tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 14, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EST
provide a 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 you.
>> thank you. tracy is next followed by sue. >> thank you so much for your comments. i wanted to first point out before i ask you a question. it was really gratifying for me to hear how much the comments of mr. winkler and mr. st. germane were congenial to the ideas and theory offered about procedural justice. mr. winkler you didn't use those words but it's pretty much, i think, this idea of reform is consistent. i think that's good. here is my question. in your written testimony you mentioned two things. the centralization is an important key to repairing trust between individuals and then you have an idea about the federal mandate for system wide
accountability for juvenile sentssent centers. the idea we might need to look to more centralization uniformed ideas for standards for policing. if you could say a little bit about what you mean that would be helpful. if we have time, the federal mandate and what that is. >> definitely. i think decentralization in the sense of having community policing. very similar to the police activities league. not having this one institution oversee everything but really get -- i was in the probation department. i was recruited into probation because of the programming i created within the community. i was able to become that
community liaison. often times when i think about decentralization, i feel often times police officers or probation officers aren't equipped with the community resources. they don't know what's accessible or available to them. that leads into my federal mandate on system accountability. i've talked to bryan about part of our three-day conference. one of things i do see is i was a part of a system that was held accountable. it was way in which we were hired. not everybody came from law enforcement. our training we had to do the strength based approach. we had to do different types of training that equipped me to be the best probation officer i could be. i feel why is there a system that's working in one community yet the neighboring county is the complete opposite which is punitive. it's not held on restorative
justice practices. it's not necessarily looking at victim offender dialogues. it's not looking at doing gender responsive programming understanding that women need to be served differently as lyly than men. it's a whole other conversation. it's a dream of mine. i know that with many people here in the room we could achieve that. i would love to have more of an offline conversation but look at how to reduce racial disparities within a system on a front level. i'll tell you a quick story and i'll end. when i was a probation officer we used to use the risk assessment. that's an objectsive tool to not hold young people into the system. i know that new york tries to use it but as an intake officer you're a young person askis screened then a probation. people are screened immediately
so you can eliminate them from being put into a detention center. my first position was an intake officer and i did gender responsive programming. when i would get calls from officers from police officers that my young girl was going to be transported into the probation or into the juvenile hall, i would risk them in my hand and inform the police officer that was not necessary and inform them there was a community program that would be accepting them at this time. it's things like that. we could do so much better if we really wanted to. i think that's what we're here for. >> thank you very much. sue followed by cedric alexander. >> i'll start with miss perez. i appreciated your comments about the pal program and those types of resources to make a connection with young people
that might have not had a good exchange with police officers. can you talk a little bit more about your objection to having police officers in the school. you had specifically mentioned school resource officers. in my experience from the police side, i found that my officers that worked in the schools the officers were transformed by their experience interacting with the kids in a positive environment. i wanted to see if you could clarify whether you should never have officers in school or maybe something different than that. >> well just from my experience in santa cruz county probation what we saw was a direct school to prison pipeline. hirer numbers of young people being brought into the detention center. when we analyzed the data it was coming specifically from high school that had a police officer. what we did is gathered a bunch of stake holders as well as community based organizations to figure out how we could
eliminate and provide an al terntive. alternative. we have community based organization who were trained in conflict mediation and reconciliation. be a part of this program where the officer would use them as setting young people directly into the system. as well in chicago we trained. the gathering for justice trained. seniors in non-violence as well as the staff and they were then training the incoming freshman that then led to the high school being 150 days without violence. i think we could look at alternatives. i feel that another thing we do as a nation is we begin to criminalize children's behavior. things we may have done as children are now seen as a
crime. i think resource officers need a lot more training in youth development. if we're not going to remove the resource officers they could make better judgment. >> thank you. >> i was going to ask mr. st. germane for his views on that. you were talking about recruiting folks and having the interaction. i'd be curious on your views about school resource officers. >> similar to miss perez. the school to prison pipeline is an issue for me. as a young man who spent years
in the juvenile justice system, i spent three years in the juvenile justice system and work with young kids who are incarcerate incarcerated. i interact with young people who are in the system who are at-risk on a regular basis. again, having police officers in the school if the objective is to actually help and the system is not going to punish those officers for not arresting and punishing these kids then yes, it can work. again, these officers are human beings just like any of us. if you're doing the job and our higher ups and officers are telling us we need to bring in numbers and do this and do that, we need to seem tough on crime which is something that we're really big on in this nation. then having police officers in the schools is not going to
work. if we change the way the system operates and what we incentivize then it will work. i've met are a few officers who changed my mind. does this officer care about me and ask do i eat or what's going on. i think things like that can really help to whether we want to have officers at the sdool or not. having them in the school. >> that's really helpful. thank you. >> cedric alexander followed by britney. >> sitting here listening to both miss perez and mr. st.
germane, i was reminded of the fact i can go back in my own career as a school resource officer in dade county florida. to your point to both of you all's point as a school resource officer our goal was not to arrest kids and put them in jail but try to help them and build relationships with them and get to know their families and so forth. over the last 30-plus years or so, many schools across this country have become very adjusted to having school resource officers in their schools. the question is not going to get asked so much by police as much as it may get asked by educators who will say to you is that for the past 30 something years i
feel safer in the school with police officers here because depending on where you are in the country my school is not that safe. kids are coming into the school with guns and knives and drugs and gang violence and et cetera, et cetera. correct. because that will probably wear, it will be interesting to note that you probably would experience some push back from those in education who would say i would those police officers in my school so that i can feel safe. how do we -- how do you help me help us respond to that? >> i'll make this really quick. there are young people carrying weapons and other contraband into schools.
i know that the focus today is police and community relations. this conversation is much bigger. i won't get into it but sometimes we need to ask ourselves where these young people are getting these guns from and these weapons. if there are young people bringing weapons and contraband into the school, if you have an officer there they're job is to make sure that the school as a whole is safe. whatever needs to happen, needs to happen. the objects ifr should not be to punish kids. if it happens it happens. we'll take care of it whether that young person being arrested it happened on premises and we handle it the appropriate way. if the officers are not being
incentivized to find things wrong and arrest young individuals then i think educators in the communities alike wouldn't mind that. i have a son. he means everything to me in this world. i'll protect him by any means necessary. i want him to be safe. if he's in a school where other individuals and other young people are bringing this weapons, sure i want something to be done about that. however, it's the way that we do it. again, we're not doing it to harm the entire school. we're not doing it to all of a sudden look at every young individual as a criminal as they carry weapons. one particular young person dealing with a weapon we deal with that young individual and do whatever we need to do to make sure it doesn't happen again. what i'm saying is sure we need educators to be safe. we want to make sure our children are safe. if there's a young person bringing in weapons putting the school in danger then we'll handle it. if the objective is not to
punish them then it won't be such a huge issue. i don't know if i answered your question. >> maybe we would be having a different conversation. most likely there are not many resource officers in white schools. i want to think of this through a racial justice lens. the fact that when i went to school i was sent to the principal's office or a psychologist was contacted. there were other ways than what we've done now and really
criminalizing and funneling young black and brown people into the prison system based on their interactions with resource officers in our schools and the policies that we have in place right now. >> thank you very much. we're running low on time. keep your answers as concise as possible. >> thank you. i'll make it brief. i'm looking for some very specific information. in a lot of ways the presence of a school resource officer is something children of color and
low income internalize. why isn't there an officer across town in the rich part of town? i appreciate you bringing up that point in that rational justice lens. if that is a potential solution then what is the kind of alternative training that you provide educators to be able to do the kind of risk assessment that you did as an officer. >> i certainly feel that there needs to be more. i think training is provided to educators. i was with an educator for 17 years. he was a teacher. i think because he also came from a similar community that a lot of young people came from, young people were able to relate to him. also i think train inging, resource
were at fingertips to know what the alternative is. who can come into your school where a lot of people were being referred to the system from. we were able to have a community based organization there present every single day and made available to educators as well as the administration as an alternative. we have resource officers to protect the school for certain crimes. we were able to incorporate those types of programs as well as they were peer educators peer conflict resolution and non-violence warriors that were
able to talk down their peers. peer education as well as contracting community based organizations that know how to deal with that type of conflict in school and more training and services made available to educate educate educators educators. >> thank you. very moving testimony. you've given us a lot of suggestions. could you prioritize them for me. everything from training resources, cops being fluent in the communityiescommunities, race studies. could you just the top two each of you. if we had to limit it. >> i hope there will be more anti-racist and anti-sexist training for officers. it needs to be beyond our police
forces. when i was in my early 20s, a white kid from a non-struggling family. i realized how much i'm a child of white privilege. that ongoing kind of training is incredibly, changes world views and is important for all of us. i hope that can become systematic throughout our police forces. >> re-evaluation of current trainings as well as new trainings.
and system accountability. >> i would say to incentivize quality police work. not just how many people you arrest and how many perps you bring in. i think for me this would be number one. number two would be, again, teach ing teaching the police officers the history of this nation and what causes some of the things that have them have to go into these communities in the first place. no disrespect be many of these officers patrolling the streets my friend who is a police officer work closely with them. they do not understand why they have to do some of the things that they do. i don't blame them. i don't fault them. they never had to learn it. they grew up in a different environment. now they're just following the system that asks them for a specific issue or numbers or whatever it may be.
training an helping the officers to understand the communities they are working in and some of the things that took place in society that caused them to have to be in in the first place. i think that would really help. those are the main two for me. >> our final question is from sean. >> thank you. i echo my colleague's appreciation for the panel. i appreciate you miss perez you bringing up the sports and outreach program. that's worked. the unions have done a lot on their own both in terms of getting the police officer members participate but also in funding. often we do that partnering with churches and other community groups. my question for the panel is if you could give us a specific recommendation, we know there are programs that have been
hugely successful. i think one of the best is to los angeles's the watt's football program. that's the city of los angeles has made that a budgetary priority. what can we do working together and i guess specifically what recommendation would put forward to facilitate the re-prioritizing of those types of programs in terms of getting state and local budgets to really make those a priority. >> well, we're talking in a sense about working state legislatures on budget issues at the federal level. there are untapped communities for alliances and coalitions between police forces ministerial associations unions, teachers, on and on and
on to really come together around a common agenda. this is what we need in our community. i'm not even aware i'm sure it exist, i'm not aware of anywhere where police officers and clergy for example are going to the state legislature and saying this a compelling deed. i think that would have a significant impact. we need to create -- we don't have to recreate the wheel. we just have to use the networks that we have already in existence. >> thank you very much. i want to thank the panel. this was excellent. let's thank them. [ applause ] in order for us to stay on time we're not going to take break between panels this time. bear with us while we seat the next panel which will be a law enforcement panel. thank you.
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rush to judgment against officers involved in fatal shootings rather than respecting due process. we'll hear that discussion as this event on community policing continues. i'd like to call the hearing to order. we have our law enforcement panel. i'd like to welcome our witnesses here this morning. we're going to start with richard berry. president of the international association of chiefs of police. >> thank you for inviting me to testify today. my name is richard berry. i've been a cop for over 37 years. due to the hard work and
dedication of the law enforcement profess, many communities throughout this nation have witnessed a remarkable decline in the rate of crime. america in 2015, is far safer place than america in 1985. in fact, violent crime in united states is at its lowest level since 1978. we must have the support and assistance of our communities. resource shortages have made consistent sustained policing difficult or impossible. police departments take on more responsibility with less manpower and funding.
these responsibilities take time and resources away from patrols and policing duties. the more we're tasked with the harder to enhance and sustain strong police relations. it's incumbent for all of us to work together for solutions and approaches. the iacp has taken action including holding a national policy summit on community police relations. representatives from the naacp, aclu leadership of conference on civil rights as well as various representatives.
the aicp is leasereleasing a report today. i hope you will use it as a blue print. there are three overarching elements of strong police relations that were defined during that summit. that's communication partnership and trust. now, unfortunately my time will not permit me to go into all these identified strategies but you have the report. i hope you'll use it. with know this task force was built for providing relgations. this movements cannot just stop there. that's why more than 20 years the iacp has called for national policy commission on the entire criminal justice system so we can make across the board
improvements. i've heard loud and clear all the previous presenters. my only question, where you been? we've been calling for it for a long time. to be successful in your mission as panel members you need truth and facts not myths and lies. the truth is the vast majority of contact law enforcement has with citizens is non-violent and noncontroversial. to put things into perspective, the average number of arrests per year are about 12.5 million which equates to over 34,000 a day. these are arrests ranging from abuse of children to serial killers. of the millions of arrests made this year this doesn't include citizen contact. fatal encountkountscounters occur at a rate far below at a rate.005%.
these incidents are rare. we must remember the threats faced by police are real. each year there are more than 50,000 assaults on law enforcement officers which results in more than 14,000 officers being injured. this past year 126 officers were killed in line of duty including 59 murdered by gunfire or assault. this is higher than u.s. combat casualties in afghanistan. this can thot benot be tolerated. the smear campaigns are placing our officers lives in danger while they we are form the
already dangerous task of reducing crime in our communities. i grew up in high school in the '70s. the current public climate is like the 1970 a our troops were withdrawing from vietnam. the treatment then was wrong just like the current treatment of our brave law enforcement officers is wrong now. i encourage you to truly examine the facts the risks and the challenges of policing in an armed society. we are like none other in the world. please use your collective wisdom expertise and influence to help us make this country safer. thank you for convening this session. i look forward to answering questions. most importantly, thanks for
taking this forward. don't let it stop here. we need to look at the entire criminal justice system. thank you very much. >> welcome. >> good morning. thank you for allowing us to be here today to share with you the perspective of rank and file officers who serve in harm's way each and every day in the street thes of our communities. it's their views that i'm going to offer today. all of us here know that there's been an erosion of trust and respect between law enforcement officers and the communities they protect, particularly in communities of color. similarly, the law enforcement officers are growing more distrustful of the citizens in many communities because of an increased violence that targets law enforcement officers.
a rise in firearm fatalities and assaults and ambush attacks have forced officers to become weary when responding to any call for service. that's why i've called on the president and congress to amend the federal hate crime law to include police officers. enough is enough. it's imperative that we bridge the gulf of trust and respect between the police and their communities and work together to bridge the gap. i urge this task force to take a broad holistic approach. it's an issue throughout government and society. our citizens and communities are losing faith in government services in public officials and public service. the lack of trust and respect may be most obvious because our officers are the most visible form of government. the issue is pervasive. schools are failing parents and students like erodesing
confidence in the idea that with a good education anything is possible. instead, schools process our children without guaranteeing them an education. elected officials cannot make good on their promises and basic social services wisther on the vines as funds dry up. poverty, the poverty of income and the poverty of true opportunity is the common denominator denominator. more and more of our citizens especially our young people and people of color no longer trust that the american dream is within their reach. for a young man of color to finish high school without a basic education because of social promotion he's robbed of that opportunity. that's a robbery that law enforcement cannot respond to. his world view is likely shaped by an american -- likely not shaped by an american civics class but by social media saturated with a subculture that celebrates anger towards
authority, disrespect for women and willingness to use force to ensure that they are not disrespected especially in front of their peers which often triggers a swift escalation of the most routine police encounter or any other authority figures. i don't need to remind anyone here that these problems have been building for generations. in a three-month study is not going to provide all the solutions. this will have to be permanent work in progress. we need to commit ourselves to it. the fop wants to be part of a changing culture of policing. we have a responsible to make changes. we must first reject any notion that the law enforcement culture is intrinsically racist. it's wrong to think that a man is a criminal because of his skin but it's equally wrong to think a man is racist because of
his uniform. no grand jury decision or government action should result in local leaders or national spokesmen justifingly open or not the burning of businesses looting of shops or wanton destruction of property. when these criminal acts are not swiftly condemned add wrong but are met with a shoulder shrug or an explained away as a complete completely reasonable release to pent up frustration. the killer of these two officers believed his out rage and a per perceived failure of justice was enough to end their lives and then his own. the trust gap and lack of respect for our government led an unbalanced man to murder.
criminals and mentally unbalanced criminals to believe hostile actions against police will be validated. i ask we keep this goal uppermost in our minds as we go forward with discussions about police legitimacy race relations. i believe one of the most important things question do to strengthen the bonds of trust and mutual respect between government and our communities is to restore our public confidence in and commitment to due process. law enforcement officers knowledge that individual officers will have their actions skroout scrutinized. we welcome that. this will sometimes inflame public passions and exacerbate the community situation especially in cases where the national opinions often turned out to be mistaken. this undermines trust and does damage to the concept of due
process. it's critical to demonstrate our faith in a commitment to due process. it must not be affected by nelg negative media, mass vaiolence or any other retribution by the public. we need to make that clear especially if law enforcement managers persist in efforts to create a database of these officers. if fop opposed this effort in the past and must continue to do so unless due process laws for all police officers are uniform throughout the nation. perhaps this effort will bolster our later effort to improve p efforts for police officers. our written testimony will be submitted. thank you. >> thank you, sir. our next witness is a past president of major county sheriffs association and a member of the executive committee and sergeant in arms for the national sheriff's
association. welcome. >> thank you. good morning. just beginning my 32nd year of policing. 24 years with the indianapolis police. it's my honor to be here on behalf of these two organizations, the national sheriff's association and the major county sheriff's organization. i want to thank you for holding this listening session. there's no currently serving sheriff on the task force we feel this plays a critical role of providing the public with the insight. a slfr so you neek in a numbersheriff so unique in a number of ways. as a result the officer sheriff is the law enforcement agency most accountable to the public they serve. sheriffs are the only law
enforcement officers that provide the full line of criminal justice services including corrections to the operation of our jails. sheriffs hold a wide variety of policing and public safety responsibilities due to the diverse makeup of our counties. sheriffs across this great country represent remote rural areas as well as the densely populated areas. all of these allow us to provide a unique set of observations regarding the key issues identified by this task force. to identity best practices and make recommendations and how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust. while this has become a topic of national concern police community relationships are not managed at the national level. police community relationships are local. the bond between law enforcement and the public varies greatly across this country agency by
agency. from the context of my own experience a very diverse county with 1.2 million residents. 425,000 are non-caucasian. our population are growing and demographics are changing every day. we have over 40000 liberians. we have 37 separate law enfors enforcement agencies. each with its own set of relationships. in some the dynamics between law enforcement and the community are excellent. in other communities the dynamics are not as positive. work needs to be done to restore relationships from decades of deep distrust. for all involved the best time to build trust is before that warnts sweep, before that traffic stop, before that drug search warrant and before it have 911 call. we should develop, maintain and invest in these relationships at
the local level and focus on specific goals and basic elements on both sides of the equation. the first is well-trained deputies and police officers. they have to be reflective of the community we serve who are properly equipped, compensated, supported and accountable for their actions who respect the privacy and protect civil liberties of all residents and understand their role is to be one of public service. the second is engaged community members and leaders who actively participate in the development of policies, who promote in the education of community members about police practices and our criminal justice system. who facilitate constructive and meaningful review of policies and practices that violate community standards and partner with us in their business school neighborhoods, places of worship to build strong and resilient communities. the third are cleefhief law
enforcement officers. who facilitate direct participation on the part of community leaders, adviseory groups and round tables. who are going to breakthrough the status quo by engaging diverse communities through recruiting and targeting outreach to leaders. your recommendsation should support and further these goals. again, as a local example over the past eight years we've improved our diversity through actively recruiting minorities and military veterans, as most agencies have, but we still have a long ways to go. measuring diversity in the work force is only one way to
quantify progress. it also community involvement in an advisory capacity to our agency. a specific example would be allowing women of muslim faith to wear hijabs in our jail. we dwoptadopted this policy to better reflect the expectations of our community members. we must better highlight the challenges and the dangers for our officers and deputies. 121 police officers died in the line of duty in 2014. 4706 those officers were killed by gunfire. in over 50,000 of our officers are assaulted every single year. training and incident review go a long way in establishing best practice and preparedness. in real life things can change in a heartbeat. things that the best training can't account for. for most americans the officer on patrol is the most direct and
the visible point of contact to the entire criminal justice system. law enforcement is only one part of that system. we enforce the laws. we don't write them. we don't define sentencing guidelines. police community relations in every town or every city could be improved with the better understanding of the criminal justice system and to a greater public awareness of the constitutionally limited role of police in a democratic society. when we act to enforce our laws it's public safety in service to the residence. fulfilling our oath of office means more than respect. we protect the private liberties of all residents. for me and the sheriffs across this great country this is how we define the role of policing in a democratic society. this is what it means to serve and protect. the nation sheriffs also officer several recommendations and raise additional concerns that
need to be addressed in the context of 21st century policing. first is national initiatives from the department of justice to the policing services program designed to strengthen police community bonds, should be analyzed enhanced and cross supplied to other areas experiencing similar problems. these efforts should focus on greater participation by our citizens and reserve police officer programs or organizations like the national citizens police acad knee association and advocateing interaction to gain more personal state in community safety. local school districts could coordinate education visits to police departments foster interest at a much earlier age. understanding the experiences in the criminality across the
country to help shed light on the current status of relations in our respective communities. we want residents to understand why law enforcement officers use certain equipment or tactics to ask the public to comeply. these tools do enhance the safety of the public. understanding this could help mitigate confrontation, reduce confusion and escalatelation on the part of the officer and the public. sheriffs emphasize the need for funding for programs and designed to assist state and local law enforcement. the burn justice memorial grants, community policing services, the state criminal alien program. changes from year to year on these programs can disrupt or work force hiring, community initiatives
initiatives, training, equipment and in closing, i want to say this sheriffs are essential partners in any effort to increase the trust and the confidence in the american people in our criminal justice system. our sheriffs hope that discussions will lead to open conversations and i want to thank you for letting us testifying here today and we welcome questions from the panel. >> thank you. our final witness is andrew peralto. sir. >> thank you. i'm also a lieutenant with the
las vegas metro politic police department. i've actually had the privilege of being involved in a lot of that change so thank you. i'm also the national president with the national latino peace association founded in 1974. i want to point out that we believe the vast majority of cops that hire on today hire on good for reasons, good intentions and want to do good things in the community. the reason we ask is because of the very issues that we're talking about today. they were recognized back in 1972 by two of our founders in california. so they founded this organization to help try and tackle some of these issues in the hispanic communities back in their day. i also want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak in front of you. i will go ahead and go right into the some of the main topics
you sent us. role of police in a democratic society. we believe the police department and agencies, we exist because the public wants us to understand. they want us there to help protect them. this relationship must be protected through transparency and mutual trust. police in the communities they serve need to see each other as partners in the 21st century not enemies. police departments must match the demographic of the community. we know there are challenges in the african-american and hispanic communities that we serve. we need to change that. we believe in the sanctity of life and we believe that that needs to be embedded throughout policies and in training with an emphasis in the use of force policies to be progressive and with an emphasis on deeskalition al
deescalation. we believe associations like owe ours can be useful especially with strained budgets and limited resources available to the department. hiring a diverse work force. there must be a dmitcommitment in every agency to mirror the community at large. we know this is opportunity to maintain racially balanced recruitment teams whether you're hiring or not. those officers can be useful in representing the local democratics and encourageing young juveniles to become police officers theirselves even if they are not actually hiring. we want four years without hiring so we're not stranger to that. some of those teams can still be used. there must be commitment today. time can't wait. every officer hired locks up another position that is not going to be available till that
person retires. so there has to be commitment today to help change that. in the area of procedural justice, we like citizen review boards. we believe those are important for engaging minority communities so we will feel their voices heard and concerns met. they can help hold us accountable and help get the message out to the public that we're doing the job right. transparency doing critical incidences is important. building better media relationships upfront before an incident is paramount. inviting them into your special weapons and tactics teams, letting them know how you operate. that transparency will help minimize confrontation or racially divided information being put out during a critical incident. of course, sanctions for
departments found guilty using race affective in an arrest and require all departments to have a written policy against racial profiling. we believe those are very important. racial reconciliation. one of the tactics we use is reaching out through the faith based communities. i know in our hispanic communities we have in the west don't trust cop. they came from an environment where cops are the ones hurting them so they don't want to come to us so it has led to a lot of victimization in their communities. they won't call us but we know they go to church and they trust their pastors and priests and so forth. so reaching out with the segment that doesn't trust us i believe is very important. reaching out to the community to
mend old wounds. lastly, there must be greater attention placed on how discretion is a plied in the community. officers have a lot of discretion and that discretion must be applied in an ethical and fair manner. this can be accomplished through training. community engagement and dialogue. citizens' academies whether it be hispanic, african-american, being visible during christmas or other charitable events to work with the minority communities so they can see that hey, we do have officers out there that are like us and that are concerned for our needs. police minority recruitment teams composed of citizens and officers. this gives the community a hand in supporting its own best interests. driver safety programs reaching out to local minority radio shows, so on and so forth.
improving youth relations. positive interaction we believe need to happen at a younger angge. it can't wait. those individuals in our elementary schools are our citizens tomorrow that are going to be bringing up these same issues if we don't do something now so we believe early positive contact is essential now. assist in creating youth volunteer programs throughout the united states and working to provide supplies to homeless populations to reach out to them as well. youth leadership academies. the young adults need to see police as helpful resources to them. police leadership development. the point of how highest liability rests with our day one rookie officer. leadership must start at the lowest level. i can't wait to hear the sergeant, lieutenant, sheriff. they need that understanding, that leadership up front before
they promote because we are at that point of contact as we saw in ferguson that could be the ignition source to something that we don't want to see so a lot more leadership up front whether it's in the academy or requirements in the initial development of a young officer. training of fair and impartial policing have helped us in las vegas and across the u.s. make this training a requirement prior to promotions for anyone in leadership positions or at least to be completed within one year of promotion. in closing, we believe that minority associations such as ours, poa -- we've been out there for years. we've been trying to tackle these issues for a long, long time. we've been waiting for an opportunity to like this so we like to definitely thank you. we will continue to participate
in the necessary studies of research provided by the doj and this task force. we're leerhere to help and encourage the government not to let go of the principles of policing and to find ways to keep this research in funding goes. for those community members watching today, we are you as cops. as a minority officer, i live in your community. i worry about crime and i worry about residing in a safe neighborhood the same as you. and i wonder how it will be in 15 years for my grandchildren. you know with that said, our commitment will be unwaivering when it comes to being an active participant in communities of color. we're here to help community wise, government wise. >> thank you very much. thanks to call of the witnesses. we're going to start our questioning now. we will be starting with brian stephenson. well let me just thank all of
you for your testimony and for being here. i want to particularly thank peralta for the specific recommendations and stanic. chief berry i'd be interested because you work with national organizations. if you've heard from either other panelists or earlier today, specific recommendations that have been initiated by police chiefs that are doing innovative work in their department which you think would be positive things for the task force to recommend specifically in building better trust and better relationships within the community. the second part is if you could identify innovative leadership in communities that you've worked in or seen or you've heard about that you'd like to draw attention to. i'd be really interested in hearing about places where
people have done creative things specifically on this question of building trust between police and communities. i share your concerns on the broader issues. because we're not talking about them i don't want you to feel like you're not being heard. the questions of gun access and drug policy are very big issues that law enforcement have to bare the brunt of but i'm interested in any recommendations that you'd like to endorse either from your co-panelists or that you've heard here today. >> first and foremost i think the most important thing that we've heard from day one is collaborating communication in our neighborhoods. we've got to work -- most of my associations have been doing community outreach for years. we've run the poa leagues in many places. we do christmas drives to help feed the people in our
neighborhoods. shop with a cop programs. a lot of the police departments don't have the resources or the ability to do that. the collaborative work with the churches and community groups is essentially. i think when community oriented policing became a buzzword in my career in the 1980s, it was fine for community oriented policing as long as i didn't get out of my car and then it started to where i better get out of my car. with current staffing levels being what they are, overtime compensation being cut back, it's very difficult for officers to do anything proactive in a neighborhood. we've become a reactive police force. it's sad. but since the major cuts in-law enforcement, we estimate we're down close to 100,000 police officers since the late 1990s. that's caused a huge void of people getting out and doing
what we're supposed to do. as far as innovation, i heard about some of the school resource information which shocks me because my state is a small southern state and we've had school resource officers in ef every middle school and high school in the state for the last eight or ten years. many run summer programs for at risk children in cooperation with the schools. those prove to be very affective in our communities. >> mr. stephenson, i would again take you back to this policy manual. i didn't get into them because we were pressed for time to try to make up lost ground. also, my commitwritten testimony contains a great detail on those issues. i have to say some of the training -- the professor at the university of south florida in
tampa. she's done a great deal of training in the state of florida on bias and she does great -- she does a great job. the other thing, it was mentioned earlier, there are a lot of locations that have great relationships with the clergy and work together. a perfect example is orange county florida the sheriff has done a great job of bringing that community together to work on issues. again, they do afterschool programs and programs for at risk youth. so there are a lot of great examples out there. but at the end of the day as chuck just mentioned, the funding. dollars for training. the state of florida right now currently authorizes $67 per officer per year for training. $67. now, that's up from $40 two years ago. okay? that's what we're up against ladies and gentlemen. those are real numbers. that's what's going on across
the country. the improvement in the economy that has happened across the nation has not made it to the local levels yet. a lot of the property values have not come back. so there are agencies still struggling. i say to you what kind of training can you do for $67 per employee? pretty tough? did any other witness want to weigh in on this question? >> sure. that's part of where we come in to try to fill that niche. we have chapters from alaska all wait to florida. we do a week long annual conference that we do that does provide police training. we have our own budgets because we know the police departments are strained. they really are. but the dues that we collect throughout the country can be useful in that. >> as far as reaching out to the
faith based community you're talking about things that happen in certain areas. we work choeslosely with our county commissioners. we think it's important to work with local government. you've got to reechbach out to the local government. we try to get them interested in being an officer. and it's interesting in a lot of communities, even now, maybe sichblsix to eight of the students that came through had interest in being an officer. so we know we're falling short
in those efforts so we think we need to continue the efforts. we're for"we're for" equal. we're proud to say that we've opened our doors to african-americans, white. a lot of our boards are very mixed. you can't fight equal if you're going to be prejudice yourself. so that's got to be mentions. >> okay. rich, anything you want to add. >> no, madam chairman. i'm going to try the second question when you're ready. >> okay. >> well, let me say this. i am going to talk a little bit about the community advisory boards because i think this is important. the whole thing about law enforcement in the community is about trust and partnership. how do you build that? i will go back to the best example i know which is in my own state. when my dentyputies swear to uphold
the constitution and laws of minnesota. those are the three things that govern the actions and duties and responsibilities of our deputies. we go one step further. that is the community advisory board made up of 38 members, the faith community, educators the joe and jane average citizens and business owners. i could say you're just a sounding board, thank you for your advise and guidguidance. we don't do that. we ask them and talk about our policies and funding. if i am looking to do something, i use their input. it isn't just a advisory capacity like in some organizations but we truly use the community advisory board. those partnerships don't come overnight. they don't just stop and start and stop and start again. it's something that you build over years and years.
many of these community advisory boards have served -- since i got sworn in 2006 some come back. some move back to outside of our country but at the end of the day, they want to come back. they like having a vested interest and stake in the community at large. i think that's a really important concept as you continue your work and recommendations back to the president that you highlight those things. thank you. >> thank you. moving on, connie rice and tracy mirrors following her. >> all right, gentlemen. thank you for your testimony. i am going to make sure i read it right and i don't think i did because three of you sounded extremely combative. i could understand why you felt
attacked attacked but i'm wondering if you disagree with chief bratten and chief charlie beck current chief of lapd when both of them testified that the future was not in handcuff and that police would have to change their mooindmind set and outlook if they were going to bond with these communities of color. do you disagree with that. >> i will start with that. the answer is no. that's why again, i go back to that for over 20 years has been trying to get a national commission on criminal justice to try to look at the entire system. we've been wanting this for a long time. we can't get anybody in congress that would take it forward. the answer is we've seen this train coming for a while and we've been trying to be upfront and we have not been able to get
people to actually take action so the answer is i absolute agree that the entire system needs to be looked at unfortunately law enforcement keeps taking the brunt of it. again sentencing and all of those type of things, we don't control those. the other thing i found interesting before with the schools and making arrests you know our hands have been tied. because of the fear of juvenile guns in schools, we don't have a choice. when i started in this business in 1977 you had discretion in cases. any anymore, that discretion is gone because if you don't make an arrest and that person hurts somebody, you're done. your agency is done. so it takes a system wide adjustment to make this thing better. >> but isn't it true sir that that first contact with law enforcement is how most of our
kids get funneled into this criminal justice system so there's a lot of discretion you hold? i mean, i guess i'm asking if you can agree with that or not because that first contact with the criminal justice system it comes from the conscious decision of an officer to place that child into that system. >> right. i would understand that -- it depends. look at the domestic violence laws across this country. the discretion of an officer is gone. i had a friend of mine whose 17-year-old son got arrested because him and his 18-year-old son got in a fight. if you don't make that arrest and something bad happens -- so officers are airing on the side of protecting themselves and that agency. unfortunately anything to do
with schools anymore, if you don't make an arrest and something bad happens, it's over. again, i don't think the officers have the discretion that they once had. that's my personal opinion. but i agree that that initial contact is crucial but it also depends on how that contact happens. if it's a voluntary encounter or if fall into one of those mandatory reporting areas, you don't have much discretion. >> right. they have both said that they have an obligation to change the mindset of the traditional police officer. how would you interpret that? do you disagree or agree that the mindset of officers is an area that needs to be focused on along with all of these others that you've listed. >> well, while i'm up i will hit on that one too and then i will
turn the microphone over. i believe the nobility of policing and that is the constitution of values that go with it and the fairness and justice that go with it. do i think that we need to do a better job with that training, yes, ma'am i will not argue with you one bit. we have to. so there are great programs out there and we do have to change the mind set. but we have to have the public's help. accepting violence as the norm is unacceptable too. there are shared responsibilities. i think law enforcement will step up and do their part and the public needs to do their part and have shared responsibility. >> thank you. >> i think there's another segment of the population that we don't blame but police officers are used in this country by politicians to handle problems problems. going into areas of high crime and vandalism the police department are the public serve
servants are the servants that are responsible for making the contacts. i heard about earlier about incentivizing for arrests. nobody quotas for arrests should be illegal. police officers should have discretion. in st. louis county the fop took a position that they needed to consolidate police departments because you can't go from one burrow to the next without getting two traf iskfic tickets because they govern on the money provided by the tickets. they need to review the amount of discretion. video cameras and body cameras are now causing them to affect an arrest because someone will second guess every decision he makes. why didn't you put that person in jail. you had a clear violation, why didn't you put him in jail? i thought that my discussion with that young man was
fruitful. i believe he understood what he did was wrong. i also believe by allowing that subject to go away that i've left him with a good impression. well, that good impression will cost you three days off for not enforcing the law. i believe with the chief that officers must have their discretion returned but that starts with the politicians who pass the laws. we have zero tolerance policies in our high school. i live in an area where children go and hunt and fish before school. and if in the back of their pick up truck they leave an empty shotgun case, that's a criminal offense and they are expelled from school. that's ridiculous so the discretion should come back but with that the discretion should be taught that there's no proprizal for those who practice the discretion.
we have a limited amount of time in this segment. six members or five members still have questions to ask. thank you for your answers there. let me turn to tracy mirrors. >> thank you for your testimony. i will try to make this as pointed as i can. it follows from connie rice's question. i want to frame it by starting with the point that professor tyler brought up that crime has gone up subdown substantially yet the trust has gone down. it seems like there's agreement among all three panels that we need to improve the levels of trust that police have with communities. the question is how to get there. i want to echo with connie rice said and brian stephenson said in seeking for very specific
recommendations you want do that. you were less clear accept for chief peratla. i would like to hear your brief comments about your views on training but what about ideas of procedural justice. even if you believe that you don't have a choice in an arrest and you've all been just a little bit inconsistent about whether you think there's indiscretion oshtr not. you do have a choice in how you treat people. >> i think the chief addressed that in his testimony. there are 12 million arrests a year and the vast majority to without any incident. training is obviously key. training is the first thing that got caught after 2008 in every
police department in the country. the budget was sliced. our officers are in, in kind of training that will benefit the officers -- you got to remember that the officers out there don't make the rules in the police department. most of the time we're not included in the rule making. i think that as part of the collaborative effort, we have to be involved to. rank and file has to be involved. the issue of discretion being returned to the police officer is essential. >> let me answer, one of the things that's in our report, it's about getting everybody involved in-law enforcement. you need to know what we do. unfortunately people get their ideas from tvs and movies. that's not what cops do. we do a lot of at risk pro
programs -- the regular people who work 8:00 to 5:00, if you could come to a citizen academy and see the training and understand it and then be part of some of those advisory committees. those things are an incredible tool. unfortunately, many of us are putting in more hours for less money and at the end of the day do you really want to go to the police department and listen for two hours? unfortunately some don't. we hope that they are are and we hope that you as a team will come back with some great ideas that we can steal. we don't think we know-it-all. i mean i have always believed in highering people smarter than you. so the people who work for me are a lot smarter. whatever you have please we will run with your ideas. i can guarantee you that. >> jose lopez. >> yeah my myquestion -- we've
gone down this road but i want to come back to it. when i think of our prison system and the overwhelming numbers of people who have gone to prison over the past three decades and the fact that the majority of those look like myself and britney, it makes me think of the role of law enforcement and we heard of this notion or idea that law enforcement needs to serve as a function or does serve as a function to maintain racialize izeized social control. i just want to hear from the panel how you take that notion. this idea that law enforcement's function is to maintain racialized social control. >> well, i will start on that. that is the further thing from the truth. the fact is when you're a cop and you get the call -- you don't get to pick who the victim
is. you don't get to pick who the suspect is. when you take a report -- in drag net they used to say the facts ma'am. just the facts. that's how cops operate. are the numbers disproportional yes. is the victimization disproportional, yes it is. those are the facts. the cops didn't create those. that's why i said in my testimony, i really encourage you to dig into the real facts and come up with a plan. because again, we don't pick and choose our cases. they come to us. to think that there's any kind of institutional -- anything for putting people in prison is absolutely false and the disproportion alt a, i agree with. it needs to be examined but the disproportional -- is embarrassing.
>> britney. thank you all for your testimony and lieutenant peralta thank you for your very thoughtful suggestions and solutions. i have a two part question. the first part i think is pretty basic because like attorney rice i think i might be misunderstanding something and i'm looking for some charity. so the first three of you your testimony seemed to suggest that the burden of responsibility is equal on parts of the police and the community. in my community i think the community would disagree given that police officers swear an only, arelicensed to carry a gun, et cetera. i want to know if you agree that the burden of responsibility is heavier on law enforce. >> i think there's a perception that it is but it shouldn't be. we all have the same responsibility towards society. i don't think that police officers should be held to any
kind of a higher standard. but we should take the lead. we should work with the communities to help build that trust. none of us have sat up here and said that we think that there's not a trust issue. we all there is. but it's both ways. and until we get into communities and work together and talk about it. i mean, one of the worst things in a police department is you never, ever -- you can be accused of a lot of things with you you don't want to ever be accused of arresting somebody for -- because of their race. which is an accusation that's made a lot. so i don't know a police officer out there that wants to arrest somebody because of color because it's just not what we do. it's just like the chief said, we get the call and we respond. i think there's a disproportionate number of people of color in prison. i think the whole core issue goes back again to poverty.
i hate to say it but those who have, have good lawyers and those who don't, don't. i think that's a problem. i think the disparity in sentencing is a problem in this country. it's something that needs to be adjusted but that's not a law enforcement issue. we don't make recommendations on sentencing. most of the time we have no say on any of that in-law enforcement so i don't think we have any more responsibility than anybody else. >> sure. so let me quickly ask my second question. i don't honestly think that you and i would agree on that point because i'm the child of a pivotor andpivot yoor pivotor pastor and to whom much is given, much is required so because law enforcement is operating with higher authority there's a higher level of authority but you did say something that we have common ground on and that is that law enforcement should take the lead. so my question like tracy, i'm wondering what are some specific suggestions from many of you,
honestly around not just programmatic one on one solutions but systemic solutions. >> i will take a stab at that one. having been a long time trainer both as a sergeant and now as a lieutenant. one of the things that we like to look at is when budgets are cut what is left behind. the mandatory training are rely around high relyiabilityreliability, less frequent stuff tactics. so when you're training is all around training, shooting the physical part and less on the verbal part. we cannot ignore that training. we have a 40 hour mandatory but without support without funds, i can't get to anything else. i have to cover the high liability things first. i think we can start with the academies.
recognize discussion, policing interpersonal communications. i was pointing out that highest point, that ignition point is with that new officer out on the street having that confrontation and how he applies that discretion. he's going to grab what he knows. and if he hasn'ted been trained in that yet he's going to go right to something he does know handcuffing, defensive tactics or maybe shooting. so we believe that those communication skills -- we need to swing that pendulum back we need to balance that back as much as there's training in the physical, there needs to be training in that verbal communication arena as well to help change mind sets. >> we will have to condense the remaining questions. about one minute to two minutes each. quickly. >> yeah. so one of the things that i think we've heard over the course of today and first of all
thank you all for testifying and we appreciate what you and your members to for us everyday is that there are a lot of people in the community who don't understand what the police do, how they do it and why they do it the way they do. and so, my question for you and to any of you is if you could identify one department, one jurisdiction jurisdiction, one program that you're aware of that does it right. that makes that explanation to the public in the right way. >> i will say las vegas. my sheriff is very proactive. we saw that. we saw shootings happening and we weren't quite sure what to do about it so reaching out to resources like the doj i think, are vital to come in and help reset the scale to zero so to speak and get you back going on
that right road. we have done we well with it. i think also, it's also habit in our commands if there's a shooting. our command staff comes out. the captain comes out and walks the neighborhood. knocks on doors and asks the neighbors while that shooting went on if they are okay. do they need anything? those kind of grass root things that we do. we set up hoping that we're going to see riots in vegas and it just didn't happen. i think that that's because of the community involvement that that department has. >> does anybody else want to weigh in on the panel. >> i will once again say the iacp. we jumped on and put the summit together. we didn't ask for any funding. we did it ourselves because we knew it was an important topic and we needed to get the information out to our 23,000 members so they can start building the trusts and
alliances so we took the lead on it. >> is there a circumstanceurriculum in the materials, chief. >> this is the initial draft and then we plan on a follow-up. we turned this document around pretty quickly. i have to say probably a lot quicker than a federal publication. >> we're familiar in being on time lines and having to turn things around quickly. >> we will have to wrap up quickly. >> thank you all for being here. i just have a question. post 9/11, it seems that a lost of the federal funding that we were receiving, shifted from community oriented policing funding to a homeland security, more of a defense type investigative funding to stopper rix
, terrorism but do you feel that transitioning back to that pre9/11 philosophy of getting out of the cars and talking would be a good tactic to employ? >> i move approval. >> i don't know if i necessarily agree that. i don't think we can ever go back to pre 9/11. over 90% of law enforcement is done by state and locals. i think the training we've seened in how to identify potential threats is important but yes, we've been pushing the justice department for my grant money and cop money. we were huge supporters of the 94 crime bill that president clinton pushed forward with the 100,000 police officers in the street. we supported it more than anybody else that i know and we continue to support that. part of our biggest problem now is our staffing levels. it's hard to go back to
community policing for instance in in new york city you're done 6,000. >> so reevaluating that balance again. >> well, thank you all. this has been a terrific panel. thank each of you. i know you have very busy schedules. [ applause ] despite the fact that we've run over but will be resuchblmeing right at 1:30 but before we ajournal ron davis has an important announcement. any deliberations or recommendations to the president will be suspended until after lunch till we reconvene so i will see you back here at 1:30. >> we will hear from leaders
from civil rights groups in a moment. the task force was established by president obama in an executive order in december after the police shooting of unarmed teen michael brown in ferguson missouri. the task force's initial report is due to the president in march. the cspan city tour takes book tv and american history tv on the road traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history. this week we partnered with comcast with a visit to west virginia. >> i wrote these books the wheeling family. there are two volumes. the reason i felt they are important to collect these histories is because wheeling transformed into an industrial city in the 19th century and early part of the 20th century. it's kind of uncommon in west virginia in that it drew a lot
of immigrants from europe here in search of jobs and opportunity. so that immigrant generation is pretty much gone. i thought it was important to record their stories to get the memories of the immigrant generation and the ethnic neighborhoods that they formed. it's an important part of our history. most people tend to focus on the font ear frontier history, the civil war history. of equal importance in my mind is this industrial period and the immigration that wheeling had. >> wheeling starts as an outpost on the frontier. that river was the western extent of the united states in the 1770s. the first project funded by the federal government for road production was the national road that extended from cumberland
maryland to wheeling, virginia. when it comes here to wheeling, which is about at that time 50 years old, the real spurt that it needs for growth. over the next 20 to 25 years, the population of wheeling will almost triple. >> watch all of our events from wheeling saturday at 12:00 eastern on book tv. >> now representatives from the aclu, naacp defense and education task force. the goal is to improve the relationship between law enforcement and the community
. so good afternoon. and welcome back. before we get started. i will hand it back over to the cochairs. i just wanted to let people know in the audience and those watching in the web cast, the time for comments for those in attendance will be at 3:30. for those online you can give comments and we're starting to receive them, thank you, through the website at the e-mail of firstname.lastname@example.org. you don't have to write your comment on there but if you could put your name on there so i can call people. we will have microphones floating so we will come to you and you can make your comment. that will be at 3:30. i wanted to give people an opportunity to fill our their cards. thank you. >> good afternoon. i'm laurie robertson. a cochair of the task force. i'm delighted to welcome all of
you to the afternoon session. we're now going into panel four of our witnesses from the civil rights, civil liberties community. we have four excellent witnesses with us this afternoon. i'll be introducing even of them in turn and a reminder that their full bios are both online and in the hand outs for those of you who are here with us in the awed convenience. all of them are very accomplished so reading their full bios again, would take up a great deal of time so i'll be introducing them very briefly. we'll be starting out with cherlynn, the president and director of the naacp legal defense and educational fund. pleased to have you with >> thank you so much. thank you for the invitation to address the task force.
this is the nation's oldest civil rights legal organization. as a result we've been engaged with the issue of excessive force and racial bias in policing since our inception 75 years ago. in fact the 2013 pulitzer prize winning book details thurgood martial in his effort to challenge the shooting of unarmed african-americans in florida in 1949. last year the public of police abuse and excessive force came to a head. the killings of mr. rice in ohio john crawford in ohio, mike brown in missouri, mr. powl in missouri, mr. jones in south
carolina, and many, many others has finally captured the outrage of americans of all races. the fact that these have been captured on cell phones and video has played an important role in convincing many people of what we have known for decades that there is a real problem of policing of unarmed african-americans. to demand an end to police brutality, to inaffective policing to violence against unarmed and peaceful individuals is not to demonnize the police. we recognize that policing is hard and dangerous work. the communities that we represent need good policing, trustworthy police officers and a relationship with police based on trust and respect but in far so many communities and in far
too many encounters there's neither trust or respect. we hold police officers to a higher standard than we impose on higher standards. that's because police officers are officers of the state with the sacred charge to protect and serve. we the people give them a night stick and pepper spray and it's a taser and gun and power to take human right. the brutal incidents we have seen this year where officers have killed unarmed africans is nearly new and reflects the reality of explicit and implicit bias in policing. we have a moment to address this long-standing problem. we believe that if we take
action now we can improve policing standards and community confidence in-law enforcement, increase safety in the community and safety for police officers. we've already called upon the department of justice to use its authority and substantial resources to address the problem and we will continue to engage with the department of justice on those issues. we also presented testimony before congress calling for federal reforms specifically focused on the elimination of government sponsored military style equipment in public schools. we're happy to furnish this task force with the earlier testimony and documents and of koshscourse a more comprehensive version has around been furnished to the task force. we believe there are three critical elements needed to address the crisis we're in. one is the need for data and transparency. one of the most disturbing dimensions is the absence of reliable data. we need a national public
database that documents police shootings, assaults and killings of unarmed individuals. second training and supervision. we believe all policing and community policing by its very nature must include training how to confront racial bias improve training in deescalation techniques and training with youth and those who exhibit mental health concerns and also proper supervision of officers who receive this training and finally, accountability for failure. accountability for failing to provide proper techniques is the single biggest problem of trust. so we recommend also that prosecutors we brought into your discussion. we play a vital role in helping
to improve policing and to building trust between law enforcement and communities. finally, we believe that much of what we have proposed as relates to data collection training, internal police standards for accountability is already required because we believe that this information and these standards are essential to fulfill the department's obligations of title six barring the provisions of federal funds to anyone engaging in racial discrimination. proper stuartship of this program in accordance with title 6 requires that the department of justice satisfy itself that individual police departments operate free from discrimination. it is our hope that the reform measures outlined in this submission will prove useful to the task force as it engages in
the important work of improving relationships between law enforcement and the community that's they protect and serve. and i welcome the opportunity to answer any questions that you may have. thank you. >> thank you so much. we're going to be holding questions until all of the witnesses have provided their testimony. next we're going to be hearing from laura murphy. long time director of the washington legislative office of the american civil liberties union. welcome. >> thank you. is it working? >> i think so. maybe switch over. >> thank you professor robinson and commissioner ramsey. and we are grateful for the opportunity to testify. let me start by saying something and make it really clear that even though the aclu probably sues more police departments than any other organization, the
aclu absolutely supports all rare minded law-abiding and courageous police officers who put their lives on the line everyday to keep us safe. however, we can no longer ignore the real crises that brought us here today. in some communities there's a deep distrust and lack of faith in-law enforcement of the just go a few miles over to anacostia and people will tell you about overzealous arrests for nonviolent offenses and the use of excessive and deadly force. these tactics have been used against children as well as persons with psychiatric disabilities. in new york city, 50% of those stopped and frisked are african-american. in maricopa county laut even
oes are nine times more likely to be stopped than whites. right here in the nation's capitol, ninety91% of those arrests here are black and we know usage is about the same. in florida where youth make up 20% of the population, they phrase 46% of all referrals to law enforcement. this data helps us explain why criminal justice reform is one of the most important civil rights issues of the 21st century. the aclu has five recommendations for change some of which police departments have already adopted and every police departmented department could adopt today. let me say i agree all of the recommendations that sherylle has made. our first recommendation is to 18 the
to end the unkruksconstitutional act of profiling. we have to put an end to this. the task force should recommend that police departments adopt model policies that strictly prohibit law enforcement from profiling drivers, passengers pedestrians on the basis of race ethnicity, gender, national origin and sexual orientation. officers should be disciplined for infractions. second, we have to curb the excessive use of force. the choke hold has allegedly been banned in new york city but why are we seeing its use on national television? the task force must encourage police departments to adopt enforcement policies and training on these policies and review disciplinary policies
with with incidents that are unlawful. we should emphasize deescalation with the public and not swat teams. third, we absolutely need data collection. how do we hold police departments accountable if we do not have information. the task force should encourage them to collect and report useful data in a uniform manner that allows officers engaged in misconduct to be identified. we need data on stops frisks, searches, citations, arrests excessive use of force and homicide -- justifiable homicide. fourth, the task force should embrace civilian oversight of some kind of police department. the aclu supports independent civilian review boards that have
real board to investigate to issue subpoenas and to make findings that are binding. civilian review boards that are properly constituted reflect the needs of the community and are transparent. they should provide fair and timely processes for officers and residents and their decisions should be enforceable. finally, we ask the task force to do a top to bottom review of all federal policies and laws and grant programs that incentivize disproportionate arrests and incarceration of poor people and people of color including the cop's program and the burn jag program. even after 40 years of the war on drugs drug use has not declines in the united states. it's time we call the war on drugs a failure and abandon
these tactics that hurt minority communities disproportionately. in conclusion the current cultural policing demands far reaching and 70systemic reform and for that i am so grateful to all of you for participating in this spifsecific task force. we hope the recommendations of this task force will break new ground and help make new policies that will help end this policing crisis. the aclu stands to help all of you. >> thank you so much director murphy. our third panelist is the senior policy analyst of the texas policy foundation center for affective justice. thank you. >> it's a real pleasure to be here. i have five minutes.
i am here from texas from a conservative oriented think tank called the texas public policy foundation. our work on criminal justice at tppf folk ubscused on how to be restore a perspective on prison reform, one where we focus on costs, government accountability. we talk about this all the time in fields like health care and education but it was our perspective that many conservatives stopped asking the questions about criminal justice. they said lock them up and throw away the key. i don't care what the costs are. that didn't strike us as a limited government attitude. we launched a national campaign called ride on crime. i hope some of you are familiar with. i would like to talk a little bit about one primary
recommendation today that is not even directed at police officers or members of the public but that is directed at policy makers and legislatures. that is reversing the extraordinary amount of over-criminalization in american society. when the constitution was drafted, there were three federal crimes. treasure piracy and counterfeiting. now the number of federal crimes are 5,000. those are just the statutes. there are also agency regulations that can go up to 300,000. those are federal crimes. there are countless state and local crimes that are simply unnecessary. we have 11 different felonies in texas related to oyster harvesting. i used to think this was silly but i stopped laughing a few months ago when that awful tragedy occurred in new york city with eric garner. the chain of events that occurred that led to mr.
garner's death began when the police confronted him about the fact that he was selling individual cigarettes instead of packs of cigarettes. that's a crime in new york. i think the most profound thing i read about the eric garner case came from a law progressor at yale -- he's liberal -- i think he was spot on. he said that with all of his first year law students, he asks them on day one, not to support laws that you would not kill to enforce because -- i should quote him directly here. professor carter said the police go armed to enforce the will of the state. and if you resist they might kill you. those are the things that happen. i think professor's advice shouldn't just be directed at people but policy makers.
a friend of mine in texas who's a district attorney. i was talking to him once bay reform bill i was working on in texas. it some something to do with low level marijuana offenses. he thought that i thought i was going to impose him. he said you need to understand that i'm not going to instinctively be opposed to everything you argue because i'm a prosecutor. what you should understand is prosecuteors when we're in law school, this is not what we dream about. we want to catch killers raich rapist, drug kingpins. it got me thinking if we could apply that the same to police officers. i highly doubt they are dreaming about catching guy who's are selling lucys on the corner of
statten island. i think they want to capture murders, rapists and drug kingpins. i think so many people in our community have lost trust in police officers because they feel their sons and brothers are being harassed because police officers are confronting them and accosting them on issues that they feel at the end of the day, they don't really feel are crimes or traditionally have understood to be crimed. so i think we really should take a look at the number of offenses in our society that we've categorized as criminal. we should consider making some civil and eliminating some of them all together. we've had a lot of support on this issue from across the aisle. i can only spoke from my organization but on certain initiatives, the aclu the national association for criminal defense lawyers have been very supportive. there were recommendations
issued by congress on over-criminalization that came from representative bobby scott. although i approach the matters from a right/center prospective i don't think they have to necessarily be left or right oid yoe loj ik oidiologic oidiologicic generally speaking, don't go around supporting laws that you would not be willing to kill to enforce. thank you. >> thank you. >> and our final speaker on this panel a, is maria teresa kumar. president and ceo of voto latino latino. thank you very much for having me here today. i wanted to thank you for inviting us to speak on this issue. we're a national impartial organization working to impower latinos everyday. today as topic is critical in
our community. latinos respect the fact that police officers put their lives on the line everyday. police officers like the rest of us deserve to go home every night. while confrontations have directly impacted the african-american community. the latino community has a painful history ofincluding many deaths. lat those are latinos killed in the last two years at the hands of law enforcement. the recent practice of rogue arizona sheriffs plague the latino community and it is plaguing america. in preparation for this panel we reached out to both the latino latino audience to provide feedback on how to improve relations between law enforcement and the community that they serve. we received more than 430 responses in less than 24 hours which tells us this is an issue
important to our community and one that we want to be engaged with. let's be clear. we want to cut off the deadline. we couldn't review them fast enough. first and foremost how our community views the role of law enforcement. the phrase used most important is to serve and protect our communities. a recent poll supports this. 84% of latino adults agree that police are there to protect and serve their families. unfortunately, that same poll showed 68% of latino adults worried law enforcement authorities will use excessive force against them. it's hard to cultivate a relationship of trust between a fearful population of the police. more than half of latino respondents indicated they or someone close to them had previously experienced police harassment. many who said they had not declared no, i have not been
harassed but i am white. case after case has been documented in racial profiling against the latino community. increased concerns about undocumented immigrants are to blame. there's a perception among nonlatinos that latinos are presumed to be immigrants and they are presumed to be undocumented until unproven otherwise. this has led them to fear immigration officers as well as traditional police officers. the reality is these fears are not without reason. african-americans and hispanics are disproportionately to be stopped by police. the nypd's controversial stop and frisk program shows similar evidence of racial profiling with police targeting blacks and latinos about 85% of the time. in nearly 9 out of 10 searches
police find nothing. our recommendations are based on what we poll from the latino awed convenience awed convenience audience. having police officers act as de facto police officers is detrimental to safety because they are unlikely to call the police for fear of deportation. police officers should live in the communities they serve. revise education requirements at minimum an aa. higher applicants to help bridge the trust gap. police should be more involved in neighborhood events, fair sporting events town halls community participation is very important. social media should be used to leverage more