Meghan McCain is speaking out about the need for police training reform. The TV personality and political pundit weighed in on the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks on Monday’s “The View”, and called for a change to the way police are trained to handle confrontations.
“I think we need to focus on training in de-escalation for the police department,” McCain, 35, shared with her co-hosts. “That seems to be a huge issue here.”
“This case is so sad because he wasn’t armed and he was in his car,” McCain continued. “He was running way.”
Brooks, 27, was killed after resisting arrest, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. Police approached Brooks, who had reportedly fallen asleep in his car in the drive-thru lane at a Wendy’s restaurant.
After reportedly failing a field sobriety test, the two responding officers decided to place Brooks into custody, at which point a struggle allegedly ensued. Brooks reportedly took one of the officer’s tasers and ran. According to an autopsy, Brooks suffered two gunshot wounds to his back. He subsequently died of organ injuries and blood loss during emergency surgery.
“I hope this doesn’t sound trite, but I’ve certainly been drunk at a Wendy’s before, and I wasn’t shot,” McCain said, expressing outrage and disbelief over what she said she views as a clear discrepancy between the way police respond and behave to different situations based on the race or gender of the person they are interacting with.
McCain reiterated that police departments “need to focus on the specific form of training of de-escalating instead of militarizing and escalating.”
Co-host Joy Behar echoed McCain’s sentiments, sharing, “I don’t really understand why the cops can’t be trained to take a different tack with people.”
While Behar conceded that Brooks was reportedly “pointing a taser at them,” she doesn’t feel that justified the shooting.
“It’s still not a deadly weapon. There’s no reason to shoot the guy dead. My God,” Behar said. “He has children, he has a wife, he has family.”
“There were alternatives to this behaviour,” she added. “They need to be trained properly.”
Brooks leaves behind a wife and four children — daughters Blessing, 8, Memory, 2, and Dream, 1, as well as his 14-year-old son, Mekai.
His death sparked another wave of intense protests against police brutality and racial injustice in Atlanta. The city had already been the site of massive protests for weeks following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25.
The day after Brooks’ death, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned from her role, and both officers involved were suspended. On Sunday morning, the officer who shot Brooks was fired.
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