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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 14, 2015 3:00am-5:01am EST

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tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us on ht, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. the president's task force on 21st century policing met for the first time today. the goal of this daylong event was to find ways to improve the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. the task force was established by president obama in an executive order in december. after the police shooting of unarmed team michael brown in ferguson, missouri. we'll hear from the head of chiefs and sheriffs associations. representatives of the aclu, the naacp, and the may i don't recognize of sacramento, baltimore and philadelphia. first, members of the task force introduce themselves and talk about their expectations.philadelphia.
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first, members of the task force introduce themselves and talk about their expectations. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for attending the first public hearing and listening session on the president's task force on 21st century policing. my name is ronald davis. i'm the director of the department of justice's community organization policing services, also known as the cops office and i'm serving as the executive director for the task force. on december 1st president obama announced his intent to form the president's task force on 21st century policing with the idea of coming up with concrete recommendations to build a gap in the trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. while the recommendations were to build trust, the president also made it clear to do so in a manner that includes our historic reduction in crime and enhanced public safety. when he signed the executive
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order, the president identified two coe shares to serve in this task force. to my left is professor lori robinson at george mason university, but professor robinson, before going to george mason was also the assistant attorney general for the department of justice's office of justice programs. next to professor robinson is philadelphia police commissioner charles ramsey who is also a co-chair and has a very distinguished law enforcement career including serving nos only as a police kmithser in philadelphia but also the police chief right here in washington, d.c. today's hearing is -- i wanted to make sure everybody is going to be know is going to be webcast and live streamed. for those watching on line, you do have the ability to watch on the cops website and there will be a period at the end where we will take questions from those
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in attendance and those on line. feel free to go to our website or you can give comments directly at comments@task force police.u.s. or you can post your comments on twitter at police task force. so at this point what i want to do is really -- is really turn over to the co-chairs they can now lead the task force and you get to know our members and we can start our hearings. we have an ambitious schedule. we look toward to getting through a very robust and exciting day listening to our witnesses. let me say this before i turned over to the co-shares. on behalf of president he want to thank you them for their service as well as their witnesses. as you can imagine, it's not paying a lot. they are volunteering their time and service. this is a very important endeavor. the president has made it clear that he is personally interested in this. this is a priority and we want to thank everyone for their
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commitment, for their time for them lending their expertise, and their perspectives to this national discussion. so we just wanted to take time to thank them. at this point i will turn it over to our co-chair, professor lori robinson. >> thank you so much ron, and thank you and your staff for the tremendous job you are doing in providing support to the task force. good morning to all of you and welcome to our first hearing. i'm very pleased to be co-chairing the task force and to be co-chairing it with commissioner ramsey. and i'm certainly honored to have been asked by the president to serve in this capacity. i'm also very impressed by the high caliber and the dedication of our broad-based and diverse task force. i've been involved in criminal justice work for more than three decades. i've been with the department of
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justice as ron mentioned, with the nonprofit sector and now in academia and it's very clear to me that we're facing a very tough challenge right now in criminal justice. but since the president asked chuck ramsey and me to serve in this capacity back on december 1st, i've been very struck by the number of people, of really hundreds, who have come forward from all walks of life and from all around the country to make suggestions, offer recommendations for steps that can be taken here to address these issues and these problems. these are very sincere proposals that are offered in good faith and i have to say that that gives me optimism that americans working together really are problem solvers. now the president has asked us to come up with concrete
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proposals on a very short timeline by march 2nd and he's made it clear that he doesn't want kind of general philosophyized. he wants very pragmatic suggestions. so our goal here today is to be in a listening mode. to do a lot of listening. and we have in fact really distinguished group of witnesses before us starting with our first panel and running through a five panels today. so we have a lot to do on a very constricted schedule and so i want to turn quickly to my co-chair commissioner ramsey. >> thank you laurie and good morning everyone. it is an honor to be here with you all of you today to begin a conversation around this very important topic. just a little bit more about myself. i've been a member of law enforcement now since 1968.
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i'm a native chicagoan. i spent close to 30 years as a member of the chicago police department. i served here in washington, d.c. as police chief for almost nine years and i'm currently the police commissioner for the city of philadelphia for the past seven. so i've seen a lot of changes in policing over the years, but i also recognize that more changes needs to be made and that's why we're here. we need to think about ways in which police can be more effective in doing their jobs reaching out to the community. we'll be talking about a variety of issues today. the focus is on building trust and legitimate si but in the future we'll be tackling topics such as policy training, oversite, education, wellness social media, technology. there's a variety of topics as we move around for various hearings that we'll be focusing on, bringing in subject matter
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experts, hearing from the community, hearing from law enforcement officials, so that we have a pretty broad view of the issues and recommendations that people would like to make that will -- most of which will probably be included in our final report to the president. so it's an enormous task, but one that is very doable in my opinion. i think the short timeline and in speaking with the president, reflects the sense of sur jens si that he has in dealing with this particular issue and the sense of urgency that we all have in dealing with this particular issue. so we have every intent of meeting the time lines laid out by the president and come up with concrete recommendations that will lead to change. thank you very much. again, and i'm going to turn this over now so that the individual task force members can introduce themselves briefly and we're going to start with
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the chief of police in tucson. >> good morning. i also am extremely honored to be here and to be honest i expect someone to come up those stairs to come up any moment to say excuse me, chief, there's been a mistake. but the fact that i do get to represent law enforcement and the interest here is very important. i take that with an extreme level of importance. i'm a native tucsonian. along the border we share the issues with immigration with texas, new mexico and california. that in and itself has caused a lot of consternation within our states. you may have heard about some of the legislation that's been passed in arizona. this legislation has had the effect of putting local law enforcement at odds with the very community that we are
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appointed to serve and to protect, and i've been in opposition to that legislation since it first came out but once it was passed, gone through the supreme court challenge and portions were allowed to stand i'm obligated to enforce it. so i've had object lessons in legislation and circumstances that really hamper the relationship between local law enforcement and their communities. i hope to bring some of the lessons that we've learned there to bear during the course of this task force. so thank you. >> good morning. my name is brian stephenson and i'm the executive director of the equal justice initiative in montgomery, alabama. i'm a human rights attorney and the work of eji is focused on providing legal services to poor people, to incarcerated people, and condemned people. i spent most of my career in the deep south. my office is in montgomery, alabama, and we've worked in that region and across the
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country trying to deal with some of these big issues. i bring with the other members of this task force a lot of concern about how we can improve policing in our communities. i'm honored to be in this position and to have this responsibility. i'm particularly hopeful that we can find ways to create connections between law enforcement and many people who live in the margins of our society, the poor people of color, people with disabilities people who have felt too often excluded from the mainstream of society. i'm very hopeful that we can make tremendous progress and again very excited to be a part of this task force. >> good morning. my name is shaun smoot. i'm the director and chief counsel for the police benevolent protector association of illinois. i've spent the last 25 years of my life representing the
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interests of police officers in departments as large as the city of chicago and as small as a city like rochester, illinois. i share my colleagues hope and look forward to working with other members of the task force in coming up with some practical recommendations for the president that can be shared, that can, i think, attain the goal that all of us have which is improving safety for everyone, law enforcement officers citizens and look forward to working with other members of the task force. >> hi, everybody. my name is connie rice. i'm about to lose my microphone. my name is connie rice and i am a civil rights attorney who is based out in l.a. my specialty is police reform. my biggest project has been with
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lapd and i have good news to report on that front. we are charging the preytoran guard that used to be american warrior cops. they will say they have changed and i've changed. we're working together to get a police force to protect the community and to enforce civil rights. that's how they begin to see themselves which is a whole new way for lapd to itself. chief bratten, when he was with us, got so frustrated with my meddling that he got me a chief of police badge you think you are the chief of police, you may as well have a badge to go along with it. we are actually very good friends and i'm helping him in new york as well so police reform by default ended up becoming my specialty. i look forward to helping this group identify the ways that we
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can help police change. the police will tell you that we in the community also had to change, and they will say well, connie changed as much as we did and i'm fine with that. if that's how they need to see it, it may well be the case. that's what we'll do. but there is a way to get the police to see us as human beings. they are supposed to protect. not as arrest fodder. they should not look at our little black boys and see an arrest stat or see somebody they can beat with a baton. they should see someone when they look at our little kids in the ghetto, we should see their sons and they should want to protect them. thank you. >> good morning. i'm sue raar i started my career in law enforcement as a patrol deputy. worked my way up through the
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ranks of the king county sheriffs office, the metropolitan around seattle. i was with their office last seven years as the elected sheriff. little did i know that was my training to become the director of the police academy. i now have the responsibility for training 10000 police officers across the state of washington, and i'm very honored to be part of this task force. i think there's a great opportunity for us right now to really take a hard look at the culture of policing and that has been evolving in washington state. we've put a name to that transition. we call it moving from a culture of warriors to a culture of guardians and i believe if we do a better job of training and resetting expectations, we will get our police officers to see themselves as protectors rather than conquerers and i think many
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of us in the task force are aligned in that type of thinking. we need to reengage with the community and become servants of the community. thank you. >> good morning. my name is brittany packnit. i'm currently executive director of teach for america in st. louis. we serve 24,000 low income children. mostly children of color and children who have been directly and indirectly impacted by the crisis in ferguson. but as a native st. louisian and someone who lives about 12 minutes from ferguson and who sees very clearly the responsibility and linkage between representing our children inside of the classroom and outside of classroom and my personal work i have been an active ferguson activist and one of the youngest members of the ferguson commission, and i have been spending a great deal of time working with and talking with young people who encourage their leadership during this process. so i'm certainly honored to be
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here, to help represent young voices and voices from ferguson so that we can not only impact disruptive change but systemic change. >> good morning. my name is tracy meers. i'm a law professor at yale university. before coming to yale, i spent about 15 years teaching law at the university of chicago. most of my career, for the last 20 years has been focused on looking at and understanding the dynamics of crime in urban communities. the connection between high crime neighborhoods, low income experiences, and disadvantaged. i've spent a lot of time working on those issues developing and helping to develop violence reduction strategies in chicago and new york city and sce neck tad did i and albany and northern california and connecticut and the goal of much of this work has been about
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understanding ways in which to achieve public safety while encouraging public trust through pursuit of police legitimatesy which we'll be talking about today. i'm really honored to be a part of this panel and work with my fellow members on achieving this goal. thank you. >> good morning. my name is jose lopez. i'm the lead organizer of make the road new york, a new york city and new york state based group with 16,000 members that works on really just achieving respect and dignity for all communities, particularly immigrant communities and folks who are new arrivals to this country. i have been with make the road and have started the youth power project that the organization for 15 years. currently working on issues of police accountability housing rights, and workers rights.
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i'm a brooklyn boy. i'm the son of two migrants, a janitor and a seamstress and outside of my work, i'm also on the steering committee on communities united for police reform in unprecedented campaign in new york city to challenge policing as we know it and over the last three years have been working closely with the public science project through the kuneeg graduate center working with a team of researchers and students and professors to further explore the stop, question, and frisk program and the impacts on young people of color. >> good morning.
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i'm dr. said drink ex-aled end -- alexander. i'm the director of public safety with dekalb county georgia. i've served with the department of homeland security as a federal security director there at dallas-ft. worth international airport. prior to that i had an opportunity to serve as deputy commissioner of criminal justice in the state of new york and i'm also a psychologist clinical psychologist. i trained both at the university of miami and the university of rochester, respectively, and both departments of psychiatry there where i received clinical training. my police career started back in 1977 in florida and prior to going back to school to do doctoral work i spent a number of years with the miami-dade police department. for me this entire journey and
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having an opportunity to be part of this task force was most rewarding, very honestly for me about this is to be able to serve on this panel with such a distinguished group of diverse individuals that represent this country, in every sense of the word and to me that is honorable and i'm just delighted to be a part of this group. thank you. >> so thank you members. as i mentioned earlier as serving as executive director the department of justice is providing the administrative support for the task force through my office the office of community oriented policing services. let me say this, what i didn't tell you i spent 28 years in law enforcement, 20 years in great city of oakland and 8 years in east palo alto, california, coming from that law enforcement background it is not only exciting, it is one of those moments in time an historical
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moment, you can really feel the change and everyone wants to come together and have this discussion, that we can really look at defining public safety to be more than just the absence of crime but to include the presence of justice as well. we look forward to that work. supporting the task force is the cops office as i mentioned. the outstanding team. many many of them are here. we also built a team of experts to help support this and two specific i'm going to identify right now are sitting at the table. we have two technical advisers who are quite frankly leaders in the law enforcement civil rights community as well. one is darrell stephens. darrell if you could raise your hand for us. he's the executive director of major cities police association and has a long and distinguished career in public safety and steve rickman who has been many years in the law enforcement arena in research and practices and has worked on a lot of projects with the department of justice and has served i think as a director of the program in
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washington, d.c. as well. we're fortunate, quite frankly not only to have the great members of the task force but the support team that is there. i think after you listen to this introduction, one thing is crystal clear. the president put together a heck of a team to actually lead this effort and to have this national discussion, the diverse perspective, the expertise, and so with that i think as they say it's time to get busy. madam chair. >> we're going to start now with our first panel. subject matter experts. the full bios of our witnesses today are on our website, and also for the audience here on hand-outs. if i were going to read and my co-chair read their full bios it would probably take all day. we have a very distinguished group, so i'm going to be very brief. we're going to start out as our lead witness charles owingle tree who is jesse clemenco
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professor of law and director of the charles harm i will ton -- hamilton institute for race and justice for harvard university. professor, welcome, very happy to have you. >> thank you very much. i'm very happy to be here. let me say this first, i want to thank all the members of this task force thank president obama for creating it. i think it's very important to think about the role of the police in the 21st century and how important it's going to be. i want this task force to think about as opposed to to just looking forward, think back about all the issues that have happened centuries ago and that are very important. the work of queen mother motley moore, the work of people like rosa parks, folks who have had a very big issue in the civil rights movement, all those people are very important. think about charles hamilton houston, a native of washington, d.c. who trained thurgood marshall who died much too
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young, but made it clear that race needed to be dealt with fairly and appropriately. i want to talk about where this city is going. i in a sense cut my teeth here as a public defender right on indiana avenue, northwest. had a lot of cases, a lot of african-american men and women who were clients and i see the same problems that we saw in the 1980s creating in the 21st century, and we need to address those things in a very serious way. let me say what i hope will happen. i'm hoping that people will be able to in a sense=róáncñyk=
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involved in community service. that was the focus. police would get out of their cars. they would leave their badges alone. they would be away from individuals, and there was a sense they played basketball and soccer with kids. they would take them out for a hamburger and some fries. that was community policing and we're now a militarization of police in many places. they have the guns tanks, weapons, and they are killing young black men and we think about the situation in ferguson that in a sense caused all this it is not a weekly event or monthly event. it's a year on event and we have to stop it and we have to stop it right now and so i would suggest that this task force take a serious look at what people need to do and what need
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to be in the police force. for example, i think the police officers should be not just officers. they also need to be social workers. what? what is he talking about? the whole idea is they need to get out and play a role with the community and make a big difference and make the difference in their lives and i think that's going to make young people do that. if you look at the recent attention given to police i see kids who are six years old holding their hands up like they saw happen in ferguson,
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sure that the president has some good ideas on what the 21st century policing should involve and what you are recommending to him, and believe me i have some ways of getting to and through to him if he doesn't follow your recommendations. he has to follow them because i think the reality is that this task force is talking about the most important and critical issue in our lifetime and dealing with it right now and i congratulate everyone on the task force for the work that you are doing. thank you. >> thank you so much, professor ogeltree. next we have jennifer everhart who is professor of psychology at stanford university. thank you. >> thank you. i'm honored to be here. for two decades my research has focused on issues of racial bias
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and stereotyping, especially in the context of criminal justice. currently i'm assisting the oakland police department as a subject matter expert in connection with their reform efforts. we cannot have a; ñ discussion about trust and1lhy8 ,5t
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that arises from our history, from our culture, and1e per vad our q itb$ 0wf2g c ef recommend that we offeryj+ training on racial&pbe/8d. %ú% ç on&bñ1lawsy ñmex
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professor of law and alsos7 professor of psychology. >> thank you. crime sat a --
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>> to build issues of trust in the police. that is how to build police legitimacy. why should police legitimacy be a central concern? in the same decades where we've seen this decline in crime, public trust in police has not increased. further, there is a large and persistent racial gap in trust e9n' police.1:b 9wwñ these problems are for manyk(s reasons. one has been alluded to is they contribute to an ongoingb3s of racially tinged controversies with police. but more broadly when people distrust the police they are less likely to obeysg v theúó%eñ awaeo if peoplezc5yçn$ don't trust the police, there isn't a climate of reassurance in communities that encourages people to actively
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promote economic and social growth in their own cities. a focusmyl"tñ on building8>ñ police legitimacy provides an opportunity to address these v problems. based upon researchnt'fja findings, wekq+g know how to strengthen trust in the people's trust depends on whether they feel that the police, police department's and individual police officers are exercising their authority fairly. this procedural justice finding has been widely replicated in our research and it suggests that people care both about whether the police make decisions fairly and treat people respectfully. what does that mean? the public wants to be listened to when police policies are developed. they want an opportunity to state their case when they are dealing with the police officer. they want an explanation for police policies and actions that allows them to see that the police are acting in an unbiased way that shows that policies can
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be understood and that they reflect shared goals and they want to be treated with dignity and respect when they deal with the police. the issue of perceived disrespect has been particularly central to recent public controversy involving the police. we know the factors in other words, that are central to 9:=$ape w %áju)ust in the vrx police, and they suggest some clear policyp implications. first, pfveryj
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>> when police department's organize themselves there are active ways to emphasize fairness and use less force when they deal with the community. this promotes officer safety. so the federal government should support efforts to restructure police departments using the principles -- now we can focus
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on pub trust in the police. >> thank you so much. our final witness on this panel is samuel walker who is professor emeritus of criminal justice at the university of nebraska in omaha. >> thank you. i appreciate the opportunity to speak to the task force on this very urgent national problem. in response to the tragic events in ferguson missouri and staten island, new york, much of the public discussion has focused on deaths at the hands of the police and the related grand jury investigations. i want to broaden the discussion to talk about routine day-to-day policing. in particular, i want to focus on the problem of disrespectful and offensive language by police officers directed at people in the community. this includes racial and ethnic slurs, common eventual --
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eventual garretts. disrespectful police occur all the time day in and day out. if the mandate of this task force is to build legitimacy and trust in the police this is where it should again. this is where you should focus your efforts. the routine day-to-day policing. now, there's some people who would say that language it's not that important compared with deaths at the hands of police. i disagree. i think it's extremely important simply because this is where people meet the police and there's the problem of how police treat people. some people ask, well, gee, how come it is this really? there's a lot of research over the decades on the prefles of offensive language by the police. just to take one example, from current data from citizen complaints, across the country. in san jose a 2013 offensive
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language complaints were 17% of all citizen complaints that were filed. washington, d.c. right here, 26% of all the citizen complaints filed in 2013. new york city it might be as high as 40% although the way the ccrb there classifies complaints it's hard to tell. but official complaint data is really just the tip of the iceberg because we also know from research that among people who feel mistreated by the police, only a very small percentage actually file a formal complaint, so the problem is much bigger than even these data would indicate. now, disrespectful and offensive language has four very serious adverse consequences. first, it's an injury to the person or persons to whom it's directed. it harms them. second over time in the aggregate, it lkds a reservoir of distrust and anger at the police. and this is especially true in communities of color.
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third, in particular encounters offensive and disrespectful language by the police leads to an escalation and also often unnecessary inappropriate uses of force. if deescalation is an important new direction for policing, this is one place really to begin. fourth is under mines standards of professionalism. if it goes unpunished and i believe it does, officers are, well, you can do these things, you can get away with it so that needs to be corrected. now, the president apparently asked for very specific recommendations. here's my proposal. i am proposing that the united states department of justice take the lead in developing a respectful policing initiative. rpi. respectful policing initiative. and that includes four elements.
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first of all, there would be mandatory annual in service training for all police officers. police departments have in service training already. it would be very easy to incorporate this into their existing programs. second, the department of justice should make federal funding from the department contingent upon a certification that an agency is in fact conducting a respectful policing training. third, the department of justice should take the lead in developing a model policy for departments on respectful policing and fourth, department of justice should take the lead in developing a model training curriculum for all departments. now, in conclusion, i brought with me sort of a golden oldie. it's the commissioner report 1968 presidential commission appointed in response to the riots of the 1960s. if you go to pages 302 303, you
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will find discussion with evidence on the prefles of disrespectful and offensive language by the police at that time. we did not fix the problem back then. we have not fixed this problem in the intervening 47 years. we need to fix it now. thank you. >> thank you so much, professor walker. i'm now going to be turning to the panel for questions. and i believe that shawn smoot had our first question. >> thank you, madam chair. professor tyler, is there a department or jurisdiction that the task force can look to as an example of a place that has been successful in formulateing and implementing and i don't mean to mischaracterize your testimony but per septembertively fair
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policies, i would ask you as a follow-up question is there a department or jurisdiction that we can look to as an example of a place that has been successful in formulating departmentally or internal procedural justice within the police department? >> in terms of communities i would use new haven as an example of a community that has gone back to the idea of community policing. they have implemented a set of policies and practices, for example, every new police officer spends their first year in a neighborhood getting to know the people in that neighborhood. they have had success building community trust in the police and at the same time because of heightened levels of cooperation, their clearance rates have gone up. crime has gone down. so that would be to me a very good example of a smaller town. i think in terms of a large town, chicago would be an
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example. chicago has an ambitious effort to retrain its police officers along principles of fair treatment. they have trained over 8,000 of their officers in a one-day eight-hour training program. and so that's an example i think of a larger department. chicago is interesting because when they did start retraining their officers they discovered that the main complaint the officers had was that their own department didn't seem to use fair procedures which has led them now to rethink policies for promotion, policies for discipline, so i would say that's an example of the community that then has redirected its energy to thinking about the internal structure of the police department. >> okay. i just wanted to thank the entire panel for your testimony this morning. it's very informative. >> can i say one word, mr. smoot, about that? >> i would ask the task force to look very closely at what's happening in boston. i was surprised to find out that
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their chief of police superintendent now william evans, says very clear that he's trying to make sure that officers aren't carrying guns, they are not shooting people. he's training them to do different work and the problem that i mentioned just briefly is the problem of the state police who come in withheld mets, guns, tanks, and we need to -- i know that's beyond your jurisdiction but i think you have to look at anyone wearing a uniform and who is -- >> not to interrupt, but it's not beyond our jurisdiction. >> okay good. >> we'll take it on. >> i want to make sure. look at state police, i think that's going to make a big difference. >> thank you. >> i want to add to this. >> our next questioner is brittany packnit. >> two related questions. first of all, thank you all for being here and for your testimony. the first question is for professor walker. you talk about making federal funds contingent upon this respectful policing
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certification. my question kind of as a follow-up to this is in your opinion should there be the removal of federal funds if the kinds of standards in respectful policing are violated? in ferguson, my myself witnessed quite a bit of the disrespectful language that you talked about as well as disrespectful actions, and the language came before the actions, i wonder in cases like that and others if we find there are patterns in practice or in crisis situations like we saw in ferguson, violations of those respectful policing standards should federal funding be removed in that and as a follow-up professor ogeltree you talked about how communities felt they are under the role rule of a occupying army. in ferguson, i know that that's exactly how the community felt and so i'm wondering in your opinion how that was exacerbated
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by the crisis in ferguson, that you feeling you discuss and what do you think our steps toward reconciliation and healing for the community? >> well, to answer the first part of your question, my specific proposal is to mandate the training and to make federal funding contingent upon it. what happens if the department is in fact doing the training but the language, you know offensive behavior continues? that's a separate and more difficult question. i haven't thought that through and i haven't presented that in my proposal here. if things get that serious, then we have the special litigation section within the civil rights division which can investigate a department for continued violation of civil rights. there are a number of different avenues that can be used. >> i have to say that my response is a holealistic one and it may not be well received but i think that the community in ferguson needs to rethink what they are doing. the majority of the community is
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african-american. yet the city council is majority white, the police department is majority white the crimes are committed involving black men, a lot. grow up. those are my words. everything has to change. they assure that people are on the same level and responding the same way. i think the person has submitted to the community. if we fix ferguson, we are on the first step. that's the step that we're going to be taking. >> connie rice, i think you have a point e point that's on our last change. >> yes. i'm about to jump out of my skin because nobody listed l.a.p.d. as one of the forces that has transformed itsds. we're in the middle of 14 years.
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they are truly extraordinary. i can say that because i trained them. before chief bratton left as i said before he gave me a dispatch because he said, connie, you think you're the chief of police. i might as well give you a badge to reflect that illusion. so it is extraordinary to see l.a.p.d. cops we used to be like a pratorian guard. they were your worst nightmare if you were a civil rights lawyer. i know. i sued them every day. and, now i'm working with them every day. in the housing projects. now, if you can get the police to bond with housing project,
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public housing project populations, you've done something. and if you can get a force that used to think of itself as pratorian warriors into thinking of themselves as social workers who may have to eat with their guns on a very bad day, but, in general, don't and they see themselves as guardians of poor people you have really accomplished something. we're so busy doing the work we haven't communicated it with anybody. 14 years of daily work and it takes a long time.
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i've heard people say as we've started oush work, that buy seize can be overcome. is that the way you would characterize it? if not how would you think about the relationship between training police officers and the issue of bias and what progress we can make on that issue. that's the first question for you. for the panelists in general, i
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was hoping that each of you would speak to professor ogletre's very compelling charge that what we need to do, and i've put it in my terms, i was going to say treaty. we need to repudiate justice connie's infamous words in dred scott through beal. i'm interested in knowing what you as panelists think about, just some idea some recommendation, for what it would mean to repudiate what justice connie said given that we are working primarily on leasing and, in fact in the last exchange with briltny that you just said, look, you know, there's so many other things that need to be done. how do we think about that? >> yes,ism police sit racial bias trainings that focus on sort of making police officers
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you know aware of the social scientific research unbiassed, the contemporary research so awareness is a big part of it. as far as changing bias, i would say bias can change. bias is situational. it's not just something that people have in their heads. but it's something that is
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perpetuated and promoted by the situations we find ourselves in. the police departments around the country have a role to play there. they set the tone. they sort of create is structure under which officers are operating under. and sometimes those structures or those policies can sort of dampen the expression of bias or make it less likely or sometimes can make it more likely. >> and, why don't the other panelists now weigh in on the second question. >> i think the proper response is through training policies everything that we have to achieve the point where police officers treat people as human beings. and they're entitled to all the
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respect and frequency and rights that all people are entitled to. it won't be easy and there's simply many ways of getting there. it's a 65 day a year task. and i wanted eegts not going to be done by one four-hour session by whoever the person is. it has to be done really day in and day out in terms of how police departments conduct themselves. the sergeant talks to an officer after an e vents and saying okay, you didn't violate department policies. but your language the way you did this, it's really not what i want to see. it's not what this department wanted to see. >> i've heard many police chiefs say you can't arrest. and i think the point that they're making is that at the end of the day, what we really need is we need economic social
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development in our communities if the police can be retrained to think of their role in the community as not being a force that is designed to control a population, but rather a service, that is having the goal of creating the sense of safety and reassurance that allows communities to develop themselves. and i think it changes the way officers think about what their role in the community is supposed to be. then, when they see themselves behaving disrespectfully or undermining the well being of people in the community, they recognize that that's counter to their mission. and once the police understand the different mission for themselves, i think a lot of these problems become a series. >> i want to just say quickly to take professor's work a little further, she spoke and we had a sense and i hope this task force
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you'll understand is implicit bias is not racial incrimination. you need to understand that. and she made it very clear that all of us have implicit vibes. we're born with these things in our brain that make us react in certain ways that make us appear to be racist or sexist or homophobic. all of those things. we need to make sure that we read the professor's work to understand that. and the second thing, i think that this task force the focus on police is completely right. bup you can't change a city just by changing the police. you have to change the mayor. you have to change all of the government. you have to change teachers. you have to change the people in the correction facilities. it's a big task that i think all of that has a big difference on what you're able to do. and i'm hoping the task force will delve into the areas that, in a sense, make the police work harder. and do what they need to do if they don't have the training that makes a big difference in terms of what they're willing ready, willing and able to do.
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>> thank you all for your per spektsives. lets me turn now to jose lopez. >> okay. thank you. i have two questions. i kbesz the first could be annalsed either by professor walker or professor tyler. and i'll start with that. kind of given the conversation that we're having now, around respectful policing and professor evaharts's discussion around implicit bias it just makes me think about kind of my own experiences in york and whether or not through the department's stop, question and frisk program, whether or not a more respectful interaction with police officers whether or not
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that makes me feel any better in whether or not the stop was racially motivated. can a stop ever be respectful? or can that interaction ever be respect vl between me and an officer. >> so i think that there are really two levels to react to those kinds of policies and practices. one is the individual style. and, as sam walker mentioned when people are talking about why they are upset about these stops, they most frequently talk about disrespect, humiliation, insults.
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irrespective of whether a police officer can be polite on one person to one day in one spot, people react to policies and practices in their community. those need to be perceived as fair as well. yonks police need to legit mate a racist policy by being polite to people. >> first of all, they need to limit the number of stops they do. what's happening in new york city was that they were being stopped without reasonable suspicion. >> in terms of the impaktsd of
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research, people make a clear distinction between the outcome of the stop itself and the process. so the officer explains the reason for the stop that mit gaits the impact of the stop itself. and it helps a respectedful relationship. fairness is something that can be shaped by their racial disparities that people live with. and the more extreme those racial disparities are, the more fair they think the policies are. the more fair they think the policing policies are. so i think we also need to put on the table you know, the role
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that, you know, disparityies in the criminal justice system, the role that they play in producing racial bias and the role that they play in sort of leading us to support policies that we're now critiquing them. >> and i'll just say a quick word if i can before this ends, lorie. is the role in which talks about race in a great way, but the more significant one which goes directly to your question is the one, the presumption of guilt. now, everybody in law knows that no such thing is the presumption of guilt. but i titled that because people are guilty because of their race, because of what they're wearing, because of where they're going. and that needs to be addressed in a big sechbs. and, i also think that the task force can look at the issue of how important it is to look at the issue of how important it is and how race trumps class. and i think i shouldn't say this, but i'm going to say this.
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my colleague and my dear friend and who i represent, professor henry lewis gaets was arrested in his own home. in his own home in the 21st century, 200 9d. race trumps class. and i've heard this a thousand times and i'm sure many of the people on the panel have, as well. we're not talking about you, professor. we're talking about them. i am them. and so i don't wear a tie or a suit everywhere i go. but the reality is people look at you, and they look at your face and that determines whether you're black or brown or white, that determines how engaged they can be in arresting you, questioning you, expecting you to respond in a certain way. and i don't want to walk carefully around. i want to be able to be free.
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and i think that's very important to talk about the i shall shoe about how race trumps class and how that becomes a big issue that we need to get under. it also means that class is not something that will remove you from the scope of being interrogated stopped arrested shot at. >> it seems to me that when e when we look at the department of criminal justice, that the d.o.j. has not been as active in pursuing cases such as the ones, you know, which i think call for the convening of this panel. so as my sense of reduced department of justice activity in this area consistent with
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reality and then the second part of that question is if so thinking about the function of the department of justice thinking about the section 1983 in terms of holding police officers liable are there other stay chuts or recommendations that could be proposed that we think could be more effective? >> i think it's a great question. >> i think eric holder has been far better than a lot of the other attorneys general in pursuing this racial injustice. he's been a very important force carrying that on. he went to ferguson. he looked at the trayvon martin case. i think they can raise the issue
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and hope that prosecutors can say okay, we're following what the attorney general did in washington as a message of what happened. but i think this committee, the task force can make some recommendations for the next attorney general who i think will be loretta lynch and tell her that we need to continue to make sure that race is not an issue that divides us and there's no hope that the department of justice is going to be the leader. they need to be a leader and ensure that racial jugs tis is available to every single person regardless of class or race or situation. and imthink that is going to be a very important step in the right direction. >> sedrick e alexander, i know you had a question? >> yes, thank you all very much for the wonderful contributions you have made to the country, as well, too.
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and i think over time, it's going to prove itself to be very valuable. i just want to say thank you to all of you. i would ask that each of you might want to share your thought about this. you said at the beginning in opening your remarks, was very profound to stop to think about it when i stopped to think about it. you've ind kated and i'm paraphrasing here, that as crime has gone down in this country, i'd like to hear from your colleagues in terms of how they
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think about that. i think they'll be pretty much concurrent with yours. would you like to speak a little bit more about that? >> sure. >> i think that the main point to be made is that over the last 30 years the level of public trust and kftsd in the police in america has been pretty much the same. between 50 and 60 pnt of the americans say that they have trust and confidence in their local police. second, there's frequently a 25 even 30% gap between african american and white respondents, in any particular community, with african americans striking less likely to indicate trust and confidence. and, again, that has been constant. so the framework for a lot of the events that we're talking about today, the staten island events, and many other events is
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the backdrop where police have reduced efforts to reduce crime, the fact that crime has gone down down. >> did others want to comment on that, as well? >> i just wanted to make one short comment. although crime has gone down, the same policies are in place to some extent. >> so real quick, so in thooer ri, i wanted wouldn't be far fetch to conclude that in some way, if crime has gone down in in country, but discontent with police has gone up particularly in communities of color, then that would suggest that to me it suggests that those two entities are in no way
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communicating with each other. and, obviously, those that feel this continued discontent with police are being targeted in some kind of way that suggests crime is being, you know, crime is being reduced. i mean it's just -- and i think -- does that make sense to you, dock there's a sense that -- it's just so off. >> it's very off. >> let me just say this. when you think about crime going down, i think that's a good sign. but when you see the discontent from african americans who are middle class upper middle class, working class, they have the same view and they're different from whites. whites are saying my community is preshlgted. blacks, regardless of class, are saying my community is not protected. we have to look at that to understand why are so many people doing surveyings.
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>> when i say law enforcemented, i'm talking about rural areas, all the suburbs, all of these places. and i think that to me has to be the ses e essence of what we need to take a look at to understand why are so many people when things are going down in crime, why are so many people discontent because of their race. and i think that's what you're able to see. >> thank you. we've policies operating in disconnect from each other because race continues to go up.
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just as you point out, that incarceration incarceration, the over incarceration, especially the war on drugs, has had a huge impact. that is the source of much discontent with policing and people out there on the streets. you can see the symbols of our justice system. >> i have to say the word. and i'm not the angry black man that you think i am. that data is very cig flif cant because the reality is that police are not making arrests on marijuana. they're, in a sense many cities are saying it's no longer a crime to have a small percentage of marijuana. what the police are doing, they're searching black men not just for marijuana, they're going in their pockets and the whole idea is that you're supposed to see the marijuana and everybody should be treated the same. there's a disparity right now in
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the whole idea of the marijuana search. and that to me is a problem. dig into the pockets and find some other kind of drugs you can find a warrant that the person should be arrested. they're ignoring when whites are using marijuana silling oh, it's just a drug. it's not legal in many places. wo e well i think this task force has a -- i would look at what is going on with police stopping people for marijuana and searching people who happen to be a different race. >> our next questioner is brian stevenson. >> i'd like to express my grat tud toet panelists for excellent testimony. just two quick short questions. are any of you aware of any data or analysis that's been done on
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the impact of implicit bias training within a particular department? and, in addition to that, any data analysis that's been done that you'd like to draw to our attention. on the impact of diversification efforts, and i don't mean just racial diversity. it's more complex and sophisticated and looks to get into communities that produce some of the highest rates of crime and recruit people who lived in those communities into the police department, anything that you can points us to that might give us something to look at as we consider the implication for diversity. okay. i can handle the implicit bias question. i feel like we feed much better metrics, actually of the implicit united states e bias training that's out there now. we can sort of talk about what those metrics might be.
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one metric might be, you know simply looking at the attitudes after the training. so looking at self reported attitudes, there's a lot of research suggesting that attitudes don't always correlate highly. again, i don't know that you expect that training to break associations people have between race and crime. so, i mean what you might want to do is look at whether those associations are affecting behavior. you can then focus on just the behavior. and one way to focus on one irnd case of the behavior might come from citizen complaints. but that met rik seems to be too rough, you know. people don't always complain for a variety of reasons. they may be afraid of complaining.
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a police contact which they're trying to avoid. there are lots of reasons why people don't complain. so that's maybe the reason why the footage may be good in this regard. you can use that footage to look at aufrszs' behavior in pre-and-post training. are they using less for what you call disrespectful language. >> we only have six minutes more for questions chlts so we're going to have to go very quickly now. >> okay. i'm assuming you mean diversifying work force among the police officer. >> well, there's abundant research and the difference in performance.
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the way i explain that is if not -- skin color doesn't matter. skin color doesn't matter. policing is the quality of the department. if you have a bad department, everybody seemings to a low level. if you have a good or a much better department, fer r peril formans on all officers, regardless of race or ethnic sill ety or gender. so we should have a short course with the police department who should represent the communities of the police and they should not violate. but the way to improoif policing actually is on how the department is run. >> i guess i was also thinking
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about the impact of the diversity on this whole question of public trust. in building community relations. anything specific that anybody wants to point us to? it's okay. whether people are willing to imaginage a department like that depends on what they look at and see. with the individual officers i think also an important message that does allow for trust and kftsz in difficult situations. >> our next questioner is roberto dell senior.
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>> i guess this is for professor tyler and any of the analysts. and the issue is the mistrust. and i think that's what we're going towards. and how do we refocus and get officers to buy into that because we have perceptions. it may be crime is in an area that's rampant. how do we get passed that stage to try and get the reality to a perception? >> well, i definitely think that the first point is to try to
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reeducate officers to think about how my building trust in the community in the long run, my job is to try to build the community. that's the one thing. the thing that hasn't been emphasized enough is benefits to officers. it's their own safety and health and well being. we know that the style of policing that many police officers are engaged in is both dangerous and not good for them. working in a hos hit community and i certainly think, for example, and i talked to unions i emphasize the officers
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themselves and changing their style of policing. >> sue burke. very su zingt. >> okay. this is for professor tyler. and i could not agree with you more on that. can you talk about how we aproechl improving internal procedural justice? >> well, that is really the core issue. and i would emphasize to pligs e police commanders that they benefit a lot by trying to stut a more fair decision making, a more fair treatment style within their department. we find that officers do their jobs better. they are more willing to go beyond their job description and do extra things that help their department. if they feel fairly treated and committed to the department. i think the bottom line argument is that police commanders will benefit more from this style of pligsing if they have a lot to gain from doing it.
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>> you don't find those two in conflict then? >> no. i think that there's no question that the traditional pair military structure doesn promote these ideas. on the other hand i don't think that there's any reason we can't change the structure of police departments to make these ideas more important and still preserve the gain of traditional policing. >> connie rice, if you can be very quick? >> i probably can't, so. >> okay, thank you. please join in thanking this terrific panel. we're now going to take a five-minute break and come back promptly in five minutes.
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>> task force co-chair charles ramsey is commissioner of the philadelphia police department. co-chair laurie robinson has twice served as an assistant attorney general at the justice department. we'll have more from the president's task force in 21st century policing in a moment. >> we have drugs right now, when given to people who are hiv infected when someone comes in, and i can show you the dichotomy. in the early '80s, if someone came into my clinic with aids, median survival would be 6-8 months. which means half of them would be dead in eight months. now, if tomorrow, when i go back to rounds on friday, and someone
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comes into the clinic who's twenty plus years old, who's relatively recently infected among the cocktail of highly act vat eded you can have an additional 50, 5-0 years. so to go from knowing that 50% of the people that are going to die in eight months to knowing that if you take your medicine you can live essentially a normal life span that's a huge advance. >> the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. >> on the next washington journal, congressman scott perry of pennsylvania, member of homeland security and foreign affairs committees, on the dhs
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funding bill and the amendments to block the immigration lawyer. then freshman arizona representative rubin dianco a member 069 armed services committee, discussing immigration and veter ran's health care. washington journal is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. and you can join the confers with your callings and with your comments on face book and twitter. >> the nerks panel in this all-day event on improving the relationship between law enforcement and the community continues with the leaders of millenial act viss united. the national council of churches and preparing leaders for tomorrow. it's about an hour. >> okay, we'll get started with the second panel. we do have a couple panelists that are enroute and will join us during the discussion.
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we want to start with car men perez, the executive director for justice. >> thank you for being here. >> thank you. good morning. my name is carman perez. and i am the executive director of the galley for justice, which is a social justice organization by harry belafonte. i am also the co-founder of justice league nyc task force, juvenile justice and criminal experts advocates, experts and for formerly incarcerated individuals in the juvenile justice system. i would like to thank the staff of the president's task force for inviting me here this morning. it is an honor to address this esteemed group. i've been working in the field for 17 yoresears. i grew up in california i predominantly was in a latino and black community.
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i worked in santa cruz county, which is a model for restorative justice in the coin tri. i was able to plan for every young person who i worked with. and, on december 3rd the announcement was made that there would be a nonindictment of the death of eric garner justice league and mobilized direct services services. >> we have collected in doing this work for decades. justice members are direct service providers, exr exsperts as well as mobilizers, organizers and educators. our group is deeply experienced in policing and criminal justice reform. our effort on the streets and with our demands made
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international attention and both new york attorney general and new york city mayor bill deblasio melt with the justice with those demands. although we remanin that we have developed a list of sensible, viable, legal, equitable reforms for new york city and state and we will continue to mobilize all of our efforts and resources towards the reunification of those demands. in new york city and communities across the country there is a crisis between police that is there is no trust that police can serve black and brown communities, a program stopping with broken windows and only compound the i shall shoe of police brutalitiened the lack of police acounsel e countability is a critical component in this polarized escape.
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we cannot trust without accountability. the role of the police is simple. to protect and serve. i looked up n.y.p.d.'s mission statement in preparation for today. it states, the mission of the new york city police department is to enhance the quality of life in our city by working in partnership with the communities and in accordance with the constitutional rights to enforce the laws to preserve the peace, reduce fear and provide a safer environment. that is exactly the kind of police department that our communities deserves. but, sadly, that dieynamic of partnership, justice and peace does not exist within the n.y.p.d. or in many of the police departments across the country where racist policies affect and create an unstable and unsafe environment. the impact of policing and systemic racism on black and brown communities is staggering. racial profiling has time and time again been proven to be
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ineffective practice that not only violates the basic human rights of individuals and marginalized communities, but does nothing to reduce crime or enhance the lives of the communities in which it is utilized. we can only have safe communities communities when everyone feels safe. we can have no justice without peace and we can have no peace without equity. i stand before you on behalf of eric garner, joan crawford and michael brown. we know there's a lot of trouble in history between communities of color and law enforcement. there are too many young men black and brown who have died unarmed at the hands of the police. we know this epidemic has not sus kriebed and we know that the time for the government the act is now. on december 4 etth the justice received a set of demands with local, state and federal
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implications. and i'd like to share them with you today. we believe that transparency and accountability is a key to reform. we believe people have the right to publication of data from police practices and police abuses including but not limited today that on deaths in police brutality, data on policies like search and seizures, stop harass and detention practices. we believe of the appointment of a special prosecutor in cases of police brutality and excessive use of force including deadly force. eliminate the kindsover cases by creating standard by which the sp apointment is guaranteed. we believe that legislation should be drafted to clarify the rules of engagement neen ebetween the police and community and to make illegal the use of illegal force
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u including the choke hold except injury to the officers or the public. currently, in counties like new york, a choke hold is against department policy but is not a criminal offense. we believe there should with a comprehensive training program itch leapted across the country for all officers to include crisis swer e intervention training, reduction and cultural identity training and december escalation skills. >> we are calling for the end of criminalization of young people in the school system. it targets primary youth of young people going up incarcerated. some in this area would include the removal of resource officers or safety officers from school which would significant reduce the number of juveniles in detention. there are model programs across
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the country that can be replicated with out reach workers in schools as well as peace warriors like those in chicago high schools. further, we believe decentralization is an important keep to repairing the trust between individuals and law enforcement and black and brown communities and police officers serve in the communities in which they live and go down public safety goes up. thank you. >> the bio of all of our panelists is on our web site. let me now turn to mr. jim win gurks ler, pet and the secretary of national council of churches. >> thank you, chief ramsey. i want to thank you for your panel and expertise and willingness to serve.
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>> as one who is a church leader with many oaf our people on the front lines of the issues surrounding policing today in our nation. the national council of churches has existed since 1950 and actually stems from the federal council of churches which is in 1908. the wise spectrum of protestant, anglican orthodox evangelical and peace churches comprised of 40 million christians and the national council of churches. social justice issues. periodically, however, we will select priority issues that are of particular importance in society the churches and the
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governing board voted to make one of our top priorities. countless numbers of our clergy and laity are involved in ministries served as police chaplains are involved in reentry ministries, tutoring programs, mentoring programs, on and on. get tough ten e sentencing dpied e kbiedlines along war on drugs have contributed to the united states having the highest per capita in the world. according to michelle alexander expert on incarceration then the number of african americans held in slavery. mass incarceration and racial disparity is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. we thank the president for establishing your task force in light of recent community
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national, and international unrest in response to excess force in policing and the misuse of prosecutorial discretion. over criminal saix and militarization of departments has created a great chasm between the communities and the police they have pledged to serve and protect. people of faith were not only concerned about these issues, but we are intimately connected to them. persons affiliated with the national council of churches through our communions as i said, service prison and police chaplains. they are serving time and training citizens and family members. they are victims and perpetrators, they are pastors and community leaders. the past several months and civil unrest, our great leaders have been at the forefront of peaceful fro e protest actions and providing pastoral care for the community, including the police. one of the primary objectives of the task force is to look at ways of building trust and fostering collaborative relationships between local law
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enforcement and the communities they protect. ralter than rehabilitation and restitution destroys families and makes reconciliation and heeling almost impossible. a police structure which serves the community as a people to be controlled is destined to create the very system of distrust that the task force is seeking to address. task force is not addressing a major fault in the criminal justice system that per pa e pech waits the system between one who has been inkars rated in society. >> social service resources such as public housing and new jobs.
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this life sentence impacts the whole family resulting in a kind of generation-to-generation curse. we acknowledge limitations however, inspired by the prophet isaiah, we go together with all stake holders to work on the issues in terms of repairers of the breech. we believe that there used to be an overhaul to the justice system such that the engoal is not primarily punishment. transformation training in terms of police training or additional option for addressing: departments and officers to be rewarded for effective community policing strategies, rather than
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having arrests and taking quo toe e thats. the inherent racial dispar i ety in our criminal justice system must be addressed. we encourage mandatory training and continuing updates for all law enforcement on issues to cultural sensetity, interaction with the mentally ill and responding to sexual assaults. we encourage the creation of a data base for report inging and reporting act has recently been passed by congress and signed by the president. provided 23r police departments that are culturally and ethically diverse and include a cross section of faith traditions. we believe in the promotion of basic transparency, in cases where there is a police shooting and criminal charges are possible, the case shoult not be handled by the local prosecutors. especially representing stake
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holders shoult review the case. we support the implementation of use of body cameras and provide federal funding for communities that cannot afford them. police officers who do not wear their badges must provide cards with name and badge numbers and face disciplinary action if they fail to provide such information. it is important to address the militarization of our police departments, the 1033 program should be providing more specific ways equipment can and cannot be used. military equipment cannot be used exercising constitutional rights to protest. we support requiring police departments to provide the report on how and why equipment was used and included criteria in which the equipment can be con fils kated. we believe that the problem of overcriminalization in indiscriminate amly case of laws in local 234ris e police departments should be addressed.
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against soet in integrated in society. voting rights should be restored, social services that will help acclimate to a life outside of prison and enhance the chance of success. in closing, i leave you with the words of dr. king. we are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. we are confronted with the urgency of now. there is an invisible book of life that records our individual lens for our neglect. we still have a choice today. nonviolent code, and anigh lagsz. this could be the choice between chaos and community. >> thank you very much, sir. next we have mr. jim jerks ermaine, preparing leaders for tomorrow. >> to such a point a conversation that we needed to have.
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specifically, i want to thank mr. stevenson. marginalized young people around the nation from my heart. i also want to thank the other panelists whose common and i also vow that it's not my time since i already arrived late. and, also i'd like to thank -- i was just trying to not rub it in too much. i grew up in a pretty rough environment. and the only police officers was a daily routine for us, where i grew up. and i remember when i was about nine years old, i actually
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wanted to be a police officer. i was thinking that my commitment and some of the things that i wanted to achieve was public service. and i felt like a police officer would allow ple to do so. and when i was approximately 16 or 17, there was a case in new york city where a young man who was coming from his bachelor party, his name was sean belle, his car was about three or four police officers crashed into him and there were about maybe, 30 -- possibly 40 bull ets that were shot at his car. sean belle, unfortunately, died. and i remember his case and realizing that some of the
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officers who carelessly unjustifiably murdered this man were acquitted. and that really kind of changed my mind. and this's why i didn't become a police officer. also the community has a deep level of distrust for law enforcement where you can tell that they wanted to be a police officer. i've also had encounters with really amazing police officers in my life. i remember the times when i was in the streets doing stuff that i wasn't supposed to be doing, and i remember this one particular officer who used to all e always come around the way and talk to me. i remember one time he actually handed me a bible and said to me, i want you to stay off the streets and go to church. so i do understand that there are many, many great cops out
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there patrolling our streets saving lives and protecting our most vulnerable citizens. and we need them. and a very close friend of mine edward raymond, has been a police officer for about seven years now. has been a mentor of mine. also has become a police officer with the n.y.p.d. for about 25 years now. and i get a chance to interact with both groups, the community in law enforcement and on a regular way sis. and most of the work that i do throughout the community is trying to bring law enforcement officials in the community together. so we can find a way to make things work. the reality is that our communities want public safety. and we don't believe that the two are mutually exclusive and we don't expect to be making
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mistakes. that's the problems with the argument. but some of the things that have been accustomed to doing within this nation must change. on an issue of work force in the police department, which i think is an amazing idea, which, as you guys know, the new york police department the new york city police department is one of the most diversified police forces in the nation. it's about 45% minorities and all sorts of different groups. but diversifying the police department, although it's great you have officers who sometimes, if they're coming from a certain environment, certain neighborhood, there's certain things that take place where you can understand that they're not
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as quick to jump into judgment or perhaps perceive that someone is out to harm them. by diversifying our police departments is just not enough. what happens is you have e you have hispanic officers who are as susceptible to the system that we have that police officers must follow. for example in new york city, officers have to go out in the streets on a regular basis. so it's not about presenting crime or making an arrest when you need to make an arrest. it's mainly about how many quotas or how many arrests and summons can you bring in this month. and, unforkmu gnatly what the police department does is incentivizes that arrest. you have officers going out in the streets and they don't understand the communities that they're patrolling. and they don't understand it's institutional racism and
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injustice and so many things that were built within the system that causes some of the actions that take place in our communities. they didn't grow up around there. they grow up around that. many of them it wasn't part of the curriculum that they grew up that people were teaching them that that this is a nation that's done a lot of wrong things and a group of people still paying for those things. there's certain things that take place in the community where you need to understand them so you won't take inoccuos behavior as abnormal. it teaches many police officers on how to view and act within the communities that they're patrolling and working in. unfortunately, there are very few officers who have taken this
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class. it's not on obligation that they don't have to take it. those who are taking it want to further their education. it's one of the things we would recommends not just for officers throughout new york city but all over the nation. automatically, police officers will view a young black male as a criminal. again, it's not going to be an easy task. police officer safety and well being means a lot to our communities. one of the myths is that certain communities protect criminals more than they actually protect those who are doing the right
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things. we're not expecting police officers to become social workers and psychologists and take all the issues that we've been ignoring for very, very long time. however, if they're going to be working in these communities and patrolling the communities that they have training and background on what causes some of the problems that are currently happening in neighborhoods that they work in. >> 30 seconds, sir. >> thank you. one of the things i did prior to coming to d.c. is i met with a group of young people
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incarcerated in the juvenile justice system. there's approximately 50 of them. we talked about some of the strategies and things that police departments throughout the nation can do to improve the relationship. some of the things that the kids brought up and talked about were basic. most of the kids talked about police officers being less aggressive, less judgmental, understanding that kids make mistakes and a kid is not always out to do something harmful based on how they look and how they're dressed. the final thing i'll touch on is having those members of the communities being part of the decision making progress with police departments.
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i know what's best for you. instead of allowing the community to have a seat at the table and voice their opinions and what they need and what's going to work for them an help them. we know you need certain manpower, and listening to their voices and allowing them to tell you what is it that we need to improve the relationship between police and community throughout this nation. the last thing i would touch on is the role that unions play in this conversation that we need to have. i'm pretty sure you have that the union leader for the nypd is not an conducive to a positive climate as it can be.
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that works in the situations instead of improving it and what happens is some of the comments from union leaders achieve the opposite. it makes police officers lives put them at more risk. i think it will be great for unions to understand that our job is to protect our members but our job is to also serve the public and their voice matters. we should take heed and listen to it. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i want to thank the panel for your testimony. i turn it over to the task force members for any questions they may have for my of the panelists.
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>> your comments touched home with me. it's never too late to be a police officer. i think that we need people from the community such as yourself. what i'm asking you about is some suggestions that you could provide on recruiting efforts. one of the things that we have trouble doing we all talk about diversity of police force but you brought forward some of the exact obstacles that we face and what even brought to the forefront is distrust and separation with police department and the communities that we desperately want representation from. and the viewpoints from. how do we bridge that gap to do the proper recruiting we need to bring the viewpoints in? >> thank you. i do still think about becoming a police officer.
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it's a great question. first of all, it's not going to happen overnight. it'sgoing to take some time. i think part of it is to truly make a general effort, extending the to the community and allowing them to voice their opinion and letting them know that we need them. their voices matter. what they have to say and how they view things and how they think things should be done in the community. we take them seriously. i think just like everything else you do in life is that you have to basically give the community members or some people from the community a reason to want to become police officers. i think when there's such a deep
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level of distrust between the community an police departments throughout the nation it's really hard to get some really great individuals perhaps out patrolling the streets and making a difference and changing the culture to become police officers. i think we have to extend our hands to them by engaging in some of the things that the community is already a part of by doing some out reach work. not just posting things on subways and buses and online but going to the community and having regular conversation with folks. we have more in common than we think. police officers have really tough jobs. it's not an easy job to patrol these streets. begin, if we can just show the community that we understand and we listen to them and care about them and there for them i think that will change the mind set of
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the community and more kids and young people coming from these communities will want to become police officers. it is an honorable job. there's no doubt that you get to say our society's most vulnerable people. once again we have to reach out to them and connect with them and show them that whether i'm white, black yellow green, we all feel the same. we have feelings and we need to understand each other. i think that's where the conversation needs to start. then we can get to the phase where we recruit more community members to become police officers. >> thank you. >> can i add to that? >> yes. >> in the community i grew up in southern california, oxnard we had the police activities league. a lot of officers that were in our communities would volunteer and coach at the police activities league. that became our alternative from violence, from gangs and things like that. that allows for police officers to really build and provide a
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space to build trusting relationships. no longer was that such and such over there but it was coach flores or coach brown. i grew up as an alternative to gangs and violence. in my community i grew up playing basketball. i create programs for young people that are detained as well as detentional alternatives where we place them in environments that allow them to thrive and be outside of their community. for us in our community just simplifying things because we could get into our work and what we do but just going back to jim, he reminded me a lot of things that did work in my community. that was the fact there were police officers that truly care and would come after. they wouldn't show up in their uniform. it didn't create this sense of us versus them but a sense of all of us. >> thank


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