tv Book Discussion on The Job CSPAN March 26, 2016 12:02am-12:57am EDT
the larger more systemic aspect of official racism were defeated in what could be called a second civil war. it was a strange work, raged on one side by churches, children, and, and young people and waged on the other by murders, terrorist, and fire hoses. despite the assassination and too many martyrs, voting rights were achieved. jim crow was officially dismantled. by officially dismantled. by 1973, the city of atlanta, the city that famously became too busy to hate, had a black mayor. w former students of the atlantic university manifesto were nowben charged at the municipality. although the 1970s were hard years for lena who lost her father, husband, and son between 1971 in 1972, in 1972, ther 1980s were an extraordinary change in her career. she opened a one-woman broadway's show that brought her
every honor and accolade known in the theater. in the 1980s, and march 1981 the same month that's all lena's triumphant broadway return, doctor homer nash, the great-grandson of moses sister died at the age of 94. in the words of the lentic constitution, doctor homer's nash is dead ends and error. he was the longest practicing black dr. in georgia and the longest practicing dr. of any race in atlanta. you could call the black calhoun's lucky, lucky, but they were never selfish achievers. te they shared their gift and achievement with their community in the country. it is fair to say to the black calhoun's that it is much of a story is america as it is of the family. thank you. [applause].dy have
brooklyn girls high school. she went to catholic church in brooklyn. she adored brooklyn. she was a total brooklyn girl. [inaudible] >> thank you. with >> any other question?y [inaudible] >> all my mother, that's a difficult question. we while the james bond stories one of them. she did not even say hi, she just said you have got to read this book when i walked in the door. so that is one of my favorite. she was a fun mother. we had fun. i didn't see her all the time but when i saw her, which is, which is always on summer.. vacation, christmas, big holiday, it was total fun. so that was the good part.
[inaudible]france. [inaudible] reader >> she loved reading history, especially french history. she knew all knew all about the queens of france. she loved that. she was a voracious reader because shows felt she was uneducated because her mother took her at her school at the age of 16 and put her in the cotton club. everybody around her was so bright she felt and she felt she was really uneducated. she was self-taught basically. .
in the south and the one-room schoolhouse as she was always the teacher's pet even though the children hated her. they hated her accent and everything about her. but she was always the teachers pet. she didn't really receive a bad education.yo >> thank you for your question. >> would you share about stormy weather and the one-woman show? >> the question is, why or how did my mother sings stormy weather twice in her one-woman broadway show. she did it did it twice because she sang at the first time she was told to sing it in holiday which always what lena, pretty lips. you always saying and spoke to the sound recording. you had to make your face very perfect.ow she would she was always told to think of irene dunn. so the second time she sang it
so i think we're going to go across the street. [applause]. thank you. >> c-span's washington journal, live everyday with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up on saturday morning, the professor peace at the university of maryland join us for the views of muslims and islam, the wake of this week's terrorism bombings in brussels. comments made by donald trump and ted cruz. former to test the effectiveness of the visa waiver program, the days after the attack in brussels. be sure to watch c-span "washington journal" beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on saturday. join the discussion. >> book tv has 48 hours hours of non- fiction books and authors every weekend.
here are some programs to watch for. this weekend, join us for the 22nd annual virginia festival of the book in charlottesville. starting saturday noon eastern. programs include author verse hillman who discusses his book, the man who stalked einstein. how nazi scientists change the course of history. then, saturday evening at seven, patricia bell's scott, the book explores the relationship between civil rights activist paula murray adverse lady, eleanor, eleanor roosevelt. patricia bell scott speaks with author and historian at roosevelt house in new york city. on sunday, beginning at 1:00 p.m. eastern, more from the
virginia festival of the book including kelly carlin, george carlin starter who talks about her life growing up with the comedian in her book, a common home companion. then sunday night at nine p.m., afterwards with historian nancy:, author of breakthrough, the making of america's first woman president. ms. : looks at women political leaders, the advances the air making in the political arena. she is interviewed by the chair and cofounder of cornell law school's avon global center of women a justice. >> for a woman to be at the head of the most powerful country of the world, when one of my key allies does not allow women to drive in our most significant enemy at this time, isis, iswo literally executing women and girls simply for being women and girls. i think that sends a powerful message from the bully pulpits about what america stands for. >> go to booktv.org for the complete weekend schedule.name t >> how are you doing?
[laughter]'t my name is steve a sport, used to be a new york city cop for 20 years. and yes, the accent is real. [laughter] the funny thing is i did not even know i had an accent until i came to savannah. i was a copper 20 years years and then i became a writer. people asked me how do you go from being a cop to a writer? i don't like telling the story especially at a book festival with other want to strangle me. it happened by accident. after retiring from the police department, my life went from the fast lane to the slow lane. all of a sudden i had all of n this time on my hands. that when you are a real cop and living that life, you have no life.ome, i'm working around-the-clock, nights, clock, nights, weekends, holidays, i am never home. the w then all of a sudden, i'mm retired. i'm sitting i'm sittinm there and staring at the walls. firstly i did was move this over from there to their.
[laughter] and my wife says to me, what are you doing? she said you have not been home in ten years, put put that sofa back where it was. so i did.w so now i am sitting there and i'm kinda bored and i don't know why. i guess everybody had that little voice in the back of the head that whispers in their ear what to do. was that same voice that me safe all of those years like watch out for this and watch a black r eye. it was that same little voice that was whispering in my ear to write. so i wrapped a pad and pen and i wrote a story, short story, about 12 pages, about just something that happened to me on the job. so after i wrote this thing i was looking at it and what now? what why do with it now? so i handed it to some family and friends and i said i just wrote this do you mind reading and tell me what you think.
so they read it and said i we did not know you could rights. we did not not know you were that smart. [laughter] w but they loved it. so i was kind of surprise, is kind of taken back. so i wrote another one that i handed it out, everybody read it and they loved it. so i wrote another one. the first one had them crying, the second one had them laughing, so i wrote a third one and have them crying again. so i have the stories and i was just doing it to kill time. i did not know what to do now. a what i knew now? knew now? am i wasting my time? but it felt good to write. it's hard to explain but writing, the actual act of writing and putting those stories in my thoughts and feelings on paper stirred something in my soul.atrol. it was the same way at 3:00 o'clock in the morning, i would be on patrol, this is
where i was supposed to be. i was not supposed to be home in bed, sleeping, watching a, watching a movie with the wife, i was supposed to be out on patrol at 3:00 o'clock in the morning, chasing bad guys. it stirred something in my soul. so i have the stories and everybody was tell me they liked it but being a cop you are; wros skeptical their family or friends i figure they're just tell me what i wanted to hear. but i was like enough to have a friend was a real writer. she wrote a bestseller, television show, bestseller, television show, movie. she knew what she was talkingutw about. i called her up and i said to me a favor, just read it and tell me if it's any good or not. if it's if it's no good over the computer out the window and start a garden or something. pre [laughter] so she read it .. to me and she goes this is pretty good. a a little rough around the edges, needs to be polished up but this is pretty good.
so i kept writing, i wrote another story. about a year later she calls me up out of the blue. she tells me she is doing a sho, and what a great organization. but so those that don't know the mob is a group where you get up on stage and bring the people tell a real story about their life.ea so they had this show. the night before they had a cop was scheduled to appear and he had to bail out. now they are stuck. so they asked my friend, do you know anybody who can fill it? a cop maybe? sure enough she called me, the universe works in mysterious ways.ht i a she tells me up and tells me about it. i pitched pitched the story over the phone, the next night i met the players club in gramercy park. i thought thisit was going to be like in the basement of a church, couple people sitting around. going like this for applause.whe
i show up at the players club and there's like 300 people there. i. i was never so scared of my whole life. i was involved over the years and thousands of arrests, this is the scariest thing i ever had to do. i wanted to run out the door, told the producer, i would rather be chasing a guy with a gun down a dark alley then get up on that stage. but i got up there.nervous i blew the roof off the joint. everybody liked it. i was a little nervous because the theme of the show was crimes and misdemeanors.s the speakers before me all had the stories, one guy says he did 20 years for murder he did not commit. another guy with the defense attorney talking about how screwed up the criminal justice system was.en and then my friend gets up and talks about how she got arrested at the republican national convention by some less than
friendly riot cops. and how you you could use a bologna sandwicl as a pillow and central booking. so i was dead meat. i got up there and told the story and they loved it. i thought that was the end of it. about two two weeks later they said called and said they're going on a nationwide tour and they want to bring me. i next thing i know i'm at ucla in front of 2400 people. that's what i said. all, i'm not going to do that. but i did.ver, we went to seattle, sanng francisco, denver, it encouraged me to keep writing so i wrote more stories.s i s and then they put me on npr radio to have their radio hour and a goes out to over 200 radio stations. one day one day i get a call from an editor and he says, i just saw all of your stuff, i think it think it is imperative you write a book.u and i said, i think you're right. so before i got up and i told
the stories, i would write them out, it held me flush the stories out of my head, so i told him i maybe have half of one of just a first draft stuff so he said send it to me. i i said it's first draft stuff because i was still never had written anything before i did know if it was really worthy. so i sent it to him in three days later he calls me up and says you got an agent? it? it just so happened that i did. an agent heard me on npr radio couple weeks before and says i would like to represent you. when i told him i like writing short stories, i enjoy that. a cop's life is a series of short stories. when when you go out on patrol, i may handle ten, 15, 20 jobs in a night.le, it every job is a story. it has a
beginning, middle, and and. it has different characters, different dialogue, different consequences. so a cop's life is really a series of short stories and that really a series of short stories and that is what i felt comfortable writing. but my agent told me that now, short stories that way to go. people don't really go for that. he wanted me to write a memoir. i thought about it and that really cover the words, it wasn't working. i don't want to do it. so my agent and i do not i do not talk for a couple of months. that all of a sudden the editor from doubleday offers me a contract so i call it my agent and i said check my e-mail, we get a contract. but then i had to finish the book which was not that tough. so i kept writing and writing, and i finish the book. it was not as hard, i will once it was therapy but i i did enjoy it. every cop out there, has great stories. as the nature of their job. every. every night you are involved in people's lives. you're involved in their lives
during crisis. not after doing that for 20 years, you have a million stories. not just everybody can write it and put it on paper. so i wrote the book, as i wasi i writing it, through some of the. stories i was afraid, i thought nobody was going to believe this. they're going to think i made this stuff up. i wrote one story about a busy night that i had in a four hour period, really in a four hour. i had a seven to 18-year-old shot, and two women stepped, and a family dispute that went crazy and a 24-year-old kid fall oute of a fourth floor window at a party and right before he hit the ground he clipped the back of his head on a fire hydrant. i was on my hands and needs and i talked to him while he died. t after that i looked at my watch
and i was like all that happened in four hours. nobody's going to believe this. but it is true. that is a cop's life. the next night was probably a quiet night, nothing memorable. but every night when you go to work, you do not know what is going to happen from one minute to the next. as i got to the end of the book, there is one story that had to be written. i did not want to write about it , i did not feel the need to write about it, i felt very self-conscious writing about it, but it was about 911. if i did not write about it i think that would have been a big hole in the book. when i started writing about it was like the first couple of days i don't remember much, it's all a blur to me. even when i hook up with guys who were with me at the time, they say the same thing.collec they remember something very vividly, i have no recollection. i. i remember something vividly,
they can remember. so all of us for the first couple of days is kind of a w blur. after that, i was working 12 hours on, 12 hours off for the next two months. my unit within the detective borough so we got assigned to the morgue. our job was to identify the the remains coming in. i couldn't write about what i said what we did, those are people's families families and family members. i cannot write about it. but i think i wrote about my feelings and how i dealt with it and i think you get a good picture about what happened. you might find it hard to believe, but it it was one funny story about 911. you might find it hard to believe but i was assigned toot the more and my friendsm me i 80-year-old mother called my house, nobody had seen or heard from you in weeks, i was down there every day.
so my friends 80-year-old mother and asked my wife how stephen is doing and she said stephen is in the morgue.>> he is a [laughter] and she is a little hard of hearing to but she got that much as she's like oh, and so sorry, and my wife is like no that's okay, a lot of wives don't know where the husbands are. [laughter] at least i know where he is.w is [laughter] from there the story gets little blurry, we we don't how it spread but it spread. t and there is this one bar down the jersey shore that i used to hang out at and i knew the guys there and they heard that i was in the morgue.ured the [laughter]ld none of them knew my wife so nobody felt comfortable calling my house to find out what their arrangements were going to be. they figured they would just hear about it sooner or later.
so this goes on, finally after two months i get it couple of days off and i'm like i need a beer. i walk into the front door of the bar and it was like if they saw ghosts. [laughter] but before doing this i never wrote anything, hated brady. the police department i would have to write reports, hated writingi him, i writing him, i would keep everything to a minimum. a lot of guys would really dress the reports out with big words come i kept my very basic and simple. i didn't like it. even when i was a kid, i was not a good student in school, i was a solid c student.t. all my best day.is and i don't know if anybody went to captain's tool but sister kathleen used to beat the crap
out of me on a regular basis and remind me that i was not going to amount to nothing. i wish you could see me now. [laughter] so writing was never on my radar. when when i was writing i find it funny like i kind of enjoyed looking at some of the stupid things i did. like the dumb things you do as a rookie. like chasing a guy down a set of weights, we just in a robbery. wyatt and think that a trade might be,. [laughter] at the time, veg, limits bumping, just i didn't really a think the lex event that a trade would come. but i'm still here to talk aboui it. when i was a kid my father was s cop, i guess i got that's where i learned about the job from the inside out. i saw it through him.
he worked in a precinct not too far from my house and sometimes my mother would make him dinner and say bring this up to your father. i would get on my bicycle and w bring him dinner. i wouldn't leave. i would stay at the station house and sit behind with the desk is sergeant and tell their sad stories and here's a 12-year-old kid listening to every word. i'm thinking like this is the life for me, this is what i really want to do. when his his buddies would come around the house to me they were the coolest guys in the world. they were real men and i wanted to be just like them. so i guess from a kid i knewgu that i never wanted to be a doctor, i never never wanted to be a lawyer or astronaut, i wanted to be the guy standing over the dead guy in the middle of the street trying to figure out who killed him.urprise. i really know had no choice.rs writing really took me byy surprise.
in 20 years of police work it gives you plenty to write about. sometimes writers get mad at me like this whole writing thing happened by accident. i paid my dues. 20 years on the street in new york city, you pay your dues, and that -- i didn't know it at the time but that's where i was doing my research. in the back my head i head i was recording all of these things that i saw and did. it gave me plenty of stuff to write about.ucky i guess i feel lucky because when you write like that it stiy something in your soul. once you leave the policeil department my life was kind of empty. writing fill that void. it was good to think back because you forget all of the things that you did. like i worked at a lot of the places and i remember being a desk sergeant in a busy precinct. the neighborhood was insane. my first night there i was
sitting at the desk and looking around in the building was falling down, there is cracked walls and peeling paint, and not i'm sitting there in the front door flies open. this guy comes running throughgh the front door covered in blood another guy chasing him with a pipe. here i am jumping over the deske and were wrestling, fighting, trying to get the pipe off of him it turned out to be two than homeless guys from across the street, and they chipped in for a beer and like i took a bigger sit than the other guy. [laughter] two hours later sitting on the desk again, just looking at this piece of peeling paint waiting for it to fall down in the frone doors burst open again.ip some guy with bagpipes comes first and at 3:00 o'clock in tha morning and does a couple of of laps.
he play some song out ofhes outo braveheart, i'm looking at them and all of a sudden he marches out the door down the block and each of the bag typing away and i'm like, i love this job. >> .. this is the greatest job in the world. i am sure a lot of people have questions. i could take a few questions from you. >> can you come up to the microphone? nobody -- you have to step to the microphone. >> i am from new yo >>
>> end now i have three questions. [laughter] how did the neighborhood new york -- change while you were there?y of and if that was therapeutic but that was helping you work through what made it happen. [laughter] >> if your changed like a w you can imagine. streets that i used to walk down with the gun in the year ended my pocket because
it was so dangerous now there are little cafes. [laughter] bombs are going in and but they were war zones now the push baby carriages. writing is therapeutic see would think that it would be filled with action and adventure i had the good in my face and i am fighting for my life. those are good stories. i enjoy that. [laughter]e, b blood to blood is the stories of people in the interaction between to a human beings because you would think with shots fired or homicide.
i don't know why but the first tory that i wrote the first time i had to tell a parent their child was dead. in she was in the other room and said 40 days in her body was badly decomposed and she wanted to go into the room.5 i could not let that happen. i was 25. sergeant,ookie. this was not my job but there was nobody available. sunday morning and had to be done now and it fell upon me. with your a copy were confronted with difficult situations. in the new have to rise to
the occasion i sat mom down on the steps i didn't know what to say. mind and i knelt down in front of her if they took her hands in mind like that was proposing marriage. [laughter] and i convinced her it was best to remember her daughter the way she was in not the way she is. it worked. and walked into the building that morning. say mis
one of my first partners we hong now all the time. i always say new york city cop was my life of a venture the craziest roller-coaster in the world you don't get airlines.naline rush. and then go work for united airlines. [laughter] it is just not the same. i do miss that part.>> i was a and i am 83 and half -- a yankee fan. what was your opinion?me tha did it work and should we keep doing it? [laughter] >> i knew somebody would ask that.
[laughter] >> stop and frisk works.d frisk. but in the old-- guys wouldin walk down the street with guns in their waistbands somebody would step on somebody else's shoes are looking at the wrong way or walk down the block the next thing you know, they're shooting the place up and.ng with a stop and frisk we were stopping a lot of people. and right away all the bad guys knew you cannot go walking around with a gun in your waistband the tissue will get stopped and leave it at home. so now somebody would be the wrong way. wait there.y, i will be right back. you have to go home or the
whole situation would just defused but stopped and frisked would work in taped reports and make arrests in we went from reactive to proactive. if you were to vastly andby asked me if murder was reduced by 85% in major crimes 80% i would say you were nuts. i never would have to believe that or thought it was possible but it was done because of a more pro-active approach to policing the. [applause] >> i came down here and they see a copy of the metal done for the first cop killed inan
new york city and in 1909.w did you know, that?aning up t so we're guiliani is given credit. with a shared knowledge and your thoughts could he keep the eric city much safer than it was? >> eli killed or you don't give him credit where credit is due. but before that we just took reported saugh and it took somebody, all eager to do something about this.breaking io you could believe a brown paper bag in your car without somebody breaking into it to see what was in their. had id to always knew they could
do something that somebody has to lead the charge. give credit where credit is due and something could be done.hey sai the police commission is after that. zones. some of those neighborhoods are war zones. i am talking to ron the and o phone and now outside the office window a dry spice shooting. gunshots are everywhere to my office window.ing us this to staff members and that
the something else was c killed down the block. [laughter] and the next thing you know, i run down the street with my gun in hand. but back then and down around 300. i it is incredible thehe reduction of crime. i am proud to say i was there.ppen. i watched it happen. it was incredible to watch.doing talking to the cop who does crime analysis to always tells the barometer by how many street robberies.e
are you kidding me? when i was there we we're doing the it o minimum, absolute minimum capt. times p 120 per month and those are only the ones that were reported. half the time they said what's the use? twelve was an astounding number. and new york city is such as special place. and then to drive by every night.it is i did think the city would turn around.
>> thanks for cleaning that up.ire the obvious question the love for the business why did you retire after 20 years? how often did he at the deli? >> why did i retire? >> you get to retire after 20 years.walking his it eats you up over time i will bump into a copier both walking our dogs and started talking. [laughter]out. and he tells me why he retired in he was just burned out. it took a full year to get healthy again.at that working around the
clock, nights and weekends but you do eat right. every for years to make a bet the same time every day everybody says that they know when it is time to retire and i knew. i knew the exact day, the exact second when i decided to retire. i was eight officer on the kings spotted it was a very busy place one year after an 11.everything, at that plan thought we had seen everything and done everything. and just didn't have it in me anymore.
a gain related homicide the life histidine there six months pregnant watching them die. what is sadder then that? cleven i wasn't any smarter or more clever. never but i was tenacious i never gave up. one of my detectives he was a mexican gang member. and no house where read europe. informant but the couple once later we got a tip on the informantng for he would be in yonkerse
can findf the quarter. reese -- she said we will stay get out. verbally this gets my juices flowing. nothing better than that and i was sitting in my office with my feet up on my desk i have four hours' sleep the night before, be the cold pizza and the thing happened.d. i was dead, i was numb i cannot get the juices flowing and at that second i said it is time to pull the plug.pboard i didn't go get a job at headquarters where a suit. and i decided it was time to go. and i did.
[applause] >> i am from new jersey. it to livid manhattan takes to you and the rest of the police department for keeping you ready save. it is a different place today. [applause] >> i am told this started with the murder of the two policemen in brooklyn but the current mayor with his police force. you know i so do you know, if he is doing in the feed to improve his relationship? >> you know, that i wrote a
book rights? for the "ne [laughter]im after they were killed thefi emergency room the of copsre turn their back on demand it when he went to see the officer's.n. to tur people were upset about it but it wasn't well calculated plan. everybody knew he had no use for cops that is why he campaigned a tale of two cities.re there they all felt he had to use for cops and that night when he walks into the room i wasn't there but they felt he was there because he had
to so they turned their backs on him. knows he has gotten better with the police. this is just my opinion i can just imagine what it is like without the cops. and he knows that. he has to be better with the police. because everybody does what improvements were made. but that is just my opinion. >> what about the commissioner? [laughter] >> i don't know either one personally but it is difficult to stay.
i feel right now he is the right guy for the job. time. and when they see him on television and feel he is the right guy for the job at pc, andme. leave was commissioned in the first time that is when broken windows started and then they ran with that. kelly the crime kept going down.ice ray kelly did a wonderful proud. a couple of the dues -- as a cop on the deuce he represented the police department well. and he has a very difficult
job i don't know his relationship but i just believe he is the right to die for the job now. >> back to the book i knewth you did your research but i am imagine being go back to the police reports and what was it like to revisit those stories? >> before writing a book my own trading was and never really made an effort to make sure the fax were as accuratei could remember.
and said to be sure my distances and everything was accurate but we tried to be as accurate as possible. do even if i wrote a couple added day remember it this way?timony toge i was used to testify in court. you have to have your testimony together. but if we see a car accident or a homicide we view that slightly different and i do editorialized with the saudis the say always looked at the story behind that. chase, suggested be a slightly slightly dview.
eric teefive were six of us then that next day with those views of what happened. to make it is accurate as possible. >> i do you will be riding for some tv. i emigrate fe and can you comment on the authenticity. >> i don't watch it that often that periodically they take some cases and talk about current events.when you
i wanted to take my book and turn it into the script. she lov had if it is watered down a little bit but it is pretty good.nd >> with 9/11 and the aftermath for the first responders. >> i was one of the lucky ones. on the awarding of men 11 and i woke up to go to work by turned on the news and i see smoke coming in out of
the upper floors the asset was watching that with my wife the second played hit. lik, she starts crying and screaming. i am holding your in watching this. wife. sh to be a normal job were racing come to be with their wi-fi of the hugging my wife and she is crying. all a t-shirt is wet with tears and bogor's. [laughter] i am holding onto her and though i can the of is i have to go to work. next she is used to be leaving her. working i get up five ghana don't come back until the next day. i say all be home in a little while. shares used to being left
alone. time. she said please delete me not this time. and i told her. you understand i have to go. bet right? she space was going that she crying, whileing. she was sorry to have to be left alone to deal with this by herself. i left her standing at the door crying while i jumped in the car doing 90 miles an hour listening to the radio. one and at the time i was a tenant and i had 50 sergeants and detectives working for me.