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tv   Police Reform and Public Security  CSPAN  January 5, 2016 9:16am-10:14am EST

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next, remarks from a member of president obama's task force on 21st century policing. she spoke about the effectiveness and lawfulness of police officers around the country and what's being done to improve relations with minority communities. it's an hour. my name's geoffrey stone for those of you who don't know me. i have the pleasure of introducing our keynote speak they are afternoon, it tracey meares, a professor of law at yale university. it's my opportunity to do this because when i served briefly i invited tracey to come speak, and this is one of the benefits of that service. tracey meares received her jd here in 1991. and amazing, probably for tracey
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as well as me, this spring marks the 25th anniversary of her graduation from the law school. it's okay , tracey, you don't look it. i happened to be with professor meares for the john howard organization, a wonderful organization in chicago that works to improve the quality of illinois' prison system. and one of the guests there told me that professor meares had just informed her that after earning her undergraduate degree from the university of illinois in engineering, she was contemplating going to law school. being an engineering student she didn't know much about law school and without much thought she was tentatively planning to go to georgetown. but according to the story, the then dean of chicago university law school gave tracey an offer, quote, she couldn't refuse. and so she ended up serendipitously in chicago and
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i'm pleased to say i was that dean. it was one of the best decisions i ever made as dean in terms of bringing people to the law school with the exceptions of hiring barack obama and elena kagan. sorry, tracey. upon graduating from the law school, professor meares served on the united states court of appeals for the 7th circuit and spent several years working for the department of justice. she then returned to the university of chicago law school as an assistant professor and then later served as a professor of law and director of the law school center for studies in criminal justice. then, several years ago in a moment of just awful judgment, professor meares headed to some place called new haven where she sadly remains pathetically to this day. during her distinguished career rooted deeply in this law school professor meares has worked
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extensively among other things with the federal government, from 2004 to 2011. for example, she served on the committee on law and justice, a standing committee of the national academy of sciences. in 2010 named by attorney general eric holder to sit on the science advisory board. and just last year president obama named her as a member of his task force on 21st century policing. professor meares' research focuses on criminal procedure and policy with a particular emphasis on empirical investigation. she's published a long list of influential scholarly articles and important books including among them legitimacy in criminal justice, a comparative perspective, and urgent times policing and rights in inner city communities. in a time of widespread national concern about community safety, criminal justice and police practices, professor tracy meares is one of the most thoughtful, respected and
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innovative scholars in the field. she is truly a national leader. and it is my pleasure to present my former student and my special friend professor tracy meares. [ applause ] >> thank you, geoff, for that generous introduction. i was honored to be asked by the legal forum to give this keynote and thrilled, really, to be able to come back home. hud park has changed in so many good ways. i admit to feeling sad about the demise of ribs and bibs. the food wasn't great but the sniffs were incomparable. i thought a great deal about what i wanted to say today. my primary goal actually had to run back and get my prop was to emphasize the hard work, great work really that i did with ten
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of my other colleagues who ranged from police chiefs to young activists to civil rights lawyers to union representatives. we all served together on the president's task force on 21st century pope leasing. this task force was created in the wake of the shooting deaths of michael brown in ferguson and then the death of eric garner in new york at the hands of the new york city police. the president was especially concerned about the unrest that followed these incidents and he stated -- it's actually a quote that's on the back of this report, i'm going to read it. when any part of the american family does not feel it's being treat ed fairly, that's a problm for all of us. it's not just a problem for some. it's not just a problem for a particular community or demographic. it means we're not as strong as a country as we can be, and when applied to the criminal justice system, it means we're not as effective in fighting crime as we could be.
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our task force was charge charged with examining how to foster strong collaborative relationships between local law enforcement and the communities they protect and to make specific recommendations to the president on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction, a theme you heard a little bit about today for those of you in the much colder room five. the first pillar of our report is called building trust and legitimacy and i think that's the foundation of good policing. and i'm going to actually hit on that topic but there's a slight detour and that comes because i was just here last week, sadly not in hud park. and there i heard james comey speak at perf, that perf has an
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annual town meeting. i decided to shift the emphasis of my remarks a bit. at that meeting, comey, who is like me, an alum of this law school, he echoed there what he had said here just a few days before. maybe even in this room. a spike in homicide and he said, referring to a conversation that he said he had who told him he felt this officer felt he was under siege because people were watching him with a cell phone and this officer told director comey he didn't feel like getting out of his car. comey said, i don't know whether this explains it, and the it presumably he's talking about, the national spike in homicide, entirely but i do have a strong sense that some part of the
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explanation is a chill wind blowing through american law enforcement over the last year and that wind is surely changing behavi behavior. that wind is surely changing behavior. i'm going to leave aside, for the moment, whether there really is a national surge that we need to explain at all and even if there were this national trend whether there is any reliable serious data that there is a change in police behavior as opposed to anecdotal reports of understandable changes in feelings and attitudes of police who are now being more closely scrutinized than ever before. that could be partially responsible for this change. i'm happy to return to both of these topics, but here is what i would like to focus my remarks on today. and that is i think the public safety narrative has lost its way.
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it needs to be redirected and reshaped. and that's why i chose the provocative title. i don't even know if you have you know my title. i was told i have to have a title for c-span. my title is, against public safety and for public security. now let me explain. the president's task force report makes public trust essential. the question is how do we do it? the public safety narrative, the narrative that makes what police do, the number of police, police strategies, where police go, absolutely essential to crime reduction. i'll call it police effectiveness, suggests that public support for police is directly related to the public's evaluation of police effectiveness. this turns out not to be the case. you might find that surprising
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in a world with media policy, comey's remarks, i think, reflect this. the notion of a ferguson effect itself suggests that there is a crisis that we might need -- such that we might need to sacrifice police effectiveness at crime reduction in order to fulfill our concern about police accountability, lawfulness, et cetera. now it might surprise some of you in this room who are under the age of 30, and jeff has totally outed me. i can't even pretend that i'm under the age of 30 anymore. thanks, geoff. it might surprise you to learn that the idea of police effectiveness at crime reduction that is a metric that should matter with respect to evaluation of police is actually a metric of relatively recent vintage. for decades many scholars of policing and policing them self believe law enforcement had
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little impact on crime rates. venerable police scholar david bailey, who several in this room actually know well and have worked with, summed up this view nicely in his 1994 book police for the future and i'm going to quote. the police do not prevent crime. that is one of the best kept secrets of modern life. experts know it. the police know it. but the public does not know it. yet police pretend they are society's best defense against crime and continually agree that if they're given more resources, especially personnel, they will be able to protect communities against crime. this is a myth. now today, of course, police executives are expected and expect themselves to reduce crime in their jurisdictions. policing's potential to impact crime rates is conventional wisdom, actually, thanks in large part to the work of folks in this room like david wiseburg, frank zimmering,
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sitting right next to david, thank you. and other folks like steve levitt, who some of you know. however, as my colleague tom tyler noted in his testimony before the task force a few months ago, while police seemingly have become better and better over time at reducing and addressing crime, surveys indicating levels of public support for and confidence in police have remained relatively flat over the same period of time in which crime rates have fallen precipitously. and so perceptions of trust and confidence were grounded in assessments of police effectiveness, this isn't what we should be finding, right? so one might ask then if police effectiveness doesn't drive public trust, what does? another answer might be police lawfulness. again, in light of repeated incidents of quite shocking police brutality, consider here the tragic death of walter scott
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in north charleston, south carolina, who was shot in the back by a white police officer as he fled, we might think that commitment to the rule of law and especially constitutional constraints that shape engagements between the public and police would support public trust. of course police compliance is a critical component of a legitimate state. there are a couple problems with how to think about that relationship and public trust. one, of course, is whether we have an objective measure of police lawfulness. we heard a little bit about that today in frank zimmering's report about how we count civilian deaths at the hands of police. he gave us some very interesting data about that. i think there's a general sense, and here i'm not relying on data, that if you look at the period of time over which crime has declined, many people probably think that there's a much higher level of police lawfulness today than there used to be.
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there was an nrc report that seemed to indicate that, that came out about ten years ago. i collaborated again with people in this room on that report. i'm not as confident of our assessment of that conclusion based on recent events, but here's another issue with thinking about the relationship between police lawfulness and assessments of public trust and that comes out of my open research again with tom tyler and jacob gardner. and our work demonstrates that public judgments of police legitimacy assessments of how the public thinks about whether police are doing a good job are not really that sensitive to whether police are behaving consistently with constitutional law, in fact. because the public doesn't define lawfulness or determine sanctioning through the same lens of legality that police and other authorities use. this piece, this research i'm talking about, is forthcoming in
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criminal law and criminology and it's called lawful or fair, how cops and lay people view good policing. we have some empirical evidence, right, showing there's this juncture. so if our goal is promotion of public trust, then we have to recognize that while both police effectiveness at crime reduction and police lawfulness are both relevant, neither alone is sufficient. i think the public safety narrative lost its way when many of its major advocates began to argue that police effectiveness at crime reduction has become self-justifying, that reduction is a warrant for it self. it's not. we need a new narrative and i've decided to emphasize the word security as opposed to safety.
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there may be a better phrase. maybe you don't like security. but here's the primary point. we need a mission statement for policing that recognizes that people desire to be kept safe from each other, security against private as well as be free from government repression, security against government overreach. and that pursuit of both at the same time is not a zero sum gain. how to achieve both? i think the answer is fairly clear or at least part of the answer and that is with and through a commitment to policing that makes legitimacy and procedural justice seven ral to its mission. now you're going to learn much more when tom tyler summarizes his paper so i'm not going to
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take his thunder, and this will give us more time for questions at the end but i will sketch out a few points. people's conclusions regarding their assessment of the fairness of legal actors does not flow really or primarily from assessments of the police effectiveness task such as crime reduction or apprehension of wrong doers. researchers have studied public evaluations of police officers, judges, political leaders, managers, teachers, and the findings are pretty consistent. conclusions concerning legitimacy are tied much more closely to judgments of the fairness of the actions of these actors than to evaluations or
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fairness of the effectiveness of the outcomes. so in the social psychological literature it depends on four factors primarily. first, participation or voice is an important element. people report encounters with authorities when they have opportunities to explain their perspective, have commentary on law making and so forth, all of these things are general examples of voice. people care about the fairness of decision making by authority and by this i mean they're looking to decision maker, neutrality, objectivity and f t
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factualty. third, people care a great deal about how they're treated by an organization's leaders and representatives. people desire to be treated with respect. in their interactions with authorities people want to believe the authorities are acting out of a sense of benevolence towards them. what people are looking for is a sense of the motives of the authorities that they're looking -- that they're dealing with. they want to believe that they're sincere and well intentioned. what members of the public want is to believe the authority they're dealing with. , let's say a police officer, counts. if i'm a member of the public and i'm dealing with a police officer, i want to believe that
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police officer believes that i count. even if, of course, the officer doesn't believe that. that's the trick part about this. that it's about my perceptions, your perceptions. the public's perceptions and the way that we operate in the world is that we're evaluating how we're treated in these interactions. these dynamics are inherently relatable, not instrumental. rather than being primarily concerned with outcomes and individual max miization of utility, and i am saying that in this room, legitimacy based compliance is centered on individual identity. there's a lot more to be said about that and why that's true. i don't have time to go into that. i'm sure tom will talk more about that this afternoon.
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here's one implication. when police generate good feelings in every day contacts, it turns out people are motivated to help them fight crime. and we can expect that when they are, there will be lower crime rates in communities. but this isn't the only benefit of this approach. right? another approach and benefit of authorities treating members of the public with dignity and fairness is more healthy and democratic communities. and finally, if that weren't enough, the research actually shows that when officers take this approach, it is better and healthier for them on the street. so how do we get there? the president's task force made a number of recommendations. i'm going to highlight just a few of them but i do encourage you to read this report.
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there are a large number of concrete, doable recommendations actually and it's going to take all of us working together to get these implemented and to make a change. the task force recommended law enforcement agencies embrace what we call a guardian mindset for public trust and legitimacy. sue was a sheriff in washington state for a very long time and has written that officers must make a shift to a warrior mind-set. we might think that's about crime reduction. no. the guardian mind-set actually emphasizes the behaviors that are consistent with procedural justice. this is going to be a cultural
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change that has both internal and external and that police officers will have to have justice within their own organizations and we're going to expect them to carry out this kind of behavior on the street. this recommendation is actually a tall order. as i said it requires organizational change in agencies. it requires policing agencies to change the way the officers are changed. subsidiary strategies, diversifying the workforce, our policing agencies need more women, more educated officers, more people of color, training on deescalaization and cit training are a must. i could go on. i also think outside of a place like chicago, force consolidation is necessary.
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you can't implement this kind of change in a very kindy agency so one of the recommendations we make in the report is that agencies should be encouraged to consolidate to at least 50 officers or more. second, the task force recommended agencies examine the role of policing in past and present injustice in discrimination. i don't think this can be emphasized enough. we talked about it today in one of the earlier panels. police officials and members of affected communities have come together for conversations about dueling narratives that undermine trust and they're incredibly moving accounts of individual officers making decisions to acknowledge these past transgressions of those in
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uniform before them. here is one story that makes the point, i think really well. there was a police chief in montgomery, balabama. he was born a year after representative john lewis and the freedom riders where they were beaten by a white mob and went to a church that sits across from the police. it wasn't then but it is now. where they were firebombed in the church. electricity lines were cut. again, the police nowhere to be found. one spring day in 2013 chief murphy was part of a delegation that welcomed representative lewis back and in front of a large crowd the chief said to representative lewis, i want to apologize. we, the montgomery police,
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failed to protect you and the other freedom riders in 1961. the montgomery police were not very good to you. but today we're a better department. you might think that's the end of the story but thin he takes his badge and says this badge is a representation of service and promotion of individual tuningsal rights of members of the public and in 1961, my colleagues were not worthy to wear this badge but you were. and i want you to have it now. he takes it off and gives it to him. this amazing moment, you could youtube it and see it on the net. it's pretty powerful. it's obviously an incredibly powerful act. of symbolic reconciliation. the question is how to do this work in large scale. but it's necessary.
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you'll recall that a critical component of procedural justice is motive based trust and it's extremely difficult for people who have been treated poorly as a group and individually to expect benevolent treatment. so extraordinary acts like apologies and reparative strategies are necessary and likely not sufficient and certainly proceeding as if the past never happened as professor craig noted today in his presentation before the symposium group is not an option. third, i want to return to where i began and that is it is imperfect it tiimperative that crime reduction is not self-justifying. police action taken for the purpose of making communities safer especially aggressive police action, can have the count counterproductive result of
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destroying the very reservoir of trust on which communities and policing agencies depend for proper functioning. so the eidea of promotion by ruy giuliani and former mayor bloomberg that we ought to balance the benefits that groups of people such as african-americans and young african-american men in particular receive from plummeting crime rates without truly acknowledging the cost to them in terms of enforcement, and i'm not just talking about incarceration, the shortsighted and deeply, deeply flawed. and it's because their argume argument's premise is that aggressive policing is necessary to achieve crime reduction. that's just false. critical to understand is promotion of trust is associated with voluntary compliance with the law. this means that policing agencies can achieve their goal of enhancing public safety while
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at the same time pursuing the mandate of increasing public trust through greater commitment to legitimacy and procedural justice. now while the prescription, i think, is relatively straightforward, the process of taking the medicine is not. one might imagine the old treatment for rabies, and i'm probably dating myself, but when i was a kid the treatment for rabies was 21 shots in the abdomen over three weeks. i understand that's no longer the case. i think now it's like five shots in the arm, but when i was a kid, we were all sort of terrified by the specter of the rabies shot in the gut and i'm afraid of dogs to this day because of the rabies treatment. i think that the path to police reform will be something like this. a narrow prescription that we
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all understand is clear, that's difficult to endure, but worth it because the alternative literally is death. change will be painful for policing organizations. there will be resistance. there already is. path dependency is strong. there is a sense of righteousness. change will be difficult for the affected communities especially communities of color. think of disadvantaged neighborhoods in baltimore, for example, who have long distrusted police or the kids craig was talking about today. there will be resistance. there already is. path dependency is strong. there is a sense of righteousness. so why shouldn't we be hopeful about this? there are all sorts of examples of changes at foot. in fact, a primary example happened just in this state in illinois.
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the governor has signed the omnibus police reform legislation that was passed almost unanimously by both houses. and this is 135-page bill. i don't know if any of you have looked at it. it has all kinds of stuff in it, the requirement for this kind of police training, on procedural justice, implicit bias. it has regulation on body cameras, it even requires that every police officer when they stop a person give that person a receipt that has the officer's name, badge number and the reason for the stop. there's new requirements in massachusetts for training like this. the attorney general of california has required wholesale training of every policing agency in the state. the new york police department has recently announced that it will begin to document every single use of force including the force used in stops. there is movement and response to the national conversation.
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but i think we need deeper change. if you go to the website of the invisible institute organized by jamie calvin, you'll see videos of a handful of teens recounting their experiences with chicago police. some of you, if you were in the symposium room, have seen some of these videos. and craig fudderman, who teaches think law school, refers and describes to the world that the kids live in, that they describe, as one governed by an alternative constitution. now that description resonates with me. i think we're in the midst of a national moment right now, one in which we are trying to understand and work toward the terms of citizenship in a very real way that neither the first nor the second reconstruction's achieved even though those reconstructions may have
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provided the legal architecture for doing so. so the constitution through the reconstruction amendments, 13th, 14th, 15th amendments, that's the first reconstruction, obviously, and congress through the civil rights act and the voting rights act, that's the second reconstruction, provided what we might think of as a formal curriculum of citizenship. these laws tell us who we are by how we value freedoms of all individuals. in an article i've written with a colleague, ben justice, in the annals last year, we wrote a piece called how the criminal justice system educates citizens. benjamin is a historian of education and he introduced me to a literature that talks about how students are treated in classrooms that makes this
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distinction between the formal curriculum on the one hand and the hidden curriculum on the other. and so i was really moved by craig's work with these teens because it really reflected this idea the dichotomy between the formal curriculum on the one hand and the hidden curriculum on the other. this idea of the hidden curriculum comes from these educational researchers who look at how classrooms are organized, who are the mascots, where the kids sit in the lunch room, who is called on or who is not in civics class. when the hidden curriculum clashes with the formal curriculum, we're provided with instruction about who is and who is not a citizen. citizens are those whose treatment by a legal authority is completely consistent with the formal curriculum of rights. those whose treatment is not
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consistent, their hidden curriculum is totally different. we might even say that those folks -- we get instruction on who the anti-citizen is. some have said that we are actually in the moments of a third reconstruction. i hope so. i'd like to think that this time we will get it right. but how do we do that? well, one answer might be to rely on this idea about the distinction between the formal curriculum on the one hand and the hidden curriculum on the other. and once we have a system in which the formal and hidden curriculum are the same for everyone, then we will have achieved the goal of the third reconstruction. so let's hope that we're on the path to its achievement. thank you. [ applause ]
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>> questions, please line up at the microphone. >> is it on? >> just talk. >> your attempt to change the narrative about policing is on target, absolutely the right thing. you know, in such matters of public affairs, controlling the vñ really crewel shall. that you indicated you are uncomfortable with the term public security. i think your instincts are correct, absolutely. for the following reason. i think the term public security calls to mind for too many millions of people national security, homeland security and those terms have been used to
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justify all sorts of excessive and illegal government actions. so it encourages you to give serious thought to finding a different term. >> thank you. i should say that part of the reason why i use the term security actually is that there's another literature in the u.k. and i'm referring to the work of neil walker and ianl loter. what they are trying to do is what i'm trying to do in the context of public safety. they're trying to subvert the narrative about security to encompass a greater acknowledgement of not only individual rights but an understanding of the way in which state agents actually constitute who we are as citizens. so you know, i'm doing a little bit of triage here by saying, you know, at least in the
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domestic policing context, if we talk about people feeling secure in their persons, right, that will acknowledge the role that government can play in creating insecurity through their pursuit of public safety. but i get what you are saying. rather than just criticizing me, how about coming up with a new word. >> i'd be curious to hear what the task force has worked on or what your personal thoughts are on how this should be reflected in the school system, especially like south carolina recently, with the use of force and other more punitive measures in schools. >> yeah, so i was emphasizing in my remarks primarily the first
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pillar of the report, swhich is about building trust and confidence and legitimacy. that was the foundation for the five other pillars that we talked about. i can review them really quickly. the second one is policy and oversight. the third is technology and social media. the fourth is community policing and crime reduction. five is training and education. and six is officer safety and wellness. pillar four on community policing has a lot of recommendations about what you are talking about like the kinds of collaborations that policing agencies can and should undertake in schools. we heard a great deal of testimony about trying to reduce the number of arrests that come out of the school context, the deescalation conversation was consistent with that. talking about kids as vulnerable populations, understanding that
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the first interactions that teens have with police actually are formative relationships that actually tell -- make predictions about how they're going to view both police and the law in the future. but, you know, there are pages and pages of this. you know, i'd recommend that you take a look. >> great. thanks. >> i was quite taken by your notion of police as guardians. i was somewhat less optimistic about the ability of the society to reach that understanding. it seems to me -- and you, of course, talked a bit about this -- what we have to do is change culture. and i don't see how we do that without incentives, and i'm not sure that altruism and a notion that, boy, we can't let things
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go on the way they have been are sufficient, particularly if what is underlying at least part of the concern here is race. there was a talk earlier this week by the head of the chicago police board. there was an interesting question who said, in germany, all police officers have to have a four-year university degree. i would say, wonderful. are we going to increase taxes to pay for that, particularly if we live in nice white suburbs where we don't worry about this? give me some reason for optimism about why i shouldn't be skeptical that we do not yet have a commitment to expand the resources that i think will be necessary to change culture. >> yeah. there's so many different ways to get at that. and i'm going to say three, maybe four things, not necessarily in order, and may not be completely coherent. but here is the first.
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and that is, you know, training, training, training. i think that one way to get from warrior to guardian is to have fundamental change in police training. certainly, the largest agencies in the country are focused on this task. so you might not actually be experiencing it on the street yet here in chicago, but i can tell you that the training on procedural justice here is very innovative. chicago is a leader in doing it. they have trained over 12,000 officers. and the first eight-hour module and i don't know how many thousand they have done for the second and implicit bias is on way. the new york police department is required to reform their training out of the floyd litigation. and that reform is underway.
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i know in part that it is underway because i'm working with them with other people to do that. and there are many recommendations about that in pillar five of the report. you say, okay, but resources. right? because new york and chicago, while tons and tons of officers, new york has about 38,000 -- i said we, chicago has about 12,000. you know, that's a drop in the bucket when we're talking about the entire landscape of american policing. i think if we're going to have this change, we need two things to happen. first, the post requirements of every state to certify police officers have to actually adopt these changes and make them a requirement. so that's one. that's a legal change. and second, there have to be the resources to actually implement this kind of training wholesale. it's going to be hard to do
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without some kind of forced consolidation. that's one of the reasons why we recommended that in the report. how does that happen? you might think that one way you do consolidation is to give agencies incentives to become bigger, you know, with the lure of federal dollars. turns out that fewer than half of the 18,000 policing agencies get any money from the department of justice at all. so why would that be an incenti incentive? it won't be. it is going to require some kind of incentive, i think, given by the executive leadership of every state. like a governor who sort of encourages the municipalities to consolidate. how does that happen? maybe there's a federal carrot to the governor saying i will give you more federal dollars to get this done. then we have the regular politics that happen. i don't know. in that sense, i'm not super
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hopeful. but i will say that, you know, this change of the whole warrior mentality, that's relatively new, too. that shift happened in the context of policing agencies believing that this is what they could do. they didn't used to believe that. that's why i started the talk with the bailey anecdote. so i think with all the scrutiny, with the litigation, with the fact that every police chief at least of a major city, you know, understanding that they have to -- i'm going to say this on c-span. i hope this is okay. shovel everybody else's shit all the time. right? like, they're expected to solve the discipline problems in schools. they're expected to deal with the fact that we have had deinstitutionalization of instituti institutions. there are serious issues of
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mental illness on the street. they're expected to deal with people dealing with addiction in the streets because nobody else is dealing with it. so they are constantly looking for innovative responses. right? they are motivated. so i think there is reason for hope. >> professor? i wanted to tell you that on november 19, which is two thursdays away, our group, the illinois academy of criminology is going to have a forum on your 21st accecentury report. shawn smoot from your group will be there and david ader from our academy will go into the history of police. if you look at that history, david's briefed me on what he is going to say, and even robert peels institution of the police,
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the bobbys named for him in england depended on a sense of community, that the police come from the community. i think it will be interesting to review the findings of your task force against the light of a police history that few people know about or look into. i did want to say that our group was founded by ernest burgess in 1950 who was a sociology professor here at the university of chicago who pioneered the application of social science to criminal justice studies. we had hans and norville was the dean of this school. we're a bunch of old people, but we like to look at these things historically. i look forward to what happens in our review of your report against the historical background. and thank you for your presentation. >> thank you.
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>> hello. in spite of all the efforts to shift from warrior to guardian mentality, no matter how the post-certification requirements are changed, whatever training takes place, there are going to be some officers who don't get the message or refuse to get the message. in many jurisdictions, mandatory binding arbitration is the means of resolving this. a very common pattern is for an arbitrator hearing a discharge grievance filed by an officer to say, yes, the officer is guilty, he did x, but it's really not such a big deal, reduce the penalty, put him back to work. just recently when the city of boston attempted to have a court order set aside an arbitration decision, they were unsuccessful. the officer has been fired three
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times for three separate offenses and each time reinstated to duty by an arbitrator. and, of course, there have been civil litigations relative to the underlying incidents which have cost the city of boston and its taxpayers substantial change. so my question is, did the commission give any consideration to these issues of how police disciplinary cases are adjudicated and how the process could be made more effective? i could give you a whole laundry list of horror stories of officers who have been put back to work by arbitrators with no question as to the guilt. it's just a question of disagreement as to the penalty. in cincinnati, two officers who on duty took a very intoxicated woman, escorted her to her apartment and had sex with her, they were fired and an arbitrator -- two arbitrators, separate cases for the officers concluded no big deal, three-day suspension, put them back to
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work. >> okay. you know, the question was did we consider discipline in particular in the recommendations? and the answer is, not with that level of specificity, although, we did hear testimony and take testimony on the relationship between disciplinary procedures -- i'm talking, jeff. disciplinary procedures and also, you know, these ideas of procedural justice and legitimacy where you would think, right, that having more community input and certain kinds of accountability might be inconsistent with the kinds union demands they think that lead to these kinds of structures that you are talking about. we did talk about things that were related. so the fact that many police
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boards operate in the way that you are talking about. so a police executive will want to fire a police officer for egregious behavior and a police board will reinstate that officer. and that was an example that we used to point out the complications of civilian oversight, where civilian oversight is often takes place in the form of the police board that simply reviews these kinds of decisions and is not actively involved in setting policy and articulating community goals and projects in the way that, for example, the board -- which it's not called the board. i'm not sure what it's called in los angeles. the los angeles version of the police board is not just reviewing particular police decisions or executive decisions. but, you know, i think your
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pointing out this issue of discipline and the like is a jumping off point for me to say while there's a lot of good stuff in there, we did this report in 57 days. 57 days. so the chairs were appointed december 1. the rest of the committee or the task force was appointed december 19th. we started our work on january 13th. it was an all-out sprint. we had 150 witnesses who testified before us in certain hearings. we had hundreds of pages of written testimony. and put together what i think is a pretty good document in that time period. but, you know, it's not enough. it's not complete. you know, there are are many, many other things to say and be said. i think the other point to bring us is this idea that you are bringing up also craig did, too, this idea of accountability i think is a critical aspect of building trust.
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right? you are not going to trust agencies or individuals in the context of agencies who aren't held accountable for wrongdoing. so we have to figure that out. >> one more question. >> i'm very interested in how you are defining the role of police from a perspective of guardiansh guardianship. it makes me wonder if there's any policy initiatives that seek to rather than having police shovel everyone's crap, everyone the social services that are necessary instead take the role. are there any policy solutions that are actually being played out or considered that would reroute some of these resources to things like mental health services, municipal services, better schools, not shutting down schools and other things that might get to the source of the need for the police? >> right. so i should say that there were two overarching recommendations
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in the report that your comment makes me think i should point out right now. and one of them was a recommendation that the president form another crime commission. that we basically haven't had an overall review of the criminal justice system since 1967. you know, it's about time. right? so that was one. but the second is -- i'm going to read this. the president should promote programs that take a comprehensive and inclusive look at community bases initiatives that address poverty, education, health and safety. that's what you are talking about. and so our focus was pretty narrow. so we couldn't do everything. but we did talk about things such as -- i will give you an example. having 911 triage. by that i mean, if you are get a 911 call where it appears that
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the incident is involving an individual who is suffering from mental disability, in some cities they will shift that call to a group of 911 receivers who are actually have special training to deal with and ask the right questions so that the right resources to the extent that they exist and they don't in all cities are then deployed to that situation. because a lot of times, you know, what you have are people receiving calls who don't have adequate training who then deploy people who don't have adequate training to situations that could be completely avoided in a situation where there was training. right? you know, one final point on this. you take a place like the u.k. where -- yes, i know, they don't -- there aren't at many guns. but they have a kind of over -- the police there have an
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overarching sort of motto about preside preservation of life at all cost. when an officer is sent to a situation -- i'm not talking about in custody deaths there, which is another issue. but if you had a person with a mental disability who is facing an officer with a weapon or the like, you know, most of the officers there, as i understand it, are trained to simply slow the situation down. you go get the sandwiches. i will get the coffee and we will wait the person out. that's just not what happens here. in part, because our officers aren't trained properly and also because the people who dispatch them don't ask the right questions. and that's a start. >> thank you professor meares. [ applause ]
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>> thank you. it was fun. republican presidential candidate donald trump has released his first tv ad, part of a $2 million per week ad buy. the spot is basically a greatest hits package of the trump train. here is a look. >> i'm donald trump and a proved this message. >> the politicians can pretend it's something else, but donald trump calls it radical islamic terrorism. that's why he's calling for a temporary shutdn


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