Rep. Karen Bass on Chauvin trial

The California lawmaker discusses the Derek Chauvin trial and police reform.
6:28 | 04/20/21

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Transcript for Rep. Karen Bass on Chauvin trial
Well the national attention and outrage over instances of police brutality. And attention to systemic racism in our country resulted in any changes to federal law. Let's bring in the house sponsor of the police reform legislation that is named for George Floyd. California congresswoman Karen bass first I'd I'd like pitcher to responses from what we just heard from Merrick Garland moments ago. His attention to these issues do they there's going to be changes in the legislation what what do you hope to see from Merrick Garland. And the Biden Justice Department. Well actually I'm hoping and I believe that they we'll put the Justice Department back together. Because he inherited a very broken un Department of Justice especially in the area of civil rice and one example. But that consent decrees where there was a shoe stereo problems with police departments. And the federal government essentially ordered jurisdiction in a way. And gulls were all eliminated under the drug administration and so I know one of the first ever since then. Garland attorney Gerald. When there is a police department would problems if they need extra supervision from the federal government that should be what happens. And in that. Is is part of the agenda here let let me ask you. We're waiting though on the verdict on on a Derek children in that trial for the killing of of George Floyd. And your colleague California congressman Maxine Waters she's gotten some attention she's facing some. He penned I censure movement for her comments encouraging protests. That if there's not a guilty. Verdict to get out there and make their voices heard and the way she spoke. Drew a lot of attention we let's just listen to her for sex. So what do you think of that a lot of controversy around her calling for more confrontation if it's the verdict doesn't come down in. In a way that strikes people as real justice well what do you think you should protesters should do show and is found not guilty or guilty and on a much lesser charge. Well first of all I absolutely think that protection being 100%. Peaceful that is the type of protest that it is. Very constructive and in all honesty. If it hadn't have been for the hundreds and thousands of people that were out protesting. Last year again you're referring to the protests that we're not violent. I wouldn't have been a political will to even ask George what justice and policing act. So protests is a part of our tradition. And I have to say it's been unfortunate but whenever it comes to issues of civil rights social justice. We always have to involve Croce asked. In order to get me policies. To the finish line. He was remarkable to see. So many Americans my daughter people across the country got coming out peacefully. To try to change. Things the way they are and yet you sit you've said that you felt. There are issues with the way the defense portrayed George Floyd in this case and portrayed you know what the defense attorney Eric Nelson. Continually described as an angry crowd of onlookers. A dozen or so bystanders a in order to say that. -- children had legitimate fears and that's why his use of force was authorized and proper in that way what are your concerns with that kind of defense. Well first of all the especially he had on the circus talk about bad and it also talked about. You know George fluids or medical history and drug use or bad but the show tax his entire defense. Was the same. Stereo times a black people would have been around for the last 200 years. Scary big black man scary volatile black people that ma I wasn't and people. Several of whom were children. And so he used that as an excuse and right away. Crowd that was very emotional was leading with him and that takes on George Floyd. We're not hacking him they were attacking. In terms and what he was doing angry at him because they saw. That he was torturing and end the G Wu an individual that was already and enthralled with three other officers surrounding him. And so it was just a stereo types the trumps that have been harm to bout with black people since I don't know when I'm. And also I really think the only thing he didn't say it was but what I'll pull my it was a game. So hell you call ten people that are fleeting. For some someone's life to be an angry mob and that's why you had continued torturing them until he died. Was just a little panicked and friends and I'm certainly over all that the jury will see the same. Well they they saw those pictures which we're showing as you spoke that the group of bystanders and they heard from so many of them on the witness stand. Finally let let me get to lead the police reform bill. Your police reform bill what would it do is there anything that you saw say in the trial or in the recent case Don to write in in Minnesota. That these reforms you know would work to prevent. Well first of all two of the reforms. Would essentially hold officers accountable. And so that's a huge sue an opposite in fact that the standards and prosecutor and officers on high. Those are two of the main reasons why we continued to see. This type of violence in our communities. And then we also talk about raising the standards for policing so that we had 181000 police departments around the country and no national standard. Which is why Joseph cool resulting in one area and and another soul who need reforms bet I do believe we will get our president Biden's desk. Are essential because we just can't keep seeing. Videotape after videotape. Black men and women are Latino men and women who work she'll that the answer Greece. All right congresswoman Karen bass thank you very much and and good luck thanks for being with us. Think you.

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

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