Why Cops Don’t Change

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A retired NYPD detective says the force’s stubborn, insular culture was built to last. And Elie Mystal explains a 1989 Supreme Court ruling that made killing “reasonable.”

Armed with the lessons from a 20-year-long career in law enforcement, retired NYPD Detective Marq Claxton talks about the police mindset and how a badge never shielded him from the fear that so many Black Americans carry everyday.

Elie Mystal, justice correspondent at The Nation, grounds the conversation in the history of American policing and how the Supreme Court enabled their impunity.

And we check in with a couple of our listeners as they grappled with their own feelings around police in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder last year.

Companion listening for this episode:

'I Did Not Watch the Video' (5/21/20)

In the aftermath of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing, Kai calls up "Friday Black" author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah to reflect on love, loss... and American zombies.

Revisiting Caught: 'I Just Want You to Come Home' (7/30/20)

What happens once we decide a child is a criminal? We return to Caught as the nation continues to grapple with long-standing systemic racism in our policing and justice systems.

“The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.

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