tv Police and Race CSPAN December 26, 2015 8:30pm-10:01pm EST
and we can get it out to you very quickly. thanks to our two guests tonight for being with us. we learned more about the background and the importance of the roe vs. wade in 1973. thank you for your expertise. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015]
>> learn more about landmark cases online at c-span.org/landmark cases. bookan order c-span's featuring background, highlights and the legal impact of each case. landmark cases is available for eight dollars 95 plus shipping. as 2015 wraps up, c-span presents congress year in review , the newsmaking issues, debates .
the resignation of john boehner, and the election of paul ryan. the debate over the nuclear deal with iran and reaction from congress on mass shootings. >> coming up next. a look at race and efforts to improve the criminal justice st. louish a former police officer. and police officers from washington dc and new jersey share thoughts on policing and creating trust within communities they serve. >> a former st. louis police
officer who left the force in 1999 to address what he considered problems in the criminal justice system. he spoke about the topic to students at the university of delaware. >> the semester there have been a number of incidents that suggest a real need to have an open dialogue about race on this campus and others read it tonight's event is three and open to the public like all national agenda events. i encourage audience participation from the audience and mitchell hall as well as via social media. tweet at the account @ ud race in america and you can join the discussion. it should be said that along with the candidness and sincerity, civil and respectful dialogue is expected. all semester -- this is the last time i'll be saying at this
semester -- if you would not stand up and say it in public, don't tweet it. look around you. know where all here to get a better understanding of race in america and on this campus. be candid, but courteous. tonight, redditt hudson is the founder of the national coalition of law enforcement officers. this includes current and former police officers around the country who are committed to challenging the institutional racism that is at the foundation of our criminal justice system and found in police culture throughout america. is also the board chair for the st. louis missouri based ethics project. he is also a former st. louis police officer. he left the force in 1999 the focus on addressing systematic
problems in the criminal justice system, abuse police authority, and improving the police community relationship. he is the author of the critical investigative report, "suffering in silence," which catalogs human rights abuses in st. louis jails, and which has led to several formal actions to address the conditions in them. please join me in welcoming redditt hudson to beaver diversity -- to the university of delaware. [applause] redditt: thank you for having me. i'm very glad to be here with you to talk about race in america, and more importantly, for me, to talk about police
community relations and some of the dynamics we have seen relative to race and police in the united states in the last 18, 24 months. i'm very glad to have this opportunity to speak to you. my colleagues who also share a law enforcement background, and a lot of times the mainstream presentation of police points of view, you don't hear from officers who understand the history of policing in america and the relationship between police and black communities that they serve in urban core communities across this country. just to tell you a little bit about who i am before i get started, my name is redditt
hudson, and i'm a lot of things. i'm a father, a son, former st. louis university basketball player, former racial justice manager to the aclu, currently regional field organizer for the naacp. i'm speaking strictly in the capacity of my position. i'm here to talk to you tonight as candidly as i can in a space in our history -- i'm talking to the college students here, and the organizers on this campus and around the country, that put us in a position to affect real change. real change. and this has to happen.
to lay the foundation for you, i wanted to share some things with you about my experiences when i was on the department. and then i will bring my remarks, to give you a sense, a foundational sense of some of what this movement that you've seen grows from ferguson all the way around the world has been vilified wrongfully in so many corners is really about. early in my career, i was working with an officer, female officer, and this officer happened to be a white female officer. not only did white officers abuse their authority, you have like, asian, and hispanic officers who do it. the issue of authority is where
it takes place, which is consistently in black communities and poor white communities across this country. one day we got a call and it was a call for an officer need of aid. officer need of aid call for anybody who's in law enforcement in the room or anybody who knows law enforcement, officer need of aid call is a very serious call. it means all officers in the geographical range of this call, stop whatever you're doing an expedited the officer's location. he or she is in trouble, serious trouble, could be. this officer put out a call. use chasing a suspect in an armed robbery and he was running. a call comes out, we expedite to his location and get there first. we see the officer who put the
aid call out. we don't see a suspect, we see the officer bent over like this, winded, breathing hard. we go up to the female officer and asked them, what happened, are you ok? yeah, i'm ok. i'm all right. he's breathing hard. where did he go? we were on a street called ashland in north st. louis, missouri. that is the lack side of st. louis, missouri. he spent over like this. she asked him where the guy went and he went like this. i went in that house.
he picked a house at random. we go up to the house, me and a female officer. we get to the door. she's banging on the door. had our flashlight, big black flashlight, hitting the door as hard as she could. open this door. i'm not going to use the language. we don't know if anybody is in the house or not. from the back of the house, with the ruckus we created in the front of it, we see a shape begin to approach the door. wooden door, glass in the center. moving about this be right here. slowly getting to the door. the door opens, cracked. standing in the door is a kid about 19 years old, african american. i'm standing there with this female officer. i'm 6'8", out of shape right now, but at that time i was working out every day. i was about to 65, -- 265, 270, single-digit body fat.
i had on a short sleeve shirt, size medium. i could look like i was just busting out of it. he opened the door, he looks and he says, lady, i don't know what you're talking about great i live here. i've lived here all my life. everybody on this blog knows our family. they know me. i'm here by myself right now. you've got the wrong house. i guess that was the wrong answer, because as soon as he got those words out of his mouth, she grabbed him by his throat, smashed him out of that doorway and took him to the edge of the porch we were on. in north st. louis, the porches are elevated on some blocks. they set up real high. you'll fall maybe 10 feet. she had him by his throat over the edge of that porch. bam.
she cracked him right in the face. i'm looking at this, and if somebody hits you like that -- if somebody hits you like that, generally speaking you're going to do one of two things. you are going to put up your hands and try to block something else that may be coming at you, or you may offer up some discouragement for that kind of behavior. i don't know if she thought he was trying to engage or what, but she hit him again to the face, to the groin. she's hurting him, and it's happening slow but it's
happening fast. at this point, i grabbed the uniformed officer in my uniform and get her off this guy and take her to one side of the porch. i told you, it was an officer need of aid call. they means every officer in the area expedites to this location. he had canceled the aid call, which slowed them down some. you know people want to see what the aid call was about, so he came anyway. here come the rest of the officers. up the steps of the porch we were on comes a black officer, blackmail officer. -- black male officer. he looks at me, looks at the veteran officer i had in the corner. he goes, what's going on? she points at the guy who was still laying where she left him and said, that s.o.b., he assaulted me and tried to interfere with what i was trying to do.
the black officer said, oh yeah? he goes over to the guy and said, man, get up. he looked up at him and said, get you see i can't get up? the officer said, man, get the -- up. the kid said, you see i can't get up. the officer grabbed him and his shirt, picked him up, slammed him into the house so his face was against the house and his hands are behind his back. he cuffed him up. the kid is still leaning against the house. he's saying, get in that car because i'm taking you in for assault on an officer. the kid was leaning on the house, looking at him. i'll never forget the look in his eyes. he was a mix of anger, hurt, surprise, fear, all of that. he was looking at this brother in front of him thinking, why are you doing this to me? he said it one last time. he said man, you see i can't go. the officer dropped down and grabbed this kid, pulled up like that.
if you have your hands bound behind your back and can't move them and somebody grabs you by your ankles and pulls up as hard as they can, what do you think happens? you hit your head pretty hard, don't you? and he did. and he drug him down that porch and through the yard and threw him in the car. we got back to the station and we are all in the sergeants room and we all get into it. first the female officer. if you ever interfere with me again while i'm doing police work -- that's how she characterized what she had done -- i will never write with you again. -- ride with you again. i'm already thinking, that's a damn good idea.
the other officer leaning back and forth a bit. the sergeant, look, we have work to do. puts us all back in service. and we all went akin service -- back in service. that was that. what always bothered me about that encounter, what always has stayed with me to this very day, was the reason the kid kept telling the officer, don't you see that i can't go? the reason he was saying that is because when he first came to the door and saw me and the other officer standing there and he cracked the door open, he was standing there on crutches. she snatched him off his crutches to do that to him. and nobody was in the house. and it was his home.
and he was in violation of no law. no law. i got one more for you to set the foundation and then we will talk. young kid, 21, 22 at the time. 2006 comes to us, brought to our attention. this is when i was at hbo. about an assault committed on him by police officers in st. louis. at a traffic stop, one of those checkpoints situations where they set up a check point and every car that comes through has to stop, and he's at the checkpoint one night. and, he stops. the officer is at a distance and he can't understand at some
point what the officer is directing him to do. and so he gets out of his car to find out more about what he needs to do because he has somewhere to be. he gets out of the car. the officer says, get akin there -- back in there. because he has somewhere he urgently needs to be, he approaches the officer anyway in an attempt to explain that and find out what it is he needs to do so he can move through the checkpoint. instead of offering him an explanation for his simple act of noncompliance, which these days can get you killed, the officer proceeds to assault him physically, he maces him, chokes him up with that mace, eyes burning, and get ready to arrest him for assault on an officer or resisting arrest.
every time elyse beat you up, they charge you with resisting arrest -- police beat you up, they charge you with resisting arrest. at some point, one of the supervising officers arrives and a decision is made to finally let anthony get medical attention, which they initially denied to him, and to release him. this was largely due to the fact that at some point, they realized that the assault the officer committed on anthony had caused him to miss his flight back to iraq for his second tour of duty in the united states army. i interviewed anthony at length, and to hear anthony, this black kid, this soldier, described to me how he felt that he had no rights here in the united states that anyone were bound to
recognize how he had always felt this way because the police had always treated him this way and his family this way including his mother, was disappointing, to say the least. these kinds of experiences are part of the daily lived reality of lack people everywhere in this country, -- black people everywhere in this country, particularly in the urban poors of this country, and you need to fully understand that when you see black lives matter, this is what they are talking about. they are talking about the real, lived experiences of people, and they are tired, we are tired -- this is generations old, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters have experienced this going back to who knows when and there has been zero accountability for any of it because, as police
officers, we always can fall back on that narrative of heroism, sacrifice, risk, some of the favorite words of many of the most public police apologists that you see all the time in the mainstream media, people like karaoke, former new york city detective, the town crier of police apologists. no how he had always felt this way because the police had always treated in this way, his family this way, including his mother, was disappointing to say the least. these kinds of experiences are part of the daily, live reality of black people this country, particularly in urban cores of america, and you need to stand that see black lives matter, this is what they are talking about.
it is not the only thing they are talking about, but they are talking about the lived experiences of people, and they are tired. his generation old, fathers and sons, mothers and fathers that have experienced this going back to knows when because there has been zero accountability for any of it because as police officers we can always fall back on the narrative of heroism, sacrifice, risk -- some of the favorite words of the public apologies. people like harry houck, people to justify anything the police will do on the street. you know, this is where we are. what about the more serious cases? -- cases we have seen? where we have seen absolutely no accountability for all that violate our human rights and civil liberties. eric garner -- and garner -- eric garner hundred hundreds. make no mistake -- murdered in front of us. make no mistake. murdered on the street. an officer using any legal chokehold --an illegal chokehold and he willfully does this with zero expectation that he and his cohorts will be held accountable. in the aftermath you get a police union boss, chin up, chest out, not only justify this murder, but on his officers turned their backs on the mayor of new york, mayor deblasio, for having the nerve to describe the real lived experience of him and
his family when he talks to his biracial kids about how to deal with police. lynch would do better to have his officers stopped turning their backs on our human rights. he would do much better in that regard. sandra bland. sandra bland, encounters an officer and rightfully is indignant at a nonsense stop, and correctly uses the right to our extended to her under the constitution, only to be met from the contempt of the officer -- for having the nerve as a black woman to object to him. he is asking her to put out a cigarette after a woman is issued. their interaction is done. if you have received a summons for me, we have conducted our business, i am out. i am not standing there saying by the way, i want you to the cigarette out, and if we do not get out, we somehow escalate to the point where i am saying i'm going to like you up, it you with the -- hit you with the
50,000 volts because i do not like you. we have to come to a place where officers see the inherent value of everyone they serve in their community tamir rice -- community. tamir rice. i am going to everyone and i think it is important. this goes on nationally. as a different perspective from long or synthetic knowledge is our ugly history when it comes to race, racism. tamir rice -- the child was shot within two seconds of the police officer arriving. he barely exited the vehicle. this was an officer had a
history of failure in his performance area -- the department that he left to go to the cleveland police department said he was unfit for duty, particularly when it relates to firearms. in the report that comes out he thinks he saw tamir rice reaching for his waistband when you were notified by one caller it could be a toy gun. whether it was a toy gun or a real gun, for you to pull up on a shooter like that is asinine. then you fire. then his sister shows up, and you in the back of the car before you administer health to the child. that happened in black committees. contrast that with the recent shooting in louisiana, a six-year-old boy, tragic, should not have happened, but the two black officers that shot that can have been indicted, quickly, and the $1 million bond set for both of them.
freddie gray. freddie gray. he did not leave his home in baltimore on april 12, 2014, with a broken back and a crushed pipe, and he did not do it himself, yet officers would assert that is the case and become indignant when we do not believe them. ellen mosley, the state's attorney for baltimore, who have the courage and integrity to indict the officers was met with the vitriol, aggressive response, attacks on her and her family by the police union there and the officers there because i am telling you, they want zero accountability. zero. none.
that is why this movement that you see growing around you -- that is why the unity that you didn't amongst in the -- you created in the communities amongst you in the communities you come from, that is why the unity to build and the move that you build is so vital to the change that we need to see because historically there has been no recognition of the value of black life in this country. period. it is ok to say black lives matter. yes, we have had our moments. them have been moments when people of all races have come together and given us some victories, but there has never been, in the history of this country -- never, a consensus -- nationally, a majority, that says you know what? everyone here should be equally valued in every process that we
have. we all agree with that. there has always been at least half the country, millions of people, more than half sometimes, who would fight that with everything in them -- everything in them. that is the american reality. i am not talking about the american narrative. i talking about the american reality. when it comes to precedent, there is good reason to those officers to be sure they won't be held accountable, especially when it comes to black life. trayvon martin, another kid, stopped, and then kid by george zimmerman, a man, who from what i have seen and heard, gives us all a good example of a text book coward. all of his fights are with women and children. he engages tehran -- tehran martin after he was told not to buy the real police. then he gets off on the stand your ground law. contrast that with melissa alexander's case in florida.
a woman, who upon being confronted by a man who had a history of physically and literally assaulting her, and announced to her he was about to physically assault her. she fired a shot, a warning shot , hitting no one, killing no one. and she was sent to 20 years in prison. the process distorted by race and racism get us a result like that and you can believe a lot of people in florida were good with that -- comfortable with that. the last case i want to talk about nationally -- there are more, but i know i am unlimited time to michael brown. michael -- time.
michael brown. michael brown was killed 10 minutes from my house, killed by darren wilson in ferguson. there were credible witnesses that described the shooting scene, and it was a case that should have been tried on the facts in front of a jury, but the prosecutor was determined to prevent that, don't -- don't the case in front of the grand jury and told them to sort through it. including the testimony of a hostile witness, who could not have been and was not physically present at the time michael was shot. this was a prosecutor has a history of that kind of thing. 20 years earlier, a notorious shooting in a jack-in-the-box parking lot filled with students from a local school, and carried out an operation two suspects,
killing them both, both of them unarmed, one of them may gainfully employed father. that goes to a grand jury, and it is later discovered afterward mcauliffe lied about elements of testimony in the case -- the elements, -- key elements. but he gets this case, the thing with it, and darren wilson was allowed to leave and get his story straight. much was made about what michael brown may or might not have been doing that day? was there a strong-arm robbery? aca -- is he a thug? black criminality is common in this country. we do not always handle youthful poor choices that way.
i came across something about an actor named mark wahlberg. anybody know who mark wahlberg is? a famous guy, well-paid, millionaire. when mark was a kid like michael brown, he brutally assaulted two men, one of whom he knocked unconscious while shouting racist taunts at him. a vietnamese guy. another man he beat so brutally that he permanently blinded him in one eye. on the tape they showed me of michael, he shoved somebody. you had officers, officials, elected people saying that is enough -- his death is warranted because look at the kind of kid he was. he pushed that guy.
good thing we gave mark wahlberg a chance to get his life. it is a good thing we saw he was redeemable. and what about black on black crime? what about it, while i am here? people say or ask where are the protests when blacks kill other blacks, as if that is an offset for the human rights violations, civil rights violations, and brutality received from people sworn to protect and serve us and are empowered by law? first, people commit crimes where they are against the people around them, where you live. so there is black on black crime, white on white crime, hispanic on hispanic crime. it is crime. a better question is where are the organized efforts to address violence in black communities? they take place all the time in st. louis. i've been part of many of them and many of my colleagues are in the continuous, ongoing efforts
to push back against the kinds of things that we see that contribute to the violence in our community and directly address it at the community level, the grassroots level, in some cases, door to door. when we have not been able to do is slow the defunding of public education, slow chronic unemployment, or the mass incarceration. we have not been able to do that. deprivation and hopelessness -- you put those together anywhere, and you will get what you get, whether that is in st. petersburg, russia, warsaw, poland, st. louis, missouri, the bahamas -- wherever you create those conditions, you will have what you have. it is not mysterious. but it's not only the violence
we talk about when we address in our community and it is important to talk about the -- this because what it comes down to is the lost future. you talk about young people losing their lives. what might he or she had been? what might he or she had given to us? what have we lost? violence is a problem and i will tell you the problems in a minute, but the number of people lost to violence in our community doesn't begin to approach the number of futures lost in our community to a criminal justice system that is at its core institutionally racist and works in concert with a public prison industry that -- private prison industry that trades publicly on the stock market and insist that states insure the businesses they build and run for profit and 90% occupied.
i will say this about the issue. the specific problem i have is personal. it pains me that our young, descendents of the community that has been targeted for suffering and abuse marginalization and deprivation, , enslaved, exploited, diminished at every turn, would now turn the gun on us and each other. that part of it pains me. i look at what chicago, st. louis, and other cities, and i
pray for a raised consciousness in this community to get a clearer picture of they are, where they are, and how they got where we are. moreover, i would call out -- i would call out our entertainers -- the ones who profit from the death of our brothers, moving and message in our community that the death of your brother is your mission in life, and if this is not your mission, ain't about nothing with us, and who profit from sending that point -- poison to us and who see the blood on our streets and glorify and encourage it further. when you're right of freedom of expression was bought and paid for with the blood and sacrifice of the people that came before you get conscience, man. , wake up. stop allowing yourself to be
used by a system that has destroyed us since we landed. none of this. none of it changes the fact that institutional racism is at the foundation. list intoxamples to short a time to do it. but nothing we can talk about changes. realitycan change the of the problems and issues we have to come to grips with as a country to move forward. you cannot sweep it under the rug, you can't say hey look over there. none of that. equal treatment under the law is the american narrative, not the american reality. we are going to have a deeply -- dig deep within ourselves.
to make the discussion more , and not just in this room, but nationally, for the nation, here's how to make this racial discussion. we talk about black and white but we have other races. understand it, accept it, you can go forward. the problems i'm talking about here tonight and that i talk about in all the places that i discuss them when it comes to race and racism and institutional racism in our history with it, no one in this auditorium tonight is under indictment -- the white people in the room -- is under indictment for any of this. why? because you did not create the conditions. we were all born into this reality. it was like this when we got here.
we were born into. you did not do this. trust me, it was like this when you showed up. you are alive now. our responsibility, is to acknowledge fully what that reality is -- not the narrative, the reality of our history is, where as now, and do something about it, collectively, together. that is our role. that will allow us to have the discussion. i will have to close, because i was told i have 30 minutes, and i know i'm getting there. there are things we can do change the dynamic between police and community that they serve, the police-community relationship, the break down in it was the genesis of the movement that we see. of course, it has expanded to
the discussion of race and its impact across all of our system, whether you are talking about education, health care -- you name it, but relative to police and community, the first and foremost piece that we have to address accountability. accountability. there is already plenty of good training. i have heard people talk about that new, this new training. we have great training already that officers receive, but it is worthless if you do not have officers adhere to the policy and are not held accountable. officers violated their own policies and no one is held accountable. all we get is headlines with his chin of just looking like a doofus. -- chest out looking like a doofus. one of the things i would like
-- us become involved building a movement within the justice system itself, nationally, starting with people who come from infected communities, black and brown communities who work in the criminal justice system -- judges, attorneys, police officers, correction officers. we can collect ourselves within that system and demand and force the changes we want to see relative to how it operates in our community and its function in our communities. there are enough of us, and it is right -- we have the moral high ground here, man. that is one of the things i would like to see. another thing that i think you go a long way toward resolving the issues that i have seen as a special prosecutor in all cases
involving use of force by a police officer result serious injury or death. the relationship between prosecutors and police departments are too close to have a reasonable expectation that the department is going after the officer in the department they working alliance with almost 100% of the time. bob mccullough is a prime example of that. recently sued by a grand jury because he thought he had a propensity to look at things differently. he is a former aclu attorney. i think i know you. bob mccullough takes him off the grand jury in violation of state law. think they do not shape outcomes? you think they do not decide get justice and does not? it leads me to my next point -- in cases that resulted in serious injury or death, eliminate the grand jury.
yes, eliminate the grand jury. it is a secretive process that in too many cases involving police misconduct result in the elimination of accountability for police officers because the prosecutor has advocated for the officer in front of the grand jury and does not have to be tried on the fact. either that, or have the arguments for indictment to race with a public can be present. the last thing i would tell you is to support the movement that you see -- it is an american movement. don't be afraid of black lives matter. these are young people who are american citizens, just like you, but they want their rights recognized, and their right to live, their right dignity, recognized. it is not negotiable for them.
it is not up for, really, discussion and they are citizens here, too, and they fully understand the history. so, as i close my remarks, i am first of all amazed i was able to get through them. i thought i was out on my feet. they ran me ragged. i had no idea what i was when i got up at 4:30 this morning to fly to delaware, but i am glad i came, and i appreciate you giving me your time and valuing what you thought i might have to say enough to be here tonight, and i look forward to engaging you. said the questions need to be respectful, and they do, but nothing is off limits. you can challenge me, because i believe in free and open dialogue. i think that is the way forward,
and thank you for your patience with me tonight. thank you. [applause] mr. hudson: was that too long? professor hoffman: no, you are fine. thank you so much for being here. you are the final speaker in the series we have had all semester long about race in america. we have talked about the black lives matter movement, the civil rights movement. you are here in this unique role as having served as a police officer and now, kind of, speaking out against uncivil things that you saw. as the cofounder of the national coalition of law enforcement for justice, reform, and accountability -- a long name -- how did you go from being a police officer to seeking to hold those same officers accountable? mr. hudson: it was not a huge transition when i came to the department.
i came with the same ideology, personal philosophy, disposition -- everything about me was the same when i joined the department. ultimately, that is what led to me leaving that work because i am who i am. i was profoundly disillusioned, though, more than i was before i became a police officer. i became profoundly disillusioned with the justice system in the united states and the conduct of some of my colleagues in particular, and i knew i had to stop being a part of that system. now, let me be clear about this -- i realize i have not said this tonight and it is important that i do. there are good police officers. there are good police officers. there are good people doing a very difficult job under very difficult circumstances, who have to make very difficult decisions, sometimes, and they deserve our support. it is a tough job.
my contention is that the number of officers that will willfully abuse their authority and your human rights and your civil rights is too big a number to not have a systemic policy response in place to deal with those people, but there are good offices in the country. professor hoffman: so, i am going to pull up -- to work here. you have had a couple of op-ed, editorials that have come up, and i recommend people looking at these articles from "the washington post" and vox. my students said the store you story spoke about the young black man with the crutches -- it was upsetting and
frustrating to read about. were there other situations like that you have encountered during your time with the police force? >> there have been situations i have encountered, situations i have been made aware of. it is a very common occurrence to see people's rights abused for little or no reason at all , for simple asked -- acts of noncompliance. this, i am aware, for example, of a colleague -- it is very interesting. him and i initially, we were probably -- would not say we were adversaries, but we were not necessarily best buddies. his father was a chief of police and his father got into politics opposite a guy that was the first african-american mayor st. louis that i worked on security detail. i was on his security detail. i used to be in shape. i am telling you.
this guy, while he was in the department, in the bureau, the detective bureau he walked in on , one of his officers who was threatening a black subject in a chair with a taser held at it hims genitals and telling he was going to say what he wanted to or else. my colleague walked in on that and he stopped it, rightfully, and he woke the guy up, he sees the taser, and immediately as , you would expect, he was ostracized, we do not deal with you. at the trial for this thing, i was the only person that showed up -- him and his dad,
ironically -- that showed up in support of him. every other officer from the union and anywhere else was aligned against him. how dare he stopped him from threatening this suspect and ruin his good name. incidents like that -- i am telling you, i cannot impress upon you enough -- these are not isolated, few and far between kind of things. these things are part of the daily, lived experience, and the collective experience of black people all over this country. professor hoffman: so, 15 years out of your experience in the st. louis police department, i have a picture of hear from demonstrators reacting after learning the police officer shot michael brown would not face charges out side of the police station in ferguson, missouri, just about one year ago on november 20. -- november 24. 15 years after being out, what was your reaction? mr. hudson: disappointed, but
not surprised. i knew robert mcculloch was doing everything he could. it was clear early on he would do everything needed to avoid holding darren wilson accountable, and i was not surprised by it. nor was i surprised by the reaction of the community. let me share something with you to give you a sense of the community. you see those young people turn out -- here is what they have lived, what their parents have lived. i gave a know your rights workshop four months ago in st. louis during at the end of which come in -- which a , gentleman in his mid-50's, said when i was a young man, i was moving furniture, and a police officer came up to question me about it. and he explained that he was moving.
later that same day, and evening, at night, the same officer had him face down, in a shotgun at his head, accusing him of taking things. that took place 30 years ago where mike brown lived. 30 years ago. imagine the accumulated experience in history of the people in that community. we had credible witnesses that contradicted darren's story, which he got together, and he was never sent to trial. no one ever got the chance to hear the credible testimony.
even if you accept his version, an officer, if i am using deadly force against you because i feel threatened why did you , fire and shot at michael brown while he was running away from you? if i am moving away, am i a threat, am i a threat, i am not. why are you firing at me and you do not think he had a weapon because your statement was he was wrestling and fighting with you over yours. retained it, so that nothing. it should have went to trial. professor hoffman: in addition to your work with looking at police behavior, you have also done some research on human rights abuses, particularly in the st. louis city jails with the aclu. you release the report,
"suffering in silence" available online. in 2009 it demonstrated numerous human rights abuses city jail. what has changed since then? mr. hudson: not much. we were told we had some agenda. ultimately everything we alleged with them to be true and then some. they are facing a number of lawsuits now described in the report. systemic change is difficult. you have to have people that work to acknowledge the problem. they are trying, from what i understand, in recent, to make some changes by the system, but it is very difficult. the prison system is what it is rampant abuse. , we, as a society, even if we
do not believe it, we accept the were idea, at least, that the moment you cross the threshold of a jail or prison, your constitutional right are suspended, which is particularly ironic in jail settings where you are being, in many cases, been held over for trial and are innocent until proven guilty, still, but they are violating your rights on a daily basis. i am talking about brutal beatings, sexual assaults, medical deprivations -- if you have medications and you are incarcerated, and it is being denied to you, that is a problem. we found all of those things when we did that report, and i am glad we were able to shed some light on it, but i know that is widespread. professor hoffman: it is going to take more work? mr. hudson: is going to take more work and a commitment to understand the value of living up to our stated ideals.
professor hoffman: one of the common questions i had from my students. as part of the series, there is a class associated, and my 25 students do research on the speakers, and many are concerned and interested about these body cameras. both tia and tony are asking our body cameras a sufficient solution -- is there something else that should be done to hold police officers accountable? mr. hudson: i think body cameras are a great part of solving the issues. the issue of accountability, of course. with those body cameras, you can be sure there will be a flight -- fight all the way through the process to the point where we see they are uniformly and consistently use by department because many departments right now are on one hand except in the idea that the body cameras
are accepting the idea the body cameras are a good idea, but at the same time they are trying to limit the public's access to the footage the body came a produce is. they want to hold it for 14 days, 21 days, before it is released, and i do not think there is enough trust in the relationship for anyone to be comfortable with the idea of a police department having so -- so -- soul access and custody of video footage gained from an officer's conduct might be under investigation for some potentially criminal act, you are the guys that are holding it. it is the fox guarding the henhouse. additionally, empowered civilian review oversight is something that should be in play, although i have not seen many models nationally that i would describe as wildly successful, usually because they lack the kind of authority and autonomy that would make them effective in the oversight of the police department, and the go-two argument therefore a police department is civilian not understand what we do, you do
not understand the process and procedure, you do not understand what it's like to make a split-second decision, on and on, but don't ever discount common sense. in the value of explanation. if you can tell me what you did, i can make a good decision on which side of right and wrong or illegal and legal that you landed on. professor hoffman: we had an exciting day on campus. we had a new president of the university. mr. hudson: i heard. where is he? professor hoffman: i think they are doing other events. mr. hudson: could have come to this. [laughter] professor hoffman: today, didn't students hadtion,
the national collegiate blackout standing with students of color, by eventsy motivated at the university of missouri. what is happening on that campus -- what is the history of race and racism on that campus, and how can students at the university of delaware and across the country work to make a difference on their campus? mr. hudson: it is a long history in missouri. i am 51 years old. there are people that i know that attended the university that attended and they were all on our facebook feed talking about what happened when they were there and how it lined up exactly with what is going on now -- nothing has changed. everyone was collectively, very proud of what the young people at the university of missouri were able to do under these circumstances, and we think it has applications broadly, nationally, because the issue is not only at the university of missouri.
there is no state university in the country that i think the not faith that kind of -- does not face that kind of issue on some level coast to coast, and i think students can do what they are doing already -- get involved, and you see a beautiful synthesis of like-minded students from all backgrounds. not just black students, but white students, asians, hispanics students. you have international is coming together to say we wanted world and a country where we are all equally valued and respected, our dignity, lives, futures. we are going to work together to create that in spite of this nation's is and in spite of the powers in place who would write against these young people to sustain -- would fight against these young people to sustain the system we are in now. professor hoffman: we will get some microphones set up to ask questions, but do you have any strategies in mind that could kick off these changes that would better change the justice system.
comes from emily. you mentioned ways to change the practices and police department. what are practical things that could happen now? mr. hudson: there are two. i do not believe in broad programs, but there are two and they dovetail nicely. the one is on me and us and those in the system. i am a firm believer that significant part of the change that we want to see has to come from inside of the system. the people system have the most immediate opportunity and power to really force change in it. the second thing is to add that effort to the already existing movement that is on the ground, from coast to coast, to work together with folks from
everywhere -- black lives matter, and the other positive. there is movement -- any other positive movement. there is movement to work with those organizations for the changes we want to see. with that pressure coming from the outside and a critical mass of people inside the system willing to have the same commitment to change, i think we can see it happen, and i think the climate in the country is ripe for it here. it is not lost on anybody -- it is not lost on anybody that the demographics in the country are changing, and i think, unfortunately, many of the worst opponent of equal treatment under the law and equal access to opportunity are the people that would fight hardest against the changes that we want to see. there is no coincidence. none. it is not a coincidence that when barack obama was elected president, the covers came off. the covers came off. come on. as soon as he was elected
president, he saw what nation was about in pockets, and we saw a growing number of local -- vocal raises that are vehemently opposed black -- the merely opposed to black progress. and not have to give into that. at the end of the day we are all americans and want what is best for our communities, families, country, and together we can move in that direction, but it has to be premised on the idea that equal treatment under the law has to become a reality and not just a narrative. professor hoffman: thank you for answering the question. i'm sure the audience has questions. we have microphones. we are open to questions.
if you raise your hand, our student can come down and hand to the microphone to have a question for our speaker. mr. hudson: did i do a really good job? professor hoffman: he answered all of your questions. mr. hudson: don't answer that. i'm setting myself up for the abuse when i ask that question. there comes the abuse. >> you talk about making the conversation between police -- mr. hudson: i hear him. you cannot hear him?
>> you talk about what the conversation -- it could be a statement or something you can respond to -- i think we need to feel the uncomfortableness because people cannot understand without some kind of vulnerability. mr. hudson: i think your point is well made. i agree with you. maybe i should add a different choice of words. rather than comfortable, i should have said accessible -- the way to get us into the space where we could be a little uncomfortable is to understand at the bottom of it nobody is under indictment. nobody is going to be guilty and innocent in the sense of people that are present and willing to work for change. so, yeah, there is going to be
some discomfort. it is unavoidable because of who we are as a country, and when i say that, i am going to go ahead and share this -- well, i will say this for the end. there is a story i tell and i am sure it will be the guide, but it is -- vilified, but it is true. i will go ahead and tell it now. in three minutes. my dad died 86. my mother was remarried three years later. nice guy. i would go by their home. the guy she married with joseph jones. he was an avid reader. he had a book on his table i happened to pick up and it was called "the black press" as media. it was about the black press in america from the mid-1800s to the early-1900s, and first of all, i was floored. i did not realize we had a black press at that time in our nation's history.
and to see -- you can imagine the kinds of things they were writing about. they were all intelligently written articles, coherent, just really. -- brilliant. i came across one. when i see the conditions we are trying to address the exist -- i came across one article, a response from an editor to a speech that he heard. this speech was given by a white man that he longed to the american, -- that belonged to the american colonization society and the american colonization society advocated for the repatriation of african-americans back to africa. they said they do not belong here. we want them out of here.
they should go. let's put together an effort -- especially free blacks -- have to get out of the country. the editor of the paper angrily responded to -- the rage was coming off the page -- this comment. i will do their research because i talk about it so much, i will be challenged, the book exists, but i am not clear if he was directly quoting the guy or paraphrasing, but either way the words on the page where these to the effect that" blacks to get out of this country. need them out of here because this country, america, the united states, will never treat them equally and value them equally. not god nor conscience, nor the bible, could make it so. let that sink in. not god, religion, the bible -- not conscience -- the things that animate them in conduct, behavior, -- animate human conduct, behavior, and life, he believed, could let them treat blacks as anything they have ever been treated.
see quoting or freezing -- francis got key -- francis got -- francis scott key's, the man who wrote the national anthem. that is what he believed. when i say we were born into this reality, i mean it. when i say we have a real opportunity to bring substantive change to the nation, i believe it. we can do that, but we have to acknowledge the reality of who we are and where we have come from, and not just the narrative.
professor hoffman: we have a question from twitter as well as some of my students, and jordan and brooke, and parker from twitter -- basically, you mentioned in several articles that racial sensitivity classes are not enough to help stop brutality. what are some other tactics you recommend for either preventing that, or repercussions? mr. hudson: the only one that works is punishment. the only thing that will get us to where we need to be his actual punishment for misconduct or violation. everything else will fall short. until we see officers incarcerated for their violations, their criminal acts, that is it.
many officers can be dismissed from a department for misconduct, but only to be hired by the department in the next disability over or just municipality over or 1 -- municipality over, or county over. that is it. that is the bottom-line. professor hoffman: let's open it up to the audience for another question. raise your hand if there is a question over here. christie. christie: hi, so -- oh, gosh. as a student, i am studying public policy, and this is something very interesting to me. what can we do to solve this -- what actions can a normal person take or someone that wants to go into public service could do to help resolve this issue? mr. hudson: first and foremost, keep your foot on the gas. keep doing what you are already doing -- mobilizing, taking actions across the country. don't stop.
don't give up. don't slow down. then, as you advance your career or career path, your ideals with you and get yourself in a position -- some public policy position, to affect public policy change, and be the same strong advocate in the public arena after you leave here as you are right. -- as you are right now. professor hoffman: and this is a question our students often have -- what can they do, where can they go from here?
mr. hudson: pretty much what i told her -- keep doing what you are doing. you are having a tremendous -- it is furious from the standpoint that somehow you would watch an officer doing his job prevents him from doing his job, what an indictment of the system that is. what they are telling you is that you watch me, i cannot work. that is ridiculous. you have an impact on the national discussion, the national agenda, which, in turn, is going to affect policy, ultimately. you are having an impact. continue to maintain your enthusiasm, energy, your clarity, and your conscience, and do the work that you do as you develop yourself individually, and keep it in the relationship that you are building. keep showing us to build community and bridges across the spectrum of people that come into contact with you. >> i study technology and the impact of technology on politics, and i think around this issue we have seen people
using cell phones and smartphones to capture incidents like a few weeks ago -- a viral video showing a research officer at a south carolina officer slamming a student to the ground, tossing her several feet across the floor. what rattled me the most was that none of the other students reacted. this was a normal reality. the officer has been fired, but what can we do? mr. hudson: we need to remove these officers from the schools period. we never had officers in school. i was appalled. you talked about the students not reacting, i was more appalled by the african-american administrative said it was all right -- i am good with what happened. you must be crazy. for him to walk in and assault that child like that was beyond the pale, totally unnecessary,
unjustifiable, and he should have been hired. it is that kind -- fired. it is that kind of reaction that reflects -- i am harking on it tonight but this is exactly why you hear the young people say black lives matter. had that been a white 16-year-old girl, he would not have touched her like that. he thought he could do it in that setting with that child, and that is a problem, and it goes to accountability. i am glad to see him gone, and i hope he is out of law enforcement altogether if that is going to be his approach to the children in my community. professor hoffman: i know we will have more questions from the audience. i hopefully will wrap up my questions with this 1 -- in delaware, as in other states, there is no minimum age for a child to be charged as an adult. this varies by state, but in a
recent report by al jazeera america, black youth are over-represented. the suicide and sexual abuse rates of young prisoners are much higher than older prisoners. how should states and prisoners be treating youth as opposed to adults? mr. hudson: like youth. their brains are different. you wouldn't want to be held accountable for a decision i made at 12, 13, 14 years old, for the rest of my life. i understand accountability, and there are serious crimes by young kids they need to be held accountable for, but to deprive them of the opportunity of redemption, of ever having the opportunity to give something back from those they have taken away from to become a productive member in our society -- that is not who we really are, and luckily, all of us should understand -- i would venture to guess there is not a person in this room -- i am not looking at a room full of angels.
no, sir, and no, ma'am. i am under no illusion that anyone in this room, including myself, could easily have done some things that you got away with -- whatever, but here you are now at this stage in your life and this is the person you are, fully positioned and fully prepared to do something positive and great. i think that opportunity should be afforded to everyone after we have held them accountable for the things they do, but particularly the younger you are, and for drug-related offenses and things like that -- errors in judgment more than anything, we need to understand that our youth are our youth and treat them differently than we do adults in our system. mr. hudson: let's take a request -- professor hoffman: take another
question from the audience. down here in the front. thank you, abby. >> thank you. talking about accountability, i go back to detroit, the fires in 1967. i look at sharpton, and what was her name -- marley. mr. hudson: i know sharp. >> he had the rally when it was found out it was incorrect she got raped. mr. hudson: the little girl. >> right. also looking at duke and the lacrosse -- where is the accountability from that side, and for you not to speak for issues on that side -- you were talking about police matters, but not the other side. why are you not standing up in
questioning some of the people on the other side? professor hoffman: so, when people are falsely accused of a crime that is race. mr. hudson: that is always wrong, but i came to talk about police committees, not to talk about sharpton, the lacrosse team. however, what we are all talking about is equal treatment under the law and people being equally valued. when it was discovered those lacrosse players were falsely accused, they were exonerated and the woman was held to some account for what she had done. but there are instances of exploiting situations. sharpton has been accused of that. this young lady was clearly guilty of that.
but the weight of the instances you and i could name that involve black people running white in the public sphere for discrediting white to the public's fear i think personally is in comparison to the number injureds targeted and by a system that has been in place since the country's genesis and has persisted to this very moment as we sit here and talk. it's apples and oranges. falseon was wrong for his presentation of those facts and the young lady was wrong and those players were exonerated. >> another question from the audience. you have a green shirt on. >> considering the events in the past week with paris and refugees, president obama has
made multiple statements regarding them but the one thing ont became a trending topic social media was that he said his speeches. of do think the media is perpetuating these types of stereotypes by sensationalizing they do?k" things >> probably yes but that's the national media. people are now sophisticated enough to know the mainstream american media is not necessarily the best primary resource of information you can have. i think people take what they present to us at face value and we get for it what we will and we look for other sources of information to give us a more complete picture of the issue but the media and this president
have had that kind of relationship for some time particularly certainly the outlast that would vilify him at every turn. i'm not always in 100 bird -- 100% in agreement with the president but the blackness , we are rolling with president obama. we support him, i support him, and i'm proud of the turns he has had. there issues with which i would disagree with positions he has taken. the media is going to do what the media does. they have to generate readership. think we had one more question on this side. right back there. >> i'm going to stand, if you don't mind. >> yes, sir. past saturday, we had a
conference here at the chase center and there were about 500 people there. 40/60 mix ofa black and white and it really is and was all about this issue. they is because that was opening event of things to come so i'm kind of offering the group here asking what did -- can they do, they can join that movement here in the delaware area. there are a lot of things going on. i'm going to get to a question. i am a few years older than you. probably 30.
this kind of question is really where do we go from here? are we undertaking an impossible task? you went back in history. my mother worked at this issue until she was 92. i don't know that she ever learned to like white people during that. period. but she worked with them in an effort to change the world. she did shut down a number of drugstores that wouldn't serve black people. a lot of history in my life that keeps me at it. as i look at my grandchildren and all the issues of police, i have been through a lot of those areas. is there a solution? is it just a matter of staying
with it and working at a -- at it? he mentioned there was never a time that there was a pleasant time between the races in the country so will there ever be? >> i will build off this question. winky. is there -- inc. you. is there hope? are the people of color fighting a losing battle? hope.answer is there is i believe we are in a position evolve, that condition of a better relationship between the people who live in this country of the different races coming into play. small part too the fact the demographics of the in 30y are changing and or 40 years, brown people will do the majority of the country.
people are people. usingot going to be about those numbers and turning the tables. i think the generation in front a greater focus on human rights and equality then many preceding generations notwithstanding the civil rights but i think right now, confluence of changing numbers in our country racially and changing ideas and motivation and energy on the people you are a part of the changing numbers. opportunitye is an if we seize it, if we have enough courage to acknowledge the reality of the country and what has been and what we want to be and the the work of getting to that place. i believe it can happen. i feel like i have to believe that because i have kids too.. herewant to thank everyone
in the audience for being here. it's been a really important semester in talking about race and i really want to come as director of the series, continue the dialogue online, on twitter, and other forums. please don't hesitate to contact me if you want to speak more about this. thank you so much for being here and thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. [applause] >> on the next washington journal, gina smiley on the
economic outlook for the year ahead and consumer spending and job creation. washington journal, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. with congress on holiday we spent us -- holiday recess, the c-span network has a lineup of prime time programming. 8:00 p.m., journalists who have risked their lives covering the middle east. tuesday night at 8:00, celebrity activists speak out on a variety of issues. wednesday night, events from the c-span