Professional, well trained, and fully funded law enforcement is absolutely needed in our state and country. My own brother, retired Chief of Police here in SC, served straight out of college until his retirement and right now, several of my close family members also serve in law enforcement in SC. So, I have a lot of respect for the brave men and women who serve and protect us.
Unprofessional, uncaring, and badly trained cops are not needed and should not be serving the public, full stop. When an unarmed civilian ends up dead by their actions, they should be tried and punished just like any other criminal. That’s what fairness would look like. But with laws like “qualified immunity” on the books, cops who kill innocent civilians have been getting away with murder for far too long. We can change this by making H.R.7120, The George Floyd Policing Act (https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1280) the law of the land.
As for our jails and prisons, black people are 13% of the US Population, yet black people are 41% of the incarcerated. Why is that? One reason is that 80% of jails and prisons are filled with people who have committed misdemeanors. To get real criminal “justice”, we must reduce the number of incarcerated who are in prison for misdemeanors. Our prisons are overcrowded, and our national parole policies disproportionately affect men of color and the poor.
I will be an advocate for the vote to pass legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis for adults in SC and work with the state to expunge past convictions for this offense, which again, disproportionately affects men of color. I believe voter rights should be restored immediately after time has been served whether a misdemeanor or felony. And finally, education and training programs should be fully funded and available for the incarcerated so that they are able to get good jobs, paying living wages, for a greater chance at success once released.