Skip to main content

tv   After Words Rosa Brooks Tangled Up in Blue  CSPAN  July 7, 2021 12:26pm-1:24pm EDT

12:26 pm
get the book. thank you. >> thank you, keeanga. i thank all of you for coming. >> absolutely. >> tonight on booktv on c-span2, space travel. we start with the book test gods, virgin galactic and the making of a modern astronaut. then the author of lift off, elon musk and the desperate early days that launched spacex here and the conversation on the book shuttles euston, my life in the center seat of mission control. booktv starts tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> coming up next the discussion with georgetown university law professor rosa brooks. she details her experience of the reserve police officer in washington, d.c. she's interviewed by houston police chief art acevedo about her book, "tangled up in blue: policing the american city." >> tanks for joining us. i'm art acevedo, police chief in
12:27 pm
houston, texas, and the modern and happy to visit with rosa brooks, the author of an interesting book about policing and her experience in policing "tangled up in blue: policing the american city." roser, thanks for being on at thanks for having me, and i look forward to this conversation but after 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 trained as a police officer hit the streets in washington, d.c.? >> if you ask my family that they would say insanity, midlife crisis. i was just curious pickups probably the driving force. when i found out that d.c. has a reserve officer program where you are not just directing traffic or something but where you can be, a sworn armed police officer, i thought no way, that's crazy. you're going to give again into a law law professor?
12:28 pm
bad idea. it was probably that, just plain curiosity. 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. entering this seemed like a really rare opportunity to get more insight into the world of policing. >> you remind me kind of when you say that, my lawyer that handles employee matters, she came from shell oil. why do i took a? she said i want my 50 five oh moment. she still her as her deputy director. enter book you recount your experience and insight as asa front-line police officer going out to some of the tough neighborhoods. seeing first hand i think the reality of policing outside of
12:29 pm
the 24 hour news cycle which is a 30-second the three-minute bite or hollywood as we know is not the most accurate. but you said you recount your experiences and then you say and propose information on many fronts we need a truly transformative response to policing. how do you define the change that is needed andth what does that look like to you based on your silver years of experience? >> well, that's a big question. let me back up i guess by saying when it isay working on this bok and i would tell people is working on a book about his experiences come everyone would say what is your argument? what'st' the one sentence versin of your argument? i would go, it's complicated. it would say like that is the worst elevator pitch i ever heard. they were right. that is the world's worst elevator pitch that i think i
12:30 pm
was right, too. it is complicated and in some ways the goal of the book is to make things more complicated for people think aboutic policing fm to make it simpler. you have seen this over and over, there's a kind of whiplash where self-sacrificing, underappreciated heroes as brutal racist thugs and it can bee hard to inject in the conversation more nuance that says there are good players, bad players mixed up together and if we want to transform policing,, we need to be grappling with all of that. all of that. so in terms of what would make it better, i think part of it, police cannot change the laws by themselves. themselves.
12:31 pm
it is the way to look at the mirror and say cops are arresting people for trivial sentences and we think that harms the community. when you look at the long prison sentences, mass incarceration, a lot of that is prosecutors, judges, lawmakers. so that's number one. there's something cops can't change but we as a society urgently need to change the massive over criminalization we've seen in the last couple decades, the sentences and the cut and other social services that might make what police do things they don't have to do any more. there's a lot of police departments that need to be doing this and again one of the difficulties we don't have the national police force.
12:32 pm
we have almost 18,000 different law enforcement agencies. they don't always talk to each other. i think they ought to talk to each other so it's very hard even if there's approach that is innovative and promising. it's tough to get everybody to pay attention. so, the cities that have been ahead of the game really focus on changing training and who they'd recruit and the kind of incentive structures but happy to talk more about that. i've had the pleasure through a program one of the things you mentioned is police as our
12:33 pm
greatest fans would say it isn't broken like some would think and what is interesting is both factions of the mindsets are very deeply held beliefs. was there malice involved on either and how do you attribute, how can we be diametrically so different in our perception may be critic versus supporter because i think honestly people don't fail to see things through the prism of others. you have a very unique perspective because you are a law professor. i would call what we were supposed to be doing and what of the intent of the founders were versus the theory and the case law and the realities that we experience on the street.
12:34 pm
from your perspective, what could you say if we were talking to not defund the police what would you say from that perspective cops are not going around whacking people. we find ourselves they tried to hold the department to a standard mindset and a level of professionalism expected by the public. how would you address those from your evidence perspective having walked in our shoes? >> one thing i learned not so much from this experience but by getting older nobody's mind was ever changed by being told that they are stupid or evil. it's just not a very effective
12:35 pm
way to do something different and i think that we live in a political culture that lends itself to sound bites and slogans and stereotypes that doesn't lend itself to more nuanced discussions. and that isn't about policing. it's about almost every issue in this divided moment. and it's hard to get people to listen. i think that what i do tell about the proponents and many of my students start with that position is it's not something the far right made up in order to have an excuse to lock 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
12:36 pm
and those communities are not homogeneous. it's not that we don't want cops in our neighborhoods. we just want cops to protect us, cops we can trust. we want different policing, better policing, more respectful policing and better laws. i think that argument often does resonate with people and when i hear defund the police, i think cops get super defensive when they hear that and the seventh district in washington, d.c. where i was assigned as the poorest most decrepit of crumbling police station in the city and if you say to a cop we should defund the police, they look at you and have you seen our station and the vehicle i drive, have you seen my equipment?
12:37 pm
we don't have enough resources to do what we are doing now if you take the money away, then what. and that is the polite version of the response, the defensive angry version as well. if you say something very different, if you say okay what are the things that frustrate you that you wish you didn't have to do that you think you should be doing, what are the things when you take a mentally ill person to the emergency psychiatric clinic and you are frustrated because you know that person will be back out on the streets without medications and a home to go to the next day then i think it gets you to a much different and much healthier conversation where you are saying let's work together, critics of policing to talk
12:38 pm
about what this community's priorities are and how we would get to them in an ideal world, how far are we away from them now and how do we gradually recalibrate investment so that we end up in the place where we all want to be and that is the common ground between police officers themselves and critics of policing. >> i think that you are spot on in terms of there is a way to talk about the issues some of the police officers are clapping and stuff and that didn't happen but words matter in terms of elected officials and to talk
12:39 pm
about these issues, to talk about for example, abolish ice because it's focused on bad actors so how to approach the conversation. we need to look at instances of unjustified uses of force especially deadly uses of force. i would argue we've got to be very careful what we ask for because what we need is people to have the mind to approach problem-solving but there are times and i'm sure you've
12:40 pm
witnessed it that you have the heart of a warrior because i would argue that some of these is because we have people that are cops carrying afraid of their own shadows. here is the thing that i would caution. if we cannot test how you are going to react to the physical adversity or psychological adversity in terms of people trying to get under your skin, i would hate to not be able to weave somebody out like the 17-year-old african-american man in austin, totally naked in broad daylight and my office or officer atthe time and counterse
12:41 pm
comes out with this gun in his hand. wouldn't we want to assess that kind of mindset and fear that you have an experience in that and how we balance it and how should we balance it i don't think that it's either or. the program, the person wrote an influential article called guardian versus warriors talking about these two different groups and one of the things that i thought was very powerful and important in their law enforcement academy they beefed up training on the escalation, verbal skills. how you just talk to people so you are not shouting at them and giving orders to people.
12:42 pm
people are less likely to do what you say. you sound like a jerk as opposed to being polite and courteous. the tactics to slow things down give yourself time, space at the same time though, it beefed up the defensive tactics it's a lot of the tragic police shootings where it turns out the person didn't pose a threat or maybe they were armed there is no threat. people pull out their weapons sometimes when they panic and if they don't have confidence that
12:43 pm
they can handle a situation without a gun, they are more likely to pull out their gun, so the area of emphasis to say you know what, you've got to be better at those physical skills so that you will have the confidence to get into a situation and not immediately reach for the gun and know you can handle this stuff. but at the same time, you also need to get a better at all those so-called soft skills. having gone through this experience and this adventure, what was your perception of policing from the outside looking in and after your several years of experience in the challenging environment, how did that perception change and
12:44 pm
how much did it not end up being a reality? >> i don't know that my perception changed. i think it got much more granular. i grew up with left-wing activists and my mother said that the police are the enemy but at the same time i grew up at a kind of blue collar town where a lot of my friends had cops and their families and i didn't know cops as just people, somebody's dad, somebody's brother. and all the work i've done all over the world, including in places you get to civil conflicts and all atrocities, terrible things they have been that are not that many. even the worst things are usually done by ordinary people who have come to believe they have to do what they are doing.
12:45 pm
but most people are not and so i think going in i thought i am immediately suspicious when i hear people say anything that seems dehumanizing when the police refer to the residents of the communities they work in and i've heard that in dc from some officers. it's also dehumanizing when protesters call police pigs. >> and a pay cap. >> everywhere i've gone and my whole life you find you've got human beings, you've got some better ones, i don't think that it changed my perception, but what it did do is give me much more sense of here's what i
12:46 pm
think is the real tragedy is that what i said earlier, a lot of what is wrong with policing cannot be changed by police because it's the criminal justice system and the socioeconomic divisions that are the legacy and cops can't change that and what that means is even if you are a good, decent police officer you may still find yourself making arrests that are lawful and when you look at the big picture and do the cost-benefit analysis is this making the community better off, maybe not. maybe it's making things worse. even good decent cops can end up making some of those structural, economic and racial disparities
12:47 pm
even worse. and that is a tragedy, but it's also not something the cops can fix by themselves. the rest of to fix that. >> as a system and the most visible part of the system is the front line police officers we are either on cell phones, body worn cameras or our actions and activities are going to be captured in today's world if you look at the sentencing over the years in terms of a crack versus powder cocaine and what struggle of choice was for which community people send towards police officers may be a
12:48 pm
manifestation more so of other aspects. i would even say let's look at the defensive bar. who gets a better defense. do you think may be a lot of the anger and distrust is placed at the most visible part of the system where it really lies somewhere else, should be said to somewhere else? >> i think the police departments, many of them have a lot of work to do it internally, and i think that the dc police department, which is a good police department but still not perfect, still has a lot of work to do. i don't want to let police department off the hook. but with that being said, you are absolutely right and this is something my colleague who worked at the justice department for many years investigating some of the most abusive police
12:49 pm
department's in the country, like in ferguson missouri, one of the points that she always makes when we teach together because of course we teach innovative policing and one of the points she makes to the law students is you're going to be the legislators, you're going to be the prosecutors, you're going to be the defense attorneys and even if you're not you will be the citizens who vote for all those people who make the laws. don't go saying the problem is the 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 to have the target and police are an obvious visible face of the
12:50 pm
state's coercive powers. it's simpler. it's easier to direct the anger at them. people don't see the behind the scenes. i don't want to lead cops off the hook. there's quite a lot of they can do differently but no question the rest of us need to take a hard look in the mirror. >> i would agree with that. we've been arguing in my roll we testified about both houses of the congress and the senate and the house with the honor of testifying and one of the things i talked about is we need transparency. talk about the federal government and talk about everybody else pointing the finger saying you need to be transparent and where body worn cameras and put out of the racial profiling data. but then you look at the federal government and where are there cops wearing cameras and reports
12:51 pm
and the last time a federal agency has to be charged with a crime of the use of force or found the use of deadly force. you know, i always said about the points of reference you can't truly assess what's in front of you if you've got nothing to compare we spent almost a decade there as the chief so i've got community points of reference and department points of reference and you can't really truly assess something unless you have somebody to come. two so the question i would add to you is where is the transparency in terms of the rest of the criminal justice system? what does it need to be and should we be demanding more transparency in terms of what is happening with our courts or defense attorneys seeing that is part of your area of life work is the law.
12:52 pm
>> i don't know if i would say that it's a lack of transparency and the political will. in dc when you go through the criminal code it is kind of a weird city and forced nobody says let's take a look at this and see if this bill makes sense. that kind of cost-benefit analysis i was talking about where you say we could arrest 500 people for the disorderly conduct those are the kind of
12:53 pm
conversations that we need to have and similarly stop and frisk. in new york city the court declares the program unconstitutional because what they were doing ended up it turns out the area where transparency enabled the accountability. it turned out when you actually looked at the numbers carefully that the police in new york city were stopping a disproportionate number of african-americans relative to their sides of the population. but the african-americans were less likely to have weapons than the white people they stopped. which ends up being unconstitutional but also, frankly, means cops overestimate the threat from african-americans and underestimate threats from whites. and both of those are problems. and both of those have to do
12:54 pm
with implicit biases. and i cannot help but mention in this regard to the events of january 6th at the u.s. capitol. i think really it was the best and the worst of policing and the same time you know, that partly the juxtapositions of the heavy militarized police response to the sars racial justice protest in comparison with the seemingly very light response to the largely white mob of trump supporters. you obviously saw a lot of officers behaving really heroically on the positive side. but that kind of implicit bias is dangerous because it means both you've underestimated some threats, so you treat the justice protesters like they are about to storm the capital, and they are not and you end up tear gassing them and so on and have angry upset, hurt people say you underestimate that. then you underestimate the real
12:55 pm
threat. so it turns out the threat was from people wearing a thin blue line and we underestimate that and we are biased in favor and we underestimate that if we are biased in thinking a bunch of white people with pro-police slogans on their shirts, they can't be out to do any harm but that was the real threat. >> it thought, i was so proud of the police officers that just put everything on the line trying to protect and defend the seat of government, the people's house. i believe it was a failure of leadership but as we continue, and we have called for a robust inquiry, inquisition into what occurred. we are going to find out the law enforcement leadership failed and we may find out some of our political leadership failed. i always say we should let the experts do the assessment and then hold them accountable when the don't get it right but i think there were a lot of mistakes made beyond just the
12:56 pm
executives. it was absolutely a failure. the footprint we saw on the seventh around the capital is a footprint based on the open source data we have, the threats, the intelligence, just a very open call for action should of been on the fifth of january, not on the seventh. looking at those results, i hope the police chiefs will be part of it and not just the federal government and the politicians decide to use, because we want people to get to the truth, not necessary to the outcome of the decide to get to the beginning of the conversation. let me ask you, we talked about implicit bias. the difference between those that are successful and just are those who catch and sosa realize shoot, i'm acting this way because i've got a fear or -- as
12:57 pm
you have been out there to that call, did you ever find yourself on a call where you say and recognize come shoot, i'm letting my own implicit bias have an impact on i might sit or level of fear? it doesn't mean you are a racist. it means you are human. we all have them. did you have that moment that may be informed you, you know, could even be towards something you didn't even expect. >> no, it's ape good question, it's a really hard question. i think you're right. i mean, sometimes i talk to cops who get really defensive when you talk about implicit bias. they say i'm not racist, you know. saying to them look, this isn't about you and your decisions. the implicit bias that we all
12:58 pm
have, we get into early in our lives. we don't control them. they come from the media, the people around us. you can't wish them away but you can do is try to be conscious of them and try to make sure you don't get into them. it's not your fault but it is your responsibility to try to fix it, to try to counterbalance those biases we all have. when i think about it, i can't think like specific instances off the topci of my head but ito think there were moments when, for instant i go into a terrible neighborhood in terms of crime rates and so on, and i would end up talking to somebody who was really, really thoughtful, really, really smart, educated. and i would find myself feeling a little surprised, and feeling like -- and that's implicit bias. assuming something that intellectually i know is wrong. assuming because this is a poor neighborhood that everybody i
12:59 pm
meet is going to be poorly educated, and that's just not true. i do think i caught myself in some moments of making assumptions that probably came out of my own bias, and being embarrassed when i realized how erroneous those assumptions wer were. >> i think we have all been there. it's okay to admit that we have been there. i think the fact that you are in tune with yourself and your own internal subconscious and biases and fears is important to be successful. there was something that you talked about, in terms of domestic violence situations. i've got my notes here and you said that you made -- domestic violence situations have mandatory arrest laws may have gone too far and defined the family to broadly. that me give you an example, something i did hear and then i want to get your thoughts on what got you there.
1:00 pm
when i got here in houston, we have to contact the da's office and officers in the field to accept charges before we arrest people so we have to do more of that. >> sounds like like a good. >> it is. .. 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
1:01 pm
domestic violence saying i didn't want to intervene so to make a long story short i 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
1:02 pm
call to assess the scene and so 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
1:03 pm
battle you get a male cop, 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
1:04 pm
in the washing machine and neither of them had a criminal 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
1:05 pm
predators and cause tremendous suffering in their communities. but a lot of the calls that we get in dc are people with problems that cannot be >> they are poor, they are addicted to substance. they're having a family dispute they can't figure out how to resolve the anywhere. that's the reason they get all thinking? maybe the government and who's the government? the government is the cops and. it's such a tremendously different problem. there's another thing raised in really just 30 what
1:06 pm
probable cause write a report and so on. there issue just use an area i wish we had more reduce the 30 percent by ethe metropolitan and that's what we call no paper which prosecutors said i'm not aware with this, let the person go and rest on their. it gets dismissed and not doing anything. we don't know whether that 30 percent consists of cases where the problem was with her didn't establish probable cause and what they wrote up or whether that's cases where the prosecutor thought this is the most trivial arrest i've ever seen any more public money prosecuting this person forsomething so they'll . t depending on which it is, if it's the first you want to train police officers better.
1:07 pm
if it's the second we need to have a conversation between police, prosecutors and the community about what the priorities should be so when officers accept by his description, services conversation about it prosecutors are thinking why are you bringing these cases are so trivial for public time and money, it helps to know this because this may affect whatthey do when they cover that situation the next time . >> it's interesting you say that about when the da starches like i said earlier. here we get approval, we get them to take charges ppfor what happened, we've got judges now that i can't call them activist judges. they don't want anybody to be prosecuted. so far no probable cause
1:08 pm
rulings are going through the roof but what we do here is if there's a da reject, we have come to the agreement they will tell us why when we get the report and if there's no probable cause rulings where pulling those reports and supervisors and lieutenants look at them and making sure it's not a probable case and the fact of the case or a probable report writing and i think that's probably a good point you bring up. let me ask you about your experience. how has the way that you talk about policing in these issues to your students changed? as it changed in terms of what you use to say and talk about and what you talk about as a result of your experience with frontline police officers? >> i can't answer that question because i didn't teach about policing until i started doing.
1:09 pm
it's my expertise in national oisecurity law so that's what i thought until i started doing this at a certain point i thought i'm doing this reserve officer stopped, i ought to learn more about criminal procedure and the best way to learn is to teach because it forces you to so i started teaching while having this experience but the point i made earlier, the one that kristi lopezdrive so is one that i emphasize to students . when you think about this situation ask yourself two questions. when you think of the situation where it looks like an awful thing happened as a result of policing, ask yourself two questions. one is is this something the change by themselves or is this thing the rest of us have to change, e.g. the law and the other question is when you think about what decision you think a judge should have made, ask yourself what you know about the incentives that also officers face and whether this rule will make a difference.
1:10 pm
for instance just to givean example , if police officers don't know or care whether somebody subsequentlygets convicted , then an exclusionary rule where a court will throw out evidence that was obtained illegally norin violation of the fourth amendment doesn't have any great impact on their behavior because if you're a cop and you're thinking it's not my job to put people away forever, it's just my job to arrest them then you don't care if it doesn't go anywhere. on the other hand if you think well, my job performance is evaluated in part based on whether they whether the arrests i make go anywhere and you're going to think about just to push them to recognize that you have to have a more granular understanding of how policing works which unfortunately in our country is often very localized.
1:11 pm
in order to figure out what the relationship is going to be between how judges interpret the law and their decisions and how officers on the ground actually behave. class i agree. you touched on this earlier. i'd like to say we have the most ineffective policing model in the free world, in the civilized industrialized world. we have 18,000 police departmentwith 1000 police officers , 18,000 sets of policies and procedures and training and levels of accountability and it goes on down the line and a valuable component for consolidation of police agencies. i believe the facts there would get more for the bank and i think we would be much better. accountability would be better but everything's, everybody wants local control . so we have departments in texas that go from one officer where the chief is the department, i'm not
1:12 pm
making this up to departments like the houston police department where we have 5300 police officers, 6300combined . what impact do you think consolidation of policing services, what impact could it have and is it something we should be talking about in this country? look at what happened in ferguson. this was a farm for the local municipality that used traffic enforcement as a fund-raising mechanism and by the way it's not just that department . you see like every mile there's a new music municipality and it goes on for about anhour and a half . >> and every mile there's a police car waiting . >> and the speed signs, the limits change. all cmisacross the country . what should we do?
1:13 pm
do you think that would make, but that would have an effect ? >> i haven't thought about it in terms of consolidation but that's a really interesting way to approach the problem. i do think it's a huge problem i've often thought that the things that we read about the paper he usually involved lake city police department, not always but typically enter the which is live in big cities and the people in big cities know how to get information to journalists. so big city departments are under constant outline . that's not a bad thing because i think knowing are going to face public scrutiny is appropriate. if the state gives cops y weapons and badges and the power to take away people's liberty it's appropriate to ask you're going to face alot of scrutiny . but i think what that has meant is a lot more pressure on city departments to be accountable and clean up their act when there's
1:14 pm
screwing up and because they know they're under that scrutiny. i often worry much more about all those tiny departments nobody ever thinks about where we have no idea what's going on because they're too small. there below the radar screen for most of the national media. and i have a feeling that's where you a lot of really bad stuff. and i don't mean to paint everybody with the same brush . i'm sure there are absolutely fabulous small-town police department and sheriffs as well but that lack ofscrutiny , 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 that congress if it was so inclined to do. congress can't control directly state and municipal e law enforcement or what it sure can do if it wants to is use the power of the purse and create somestrong
1:15 pm
incentives . and police departments like all the rest of us go where the money is and if you have congress saying hey, there are massive grants if you do this and that and the other thing . if you can conform to the standards and agreed to these processes. if you have a training curriculum that looks like this and you get a lot of money departments will go okay, i kind of want that money. that would be great, i will do that. that's a powerful tool that we haven't used enough and certainly under president trump that was not his administration's priority at all . >> he tried to use it to force agencies to enforce his immigration policy class that's true. >> you got to be careful because we do, administrations come and go so it's not like executive orders . when they lack executive orders, and when they don't like the president congress needs to do their job so we got to be real careful with
1:16 pm
that.but let me ask you this because i think you've got a very unique perspective coming from a family that where progressives, maybe they might cost that much to, maybe being a progressive legal scholar that's teaching young aspiring attorneys but i'd like to say that one of the challenges we have is that we live in the world of 24 hour news cycles. i get beat up and hate mail forcritical incidents , bad policing incidents that happened four years ago somewhere else and four years later i'm getting email, hate mail that usjust happened today that was my jurisdiction when both of those itwere in effect. here's the challenge as i see it. here in houston we have about 50,000 mental health crisis a year or more. and last year we had one that went very poorly, it went sideways and we ended up killing somebody that was in
1:17 pm
mentalcrisis . that was my assessment, i ended up firing the sergeant those three officers you mentioned time and distance in terms of training. on day one i would ask your viewers to look at my presentations to the academy and asked on day one when i talk to utilizing time, distance, backup and other concealment when they use deadly force or any other force, they're going to be held accountable for utilizing those considerations. but we end up firing a sergeant or three officers, obviously union wasn't helping but that's not what i'm here for. the sad truth is that one incident made people forget the fact that we are all learning's cycle from the rest of thecountry . that we have that one go wrong but we had tens of thousands go right. in any experience we write about in the book. how, what percentage do you
1:18 pm
think in terms of, and not talk about malfeasance. we can control our own hearts and be good cops or bad cops. what percentage do you think is bad policing and what hi percentage you think is cops doing the right thing? the so-called bad apples. >> i saw very few bad apples and i saw very few moments when i thought somebody was doing anything worse than being a little bit more of a jerk then they had to be in some pretty minor ways. isaw comments that disturbed me, the cops made in private away from members of the public . but i, my experience was mostly working with the people who were doing their best to help people solve their problems and that is something that i do emphasize to my students is that as you said at the beginning from
1:19 pm
hollywood and tds does and news stories people get the sense that being a cop consists of you go from shooting scene two high speed chase to beating up a suspect to another high-speed chase andhomicide investigation . the reality is it's much more monday and a lot more positive. the reality is that you're getting calls because companies neighbors party is too noisy and calls because somebody says their bikes got stolen oryou're getting that kind of stuff over and over. you're getting called because a burglar alarm went off in store . somebody shot to shoplift it and petty thievery and you do get the shootings, you do get the violent crimes but the bulk of any given shift for any given officer is dealing with these little things and dealing with people who are upset. i'm so upset i can't sleep, my neighbors having aloud party . it makes a difference that you can be the one to go next
1:20 pm
door and say could you turn the music down. the kids can't sleep and usually people say sorry about that. very rarely did i encounter hostility. on the contrary, even in a neighborhood where you might expect more hostility to police, most people were cooperative, polite and would say things like thanks officer partly because they know you're usuallyhithere because somebody called, somebody wanted you to come and that i think people do miss . that does not excuse any of the abuses or bad behavior or even the petty rudeness. that does not mean to say trent -- >> that does not say why cops are so rude. >> the fact that you've got a lot of decent people who really are helping people doesn't for one single second is any of the bad things but it is important for people to understand. i think of this in parallel to my field before this
1:21 pm
taking about the role of the us military and national security and the marine corps as a concept called the strategic corporal and the one behind was remember the guy feed on the koran and protests around all around the islamic world because an american soldier was caught peeing on a koran. was that guy representative of the usforces ? no. he was a low ranking soldier, it was his own obnoxious act and it led to chaos for us forces globally and the concept of the strategic corporal was saying there's no such thing as a purely tactical decision anymore. even the lowest ranking person if they dosomething particularly bad , the whole world is going toknow about it . 10 minutes later, he's going to have it on their cell phone and we need to train to that. we can't just say to the low ranking soldiers just do what you're told. we need to have them understand here's what the
1:22 pm
mission is, you're on the challenges you're facing and we need them to be critical thinkers.we need them to have a nuanced understanding of what it is we're trying to do here because we have to expect and it's totally fair that people will put us under a microscope. you give people that much power they have to expect that level of scrutiny. but i think it's hard. it is hard and it does create stress for officers, that feeling of even if i just make an honestmistake like failing to turn on my camera and people do it all the time . they forget. they just plain forget and cops oh my god, i make a mistake like that people will think on this tmonster who turned off my camera so i can hide my abusive behavior and i can't handle the pressure. it is hard but cops have to find a deal with it because that's the world we live in. >> it's the world we live in and the book is tangled up in
1:23 pm
blue: policing the american city. thanks for writinghebook . thanks for taking the challenge of learning about policing from the inside out and instead of the outside in . thanks for the conversation thank you somuch . >> tonight on book tv on c-span2, space travel. we start with the book test god: virgin galactic and the making of the modern astronaut and then the author of liftoff, elon musk and the desperate early days that launched space x and discussion on the book shovel houston, my center seat in mission control. book tv starts at 8 pm eastern onc-span2 . up next on book tv, bill bratton, former head of police department in boston, new york and los angeles was

10 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on