Minneapolis police department, which showed clearly that the Minneapolis police department was highly racist – they were arresting people over eight times as often for minor offences. And so the police department did adopt some minor reforms. They were doing bias training – and, hey, it didn't work. It's not enough," said Herman.
Herman articulated her vision for defunding the police, something she said is "misunderstood" and that "makes people nervous", adding, "The people who are afraid of defunding the police are the people who are fortunate enough to be in a position where the police make them feel safe. Not everyone feels safer when the police are around – some people feel more threatened."
Herman said defunding the police means reconsidering when we want police-based response to societal issues or whether different responses would be both more appropriate and effective.
"A quarter of the people who police end up arresting are people who have mental health issues and people who are acting strangely. So if we had real mental health services to deal with these people, or if we dealt with homelessness or drug addiction, in ways other than having the police have a major footprint all over the place. Number one we would be reducing the opportunities for the police to be effecting what I think almost inevitably is arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement."
"And number two we could use the money in better ways. The city of Los Angeles spends almost a third of its city budget on policing. They just agreed to reduce that by some, but the idea of defunding is maybe we could use that money in better ways that would actually keep us safer," said Herman.
Watch a clip from the interview here.
About Susan Herman:
Susan Herman is president of the ACLU. She holds a chair as centennial professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, where she teaches constitutional law, criminal procedure, and a new seminar titled 'Covid-19 and the Constitution'.
Collision is known by CBC as the "TIFF for tech", while Inc. Magazine calls it the "fastest-growing tech conference in North America". Collision is set to move online for 2020 with Collision from Home. Collision will return to Toronto as a physical event for the second year from June 21-24, 2021 at the Enercare Centre.
About Web Summit:
Forbes says Web Summit is "the best tech conference on the planet"; Bloomberg calls it "Davos for geeks"; Politico, "the Olympics of tech"; The Guardian, "Glastonbury for geeks"; and, in the words of Inc. Magazine, "Web Summit is the largest technology conference in the world".
Whatever Web Summit is, it wouldn't be possible without an incredible team of over 200 employees based in Dublin, Lisbon, Toronto and Hong Kong, including world-class engineers, data scientists, designers, producers, marketers, salespeople, and more. They've disrupted an old industry by building incredible software and designing mind-blowing events, revolutionising how people and ideas come together to change the world.
Collision images: https://www.flickr.com/photos/collisionconf/
Collision speaker lineup: https://collisionconf.com/speakers
Collision schedule: https://collisionconf.com/schedule