Skip to main content

tv   After Words Rosa Brooks Tangled Up in Blue  CSPAN  July 7, 2021 9:37am-10:35am EDT

9:37 am
>> comcast is creating wi-fi enabled so students from low income families can get the tools they need for anything. comcast along with these television companies supports c-span2 as a public service. >> president biden discusses the american families plan at mchenry college illinois, watch live today just before 2 p.m. eastern on c-span, on-line or c-span.org or listen to the free c-span radio app. >> coming up next, a discussion with georgetown university law professor rosa brooks, she detailed her experience as a reserve police officer, interviewed by houston police chief art acevedo, tangled up in blue, policing the american city. >> today i'm honored and happy to visit with rosa brooks, the
9:38 am
author of an interesting book about policing and her experience in policing tangled up in blue policing the american city. rosa, thanks for being on and having me and i look forward to the conversation, but i've got to start off with one pressing question, what in the world made you leave the confines of the classroom, your home, and go on and get training to be police officer and hit the streets in washington d.c.? >> now, you asked my family that they would say insanity, some kind of mid life crisis, but i was just curious. that was probably the driving force. when i found out that d.c. has a reserve officer program where you're not just directing traffic or something, but where you can become a sworn armed police officer, i thought, no way. you know, that's crazy. you're going to give a gun to a law professor? a bad idea. so, it was probably that. it was just plain curiosity and
9:39 am
the other thing, as you know, very, very well, policing has been in the spotlight for some years now and if you want to change something, i think you need to understand it and it seemed like a rare opportunity to get insight into the world of policing. >> you remind me kind of when you say that, my lawyer that handles employee matters and you know, she came from shell oil and i said, why do you want to come in? >> i want your 5-0 moment. >> that was many years ago and that was the deputy director. and you're from the inside as a frontline police officer going out into some tough neighborhoods and seeing firsthand, i think, the reality of policing outside of the 24 hours news cycle, 30-second to
9:40 am
three minute bite or hollywood, which we know is not the most accurate. but you said -- you return to your experience and then you say in a nation of many fronts we need a transformative response to policing. how do you define the changes that are needed and what does that look like to you based on your several years of experience? >> wow, that's-- that's a big question. and, you know, let me back up by saying when i was working on this book and i would tell people i was working on a book called these experiences, everybody would say what's your argument. that's so interesting, what's the one sentence version of your argument, i would go it's complicated and it's the worst elevator pitch ever heard. they're right, it is the worst elevator pitch. i was right, too, it's
9:41 am
complicated and in some ways the goal of the book is to make more complicated for people to think about policing from the outside not to make a simpler. you've seen this over and over, there's a whiplash where police are self-sacrificing or brutal racist thugs. it's and hard to put in more nuance, you know there's good there, there's bad there, they're mixed together and if we want to transform policing we need to grapple with all of that. in terms of what would make it better. part of it, police can't change the laws by themselves. police can't change the social context and i think often police get the blame or enforcing laws that they didn't create in a social context, they can't do much to change and in a way, i think that's when we blame police for that, it's the way for the rest of us
9:42 am
not to look in the mirror and say, oh, cops are arresting people for trivial offenses and we think that harms the community. well, we voted for the lawmakers who left the cops to do that and when you look at long prison senses and mass incarceration, a lot of that is prosecutors, judges, lawmakers. that's number one, there are some things that cops can't change, but we as a society urgently need to change. the massive criminalization that we've left in a couple of decades, the excessive sentences and the cuts in other social services that might make some of what police do think they don't have to do anymore. that said, i do think there are a lot of things that police departments need to be done and as you know, again, one of the difficulties with policing. we don't have a national police force, we have 18,000 different law enforcement agencies.
9:43 am
they don't always talk to each other. i think they ought to talk to each other. and it's hard. even if it's promising, it's tough to get everybody to pay attention. so the cities that have been ahead of the game, now, and the departments ahead of the game and there's a focus on changing changing, who and how they recruit and talk about that and like to hear more about what's going on in houston. i've had the pleasure through a program that georgetown co-sponsored with the new orleans police and d.c. metropolitan police on police economies to meet some of the staff working on curriculum reform, that's both discussions that have been a lot of fun. >> you know, i think that one of the things that you say and you mention it here in your book, and policing is as perfect as our greatest fan would say and it's not broken
9:44 am
like some would think and what's interesting to me, that both factions of those mindsets are deply held beliefs. and i don't think that there's malice involved in that. how can we be die metrically so different in our perception, maybe critic versus supporter. people fail to see things through the prism of others, right? you have a very unique perspective because you are a law professor. you know, i would call you a constitutional expert, the constitution and the law and what we are supposed to be doing and what the intent of our founders were, versus the theory and the case law and the realities that we experience on the streets. so, from your perspective, what could you say if you were
9:45 am
talking to those that would say we need to not defund the police, abolish the police and what would you say on the policing side. the black lives matters, what are they whining about? cops aren't going around whacking people. because we find ourselves in the middle of both. and the executives are kind of hold the department to a standard, to a mindset and to a level of professionalism respected by the public searched. how would you address those two from your evidence and form perspective from how we walk their shoes? >> well, one thing i've learned, not so much from this experience, but i guess from getting older, nobody's mind was ever changed by told that they're stupid or evil. not an effective way to do
9:46 am
something. >> and i think we live in a culture shall sound bites and stereotypes and does not lend itself to nuanced discussion. and that's a very divided moment. in a part, we've got people to listen. i think what i do tell abolish the police proponents and many of my students start with that position, is look, violent crime is real, you know? it's not something that the far right made up in order to have an excuse to look up poor people of color. there is racism in the system, absolutely. and we need to address that, but you know, be careful what you wish for when you talk to people who live in poor communities of color, most often, and those communities
9:47 am
are not-- it's not that we don't want cops in neighborhoods, we want cops who can protect us and we can trust. we don't want no policing, we want better policing. different policing, better policing, and different and better laws. that argument not always, but does resonating people when i hear defund the police and cops get super defensive and the 7th district in washington d.c. where i was assigned has the poorest, most decrepit building they said defund the police, have you seen the station, the vehicle i drive, my equipment? we don't have enough resources to do what we're doing now. if you take the money away, then what?
9:48 am
okay. and that's the polite version of their response, the defensive angry version is, well, you know-- >> the public version not the locker room or cooler talk. >> we'll let the viewers imagine the other version, but if you say to cops instead, something very different. if you say, okay, what are the things that you do from frustrate you that you wish you didn't have to do that you don't think you should be doing. what if you take the mental i ill person to the psychiatric clinic and you're frustrated because you know the person will be back out on the street without medication without a home the next day. oh, a million things i wish the city provided. it's stunning and we pick up the slack and we don't have the programs then i think it gets to you a much different, much healthier conversation saying let's work together, critics of policing and police themselves to talk about what this community's priorities are and
9:49 am
how we would get to them in ideal worlds. how far are we away right now and how do we gradually recalibrate and where we ought to be. that's where i think you find a common ground between police officers themselves and critics of policing. >> yeah, i mean, i think that you're spot on, right, in terms of there's a way to talk about issues and what people forget is that words matter. it's kind of like when president trump talked about roughing them up, don't be so kind and gentle, you know, some of the police officers were clapping and stuff, and unfortunately, you know, that didn't help us, but words matter and it matters in terms of, you know, elected officials talking about these issues, and
9:50 am
when they say ice, they're bad actors, it has a legitimate function, when they go after people a danger to society. how we approach this is interesting. one of the things that i've been frustrated about and i don't know how much you saw, but you know, you talk about the warden mentality versus the guardian mentality. i've been telling folks when you look at instances of unjustified uses of force, especially deadly uses of force. i would argue about 37 years of experience, we have to be careful what we ask for. because what we need is people that have mind over guardian and-- there are times and i'm sure you witnessed it only to talk about it, that you have to have
9:51 am
the heart of a warrior. i would argue some of the deadly encountered over the years is because we have people who have cops that are wearing a badge that are afraid of their own shadows. we need to make the police academy, warmer, gentler, it shouldn't be para military stuff and here is the caution, if we can't test your mettle how you'll react to physical adversity or psychological adversity and people getting under your skin. i'd hate to weed out someone who would go to their gun. a man, totally naked in broad daylight and my officer
9:52 am
encounters him with a gun in his hand. do you have experience that warrior cop versus the guardian cop. should should we balance there. >> gosh, no, it's a really hard issue, but i don't think it's either/or. you know, sue rohrer, whose work you know. >> a good friend. >> a sheriff in king county washington who now runs washington state's law enforcement academy. the program there, she's the person who wrote a very influential articles for listeners 10 years ago, guardian versus warriors tarks r talking about the tro different tropes, and what of the things that sue said an important point, in their law enforcement academy they beefed up deescalation, verbal skills, how you're talking to them not shouting. just as nobody changed their
9:53 am
mind when you called them stupid or a jerk, and people to do what you say when you're a shouting or-- . they've tuned up tactics to slow things down, to give yourself, time, space, distance, cover and concealment and you don't end up creating dangers, yourself. at the same time they've beefed up the defensive tactics and physical skills training, and her argument, which i think is absolutely right, is that a lot of the really tragic lethal police shootings you get turns out the person didn't pose a threat, they were unarmed, running away or whatever, the panics. people pull out their weapon sometimes when they panic. if they don't have confidence they can't handle a situation
9:54 am
without a gun, they pull out a gun. her area of emphasis, hey, you know what? you've got to be better for the physical skills so you'll not immediately reach for the gun and know you can handle it if somebody pushes you or punches you, but at the same time you need to get better to the so-called soft skills, how do you calm them down and reduce the likelihood that somebody gets aggressive and violent. >> well, that's-- let me ask you this, having gone through this experience and this adventure and this moment. what was your perception of policing from the outside looking in and after your several years of experience and the challenging environment, how does that perception change and how much of that ended up not being reality.
9:55 am
>> so i don't know that my perception changed. i think it got much more granular. i grew-- on the one hand i grew up with left wing activists and my mother said the police were the enemy, but at the same time i grew up in a blue collar town where a lot of my friends had cops in their families and i did know cops as just people, somebody's dad, somebody's brother and you know, all the work i've done all over the world, including in places where horrific civil conflicts and atrocities, terrible things, terrible things, there aren't that many terrible people. even the worst things are usually done by ordinary people who have come to believe that they have to do what they're doing. and you know, there are sadists, bullies, psychopaths,
9:56 am
but most people aren't. i think going in, i'm immediately suspicious when i hear people say anything that's too dehumanizing and it's dehumanizing when police refer to the people where they working animals. and dehumanizing when protesters call police the pigs. >> you know, i smell bacon or worst things that we can't say on this program. that you've got human beings, and everywhere i've gone in my whole life you have find you've got human beingings, some better ones, some worse ones, i don't think it changed my perception, what it did do, it gave me much more sense of the way-- here is what i think is the real tragedy is that what i said earlier, a lot of what is
9:57 am
wrong with policing can't be changed by police because it's outside of policing and it's the laws, it's the criminal justice system, it's socioeconomic divisions centuries of racism, and cops can't change that. and even if you're a good, deisn't police officer and went into policing for the most idealistic reasons you may find yourself making arrests that are lawful, but awful as we say. but they're lawful, but when you look at the big picture and cost benefit analysis, wow, is this making the community better off? maybe not, maybe making things worse. so even good, decent cops can end up making some of the structural economic and racial disparities even worse and that's a tragedy, but it's also not something that cops with fix by themselves.
9:58 am
the rest of us have to think that. >> it's a system and unfortunately, the most visible part of that is the on cell phones, cctv or cameras. and our activities are more than likely going to be captured in today's world and unfortunately allows disproportionality and systemic racism, if you look at sentencing over the years, in terms of crack versus powdered cocaine and how people have been treated differently and which drug of choice is for which community, do you think that a lot of the anger sometimes that is that people tend to send towards police officers maybe a manifestation more so of prosecutors?
9:59 am
i would even say, let's look at the defense bar. who gets a better defense, a most rigorous defense? i look at personalities all the way around. do you think that the anger and mistrust is placed at the most visibility part of the system or that maybe it lies somewhere else, should be sent somewhere else? >> to be clear police departments, many of them have a lot of work to do internally and i think the d.c. police department, which-- which is a good police department, now, but still not perfect, still has a lot of work to do, so i don't want to let police departments off the look, but that being said, i think you're absolutely right and this is something that you know, my colleague christie lopez who worked at the justice department for many years investigating the most abusive police departments in the country like in ferguson, missouri. one of the points that she
10:00 am
always makes when we teach together. called innovative policing and one of the points she makes to our law students, you guys, you're going to be the legislators, you're going to be the prosecutors, the defense attorneys and even if you're not you're one of the people who votes to make the laws. ... cops. you are going to enforce the laws that you make and going to prosecute the people that you bring to them and sentenced them to people so there's no question about it. i think it's always easier i think it's always easier to have a target and police aren't obvious, they are the visible face of the state course of powers.
10:01 am
it's simpler, easier to direct the anger at them. people don't see behind the scenes. as a set i don't want to let cops off the hook. there's quite a lot cops could do differently but no question the rest off us needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror. >> i would agree with that. we've been arguing in my role as the president of the major chiefs association we testified about police reform in both houses of the congress and senate and the house. i had the honor testifying and one of the things i talked about is we need transparency. i mean, the thing about the federal government, you talk about everybody else pointed the finger local, you need to be transparent, where more body-worn camera, put up your racial profiling data. but can you look at the federal government, where are their reports? when's the last time a federal agency actually charged one of the officers with a crime in
10:02 am
terms of use deadly force found the use of deadly force? points of reference, you can't truly assess what's in front of you if you have nothing to compare it to. this is my third police department.in i started with the highway patrol. chief with the austin, spent almost a decade there is chief and now here in houston. i've got community points of reference and a part of points of reference. you can't really truly assess something delicious something to compare to. the question i would have to you is, where's the transparency in terms of the rest of the criminal justice system? what does it need to be? should we bes demanding more transparency engines ins happened with our courts are prosecutors and our defense attorneys? scene that's part of your area of life work is the law. >> i guess i don't know if i would say the problem is lack of
10:03 am
transparency as opposed to just plain lack of political will, right? in d.c. when you goo to the criminal code, d.c. kind of is a weird city because with federal law that is enforced by d.c. police and when d.c. municipal code, but you go through that and there are lots of offenses on the books that are so ridiculous and trivial that that shouldn't be criminal offenses at all, in my point of view, but nobody goes to it, nobody says let's take ae look at the and se if this to make sense. that cost-benefit analysis i was talking about what you say okay, we could arrest 500 people for disorderly conduct and now they all have arrest records and maybe some of them in depth serving small amounts the present time or get a big fine, and lead us to look at their families and look at any complainant or victims and that's it anybody left better
10:04 am
off or worse off than this. those are the kinds of conversations we need to have. similarly, stop and frisk in new york city a court declared the program unconstitutional because what they were doing, ended up, it turns out, this is an area where transparency actually enabled accountability, , it turned out whenenty you actually look at the numbers really carefully, that the police in new york city were stopping a disproportionate number of african-americans relative to their size in the o population. but the african-americans they stopped were less likely to have weapons than the whiteha people they stopped, which ends up unconstitutional but which is alsoon frankly means that cops overestimate threat fromkl african-americans and underestimate threats from whites. both of those f are problems and both of us have to do with implicit bias. i can't help but mention in this
10:05 am
regard the event of january sixth at the u.s. capitol. i think really showcase both the best and worst of policing at the same time. partly the juxtaposition of the heavily militarized police response to the summerson racial justice protests in comparison with the seemingly very light response to the largely white mob of trump supporters on the bad side. you obviously alsoup also saw a lot of officers behaving or broker on the positive side but that implicit bias is really dangerous because of both means you overestimate some threats, so you treat almost entirely peaceful racial justice protesters like they are about to storm the capital and, in fact, they are not and you end up to gassing them and someone and you got a lot of angry and upset and hurt people. so you overestimate that threat and then you underestimate the real threat. turns out the real threat was from people wearing thin blue
10:06 am
line shirts, and we underestimate that if we are biased in favor thinking a bunch of white people pro-police slogans on the shirts, they can't be outut to do any harm bt that was the real threat. proud of the police officers that put everything on the line to protect and defend the government, the people's house. i believe that was a failure to leadership and as we continue to, and we've actually called for a robust inquiry into the inquisition into what occurred i think as we are going to find out that law enforcement leadership failed and we may find out some political leadership failed we need to hold them accountable when we get it right. there were a lot of mistakes made beyond just the executives but it was absolutely the
10:07 am
failure that the footprint we saw around the capital was the open source of data that we had and the threats and intelligence, just a very open call for action. i look forward to opening up those results the more people want to get to the truth i think the difference between those that are successful and just for those that catch themselves and realize i'm acting this way because, you know, i've got a fear or as you went out to the
10:08 am
call, did you ever find yourself on a call you find yourself saying and recognizing i'm letting my own implicit bias have an impact on my mindset or my level of fear and it means you are human. did you ever have that moment that may be informed you, something you didn't even expect? >> it is a good question. it is a really hard question and i think you're right. if i talk to cops that get really defensive when you talk about the implicit bias and i think saying to them look, this isn't about you and your decisions, the implicit bias that we all have we get them so early in our lives. they come from the media, from
10:09 am
the people around us. you cannot just wish them away but make sure you do not give into them. it is your responsibility to try to counterbalance the biases that we all have. i can't think of specific instances but i do think that there were moments at first where i go into like a terrible neighborhood in terms of primaries and so on and somebody that was really thoughtful, smart, educated and i would find myself feeling a little surprised and like that is an implicit bias assuming something intellectually i know is wrong and it may be because this is a poor neighborhood and everybody that i meet will be poorly
10:10 am
educated and then being embarrassed when i realized how erroneous those assumptions were. >> i think the fact that you are in tune with yourself and your own internal subconscious biases and fears is important. there's something that you talked about you said it's how they may have gone too far and defined the family to broadly. and then i want to get your thoughts on what got you there.
10:11 am
we have to deal with more facts. >> it sounds like a good idea. i don't like that because i think that transparency we argue the work i won't get into it right now but i log on and i don't have anybody with me to handle calls. i hand them over -- >> do you wear the four stars when you do that? >> i do. early on in my career working in domestic violence saying i didn't want to intervene so to make a long story short i
10:12 am
thought there should be an arrest made. my office would go and say they declined charges. so what i did, again, nobody was killed, we could follow up later to get the charges. i just wanted to see how the system worked so i came to the opinion based on the size of the city and the calls that we were going to i had a sneaking suspicion two things were happening. one, some officers were under reporting the facts because they didn't want to believe the victim or they were lazy or whatever. or number two, we had some that wanted to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt instead of looking up the probable cause. so i started making surgeons see where they were not taking charges. what do you think happened and call to assess the scene and so
10:13 am
i think a little bit of both was going on because in my opinion if we are going to air the air on the person, nobody's going to get killed. and it is a leverage to get a family on the right path. that is my mindset. having heard all that, i want your reaction and to expand on what you thought the terms were on the violence calls. >> it is a hard problem. as you said we had a mandatory arrest rule. if there is probable cause to believe that an assault was committed you have to make an arrest and identify the primary object or, aggressor and if you cannot do that you could arrest both parties if you think they are both aggressors. the reasoning behind that mandatory arrest rule was the battle you get a male cop,
10:14 am
husband or boyfriend who was beating and abusing his wife or girlfriend and you get a cop who sort of says work it out and walked away, wouldn't take it seriously and that was a problem, a huge problem. so they tended to say you can't do that. you can't just walk away and say work it out. the problem over the years, they expanded what was defined as the domestic relationship so that at this point the siblings that are in the same household or even a former housemates or former roommates from years ago are defined as having a domestic relationship. you do not have that same hour of balance that you have been sort of classic so there was one i talked about recently in the book, two adult sisters got into a scuffle because everybody was stressed and they were arguing about who left the damp clothing in the washing machine and neither of them had a criminal
10:15 am
record. the woman that we ended up having to arrest was a nurse and then she missed her hospital shift and had to get somebody to take care of her son. so that is the law on the books that needs to be seriously re-examined but i think the broad point highlights something we talked about earlier. getting somebody out of a volatile situation, just removing them even if they are not prosecuted may benefit everybody. they cool off, everybody cooled off. they got time to think maybe that was not such a hot idea and then there are people who are violent criminals i'm fine with having them arrested and go to jail. there are people that are predators and cause tremendous suffering in their communities.
10:16 am
but a lot of the calls that we get in dc are people with problems that cannot be solved by cops. they are teenagers that are not listening to them and they do not feel like they have anywhere else to turn. part of the reason cops get blamed is because there is a visible. people think who can help me, the government. do we train officers well enough in what it means to establish probable cause and write a good report and so on.
10:17 am
there is also an issue there in which i wish we had more data. about 30% of arrests made by the dc metropolitan police end up being what we call here no paper which means the prosecutor doesn't go on anywhere, they let the person go end of story. we don't know whether that consists of cases where the problem was that the officer didn't establish the probable cause and what they wrote up, or whether that is mostly cases the prosecutor thought that is the dumbest most trivial arrest i have ever seen and i don't want to waste any opinion, prosecuting this person for something so trivial. you want to train police officers better but for the second maybe we need to have a conversation between the prosecutors and the community about what the priority should
10:18 am
be so that when the officers in those cases do have discretion, should i make an arrest, should i not, should i try to direct them to services and have that conversation if they are thinking why are you bringing us these cases that are so trivial it isn't worth the time and money to go forward, costs should know that because that might affect what they do when they encounter that situation the next time. >> it's interesting that you say that about the charges like i said earlier. we get approval and get them to take charges but what's happened they don't want anybody to be prosecuted by halfway judges, so they are going through the roof. if there is a reject we come to
10:19 am
the agreement they will tell us why once they get the report and if there's a probable cause ruling we are actually pulling the reports and having supervisors and surgeons and lieutenants looking at them and making sure it isn't a problem of the fact of the case or of the report writing and i think that is a good point to bring up. has this changed at all in terms of what you use to say and talk about and what you say and talk about as a result of your experience with frontline police officers? >> i can't answer that because i did teach until i started doing this. my area of expertise is international law and security so that is what i taught until i started doing this. at a certain point i thought i'm
10:20 am
doing this reserve officer stuff. i ought to learn more about the criminal procedure for instance and the best way is to teach something that forces you to learn it so i started teaching while having this experience. i think the point i made earlier the one christy lopez drives home is the one i emphasize when it looks like an awful thing happened as a result of policing, ask two questions. one, is this something cops could change by themselves or the rest of us have to change and the other question is when you think about what decision a judge should have made, ask yourself what about the incentive that officers face and whether this will make a difference. to give an example, if police
10:21 am
officers don't know or care whether somebody subsequently gets convicted, then a exclusionary rule the court will throw out evidence that was obtained illegally and the violation of the amendment doesn't have an impact on their behavior because if you are a cop and you are thinking it isn't my job to put people away forever it is just my job to arrest them, then you don't care if it doesn't go anywhere. on the other hand if you say no my job performance is evaluated based on whether the arrests i make a go anywhere, then you are going to think about it differently and to push them to recognize that you have to have a more granular understanding of how the policing works, which unfortunately is very localized in order to figure out what the relationship is going to be
10:22 am
between health officers on the ground actually behave. >> i agree. you touched on this earlier. i'd like to say we have the most inefficient policing model and the free world in the civilized industrialized world. we have 18,000 the police department's with 8,000 officers and 18,000 sets of policies and procedures and training and regimens and accountability that has gone. i think that we would be much better, accountability would be better but everybody wants local control so we have departments that go from one officer, i'm not making this up, to the departments like the houston police department where we have about 5300 police officers, 6300
10:23 am
combined. what impact do you think the consolidation of the policing services, what impact could it have and is it something we should be talking about in this country, what happened in ferguson, there's a department that was for the local municipality that used traffic enforcement as a fundraising mechanism and by the way it's not just that department. i've driven to that area of the country and it seems every mile there's a municipality that goes on for about a mile and a half. the speed signs and speed limits have changed. we have seen this across the country. what should we do and i think that would make an impact. >> it's a good question. i haven't thought about it in
10:24 am
terms of consolidation before, but that is a really interesting way to approach the problem. i do think that it's a huge problem and i've often thought that for the things we read about in the papers and see on tv usually involve big city police departments typically. journalists live in big cities and people in big cities know how to get information to journalists so the big city departments are under a constant spotlight. that is not a bad thing because i think knowing that we are going to face public scrutiny is appropriate. it gives the cops weapons and badges and take away people's liberty and life. it's totally appropriate to expect you will face a lot of scrutiny. but i think what that has meant is that there's been a lot more pressure on the city departments to be accountable and clean up their act when they are screwing up and because they know that they are under that scrutiny.
10:25 am
nobody thinks about we have no idea what is going on because they are too small. they are below the radar screen for most of the national media. and i have a feeling that is where you actually find a lot of really bad stuff and i don't mean to paint everybody with the same brush. i'm sure they are fabulous smalltown police departments and sheriff departments all over the country but that the lack of transparency i think is kind of scary. i guess the other way you could try to get at that problem and this is something congress if it was inclined could do. congress can't control directly state municipal law enforcement. what it can do if it wants to is use the power of the purse and create strong incentives like the rest of us go where the
10:26 am
money is and if you have the congress saying there are massive grants if you do this and that and conform to the standards and agree to these processes and have a training curriculum that gets a lot of money a lot of departments will say i will do that it's not a bad deal. that is a tool we have not used enough under president trump. it isn't like executive orders were they like the president and executive orders and if they don't, congress needs to do their job. so we've got to be careful with that. let me ask you this. you've got a very unique
10:27 am
perspective coming from a family that progressives -- may be being a progressive legal scholar teaching aspiring attorneys. i get hate mail for a critical incident that policing incident that happened four years ago somewhere else and four years later i'm getting hate mail like it just happened today with both of those. and here is the challenge as i see it. here in houston we have about 50,000 a year or more and last year we had one that went sideways. it ended up killing somebody that was a mental crisis and my
10:28 am
assessment i ended up firing a sergeant and three officers and you mentioned time and distance in term of training on day number one i would ask your viewers to find the presentations to the academy. when they use deadly force they will be held accountable for utilizing those tactical considerations. that one incident made people forget the fact that we are a learning site for the rest of the country, that we had tens of thousands ago right. what percentage do you think, we
10:29 am
could control our own hearts what percentage do you think is bad policing and cops doing the right thing? the so-called bad apples. >> i saw a very few bad apples and moments when i thought somebody was doing anything worse than being a little bit more of a jerk then they had to be. i saw some comments that disturbed me that cops made in private away from members of the public. that is something that i do emphasize from the beginning.
10:30 am
you go from shooting scene to a high-speed chase. the reality is it's much more mundane and a lot more positive. the reality is you are getting called because somebody's neighbors party is too loud and somebody's bike got stolen or you are getting that kind of stuff over and over, called because a burglar alarm went off, somebody shoplifted. and you do get the shootings and the homicides and violent crime, but the bulk of any shift for any given officer is dealing with these little things and people that are upset. it does make a difference you can be the one to go next door and say can you turn the music down and usually people will say sorry about that.
10:31 am
i also very rarely did i encounter hostility on the contrary where you might expect more hostility, people were cooperative, polite and would say things like thanks officer, partly because they know that if you are usually there because somebody called you, somebody wanted you to come. that i think people do this and that does not excuse any of the abuses or bad behavior with the rudeness. >> the fact you have a lot of decent people doesn't excuse the bad things but it is important for people to understand. this is a parallel, my field before this was thinking about the roll of the u.s. military and the national security and the marine corps has a concept
10:32 am
called the strategic corporal and the idea behind that was remember that guy that peed on the charon and protested around the islamic world because an american soldier was called on video peeing on the charon, he was a low ranking soldier and it was his own stupid obnoxious act and it lead to chaos for the u.s. forces globally. and the concept of the strategic corporal was there is no such thing as a purely tactical citizen anymore. even the lowest ranking person the whole world is going to know about it ten minutes later because somebody will have it on their cell phone and we have to train to that. here is the kind of challenges that you will face. we need them to be critical
10:33 am
thinkers and people of good judgment. we need them to have a nuanced understanding of exactly what we are trying to do because we have to expect and that is totally fair people are going to put us under a microscope. you give people that much power they have to expect that level of scrutiny. but i think that it is hard and it does create distress for the officers that feeling of even if i just make an honest mistake like failing to turn on my camera, and people do it all the time, they forget they are not trying to hide something, they just forget and cops say if i make a mistake like that people are going to think i'm a monster that turned off my camera to hide my abusive behavior and i cannot handle the pressure. and it is hard but i also think that cops just have to kind of deal with it b cops have to do with it because that's the world wee live in. >> it's the world we live in, and the book is "tangled up in blue: policing the american city" with rosa brooks. thanks forth writing the book.
10:34 am
i hope people will read it, , ad thanks for taking the challenge of learning about policing from the inside out instead of the outside in sometimes is excuse. thanks to for the conversati. >> thank you so much, art. >> thank you. >> weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday you'll find events and people that explore our nation's past on american history tv. on sundays booktv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. it's television for serious readers. learn, discover, explore, weekends on c-span2. >> next on booktv l breton the former head of police departments in boston, new york and los angeles. he was interviewed by former d.c. and philadelphia police chief charles ramsey about his

18 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on