Your Voice Your Vote: The Breakdown - Racism and policing in the US

Understanding Black Lives Matter, defunding the police and how activism could make a difference at the ballot box.
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Transcript for Your Voice Your Vote: The Breakdown - Racism and policing in the US
Hello everyone thanks for streaming witness on your voices your vote the breakdown. I'm Terry Moran in Washington and I'm Diana sailing New York's favor diving into the issues of race and policing in the United States. The police killings of black people all over the past several months have ignited new energy in a movement that has been growing for years. Protesters have taken to the streets by the thousands in cities across the country. Expressing outrage at what they see as systemic or institutionalized. Racism within law enforcement organizations. Today we'll hear from multiple perspectives on that issue and hopefully have some productive. Conversations. Hopefully it's a complicated issue gonna break it down but first. We are just 33 days away from Election Day and president Trump's campaign is moving forward in the aftermath. And a chaotic first debate the Commission on Presidential Debates is now considering changing the rules of the next debates but with a campaigns go along with. The president's debate performances sparked a torrent of criticism that even his most ardent allies have struggled to contain. And Republicans on Capitol Hill are now distancing themselves from the president. After he failed to disavow a far right fascist group the cowboys saying this instead draw out of my life. Stand back and stand by the Senate's only black Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina calling on trump to explain himself. But in this book he should relatively good work but it didn't speak. Trump tried to walk back his comments claiming ignorance even though the proud boys were clearly describe to him as white supremacist during the debate. I don't know what the proud boys are but he's still failed to denounce the group. In the wake of the bedlam and riker that dominated the stage and Cleveland there's nothing Smart about Eugene. What usually I don't miss and many are questioning if the first presidential debate of the year will also be the last. So after that debate the Commission on Presidential Debates that's a bipartisan group which has been doing this for thirty years. They're talking about giving the moderator a switch. That could tart off the microphone and any candidate who repeatedly interrupts or otherwise violates the rules Washington Post is out with an analysis they say candidates were interrupted ninety times. In ninety minutes. Donald Trump interrupted 71 of those times and. The Terry back to one of the issues that played a big role in that debate race and policing. Protesters turned out in droves many for the first time to call for change in the system they say discriminates against black Americans. But will that activism make a difference at the ballot box ABC's Rachel Scott has more. Be taken to the streets. And chanting the names of black lines long. Some of racial unrest now turning into we'll call to action to vote on Election Day. And first met 23 year old Arianna Evans back in May it was her first time demonstrating and it's been almost a 130 days since the death of George Floyd and Arianna has been marching ever since. We want to OJ we want is that better training we want to build. The project and not. But after months of demonstrations the air heavy with exhaustion and disappointment. They're protesting for more than a hundred days have you seen any progress and that time. Always seen is that. Then I listen. In the weeks following Floyd's death both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill agreed on the need for police reform but were divided on how to get there. And so we have to be that they know what they're talking about that is that's now without that you saw Saturday of funding to badly that is not true. What Election Day around the corner Arianna says she's backing a candidate that doesn't reflect the systemic change she wants to see. As young people it is our job to fuel this democracy if we do not. Get out there we do not vote if we do not save our democracy this found we might not have the chance again. From a slow kick off in the democratic primary to the general election Biden has struggled with enthusiasm among democratic voters in California activist Molina a jewel is working on the ground to register protesters. But believes the excitement that once energizing Democratic Party. Has since faded. People are dealing dismay. That the choices are lean and you know of violent whites premises. Ends another error. Person who represents. Saying. The call for change heard around the nation. Down in South Carolina 27 year old activist or McDaniel told me he won't be voting for trump but he's not sold on by neither he's now considering voting for a third party candidate. I think sometimes you hired an intro. NO party on both sides are blinded our struggles at lower and Americans are able. But a third party candidate has never won a presidential election. And critical battleground states those votes could tip the scales for either candidate organizers are now working overtime to educate and mobilize young voters. Just from may to June the amount of people we registered jumped fifteen Tyler as far as we can tell but was entirely driven. By George Floyd and a black votes matter political awakening that was happening. Natasha brown co-founder of the black voters matter fund torn in twelve cities in key battleground states and register voters hurdle now using the momentum from the protests to restore hope in the democratic process. To be black in America means to be three times more likely than white people to be killed by police had to be black in America right now means two this report please suffer the consequences. Latin American news and nothing with them is. It's sued. To mark. We've been able to list and in this Huntsman make the opposite yeah. From coast to coast activists believe the reform they want to see will not be determined by just one election their fight pressing forward past November. In the midst of protest a recognition that no matter what I miss Indian things we have to stay in the streets. And Rachel Scott joins me now from Washington rich I want to stress. Some confusion that can complicate the conversation around race which is already a difficult topic to talk about and what is that black lives matter has come to mean different things to different people some see it as a sentiment. The social movement a political movement he touched on how we've seen black lives matter evolve and what that means for the conversation around race in this country. Yet that's exactly right and what we have seen is the name of an organization become a symbol for equality and when people disagree with some of the platforms of the organization and and they really didn't they named black lives natter look there is an overarching theme here of people that are taking to the streets. Demanding for reform demanding for equality. For black people and for minorities in this country and while that has started went to outrage over police reform and actually triples down. Two other corners in American society I talked about and that piece that right now to be black in America. It's a suffered disproportionately from the corona virus your look more likely to get it you're more likely to die from it. You're more likely to suffer from economic downturns in this country you're more likely to have less access. I had to health care access to food to fresh food. And that is what they want to change they want to see this system fixed across the board that the playing field level. But there are a different organizations out there that all want that accomplished but have. Different ways in different ideas of doing so and if we look back. In our history even during the civil rights ear we saw that there were competing voices Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm acts when I always on the same page although they had this overall goal. For civil rights. I will say this though it is not enough for these protesters for our leaders for lawmakers just to say these words black lives mattered they want. To see change in that not only starts with the White House that is also trickling down ballot. Ahead of November they want to see reform act for local governments to state governments and of course the federal government as well. Rachel Scott Forrest thanks regional. You're more people took to the streets this summer declaring that black lives matter and those other issues that rich was talking about protesting police violence. We asked voters to tell us how they abused their voices and why they protest and here's some of what they said my day I was career police officer. I backed the blue 100%. Are there bad cop absolutely just as there are banned reporters. That doctors failed lawyers. Spears fan and every career. And yes we do need to get them now that. Over all I don't think we're getting the entire story. I think. That's. People feel that they have a voice you know their peaceful protest. You know that we. Agree with is I think that they want to be heard you know they're tired. You know it's from one thing to another you get situation. And it becomes status quo Miller underline another issue happens and I think keyboards is fed up. And he now that the nation is talking about at the conversation has been initiated. I think people are gonna use that as leverage to further that dialogue and hopefully come up with some viable solutions were better tomorrow. I think are close. I think people iron. Their tents they're already there they're tired. The current circulation. All across the bright. I think it's business not Kansas City specific this is not needed less specific to the cost America America is ready to. Experience. Something different. He is not working. Still I think America is ready to change that. I need a different world from Nike site eighties deserve a different. My babies to their Delaware house that they get they're a different well all kids stamp. Amen to that sound the American voices on this issue so let's take this conversation to our virtual roundtable today and we're happy to be joined now by mark Claxton. With the national black law enforcement alliance and he's a former NYPD. Detective and Robert Boyce former NYPD chief of detectives now on ABC news consultant thanks. Both for joining us both veterans that police force they're great police force in new York and let me begin with. Robert Boyce. Or so we've heard for Rachel and and from some of the voices there that side which is. Captured the country and so many intense ways. How is morale within police departments do think if you look at police departments across the country in this moment has morale. I think is is there were cops probably worse and see and that's just not here where he is and that's where. Trump they got big and apparently she's X. As a reaction to this constant on the include protest so we look at and I see people or rule one or two x.s and sees it. So we have become a reading political leadership to send us right away it's important for us. It's like and universities Earl. Country people and you will in the endless war and they're really concerned and exit so this test is change we need leadership and ultimately. And Robert ominous start my question to you that mark Brennan also want your take on it is well that do you think there is. A systemic problem with policing in this country and what kind of a role if so do you think race plays in that. Well I think this is center progress. Is indeed an area. Like you lose. Yes there is tenacity went on when we got to have a strategy to about it. I think we can training with the escalation trend rather nicely medal listen street. You do get into it mindset where you'd be to be balanced clearly street. We going to politically. And I understand the concerns. Protesters who in what is. But we need we need something. Political leadership across the million. Total political solicited. Right now in what he is two trucks. The mayor City Council and also lose his music. Oh mark your thoughts. Significant problem. With the sharks in the east apartments are like super communities. And that they are they're probably the latter coastal areas aren't you arts. I want the air and arms discussion about what role that race week. Any enforcement throughout the old eat eat eat early season around the around clergy and their oil from tar sunrise this isn't certain. And agents Holmes a lot of issues and actual. But I think we all we can't be lit our individual. Or organization today to T Indians. Promote his feet deep problem or injured in many cases. Those crews solution to our beat grow. They didn't consider a plea an important part in presenting the movement sort of all those discussions. Dethroned. A polished so these are the news but admitting ways no. Keep the main. Oh blocks to eighty. Who eagles' first single stations that are. Binding. About city government. And if I could follow up mark and and Bob as well. This moment had brought to us because it is rising in the streets this black lives matter movement. And all of its ramifications and demands there's also a blue lives. Matter movement that has risen as well it's always occurred to me why can't both be true but how significant. Do you think that is blue lives matter in this equation in this moment. First there's also laps. Brooke it is ridiculous. Movement in Lexington mean who would diminish the importance significance. Well it would be so my daughter who. Look just they're. Dealing eight emotion if our. Statement of black. Arnold need let's be clear. And I think it's asserted that when people are who you police sources. That's their TV queen. The processional positioned there employment. With the humidity an axis of black people so first elders don't. Lose their job. The latter are so that people are human beings need my own server. So it is significant. And important in possible. We'll police and community to meet here come to grips. You deal with some harsh reality it makes progress. But she knew there would try to create center so center. Look different races eat we're just the separate just so the people who live serve protect. Well said I learned something every day that would let let me ask Bob about that many feel about it. I think I think we usually see organizations like look man you see people's Syria. He hurt. And and I think and I don't think anything can cannot get law. Rule singles the equity society and we went fairness. And so that's where that's coming draw. ICCO. Box relentless hopes ended in the last couple months on these protests so I think I think that's voices coming up Griese or. I don't dismiss. I think lowest annual well we opposite. And sent right to search. We need to regions are really just the we need leadership as soon the next place where we needed it and we see that happening now it just how. And hopefully this will. Something possible. That don't want to fourteen. Sober person nor to lose her. Don't want us here these crimes Ecstasy now. With oh along almost since the shootings and 40%. These real people do more experienced this we need leadership here. Yet fallen so all always hurt too much. And market seems like at some level there's a lack of humanity here were some people see someone with a uniform a badge and gun. And they don't see that there's a human being wearing that uniform that at the end of the day is gonna go home to their family and at the same time. I personally have seen police treat people in front of them. As if they are not human and not worthy of any respect and that feels like it feeds on a very negative cycle so how do you fix that. Well first off you just over an indemnity. Where would she was his indicating. Towards that that is you see each other. Human beings with its but there are seeing vulnerabilities. And exposures. Indeed willing. It's really expression can marry you indicate that some. Just as we are we wouldn't we are currently holds any. Gives solo artworks are. Serious who where both stated current personal rob these sources. The dangers that are engines are built into the job right so. Congress set her wisdom and diligent professionalism little weasels. What are the singing little. Compassion source is the probability she. You don't bar suits my sons my daughter who's sort of remind aides. So much is I don't full support of the borrow. Respecting their professional police or us. There in. Eighty million. Requests from the immediate use it. Black man. He made you well know when you place an excellent for six weeks she reliable. Are not want to belong to multiple police sources use particular preserve in my life. All human. Me. And defund the police that is one of their demands that is arising out of this movement you see it. In politics being talked around about and people saying that there's been too much money flowing into essentially the weapon as Asian being the militarization. Of police forces in the United States to any problems try to be solved in that kind of force. Robert Boyce Joseph what do you think of the defund the police call in do you think they've got a point. Even it is not be funding but did resource have gone too much in one direction. To solve some of the problems police I was asked deal with every day. I think it is only to please. Stay right now. You're reducing at least she's not used to treat you use your view us as much as you can understand in Houston. Yeah. At least we shouldn't do. So I think it's a ged program that policy. I'll I think big not hiring. Nucleus is that it plans to you right now this is really bits so is that it's via. It's didn't lead through. And that's that's who we are right now it's and that you get a huge city news until someone steps. O leaders. This is enough whose. Here thank you both. Choosing confused when we come back Ferguson Missouri it was a major factor in the last. After the killing of Michael Brown but this year. This city made history electing its first female African American mayor she will join us live to talk about how things have changed since those protests first started. And how much work still needs to be done. I don't look at it has he been known to SaaS of in this throughout the kidney is being in the middle. An important issue. Man and how can I games that uniqueness that I bring to the table loved being in a black man and being the chief of police in today's world. How can use that to help better relations attack and I have used that you note to bridge some gaps that we have and so it it it is a stroke because. You know from some people in the black community when they see me they called me it's very ago would top of me wearing this uniform. And I can't let that discourage me think I feel as though the work that I have to do is is needed. Because if it wasn't me wearing this uniform try to do this work who would be would that person bring that thing level of commitment. And genuineness to try to to help you know pick some of the problems it right some in the wrong you know that we've had in this present. That was the chief of police in Ferguson Missouri City that's been in the national spotlight ever since a police officer shot and killed. Michael Brown just over six years ago. And that helped energize the black lives matter movement and the city hasn't been in a reckoning with issues of institutionalized racism and police relations ever since. But this year Ferguson made history electing its first female African American mayor and she joins us live now mayor Ella Jones thanks for being here. Thank you and me it's our pleasure so you have said that Michael Brown's death actually played a role in U running for mayor can you explain why. Playing a big role because. I use just. I'll go outlasts his Angola get from way. Didn't quite get involved in the community. And when that Kolb and nine at Eaton Eaton. Trumpet committing woman and she told me that my brow had been. I'll greatly shocked and he's been Lillian street almost four hours. I immediately. Upset because it could have been might check out. Lane in the street so I decided symbol. Complacency. Dan. Starting getting involved in the community. Are council people. Councilman. Playing James totally the best plays from neighbors in the human rights commission. And I want to consider human rights commission started working with human rights commission or in the community action and he are hand today. Just showing how we can all do our small part and make maybe a bigger difference than we thought. Mayor after Michael Brown's death the FBI investigated the Ferguson police department and found patterns of discrimination and policing. But also racism in local government more broadly what kind of changes have you seen since then. Well since then we instant decree. And the purpose of the consent decree is screw is to create constitutional. Police and in our police department. I'll courts have been small arms we check oh bucks buying thousand. Tickets. And we created an amnesty program where we're is drastically. Reduced to less than 300. Our report we have consent decree here in which scary. And we don't make instruct his sweet. And coordinate the cold Barton she has come here and make a big difference. We are doing more to new and easy. Compensations. Ominous light a room and came out. Up to new cameras agent with the police department. With the consent decree TO coordinator. And head of the people in the sit up Fergus and this ends and he's us. The only way we eat on his race is in his although he stays here and burgers and we must act and number sage green most and this and everyone is not saying. How are you got to meet people where they all so we are standing working to make a difference burgers. And you have said that you're not authority funding the police and Ferguson why is that. I'm not for dean funding typical decent partisan because of strides. And on with the consent decree what we need we need additional funding here and Ferguson. Right now we meet community engagement purse. So the police have to go out also midi domestic callers. Problem. But to exit a visitor able. And it was so young people and here come the bullies and kids and makes all of police always Gergen house admits so we have. To nearly in nearly engagement. Or that person could go to that O and top family give them some resources. Or how police being able to do. Something. We mean person who couldn't let me and police trainers to make certain that Howell police. Understand. And get all the nets sit. In on how to be in the balloons are. I'm mayor Ella Jones from Ferguson Missouri we appreciate your time today thank you you. Progress in Ferguson Madrid Missouri that's good news for sure and that does it up for us here on the breakdown I'm Terry Moran in Washington. And I'm Diana Taylor New York don't forget to register and make a plan to vote you can check vote dot org to see your state requirements. We'll see back here tomorrow at 3 PM eastern had a great things. Yeah.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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