Episode

6/16 Does The Constitution Enable Police Brutality? w/ Devon Carbado

June 16, 2022

Emma hosts Devon Carbado, professor at the UCLA School of Law, to discuss his recent book Unreasonable: Black Lives, Police Power, and the Fourth Amendment. First, Emma runs through recent news from Ginni Thomas’ communications with John Eastman about overturning the election, to the Fed raising interest and likely triggering a recession just to undermine worker power and the effect of gas price gouging on inflation. Then she’s joined by Professor Devon Carbado as they dive right into the relationship between the Fourth Amendment and the police state, as this constitutional statute from 1791 has provided access to and control over Black people and their bodies, first looking at the qualification of “search and seizure” as the only police actions that are protected, to the insanely low standards of what it means for police accostings to be “reasonable,” such as confronting someone in a high crime area. They then dive into the 1968 decision in Terry v. Ohio that affirmed the police’s right to stop and frisk without probable cause, provided that they meet the even lower standard of “reasonable suspicion,” setting the stage for one of the least effective and most violating “investigatory” tools, which still maintains its legality even after the NYPD failed to claim reasonable suspicion in Floyd, et al. v City of New York. Next, Professor Carbado walks through the stages of Black oppression in the US and the refusal by the right the understand and acknowledge the history throughout these developments, before he takes on the various levels of policing in this country that put Black people and people of color in more direct confrontation with the police, including the fact that repeated exposure increases the probability of being harmed, the culture of police and their unions, qualified immunity, and the impossibility of holding them to account. Emma and the Professor then look to Whren v United States and the Supreme Court’s (including RBG) affirmation of racial profiling, discussing how this decision as well aided the beaurocratization of racism and classism that we saw so clearly in Ferguson, with police fines making up over a quarter of the city’s budget. They wrap up the interview by diving deeper into the judicial system’s role, how the right’s specificity in targeting precedent and setting up legal apparatus like the Federalist Society allows them to stack the courts for their agenda, and what the Left can learn from that.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Matt and Brandon as they take on the complex anti-hero that is Anna Sorokin, as she begins to dip her feet into NFTs, Noah from Tampa debates Emma on why her college athletic takes are exactly right, Bro Flamingo calls in to discuss the downplaying of the 1/6 coup attempt on both the right and left, and they all dive into the idea of Republicans actually being held accountable. Candace Owens comes after parental rights, Eric Adams “reallocates” funding from education to the NYPD, and AOC responds to the fact that she was called out by name by 1/6 rioters. Real estate brokers flaunt their place inside the housing bubble, Kowalski dives into fertilizer and food shortage issues, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Devon’s book here: https://thenewpress.com/books/unreasonable

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