tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN June 16, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
according to the new york police department's own statistics during that stop and frisk era approximately 90% of the people who were stopped, questioned and frisked did nothing wrong. no gun, no drugs no weapon no contraband, no offense. nothing at all. clearly notwithstanding, what terry v. ohio said there was no reasonable suspicion. but the overwhelming majority of these individuals had engaged in a criminal act or about to do so. yet, somehow, in the great cosmopolitan city of new york there were many who thought this was justified. communities of color.
but thankfully, we've got a constitution and thankfully we had a brave federal court judge who believed in those principles. the dismantling of the stop and frisk era in new york city, ruling it to be an unconstitutional invasion and we're thankful. we've got a problem but we've got a constitution. and that, of course, is why we are all here. but then, you take stop and frisk. and it's declared unconstitutional. it's dismantled at the direction of a federal court. and the problem i've got with broken windows that i think we should we should work through
and, again i grew up in new york city in the 1980s. came of age at a time when there were over 2,000 homicides per year. i represent communities that want safety, that embrace safety. but we also want constitutional policing. we also want to make sure that the principle of equal protection under the law applies to everybody. so the problem i've got with things like broken windows policing is that tlgs really no law enforcement justification for many of the activities unleashed in communities of color. like going after folks for riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, taking up two seats in a subway car. having an open container of alcohol on your front porch. and we know of course that
things like broken windows policing or what has been referred to as taxation by by citation disproportionately target communities of color of balancing their budget on the backs of otherwise hard working individuals who are channeled into the criminal justice system. and for many of them, their life will spiral out of control. unable to thereafter robustly pursue the american dream. and, of course, it was broken windows policing that led to the encounter ultimately resulting in the death of eric garner. he was targeted for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. for which he received the death penalty.
directed at unarmed, african-american men. the overwhelming majority of them i believe are hardworking individuals who were there to protect and to serve. but no one can reasonably look at the events of the last year which just represent what has been taking place in many communities across america for decades but are being brought to life in a vivid fashion now because of the miracle of modern technology. no one can look at the events of the last year and conclude that we don't have an issue with the excessive use of police force.
as we saw on that videotapevw, when eric garner cried out 11 different times, i can't breathe. and on 11 different occasions a police officer failed to respond. medical examiner says he died as a result of asphyxiation. a choke hold was applied that had been administratively banned by the police department for more than 20 years. yet, something led that police officer to conclude that eric garner was a threat to his life. no evidence on that videotape he had resisted arrest. there's something deeper that appears to be taking place as to why some police officers feel the need to use that level of
force, particularly when the subject is of a certain race and a certain gender. and if we're going to try to solve this problem we've got to confront it in an open-ended evidence-based real way. the fact that when a police officer crosses the line far too often the criminal justice system fails to hold them accountable. and we've got some actors in the criminal justice system perhaps because of the close relationship between the prosecutor and law enforcement who seem unable to fairly and comprehensively present a case
before a grand jury that could allow justice to be done. we saw that down in ferguson where it appeared to me the prosecutor acted more like a defense attorney for officer darren wilson. seemed uninterested in allowing the facts, whatever they may be to come out. same thing, of course, happened apparently in the grand jury that presided over the officer killing of eric garner. but this is nothing new. one of the solutions of course, that has been presented is to figure out a way independently for prosecutors and police involved killing, particularly where there's an unarmed
civilian to present a case either before a grand jury or a judge so that justice can be done. because if there's no accountability, the belief in the system breaks down. it's inherent credibility, which is necessary to hold it together erodes. and one of the great pillars of our democracy is shaken. now, there are some who say well does america have the capacity to address these profound problems? and certainly, there's reason for all of us to be skeptical in this climate in this city where democrats and republicans, progressives and conservatives seem so -- people can see the
same thing unfold on videotape and come to two different conclusions. as i take my seat, i'm reminded of a time when a few young men were gathered at an estate of one of the wealthiest people in the world. and at the other said of the lake, the estate owner shows up. he looks over and sees these young men and he cries out to
them. he says, if any of you are willing to jump in this lake rescue the turtle give you anything that you want in this world. about five minutes went by. and nobody responded. turned around and began to walk away. and then all of a sudden, he heard a big splash turns back around and sees one young man frantically trying to make it to the other side. he gets to the middle of the lake, scoops up the turtle, he dodges the crocodiles, dodges the alligators. somehow makes it to the other side. gets out. dries himself off, hands over the turtle.
congratulations, somehow you made it to the other side. you can have anything you want in this world. young man paused for a moment and said, well, i just want to know who pushed me in the lake. what am i trying to say? sometimes you find yourself unexpectedly in a tough spot. when you're in that moment you've only got two options. you can either sink or you can swim. whenever we found ourselves in a tough spot in the aftermath of civil war, a nation divided but we came up with the 13th, the 14th and the 15th amendment.
whenever we found ourselves in a tough spot. plessy versus ferguson, but we come up with the 64 civil rights act in the '65 voting rights act. whenever we find ourselves in a tough spot the presidency of george w. bush. america comes together in a multiracial coalition and sends barack obama right down the street shattering the ultimate racial glass ceiling. whenever we find ourselves in a tough spot. because of people like those in this room thinkers and lawyers and jurists and activists. we find a way to make it to the other side and continue our long, necessary but majestic march toward a more perfect union. have a great conference.
>> thank you, congressman, for those beautiful remarks. okay, everybody, let's go swimming. i'm going to introduce you to the moderator of our next panel chris hayes. a lot of you should know him. he hosts the msnbc "all in with chris hayes." ladies and gentlemen, please meet chris hayes. >> all right. let's all come up and sit and do the introductions.
all right. i'm going to introduce this incredible panel and get right into it. i'm going to keep these introductions brief because i -- you guys have extended ones. these are all distinguished individuals with long credentials, which you can read about here. i'll start to my left here. honorable judge shinlan, a district judge the southern district of new york since 1994 as congressman jeffries noting she oversaw the landmark floid litigation.
and issued a really tremendous opinion probably i would say the single most important for my amateur perspective as a nonlawyer. possibly ever in terms of this era of policing. nicholas moseby representing the neighborhood in which freddie gray lived and he's married to marilyn marilyn moseby whom you may have heard of, the prosecutor for the city of baltimore. elise body professor of law school where she teaches civil rights, state and local government law. previously a director of litigation at the naacp legal defense fund.
he's been a distinguished member of that department for 21 years. and walter mack is a partner with extensive criminal and civil litigation regulatory experience. he served as deputy police commissioner of new york city for internal affairs where he was in charge of investigations of an institute of policies to combat police corruption and brutality. nick, i want to start with you councilman. baltimore just had its most violent month since 1972. if i'm not mistaken, 42 homicides. there is also during that same period of time a massive plummeting in arrests. i wish i had a graph up here but it's extremely striking if you look at the data. what is going on in baltimore right now? >> well, there are multiple things. you know first thing i'll say chris, when you look at a place
like baltimore, specifically west and east baltimore, you see a lot of urban decay. and, you know, urban decay is, as american as apple pie. and we can continue to look at the criminality or the byproducts of it and continue to focus on the what but we really need to talk about the why. and i say that because it's decades old of social economic issues that play out in places like baltimore. and being a representative, being a person that's grown up in baltimore knowing folks who understand the plight of urban america in the audience, we understand at the end of the day, we see this spike of increase before every summer. memorial day weekend is always historically a place where you see unfortunately a lot of violence. now, that was played out in a much realer fashion this time. like you said you know, over 40 homicides, over 100 shootings and one particular month in the city of baltimore.
and i say all that because i think it's variables. i think it's several variables to this complex equation. is it the culmination of things that festered out of the civil unrest? yes. is it the time of the year associated with always seeing a spike in crime? yes. is it the interaction or lack thereof between the police department and the citizens? yes. is it a segment of the force that have potential, particular issues associated with the current state of the freddie gray case? probably, yes. but it's really hard to paint a silver bullet. now, when you look at the drop in arrests, that's been happening for quite some time. so then, we also bring in the morale of the police force. i think it's really hard to quantify the specific variables to tie it into. however, it's a major problem. the one thing i'll say is as we saw the city go up in flames and as we saw the looting and the rioting and saw all the cameras
and all the coverage. right now, we have in a major american city, unprecedented amount of violence in 2015 yet we're not getting the same level of attention or curiosity associated with this area. and i think that's more of the troubling aspect of it. you know, at the end of the day, no matter if the individuals are part of an illegal element, no matter if the individuals are putting themselves amongst harm's way and being murdered or being shot at the end of the day, a major american city. us as americans need to understand and know it's critically important that we develop ways of getting to these folks. and i say all that to just wrap it up to say we can continue to talk about policing. we can continue to talk about community policing and interaction with communities. but we have to really start talking about the social economic divide. and talk about the root of the issue. and that's developing a way
where you provide opportunities for these young men. how can we get to them before the criminal justice system? >> so, i want to ask you about it. there are two things that strike me about this moment. if you go back and read the current, in '65, well, '67. it lays out this standard kind of view of a connection between despair, hopelessness, racial segregation, essentially building of america's ghettos post world war ii and the fact that this will produce environments in which people have no opportunities produces crime, unrest, et cetera, right? >> right. >> then this amazing thing happened, in which -- and that's the basic standard. that's what i think. and then nothing got better and crime went down. crime goes up until 1993, and from '93 to 2015 this absolutely historically
unprecedented drop in crime happens. but things don't get any better in west baltimore, don't get any better on the west side of chicago. they don't get any better in north st. louis. what does change, though is the policing mechanism, right? and so my question is how do you understand why now? like, why do we wake up in this world in which what happened to freddie gray can lead the nightly news? and if it happened in 2012, it wouldn't have, and 1998 it wouldn't have. >> i mean cell phones, right? we have confirmation of the brutality of some police officers right? against marginalized black and brown people. and i'm glad you mentioned the commission report. the commission was convened by president johnson, right? in 1968 to study the source of racial unrest during the summer of 1967. this was racial unrest across the country.
one of the findings was that the police abuse, police brutality was the number one grievance among residents studied in these various communities. ahead of unemployment, ahead of inadequate housing. but what's important to understand, and your question raises it that there is a social context, right? that councilman moseby has spoken to. in which we have profound segregation, profound racialized disadvantage. and these interactions between the police and the community become highly racialized. and the police become a symbol of white power, white repression. what's interesting about the report is that dr. kenneth clark, an esteemed social psychologist testified before the commission back in the 1960s and said, you know your findings remind me the findings
of the chicago arrest in 1915. right. the point being nothing is new and nothing has changed. here we are in 2015, we know in the last 16 years or so we've seen over 70 unarmed men and women, right, who have been killed by the police. right? so here we are again. deja vu all over again. and we do have these underlying social issues. the profound agony and misery in many of these urban communities. and just to add to this. and maybe we can get into this a little bit later, we have a constitutional infrastructure that is largely blind for the conditions on the ground. >> it's slightly off point, actually, nothing to do with policing. but it has to do with what you talked about as a social environment.
aye been a federal district judge for more than 20 years. so i've done 2,000 sentences. let me tell you that every sentence report reads the same. the young man grew up without a father. the mother was a drug addict. the kid dropped out of school in the 9th 10th or 11th grade. the kid began using drugs at 13 or 14, the kid has no employment history. i have read 2,000 reports, and i'm telling you, 90% read the same. so there's a huge problem. that's one judge, 2,000 sentences, 20 years. of course, in a major city talking about new york city. but something's wrong when so many people in the community have the exact same description. i know walter's a defense lawyer. he knows what those reports read like. and then you send them to jail. and what does that do? gives them a felony conviction. and then they can't get employment. not to mention, they can't vote. but they can't get employment, and they can't vote. and we have a disenfranchised
group of people without hope. so, we need to talk about that. and i'm glad you started with that. >> you know, unfortunately the answer to that scenario has been more police. so you look at our major american cities. you continue to see increase of budgets. you've been seeing a continued increase in the emphasis and the resources that have been placed on policing in this community. yet, you see the continued decline or drop or approach associated with budgets around recs and parks, around education, around, again getting to our children before they get to the criminal justice. >> you know how much of that budget goes to the criminal justice system. there's no jobs. >> sergeant burton? >> the -- there's a couple of things here that we're not talking about. i'm glad professor talked about the historical perspective, and the fact of the matter is what we're seeing now in terms of race and racial disparity is -- you're right, it's not new.
when the country was founded it was founded with racial disparity the 3/5 compromise. and those things have continued until now. but the big issue that i want to bring to everybody's attention that racism is an american problem. we act as if it's only the place that have issues with race and manifests itself in policing. but racism is an american problem. in terms of the unarmed people killed by the police or that were killed, we don't know what the issues were surrounding those 70 you mentioned over the significant period of time. but the murders in baltimore in a month are extremely significant, and we can't just make that attributable to the fact that the weather's changing and crime spikes during a certain time of the year. i think all the things the councilmen talked about are reasons for it. in terms of how we got there in the last 19 years or so in criminal justice, let's go back to the '80s late '80s early '90s. and what did our country demand from its legislatures,
governors, and the president? we had crime problems and demanded that something be done. and what was that? what was the solution? mandatory minimum sentences. we increased our police departments to deal with that violence. and as a result we put a lot of people in prison based on what was requested from the community through legislation, through our all of our elected officials. in terms of history those socioeconomic issues are not the police -- that's not something the police can solve. that is outside of our area of expertise. and until we deal with those issues an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. it's much better spent to make sure they get through school and all those things before we get them in the system.
he was a veteran and struggling with mental illness. he's running around a housing complex naked and clearly acting out of control. and menacingly. he -- and it's a horrible tragedy. the thing i kept thinking about was someone called -- the citizens of america sent the police to deal with this individual. if i put myself in the shoes of some 28-year-old who shows up, he's not trained to deal with someone who is schizophrenic and having -- it seems to me, we ask the police to essentially interact or maintain order in situations that run the gamut from outright criminality to profound mental illness, to -- >> it's budgetary priorities. in washington, d.c., for example, we have a department of mental health. and we deal with individuals that have mental illnesses all
the time. the department of mental health does not have transport capabilityies capabilities, so they call the police to deal with their transports when they want to move someone from a community mental health facility to an inpatient hospital -- when they call the police -- it was someone that was suffering from mental illness. he stabbed a police officer, the crisis team from the department of mental health was on the scene. and they could not assist that person. so when you put a police officer in a situation to deal with someone that's going through, essentially, an emotional break and particularly if the person has no clothes on you can't control them. i wish they'd had a taser or something else they could use to incapacitate that person. i don't know the facts of that case, but it's difficult. >> first of all i think, look it's tremendously important to acknowledge that policing is a -- is a really, really difficult and challenging job. and i -- i completely understand that. and we also have to understand
the social context the difficult environments in which policing takes place. but i think it's also very important to make sure that we talk about accountability of the police. the police are vested with authority by the state to coerce people, to arrest people, in some instances to use deadly force. and so, i want to make sure that's front and center in the conversation. because it's -- you know it's not to discount the difficulty of the job. but at the same time, we have to talk about you know we've got a problem. the congressman just discussed it at length. we've got the statistics we've got the individual stories we have a profound, profound problem. so we have to -- the approach that we take has to be about institutional reform. it has to be about working with the culture to institute mechanisms of accountability. we need to change our law, probably. constitutional doctrine. but, i want to make sure that we we you know --
>> well let me -- yeah i'd like to hear your thoughts on accountability. >> i was going to jump in and say that you know, obviously all problems cannot be solved by the police department alone. and certainly every city and certainly new york had major issues with other providers who were not available at the time when it was necessary. but a young 28-year-old police officer arriving on the scene, it should not be the first time that that issue at least has been brought to his attention, what do i do under those circumstances? and in this day in age there are tremendous providers of best policing practices that are available for training. and in many times, they see many of those trainers, many of whom i know, their first reaction is force is your last resort. if you arrive on a scene where there is a naked person who is -- i mean, obviously, you have to see there's nobody about
to be harmed and whatever. but the first thing you do unless you're qualified is ask for help, for a response from within the department. and that the only folks who are going to respond to help them under those circumstances are fellow officers. and therefore a lot of this is training. solution is not solely within the department. but there are best practices that are available. there's a learning curve, and basically, a force solution should be the last solution that an officer goes through. >> i don't disagree. but, again, we go back to budgetary priorities. whenever the budget gets tight, the first thing that gets cut is training. training budget. in 2010, the police department cut the training academy staff by 1/3 when the economic downturn hit, we stopped hiring. we stopped training. and that is bad for police
agency because you're not only training your new people, you have ongoing training. hand to hand defensive tactics training. all police officers leave the police academy and proficient at that training. it is a perishable skill if you do not practice it you will lose it. i don't know if any police department that has ongoing inservice, hand to hand defensive tactics training. we do firearms training. we go back and do refreshers on the law. this is the function of a training budget. it's a priority. and this is a political leadership question. are you going to put the resources to have the kind of training that everybody believes police officers should have. at the end of the day the people with the decision making on budget need to make that decision. >> just real quick. when you look at the budgets of police departments throughout this entire country over the past couple of decades, they are exponentially grown. again, when you see other types of city services that have been cut or kind of flat lined out for, you know two three decades, i think that you're
right when you talk about budgetary priorities. but it's really budgetary priorities inside the police department. so this year alone, baltimore city's police department got $22 million more than they had last year and last fiscal budget. but where is that money going? is that $22 million going to the training? is that the core competency of where we're trying to drive the experience and the know how in sought out forces? or is it going to other equipment and other intelligence and other technology to kind of overpolice communities? >> most of the money in our police department, i think it's the same for most government agencies and most businesses are personnel costs. the personnel costs drives our budget that i'm aware of. and what's left over is for discretionary expenditures. >> i want to bring in judge shinlin. there's two things here, right? there's a sort of set of layers in this problem. if we're going to call it a
problem, right? so there's -- there's how police act in a situation right? there's whether people should call the police in certain situations right? that's an interesting question. i think there's a question surrounding the mckinney pool party. should anybody should have called the cops on a pool party? there's what the police do there, there's how the police are trained. there's what we as a society want the police to do. right? and then there's the law. there's the constitution, right? which is ultimately the binding constraint we would think on how the police can act. now, functionally, it occurs to me that most of the time the constitution is essentially irrelevant in street interactions. like, sure, police are trained in it and like you know everybody knows they get their sort of probable cause and fourth and fifth amendment and miranda and, et cetera. but, really the law in a street interaction between a police
officer and someone it might exist later. it might exist in your courtroom when it gets dragged before it. but does it actually exist? does the constitution in any real meaningful way exist in that moment between a police officer on the street and a citizen? >> that was a really short question. and i appreciate how short it was. how to begin to answer that. and i can only answer it i think, in the context of the stop and frisk case which the congressman so carefully described. the problem with stop and frisk as it became developed in new york. and you know it was 4.4 million stops and half of those were of african-american. that means, that means 2.2 million people were stopped. now, they're supposed to be stopped on reasonable suspicion. you're right. nobody was interested in that because the policy was. and there was evidence here, the mayor said the purpose of this is to instill fear instill fear in everybody that if they go out carrying a gun they will be stopped. so it's going to be a deterrent.
okay. but the constitution says we don't have things like preventive detention. there's things we can't do. they might be effective in stopping crime. but that's not the standard. one of the big problems. the other one is this message went out through every precinct. we need to target the right people. this was a quote. we've got to target young black males between 14 to 21 because they're committing the crimes. the problem was, all those 2.2 million people stopping and you heard the congressman say it, 90%, absolutely, and it's even of the 6% summons and arrested, those were all dismissed. you have all of those people wrongfully stopped. now, again, i'm not against good policework. i want good, proactive police work. but it's got to be within constitutional limits. so when you talk about reasonable suspicion we've got
to talk about what's reasonable. what is reasonable to stop somebody? so here's the -- some of the funny stuff that came out. you should stop somebody if they walk too fast. you should walk somebody if they walk too slow. you should stop somebody if they're looking around. you should stop somebody if they're looking down. i mean you know, what is a -- really. this is true. this is what they would write up. this person made a gesture, i expect my furtive gesture is different than yours. and it's all in the perception of the person deciding you made a furtive movement. we had a problem with the standard making. how is it supposed to really discern? and again, the answer is training. what walter said i totally agree with, training, training, training. >> i think in the context of discussing policing we have to remember american policing is not homogeneous. we do not have a national police force. you don't have a standard across the 18,000 police departments that we have in this country. most of which are less than 50 police officers. one of the things i'm troubled
by is out of the stop and frisk case the term has become demonized. and it's not supposed to be demonized. the way it was deployed in the police department may have been incorrect. stop and frisk is a legitimate tool when done properly and you have reasonable suspicion. i suspect if you look at all of the other police departments and all of them are getting additional scrutiny right now that you won't find another one that employed stop and frisk in the way the nypd did. we have stop and frisk in the mpd. and my experience is in washington, d.c. i consider us a progressive police department. because we did things for example, stop and frisk, we had a written directive in 1972. and essentially that hasn't changed. the guiding principle that governs it has not changed. >> yeah and i don't want to lose the point that the judge is
making, which is that the standard of reasonableness. we've got the stop and frisk context, the context of excessive use of force. the question of what constitutes a reasonable seizure right, under the fourth amendment is essentially toothless. the court has said it's a very fact bound inquiry. >> you can stop anyone for anything. >> for walking fast, for walking slow, for looking furtive. in new york, you can stop people for wandering. and so essentially, right, in the hands of a responsible judge with integrity who wants to be fair, fine. but in the hands of a judge that may not have the same standard of integrity, that's a problem. with respect to training, what that means is that the police don't really have guidance about what reasonableness is. right? so as i understand it you know, maybe the d.c. police experience is different, but they're trained just to use reasonable use of force. well, what does that mean? right?
so, so, we have to -- we have to talk more about bringing some robustness to the question of what constitutes a reasonable -- >> let me respond to that. because you know i'm always of the view that leadership within the department is really the most important ingredient in delivery services to the street, is what it boils down to. and there are different forms of leadership. and the department can go a long way in access of all of the information that is available. most times when there is a criticism of a police department. one of the things i always do is take a look at the internal affairs or inspectional function within that department. almost universally, it's weak inappropriate, late and has the disrespect, not only in the tv programs, but disrespect within the department. so, basically, the best training is it really is a seamless collection of data not only from
the courtroom but also hey what is reasonable suspicion? i've sat in on classes taught by very accomplished people. and they -- it's not just a question, hey, reasonable suspicion, go out there and do it. it's let's analyze. legs let's look at these cases and see how the judge analyzed the situation. and let's apply it to what's going to happen on the streets of new york and the streets of baltimore and what it means to you. and when you don't do that, when you act like a cowboy, you're going to be sanctioned quickly. and you're no longer going to be in the department. >> right, there's also this issue, which is that -- i ride my bike often to work in new york city. when i ride my bike to work, i break the law routinely. i stop at red lights, but there are a whole bunch of laws
guiding how bikes can operate in an urban environment, and i cut a lot of corners. okay? now, i could be stopped by a police officer but i'm not. i suspect if i would look different and if i was in another neighborhood, i would be. walter scott let's remember what was walter scott's infraction? he had a car, it had three brake lights, two of which were working. one of which was out. so by the letter of the law, and i ended up spending time in the south carolina brake light statute, by the letter of the law, it was a legitimate stop because if you have a brake light, it's supposed to have one. the point is that there's a whole category of police inging but
folks suspect and are probably right driven by essentially a cloud and racialized suspicion. >> most police officers don't dig into the minutia of the law. it's illegal to play in the alley or street with a ball. it's a $5 fine. it's title 22 of the d.c. code.7ujsy the people i worked with ended up going to jail on federal indictment. but in order to deal with the element and the things they did every day, they were in the alley one day, set the basketball hoop up and they're playing basketball. say, guys you've got to take that down, it's against the law. yes, it is. believe it or not, it is. you can't play the game this way. and they challenged me, and i went to take the ball and took
the ball. he started playing again saying hey, listen, you're under arrest. and i'm like, whatever. and i ended up arresting him went to court in front of the honorable judge and said, let me understand what you're telling me here. that it's illegal for this guy to play basketball in an alley? yes, sir, it's on the books. and cited the title. okay, let's proceed. the issue here is people can get frustrated with what's on the book. the police officer didn't write it, okay. >> come on that's a cop out. >> it is not. >> it's not a cop out. it's not a cop-out. if youjf1live -- >> but this is a perfect example. why would you -- >> those individuals were, and we did a long-term investigation on them. now, wait a minute, those individuals ended up being indicted on a 310 count indictment. the largest in d.c. at the time. they were one of the largest group in the narcotics distributors and involved in all kinds of violence in the community. >> they were playing basketball at the time. >> yes they were.
but that is part of a tool in my tool box. >> we're saying the same thing. you did not actually arrest them for playing basketball. you arrested them because -- these were guys that you wanted to bust. >> no had he picked up his ball and walked away, i wouldn't have arrested him. it's when he refused. >> but you didn't have suspicion at the time that they were involved in this rico -- >> yes we did. >> you did? >> yes. >> but you arrested them -- >> for playing ball in the alley. i was still a patrolman and went to the vice office. when i arrested them for playing ball in the alley i was a patrolman still, they were playing ball in the alley, i asked them to stop. that's not illegal yes, it is. and he said well picked up the ball and continued playing. i arrested him. >> i want to weigh in here, too. it seems to me there's nothing wrong with targeting police resources to where they should be targeted. if you knew this is a dangerous and high-crime area and you had a basis to make that stop good. and it did in fact, in this case result in a prosecution and
all the rest that follows. but here's what i found a lot. one of the common things written down on the forms was high-crime area. high-crime area plus furtive movement. this means they had no suspicion before as you did in your case before the stop that these people had done anything. and then what happened in the stop is that it escalated. there's the danger chris. there's the danger. so it's okay to target the resources, it may be even okay to make the stop when you have the technical basis to do it. but then use some common sense and judgment. and that seems to have gotten lost in the eric garner case. this is not a huge crime. an administrative violation, untaxed cigarettes. they say, well he was resisting arrest. there's a man walking backwards saying, don't arrest me. don't arrest me. if that's called resisting. that's sort of a strange idea. and then, to go from there to a choke hold and a takedown and all that followed -- that's the problem.
was the lack of common sense of how to follow up. so in the statistics, wish i could go back to. when a black person was stopped he was twice as likely to be frisked than a white person being stopped. the seizure rate was higher with the -- it wouldn't have stopped. >> they were more effective. >> that's right. >> with their perception of cause with white people because they were not being clouded. >> they wouldn't have stopped them so likely. they wouldn't have stopped them so lightly. with a black guy, you know, they stopped him more lightly. got less contraband, less guns more dismissals more force and more frisk. all less on the white population. >> and in this discussion, we look at the community and look at the police and it's like x and os and not bringing in the human element of it. and unfortunately, in a lot of these communities, a lot of the police don't come from those communities do not have any interactions with these communities other than policing in the communities. and there is huge chasm between
the culture divide of understanding what is reasonable activity or culture. that's kind of like if you take myself and maybe place me somewhere in asia you know, naturally, i don't really understand and know how they interact and how the culture is and what should be perceived as you know, some strange activity. and i think that's a problem that we don't really address that, unfortunately, a lot of the police officers that are policing these urban environments that we feel are being overpoliced aren't naturally from those communities and don't naturally have the connectivity. >> and we have to put into the fold of the conversation the deep racialized suspicion and fear, right? and fear of the police racialized suspicion by the police, right? all of that is part of the element of the encounter between the police and the community and that informs. i mean, there's research on implicit bias that informs whom's deemed to be suspicious. why we think people who are walking down the street might be you know, might be
suspicious of a crime. but i -- i actually, i want to go back to to walter's point about accountability and the culture of the police department. and there's an the room frankly which is about the role of the police unions in this conversation. because at least from where i sit all i see from the police unions is sort of a defensive approach to this problem right. and is there room for police unions so say look we have very good officers in our midst, we very responsible officers and officers of integrity and we also have some bad apples and can we help the chiefs in the police department create accountability so we are not all demonized and brushed with a broad stroke. >> and yes, we can go back and work with them and if you go
back and look at the d.c. police department we have been out front and demanding top quality internal affairs and very good review. we want more robust review. just recently there was a huge debate in washington about our body camera program. and we supported that there with the chief when it was rolled out and the new mayor does 180 sand wants to make access through foia not permitted. what is the purpose of spending $5.5 million and buy body worn cameras and record their ain't actions with the public for accountability and turn around and not let anybody access the film. it would defeat the purpose. because it is the members of the people that i represent and the officers around the country that are being vilified and it is incomprehensible that our mayor would do that. and the police unions, the good ones, understand that we are
partners with the managers and the leaders of the police department. and i want always to have the best -- not just the best candidates, the best officers, the best leadership and the best equipment. and in order to do that we have to cooperate and always interact and try to make the police department a better -- because i'm a policeman. i'm not just a union leader, i'm a policeman. >> and if i may comment -- at least in my response when responsible for internal affairs, the police unions were an impediment to finding out what happened on the street. there were ongoing cases being made of what is called obstruction of justice in which police union representatives were encouraging officers to -- get together with a story and explain what was there. to give them something that would with standin continual -- internal affairs scrutiny. so it does vary from department to department. but clearly any system that
results in a failed or inaccurate investigative result needs to be changed. >> but let me say this. there is a deep rooted police institutionals and you don't want to speak to all of them, but they are 100% an obstacle. >> there is not 100% of anything -- excuse me. some police unions may be obstructionist in their view but this is what happens. you either grow and move with the paradigm shift or you get overrun. labor in this country for a long time was a big part of the private sector. they didn't adapt and change as things in the countries change. progressive police unions do. >> but how much -- >> just let me finish this point really quick. when we characterize all onons as obstructive to the process when my job, just like walter's
job when he doo fends someone is to ensure their due process rights are not violated that is the role of the union. so to characterize them as obstructist does them a disservice when we are here at the convention to stop at the convention. >> stop it, please. >> let me say this. the tone of statements that have come from police unions have been remarkable. >> speak to the one we're talking about. i think we're talking about new york. >> i think he's talking about the nypd a lot. >> i think so too. >> i'm talking about a statement released by the police benevolent association in cleveland two days ago that referred to the eight people who filed an affidavit to bring the case before the judge there to finding of probable cause in the death of 12-year-old tamir rice a statement by the police association to the people there as having miserable lives this is the state -- >> i can't support that
statement. >> i'm not asking you to. but let me finish my point please. the unions -- it strikes me -- are an em anation of the way a lot of police officers feel and they feel embattled, they feel picked upon and vilified and second guessed and they feel like every single thing they do is subject to criticism by people watching a 30 seconds of video tape who have no idea of what happened beforehand and they don't have political -- i've been talking to police officers for nine months off and on the record and they have been telling me over and over again they feel like they are on the wrong -- they feel persecuted right. and so the point is there is a percept you'll gap, a profound one, right now, people may watch those video tapes and say we have a problem. police feel we have a problem
which is we are being picked on. there is not an agreement. we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking there is an agreement between these two. >> and i want to join the conversation by saying they may be embattled from both ends and one of the things by the police, and they were being pressured to hit a certain number of stops. there were quota goals and they did not like the goals. it was forcing them into bad police work and they opposed those. but to return to an earlier top which is racial balance of the police force and how the police force should reflect, in fact the community they police in our city, the police force is becoming more and more minority in percentage, right. yours is probably higher but ours is getting toward 50%. and is it doesn't do away with the problems. but what about the supervisory levels and the poilsy-setters. so while the line is changing, those who are setting policy and those at the top may not be changing and that is still a
problem. so it is very important. >> well policing isn't all about race. >> that is right. that is what i'm saying. >> so just because i'm a black man policing west baltimore doesn't necessarily mean that i connect with the community of west baltimore. african-americans and minorities aren't monolithic folks, like any other demographic. and i remember the national news in freddie gray when they said what is the makeup of the officers. race is the underlineing driver of how we look at a situation, right. but at the end of the day the institutionalized type of view and the normization that has been generated in these bodies has absolutely nothing to do with race but with that particular individual. so that is what i mean about having individuals who directly connect with the community. you could have a white officer who knows west baltimore and a great community police officer in his post in west baltimore and do a very effective job as
opposed to someone who is african-american from idaho who cannot connect with the community. >> and once that white officer has a issue is created a divide. and he is not being evaluated on the work he did in baltimore. and what the judge was referring to, the unconstitutional pressure the leadership placed on the members of the nld to get these numbers. in washington, d.c. i don't know if you guys remember we had the trinidad check points. the people that objected to it the most and screamed the loudest were our members. the union was screaming, this is not legal, this is not constitutional. can you not -- you cannot do this. until the judges told them the chief, that this was illegal. to going back to the obstructionist to the point of constitutional policing it is inaccurate and i think we should be very very careful how we use laechk and characterize one
group of people just as the counsel member said as being monolithic. there are 18,000 different iteration of police departments in the united states. >> look, i'm happy to acknowledge there are some progressive police unions and it sounds like your union may be among them and councilman mosby may be able to speak to this more, and at least in maryland, there are rights that the police officers have. so there are meck mixes built into the law drk mechanisms built into the law to protect the police and the police don't have to speak to investigateors right away and. >> and what about the fifth amendment right to self-incrimination and the police officer doesn't have to say anything and the police officer bill of rights don't come into play at all. >> and say if i was a cashier at
a local store and my boss comes to me and said did you take cash out of the cash register and i say i'm not going to talk to you and there is a good chance i'm going to be fired. so we can't talk about. but if the police came to him and asking him the same question, why right does he have not to say anything. so that is an apples to cherry's comparison. >> and you're not looking at it and saying i'm -- my boss. >> we're talking about constitutional rights or where you work. i don't check my constitutional rights at the door when i become a policeman. >> but it is not about constitution -- not all them. [ overlapping speakers ] >> but if i waive your rights at the police department for internal investigation you can refuse to answer but you can be let go. you can agree to cooperate in the investigation as part of that job. so you can waive -- >> hold on.
if you can waive -- if you are talking about something with criminal overtones or potential criminal charges, if the police department wants to compel me to answer that question they will give me what is called a guarantee -- geraghty warning versa vieh geraghty versus new jersey, and until they do that i could face criminal charges and my constitutional rights attach and nothing you can do can make me answer that question unless you make a case. >> anding in you say they cannot use. >> and chris, i want to return to body cameras. somebody finally raised it. >> i will return to body cameras and then i want to take questions. >> so we have a topic touched on for a minute with body cameras. and some support the idea because it is kind of protective of the police officer. there is a con tem por air-in recording and this helps the he said, she said world that the judge now lives this. one side said this happen this
side said it doesn't. other departments won't listen to reason. they think it is another way to spy on the police officer. so the whole issue of where we are heading with today's technology, it is going to be there any way. the citizens are taking the videos. so the police might as well get on board so there is video from both directions. the citizen is focusing on the cop and the cop so focus on the so-called perpetrator. so i don't see why the police department doesn't see it in their interest to be wearing them. now that said, there are a lot of issues and there is a great article in your materials, i read it this morning a great article about what to do with the videos and how to store them and who gets access to them and when can the police officer turn it on and off and used in a home and privacy issues and it is not easy and a panacea and everybody will put on body cameras and no more banned interactions an it is not that simple and we need to talk about why it would be to
some police unions are not so opposed to putting on the cameras. >> they don't realize the paradigm if they don't sit down and be part of the solution and they will be forced whether they like it or not, to use those systems. so my advice to them if any of them are watching is to be at the table in the discussions informing the policy so you can protect your members. if you don't it is happening any way. we went through paradigms in policing, we went from using revolvers to semi automatic and to body armer and to hand held and commuters in the -- computers in the car and dash mounted cameras and i just think the biggest issue we have to worry about is storage, access, foia. and other than that, you can work out the policy within your agency. >> and let me state any
enlightened department will take the view that there is no data they don't want in terms of assessing what is the right investigative result. they'll take it from anywhere, any source and analyze it and determine it and what is your goal in evaluating police performance, you want all data available and certainly data that the police officer himself can control. >> and the goal is not to protect the police, it is to protect the public. >> exactly. protecting the public is the department coming out correctly on an investigative issue. >> it is a win-win. it protects both sides. because you have a real record that you won't otherwise have. >> no, i understand that. but i guess i was responding to sergeant burton's point that the body cameras protect the police but the orientation that we should -- your job is to protect your member buzz it is also about protecting the peace and
safety of the public's behalf. >> and what we found in our discussions about the body worn cameras -- and remember the original premise was police accountability. and so wednesday we said yes, then the law of in intended consequences kicks in and then advocacy groups say should they encounter sexual assault victims turn it off. should domestic violence victims be interviewed or talked to while the camera is rolling and our position is of course they should in the initial contact. in the long-term interviewed with the detective and the sexual assault advocates, of course not. we want that part to be private. but the initial encounter with the patrolman and contacting that victim should be recorded. >> i want to take a few questions here and maybe alise can -- can talk about this. what is the role about implicit
training about implicit bias? >> there is a tremendous amount of research coming out, philip gaf, who i think is at harvard does research about implicit bias in policing and i think that we know is that implicit is a buy as, we all have it and in the context of policing it becomes a real problem because it informs who is ser seifed as a -- perceived as a suspect and suspicious. and i know there are training programs available and i can't speak to them specifically but it is a subject we have to address. >> can you address police adopting military tactics such as s.w.a.t. and this is getting attention recently plaktly coming out of ferguson. >> well we've had riots for decades and i've heard people
say the riots started because of military equipment. i think military equipment for example armored personnel character equipment, and in bal, the only vehicle that could go into certain places while the rioting was going on was some of the armors personnel -- armored personnel vehicles. and i think the idea -- i disagree with the characterization. i think the un yorms we -- uniforms we wear may look military but the police department is not military because the mission of the military and the mission of the police department is completely different. like walter, i spent time in the marine corp and our mission to close -- seek out and close and destroy the enemy my community is not my enemy. in policing my job is to help people, my job is to arrest
violators of the law protect property and do it in a way that i don't treat people disrespectfully. it is not always easy. i'm not here to tell you that police officers don't make mistakes and screw it up and screw it up royally sometimes and i think that our police force have become like the military is a miss characterization. >> there is a detail that i think about in the department of justice patterns and practice investigation in the cleveland police department which came out a while ago which was noted by investigators that is in the vehicle bay in a impoverished neighborhood in cleveland there was a sign up that called it forward operating base which is a term taken straight from the military of forward operating base being lightly protected -- >> i know what it is. >> a base in the middle of in
enemy territory and this stuck with me and pointed out by investigators about what sergeant is talking about the wrong kind of thinking. >> a sign like that sends a message -- >> one of my biggest struggles is facebook and social media. because they have a tendency to post things that if one of the brilliant attorneys in the room was defending someone who could hang them out to dry on the stand. i'll give you an example. the shooting in aurora, colorado i had a member post on the facebook page. i don't know what it is wrong with you white boys shooting up -- and he was black. and i got on him and said take that down. and five years from now someone in court, you'll be testifying and you'll get asked if you have a buy as against -- a buy as
against whites and you'll say no and boom there are your words. >> will courts visit constitutionality in light of police brutality and unreasonable seizure cases? >> i don't know how to answer that to speak for all courts across the country forward and state. you have a lot of courts. some cores will. we just got the indictment from the judge based on the citizens complaint that bypassed the prosecutor. some judges ruled different. and some judges are willing to suppress some aren't. i think everybody's sensitives are heightened. and if i can talk address the military equipment. if you arm people to the teeth they will use the arms. i think as it is they are carrying too many arms. if you have a taser and a gun
and you have it available. >> the tendency is to pull it out and use it. one of the worst one this is year was a stairwell inspection called the gurley case, gu.r.l.e.y. case, brand new cops, kids essentially, are doing a stairway patrol and they have their hand on the gun and they were so nervous and they bump into them and the couple did nothing to deserve to be shot and you are carrying it there and you are nervous and you pull it out and use it. and i read that and you don't need a gun. just go up and down with the baton and do your patrol. i do think if you are armed the danger of the overuse of the weapons is there. [ applause ] >> i don't know how we get past the second amendment and -- number one i don't know how to
get past the second amendment and how you expect police officers to police without being armed. and number three, the use of equipment like taser is a response and a request from the community to use less thaj leith at force. and police officers are using a lot of things and using the less than lethal. the gurley case is absolutely trag tragic. >> and i have a comment. as with all questions it is a leadership issue. there will be a time when al qaeda is boxed somewhere in new york city and you want military equipment. and how often does that happen? we see rolling pegasus all over new york city and 95% of the training should have nothing to do with that training. and you do not take your arms out of the holster unless you
intend to use the weapon. so he was acting -- >> maybe he thought he was in fear of his life. but why does he feel that because he bumped into a couple in the stairway. that is the racial aspect of the thing. what made him so scared? >> the light was out in the stairwell. he had his weapon out. >> that is right. >> again disregarding his training. had a finger on the trigger and had a negligent discharge and the bullet ricochetted off the wall and struck the young man coming down the stairwell. tragic set of events because he did not keep his finger out of the trigger well unless you plan on shooting something. all firearms training. >> it is a tragedy that a man lost his life and i hear you acknowledging that point but i think the judge is saying let's look at the set of rules that the weapons -- the weapons that we allow the police to carry
under circumstances where they may not be needed that lead to those kind of incidents happening. and candidly, it disturbs me a little bit to hurt an in vocation of the second amendment rights. what about the due process rights of the man that was gunned down in the stairwell. >> my point was in answering the question -- my point about the second amendment in answering the question about the police officer in the stairwell without a weapon. america is a society armed to the teeth. it is impossible to send lawyer lawyer -- send police officers out here on the streets and with the kind of weapons that people with carry without -- >> we need more gun control in this country we really do. [ applause ] >> councilman, maybe you can address this.
i'm interested to hear the role of fear counting encounters to escalate, fear of people living in those communities. >> again i think it is the natural disconnect of the individuals who are called to police these communities. and when you have unfortunately incidents playing out throughout america because of the role of social media and access to cameras, that chasm is increasing and we have to eventually patrol those communities and i think that is one of the biggest disconnects. and when you look at a place like baltimore city we have officers come from pennsylvania and west virginia to work every single day. not that you can't be in pennsylvania or west virginia and work in baltimore city.
but you look at it and you have close to 30% of the officers of baltimore living in the city and 60% living elsewhere. it is critical that you provide people with the opportunity to manage and police their own neighborhoods. >> talk about fear for a second. it strikes me the point you made about guns it would be different to police in tokyo or belgium than it would be in america, because the odds of anyone youen -- encounter in tokyo being armx59n ready vanishingly small and that is not true in america. this is a real genuine chance of the person he encounter being armed. how much affected police psychology. >> i think that effects people. if you think a police officer went through their career without being afraid they are telling you the truth. there are fear when encountering
different circumstances and the metrics to decide what level of fear a person experiences is individual and it all depends on how comfortable you are with where you are. and so i think to the council members' point if you are not from that community, your level of fear may be higher and this is not a white or black issue because you are black and you grew up in the suburbs and now policing in west baltimore that is not an environment that you are accustomed to. so there is a level of fear and it is individualized and i'm sure it plays a part somewhere in some of these encounters. >> your assumption ma by -- may be wrong of everybody being armed but of the 4.4 million stops but there was 5.5% of the gun receives and that is an iffin fettize mal percent of guns. >> but if 1.5% out of every 100
stops yields a gun and if you are doing enough stops over a month, you are going to encounter a gun. >> the concern is not only guns, it is knives, screwdrivers anything can be a weapon if someone intends to harm you with it. i can take my pen or my keys or anything else as a weapon. but i think in terms of protecting yourself as a police officer against weapons, training and tactics are very important, equipment is very important. i just had the good fortune of talking to a bunch of kindergarteners and fifth graders about police work two days ago and i asked them what they thought my biggest tool was and the kindergarteners got it right and they said it was my brain. the biggest tool is my brain and how i deal with people and the next tool i have is the law and the way i enforce the law and if i do it properly i leave that
encounter with not always a happy citizen but a safe citizen. >> but in the human element, the skills and the common sense that you bring to that encounter, it sounds like you would agree if somebody had a pen or maybe a knife that the first response should not be to shoot that person, right. >> no. >> it should be to deescalate. >> well not necessarily to deescalator to shoot. but if the person has a knife and the calm is let me have it. we'll talk about it and i'll give it back if it is legal. and people poo poo the 21 foot rule and the gentleman had the knife out already and the officer was as close as this and he had to back up and back up and fortunately he had a place to retreat because he would have been severely hurt. and with knives and weapons our bullet resistant vests are
designed to stop bullets not edged west virginiaapons. and distance is our friend. they teach in the police academy, the more distance you have, the more options you have to employ. so the closer you are, the more danger you are, because you always bring the gun to the encounter. >> are there alternatives to substitute conflict and cost. >> sure. arrest should be the last thing because arrest leads to bail and if i saw the protesters, the bail was set as high as the cops committing the murder. it was as high as $250,000 and they spend a month in pretrial incarceration. so arrest is a terrible thing if
you can do something less such as a desk appearance, a ticket or a summons and i think the police department knows that and is trying to not do arrests if they could do without it. [ overlapping speakers ] >> there is a major study about summons enforcement in the city, recognizing that the summons program, which is short of arrest has been a complete failure in the city. the numbers are as staggering as the stop and frisk in the whole respect and the idea of the broken windows concept that people talk about. i think in lightened policing, like riding into a bike and running into somebody and killing them, and there are situations where a arrest is necessary or a severe summons is required but just riding on a sidewalk or other minor things they can be addressed but much less intrusive. >> or the republican national convention protests resulted in hundreds of arrests and the bottom line of that was millions
of dollars in settlement and that didn't do any good for new yorkers. >> we can look at arrests but there is also the interaction, right. so if you are a young african-american man growing up in urban america, the likelihood that you'll have a consistent interaction with police is much higher than other folks and then we get back to the kavm of the police officers being there to protect and serve and being accountable and friendly and in a good relationship with the community. if i'm doing something wrong i understand for us to have that keep of interaction but some of the things disproportionately applied to folks in urban areas for folks walking down the street that could be -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> but now you have an arrest record and you have to disclose
that on an employment application and your fingerprints are there and there are things that are disproportionately born -- >> and back to the summons in terms of deescalating the situation. it won't always going to because if the person believes i didn't do anything wrong and i can't believe you are going to issue a summons and in some jurisdictions it equals an arrest, you still have to be booked and fingerprinted and there is no difference other than you don't go to jail that day. and in the district of columbia of you can only be preventatively detained if you committed a crime violating a code. and you have to determine are we going to use bail for intent to make sure you sew up at trial or to keep people in jail. that is something the maryland state least needs to fix because in washington, d.c., unless it is a crime of violence you
won't be held unless you are violating problems you will be released. so the encounter and the successful conclusion of the encounter depends on the demeanor and the behavior of the police officer and the citizen and to make sure when we leave the citizen we leave them in a better place than when we found them. and it is not easy. because if i leave you with four tickets and a summons you won't be happy with me other than i'm giving you a warning, have a nice day, then you might be a little bit happier with me. >> all right. final question here. is there an obligation on part of leadership to distinguish between nelgs and criminality. walter? >> would you say it is a requirement of leadership to have within the department a mechanism that can in a timely, thorough and professional way analyze every encounter and come
to a conclusion as to what was the conduct of the officer, does it go into the criminal context does it go a criminal way and if there is violations of administrative firearms rules and what have you there could be a concur about administrative function to remove that officer in a prompt and effective way. the public focuses on what is the public prosecutor doing without a meaningful ability to assess whether the department is acting expeditiously within to hold the officer accountable. >> it seems like such a black box to us. >> it is a black box that at times within new york was close to solution. you have eight prosecutors in new york two federal and five boroughs and you have to get them to agree because they are of the view that their criminal case should trump anything the department is doing. the commission has to stand up to them and say, look, i cannot
afford to have on my streets of new york an officer acting inappropriately and unprofessionally and i have an obligation to the public to remove that officer and put him in a situation where i can remove him from my department and it is possible but difficult. >> on that note, a round of applause for our panelists and our departed panelists. [ applause ] . with live coverage of the u.s. house on c-span and the senate on c-span 2 here on c-span we cover the public affairs events and then on weekends c-span 3 is home to american history tv with programs it tell our history. the civil war history and visiting battlefields and key events and american artifacts and touring museums and historic sites and hist or bookshelf with the best known history writers and the presidency, looking atle legacies of the commanders in
chief and lectures in history with top college professors delving into the past and real archival government and educational films from the 1930s through the '70s. c-span 3, created by the cable tv provider. watch us in hd and like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. on wednesday defense secretary ashton carter and mart continue dempsey will be on capitol hill to testify on u.s. military strategy in the middle east. before the house armed services committee. live coverage tomorrow morning at 10:00 eastern here on c-span 3. next the national military survivor's seminar bringing together families who have lost loves ones in military service. the chair of the joint chiefs of staff martin dempsey took
questions. the gathering was held in washington, d.c. the portion with general dempsey is about 20 minutes. >> hi. >> hi. i'm so excited to be here with all of my friends at taps. i feel so happy at taps because people know how i feel and we learn ways to deal with our grief. it is not always easy, but we are able to be stronger because of our taps family. today i am proud to introduce you to someone we love a lot. he's the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and a very important soldier. but general dempsey always has time for us. he remembers our families and he hugs us and he sings with us. he has a really great voice and i love hearing him sing. please welcome my friend general
dempsey. [ cheering and applause ] >> no keep your seats. thanks. it is great to be back and see -- how many of you were here last year. wow! actually, how many mentors were here last year. wow! now look if you want to know what inspires me, first of all, it is the youngsters here, the young guys and gals who have lost a loved one and who are here to bond with each other and try to figure it out and become friends and become a family. that is always inspirational. but i will tell you, i'm proud of those of you who volunteer your time as mentors too. how about you give everybody a round of applause. [ applause ] >> okay.
so i've been doing this for four years and a have a bit of a pattern down and i'm a crete ire of habit and i can't break it. so the first thing i do is take a few questions from the audience. not from the mentors, by the way. i can deal with you separately. but i woulddyt take -- any of the children that -- the taps kids, any of you have a question for me. here is one= over here. okay, young man. go ahead and stand up for me. i'll get you. you can put your arms doan. i don't want the blood to run to your head. >> how long did it take you to get all of your ranks? >> how old are you? you're 11? well unfortunately, it tooks me four times 11 to get this rank. so i've been in the army for 41 years. [ applause ]
>> and my wife deany has been with me for 39 of those years. and i've loved putting on the uniform every single day. every single day. so thanks for asking that question. who else? i got this guy back here, who is about to pass out on me back here. >> okay. it is a h'ñcomment. him right over there, the one that is taking pictures he said today was flex friday and told me to tell you to flex. [ applause ]
>> all right. you know, the bad thing about that is that will be on twitter or flicker or you tube. that is the problem. here you go. >> okay. >> instagram. >> can you please do my math homework. >> no. i didn't like it then and i don't like it now. he wanted me to do his math homework. that is not happening. >> why did i join the army? >> did i join the army. what a great question. i saw you in the hall, didn't i? were you the guy that gave me the bay max? how many of you have seen big hero six? how many of you meantors -- mentors had to borrow a kid to go see it? i know how it goes. i do that with my grandkids.
deany will say i want to see the lego movie and i say i'll call up the grandkids. i joined for one reason and stayed in for another. i joined because i had a feeling i wanted to challenge myself and it made sense to try to challenge myself in an organization that had a set of values, like discipline and courage and selfless service and so that is why i joined and stayed for 41 years because of the people, to be honest. and so what happens is you join for one reason and you decide to stay or go for another one and i happened to decide to stay. what else? wow! let me go back here. okay. you've been very patient. by the way. i haven't heard any question by any young ladies. it is all the guys. and by the way, nice mask. >> what is your favorite thing. >> my favorite what?
>> thing. >> my favorite thing? coming to taps everyone memorial day. [ applause ] >> stand up. >> why do you come here every year? >> why do i come? >> why do i come here? i came here the first time because i thought that i would try to give something to you, and that that would be my love and support but i come back now because of what i take away from it. what i take away from it is an incredible feeling of hopefulness and love -- and when i walk in -- i don't get many standing ovations in washington, d.c. so i almost decided to walk out and come back in just so i can feel it again. no, i'm kidding. i'm kidding about that part. but i'm not kidding when i say that i come back because it's one of the places where you can both give and receive and in
extraordinarily meaningful ways. young lady i see you over there. i try not to get emotional because i -- i can't sing any way. but when your heart is in your throat -- >> how long have you been singing? >> well, singing well or singing? >> i was raised -- my mother and dad both worked and my irish grandmother raised me, she was my babysitter until i went to school and she was convinced i should learn how to sing every irish song ever written and by the age of nine i could knock out quite a few. and then what i realized as i got more rank is that singing helped me show people i'm just -- really i'm just a normal person who loves in this case, music and specifically today, sharing it with you.
but this group right now who you'll hear in a moment. they're really talented artists. and so i've learned over time to take my mediocre talents and blend them with their great talents and we sound pretty good honestly. did you have a question? just scratching your head? okay. yeah. i hope your ready for the green alligator. it's coming. here you go. >> before you were a general or a high-ranking would you rather wear your fancy uniform like what you have on now or your regular uniform? >> well this is a pretty fancy uniform, i'll give you that. are you asking do i like to wear this one better than the other one? i don't think so. i wear this one because i live and work here in washington, d.c. and everybody in washington, d.c. dresses in a suit or a formal uniform. as a gesture of respect i think, for each other.
but i would rather be in a more -- a uniform with greater utility. this is not something you would be flexing with for example. what else? i'm about to take this jacket off. come on over here. [ applause ] >> i have two more. you come on over and you come on up. because you are just too cute to deny. oh there's three of them. okay, why don't you go first. >> why do you want to protect to the people? >> why do i what? >> do do you want -- why do you want to protect the people. >> by the way, we're not the only one that protect the people. there is firemen and police men and all of them serve their fellow citizens. and i think i decided to do that because it was a way -- i think this is a cool country right? and i think we have a lot of
blessings and i thought maybe i could give back in some way for those blessings. what is your question? >> can you do my homework? >> what kind of homework. >> reading homework. >> i can't read. >> what? >> i give a lot of orders, but i don't read them? >> why can -- >> whoa, i think the volume freaked her out. come on up. and don't be scared. it is a lot of volume. don't be scared. here we go. >> who inspired you to join the army. >> who inspired me to join the army. i didn't have a family background. but i think my mom and dad saulz thought that i should challenge myself and so when i got
accepted to west point, i actually didn't want to go at all. and my mother -- i went home to talk to my mother about it and some of you in the audience, can relate to this and she really wanted me to go to west point and i kept fighting it and finally she burst into tears and i said, you know what, i can't do that to my mother and so here i am 44 years later. so be careful of your mothers. >> what day were you born? >> what day? >> i was born on a friday. thanks for asking. >> here is what we'll do. the 14th of march 1952, by the way. oh, is she okay? i think we had a meeting engagement with a camera. okay, here is what we're going to do. we're going to sing a song we can all sing together. my wife deany and veta will sing this together because they are
veterans at this. we'll do it acapella. but you have to do the motions. because if i look out and you are not doing the motions i'm going to come out and get you. you see all of those people out there, they are not as nice as they look. and i need to take a drink of water first. it is a song about noah and the arc and the animals and it is really cool. are you ready to go? here we go. a long time ago when the aerm was green there were more kind of animals than you've ever seen. they would run around free when the earth was being born and the loveliest wasset unicorn. well there were green alligators and long neck geese. some humpty back animals and chimpanzees. there were cats and rats and elephants and sure as they were born, the loveliest of all was
the unicorn. mentors, use the right finger when you are doing that in front of the children. the lord seen some singing and it gave -- i'm not singing -- the lord seen some sinning and it gave him pain and he said, stand back, i'm going to make it rain. hey, brother noah i'll tell you what to do. build me a floating zoo. and get some of them green alligators and long neck geese. some humt humpty back animals and long neck geese. get some cats rats, as sure as you're born don't you forget my unicorn unicorn. well noah was there to answer the call. he finished up the arc just as the rain started to fall. he marched in the animals two by two. and he named them as they came through. hey, lord i got your green alligators and long neck geese.
i've got humpty back campbells and chimpanzees. i've got cats and rats and elephants but i'm so fur lorn, i just can't find them unicorns. so noah looked out through the pooring rain. those unicorns were hiding, playing silly games. laughing and splashing as the rain came pouring all those silly you know what. well there were green alligators and long neck geese there were humpty back camels and chimpanzees and there were cats and rats and elephants and sures you were born, they just can't find those unicorns. so noah looked out through -- wrong verse. the arc started driving and it drifted with the tide. those unicorns looked up from the rocks and they cried. let's try that again.
those unicorn look up from the rocks and they cried. you guys do that well. and then the rain came down and sort of floated them away -- >> away -- >> away. and that is why you'll never see a unicorn to this very day. but you'll see green alligators and long-neck geese. you'll see humpty back campbells and chimpanzees. you'll see cats and rats and elephants and sure as your born you're never gonna see no unicorn. way to go! [ cheering and applause ] >> all right. now we have a special treat for you now. because now people that can really sing and play musical instruments are going to join me. we took three songs that i'm
sure you'll know there disney. and some of you have a little engagement later with say big hero six event, is that right? [ cheering and applause ] >> i get it. so part at the end will be that. in the middle we'll have a song that is familiar to you from "frozen." and the important line in that one is -- for the first time in forever, you're not alone. and look around the room. you're not alone. and i'm going to start it with one i'm sure that will be familiar to you. ♪ you've got a friend in me. you've got a friend in me.
when the road looks rough ahead and you're miles and miles from your nice warm bed you just remember what your old pal said yeah you've got a friend in me. ♪ university got a friend in me you've got a friend in me. you've god a friend in me. you've got troubles i've got em too. there isn't anything i wouldn't do for you. we stick together and we'll see it through. yeah, you've got a friend in me. yeah, you've got a friend in me. ♪ [ applause ]
♪ for the first time in forever ♪ i won't be alone ♪ ♪ i remember the night ♪ dying in the paradise ♪ nothing to lose ♪ everything's all right ♪ i remember the days ♪ caught up in my world ♪ everything's all right ♪ here i am ♪ trying to dream i can't touch ♪ here i am on my own ♪ on top of the world
♪ on top of it all ♪ trying to feel it and more ♪ ohhh ♪ on top of the world ♪ on top of it all ♪ feeling invincible ♪ hey, ohhh ♪ on top of the world ♪ you've got a friend in us ♪ you've got a friend in us ♪ when the road looks rough ahead and you're miles and miles from your nice warm bed ♪ you just remember what your old pal said ♪ yeah, you got a friend in us
on wednesday defense secretary ashton carter and joint chiefs of staff chair general martin dempsey will be on capitol hill to testify on u.s. military strategy in the middle east. before the house armed services committee. live coverage tomorrow morning at 10:00 eastern, here on c-span 3. this weekend, the c-span cities tour has partnered with
comcast. to learn about the history of key west florida. ernest hemingway wrote several of his novels at this home in key west. >> they found this home for sale. they bought it for $8000 in 1931. paul lean actually converted this hay loft into his first formal writing studio. here, he fell in love with fishing. he fell in love with the clarity of his writing. how fast he was producing. the first rough draft of "a farewell to arms" in just two weeks when arriving in key west. he once had a line that said if you really want to write start with one true sentence. >> for a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. he should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. >> key west is also where president harry truman sought refuge from washington. >> president truman regarded the big white house as the great
white jail. he thought he was constantly under everyone's eye. and so by coming to key west, he could come with his closest staff, let down his hair, sometimes some of the staff would let their beards grow for a couple days. they certainly at times used off-color stories. and they certainly could have a glass of bourbon and, you know visit back and forth without any scrutiny from the press. a sportswear company sent a case of hawaiian shirts to the president with the thought if the president's wearing our shirt, we're going to sell a lot of shirts. and so president truman wore those free shirts that first year and then organized what they called the loud shirt contest. and that was the official uniform of key west. >> watch all our events from key west saturday the on c-span 2's book tv and sunday afternoon at
2:00 on american history tv on cnn- c-span 3. actor and screenwriter matt dillon talked about his trip to myanmar, formerly called burm ma, and talked about the plight of muslim community there. this is about an hour. >> welcome to the national press club. my name is john hughes. i'm an editor for bloomberg first word that's our breaking newsdesk here in washington, and i'm president of the national press club. our guest today is actor and screenwriter matt dillon who will be joined by michelle gabowdan, president of refugee's international. burr first i want to introduce
my colleague at bloomberg news, casia clemsista, and she helped organize this event. thank you so much. and i also want to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. follow the action on twitter. and even though it is not lunchtime, we are using #npclunch. so all of you in twitterland, #npclunch. now you might remember matt dillon as the star of the francis ford coppola film "the outsiders" and if you do you might say his appearance with us today is appropriate.
35 years into his acting career, dillon is turning his attention and our attention to a group of people who are among the world's ultimate outsiders. the rohingya muslims of myanmar. so dillon recently visited the tate and spent two days touring a refugee camp that tens of thousands of rohingya muslims call home. no country claims these people. the rohingya have been stateless for centuries. they are descendants of people who lived in what is now bangladesh. they are unwanted, both in the land of their distant ancestors and in myanmar. this decade, the plight of the rohingya turned from statelessness to persecution. long-simmering tensions between burmese buddhists and their poor muslim neighbors have exploded into violence. mobs armed with machetes have killed hundreds of rohingya
prompting more than 100,000 to flee. many thought they would find freedom through traffickers who instead left them for dead floating on rickety boats on the adaman sea or buried in shallow graves in nearby malaysia and thailand. this level of gruesomeness and despair might tempt us to look away, but matt dillon is making it his mission to make sure we do not look away. speaking to the press after his recent visit to the rohingya refugee camp, dillon said, i quote, no one should have to live like this. they are being strangled slowly. they have no hope for the future and nowhere to go. dillon is no stranger to refugee issues. he sits on the board of refugees
international. accompanying him here today is michelle gabaudan. he has served as the president of refugees international since september of 2010 and he works to help refugees and displaced people worldwide. now dillon, when he is not helping refugees, has continued an acting career and that career has included movies such as "beautiful girls," a personal favorite of mine. "wild things," "there's something about mary" and "city of ghosts." he picked up an oscar nomination for his role in "crash" selected as the best picture in 2006. dillon is currently starring in m. night shyamalan's fox miniseries "wayward pines." please join me in giving a warm
press club welcome to matt dillon. [ applause ] >> thank you. i want to thank you. that was a lovely introduction. and i want to thank kasia and everybody here at the national press club for hosting michel and myself. the rohingya of myanmar are currently the largest stateless ethnic group in the world. estimated somewhere over 100 million -- i'm sorry, 1 million people. get those numbers right. 1 million people. at least 1 million people. and having served on the board of refugees international for the last seven years, i've obviously heard about the ro
rohingya for quite some time. they've been a great concern going as far back as the early '90s, but maybe even longer, but it was six weeks ago here in d.c. that the rohingya really got my attention. tune kin, a human rights activist for his fellow rohingya was being honored at a refugee's international event and he made a powerful speech. there was an urgency that you don't typically hear from somebody at an award ceremony. it was more of an immediate desperate plea than someone accepting an award for something they've done in the past. and the first words out of his mouth were, "i don't exist." i learned later at the moment he was making that speech, many rohingya were suffering thousands, and dying at sea.
my decision to go to myanmar was kind of a spontaneous thing. it wasn't something i planned. i happened to be in tokyo doing press for "wayward pines" and at that time there was more stuff that was coming out about the rohingya in the news. pictures -- horrendous pictures of people crammed into hulls of boats like human cargo. stories of human trafficking, as was mentioned earlier, and ships turned away by countries in the region, and i wanted to find out a little bit more about why these people were being forced to flee. i'd been on missions before with refugees international and i had met and spoke with displaced people and in the eastern congo and in the sudan and i feel that the best way to le