CopBlock Interviews Bernie Sanders on the Police State
Yesterday while Bernie Sanders was campaigning in my hometown of Iowa City, Iowa I requested an interview with him regarding the police, which he was kind enough to grant. The following is a transcript of that interview.
Joshua[at]CopBlock.org– Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to me today Bernie. The readers of CopBlock.org have a wide variety of political beliefs both inside and outside the mainstream and on both sides of center to either extreme. What would be biggest reason that you think those interested in solving police issues should support your candidacy?
Bernie Sanders– I am glad to discuss these issues with you and your readers. The biggest reason I can give for supporting me as candidate for president to people concerned about the police is that I have the desire and intention to reform the policing system in our country. No other candidate besides myself seems very concerned with this issue, nor have they outlined a plan to create reforms that will solve these issues.
Exactly what sort of reforms do you have in mind?
I intend to introduce legislation that will make police accountable for their actions and limit uses of force in cases where it is unnecessary.
The actions of police who commit these atrocities are already illegal. How will more laws prevent them from committing these acts in the first place?
I believe that the laws that are currently in place are not strong enough to actually ensnare police in the laws they enforce. The new proposed laws would use more direct language in addressing crimes specifically committed by police and how they should be dealt with.
So you believe that the problem has to do with the semantic content of the laws and not their actual context? How would these newly worded laws be any more effective in guaranteeing accountability than the old laws, and specifically, how would you have them enforced.
I think it is important that independent government agencies be put in charge of investigating misconduct so that police departments are no longer allowed to police themselves. There is a conflict of interest there which, I believe, allows police to excuse their own behavior.
So how would these new agencies enforce the new laws in basic terms?
Police will become liable to these new agencies. By removing the conflict of interest inherent in self-policing, law enforcement will be treated in much the same way as any other criminal should be treated by them.
If the government controls both the police and the police who police them, isn’t there is a still a conflict of interest? Can government really be set against itself without the eventual bias confirmation that other government agencies already work from in regards to checking itself?
I believe that they can. As I said, there is a problem with our current legislation which brings about these inconsistencies. I have detailed many ways in which these problems can be safeguarded against through legally binding practices that insure full transparency.
What of the police who do not take kindly to these new laws and break them anyhow? What if police and prosecutors and courts across the country choose to ignore the new legislation? How will that be dealt with?
By the same ways that any other crimes are dealt with. The responsible individuals will be arrested, tried and sentenced accordingly.
So what you are saying is that if police resist arrest for these new laws, the agencies tasked to enforce them will be authorized to use force to bring them to justice? How will that be any different and how can you be sure that you won’t just be creating an even more powerful entity capable of the same or worse abuses?
There is always a bigger dog, Joshua. It is essential that any government agency that strays from the law of the land be dealt with, so I would employ the next biggest dog to deal with that problem, should it arise, although I do not anticipate that happening.
So in order to stop the use of force that your voters are uncomfortable with you will apply more of that force?
Only if necessary, yes.
Essentially you believe that the use of force is okay then?
Only if authorized by the proper officials, yes.
The use of force is already being authorized by the proper officials. How much bigger will you grow the dogs to guard against the smaller dogs?
As much as is necessary to achieve the desired outcome.
To end the use of violence by police where…
By threatening or committing violence against police? Did you ever hear that nursery rhyme about the old lady who swallowed a fly and…
Thank you for your time, Joshua. I wish you and CopBlock the best of luck, but I have a busy schedule and…