Episode

7/27 Behind the ‘Blue Wall of Silence’ with the D.C. Police w/ Rosa Brooks

July 27, 2021

Sam and Emma host Rosa Brooks, law professor at Georgetown University, to discuss her recent book Tangled Up In Blue: Policing in the American City, and her experiences as a part-time volunteer reserve police officer in Washington, D.C. Professor Brooks discusses how she came to the topic; following her work on “How Everything Became War and The Military Became Everything,” she picks up on the trail of the normalized violence of American policing and looks into the behind-the-scenes elements of how officers grapple with and make sense of their role. Beginning with the academy, Brooks walks through how the culture of policing emphasizes danger, defense, and discipline – exploring how police overstate the threat to their livelihood in the line of duty, encouraging the use of force whenever deemed necessary. Next, she, Sam, and Emma talk about the changes in the academy over the last half-decade, both as reforms slowly trickle in and younger generations begin to take hold of departments, how we can assess the success of reforms and consent decrees during a period in which crime has continued to drop (wow maybe crime CAN be a product of policing), and why even police acting within legal and constitutional guidelines engage in incredibly harmful behavior. They round out the interview with a conversation on why Rosa feels reform must be embraced, and why the conversation on policing should be focused on imagining new systems of safety, rather than on budgetary punishments of police departments. Emma and Sam conclude the show by admiring Republicans dealing with the whiplash of trying to backpedal on their own lies, and Sam addresses rumors regarding his concealed arms and the lack of his guns being out, despite the sun being out.

And in the Fun Half: Nomiki Konst joins Sam and Emma as they discuss conservative commentators succumbing to francophilia amidst their hatred for woke athletes, Meghan McCain’s horror over someone holding Tucker Carlson accountable (she might be next!), and Nomiki catches some flack for her invite to the McCain dinner party. They also cover the conservatives’ double backing on their double backing on their vaccine hesitancy, the destructive capacity of Democrats clinging to power, and the influence of the money behind right-wing commentary. The fun half gets wrapped up with discussions on dropping crime alongside rising conservative discussion about crime, and some reflecting on today’s interview on policing and defunding the police, plus your calls and IMs!

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