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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 15, 2015 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] ..
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[inaudible conversations]. [bells ringing] [bells tolling]
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[bells tolling]
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[bells tolling] >> the bells you're hearing here from st. patrick's church.
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other bells are tolling for president lincoln just as they did in 1865. st. patrick's church by the way is the oldest church in washington d.c. they were founded by the masons building the and doing the stone work for the white house and the u.s. capitol. >> irs commissioner john cost kins men will take questions about the implementation of the tax penalty in the health care law. watch live coverage from the senate homeland security committee 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. later in the day u.s. ambassador to the u.n., samantha power, will testify about the president's 2016 budget request. she is also expected to be ask about yemen iraq and iran's nuclear program. our live coverage begins 2:00 p.m. eastern also on c-span3. >> this weekend the c-span cities tour has partnered with
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comcast to learn about the history and literary life about st. augustine florida. >> response de leon may or may not have been searching for the fountain of eternal youth. a lot of people said he was out for additional property for the king of spain and colonization attempts and gold which is very decidedly true. we do know when response de leon came ashore looking for harbor took on water and wood. this represents one. few fresh water springs in the area. it is location of the 1565 first settlement of st. augustine, 42 years before the settlement of jamestown was founded and 55 years before the pilgrims landed on plymouth rock. >> the hotel response de leon was built by henry morrison flagler.
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flagler is very little-known outside of the state of florida but he was one of the wealthiest men in america. he essentially had been a cofounder of standard oil company with john d. rockefeller. he was a man who always wanted to undertake some great enterprise. as it turned out florida was it. he realized that he needed to own the railroad between jacksonville and st. augustine to insure that guests could get to his hotel conveniently. so clearly the dream was beginning to grow on flagler. he was a man who had big dreams. he was a visionary. >> watch all of our events from st. augustine, saturday, at noon eastern on c-span2's booktv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3.
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>> at age 25 she was one of the wealthiest widows in the colonies. during the revolution while in her mid 40s, she was considered an enemy by the british to threatened to take her hostage. later she would become our nation's first first lady at age 57. martha washington, this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's original series, first lady influence and image examining the public and private lives of the women who filled the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency from martha washington to michelle obama, sunday 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span history tv. first ladies, presidential historians on the lives of 45 iconic american woman, fascinating women and illuminating and entertaining inspiring read. it is available in hardcover or ebook through your favorite bookstore or book seller or
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online bookstore. now a panel discussion on police tactics and race relations. journalists authors academics discuss some of the recent police shootings around the country. this was part of university of colorado's annual conference on world affairs in boulder. >> i was on. now i'm on. i hope light enough for you. it is light enough for me. welcome, everyone to panel number 3117, entitled, hands up, don't shoot. requiem for an american police state. don't you wonder about the people, wonderful volunteers who put these titles together in some room somewhere this winter, saying oh, this will get them going on wednesday morning at
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9:00 a.m.? and add a little ambiguity where you can too? but i can handle. this panel certainly can. here's the drill. you know how it goes. first of all let me introduce myself. i'm ginnie corsi management consultant, work on executive team building. all cell phones off. you know that one. get them off vibrate too, so we don't have any interference in the landing. okay. i will open it up to the panel. i will ask each of them to give us a 10-minute opening. after which i will hope they will have questions for themselves and among themselves. after that, then we go to these microphones. first, i might have a question or two. i could be sitting here coming up with a great question. i don't want to waste it, so i might ask a question or two. then the questions are from you. you know when you come to the microphones, i want to urge all of you intraverts don't be
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afraid. i know it is very awful to come publicly in front of the microphones. please do it. you have very good questions as well. a word about the questions. first of all i will practice age discrimination. remember this is for the students. so we will always ask the students to ask their questions first. if you would be kind enough to wait to let them ask those questions. second of all, we're in boulder and i assume we have rocket scientists here and intellectuals and the range between. and we appreciate that. and i assume you have a great deal of experience and wisdom behind you but this is about questions. so i'm going to ask you to be tight with your questions, i'm going to ask you to be as clear as you can we'll get to as many answers as we can if you all abide by that let's begin. on my right we have, who will be the first speaker, i will go in the order of our speaking.
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we have leonard pitts, jr., likes to be known foremost as a writer a pulitzer prize winning writer and columnist. leonard launchinged this week with some very inciteful and challenging remarks. i will ask him to launch us today. second we'll hear from robert kaufman, a political scientist and scholar who authored books and helped author books about and by former president nixon and bush. he is an adjunct professor at heritage foundation. he taught at many universities and teaches at pepperdine school of public policy. richard aregood to my right an editor who established his pulitzer-prize-winning experience as editorial editor in philadelphia and new jersey. now using his experience and wisdom in faculties of two colleges. all of this in your booklet. i'm summarizing in my own words.
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clara jeffrey, my far left, editorial award winning creative transformer of journalism. taken heil lip respected "mother jones" magazine known for investigative report on topics and added new online excellence. if you haven't seen "mother jones" online, you should see it. it is quite interesting. leonard, i will ask you to kick off today because of some of the things you said in the opening remarks noted in the newspaper and i found fascinating. would you agree with this panel title that we have a police state? and that we're about to honor it as a thing of the past? >> thank you very much for setting me up so nicely. i appreciate it. because i was sitting here making my notes. one of the first notes that i have here actually says rec weime, question mark. i don't want to diss who came up with the titles.
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i am not great titling thing and very difficult job. anyone that thinks we're in position to have rec we em, to celebrate the dead. doesn't understand the police state. the police state is alive and well in the u.s. what do you see when you see me? speaking as an african-american man. and i think that, i would like to repurpose that question into talking about a few recent episodes some which you may be familiar with, some which you may not. i wonder what the police officer sister in south carolina, michael slager the white police officer saw when he encountered 50-year-old african-american man walter scott and you may have seen this video, you may not have. this story recently broke. shot him eight times in the back as he was running away? you have to wonder what he saw in this man that made him feel
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that this man was deserving of that treatment, what he saw in this man that made him feel he could very calmly, to judge in the body language, pump eight shots into him and walk slowly toward the body and handcuff the body. i am i suppose my sentiments on this best summed up by a tweet i ran across last night from laurie kill martin a comedienne. she said, and i quote i felt more guilty eating cookies than this officer seemed to feel after having shot this man eight times in the back. what did this officer see when he saw walter scott? what danger did he perceive? what fear? what inlying threat was there this 50-year-old man that he thought he deserved that kind of treatment? what did sean gruber see when he shot lavar jones.
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you probably are not familiar with this case. i would suggest you look it up. the video in some ways, as appalling, maybe more appalling than a lot of what we've seen. sean gruber ss. lavar jones. that is video in south carolina as it happens, where a police, state trooper pulls up on an african-american man and we see him in the video the african-american man is standing outside his car waiting for troopers on the traffic stop. the trooper tells the man, i want to see your license. the man goes inside of his car to get his license. the troop every panics. says get out of the car, get out of car. the man is not fully inside of the car, reaching inhis car. the get out of the get out car the man come flies and trooper shoots him. he continues to shoot him and fall out of frame.
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officer when asked why he had done this, his explanation to his superior was, he came toward me and he would not stop when i gave him a command to stop. i believe that he believed that. which is sad thing. i do not previous. i wrote a column about this the first thing that happens when things of this nature transpire is that we want to look to the character of the officer who shot and say, oh, he want to look for the klan robe in his closet. want to look for the evidence of some visceral, you know, racism, what i called this was kumbayah racism on monday. i believe sean gruber is probably decent guy. probably not a bad cop. i believe he got up that morning saying let me shoot a black guy and lie about ie. i think because how we in this country become comfortable seeing african-american people and specifically african-american men as a threat first and foremost when this
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man came out of his car as he had been ordered to by the police officer the police officer actually perceived a threat. you think about it. why would you lie, why would you tell a lie that can be so easily disapproved by our own dash-cam video? this is actually what he saw. what did he see when he saw lavar jones coming out of that car? he saw a threat. handcuffed the man. the reason you hadn't heard about the case, lavar jones survived shooting. he has bullet in his hip. he survived the shooting. they handcuffed man to a gurney, seven or eight hours before police officers conceded, looked at i had yo -- video that sean gruber was man involved. you might have not seen this this didn't involve gun play what did police officers in minneapolis st. paul, see from chris lolly african-american man with dreadlocks, waiting on a public skyway bench for his
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kids to get out of school? i don't know if you ever been on skyways there to protect from the cold, they're basically sidewalks in the sky. they're basically public thoroughfares. he is waiting there. who are you what do you want? this is america, what have i done that i have to identify myself to you is chris lolly's response. eventually they end up taking him to the ground. there is video on this they end up taking him to the ground and tasering him. and this guy has no criminal intent. he is a guy who is there waiting for my children. what did they see when they saw the father waiting for his children to get out of school? i mention those three incidents you know, because there is video that much at thats to them. so we can all go, with a few keystrokes look and see for ourselves what happened but you have to ask yourself, what about myriad cases where there is no video? what about the myriad things that happened when there is no
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electronic eye recording what happened? even with video i found in my experience the video is no panacea, because we as the communal witnesses have this amazing ability to not see what we don't want to see. when i say that i'm thinking about the rodney king case where, the beating was so, so bad and so far beyond procedure that even the chief of police in los angeles, daryl gates take it from me as los angeles native, daryl gates was not yeah he is not a liberal. darrell f. gates was definitely not a liberal. darrell gates's seeing the video, what i saw in the video made me physically sick. this is darrell f. gates, people unable to see on that video what it was which was a jury in
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simi valley which exonerated the police officers. what do you see when you see me? i want to turn to the aspect of video, because the thing that fascinates me, we'll talk about this in a little more depth, it is almost impossible to hold police accountable for the things that they do on a daily basis. and it should not be. police officers, and we should respect them for this. police officers are there to uphold the law. they're not there to be held above the law. which is what i think a lot of news this country do in our fear over what we see when we see african-american men. we see something frightening. we see something that scares us. we see something that threatens us at very primal level. we're willing to turn our heads, avert our eyes and forgo our obligation as witnesses to, to, in order for that to be allowed.
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getting two-minute warning. i will wrap it up. the final question then is, i've asked what do you see or what do police see when they see african-american men. i think question that needs to come out of that, what that leads to, what do african-americans see when they see police? you and i well, you, look at police, and are more likely, are more likely to see someone who is there to protect and to serve and to, you know, to guard your community and your neighborhood. i don't have that luxury. i have to take police on a case-by-case basis. i try not to make blanket statements about people about profession or skin color. by the same token i would be a fool if i accorded every police officer i saw that automatic assumption that he or she is there to help me and will see me in the same way that he or she
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would see you. that is the question i would leave you with? what do african-americans see what they see the police, what should we see based on all the experience? what should we see when we see police. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for very thought provoking opening. robert, let's turn to you. do you share some of the perspectives of leonard? probably not the experiences. >> no, i don't share his conclusions although in particular in the south carolina case that is a case of egregious police misconduct. probably murder. and there's no justification for that. i would distinguish that case which is a clear example of unacceptable homicidal police behavior, if you watched the
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video, probably most of you have. this was a man stopped for a traffic light. his taillight was out. he was obviously fleeing. did not appear to be menacing. so what was routine stop. and the officer shot him in the back eight times as he fled. this is obviously a case of the officer gunning down probably, murdering, someone using disproportional violence. so i don't disagree with my eloquent speaker that this happens. this is where we do disagree. do we live in a police state? is this a systemic problem? that's where we do disagree. my main field is international politics american foreign
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policy and i think seth bowman, who is in the office put me on this panel for amusement to see how i would do. compared to what a real police state is, nazi germany, the soviet union tehran, north korea, the united states in its worst days is not a police state one. secondly, we're not perfect and no political entity is. if you compare the state of law enforcement, the behavior of law enforcement, toward all americans, including african-americans, that is not to say we don't have a significant way to go, if you compare the standards of today compared to 40 years ago we have made significant improvement, if not perfect improvement in the way we deal with everybody.
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thirdly, my cousin, my first cousin, is a policeman in cambridge, massachusetts. was policeman of the year in 2012. and was part of the team that apprehended the tsarnaev brother, who perpetrated the atrocity during the boston marathon and my daughter's a student in my hometown of boston. she is at boston university. the preponderance of policemen and the preponderance of cities, are decent, honorable people, who enforce the saw and follow it and are not rogues. so i also disagree that this is a problem that is a getting worse, b systemic, and endemic and c, i think it is very important in this area to make reasonable distinctions. by and large i think this is a
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problem and i agree with my first speaker in this sense. even though i disagree with him on his general point. in a state like ours, authority should always be under scrutiny to justify the use of force and in my view state intervention in general. nevertheless, where i disagree with my eloquent first speaker is on the issue that this is systemic. it isn't. this is something that hasn't significantly improved over time. it has. and, i also think that in treating this problem, we've done a disservice to the police and to the country by lumping things together. in response to my first speaker of what should an african-american see when he or she see as policeman i think he
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or she should see an institution, for the most part, that has significantly improved. i think he or she should also see an institution that benefit african-americans and all americans significantly. the greatest victims of crime in urban areas over the past 40 years have been african-americans. the greatest beneficiary of well-ordered liberty and law and order by due process not a police state, are those african-americans who want to send their children to school, who want to run businesses who want to be safe. i'm not saying there aren't rogue policemen. that is true literally of any profession. that is true of the american military. what i am saying is that what critics see as a systemic problem, i see as a problem more individual and specific and more
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of an exception to the rule of how most people in law enforcement behave in most places, most of the time. thank you. [applause] >> thank you robert. and your comments about leonard. and now i would like to turn it over to richard aregood. richard, would you comment whether you think we have police state or anything that leonard or robert said? >> first off, i want to say almost all drug adeled hippies were not charles manson. that does not mean that sharon tate wasn't mistreated. so i agree. the large majority of american policemen are doing their jobs. but, that minority that, rotten apple minority is big enough to be of concern.
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and, changes in attitudes are evident. i mean i'm a philadelphian. i worked as reporter in philadelphia for 30 years. that makes me an expert on bad cops. philadelphia is the capital of bad cop dom. nationwide i saw little towns in north dakota buying tanks dressing their policemen up in s.w.a.t. teams. now, if you really think that gilby, north dakota, will have, a requirement to have a s.w.a.t. team and policemen armed with automatic weapons and wearing bug-like helmets and all that sort of thing, i think you may be as crazy as the people who asked for the tanks in the first place. you know this is purely anecdotal on my part but i have detected a different attitude. i am a good citizen.
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if you notice i'm an old man. i was stopped by a policeman in grand forks north dakota, a lovely little town. he then proceeded to spend a half an hour with backup, he had backup berating me about god knows what and telling me that he had the perfect right to have me retest for my driver's license because i was so old. i agreed with him that he had the right to demand i be retested and please do it and stop yelling at me. he then, at the end issued a ticket, one of those catch-all ordinances every town has. aggravated mopery, or some crime like that. and let me go. you know, i am left with, not quite the same attitude toward police as black americans would have because i don't have that much justification but i'm a little wary now. and i think, you know, we have
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gotten reason to be wary. one of the reasons is that, if a policeman in this culture i'm a union guy. i believe in unions. a police unions are, much more powerful than any union i've ever been on. calvin coolidge in 1919 made his bones when the boston police went on strike. he and the mayor went, i believe, technical term is, they went bat -- what they essentially did was play it for political reasons. they did the ronald reagan traffic controllers thing striking cops were not allowed to come back, yadi yada. the result of that, almost every city with unionized cops there is an arbitration procedure. cops can't strike. what they can do is win every argument in arbitration.
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the arbitrators are hired by both sides the police union and the city. if the city is trying to hire a cop. now really hard to get fired. in the arbitrations of policemen accused of serious crimes, and fired, by the police department in philadelphia, 90% of them got their jobs back through arbitration. arbitrators split the difference. arbitrators are at the mercy of the police union. another one like the great depression, this is one of our legacies from calvin coolidge. he thinks of so many things in our lives. friends of mind did a pulitzer-prize winning series called tainted justice which has become a book. i recommend the book to all of you. wendy ruderman and barbara laker shoe leather reporting went through hispanic north
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philadelphia where abusive narcotics cops had raided bodegas and essentially robbed them because they had plastic bags in their stock. plastic bags you might realize can be used to hold drugs. they can also hold drug leftovers. there was film there is film of a policeman climbing up on the counter to cut the cord to the surveillance cameras so he could rob the cash register. fortunately for justice generally he cut the wrong cord, not very bright concealer of evidence. they were accused credibly by women who were molested by one of them. the story ran for weeks. it was done with the cooperation of the commissioner of police
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who i think is a good guy. one of the things you have to understand is, nobody who is a at the top of an organization has absolute control over it. that is definitely true with the philadelphia police department. there are cases of horrifying violence. there are cases of dishonesty. do you want a shoplifter to be a policeman? do you want an armed robber to be a policeman? there ace difference between being convicted of a felony and being fired. i mean all of us work in, in actual jobs where you can be fired without committing a felony. it almost goes without saying but you know, most areas, if you do something horrible under color of law in this country and you say to an arbitrator, or
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even a jury, i was in fear for my life, those are magic words. that is your get out jail free card, i was in fear of my life. either we get rid of magic words, excusing appalling behavior or we hire braver policemen. you know, and when they talk about the thin blue, it is more dangerous to be a farmer. come on. being, horrible thing about being a policeman generally it is so boring. i have a grade admiration. i was a police reporter in philadelphia the first two years of my career. i left police reporting because the, the group think was beginning to hurt my head. you know, i was starting to think like a policeman. i didn't like that. because i didn't want to be a policeman. i wanted to be a newspaper reporter. i think in a lot of instances you get an attitude, the things that are coming out, were passed
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around in the ferguson police department, that is an attitudenal thing within the department. that is not easy to fix. that requires dedication over years. i have seen like six different police commissioners try to fix the philadelphia police department. i don't think any of them have succeeded yet. i remember an incident when i was a young reporter at city hall. i saw a purse snatching take place, in front of city hall. being 20 three years old and stupid, i tackled the doer. held him down. called a policeman over. the policeman a fine philadelphia person, started wailing the crap out of the man with his nightstick. i being an innocent 23-year-old said, do you really have to do that? he responded, do you want some? the attitude that, people especially especially black
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people, are the enemy is the key to all this. they're not you know, they're not being officer friendly when this happens. officer-friendly, shows your children around the station house, and lets's you know how we protect you. these guys we're worried about, admittedly a minority, so what? if all policemen were like that, we wouldn't be able to have this little gathering. they're not all like that. but enough of them are like that to make you really desperately concerned about where this country is going because it is going toward, nobody saying it's a police state, but it is moving inexorably in that direction. and, if you don't worry about that good for you because, you are incapable about worrying about anything and probably living a very happy life. thank you very much.
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[applause] >> clara would you like to add your perspective to whether or not you see this as a police state or moving toward one? i think in one way i would like to touch back on something robert mentioned earlier. there is a real question underlying all of this, whether we see what is going on as systemic or an individual problem. it tends to be that liberals see both problems and solutions as systemic and conservatives tend to see them as more individual. and i think when we're dealing with these incidents of police violence and the mill at that aization -- militarization and of our police forces i think there is something much broader going on. beneath all the incidents of last two years be it trayvon martin michael brown or more recently walter scott, i think it's a singular question that
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just doesn't apply to the police. that is, what kind of biases are we all walking around with? not kkk member, not confederate flag-waving but a sort of implicit bias that makes you a little bit more apprehensive around people who are unlike ourselves? and, when you're a police officer, and you know, let's face it, they can, sometimes it is a boring job but my brother's cop, it can be a frightening and terrifying and really depressing job. they're walking into bad and violent situations. mostly observing violence done by people to other people to little kids, picking up after car accidents but it's a hard job. and they like the rest of us, have these implicit biases they walk around with. you know, science is beginning to understand this kind of bias. i think it actually offers up all a little bit of hope.
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basically, they think that some of the the instincts essentially that we had prehistoric instincts really, to figure out what was dangerous what's not? what's different thani am? who i am, what might cause me problems? something useful running around on the savannah and the woods, figure out, lion, generally bad grizzly bears generally bad. you can't apply those same generalizations to types of people. when we do that, that is where we get into trouble. they can actually measure this. there are a couple of different tests. you can all take them. i encourage you to do so because it will likely be quite depressing to you, but it is worth doing. there is one called the implicit bias test. there is another called the weapons identifications test. in both of these tests, you're basically asked to kind of quickly categorize between white and black faces even as you
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categorize between terms that are good or bad. essentially what you tend to find, and this is true certainly for white people but sadly for even people of color, that it's, it's more likely that you will quickly associate good qualities with white faces. the weapons identification test is sort of the same thing. you're asked whether or not you see somebody, do they have a drill in their hand or do they have a gun in their hand? do you shoot or do you not shoot? police officers actually do much better than all of us civilians at deciding not to shoot somebody in general. but they like us, are more likely to shoot at the black man who has a sandwich or wallet or power drill in his hands rather than a gun. i think studies those test all of us figuring out where our own biases might lie is the beginning. for police forces, we're obviously those biases become more deadly it's really
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understanding how to train around it where possible. how to put police procedures in a different way. so in other words las vegas found that they had excessive use of force cases off the marks particularly when officers were chasing suspects through neighborhoods, generally minority neighborhoods. so they basically said, you're not allowed to touch a suspect that you apprehend unless it is absolutely necessary. and, that was this procedure. and their cases of excessive violence went way down. i think there is a way we can measure and quantify what we're doing and train ourselves out of it. interestingly, i would say that, also doesn't just apply to police forces. similar experiments have been run where people are sort of forced to think about people other than themselves before taking different kinds of tests.
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essentially what it finds is that not only are you more likely to say, hiring a person of color less kind of bias as we typically understand it, but you are also more likely to score better on tests that measure entrepreneurial creativity. so it is sort of fascinating opening your mind to different kinds of people and different kinds of experience can unlock entrepreneurial skills as well. yet another reason for tech companies and others to do better in their hiring procedures. that i think is one sort of systemic thing that we need to get on top of. it is not just the police. just that the police have these biases and are armed and put in more dangerous situations or at least what they apprehend to be more dangerous situations. but the second thing i would like to talk about is the actual militarization of our police forces. ever since 9/11 we've seen
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enormous amount of milliary gear, some cases handed out some cases loaned out some cases provided at a great discount to police forces both in new york city and places where there is arguably a real risk of terrorism little tiny towns. $5 billion worth of guesstimate has been given away to police departments. $41 billion of loans given away to buy things like armored vehicle and flok gear you see. used to be a little town have their own s.w.a.t. team. now only 20% of them did. you know, just a few years ago. by 2007, 80% of towns with 50,000 people or less had a full-on militarized s.w.a.t. team. these s.w.a.t. teams are not being used in your sort of hostage rescue situations or bank robberies. they're being used to serve warrants. some of these are drug warrants.
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a lot of this is sort of war on drugs stuff. but a lot of it is just failing to show up for a bench warrant. it is crazy, go into a house with a s.w.a.t. team. stanley jones was killed went upstairs, went to the wrong apartment. went upstairs with s.w.a.t. team and reality television crew. through brash bangs in there and killed this little girl. this kind of thing is going on all the time. because we're just responding with to things that don't require this use of force. and because they have the gear. that's the training they get rather than training to them be more opent( to the people they're encountering. those two things are in combination. i think this swatification of our police force also teaches the police that everything's a threat all the time. i mean, if you're, if you're constantly arming up as for
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battle, you think you're in pat he will. -- battle. it is just basic psychology. so i do think that those two issues the biases that we all walk around with, and the sort of militarization of our police force came together in unfortunate way. we saw that in ferguson protests more than anywhere. something i think we need to watch out for more broadly. [applause] >> thank you. well my first question to you all, do y'all have questions to each other. anyone want to ask? >> actually i do but let me preface this. in miami gardens there is a small store where there worked a man, as at least of 2013 earl sampson. early sampson has never been convicted of anything more serious than possession of marijuana which i understand in some states is not even a crime. i heard that.
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but earl sampson has been arrested dozens of times for trespassing at this little store. and, the kicker is, earl sampson works at this store. he has been pulled from behind the counter. we keep hearing that, you know, from my learned colleague my learned panel mate, we often hear about rogue policemen. this is not a systemic problem. this is a problem with a few bad apples. and my question is, after oscar grant, after eric garner, after abner luima after dallo, after chris lolly after lavar jones, after walter scott and after rodney king all these other men i don't have time eo name, how many incidents do we have to have before we see a pattern. that is my first question?
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[applause] it's a two-parter. my second question goes to idea of decent, honorable cops. i don't, i don't have any argument with the idea that most police officers are decent and honorable men and women trying to do difficult job. as you recall i said that explicitly of sean gruber who shot lavar jones but, is it too much to ask these decent, honorable cops stand up against those other cops who are making these -- [applause] who are, who are doing these things, as opposed to retreating behind the blue wall of silence? >> are you addressing that to robert? >> my learned colleague. >> your learned colleague, whatever his name is. robert, do you see a pattern? >> you have me in mind for this? let me recover my bearings.
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one, it's very moving but not always enlightening to use anecdotal data. these cases are serious but the cases you listed don't disprove the counter argument as to whether this is a systemic problem. i'll tell you that james wilson, the hands down greatest criminologist of the past 50 years, has argued in a massive body of scholarship, to the contrary. again, i think it is perfectly legitimate and reasonable to punish people of for behaving as rogue cops. where i disagree is whether it is simmic problem. and for a couple of other points, the so-called militarization of police, that is an assertion is made in isolation.
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what you also have to know is that the police now are up against drug gangs and other threats, vastly better-armed than they are. so what, my colleague calls the militarization some of us would consider a necessary and prudent response to the broadening and deepening of threats that law enforcement faces not just in cities but in towns and small places where threats that you would have thought couldn't eminate, now eminate pour any from meth clinics potential of terrorism and all sorts of other things. this is, is the glass half empty or half full argument. if you want to be anecdotal i will. i lived in new york in the '70s and '80s. before giuliani at the worst time. and i lived in new york for my four degrees of columbia after giuliani. i will tell you that before
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giuliani when there was insufficient law enforcement life was thomas hobbs nasty solitary brutish often short. overall, on balance and they should be held accountable and there should be panels like this and the police should always have to answer the question, are you responding disproportionally, despite that all, a thing have gotten vastly better and b treating this as a systemic problem i think is going to make matters worse. i'm going to have to leave here in a moment to play the same role on the iranian panel but to cement my claim to the witness protection program, i will respond to you that in the ferguson case, the law enforcement officer acted in legitimate, self-defense and the jury was absolutely right to
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exonerate him. meaning that the mark of this, is to make reasonable distinctions. >> can i ask one, i'm sorry. >> [inaudible]. >> i have one quick question because, the gentleman says that, we're relying too much on anecdotal evidence. so here is some statistical evidence. less than about 15% of african-american, or about 15% of drug use in this country and 15% of drug crime in this country is african-american. the vast majority of drug dealing in this country is white. and yet we have a system where the statistics the statistics show that even when you correct for class and other variables somehow we end up with jurisdictions where 60 70, 80, someplaces 90% of the people doing time for drug crime are african-american. if that is no a systemic problem, i don't know what is. [applause]
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>> not necessarily so. depends on the type of the drug crime. >> well that is a great song. it ain't necessarily so. i love that song. today, there are two great columnists in this country. i am sitting next to one. the other one write as blog for "esquire" magazine. charlie pierce writes today, no video, no crime. that is simple truth. all you need to know about the coal blooded slaying by walter scott by michael slager in charleston south carolina. no video and slager drops his taser by scott's body and probably gets away with what he did. no video, scott goes down as another of many semihoodlums are occupational hazards to our brave men and blue. no video and slager is doing three nights a week on "hannity" by next monday. no video slager is half a hero,
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while scott remains dead. now. in order for us to -- >> i am going to interrupt you if i can. very important point i want to get back to that i did want to follow robert's thought for clarity, to answer the question of in fact the systemic and militarization? >> can i make my point, other than having the quote? >> okay, sure. >> we have a new standard here. for any anything bad to have happened there has to be a felony conviction supported by video. and that is not exactly a standard that i can get behind. >> that is a good point. i want to get back to video too. laugh. [applause] >> the crime rate, in new york city and almost every major metropolitan area, in almost every medium-sized city and almost every small town and almost every category of crime has been falling steadily since
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the 1980s. rush police do not in fact face more crime. sure there are drug cartels. i happen to know a lot about that on family law enforcement basis but those cartels are not the individuals cooking up meth in their basement, that the drug warrants are served on with a s.w.a.t. team. you know, going after cartels, with a s.w.a.t. team, maybe that is acceptable. but, we're taking a militarized response to serving for bench warrants, for failure to appear, for a custody dispute or failure to appear for a traffic stop. i mean it is absurd the level of firepower that we're bringing to situations where there is no reason to think that anything, you know, that they will encounterforce of any kind. accidents happen. accidents happen when eight guys fully lock and loaded enter a room with presumption of threat. the second point i would like to make although the data is
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frankly not great, and there is a lot of constituent reasons why the fbi and why police forces do not willingly collect and hand over the data about who shot and killed and when and how in police custody, we actually scraped what data there was out there. what data there is out there, shows pretty definitely look this up on "mother jones," is that if, cases from new york, federal law enforcement cases there are more, in, measured against every kind of incident measured against number of arrests blacks are more likely not only to be arrested but more likely to be shot. these are not just arrests for violent crimes. these are arrests for for sometimes for no good reason and sometimes for petty crimes. we do need more data. to say that the data out there doesn't support is going on is just a fallacy. [applause] >> richard, i want to come back
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to you with what you were talking about because i think you bring up this issue of video which i think could be very hugely important as we g forward. do you think that, that the wearing of videos now is going to make a big difference in the anti-police state? >> i don't know. videos can be confusing. i know that in the incident, the much less serious incident involving my own self, that i mentioned, i filed a charge, because the chief said, why don't you? so i did. and, it turned out he hadn't turned his camera on. oh well, that is half an hour of him screaming, i never saw the man's face by the way. he was still in the car. and the initial and the result of the inquiry was that he was exonerated because he had violated none of the rules of the grand forks police
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department. so i don't know whether video is cure y'all because there are some ways around it. i think we're better with it than we would be without it, but i don't think we can install video, i mean, poor cops today they're carrying like 400 pounds of stuff guns and tasers. by the way tasers were supposed to be a non-violent response. now they're a torture device. they're carrying a lot of stuff already. you know i think it's a good thing but i don't know whether we should all be content because we have them wearing video. >> i think we finally agree. >> we had to at some point. >> i feel badly bit. that we do agree but we do agree on issue of, videos. for the sake of law enforcement because in this climate if legitimate law enforcement is second-guessing every decision, and, people like here, are
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treating law enforcement's legitimate actions with a presumption of illegitimacy, i think that overall, though it is not a panacea it benefits police and the public alike to have a video so that the vast preponderance of policemen who do their jobs correctly, can act with confidence because, they act in a split second world where a mistake can be life and death. so overall based on this collected experience, even from my side of the spectrum, i think the evidence is, fairly strong in the direction that putting videos on policemen, would be the most prudent response, and it is something that the police should want, i think to vindicate them. i think it would that most policemen, most of the time, do their jobs in a way that is proper. and consistent with the american
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constitution. [applause] >> i would only add i think it is grossly unfair to assume anyone on this panel has gone in with a presumption of uniform guilt against all police officers. [applause] >> are there any other questions, each of you has before each other before i turn it over to our audience. . .
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the friend of my daughters, during high school who got stopped constantly african-american who got stopped constantly for driving his father's bmw. the instances where young teenaged african-american kids are treated differently in their pranks, they're knocking down of mailboxes and the things young kids do. and they tend to get a police record and a lot of the way kids tended to go to the juvenile conference committee. it's all those little things that add up and then they say that the person has a record. and because of all those little ones that add up before. can you comment on those?
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because it seems those little things rather than the big things add up. >> is there some of you want to direct that question to? i reduce if not saying if there's someone you would like to direct it to. >> it doesn't matter. it's him as a comment on that i would appreciate it. >> i agree with you. i think that most compelling part of the ferguson report that i found problematic in many ways, but one of the most compelling parts to that report is that i think the data was robust, but african-americans were disproportionately and aggressively targeted for traffic violations and other things that i previously created a record and were stepping stones to other things -- aggregate lead. i think that's happened in a lot of places. again i think this is where we're going to disagree. with a long way to go but in my
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native city of boston, to use an example, this has improved significantly, but still is a problem from the 1980s. i'm a boston celtic sky. when the car for the celtics, d. brown, driving into his wellesley home in his mercedes was taken to the side by the wellesley police because he wasn't present to be the type to be in that neighborhood. i do think that that's a serious issue, although i also think coming from california that police departments generally are abusing their authority to raise revenue in all sorts of ways. and if you think it's a fair criticism that the african-american community has bored and even significantly greater degree of that abuse than other communities. so i think that concern is a
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national and a legitimate concern. and something, something that may be more systemic than the higher level that we talked about earlier. that's a good point. [applause] >> i think it is easy to say that things have improved and that's certainly probably appealing to us on an emotional level, but i would like to see some statistics that prove this improvement. i would like to see an illustration of that. in terms of the sort of pestering, as you put it you are exactly right. the thing about ferguson, my particular favorite part of the ferguson report was the man who got arrested for giving his name as mike when his full name was michael the fallacy is to treat ferguson as if it is somehow, this mutant town that is like no
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other big or small town in america. and for those who are tempted to treat ferguson as an outlier, i would ask one question. if ferguson is so different from so many other towns, how did ferguson, what ferguson is and let'slet's say, boulder or l.a. or boston or whoever managed to remain above that. i would be really curious to know. >> next question over here. >> this question is directed towards bob. bob, my name is david i'm a graduate student in engineering, pursuing a ph.d -- >> can you speak into the microphone a little bit more? >> so my question to you bob is frank safeco or rudy giuliani, who did more to make new york city safe? >> rudy giuliani was the greatest 20th century mayor of the united states, and although the were many things that improved new york, he applied
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james q. wilson's broken window theory to the squeegee manic on the bridges and subways. rudy giuliani's enforcement of law benefited life liberty, and prosperity more than any single social policy in the 20th century in any major city. and he's a hero for it and it's largely due not only to giuliani by the high quality of the new york city police department and the das office is there that are the protector rather than liberty. how is that? >> rudy giuliani hired bernard karat to run police. bernard kerrick is a criminal who did time in federal prison. rudy giuliani the best line ever from joe biden is every rudy giuliani sense as the subject of herb and 9/11.
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[laughter] >> i disagree spent rudy giuliani and if you look at what he is saying currently he's nuts. and we already mentioned that crime all over this country has declined in places with or without rudy giuliani. so i respectfully disagree. >> and i disagree, too. >> let's just not forget that -- [inaudible] >> where is the mic? can you keep them on all the time? >> i just want to say let's not forget two of the worst police misconduct cases occurred under giuliani's watch. 41 shots on the one hand being anally raped by a brick and broomstick, and the other, nypd
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has had a lot of problems over the years and a lot of great officers but it was hardly a beacon of understanding in the giuliana era. [applause] >> thank you for your interesting question, and i'm sure we will have rudy giuliani here on stage next year, over here. and students, please come forward on the mic's spent hi. thanks to everybody on the panel. i think i had a bit of a difference of view from mr. coffman as far as whether or not the united states can actually be said for a police state. i'm wondering if perhaps because you work on an international level primarily your understanding of how that could apply to the u.s. might just not be nuanced in terms of we don't have to have all people subjugated under a police state for perhaps one group of people to be experiencing something completely different than the
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majority of the people in the country. so when you said that i was left wondering if mr. pitts might have a different view that perhaps the african-american community lives in a different united states than you do and that id. and that being a very legitimate way to approach this panel might make us go back to comment against i will reveal myself as a liberal, the fact i think this is a systemic problem, so being of the systemic type. i'm wondering if we are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy and i'm directing this to mr. pitts. you mentioned about how many more proportionally black people are arrested for crimes that statistically they are not involved in you know, as much. and we are building our prison system with african-americans --
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filling. i believe creating -- >> and your question is? >> my question is, for him, is do you think that this is something that is a self-fulfilling -- what you think it goes back? august the you don't think it's just attitude of people. >> what is your question speed? personal from mr. kaufman has ago, but as for mr. kaufman or doctor kaufman's credentials, it's misunderstanding. i have a lot of grief from georgetown as well. i had sam dash for criminal law in feinberg. extend issue. i don't agree with you but i also studied the ss and the kgb so i understand the difference between the police state and a situation that's in the united states. our disagreement is not based on misunderstanding or minot being enlightened with the
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information. it's based on a different view of the information and a different degree of sources as to where i get my information. on that note i've to play the same role on the iran panel, so i've enjoyed it. thank you for your forbearance. [applause] >> i'm sorry, what was the part briefly what was part of the question for me? briefly. make it up? is there a partial police state? i think the fallacy, you know we are reacting as if the only way we can help a police state if we're having some re-creation of the nazis were some re-creation of some, you know other infamous dictatorship but i think that the architecture,
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it's certain not come if i had to live anywhere i would live here obviously. it's sorting not as bad here as it is in other places but the architecture of a police state is very certainly being put into place, particularly in the african-american community. i should say a nonwhite community because he go to arizona, you know, you are required to show your papers if you are hispanic figure required to show your papers up on an encounter with police to prove have a right to be. that to me is chillingly reminiscent of something that we've seen from history. in terms of the african-american experience if you look at ferguson, if you look at the protests of ferguson but if you look to these police spacesuits and high-powered rifles, if you saw them eject white reporters from a mcdonald's where they were customers and eject them
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and arrest them for trespassing, okay, then you have to be concerned about the prospect of police out of control and police with no oversight. it's not just a racial issue at that point. it is a first amendment issue. there were repeated stories out of ferguson of journalists being mishandled, being carried asked being arrested, having cameras pointed toward the street so they couldn't record was going on. this ain't a black thing or solely a black thing. this is something we should all be concerned about. >> it's spreading because i know it used to be if a crime was committed, you just went to police headquarters and they give you the basics of it. nowadays you have jurisdictions in which the police won't tell you squat except something happened. now i know this, i haven't done an academic study on it. my own credentials are that i was a police reporter for a well. i was a journalist for a long time and i went to a state
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university. i don't have a law degree, but i do look about me and i see a lot more of it. there was a gunfight in the parking lot of the hospital in grand forks involving three police agencies the border patrol, the university police and the local police. so far we have no idea what happened, and it's been a month. >> our next question. and again i'm going to remind you these are questions. could you please limit it to one or two sentences in your question. >> i will do my best. i graduated high school in houston, texas, in the early '70s with a police perfected -- i'm getting to it please. perfected the throwdown gun and police are still doing it today, so it's a systemic problem for a long time in various settings. what role panelists do you think the questioning of a
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lawful police order place in the escalation by police in these instances that often lead to death, particularly for minority's? >> i don't know. i know you could provoke a fight with a lawful order if you want to, you know. all these things are vague. that's one of the reasons why i say that it's probably a good idea to have video. because it's kind of how lawful was the order? what was the order? if it's a polite you know, when i was a kid, as you might figure i was a white kid we would be hanging on the corner and a cop would come along and said why don't you guys move, you know? and we would move. nobody got arrested. nobody got hassled. nobody got continued questioning or pat downs. one of the most horrifying pictures i ever saw was a couple of black kids being patted down
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like christine todd whitman the governor of new jersey, who had gone out with the state police for kicks. this has embedded itself in our culture and i think it's very much worth worrying about. >> here's the thing. during the ferguson, height of the ferguson demonstrations there was a police officer who wrote an essay ugly for the "washington post" and his essential argument was don't question me. if you don't want i think the headline was actually something to the effect if you don't want to get hurt don't question me even if you're in the right. the things that that race to become an elite it to you is we have certain constitutional rights. and i believe our law professor is not just like you doublecheck this but i believe if and not suspected of or caught in the commission of it, i don't have to tell you i am. i believe to be too. assuming that's the case then
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if i cannot assert that right if you're still allowed to do what you want to me and then later some comes back and says you have that right and we are sorry i'm in is that right really any good? if i cannot answer that right in the moment, then do i have that right at all? [applause] >> i'm going to assume a three students in laying there come is that right? let's go through your questions quickly, and thank you, endless, for your responses being quick. >> is question is aimed mainly at richard aregood. you mention most please can get the job. >> after arbitration after they've committed a crime. so i was wondering because we have so much evidence of police abusing their powers and the ferguson entering the occupy movement and just a lot how can we take power away from police unions so that we can actually prosecute them and get them fired? >> we have to have governments that are less afraid of them.
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the reason that their benefits are so good is that mayors indicated down the road and they don't want to take on police unions. i am now a public employee. i worked for the state of new jersey, but why is it that the government can get all excited about my pension, which i one of the click because i won't work long enough, can get all agitated by my pension but is not agitated to police officers pensions? i think what's required is for government to actually take a look at what is happening under their names. i don't see a whole lot that you or i could do. other than influence our governments to take a good look at what's happening in our name. >> this is directed towards anyone. my question is do you think it
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should be more difficult to become a police officer? make sure you're mentally fit you know you cannot become a police officer without actually graduating high school. you can get a ged and become a police officer, or make sure we have braver police officers so they won't shoot people running away from them. >> i think that much more training, not only upon becoming a police officer but throughout a career as a necessity. the same reason we want to send doctors and nurses to learn the latest techniques. police officers, too, should be brought up to speed on everything from technique to this research that is talking about earlier, to sort of raise their own consciousness. i think the most egregious case of a lack of screening is in the tamir rice shooting where he had been kicked out of a police force of a smaller jurisdiction
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and for whatever reason partly due to privacy law, so there is legal apparatus not just with the unions. this is just straight up privacy laws as i understand them but that it didn't have any idea that the previous police force he worked for thought he was horribly unsuited and not just unsuited but unstable. and you saw he just jumped out of the car and shot thank you. it was not two seconds of delay. there was no assessment of what was going on in the scene. and you know, somebody like that just should not be carrying a gun and a shield. [applause] >> let me put this into context, it's a good question of what you're touching on very early on on the systemic of what is a policeman see how could you change it, how could you trained to have a policeman see differently? >> i can't improve upon it after that was just given. i do know that it needs to be more difficult in terms of
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because i can't answer that question because i don't know what the hurdles are the chip to chip over to be a police officer but i think there needs to be not just in law enforcement but in many other fields that it's be some sort of training that helps people to recognize and to overcome and to be aware of their own inherent biases but i think we get into trouble as i said repeatedly, i think we get into trouble when we think that bias looks like some guy with a client good in the back of his closet. bias looks like everyone of us in this room, myself included. we need training that alerts us to what's going on in our own head and teach us how to overcome that. >> thank you. next question. >> my question is directed for anyone who wants to take it. with the increasing use of permit surveillance systems and underrepresented cities like camden, new jersey, do you see this as speeding up the police state? >> i teaching camden, new jersey.
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the worst city in america. i was born in camden, new jersey, as a matter-of-fact. i lived in what now has become very rare and integrated poor neighborhood where everybody had jobs sort of. i don't know what i don't think, i think what we are talking about here is the interface between the government and the people which is being purportedly law enforcement. a lot of it isn't real law enforcement. i don't know the relationship to the surveillance state although i think even in a georgetown law graduate might consider that to be an intrusion on the rights. i think what we are talking about is to get policeman to look at reality during the last question i was thinking about i was riding through newark with reported. i was an editor at the paper and i got lost.
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i got lost in a really what you would call a really poor neighborhood in newark and which is a really poor neighborhood, it's in newark. and the reporter was afraid when i stopped to ask a guy for directions to he was terrified, and it turned to him and said, this thing is working on his car. you know? is not a danger to you or anybody else that is just a guy working on his car. and i think we have to train cops to see better. to see the dynamics of communities. i think when they all got into automobiles the world shifted for them because they didn't see it the way people on the ground see it. >> next question, student. is there a student in line? i'm sorry to do that but yes please. >> the 9/11 nine 9/11 was an isolated incident of terrorism it there was such a strong reaction to it to prevent that from the future. so why should these isolated
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incidents not have the same or at least similar reaction? >> i have no idea. [laughter] i think, you know, again, my point is i would just repeat what i said before. there seems to be a scarcity of really good statistics except we do know that african-americans are more likely to be shot and more likely to be arrested and stopped in the first place but we don't know the gross numbers on that. but i have real impatience with this idea that we keep stringing together all of these quote-unquote isolated incidents. when you have 10 or 20 isolated incidents, you know, seems to me you have a pattern. that just seems like logic to me. [applause] >> i would just add that 9/11 you know, was not in fact, an isolated incident.
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it was just the biggest one to get this country. and i think that some measure of better security and better intelligence and better preparation and all that was awarded. the problem is when it spills into every nook and cranny of our life and we used the tools that are designed to combat terrorism against a bunch of kids who are selling lucy's or whatever, doing nothing. that's the problem. i think actually both our patterns and it's the intersection of those patterns that has been a particular problem. >> okay. our next question. let's see if we can get through all of these as quickly as possible. >> i have a question. how do i explain to my children when they see ferguson? when the african-american community feels that it was in jest, but that same community goes out and loot their own community. how do explain that to my children? >> first of all you tell them it wasn't the entire community.
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second of all you explain to them that sometimes when people are emotionally wrought, some of them will do dumb things, as in when their sports teams win championships. [applause] you know when the sports teams win championships we don't take few idiots who overturned cars and break windows as being indicative of the entirety of the fan base or reflective of the teen. so i think the same standard applies in ferguson. and were a few idiots are opportunists, frankly, who probably didn't give a damn about michael brown one way or another but saw a chance to break the wind and get free beer. there will always be idiots and operatives among us but that should not invalidate their real feelings of the people who are out there commission lawfully and peacefully. [applause] spent i appreciate your point that they have with that is we are jewish and things happened to jewish and things happen to jewish people the jewish people lose. is to the minority's --
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>> jewish people looted? probably wind up all teams lose i would assume. we are quickly because i received between from somebody the whole thing is why is only black people who looted? i sent them this series of white kids writing and the response was these are all ballgames and a victory to the white kids looting for all kinds of reasons. so this idea that of african-americans engage in civic disorder is a historic fallacy. >> i have two questions. one is -- >> one question. >> shell alexander wrote the book the new jim crow that goes back to the reagan era and the war on drugs and the militarization of the police through the program. but also the targeting of the black community. and i'm just wondering if you see, because that was nationwide and governmental, a way of
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reversing that and speak your question is? >> a way of reversing that. and the second question is -- >> sorry. thank you very much. i'm sorry. >> very quickly i think michelle alexander wrote one of the most critical and urgent books and needed books that i've ever read. i think the way to reverse it one, there's a movement coalescing. you've seen some of this. you've seen the fruit of some of this with eric holder, the attorney general, rolling back some of the architecture of the war on drugs but i think there needs to be public pressure on eric holder, on whoever his successor will be, loretta lynch recently, to continue this. they have not called a rollback on the war on drugs which is probably intelligent of them politically but it is mounting to that and we make -- we need to make sure whoever succeeds
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eric holder and barack obama continues to do that. >> i was thinking the last time around, the reason why reconstruction after the civil war didn't work was horrifying violence inflicted by white people all over the south especially in louisiana. so let's think about that. >> the last two questions in the last two minutes. quickly over here. >> this is a question directed to any painless. i'm curious if you want to comment on any perceived correlation in the rise of police brutality and violence and the connections of veterans returning from iraq and afghanistan, anderson positions as police officers. >> i don't know that there is a correlation but i don't know that, you know it is veterans have been returning forced the last what nine 10, 12 years i guess it is. this problem of brutality, i don't know that, i think and we
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don't know the statistics but i don't know whether it's rising or falling. i know that we're seeing more of it on the news but as far as whether it is better or worse i don't know we can say. i do know we can say there is a correlation. >> we will be this discussion at this point. you can see the rest of in the c-span video library. the senate is about to gavel in. senators debating whether to go into negotiations with the house over the federal budget. the chaplain: let us pray. o god, our protector mountains shake in your presence and islands skip for joy. we praise you because your ways are just and true. you know our hearts and minds like an open book.
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thank you for the security we have in you, for you alone remain our rock and refuge. lead our lawmakers on the road that you have chosen providing them with strength for their journey. keep them safe as you provide them with the patience to wait for your harvest. help them in the making of our laws to execute justice for the oppressed and to set the captives free. give us all the grace to love and pray even for those who hurt and wrong us.
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we pray in your merciful name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: later this morning, the senate will move to go to conference with the house on the budget resolution. the vote on that motion will occur before lunch. up to ten hours of debate -- after about ten hours of debate which is stipulated under the statute, we expect a series of votes on motions to instruct conferees on the budget. senators should expect those votes later this afternoon or this evening. now, mr. president just hours ago, 100% of senate democrats followed the lead of republicans and democrats in the house including nancy pelosi and the pro-choice caucus in voting to endorse the bipartisan principle that federal funds leaving the government should be subject to bipartisan hyde language.
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given that americans overwhelmingly support what hyde does it's no wonder this principle has been applied by both parties both parties to appropriation and authorizing legislation for as long as anyone can remember. we hope democrats' state of support for hyde in last night's medicare vote will finally clear the way for passage of antislavery legislation they have been filibustering over the very same hyde principle. it was never a morally tenable position never. considering what we saw just 12 hours ago, it is no longer politically tenable either. democrats couldn't possibly justify voting for hyde language in order to keep doctors as they did just hours ago but then look at an abused victim in the eye and tell her she's not worth it. okay to vote for hyde to help
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doctors but then not okay when it comes to victims of sexual trafficking. human trafficking mr. president, is a serious problem in our country. it's hard for a lot of people to believe, but it occurs in every single state. i recently saw a news report about a local nonprofit that's worried about trafficking at big events like the kentucky derby. they'll take a girl to one city for one to two weeks an official with that group said. then they'll go to another city and they just follow these circuits. it's really hard to ever get them out of it. look it's unconscionable for anyone to continue filibustering this human rights bill over a principle that's been a fixture a fixture in federal law for
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decades. that was in the bill when democrats endorsed it, cosponsored it and voted unanimously to support it in committee. that was endorsed again by democrats just last night but just to ensure there are no possible excuses left to continue this filibuster, senator cornyn offered another another compromise just last night to eliminate any remaining pretext. his compromise ensures that by supporting this bill, senate democrats would only be endorsing the same hyde language that 100% of them just voted to support last night. less than 24 hours ago. remember this is essentially language endorsed by nancy pelosi and and the pro-choice
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caucus. it's actually the third compromise we've offered on the senate floor to our friends across the aisle. first we offered our colleagues a simple up-or-down vote last month to strike the language that they once were for before they decided to be against it. then before the recess, senator cornyn offered to make the moneys in the fund subject to the appropriations process something our democratic colleagues had said was important to them. this is now the third compromise we've offered on the floor. it's time for our democratic friends to show a little courage to finally bring their party's filibuster of antislavery legislation to an end. a large bipartisan majority of the senate has already demonstrated its commitment to doing so. and all that is needed now are a
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couple more democrats to join us. that's all that's needed now are a couple more democrats willing to show the same level of compassion to enslaved victims that they offered to doctors to doctors just a few hours ago. as an official with the coalition against trafficking and women put it, our democratic colleagues should stop choosing a phantom problem a phantom problem over real victims. because as the "los angeles times" said -- quote -- "the hyde amendment has been the law for many years. a fight over whether a fraction of the projected millions of dollars in aid to victims of trafficking and hunters of traffickers -- and hundreds of traffickers can be used on abortion services seems fruitless andal bill should not be derailed by such a fight." this has gone on long enough.
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it's time for senators of conscience to stand up and end this filibuster now. on another matter, before easter the senate passed a balanced budget. the house of representatives did as well. now the next step in the process is for each chamber to appoint members to a conference committee that can work out any differences between those bills and then send unified legislation back to congress for a final vote. we're taking that next step today. some of our friends across the aisle seemed eager to use this opportunity to rehash some of the same votes we took in passing the budget. the outcome of those votes won't be different so i'm not sure what the point would be other than to slow down the process for its own sake. so i'd urge them to reconsider and decide if that's really what they want to do, but either way
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either way the new congress is determined to keep working to finalize the budget. after years of a senate that often refused to even consider a budget, this is a big change, and it's another example of the new congress that's back to regular order and back to work. the presiding officer: the democrat leader. mr. reid: the republican leader talked about two issues. one, sexual trafficking, and two, the budget. his statements regarding the two are as illogical as anything could be, illogical. first of all let's talk about sexual trafficking. now, senators on this side of the aisle with rare exception are not wild about the hyde amendment, but it has been the
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law of the land for some 30 years. and why is it the law of the land? because it's been put in appropriation bills over these many years. what my friend, the republican leader failed to mention is that if the cornyn amendment or the cornyn language were adopted, it would change women's reproductive rights permanently. you see the hyde amendment is always applied to taxpayer-funded money. what senator cornyn, the author of this bill and this amendment want to do, is to direct this to private money. they are two totally different things. hyde has never ever in the past applied to private money nontaxpayer dollars. so that's why my friend's argument is totally illogical illogical. it has no basis in fact. we are not going to stand by to enlarge this so-called hyde
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amendment to private money. now, mr. president, we have tried, we have tried. ten different offers have been made to senator cornyn, senator mcconnell to work our way through this. there are many ways that we can handle this, but they feel, my friend the republican leader and the assistant republican leader feel that this is their opportunity to broaden hyde, and we're not going to allow that to happen. it would be wrong. we have made ten separate offers of ways to get to yes but republicans appear unwilling to compromise about the hyde language, and that's unfortunate. now, to carry on the illogic of my friend, the republican leader mr. president every organization has a mission statement, a summary of their goals and values. congress is no different.
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their mission statements -- there are mission statements that are done every year and it's called a budget. we have our mission statement. the republicans have theirs. and budget sets forth our core values as a party. a statement of our values tells the american people what we really care about and whose side we're on. we are committed to a budget that puts the middle class first, a budget that supports hardworking families, creates jobs and invests in our future. the republicans by contrast are hellbent on passing a budget that creates a war on the middle class and serves the interests of special interests and super wealthy. let's take a look at what the senate republican budget does. remember, this is their core values. and, mr. president their war on the average american from reno to las vegas to chicago to
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louisville, it doesn't matter where you go, is an attack on the middle class. why do i say that? it deprives more than 16 million americans of health coverage. that's the first thing their budget does. it devastates medicare. it makes medicare something that we would not recognize. they do it of course at the expense of america's seniors. it cuts medicaid, hurts millions of families that rely on it to pay for their care. now, mr. president everyone thinks that medicare is just for poor people. some people don't think that they have much value in our society, and medicaid is something that should have much of our attention but a significant amount of medicaid money goes to people who are in rest homes convalescent centers. so the money that they're whacking from medicaid hurts not only the young but the old. it guts nutrition assistance. it guts food that can go to
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people that are hungry. it undermines job training, unemployment services for millions of american families. it cuts billions in financial aid for college students. now, not only -- republicans not only want to cut aid to families as it relates to education, but then the debts they've accumulated which is larger than credit card debt, they don't want to cut them any relief whatsoever. we've tried that lots of times. our knowledge reflects that. theirs doesn't. while the middle class would be decimated by senate republicans, and who benefits special interest and superrich. they'll be protected more than ever. republicans refuse to close a single loophole to reduce the deficit. a single tax loophole they will not touch it. they won't end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas including hedge fund managers and take away unneeded
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tax breaks for the powerful oil and gas industry. they're attacking the middle class while protecting the super wealthy, and that's wrong. now, the republican budget is also dishonest. i heard the republican leader come here yesterday and boast he boasted about the balanced budget they have. that is absolutely not true. their budget does not balance the budget. it's simply dishonest? saying so. the republican budget claims it adds more money for defense but it doesn't. it's no wonder that "the new york times" called the republican budget a trillion-dollar con job. a trillion-dollar con job is the republican budget and i agree with "the new york times." in the coming days as we move forward toward conference, --
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now remember, move forward toward conference. that's been kind of a judge joke around here. because we don't have conferences like we used to. and that's too bad. there will be no meeting of the conferees. there will be no debate and open session how the budget should be changed. the republicans they'll get -- they'll get to conference and there will be a meeting held by the republicans, democrats won't be invited, and if they are invited, it's pro forma here's what we decided to do. the conference as we used to do them around here don't exist. it's on a rare occasion they do. we will be looking in our efforts to try to improve their budget we're not looking to obstruct the process to force another all-night vote aroom rama. we could -- vote-a-rama. we could under the rules offer endless motions to instruct. five six 50, a hundred 200, we could do that. we're not going to do that.
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but we will be offering a few motions to make clear where we stand on important issues. for example there will be an amendment that men and women who do the same work should be paid the same money. if my daughter works here and a man works here and they do the same job they should be paid the same amount of money. we've tried to do that. republicans have filibustered this five times over the last few years. we're going to offer an amendment to provide sick leave to help families get through tough times. we're going to offer an amendment to ensure that same-sex spouses have equal access to social security and veterans' benefits. we're going to offer an amendment to relieve the credit you aring burden of costly student loans. no one has worked harder on this issue than the assistant democratic leader. i heard them yesterday talk about this at a meeting we had. crushing crushing, costly students. and we're going to -- student loans.
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we're going to address the economic and national security threats posed by climate change. mr. president, in the west we're in the midst of a 15-year drought. this is the 15th year. lake powell, the largest manmade lake in america could go dry very quickly. hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water will not go into that lake because of what's happened in the upper colorado. so when we're done offering what we feel should be ways to improve this dishonest budget that the republicans put forward, the american people will have no doubt which party stands for the middle class and which stands for special interest billionaires. yes, we have set forth what we believe are our core values and we believe our core values are what the american people need. would the chair announce the business of the day. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved.
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under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for ten minutes each and with the time equally divided. the democrats controlling the first half. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the stance democratic leader. mr. durbin: it was 150 years ago today, 150 years ago today when the last what is called the last casualty of the civil war died. he was a man who was born in your home state of kentucky. grew up for a part of his life in indiana but spent his formative years in my state of illinois. he was a country lawyer an unlikely congressman who because of a political deal was given a chance to serve in the u.s. house of representatives. he served only two years brought his family here to washington for that experience. they lived just across the street in a boarding house where the live of -- library of
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congress now sits. his family didn't like washington in those days in the 1840's and returned back to his wife's home in kentucky. he stayed out here and served in congress and liked it, wanted to serve for a longer period of time but was reminded that that wasn't part of the agreement. only two years. so he left washington, went back to springfield illinois, practiced law but continued to aspire to higher office. in 1858 ran for the united states senate against a man named stephen douglas. they had historic debates across the state of illinois. when the votes were finally counted, douglas was the victor. this man returned to the practice of law. just two years later though, he was elected president of the united states. he came to washington at one of the most dangerous times in our history, the civil war had started and there was a question whether the union could survive, whether the united
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states of america would survive. and this simple country lawyer from was considered the frontier of america in those days led our nation during the most dangerous moments in our history. he watched as more americans died in that civil war than in any war that we have ever witnessed. and he saw a nation bitterly divided. the war raged on for years. there were moments bleak and dark moments when it looked as if the north would fail and the division of the country would begin. but eventually, the north prevailed and this leader took credit for victory that really the american people had given so much to achieve. in april of 1865, it was a tumultuous period. i commend to all of my colleagues a book written by jay
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winnick, a senate staffer entitled "april, 1865." if you want to get a feel for what it was like in america that month. many things occurred, the second inaugural address of this apartment, one of the most -- this president, one of the most you beautiful touching, and moving speeches ever given by a president, where he turned toward the enemy that had fought the north for so many years and basically extended an olive branch when many others would have done just the opposite. with malice toward none, with charity for all. gave that chief right outside here right outside the senate chamber on the porch. and then in celebration of the victory of the union he and his wifetainedded a play not far from here at ford's theater. it was there that an assassin
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took his life. 150 years ago today abraham lincoln, the president of the united states was assassinated. we've learned a lot from his life from his leadership, and we enjoy the blessings of liberty and a union today because that president and the men and women who stood by him saved the union. i reflect on this because i come from what's known as mr. lincoln's hometown of springfield, illinois. i'm not an expert on lincoln i'm just a fan. as seem people are. not only across the united states but around the world. i hope we can remember him just for a moment today and reflect on the need for all of us to extend an olive branch to our personal enemies and our political enemies and try to find how to eliminate an enemy by making a friend, as lincoln
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said. mr. president, on another topic, i cannot believe i cannot believe that loretta lynch still sits on this executive calendar here of the united states senate. it's put on our desk every day we're in session. she has been on that calendar for a longer period of time than any nominee for attorney general in the last 30 years. senators can vote for or against loretta lynch to be attorney general. that's their right. but an attorney general nominee whose qualifications and character are unquestionable deserves better than the treatment she is seeing from this the united states senate -- united states senate. ms. lynch deserves a timely vote such as every other attorney general nominee of every other president has received. she was reported out of the senate judiciary committee on february 26 in a bipartisan vote
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nine democrats three republicans voted for this presidential nominee. she has now been pending on the senate calendar right here for 46 days, 46 days on this calendar and not one word has been spoken on this floor in derogation of this fine woman and this fine nominee. the last seven attorney general nominees combined, all seven of them had to wait on the senate floor for a total of 24 days. seven nominees, 24 days. loretta lynch, 46 days. the senate has confirmed other nominees while the human trafficking bill,. there is no procedural obstacle. while that bill has been pending the senate has voted on nominees for the instant secretary of transportation the assistant
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secretary of commerce, thrift investment board and today will vote on a federal judge. i should say monday we voted on a federal judge. it is routine for the senate to consider nominees on the executive calendar while still considering legislation. it's been 156 days, more than five months, since ms. lynch's nomination to be attorney general was announced and a vote still has not been scheduled. far longer than any recenter attorney general nominees had to wait. janet reno waited 29 days. john ashcroft, republican nominee, waited 42 days. alberto gonzalez, 86 days. michael mccrazy 53 -- mukasey, 54 days. but when it comes to loretta lynch, 156 days. the last attorney general nominee whose nomination took this long to process was edmond
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mease in 184 who faced questions and investigations relating to questions of ethics. there have been no such allegations, none, raised against loretta lynch. senate republicans have the capability to bring up nominations promptly, the majority leader, senator mcconnell of kentucky can walktothisfloorwithinaminute call her nomination and it will be voted on immediately. it's his power to do it. why won't he do it? why won't he give this woman who has such an extraordinary life story a chance to serve as the first african-american woman in the history of the united states to serve as attorney general? there is no substantive reason, none not one and i welcome any republican senator to come to the floor and make the case against loretta lynch. no one did it in committee.
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no one has done it on the floor. it's time for us to move forward and approve this nomination. speaking on another matter, mr. president, you probably don't remember these days because of your age but i do. when i was a child polio was a scare that every family felt. i had friends in school who were stricken with polio. some of them in the most extreme cases ended up in something called an iron lung. you've probably seen pictures of it. an incredible situation where someone would be encased in this tube this metal tube that would help them breathe. many were stricken with polio and ended up crippled. and their lives were compromised to some degree in those days because disabilities were not treated as well as -- as well then as they are now. and parents didn't know what to make of this. no one knew what caused polio.
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my mother, god bless her had a theory that one of the things that might cause polio was playing in the street after a rain storm in the flooded waters. she would just ban me from doing that. that can use cause polio she said. that was my mother's theory. it was as valid as any other theory in those days. no one knew what was going on, what was causing it. many americans lived in fear of that infectious viral disease that attacks the nerve cells and the central nervous systems causing paralysis and sometimes death. in 1952, nearly 60,000 children in the united states were reported to have polio with more than 20,000 cases of paralysis. there was a panic about this epidemic. families were afraid for their kids, and the scientists struggled to understand the disease.


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