Day: April 21, 2021

Background Briefing: April 21, 2021


In Response to BLM Protests, Republican Laws Now Criminalize Protest in 45 States

We begin with the Republican pushback against Black Lives Matter and other protest groups who helped bring attention to police brutality following the murder of George Floyd with the passage of laws to criminalize protests. Florida’s Governor DeSantis has just signed into law the “Combatting Public Disorder Bill” which labels a “riot” as 3 or more people gathered together and immunizes people who drive vehicles into crowds of protestors and protects Confederate statues, making a mockery of the notion of “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” which is spelled out in the nation’s Bill of Rights. Joining us is Elly Page, a Senior Legal Adviser at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, which tracks legislation limiting the right to protest both in the United States and abroad, and we will discuss the criminalization of protests underway in this country with similar bills introduced in 45 states and assess how Republican anti-rioting laws compare to despotic trends underway in threatened democracies like Turkey and Hungary. 


The DOJ Investigates the Minneapolis Police Department for Over-Policing and Under-Protecting

Then we examine the announcement by Attorney General Garland that the DOJ has opened a civil investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing in a new civil investigation separate from and independent of the federal criminal investigation into the death of George Floyd previously announced by the Justice Department. Andrew Gordon, the Deputy Director of Community Legal Services at the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis who advocates for communities of color and immigrants, joins us to discuss the reforms needed to stop over-policing and under-protection in his community.


White Supremacists Are “The Most Persistent and Lethal Threat to the Homeland”

Then finally we speak with Katrina Mulligan and Brette Steele co-authors of a new report from the Center for American Progress and the McCain Institute for International Leadership, “A National Policy Blueprint To End White Supremacist Violence.” Katrina Mulligan served as director of preparedness and response in the National Security Division of the DOJ and Brette Steele served as Regional Director of Strategic Engagement for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Terrorism Prevention Partnerships and they join us to discuss white supremacists as what the DHS calls, “the most persistent and lethal threat to the Homeland.”