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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 7, 2014 7:45am-8:31am EST

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as to racism, but we are not taking responsibility for it. how ignorant our children have become. the things we see -- these are things that parents and community should take more control of. children just reverse this. we apply our efforts to help the children more towards the thoughts -- i mean, right now, police ident between the that lot of the things have been happening is that you have to recognize that policeman are trying to get home every evening to their family, also.
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host: okay, frank, i will leave it there. a comment -- we have only had one person of color in position, so do not ask questions of this president you did not ask about the president. people bought more guns and race relations became worse. you can join in on the conversation on our facebook page. from fort worth, texas. you get the last word. good morning. caller: good morning. who made the comment this is the same mistake the present is going to make. did it get better under bush? do they get better under clinton? this president came to his job with a hard task. he said the country from going over the edge.
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for every racial issue to be put on his lap is unfair to this president. are intelligent carson, i ed like mr. can't believe he would make a statement that the president is responsible for race relations. it is -- it has gotten better. overall, yes. but it hasn't gotten worse under this president. we have a black president that has brought more racial tension to the media. we have the same problem as we president e, and this is being treated the same as we have ever had. i think the majority of the problem has come of congress. congress is not doing anything to help this problem. that sets the tone for all the racism in this country. there been any growth? no.
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you for the thank call. "washington post", the kennedy center. those to be honored for the 37th kennedy center honors. this will air during the christmas holidays. coming up in just a moment, we are going to turn our attention to police issues with laura mcneal. she is with the university of louisville school of law. what we can learn about race issues on that front. pendant of "the hill" will join us to talk about whether the u.s. is prepared for a larger attack. these are unable a -- white house czar talking
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about ebola and what we have learned. [video clip] >> the level of immunization has plummeted to near zero. the level of neonatal care has plummeted dramatically. and sad ad the honor a funeral peaking at physician in sierra leone, is not treating patients, but was infected with ebola. when recounts the that's in we also ree countries, need count the price of human loss in other areas. i'm sure we are going to talk this more, but the president has submitted an emergency funding request -- been getting favorable consideration.
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we are grateful to both republicans and democrats for this. but we need to build the capacity to detect outbreaks earlier in other countries, and get on top of them a bit earlier so we don't type of escalation, hopefully, that we sign these three nations. host: the fall of aunt is available on our website -- event is available on our website. laura mcneal is an assistant professor at the university of louisville school of law. good morning, thank you very much for being with us. guest: good morning, steve. host: if you look at ferguson, missouri; new york city; st. there a common thread?
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guest: tthere is a common thread. the i listen to interviews, they say they follow their training. common thread to revise current police training. host: one of the issues involved the current equipment that the police officers have -- almost military like equipment. yes, that is very controversial. have in of crime we our cities -- the police have to protect themselves. so having military type of equipment in some situations is necessary. host: if you look at what was in staten island -- a piece the "washington post" that she was appalled that there was no indictment. because you have the video, people saw what happened -- wearing the er small cameras, yyet in this case, there is no indictment.
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guest: i want to commend president obama for at least in the right direction, but it is not enough to have body cameras. we had everything on tape, yet there still was not an indictment. a need to look into having neutral investigation -- a third-party perspective. host: let me go to the piece by ruth marcus. it is based on a new book out by bruce stevenson talking about his own experience in atlanta. he was sitting in a honda in front of d apartments, when a swat team cruiser pulled the wrong way down his one-way street and shined a spotlight on him. two officers got out of the car. he exited, as well. gun, pointed o his at stevenson and said that move and i will blow your head off.
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the officers show students and against the car. demanded to know what he was doing on the street. and searched his vehicle. this at stevenson should be happy that they were letting him go. what does this case tell you about police actions? guest: it tells me that police officers are using excessive force. meaning that they do not have the discretionary skills to make the right choice. in that situation -- and i'm with ompletely familiar that case -- that is an exceptional use of force. they could've handled it meaning they could have aadjusted their behavior, language, and timing. it definitely appears to be a case of excessive force. host: you talk about body cameras. page -- a headline that this is no slamdunk.
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there are cases where police turned off the camera. or, in phoenix, where a police officer was fired. guest: they have gotten a lot of press recently in using body it has , and showing reduced the number of excessive force complaints. but i do think they work. the problem of excessive use of force is much bigger than body cameras, and it is just not enough. we still didn't get an indictment. we have to go back to the training and how we select police officers. host: how do go to the process of selecting these officers? how do you train them to be protect the ut also larger population? guest: so, one interesting such is certain states --
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as michigan -- a medical doctor asks them three questions to be sure they are free of any mental instability. other states or other within michigan, for example, actually have them go through a psychological evaluation. are they more confrontational? how do you perform under stress? i think we need to be more selective in that process. in training, there are great organizations that offer training for police officers on how to interact with youth. use adult policing tactics on youth. am personally involved in training with an institute addressing racial biased. host: our guest: is dr. laura mcneal. our phone lines are open. member of law
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enforcement 202-748-2000. we will have those numbers on the bottom of the screen. with you -- he to teach our need children and everyone that you cannot resist arrest, even if you believe that the arrest is unjust. that is a crime, and you will be placed under arrest. if the mayor wants to change policies and stand out against crime, then say that. his comments based on the comments of mayor deblasio
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after the grand jury decision not to indict. guest: i think it is important recognize that police officers risked their lives on a daily basis. think the garner situation issue, in terms of that once the police officer a potentially life-threatening situation, then he should've adjusted his behavior. that is in lifting up the pressure so that air garner could breathe. them do portant to let their job, but in a way so that they can protect themselves as well as the suspect. host: let's go to the republican line. go ahead, john. it ridiculous that garner in new york -- we a murder on television for a man selling a cigarette.
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we witnessed murder -- host: ookay, thank you for the call. guest: yes, we did witness the death of eric garner oon and it is , outrageous. ridiculous that it took his death to get our attention that we need to reform policing tactics. it is just an example of how excessive use of force can result in these types of untimely deaths. another ich is what viewer is saying. we need to train police that a violent physical takedown is not appropriate for someone selling cigarettes. i think the training indicates -- keep in mind, when officer did the takedown, he had four or five officers there.
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no one seemed alarmed at the technique he was using, or appear to demonstrate any feelings. that is where the problem is. host: joe is next in columbus, ohio. good morning. caller: good morning. comment on the race is that i was really -- from the start of president obama's inauguration and first-term -- was that race relations would get better. simply because, you know, with a heightened awareness of racism in america, with all the at a law enforcement -- and there would ew that death threats towards them because you have these extremist groups that are out there, and those voices are going to scream louder. in my belief, i was raised racism in my me household, unfortunately.
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but those views will not carry through to my children, and they deny k through my life today. guest: thank you. that was a really interesting comments, and i appreciate the effort. i agree with you. there was a hope that when we elected obama as president that serve as a healing divide -- divide in our country. i think it is wonderful that in your ote diversity bbut the s values, unfortunate deal is that racism is alive and well, and influence these daily decisions that are made by police officers. host: one of the most common is rage we have been hearing that african-american males -- can you quantify that?
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host: have you felt discrimination on that front? guest: i have, actually. students who say that i am their first african-american professor. and they say, oh, you are really smart. but i have also had great police officers help me out. important not y to stereotype police officers as bad.
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was a deputy r sheriff, so i have a lot of respect for police officers. again, i think the key is their raining. it's a stressful situation if you're out in the field. reality based training is expensive where they put you in the scenario and you can roll play. but it's important today. host: this is what the white house announced about a 263
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million plan to help law enforcement plan to help them as we talk about the increased use of body worn cameras. how many police departments right now use those body cameras? guest: let's than 10%. and a lot has to do with the fact it's extremely expensive, which is why the proposal is helpful that they will match police departments 50% of the costs for those cameras. so again we're always back to the budgetary concerns. host: also expand training for law enforcement officials and add resources. is there a standardized patriot come for police departments around the country? guest: that's issue with the training. it needs to be uniform. so regardless of what community you're in you are trained on how to not use excessive force, how to police urban communities and how to interact again with youth. so it's very important that standardized. and i like to give the example of medical doctors.
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they have to take their board every couple of years to make sure they are abreast of the best practices. the same should apply to police officers. there is no law that requires them to have ongoing training and it's something that should be done perdically. again here's another way to take dune suspected that's less harmful. from california. good morning. caller: good morning. i've been in four different law nforcement agencies. i think that training is necessary. but i do believe that there should be a national academy where a person would go in to the academy the same way a army
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goes in, four years. they come out as lieutenant. that brings up the thin blue line and they come out as lieutenant. also, there should be periodic debriefing and also ongoing training or similar training for police officers as soon as they go in the academy they start their training, which is a martial arts which is use the force against the person and it's very effective. but period debriefing and ongoing training the same as you go to the firing range you would go to training on an ongoing basis. as you become more proficient and you would be able to use ss, fewer of the mace or the baton or the other equipment to be able, and you would have more confidence.
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host: thanks for the call. guest: i can't say how excited to hear that feedback. i want to say thank you for your service, especially as a school resource officer. love everything you said. it's the same reoccurring themes with respect to the academy reinforce to standardize police training nationally. the need to have the ongoing training i think you mentioned having it as a periodic debriefing. all of those i think are wonderful solutions. we're definitely on the path to getting there. and those are thing that is will make a difference in our communities. host: our next call karen from philadelphia. good morning. caller: good morning. my comment is about racial bias. how it is perceived. i think it is create bid society. i think media plays a big part. on exacerbating how we as a people are treated and taken
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on the hen he was ground standing hovering nobody was moving on trying to save this man's life. i want people to look at when they're talking about training and retraining people, you have to think of how we are looked upon as a people where we're not looked upon as regular people or people that could be cared for and loved like the rest of society. host: how do you think you are looked upon then? caller: we're looked upon not as every other nation is looked upon. as if you have to be careful when you come across a hooded person where in society people look upon maybe an asian like oh we've got to look at how they do and respect their different ways of doing. we're not perceived as that.
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host: thank you for adding your voice to the conversation. guest: thank you. i completely agree with you. race is a social construct. we have seen with small children they don't see color, they're color blind. they're taught to make these distinctions and i think it's important to recognize that when we're thinking how we're going to evaluate how we train our police officers. that's why it's so important that police officers should be required to take a test. if you have a bias that is influenced by this type of stereo type that you mentioned, then you should be made aware of that and taught how to minimize that bias. when police officers are out in the field in those stressful situations that's when that is most influential on those split-second decisions. host: whether in the dealing with police officers, in court systems, in the workplace, in -- this is a -- they're say it's unfair and african
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americans feel they have been mistreated in simple chorse like going to the mall. guest: absolutely. i've been followed around the mall before and i actually stopped the individual and said i'm not going to steal and say i need you to stop following me. so it is very real. what's really important is having these conversations people freeze up when you mentioned the r word saying you're playing the race card. it's just important to have those conversations. it's the only way we're going to heal the racial divide in the country is to have these tough conversations. and again, it helps out with respect to training and having a trained professional to kind of facilitate. host: next is monique from washington, d.c. good morning. caller: good morning. actually was in a situation where i lived in an urban environment back in the
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90s where chief ramsey was the police chief at the time and he enact add community program for officers to come into the communities and get along with the citizens. well, we had this officer who was a white officer where he took his job above and beyond his call of duty. he treated the residents as if all of them were criminals. so he did the same to me. he didn't know who i was and he just assumed. so because of the situation we ended up going to court and we went to court the judge was appalled by what the officer had put me and my family through while he was the community -- he was one of the community officers but he was the worst out of the bunch. but he messed with the wrong family. so one incident --
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going out for a pick nick we were moving our items from our coolers putting them in the car. the officer walked past opened the cooler and saw beer. he took his knife each can out and punched a hole in each can. i filed a complaint. the judge was appalled. the judge told him what he did was not right. he was no longer able to come around our community again. i don't know what they did with him but he was no longer a part of that. but chief ramsey did a good thing where he started the program with officers in the community. host: i'll stop you there. charles ramsey is now heading up this commission that the president appointed. guest: i am first and foremost sorry that you had that experience. but what's so powerful is you
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mentioned how amazing chief ramsey was in starting up the program but you also acknowledged the type of poor treatment you received from another police officer. and why that's so important is it shows that there are some great police officers serving our communities but there are also some that should probably not be in that capacity. so it goes back to the importance of we have to be more selective. we need more chief ramsies on the police force, as role models on how to train to serve our urban communities. ost: another set of figures. we should point out these are 012 figures. we should point out that the
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black population makes up 13% of the total population. >> it really does. to be quite honest this starts very early in terms of this trend where we have african american and hispanic males in which they're exhibiting normal adolescent behavior but it's criminalized. i've met with parents of stubtse that have been arrested in schools for paper fights, for disorderly conduct. so that carries over into the adult setting as well where you have this racial bias that are causing because of the high degree of racial profiling increases the number of individuals that are incarcerated. and it's a much bigger issue in terms of poverty and other social issues but creates the perfect storm that develops these types of racial disparities. > but robert makes this point.
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host: guest: i think it's important that we recognize police officers doing a great job acknowledge putting their lives on the line but we have to have a critical eye where there's need for change we have a social and morblee responsibility to enact that change. host: our topic police training. e welcome our listeners. we've divided our phone lines under three separate categories. if you're a member of law enforcement, if you've had experiences with police and all others. we ask you to dial in on those numbers. we have another half hour with our guest. we go to warren in tennessee. caller: thanks for taking my call. as a military trained police, the military training emphasizes deescalation at all point. as a military trained officer i don't know if this guy is a member, i just want to take
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this guy down. so you try to deescalate the problem to minimize it as much as possible. where fellow service members, we don't want to take anybody down so we have to treat everybody with respect and we don't know the training of this person that we're trying to take down. guest: very good point. i think one of the issues that i had with the michael brown shooting is questioning obviously i wasn't there but did officer wilson do what he needed to do in terms of adjusting his behavior, language, and timing to deescalate the situation so it didn't have to rise from stealing cigarettes to lying on the ground in a pool of blood? what was his -- this again is part of the training given by strategies for youth for police officers when he approached michael brown did he say young man i need you to get out of the street because you might get hurt? i don't want you to get hurt? or did he say get out of the street or blah blah blah. that very first encounter, what
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was his tone, behavior, what language did he use? that plays a really big role in terms of how interactions with police and community members can escalate to these unintended or unexpected death. so i think your point is right on. thank you very much for sharing. >> go back to the comments of ruth based on the book buy brian stevenson. the u.s. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. one in every three black male babies born in this century is expected to be incarcerated. dow agree? what does this tell you about the way these individuals are apprehended, incarcerated and
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through the court system? guest: in terms of how they're apprehended because of the disparities and african american or hispanic is more likely to be stopped because again these implicit biases. additionally, in the court system we've seen a lot of research and media coverage on the sentencing guidelines. crack cocaine versus cocaine -- versus crack or marijuana, a tougher sentencing guidelines. so things such as that which are again correlations with poverty. african americans and hispanics have a higher percentage of poverty so they're likely to be able to afford marijuana or crack which again the sentencing guidelines are skewed. so it's again a systemic problem with respect to who is being profiled and stopped, how those interactions are going. and then the justice system. ublic defenders are amazing.
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but they're underpaid. their caseloads are astrom oncal. but for many impoverished that's the only representation they have. so that also contributes to the disparities that he is referencing. host: good morning from baltimore maryland. we'll go next to brian from memphis. going. caller: good morning. just a comment. we've had the brown killing, the garner killing, this 12-year-old killing. and the police response is they were threatening. and yet in the past week we've had a white male with a knife i believe in orlando who was waving the knife around who was chased by the police, who was tasered i believe six times and he had a weapon in his hand. coups discuss this discrepancy. >> thank you. guest: i find the discrepancy extremely alarming.
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in terms of you saying that they felt threatened, i always remember officer wilson saying when he looked at michael brown he saw a demon. and that really speaks to again those fears and stereo tipse being attached to african americans having a higher propensity for violence. when i think about the white house situation where you had an individual that leaped over the white house fence and actually got to the front doors, was not shot yet you had the african american woman a few months earlier who was in a high speed chase and i guess she drove her car to the white house fence and she was shot and killed with her toddler in the seat. so i think that again there are biases that are influencing officers when they're making those decisions who they're going to stop as well as how they're going to proceed with the types of arrest. so it's an issue and again i think we have to go back to
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selecting just because you want to be an officer doesn't mean you necessarily should. there are a lot of bad teachers out there. the same appolice. host: this is a tweet. guest: absolutely. so one thing that was really successful with the words that strategies for youth said is they became part of that community. so they walked the streets. they built relationships with the community members. and when there was an incident they helped the police officers because they knew they were there to protect them. i think what we've seen is police officers now when they're in schools or they're seen in the community, it's not as much relationship building. when i was younger we had police officers that was stationed at our school and we loved him. we built a relationship with him, positive perceptions that they were there to help and serve. and so i think more of that needs to be done.
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we have to rebuild the trust between police officers and urban communities. the only way to do that is increase contact. host: our guest was a teacher at georgia state university and at michigan state university college of law. from indiana, terry, good morning. caller: good morning. please don't cut me off i think this is very important. i was at two crime watch meetings talking to people about my what i have learned from reading things how the newspaper articles and stuff like you sayinging a minute ago. but in the prsen system 40% black. they're still being picked on. and the guy said on television that it was the drug war that's causing all this. we need to end our drug war.
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13% black in the country but 40% in the prison system they're being picked on. the police don't want the drug war to be ended because that's the number one arrest is the drug defendants. they wouldn't need half the police they have now. they don't want to lose their job. they don't want the people to know this. they threatened me with arresting me and charging me with disturbing the peace for telling the people these truths. one is that my father was a step father was a state parole officer and he told me year after year that police telling him you can get much better deals from the guards and some guards make more money selling the dope than they do on their paycheck. guest: i thank you for that comment. i think you made some really good points with respect to acknowledging yes there is corruption in some of our prison systems and yet
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druggings within urban communities especially are contributing to a lot of the disparities. so i think one solution would be to increase the number of substance abuse programs within those communities as opposed to arrests.is it's drug abuse is a medical condition and it should be treated as such. so i think increasing the number of substance abuse programs as opposed to putting people in jail is a much more effective path. host: how many police departments have you been involved with in terms of training? irged i wrote the curriculum for training being conductd in sacramento, los angeles, indianapolis, and milwaukee. again through strategies for youth. additionally, in cambridge, massachusetts. and everett, massachusetts that training has been very effective. it has reduced the number of for instance abuse arrested by 50%. so the training works.
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the fact that they're doing it in these large urban communities like los angeles is very encouraging. host: what one thing surprised you the most in researching this topic, in writing the curriculum, and in talking to these police departments? guest: what surprised me the most is police officers really having good intentions. not realizing how influential their biases are and really feeling like they were serving their communities almost flawlessly. so if you could see the look on their faces when they take the test and realize they have the bias it's surprising. it's an eye opener for sure. host: and conversely, is there a bias of black police officers towards white individuals? iveraget absolutely. we all have biases. they may not be racial. there's gender bias, against sexual oryentation. so color doesn't prevent you from having a bias. host: we go to paul from north carolina. caller: good morning. i wanted to speak to the fact i
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see a lot of problem with the younger generation of law enforcement officers. i experienced it really first-hand a couple years ago in training and so forth seeing the need to complete difference in attitude towards the position. these younger law enforcement officers want to talk to people like dogs, go up to them. who are you? what are you doing? no respect. and if you take a grown man in his 40's and you've got this 20-year-old comes up that looks like a kid to him and talks down to him and talks like a dog to him, you've already created a swaugs that this guy is ready to lash out anyway. and then you're going to try to ruin his day with a ticket or something like that. so the point of the matter i'm saying is if you go up to a person to enforce the law and you treat them with disrespect and they don't even know they broke the law, you're asking for a confrontation. especially if you're half that
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man's age and look like a kid to him. and this tactics are being taught and reinforced in the training. host: we'll get a response. thank you for your comments. guest: thank you for your comment. you've made a really good point about the importance of having mutual respect. both from the citizen as well as the police officer. i think that's something that's going to take some time to rebuild. there are some programs. there's a 101 course that's taught in new york as well as a juvenile jeopardy game that's taught through strategies for youth. they teach youth how to interact with police officers in a respectful manner again in an effort to deescalate as well as there's training offered for police officers that can help them understand again through this cultural competenceie and how to deescalate situations, w to not miss the cultural and to to again just normal
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policing communities interpersonal skills. i think with the ongoing training it reminds them. because again you have to keep in mind these police officers are under life-threatening stress depending on how high crime their area is on a daily basis. and it's one split second decisions could end in the result of loss of life. so we need to keep in mind that they're under a lot of stress as well and that's why this ongoing training is important. host: but not only race and gender but also age. should police departments be trained to deal with youth offenders differently than adults? guest: absolutely. currently most are using adult policing practices on children and things should be done differently. we train police officers on how to separate youth from their peers. youth want to perform for their peers and we tell police officers to lower their tone so again how to adjust their behavior language and timing. we teach them developmental
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competence specifically youth understanding that youth perceptions and behaviors are influenced by psychological and biological factors related to their brain's developmental stage. so a little boy in cleveland for instance because his brain is not fully developed although the officer's allege they gave him three chances to put the fake gun down his response is not going to be like an adult. we process and react very quickly. and so giving children more time to respond. and again that's more the training through the strategies for youth but it's very important. host: in that case we've seen the video. it's somewhat blurry but it seems difficult that the police could not figure out that that was a young boy. he thought he was 20. guest: i was shocked by that. but again, i think that's that bias. you see color, black male holding a gun. and so their association is to that's a dangerous adult. but he looked like a 12-year-old boy to me. but again these are very powerful. work done by professor at
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harvard said those biases account for 90% of influences in your decision making. so if you're not conscious of them they typically take precedence. host: but conversely as you follow the situation in missouri, and we don't know the full story because one is dead and the other police officer has testified. but what should michael brown have done that he didn't do based on what you've been able to figure out? guest: definitely he should have used appropriate again behavior and language, respectful language. i wasn't there. so it's really hard to speculate. so i would rather say youth in general when they have interactions with police officers they should be respectful, follow their commands. they should not resist arrest. again not saying that happened in the michael brown situation. but to keep things from deescalating is very important that they're compliant. this generation tends to want to challenge authority which again goes back to their developmental stage, their identity. so it's much more complicated when you're a police officer encounterers a youth which
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technically he was 18 but he was in school still considered a youth in terms of the law. but i just thing it's -- i can't stress how important it is to train a police officer on how they should behave but also we have to train our children. i've had interaction with youth in workshops and i tell them how to interact with police. keep your hands visible at all times. lower your tone. speak slowly. just yes, sir, yes, ma'am, so i think those things are important again in building that mutual respect and trust. host: our next caller from rosedale, maryland. going. good morning. aller: good morning. i think the jen ration now is not take

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