Watch: Bolz, Fortenberry Say Community-Based Policing Is Part Of Solution To Racial Injustice

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (left) and State Sen. Kate Bolz (right) met in a debate moderated by NET News Director Dennis Kellogg (center).
October 13, 2020 - 6:45am

The candidates for Nebraska’s First Congressional District both say defunding the police is not a solution for racial injustice in the United States.

Republican incumbent Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and Democratic opponent State Sen. Kate Bolz answered questions in a debate hosted by NET News Monday night.

A recent Gallup poll shows a majority of Americans say new civil rights laws are needed to reduce discrimination against Black Americans. When asked about what ideas the candidates would support, Fortenberry said community-based policing is important.

"Tying cops grants, which we federally fund, to community-based policing models, is a very important answer to answering racial injustices that have happened," Fortenberry said. "For those who are longing and thirsting for justice who may have felt left out or even infringed upon unfairly by the justice system. Community based policing starts with prevention, interaction, and then enforcement." 

Bolz said minority Nebraskans say they aren’t being heard on many issues of racial injustice.

"That’s why I disagree with Congressman Fortenberry’s vote against the Voting Rights [Advancement] Act, which would have made sure that people in minority communities have their votes counted," Bolz said. 

The Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. It passed the House along party lines late last year but has not gotten a vote in the Senate.

The candidates also answered questions on COVID-19, health care, climate change, and more.

Watch the full debate below:

The question about racial inequality begins at 28:00

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