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We’re continuing to amplify Black Voices. Join us every Monday in June for a dialogue on being Black in America on Instagram @BravoTV.
The Real Housewives of Potomac newbie Dr. Wendy Osefo joined Justin Sylvester, the host of E!’s Daily Pop!, for the July 15 Instagram Live panel, Amplify Our Voices: An Open Dialogue on Being Black in America. During the discussion, Wendy broke down the importance of police reform, and explained what it truly means to defund the police.
When asked why police reform is vital, Wendy used the case of George Floyd, the man who died at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers on May 25, as an example.
“Even if those four officers are convicted, that does not change the act of policing,” Wendy said. “There is a policing issue because it’s steeped in systematic racism. That is the issue. Systemic racism exists, systematic racism also exists. It’s both of them.”
Wendy went on to explain that although the four involved officers can be charged, the current police system still allows this kind of behavior to occur.
“I want people to understand that there is certain caveats that police officers get to get away with. There’s loopholes,” Wendy noted, adding, “And I say this with love because my brother, he’s a police officer. I am the granddaughter of a retired police chief, but in the same token, they have to be held to the same standard as everyone else.”
Wendy then compared police officers to professionals in other fields, explaining that they have “qualified immunity,” whereas if a surgeon were to make a serious mistake, they would most likely not be allowed to continue operating.
“For some reason, when it comes to police officers, they have a different standard, and we have to change that,” she said. “We understand defunding when it comes to anything else. Like if we want to defund schools...we understand. We’re taking money away. But when it comes to defunding police, people are like, ‘Oh! The police are going to be gone!’ No. That’s not what that means.”
“It does not mean that you will not have policing,” Wendy continued. “It’s that policing will look different. And instead of them spending millions of dollars getting those military tanks? No. It will go towards training. It will go towards different things. That’s what it means.”
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