DeRay McKesson, Co-Founder, Campaign Zero:
So, in some ways, there is some good news here, right, that there’s a focus on manufacturers, there’s a focus on gun dealers in a way that we haven’t seen before, because you know, like I know, that Black people are not building guns in their backyard. We’re not making them. We’re not — like, they’re coming from somewhere.
And focusing on manufacturers and dealers is actually a really good thing. We always get nervous when people talk about gun control, because we don’t want guns to become the new drugs, right, that like people get so freaked out that, all of a sudden, we create these mandatory minimums, we believe, as a matter of public policy, that putting people in jail is the best way to deal with users, when the reality is, just like drugs, people are not,, making cocaine in their backyard in the hood.
They’re not doing it. It’s coming from somewhere. So, that’s the first part. But then, like you talked with Cedric, there’s a lot of it that is troubling. It is not convincing that the police need more money to do their jobs.
And when you pressed about how will there be any accountability on the money, you didn’t get an answer, right? So, we see this a lot with the federal government. The federal government, there’s a law that requires a police departments to, at the basic level, say who they kill, and only 40 percent of police departments report that data to the federal government, and there’s no accountability.
So, if police departments can skirt the law when it’s really clear, I have no faith that they will implement this money and there’ll be any accountability.
But, Judy, what’s also really interesting is that the clearance rates across the country have been pretty bad. So, homicide has increased. All violent crime has not, though, property crimes way down, things rape way down.
But you look at it, and, in Baltimore, in 2020, the homicide clearance rate was about 40 percent. In a lot of American cities, it’s not up to 50 percent. In New York City, it wasn’t 50 percent last year, in 2020.
So, you look at this and the answer, I don’t think is actually dumping more money into police departments.