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tv   Washington Journal Kristen Clarke  CSPAN  June 15, 2020 11:30am-12:02pm EDT

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long time and deserves a ton of credit. i think it helps they are in florida where for 20 years there has been smart reforms started with jeb bush that carries through today. i think it is inspiring. as hard as it is to improve schools, it is possible. it does take consistent leadership and a willingness to rethink how we have done things. absolutely. happeningd things are there. host: for viewers who want to it, go to theut website for the institute. >> at noon, live coverage of a hearing on the impact of budget cuts due to covid-19 on public education. later, the chair of the willessional black caucus discuss proposed legislation to address police violence and racial profiling live at
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2:30 on c-span. , the president and directive of the lawyers committee for civil rights under law. talking about efforts to end racial injustice. what is your organization? guest: my organization is the lawyers committee for civil rights under law. we are one of the nation's leading civil rights organizations that was founded in june, 1963. for the past 57 years we have been f we are one of the nation
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host: what are your thoughts on what happened in atlanta over the weekend? guest: another tragedy and this is a moment or you would expect law enforcement to be on their enforcement to be on their best behavior in the wake of the tragedy of the killing of george floyd and breonna taylor and with the marches and protests happening across the country it is fair to say law enforcement is under a microscope. this is a moment where you would expect the best when it comes to how they are engaging with communities, with african-americans. this is most unfortunate, a most unfortunate and avoidable tragedy.
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what we understand is that this what we understand is that this man was in his car and may have been asleep at the wheel. it is unclear whether we needed to deploy law enforcement in a instance like this. there was no report of violence or any threatening activity on his part. it truly was a unavoidable tragedy. host: kristen clarke, the house democrats and senate democrats have proposed several reforms in act.ustice and policing prohibiting racial and religious profiling, amending federal criminal statute to prosecute police misconduct, improve misconduct on a federal level, registry,ationwide banned chokehold and knock warrantand no knock warrants. what are your thoughts? guest: we have needed this for decades. we are at a turning point, a crossroads, and the reasons we are seeing people marching every
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single day in this country right now is because communities are saying enough is enough. we have sat back and dealt with the tragic killings of unarmed african americans for decades and rarely are officers held to account, rarely do police account, rarely do police departments undertake the reform to root out bias. i am excited congress has introduced this legislation that might put our country on a new path. many of the reforms you reformsd are baseline that we need in every single police department in our country. no chokehold, a ban on racial profiling, a mechanism to actually hold officers accountable by strengthening a core statute that can be used to i think thisicers, is one of the most important
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provisions in the bill. that is used by the justice department in u.s. attorney's offices that allows officers to be brought to account where they use force to violate civil rights. there has been a high burden of standard,illfulness that would be modified and actually allow us to see officers prosecuted when they take life without basis and justification. it would also and qualified immunity for officers and create a database that would track misconduct so we can keep an eye on hotspots across the country. most importantly, keep tabs on rryice officers that ca long records of misconduct. the senate will hold hearings this week and my hope is we will see that bill passed into law because it is responsive to one
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of the biggest crises that has gripped our country in a generation. host: pbs has this headline. the executive order on police reform is expected to include use of force guidelines, misconduct tracker. creation oflude the a national standard for use of force as well as tracking police misconduct. what do you think of that as a executive order? guest: i am going to put my faith in congress' hands. this is an issue they studied for decades. from this administration here is what we have seen when it comes to policing reform. former attorney general jeff sessions abandoned the use of consent decrees that have been put in place to address policing reform and some of our most broken police departments. we have seen the president make a number of speeches to law enforcement groups that really
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sends a dangerous message when it comes to use of force. executive order falls flat with me. it does not carry the same scopehensive breath and that we see in the policing act. i am going to put my faith in the work congress is doing right now to really address this crisis we face in the most comprehensive and effective way possible. host: on police, heather on police, heather mcdonald with the manhattan institute conservative group wrote this in the wall street journal. "officers are being assaulted and shot at while they tried to arrest gun suspects will to the riots. police precincts and courthouses have been destroyed with thenity which will
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thousands of law-abiding african-americans who depend on the police for basic safety will once again be the victims." guest: the most important thing to remember here is that, overwhelmingly, the marches and guest:demonstrations have been peaceful and right now there is intense grieving on the parts of communities that have lost loved ones. floyd, theof george family of breonna taylor, eric garner, tamir rice, and the list goes on. it is time we really focus on the issue at hand which is addressing a crisis that has literallyit is time we really fn the issue at hand which is addressing a crisis that has literally ripped innocent african-american lives away from their families and communities. i do not condone the violence we have seen, but i do think that is a distraction. overwhelming majority of
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marches and protests we have seen take place in every corner of the country and have been peaceful, focused, and intentional on lifting up the message of unchecked police biasnce and racial that is tearing apart our country. folks are marching for the purpose of promoting healing and bringing communities together and addressing a problem in a way we have not previously. that is the issue we should focus on. host: we will go to evelyn in portsmouth, virginia. caller: hi. that it is too much police brutality. i think there should be new i think there should be new training. sometimes when the police
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stop me -- they are being paid by taxpayer money. andway they approach you you cannot defend yourself. yourself, you are resisting arrest. i am 69 years old and when i see a policeman drive behind me i get afraid. i have to talk to myself and say, you have never been in trouble. why are you afraid? they need to change the law rather than just shooting people down like a wild animal. , i feel that should be changed. you should shoot them in their leg or somewhere that is not life-threatening. you affected their whole family,
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children, mother, sister, that has to stop. about thethe caller statues, when i was five years old i saw i confederate statues and, as a little girl, there was something wrong with it. figure and irior knew nothing about the confederates. remembered me and i like it was the day when i was a little girl. black confederates two. rewrite the history books. klan klan had taken over the confederate flag in this would not be happening. there were black confederates too. it is because of what you let
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do taking that flag over. as far as the looting when america goes to war they fight. when they go to other countries they fight and that is the only way to get things done. remember that back in the 1960's. listening. listening. people are on their knees and you're still not listening to the cries. listening. people are on their knees and you're still not listening to the cries. we have been held back. schoolof policing in our count.
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a lot of that work happens on the ground and in communities. the folks who are marching and demonstrating need a seat at the table in talking about how we reorient the relationship of law enforcement to communities. there is this warrior mentality that is pervasive throughout american policing where police officers position themselves at -- as in all swiss communities. that there is an enemy on one side and a combatant on the other. and we have to get rid of that. we need police officers in our country who are community oriented, who see themselves as guardians of the community, as
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serving and protecting the community. to really have that culture change in policing is going to take a lot of hard work and investment of law enforcement early working with communities on the ground. the caller'stand concerns about the fear that she feels when she sees law enforcement in her community. i was driving through washington yesterday and i saw a cop who pulled closer to me and i chose to pull over and let law enforcement pass. distrust of law enforcement is incredibly problematic. we want to believe they are there to protect us, not to be our enemy, not to instill fear. there was going to be a lot of work that needs to happen outside the homes -- halls of congress to overhaul policing in
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a meaningful way. host: we will go to pittsburgh. patrick, democratic caller. caller: you know it is stunning when you look at the length of time that corporate prison systems have been putting our brothers and sisters in jail for crimes and exacerbating that reality by utilizing mandatory animums along with corporatized, media driven, race baiting -- let's sell the narrative over again that black people are bad. i just heard about cops being eliminated. i have always said that was a terrible thing. but we need a structural re-examination from a national corporations,llow especially people in media, who need to take a much broader look at the criminality within wall
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street. look what we just saw in wall street during the pandemic was all of the pump and dump assets. they walk away with $560 billion in profits during a pandemic and during the terrible murder of this man. there is no excuse for this and we cannot as a national society allow the pervasive misuse of our brothers and sisters of color. we just can't. i am a gay man. i can completely relate to the fear factor. i have lived through that. dominantw these abusive forces can be brought to bear against me. you have a good day. host: kristen clarke? guest: this is a great development. cops no longer on the air, a
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show that really glorifies use of excessive force by police. use of force, the dramatization of misconduct -- this is a campaign waged by our friends, an important step in the work we need to do to change the culture of policing in our country. caller, itened to the think about the criminalization of poverty and a blind eye we do turn to a lot of the crime that plays out in a corporate context. let's take mr. floyd for example , allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. i think about eric garner in new york allegedly selling a loose cigarette. allegedlyn louisiana selling cds from his trunk. notwithstanding whether any of these allegations are true, it is unclear why law enforcement
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needed to be engaged with any of those individuals, needed to use force on any of those individuals. all of those scenarios to me make clear the problem we have in our country of over-criminalizing conduct, criminalizing poverty, entangling law enforcement in communities of color in ways that are unnecessary and it is dangerous, if not, fatal. this needs to be the problem that we unpack and work to figure out how do we make our communities safer. there is a movement underway that focuses on this theme of the funding. i am supportive of the concept of defunding aspects of policing. we need to shape the footprint of police officers in our community to put more social workers, invest more in education, addressed poverty,
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and bring about the holistic reform needed to make immunities safer. host: if you defund police, what would police have less of? aspects ofnding policing. rather than expanding the size and scope of the police department, keep it as it is, if not, reduce it and use the taxpayer dollars to invest more in social workers. dallas,jefferson in texas last fall dead after her neighbor play state welfare check called to a non-emergency line. he saw that her door was open and said, not sure if everything is ok. just thought i would report it. they send a police officer out and she ends up shot standing inside of her own home with her little nephew feet away. a law-enforcement officer did not be -- need to be deployed
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for that welfare check. it could have been a social worker. if so, that woman would be alive today. policing andnd think about the resources that need more support, more funding so that we can have communities that are safer. int: we will go to jeff washington. democratic caller. committeeu are on the for civil rights under law. an't it a given that constitutional right that any the law andding by minding their own business is granted the right to be left alone by police? guest: yeah. that is an important question that we are tackling right now. why do we have police officers unnecessarily entangled in african-american communities,
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communities of color, in our schools? half of our schools have a resource officer and law enforcement presence which feeds into this school to prison pipeline. this is a problem that starts at the earliest -- at the youngest age for some communities. people have the right to be left alone. we need cops to protect us. there are crimes that unfortunately happened. but many of the deaths we are seeing, including the ones that happen in atlanta over the weekend are ones that could have been avoided. instances do not even warrant the deployment of an armed police officer. we have to think about how do we reduce the footprint of police officers in our community. how do we deal with the racial bias that affects so many
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aspects of leasing in our country? host: new jersey, gary is watching. caller: i do have the connection. host: gary, you are on. go ahead with your question or comment. i have to move on. joan in minnesota. democratic caller. caller: i have a question. and we a justice system are judged by our appears. .t seems like -- our peers if you are a black man, you are not reproved. i think that is fear in some of the people. i think if you look at policeman, there would be reprisals. people might fear that, too.
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back in the early 20's, there was a video on a tv talk show that was taken secretly of the military training the police forces. when you give police the choice of being for the people or following the military veteran trying to teach you something, you are in a very tight spot and that is one of the problems. the other problem is i wonder how many people that are blind to the hate groups in this country. they are indoctrinating the police force. there is a continuance of plain out killing. there is evidence of criminality by itself. we need a clean sweep and we need to expose everything and we
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need to address all of the problems and not hide any of them if we are going to get to a good society where everybody is worth something. godre there by the grace of and they will all be together under that gun at some time. come on, people. let's join together and be a nation that we can be proud of. shamee that has so much going on right now. thank you so much. it is very interesting to hear the caller we count something from the 1920's and here we are 100 years later still talking about the same issue. it is a reminder that while we have made progress, we still have a long way to go especially when it comes to confronting the need for police reform in our country.
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militarization is a theme that she brought up. i should know from the justice and policing act currently before congress would deal with this problem. there was a program called 1033 that has allowed militarized equipment, tanks, and other military items to end up in the hands of police. that feeds into this warrior mentality. it results in the escalating attention in communities unnecessarily. it is important that we deal militarizeeed to de- policing in our country. the caller talked about accountability. she is right. when you look at the statistics, it is extremely rare for you to see law enforcement officers who are held to account and brought to justice for using deadly force without basis. the numbers hover between zero to two on average every year. the congressional bill would
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deal with this by changing the standard of a critical federal statute. it would end qualified immunity for officers and actually create seethway where we might those who break the law, violate civil rights, take life without basis, actually held account and not see people held above the law. the final what i want to make as she talks about this problem of policing,has infected this is an issue that i organization has worked on. to root out hate crime and white supremacy that sometimes has infected the ranks of policing. officerr we exposed an who was tied to an extremist group serving in connecticut. fortunately that officer has resigned.
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but we need to make sure that we do a good job explaining carefully for this important role people who harbor racial bias, harbor extremist views, who endorse white nationalism as an ideological platform do not deserve to carry a gun and a badge in our country. those are precisely the kinds of people often behind many of , hateracially motivated driven incidents that sometimes typicallyss-of-life, lots of african-american life in communities across our country. host: military gear, the headline in "u.s.a. today" is that police have received $454 million in military gear since 2017 since president trump lifted restrictions on that program, restrictions that the obama administration put in place.
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we will go to louisiana, democratic carter -- democratic caller. caller: how are you doing? i am a retired police officer for three years. i believe what is going on is police officers need to be trained. 14 weeks is not enough to be in the police academy. they are teaching them the basics. and when they finished with the basics, graduation, then putting them out on the street. trained by aop is senior officer. they are teaching them the basics. and when they finish with the basics, graduation, they are putting them out on the street. is trained byp that senior officer. that senior officer has been on the force 20, 30 years. he is teaching that rookie cop his way of law enforcement, which is dangerous. ok.
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we were not trained in the police academy with chokeholds. we were not trained like that. i don't know where all of this is coming from, but if we would retrain our police officers, have more in-service education, send them to college for two hollerif you want to about restructuring the police department, send them to school. they need to go to school or online classes to understand basic human civil rights. they don't know. no, police officers are not social workers, but they need to know the roles of the social worker or understand or get with social workers so they can understand how to handle the human factor. superintendents together and more community
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activism, then we can get this police department together. that is the only way we will be able to do it. but civil unrest and all of this, no, i do not go for the riots. a routine things like traffic stop, which i did, i wrote them a ticket, and i went on. i did not force them to get out of the car and all of this. that is unnecessary. host: ok, veronica. i am going to leave it there. kristen clarke, your response? guest: i think about sandra bland, who would be alive today would be alive today if she simply got a ticket for the traffic stop and was left alone and not forced out of her car, which led to a slew of events and ultimately the end of her life, the loss of her life. we do need better training in our country. when you measure the united the united
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states up against other modern democracies, we do not invest the time that you really need to have a professional professionally trained law enforcement. there are no chokeholds, no neck holes. one in which there is a uniform standard governing when you use force. you use force. we need to invest in training. there is another related issue here that i want to make sure we include in this conversation, and that is the need to address the ways in which police unions are often acting and functioning as a barrier to reform. many police union contracts, for example, make it difficult to put in place new policy reforms, make it difficult to implement better training protocols, make it difficult to discipline rulesrs who violate the and who commit misconduct. so one of the issues we are working at at the lawyers' committee for civil rights under law is looking at the national crisis. how do police


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