Whoopi Goldberg Calls For New Police Reform & Background Checks: ‘I Want To Know If You’re Racist’

'The View' co-hosts  got into a heated discussion about the best way to solve policing problems, in reaction to a video of NJ cops handcuffing a Black teen at a mall.

whoopi goldberg
Image Credit: ABC

Whoopi Goldberg gave an impassioned call for police reform amid a Hot Topics debate about a video of New Jersey police tackling and handcuffing a Black teen on The View on Thursday February 17. The 66-year-old host called for stronger background checks on police, saying she wanted to know if any potential police officer was racist before he was hired. “I want to know if you’re a part of the Klan. I want to know if you’re racist. I want to know whatever it is, if you’re racist on either side,” she said angrily in the discussion.

The video in question was filmed over the weekend and posted on February 13, as teens got into an argument at a mall. A white teen started pushing a Black teenager, and police rushed over to break it off. During the scuffle, the cops sat the white teen on a nearby seat, while the Black one was taken to the ground and handcuffed. The Bridgewater police department has since launched an internal affairs investigation. Whoopi posed the question about police reform to the rest of The View co-hosts. “Is this just one more blatant example of the double standard in law enforcement? And, why is this still happening? I thought the whole idea was we’re going to work to find ways to get the right officers in neighborhoods and in towns all over so that it wasn’t about what you look like but about what you were doing?” she asked.

Sunny Hostin explained that the video was a grim reminder of how Black children are much more likely to be arrested than their white peers. “It supports the statistics that Black kids are 50 percent of the U.S. population, yet 35 percent of the kids that are arrested. That is a fact,” she said.

‘The View’ co-hosts discussed a viral video of police tackling a Black teen in NJ to the ground. (ABC)

Guest co-host and conservative commentator Lauren Wright also pointed out that it was a demonstration of “extreme racial bias,” but she pointed towards Democratic efforts to block a police reform bill by South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott in wake of Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. “When we had the best chance after George Floyd died, we had the very best chance in Congress, and Democrats used the filibuster to block Tim Scott’s police reform bill,” she said, but Sunny chimed in to point out that the bill was blocked after Republicans had stopped a police reform bill that brought forth by Democrats. “Do you want nothing or do you want something?” Lauren responded.

Whoopi responded, and before she put forth the questions she wanted answered from potential police officers, she pointed out that electing new officials may be the best way to get real police reform. “I want them trained. I want to know what is your background? We have had three bills to deal with police stuff. None of them have worked. So here’s what I’m saying. I’m not pointing my finger at anybody, but if you want this to change. if anybody wants this to change, you’re going to have to change the people who make the laws,” she said.

Sunny pointed out that during a background check, an interviewing officer would likely deny that have racist biases, but Whoopi still called for more rigid requirements. “If you have police officers in situations and they can’t get it together, you can’t be an officer. There has to be a standard about what you can and can’t do as officer,” Whoopi said. “I find it very insane that people who don’t live in neighborhoods are making all of the decisions for who polices those neighborhoods.”

Whoopi called for intensive background checks for police officers during the debate. (ABC)

Again, Lauren tried to shift the conversation by saying that “white liberals are more supportive of defund[ing] the police than African Americans,” but Joy Behar asked for a statistic or number (which Lauren didn’t provide), and she pointed out that as a white Democrat, she didn’t believe in defunding the police. Before cutting to commercial, Whoopi hopped in to point out that it was a much bigger issue than just politics. “It’s all of us. This is not a Democratic or Republican. This is a right or wrong. This is what you see. You see two people fighting. You don’t snatch one, throw him to the ground, and let the other one go sit down. It’s just wrong,” she said. “Forget about your beliefs politically. Think about what your beliefs as a human being is. What does it mean to you? That could be anybody’s kid.”

 

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