On Politics: In Focus airing Saturday, July 4, 2020 at 6:30 a.m. and Sunday, July 5, 2020 at 1 p.m. with Jennifer Lewis-Hall we hear from two Pennsylvania state senators on police reform legislation they say are getting bi-partisan support amid continued calls for changes in policing. Joining Jennifer first is republican senator Tom Killion of the 9th District which includes Chester and Delaware Counties. Killion is a member of the Senate Law and Justice Committee. We talk about the Pennsylvania Senate passing two pieces of law enforcement legislation since the death of George Floyd which he co-sponsored and voted for including Senate Bill 1205 and Senate Bill 459. Senate Bill 1205 sponsored by Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) prohibits the use of chokeholds except in situations when the use of deadly force is permitted. Senate Bill 459 sponsored by Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) requires municipal law enforcement departments to adopt a use-of-force policy and to train officers on procedures allowed under the policy.
Joining Jennifer to talk about his bill on banning chokeholds is Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia). Street talks about the bill receiving unanimous support. He says it is an important step in police reforms but not the only step. Street says that other measures are necessary including but not limited to: improving municipal police officer education and training, instituting “8 Can’t Wait” to ban deadly police practices, the appointment of an independent prosecutor for cases of officer involved shootings, civilian review boards, improving police pay, the improvement of standards for the use of deadly force and the demilitarization of law enforcement in addition to penalizing false reports of “criminal activity” based on race or ethnicity.
Next up is Susan Liebell, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and pre-law advisor, Saint Joseph’s University. She joins Jennifer to talk about recent landmark rulings by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court recently issued a ruling on a Louisiana abortion law. This follows two other recent landmark rulings by the Supreme Court which is on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Recipients policy or DACA and another case regarding L.G.B.T.Q protections in the workplace.
And, we share another uplifting story from our series of “PHL 17’s Rising Heroes.” It’s where we highlight some of the great things people are doing during the Coronavirus Pandemic. PHL17’s Kelsey Fabian tells us about a Philadelphia man who has always been there for his community. And now he is going above and beyond to make sure that everyone in his neighborhood who has been impacted by the pandemic is getting the help they need. Politics In Focus airs Saturdays at 6:30 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. on PHL 17.