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Minneapolis Abolishing Entire Police Department; Thenjiwe McHarris, Strategist, The Movement for Black Lives, and Alex Vitale, Author, "The End of Policing," are Interviewed About Defunding and Abolishing Police Departments; Senator Mitt Romney Marches with Protesters in Washington; Has United States Lost Moral High Ground?; Interview With Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 8, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our commitment is to do what's necessary to keep every single member of our community safe and to tell the truth, that the
Minneapolis police are not doing that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The first step in the defunding debate. What will policing look like? I asked sociologist, Alex Vitali and Black Lives Matter strategist,
Then, Senator Mitt Romney marches with protesters in Washington and steps out from the Republican Party ranks. GOP congressman, Adam Kinzinger, joins
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROULA KHALAF, EDITOR, FINANCIAL TIMES: This whole episode further the roads, the credibility of the U.S.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Our Walter Isaacson talks to the Financial Times editor, Roula Khalaf, about America's standing in the world.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christian Amanpour working from home in London.
Another weekend of protests over the killing of George Floyd, both here and in the United States. Demonstrators in the City of Bristol pull down the
statue of an infamous slave trader and pushed it into the harbor where his ships once left to collect their human cargo.
While in Minneapolis, the first signs that black lives do matter are coming from the city council, which is pledging to dismantle the police department
and promising a shift toward community-based strategies instead. However, like the mayor of Minneapolis, not everyone agrees abolishing the entire
department is the right approach.
As Congress proposes sweeping new legislation aimed at eliminating police brutality, we want to take just a moment to remember what leadership in the
face of historic injustice look like. The day after Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968, Robert F. Kennedy made a famous speech, and here's an
excerpt of that audio recording which is also covered with images from right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT F. KENNEDY, U.S. PRESIDENT: Whenever any American's life is taken unnecessarily, whether it is done in the name of the law or in defiance of
the law, whenever we do this, then the whole nation is degraded. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.
Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives in the shattered dreams of other human beings. Some accuse others of rioting and
inciting riots who by their own conduct have invited them. This is the violence of institutions indifference and inaction and decay. This is the
violence that inflicts the poor, the poor relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by
hunger and schools without books. This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him a chance to stand as a father and as a man amongst other men.
We learn at the last to look at our brothers as alien, for when you teach a man to hate and to fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man
because of his color, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens, but as enemies. To be met not with cooperation but with conquest,
to be subjugated and to be mastered. We learn to share only a common feel, only a common impulse to disagreement with force.
But this much is clear, violence breeds violence, repression breeds retaliation and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this
sickness from our souls. We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions and learn to find our own advancement in search for the advancement of all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That was leadership then, incredible words that crucially acknowledged the role of the state and its institutions in the cycle of
violence against black communities, which continues to this day. With me to discuss what defunding the police actually means, what it looks like, is
Professor Alex Vitale, the coordinator of the policing and social justice project at the Brooklyn College, and Thenjiwe McHarris, an organizer with
the movement of black lives.
Both of you, welcome to the program.
Thenjiwe, I wonder if I could start with you because Robert F. Kennedy was a leader and he was white. And I have heard in the aftermath, obviously, of
what's happening right now that many people in the black community are tired and don't believe that their elected, mostly white leaders, can do
the job, that it has to be black communities in their own communities on the streets, et cetera. Do you agree with that? Is it time to take the
initiative away from the traditional leadership?
THENJIWE MCHARRIS, STRATEGIST, THE MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES: Well, first, thank you for having me.
I just want to start off by saying I am so moved and so inspired by black movement, black leadership, people taking to the streets across the country
from Minneapolis to St. Louis to Los Angeles to New York. We are watching something that is so historic, so profound and really is a number of
things, but one thing it is, it is an outcry from the belly of the streets, from the homes of black people across this country, sharing that we are
done watching our people die. We are done watching our loved ones be snatched from us.
And it is also people across the country saying that we will no longer be told that demanding what we deserve is impossible, that it is not practical
and that it is not something that could happen. We believe that we can win, we believe that we can actually have safety in this country.
In terms of elected officials, we have watched from the White House to the mayor in Minneapolis say that certain things like reimagining public safety
in localities or defunding the police across the country is not something that is possible or not the right choice. It is clear that we have elected
officials in every level of government in this country that is not centering the needs of the people or even the rights of protestors that is
centering the needs of the wealthy, that is centering the needs of those that do not have the best interests of people or the planet at heart.
And so, our position is, one, is that we -- elected officials who are not able to center our needs should not have the positions that they have and
that the solution to the problem, that the solution to how we fix this issue of anti-black racism, of injustice in this country has to come from
the mouths, has to come from the truth of communities. We have been saying this for generations. We will continue saying this for generations.
AMANPOUR: So, very quickly before I turn to Alex Vitale for some sort of sociological details, are you pleased then, is it a big step in the right
direction what the Minneapolis City Council did and talked about dismantling the police department there and shifting the sort of -- you
know, the emphasis?
MCHARRIS: Absolutely. It's a lightning rod to the rest of the country of what is possible, and it's also a product of the courageous bold leaders on
the ground in Minneapolis. I think now more than a time -- more than ever, we need to be thinking about what is community-led safety infrastructure
that will take its place? What is a way to defund and divest from policing as it exists now and investing in the actual needs of our communities?
AMANPOUR: Let me turn to you, Alex, for a moment, and just ask you to explain to us, to who might not get it, what exactly is defund and abolish?
Because as you can imagine, those words in different communities can mean different things, and it could be sort of a red flag to a bull to those who
you want to try to convince. So, what does it actually mean?
ALEX VITALE, AUTHOR, "THE END OF POLICING": Well, I'm glad to have the chance to explain it, because it's hard to reduce these ideas down to a
cardboard sign or a tweet. I think Ms. McHarris did a great job of explaining that we're really talking about looking at our gross
overreliance on policing in the United States and searching in every possible way to replace that with alternatives designed to build up people,
to build up communities rather than criminalizing them.
And this is really a reaction to 40 years of American politicians turning every social problem under the sun, especially in low income and
communities of color over to the police to manage. And people are demanding that we find better solutions.
AMANPOUR: We're looking at a huge, I want to say mural, but it's painted on the streets in Washington, D.C., that legend, that slogan, defund the
police, on those two blocks of 16th Street that go towards the White House.
I want to ask you, though, again, for people who say, oh, what do you mean, abolish the police? Then who do you call if there's a violent crime or
whatever? What is your answer to that? Alex, quickly, and then I want to ask Thenjiwe.
VITALE: Sure. No one is talking about a situation where tomorrow there is some magical switch and there are no police. What we're talking about is an
interrogation of the specific things that police are doing which have caused significant harms, have reproduced race and class inequality in
America and have demanding that we replace policing solutions.
Does that mean at the end of the process there are no police? Well, we don't know what is at the end of this process. It's about communicating
with communities about what their needs are that have been ignored by government for generations now and demanding that they no longer turn those
things over to folks whose tools for solving their problems are guns and handcuffs, coercion and threats.
AMANPOUR: So, Thenjiwe McHarris, it seems to already be working in some instances like New York City, and I think L.A. have said that they're going
to shift considerable amounts of their budget to more social -- not social services but social reactions to social issues that are now being confused
with criminal issues and, you know, calling out the police for issues that potentially police shouldn't respond to.
And I just want to point out for our viewers that actually the City of Camden, New Jersey did actually disband the police department and did
rebuild it, and that created a massive drop by about two-thirds in murder rates and homicides from 2012 when it happened to now, so 2019. So, can you
sort of try to give us, Thenjiwe, a bit of chapter and verse as to what issues would require what kind of services to deal with them other than
MCHARRIS: Sure. And I'm happy you asked this question. And so, you know, oftentimes people, when we talk about defunding the police or abolishing
the police or an ending policing as it exists now in this country, the reaction is, so, then, what do I do in a moment of crisis or a moment of
need? And I think what is clear to so many of us is everyone deserves access to safety. Everyone deserves a way that they can reach out to a
centralized source to get help when they need it.
What exists now, however, is one tactic that is often a failed tactic for the multiple different needs, for the various different crises that people
have. So, whether it's mental health or homelessness or a dispute, there are a number of different types of people and specialists, whether it's
social workers, mental health professionals, people who are violence interrupters who are trained in oftentimes community-based who can respond
in moments of crisis.
What we have now is an opportunity to reimagine public safety, to reimagine if you have a need, if you have a crisis that you can actually get the
support, the services that you need. And in this moment, black people, people across working class poor communities in this country were
screaming, we need and we deserve safety too. And the policing, the way it existed in this country, does not give us that.
AMANPOUR: And just quickly, because, again, everybody will say and your opponents on this will say, well, what happens when there, you know, are
aggravated assault and those kinds of crimes that -- I mean, perhaps -- I mean, presumably are out of the reach of the more social service experts
that you're talking about? What do you expect to see in those cases?
MCHARRIS: Well, I'm also happy that you asked this question. And this is what I mean about infrastructure. We need a type of infrastructure that
takes into account multiple types of emergencies, multiple types of crises. And what we're not saying is that we don't need people who are trained to
deal with that level of crises, people that have to deal with that level of violence. There will likely be -- there will be opportunities where we do
need it. But what we're saying is we need the type of full infrastructure that could deal with the multiple types of crises, that is community led
and that also, at the end of the day, centers people and harm reduction.
And what we have right now is a police force that not just sort of -- is not capable of addressing harm adequately across our communities, but is
not able to give safety and is actually increasing the violence in our country.
AMANPOUR: Alex, obviously, you know, it begs the question, because we see a very militarized-looking police force. The way they dress, the weapons
they carry, the vehicles they use, et cetera, and the actions that we've seen on the streets, even in this time when there should be extra
sensitivity. It's extraordinary what we've been seeing.
But I want to ask you this, because obviously other countries, other democracies don't have this kind of similar police situation. For instance,
in places like New Zealand or Iceland or Norway or the U.K., the police are largely unarmed.
But as you know better than I do, in the United States according to the latest poll, some 40 percent of people in households have guns. There's
something like 310 million guns in circulation in the United States right now. How much of a complicating factor is that for the issues that you want
to see changed right now in policing?
VITALE: Well, it's clear that the legacy of armed violence in the United States is a factor here, but it's a factor in both the level of police
violence and the level of community violence. But we can deal with that if we're given the opportunity. We have research that shows that when we
utilize highly qualified, well-resourced violence interruption programs located in communities that we can break that cycle of violence. We can
dramatically reduce homicide numbers and the number of shootings without getting the police involved. But what we need is the opportunity to do
So, this is not about tomorrow, you know, we take the guns away from the police, this is about addressing the factors that drive gun usage. You
know, in Canada, there are a lot of people who own guns and people don't shoot each other. It's very rare there. We need to address what's driving
AMANPOUR: And what do you think, Thenjiwe, when we started by talking about elected leaders and traditional, you know, areas of legislation, and
as you know, the House has -- is passing a bill which is called the Justice and Policing Act of 2020, which is apparently one of the biggest efforts in
recent history to address police violence, to address, you know, accountability and the like.
Do you expect that to sort of trickle down -- I guess I ask you because there was quite a lot of reform, incredibly, in the Minnesota Police
Department and it clearly did not work in terms of what happened to George Floyd. So, what hope do you hold for what's happening in Congress with this
MCHARRIS: I just want to say what is clear is across the country is that these reforms are failing. Minneapolis Police Department was a model for
sort of "good policing." They had policies to run de-escalation, they banned so-called warrior trainings. They engaged in a number of different
practices and adopted policies that held them up as a model police department. George Floyd still died. In New York City, when Eric Garner was
killed, there was already a chokehold ban within the NYPD.
What we're seeing is these policies, these incremental changes, are failing to keep our people safe, are failing to keep our people alive. What we know
is true is that we need structural change. It's clear. It's the most rationale decision that we have before us. That these policies are just not
sufficient. And so, in terms of Congress, even at the federal level, we know $100 billion goes to policing nationwide and we know federal dollars
are funding to state and local police departments.
And this is not just for local officials, this is also for those on the hill in D.C. It's that reforms that really just deal with trainings, that
try to deal with de-escalation but do not fundamentally deal with the scope and power of policing as it currently exists will not work. Our people, the
movement, calls for defunding of the police and investing in our communities. Anything short of that is a failure to the people and does not
meet the needs of our community.
AMANPOUR: So, to that point about budgets and the amount of money, you just mentioned $100 billion. Well, 6 billion of those dollars go to the
NYPD, which apparently is larger than the GDP of 50 countries around the world and it's also larger than the W.H.O budget.
In Minneapolis, which we were just talking about, the police budget was $193 million. In contrast, community organizations working with at-risk
youths and the like were receiving just a quarter of a million, $250,000. Alex, how did the role of the police become so outsized in the United
States? Was there a turning point moment?
VITALE: There were a few turning point moments and it's tied to a set of economic changes and political priorities. I think we see, beginning with
the Nixon administration, an attempt to kind of weaponize crime fighting as a tool for gaining political votes in the wake of the civil rights
movement, a kind of toxic racial dog whistling.
But that became a bipartisan problem of defunding social services to subsidize the already most successful parts of the economy, a kind of
neoliberal austerity politics that then produces problems like mass homelessness, mass untreated mental illness, large scaled involvement in
black market activity by those who are under and unemployed.
And then as those problems emerge, they are turned over to policing to manage rather than trying to build affordable housing, put young people to
work in stable employment or create a mental health infrastructure. So, it's a problem that's been developing over decades, and it's going to take
us a while to get out of it. And I'm excited about the extent to which we're getting this to be taken seriously.
AMANPOUR: So, then, last question to you, Thenjiwe McHarris, are you excited? I mean, I hate to ask you that over something that was just so
appalling, the murder of George Floyd, but are you excited that this could be a turning point? And particularly by the polls that we're seeing out
there that really support the community and by the world's involvement as well? Do you think this will stick or is there a little bit of cynicism or
worry that, you know, like before, some things may not change?
MCHARRIS: You know, I feel a multiple -- I feel a number of different things. One, I'm heartbroken. I'm heartbroken for all the George Floyds,
all the Breonna Taylors. I'm heartbroken that so many of our people had to die. But I have to say, I am -- I have never been more inspired than I am
now. I can feel in the spirit of this moment, and what I see happening in the streets, people rising up, I feel this deep commitment that we are
committed to having our needs met. We are committed to not just demanding what we think we'll get, we are committed to demanding everything not just
that we deserve but our ancestors deserve, and more importantly that our children coming, the ones that have not been born yet, we are committed to
creating a world where they get to be safe.
So I'm heartbroken, but I have never been more in love and more inspired by the bold, courageous, beautiful black movement that I see happening right
AMANPOUR: Thenjiwe McHarris and Alex Vitale, thank you both very much for joining us on this very important and of the moment topic.
Now, the big question in making radical change happen is, will Republicans get on board? They weren't present when Democrats developed the legislation
that we were talking about and look unlikely to support it. So far, only one Republican senator has showed solidarity with the protestors in a very
visible way, and that is Mitt Romney, who was marching in Washington this weekend.
While the head of the Justice Department, the attorney general, William Barr, kept saying that he doesn't believe racism is systemic in the police
force. Republican congressman, Adam Kinzinger, has just returned from a deployment in the National Guard in Wisconsin, and he's joining me now.
Congressman, welcome to the program.
I guess you heard quite a lot of what we were just discussing and it is the hot discussion right now. And it has been tried in other places and it
seems with some success. Who knew until we looked into it? What do you think about this and do you agree that there needs to be radical change in
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Yes, I think there does need to be change. I think it's, you know, what does that look like? I don't fully know. You
know, I don't know exactly what they're bringing in front of the Congress. We just heard about this bill basically coming today. Some of it sounds
good but the devil is always in the details.
You know, how do we -- I think a couple things. How do you screen to make sure the right people are coming into the police force? How do you ensure
that they're accountable to each other and accountable to leadership to say, if you see abuse happening, there is something you need to do about
it? You know, and how do we keep them safe?
But I think where this argument gets derailed, quite honestly, and what I'm worried about because I do want to see real change happen, is that both
sides kind of go to some pretty extreme corners on this, and one of those is the idea of defunding the police.
Now, I've notices that people are talking about defunding the police are trying to change the talk a little bit and say, well, we just want to
reduce some of the funding and put it into social services, but this started as defund and abolish the police and that is where you're going to
lose all Republicans, you'll lose a lot of Democrats, frankly, on that as we saw with the mayor in Minneapolis. But I do think there is an
opportunity to say, what's going wrong, how do we fix it?
Because I always think back to that shooting in Houston where there were people protesting police abuse, and then you had that shooter that came out
and actually police and the protestors worked together to save each other. And so, I think we all have to try to work together in this if we want to
see real change.
AMANPOUR: So, I guess the obvious question, and I assume you believe this given what you just said. I mean, most people, most, many, particularly
around the world as well, are saying that America has failed its black people, it's just failed, and there needs to be so much fundamental change.
And there are members of your own party who don't even admit that there is systemic racism anywhere, much less in -- just in the police.
Do you believe there is systemic racism? And do you admit that America has failed the black community?
KINZINGER: Well, look, those are both kind of loaded questions, and I think we have to take them apart a little bit. Systemic racism implies in
the definition that there are laws that favor a certain race. I think we have made some massive progress, and anybody who doubts it, all you have to
do is look back to the '60s and see where we are at today. But there is a lot in the process to go.
I think it's inflammatory to call it systemic, but instead to say there are still examples of failure. So, if you have a police officer with his knee
on a guy's neck for nine minutes, suffocating him to death, that is a huge problem, and there are systemic issues within that police department. Is
that always the case within the country? I don't know, and I think that's a big leap to jump to.
And I think, again, it puts us in our corners because some people say, well, we made huge progress, it's not systemic. Others say, no, it is
systemic. We have to learn to see this through each other's eyes. But I there's certainly is progress that needs to be made.
AMANPOUR: OK. Would institutional suit you better than systemic, institutional racism?
KINZINGER: I think to an extent it depends again on where you look. When you paint our country with a broad brush, this is what our enemies oversees
love seeing, by the way, China, who does far worse than this in oppressing, you know, Muslim minorities and everything that they do. But if you look at
the reality, yes, we have a long way to go. I think, though, when you paint everything with a broad brush, you put people in their corners.
So, to go the (INAUDIBLE) and saying, we still have laws and everything, no. Do we have attitudes? Yes. We have racist attitudes in this country
that we have to get rid of, and we've got to set up systems, however we do that, in place so that, for instance, racist behavior of a police officer
is turned in by his fellow officers and we get rid of that in that process.
AMANPOUR: Well, as you know, on the other side of this debate, and it's a very gathering debate, there is call for much more than just getting rid of
a few so-called bad apples. Obviously, you know that and clearly that's necessary. We'll talk about China in just a second.
But I want to ask you, you know, do you not find it troubling that Republicans have not engaged in this act that is passing -- you know,
that's ongoing in the House right now? Do you not find it a little troubling that when we see not just images, the reality of back during the
debate over easing lockdown from coronavirus, when you had armed people, I mean, armed to the teeth with military style weapons going into a state
legislature, I'm talking about Michigan, threatening elected officials, and we're told by highest levels of elected democracy in your country, the
president calls, you know, there were good people there. And not a peep, not a peep.
And yet, the peaceful protestors over this are -- have their constitutional rights abused. I mean, there is a problem. You say people go into their
corners. But in this case, don't you admit that that's a major hypocrisy and a double standard?
KINZINGER: I think there is a lot of double standards here. First off, you know, when people don't want it to open up again -- and I condemned already
people, you know, showing up in the state house with guns, but when you had people in Springfield, Illinois that were protesting that and they were
told that they're going to kill people because they are not social distancing. And three weeks later, we see protests and not a peep of that,
right? That can be a problem as well.
But look, I've supported everybody's right to protest. Where I have had an issue with what's going on in the last week is the violence and destruction
which nobody has the right to do. And even the president -- and I condemn the president's words a lot, as you well know. But even the president never
came out, at least that I know of, and said that people don't have a right to protest. He may not have spoken about that as genteelly as I certainly
would have. But he did say, and I agree, people don't have the right to burn things down and loot. And that's where the issue comes down.
Peaceful protest is absolutely fine. If people want to -- I said they shouldn't at the time -- protest the lockdowns, they have a right to do
But we have got to get to the -- where it's not just, isn't your side terrible or isn't that side terrible? Because we're never going to solve
anything. That's my frustration, I think, with the debates that are occurring nowadays.
AMANPOUR: I mean, look, I'm not going to speak for everybody. I'm a journalist, but I think you well know that the majority of the protest
leaders, the peaceful protest leaders, they also don't believe in burning things down.
I mean, this is, as you know, groups of agitators who've been named and listed and arrested and documented by police departments from coast to
coast. So, these aren't the protesters. These are agitators.
So, I want to ask you, then, because you say the president agreed that peaceful protests -- and, yes, he did. He's given lip service to peaceful
protests. But then he gives this order to violently clear, as you know, using National Guard and the like, peaceful protesters outside the White
House in order for him to walk across Lafayette to -- Lafayette Square -- to try to do some kind of a photo-op in front of a church.
What do you think about that? I ask you because you have an active-duty background. You have just been in the National Guard service for a few
days. You have seen what other members of the military have said about this. Where do you come down on that?
KINZINGER: Well, I have heard two different versions of what happened, so I will address each of them.
One is that the decision was made to clear that, that morning, because of it being too close to the White House and a security issue. That was a
legitimate decision, if that's the case, if there's a security concern.
If the decision was made that we need to clear this area so that the president can go do a photo-op, that would have been absolutely wrong. I
have heard both versions of that. One would be an OK version, which is, there is a security buffer we need, and then the president, after it was
clear, made the decision, which he had a right to do.
But I think if, in fact, it was cleared, so that you could do a photo-op, then that's wrong. I have heard all versions of that. I don't know which is
correct, quite honestly. But that would be my take on whichever one it ends up being in history when we find out.
AMANPOUR: But to be fair, I'm sure you have been at quite a few of these gatherings. I have certainly watched a lot of protests and a lot of
clearing of buffer zones. And they really don't have to be that violent. I mean, they just don't.
So, the other question, of course, is, more to the point, there's been a huge amount of criticism of the idea, the very idea, of deploying active-
duty forces against Americans in the streets of America. Where do you start on that?
KINZINGER: So, that -- active-duty forces -- and there's a large misunderstanding right now between the role of the National Guard, when
it's not under active-duty orders, like what you're seeing in the case of now, vs. if it's used overseas in a war.
Active-duty forces, short of basically a failure of state government or a threat of overthrow of the federal government, should not be utilized on
U.S. streets. National Guard, on the other hand, should when they need to be, because the National Guard is actually acting in service to the police
department and in service to the governor, with the exception of D.C., because D.C., after the Assumption Act, the president is -- actually acts
as the governor of the District and the District Guard.
So, these and every case you have seen have actually been under Guards (AUDIO GAP) under the governor of that area, active-duty forces (AUDIO GAP)
KINZINGER: (AUDIO GAP) the federal government should not be deployed.
But, as you know, the president was talking about it. And he even on that conference call with governors called them weak and wimpy and how they need
to dominate the space and all of that. Clearly, that's been roundly criticized by everybody from defense secretaries to former Joint Chiefs, et
But "The Wall Street Journal" poll released over the weekend found that 59 percent of Americans were more concerned about police violence that led to
the death of George Floyd than protests that turned violent. Eighty percent of those surveyed said that things are out of control in the country.
Now, that, to me, is a really significant poll; 59 percent of the people of the United States believe that they are more concerned about the police
violence that led to George Floyd's death.
Are you all reading the street, reading your voters, reading the people well enough, when you take your decisions and make your statements and
KINZINGER: For me, yes, because I understand where that poll comes from, because the issue of the police violence is something that's been long-
term. And until we do something, it's going to continue.
The street violence and the protests we saw was short-term. That was a couple days, basically 10 days, I think, so far of protesting. So that's a
short-term concern, whereas the longer-term concern is this.
That's why we need to address the issue on policing, but without saying things like, defund the police, because I have heard many even black
leaders say that that is going to frighten people and not what they believe in. But they want serious reforms. I think we all do.
AMANPOUR: I know that police budgets and this and that are dealt with by governors, but they are humongous.
We just heard something like $100 billion go to police departments around the country. I quoted, in New York alone, the NYPD is $6 billion, which is
bigger than 50 countries' GDP, bigger than the whole of the WHO budget. And we're in the middle of a pandemic, remember. That seems have somewhat gone
down the list of news priorities.
But, surely, America's money can be spent better in order to get better results, better goals and create more peace in the country.
KINZINGER: Yes, I mean, maybe.
It depend -- see, a bit dependent see a significant amount of police budgets go to things like pension. And pension systems are pretty serious
in this country in terms of needing reform, especially if you look in Illinois. That's where a lot of that goes.
It's not all like MRAPs, and that comes surplus from the military. And we can have a debate about that, but that's not going to be built into the
budget. A lot of it is training. A lot of it is body armor, body cameras. We want all these things on police.
And then, if somebody calls the police and it takes 30 minutes to get service, they're upset about that, because you need more police officers.
So, I think it's a lot more than just saying, we're just blowing money on police departments, when you take a place like New York City that has to
have the counterterrorism unit, as well as, you know, 50,000 officers or something like that.
There's a huge cost to it. So, can we -- I'm always for looking at budgets and saying, where do we cut waste out? But in a time when we're talking
about training people better, especially in community policing, I'm not sure if reducing budgets going to help very much. And it's certainly going
to increase response time when there's a shooting or something that somebody needs a response to.
Just keep in mind, we're just coming off a spate of school shootings. I have a good friend who was a police officer that stopped a school shooting
in Dixon, Illinois, because he was right there at school. That cost money too who have people who are located.
AMANPOUR: Of course, and we talked about the predominance of guns in the country, and also what does happen when you actually need to call the
police if there is an armed -- an armed crime under way and you need help.
This is a debate that's going to continue.
Congressman Kinzinger, thank you very much, indeed, for joining me.
Now, many of the America's allies around the world are looking on aghast. "The Financial Times"' editorial about the Trump administration's crackdown
on peaceful protests is titled "America's Battered Moral Standing."
Roula Khalaf is the paper's new editor and the first woman to hold that post. She says, this is undermining Washington's ability to hold the high
ground with authoritarian regimes abroad.
Here, she's talking to our Walter Isaacson about the challenges of these turbulent times.
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Christiane.
And, Roula, welcome to the show.
ROULA KHALAF, EDITOR, "THE FINANCIAL TIMES": Thanks for having me.
ISAACSON: This past week, we saw the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising. It was commemorated in Hong Kong by huge protests.
And there were also huge protests around the United States and in certain places around the world because of the killing of George Floyd.
What was going through your head as you saw the protests around the world, and especially how the protests were playing out in the United States?
KHALAF: I think this is a really good point, because the U.S., of course, has reacted to the Hong Kong protests in the way that one would expect.
But the president has not reacted to the U.S. protests in the way that one would expect. And I think this is the difference that shocks and dismays a
lot of people around the world, because what credibility does the U.S. have when it calls on Hong Kong -- the Hong Kong authorities or the Chinese
authorities to treat protesters better, peaceful protesters, with respect, when, in the U.S. itself, the call is to send the Army out, and when
protesters are being removed so that the president can have a photo-op.
So, I think this whole episode further erodes the credibility of the U.S., but also the moral authority of the U.S. I mean, I have covered a lot of
protests in my career, revolutions and uprisings.
And everyone would look to the U.S., would hang on every word that the State Department or the White House would utter, is -- and there's always
been a belief that if the -- that the U.S. is the only outside power that can make a difference and can have -- that can insert pressure on
governments to actually act and not to deal with protests forcefully and not to crack down on peaceful protests.
ISAACSON: When you the killing of George Floyd, the knee on the neck and him gasping, saying he couldn't breathe, what ramifications, repercussion
did that have both in Britain and in Europe?
KHALAF: I think very similar to the repercussions that any American would have had.
Of course, there's always a delayed reaction, if you're not in the country where such an outrageous act plays. So, I think, day after day, the anger
and the outrage felt by people outside of the U.S. turned into protests.
And I think the protests that I have seen in Europe and in the U.K., part of it is about the killing of George Floyd, but I think part of it is also
about the discrimination that people feel in their own countries.
So, I think this has been to -- perhaps a wakeup call for these people. On a personal level and on a professional level, I think it also makes you
think about diversity in the workplace. And we talk a lot about diversity, but are we really diverse?
I think this is the debate that's also going on in a lot of companies in Europe today.
ISAACSON: You have been an expert in covering China, both as a journalist yourself, and your newspaper. What do you see that the West should be doing
or the Trump administration should doing to get China policy back on an even keel?
KHALAF: I think we're in a very, very tricky situation right now, because a lot of the assumptions that the West has had about China, not least that
economic prosperity would eventually lead to a certain level of political liberalization, I mean, that assumption has not borne out.
But what I think the Western governments also did not expect is the consolidation of power by Xi Jinping and the increasing tilt towards even
greater authoritarianism. So, this is on the Chinese side.
On the U.S. side, you have also had a hardening of attitude, not just in the White House, but across the political spectrum. Of course, the fact
that the president also uses China as a political football in domestic politics as well, that doesn't help.
So, what I want to see is an escalating spiral. And we have just written an editorial about this, where we said that what we need is a kind of reset.
You have to agree with the Chinese to disagree on certain things. No one is going to be supportive of the policy in Hong Kong, human rights violation,
the potential hardening of Chinese attitudes towards Taiwan.
But there are areas where you could still cooperate. Climate change is one of them, trade and commercial relations. And there has to be at least an
attempt to separate what you can work with China on and what you cannot.
ISAACSON: I just want to push back there. You say we can cooperate on climate change, we can cooperate on trade, but that's -- those are things
that the U.S. doesn't want to cooperate on.
KHALAF: Yes. And this is where I was going, is, am I optimistic about this? I'm not optimistic in the short term, no, because I think that, in
the next few months, as we get closer to the U.S. election, I think this relationship is going to deteriorate further.
Now, I think we have to start looking past the election, whether it is a Republican or a Democratic administration, because I think, once you have
gone at -- once you have moved away from the political, then maybe that can be the time to rethink the relationship with China, and to put it on a
And I also think that this is not just an issue between the U.S. and China. Europe is a major player here. And Europe has a role to play. I think the
Europeans in the past few months have not actually just blindly gone behind the U.S., as well the case, for example, where both Germany and the U.K.
have been a lot more balanced as in their attitude to Huawei.
ISAACSON: At the core of what "The Financial Times" has stood for throughout its history is the importance of free markets, free trade, free
ideas, a good economic system, a very sober-minded approach to the world.
And yet, over the past 20 or 30 years, we have seen this backlash against globalization, a backlash against free trade, against immigration, and sort
of a populist feeling that "Financial Times" reader should not be ruling the world or consolidating Europe.
What are the underlying...
KHALAF: You mean the Davos elites.
ISAACSON: The Davos elite who subscribe to "The Financial Times," their world has been upended by this populist backlash.
What's the cause of that? And, by the way, did we -- and I will put myself in the category of a "Financial Times" we reader -- get things wrong? Did
we misunderstand the resentments that were being built up because of globalization, trade and immigration?
KHALAF: I will say a few things.
First, I do think we have to remember how much better globalization has brought, how many people were lifted out of poverty around the world. I
think that the reason that we have seen a rise in populist nationalism and a backlash against globalization is because of the way that it was managed
or, rather, mismanaged in terms of its impact on certain community.
I mean, Brexit, for example, is an example of the backlash. And that is because what I think a lot of policy-makers forgot is that right around
them in their own backyard that there was an impact that was not being addressed.
That is, I think one of the mistakes. I think the other is, you have to go back to the financial crisis and the extent of the financial crisis. Often,
when you have big shocks, the ramifications aren't necessarily about -- not all the ramifications are felt right away.
Some of it comes with a delayed reaction. And I think part of this, the -- the new sort of sentiment of being anti-E.U., anti-globalization has to do
with the fact that inequality has widened in the last decades, and nothing was done about it.
We were just moving ahead and thinking about the stock market. And I think that it was almost -- it was -- it's a wakeup call. It's a wakeup call to
say, OK, what has gone wrong? How do we reset capitalism? What should be the policies that are more distributive, without losing sight of the
benefits of globalization?
I mean, we are, of course, and we will always remain advocates of free trade and free markets, because we think that that is where the economic
benefit is for everyone. But we also have to take into account the pitfalls, the -- where it needs to be reset and reformed.
ISAACSON: But let me push back on you a little bit.
ISAACSON: Haven't events in the reason five to 10 years caused you to question a little bit more the absolute benefits of free trade?
KHALAF: I wouldn't say to question.
I would say to think a lot harder about the impact of free trade, not only on countries that are -- where production is cheaper, for example, but the
impact on the U.K., for example.
And, I mean, you say free trade. We can about free trade and free movement. And in the U.K., in particular, there were communities that should have
been supported at a time when borders were completely open to other E.U. nationals. And that didn't happen.
So, it's not a question of, do I question it intellectually? I think questioning it -- questioning the practice and the impact, yes, certainly.
And, I mean, we have written an awful lot about this.
ISAACSON: You're just coming out of lockdown now. This past week, you have taken the baby steps over there in Britain to come out. Do you think that
the timing is right? Are you sending your kid back to school, in other words?
KHALAF: I am.
I sent my kid back to school yesterday for the first time, because his class is back. I think, generally, a lot of people still feel that we're
coming of lockdown early, because the number of infections is still high. The number of daily deaths is still higher than most other European
I think, generally, it is felt -- And we certainly say that in our editorials at "The F.T." -- that this crisis was not well-managed by the
government. Of course, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, did himself get sick and was in hospital for a while.
And, of course, that didn't help. But we feel that, generally, this has not been handled properly. And our concern is that, as we come up -- come out
of the lockdown, the test and trace system that is needed for an effective easing is still not there yet.
ISAACSON: Well, as "The Financial Times," you cover very much both the finances of the world, but also Europe and then Britain.
Do you think that, with Brexit looming or coming down the pike, you not only need to figure out what the European Central Bank is going to do, but
what the Bank of England is going to do? And how will that play out?
KHALAF: The government's argument is that we should go ahead and have -- and leave the E.U. for good, because we have already officially left the
E.U., whether we get a comprehensive deal with the European Union, or we could do it without a deal.
And some of the arguments that you hear is that, because the COVID has had such a negative impact on the economy, and because we have to think anew
about what the structure of the economy is, what the fundamentals are, what kind of economy we want, that we might as well just have Brexit at the end
of the year with or without a deal.
Most economists, however -- and that is certainly a position held by the "F.T." -- is that you are facing -- we're still dealing with a real shock.
And we now see, not only in Britain, but everywhere, what we are calling the recovery.
But that is because we have -- we have reached the bottom, and we're coming back up, whatever shape this takes. But the reality is that there's -- in a
few months, we will know how much scarring there has been.
And what I mean by that is, we're not going to return to the same level that we were at just before the pandemic. So we will be facing a very, very
difficult economic situation, with millions of people who are unemployed, with sectors that are completely ravaged.
And so it would be an added burden on businesses and on the economy to actually leave the European Union at the end of the year without a deal,
i.e., in an -- in a fashion that is not orderly.
ISAACSON: Thank you, Roula, will for joining us.
KHALAF: Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: And, again, so much of what's happening on the streets of the United States right now is being viewed here in the U.K. and around the
And, finally, amid powerful protests and speeches and local action to make black lives matter, the testimony of a 9-year-old girl has resurfaced on
In September 2016, Zianna Oliphant gave an emotional address to the Charlotte City Council in North Carolina, a week after the fatal police
shooting of Keith Scott. He was a 43-year-old black man.
The then district attorney said that, while police reported seeing Scott with a gun, there was no evidence to show that he had raised it.
Take a listen now to the anguish of young Zianna Oliphant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZIANNA OLIPHANT, NORTH CAROLINA: It's a shame that our fathers and mothers are killed, and we can't even see them anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's right.
OLIPHANT: It's a shame that we have to go to their graveyard and bury them. And we have tears. And we shouldn't have tears. We need our fathers
and mothers to be by our side.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Out of the mouths of babes, and a powerful reminder that this collective injustice causes profound trauma throughout the community, not
least amongst the terrified children.
That is it for now. Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.