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Vote Quadrant founder on how to push criminal justice reform: 'We have the power in our vote locally to make this change happen immediately'

Mike Muse, founder of Vote Quadrant, joins Yahoo Finance to highlight his latest initiative to eliminate police brutality and how this speaks to a number of frustrated voters.

Video Transcript

JEN ROGERS: You often hear about single issue voters. Let's say on abortion or taxes. But what about being a single issue voter on police brutality? How would you even go about voting that line? Our next guest has some ideas. Mike Muse is a music executive, he's an entrepreneur, he's the host of Sirius XM's award-winning show, "The Mike Muse Show," and he joins us now.

So Mike, we were really intrigued by this idea, because of course, police brutality has been an issue that we've been talking about on the show. So many people right now, it is at the forefront of their thinking, something they want to change. How would you go about, what's your idea to be a single issue voter on police brutality? How would you do it?

MIKE MUSE: You set me up perfectly, Jen, I felt like you could just run with it on your own right now. Hello, everyone. I created Vote Quadrant. And for me, Vote Quadrant is a strategic voting system and a civic education. And Jen, it was really created after the Ahmaud Arbery, at the we learned of his murder rather. And I felt like I didn't want to do another protest, under the hashtag. I felt like we were just going in circles around it.

And I felt like the reason why we weren't seeing any justice at the hands of police officers who murder black people, was they never saw themselves fingerprinted, they never saw their mug shots, Jen. They never saw themselves in front of a grand jury, in front of a courtroom, they never saw themselves getting sentenced before a judge for 25 years to life. And so there is no reason for them to pause on that trigger. The goal for me was to get them to pause on the trigger.

And then I asked myself, who in public office is responsible for making that system happen? I was like, well, the mayor, the police chief, who was appointed, the DA and the judge. I was like that four, that's a quadrant. I put my engineering hat on, I'm going to create this system called Vote Quadrant. And I believe that is how we actually can stop police brutality, stop the police from pulling the trigger, and actually bring possible justice to bear.

Because I've been saying that we've been misstating it for so long, we've been telling all those individuals who are protesting on the streets who are so upset, to just vote. But Jen, voting for your senator doesn't convene a grand jury. Voting for your house representative, the House of Representatives isn't going to try the case. You guys had Ted Lieu on just now. Voting for your governor isn't going to oversee the trial. The judge will. And so those are the answers that we're looking for.

And that's why people are so frustrated, because they've been voting. But nothing has happened. But that's because there hasn't been this strategic system. And then to go further, I call it the civic education aspect of it, because you actually one, learn what each quadrant does. But two, what's interesting is, I teach you how to ask the question to the DA, to the judge and to the mayor, because you have to ask a different set of questions when you're so singular focused. And so for example, I say if you're looking at the mayor or mayoral candidate, you need to look at him or her as if they actually are running for police chief.

And the questions you need to ask are, talk to us about cultural competency. Is that important for an interview? Is that important for the test? How would you change the test? Does a police officer need to be of the community, from the community? Do they need to have touch points with the community? So those are the types of things that you need to ask a mayor specifically, because they are the ones we're going to appoint the police chief. And so that's strategic voting, and then that is the educational piece.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: And we've been talking about the presidential election, so how does voting strategically when it comes to the single issue of any police brutality apply to the candidates? I mean, what have you heard from either Trump or Biden that kind of resonates with you?

MIKE MUSE: Ooh, that's a really great question. I don't know if you're ready for the answer. [LAUGHS] It doesn't.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: I definitely am.

MIKE MUSE: Yeah, it doesn't. I mean, it does come from a grander perspective. So like a presidential perspective, the president can work with the Department of Justice to figure out know stuff for counsels, commissions, task force, set forth guidelines and provisions. But it's up to those cities if they choose to enact it.

And so where President Trump is coming from now is a very pro police and pro authority and pro law enforcement. And where Biden and Harris is coming from is, they recognize that you can be pro police, while at the same time seeing justice being done for black individuals, and to ensure certain policies are in place to where justice can be served.

But that's very 30,000 feet. And I think that's why people are really frustrated. That's why I created Vote Quadrant. Vote Quadrant is that immediate system. Vote Quadrant immediately goes into the city right where you're voting at. We don't have to wait for a presidential election. We don't have to wait for a presidential commission. We don't have to wait for the United States Department of Justice. I'm from Lansing, Michigan, so if I'm voting quadrant Lansing, Michigan, I can see the results of my vote in November. Once they are inaugurated in January, I can then begin to see that change.

Once that DA is installed, the DA doesn't need to bring certain cases. The DA is actually the gatekeeper. The DA is the one who can bring forward the charges for a police officer. More likely than not, we don't see the DAs doing that. But if you vote quadrant and you ask the DA candidate the right questions, we can get the right district attorney, who will be willing to bring that law officer into court.

And that's really, Sibile, what I'm talking about. Like narrowing this gap of separating federal, state and local. Federal's going to take a while. It's very optional for the cities to opt in on some of the mandates the federal will be doing, but we have the power in our vote locally to make this change happen immediately, not five years from now, not 10 years from now. Because Sibile, well we cannot wait on another research study. We cannot wait on another commission. We already know what's happening.

JEN ROGERS: All politics is local. But I want to touch on the federal election in a local way, because here in York City, the police union has endorsed President Trump. I mean, do you think that a police union should be able to do that? That they should get involved at all? As you're talking about, there's this federal level and then there's the local policing here. They're now coming under fire as not really being even from New York City. Many of these people are driving in every day to police New Yorkers. Is that a mistake for the New York police union?

MIKE MUSE: I think that it is. And I think that even go further, Jen, as you know, it just isn't the NYPD who's endorsed him. He has endorsements of almost seven police unions. And in particular, he has the large endorsements of the International Police Association. I might have messed that up. But they're the largest police union in the United States of America. They have over 335,000 police officers in their union.

When the police officers choose to do that, they are already siding with this narrative that what President Trump has been pushing, which is law and order. Which is respecting the police, which is allowing federal agents and federal operatives to go into our cities. He has yet to really talk about how the improvements can be happening in terms of how to bring justice to officers who murder black people.

I mean, we just saw him on ABC's Town Hall with George Stephanopoulos and George asked him a question. Blacks are three times more than likely to be killed and murdered at the hands of police than white people. We saw that he could not answer that. What he said was, that the police need more authority. That police need to have their mojo back.

And so this is the type of rhetoric that the president of the United States is pushing out. But then with the backing of these police unions, we already know what we're going to be up against if he gets reelected. The narrative is always going to be pro police. And he has yet to show empathy to the black community. He doesn't show empathy that he understands the statistics.

JEN ROGERS: Thank you for sharing your empathy with us. You can catch Mike Muse on his show, "The MIke Muse Show." This has been "2020: A Time for Change." I'm Jen Rogers with Sibile Marcellus.