Bloomberg Businessweek interviews Barkan about police reform 

Bloomberg Businessweek interviewed Steven Barkan, professor of sociology and interim chair of the department at the University of Maine, for the article “Police Reform Means Better Cops to Some, Fewer Cops to Others.” Federal and state officials have proposed various reforms to tackle widespread police brutality and systemic racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Some city governments plan to reduce police spending, according to the report. Barkan discussed the influence protests across the nation could have on U.S. politics, including the presidential election. Then candidate Richard Nixon capitalized on the fear of rising crime to win the presidential election in 1968, after police beat and used tear gas against antiwar protesters in Chicago, Barkan said. Police abuses, however, have become harder to ignore as many have been filmed and shared with the public. “We’re really talking about police in a very different way,” Barkan said. “There’s increasing recognition of police misconduct, not just among the public but among city officials and the mainstream Democratic Party.”