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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 12, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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than normal in this fall presidential election and tonight, gary johnson is our guest on newsmakers. aswill discuss his candidacy well as his views on donald trump and hillary clinton. newsmakers is at 8:00 eastern followed by your reaction. >> sunday night on q&a, clinton rayfield, talks about his students' award-winning documentary, some of which have been grand prize winners. he teaches that jenks high school in jenks, oklahoma. personnot the kind of who will look at something that is not very good and say, that is nice. i will say what is not working. eventually, every single one of my kids makes a better piece than they did in the beginning, every single one of them. and eventually the kids that do very well internalize all of this stuff so why no longer have
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to say it to them. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. >> on saturday, c-span's issue deals,ht looks at trade their impact on the economy, jobs, and the presidential election. >> we will defend american jobs and american workers by saying bad trade deals like the transpacific partnership and unfair trade practices. >> the state of pennsylvania has lost one third of their manufacturing jobs since the clinton put china into the wto. nafta,ncludes a look at the 1994 free trade agreement between the united states, mexico, and canada. exports, our markets, and more democracy for our allies. >> a discussion on how the
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founding fathers viewed free-trade. the unitedally states was simply not a free trade nation for most of american history. the uris is in fact a tariff protected in economy. in-depth examination -- >> by the time the wto was being negotiated or its smaller sister, nafta, 800 more pages of specifics, rules and regulations, nothing inevitable here. when these two were being negotiated, the u.s. had as official advisers 500 corporate advisors. >> watch our issue spotlight on saturday onon c-span and up next, c-span's issue spotlight on police in race relations.
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>> some headlines from recent weeks. in "the new york times" obama faces growing expectations on race and policing. in "the hill," obama calls for continued talks about race. josh lettermen with the associated press is joining us. the headline of your story reads, "reluctantly, obama leads u.s. into debate on race, policing." why reluctantly? >> the president has found himself caught in the middle on this issue struggling to find , out the right thing to say to the country at a really difficult time. at -- on the one hand you have people that are very supportive of law enforcement who want to see him speaking out against these issues and on the other hand, people want the president to be a leading voice in calling out bias in police departments. and trying to put an end to the death of a lot of black men that we have seen at the hands of
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police in the recent weeks. the president has also talked in the past, especially after the verdict that did not convict george zimmerman after the trayvon martin shooting, they -- that he does not necessarily feel like it is necessarily productive for him to be leading a national conversation on race, that haven't worked that well in the past when politicians have tried to do that. unfortunately, he has found himself in a situation where there is really nothing that he can do because the country is calling for that kind of conversation right now. >> with that in mind, how much time has the president really been spending focused on the police and race relations issue? >> in the past few weeks, it has taken up quite a bit of his time. the president cut short a trip that he made to europe. he rushed home a few days later. he was in dallas speaking at a memorial alongside president george w. bush. he has also been meeting with activists, with law enforcement officers, with civil rights advocates, and others to try to
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figure out what the country can do to try to put an end to the kind of violence we have seen recently. >> president obama's task force on 21st century policing came out with recommendations last year. he has met with activists, police, and political leader as recently as last month. what came out of that meeting? >> nothing came out of the meeting that was different from what the president and his administration had advocated before. that is one of the challenges here. the president is basically saying, "these are the steps that we need to take, but also -- but ones that a lot of law enforcement communities have been taking. some of the specific ones that he is reiterating now are needing more data to be made public by police departments about interactions between officers and communities, particularly controversial interactions. better training for how police officers can deescalate a situation as opposed to allowing it to turn into something more -- into something violent, those
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kinds of suggestions. >> president obama spoke at a for five police officers shot and killed in dallas. this part of the memorial starts and the dallas police chief then we will hear from the president. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you so much.
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when i was a teenager and started liking girls, i could never find the right words to express myself. after a couple of words, they would just walk away leaving me figuring out what i need to do to get a date. so, being a music fan of 1970's rhythm and blues love songs, i put together a strategy to recite the lyrics to get a date. [laughter] so, for girls i liked, i would pull out some al green or some teddy pendergrass or some isley brothers and i would recite the lyrics to their love songs.
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but for people i loved, if i fell in love with the girl, i had to dig down deep and get some stevie wonder. [laughter] [applause] to fully express the love i had for the girl. so today i'm am going to pull out some stevie wonder for these families. [applause] so families, close your eyes and just imagine me in 1974 with an afro and some bellbottoms and a wide collar. we all know sometimes life's hate and troubles can make you
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wish you were born in another time and place. but you can bet your lifetime that, and twice its double that god knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed. so make sure would you say you're not in it, you are not helping to make this earth a place sometimes called hell. change your words into truth and then change that truth into love. maybe your children's grandchildren and their great, great grandchildren will tell them, i will be loving you. until the rainbow burns the stars out of the sky, i will be loving you. until the ocean covers every mountain high, i will be loving you.
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until the dolphin flies and the parents live at the sea, i will be loving you. until we dream of life and life becomes a dream, i will be loving you. until the day is night and night becomes the day, i will be loving you. s up ande trees and sea fly away, i will be loving you. until the day that 8x8 times eight is four, i will be loving you until the day is no more. i will be loving you until the days of earth starts turning right to left, i will be loving you. until mother nature says her work is through, i will be loving you. until the day that you are me and i am you. now ain't that loving you? [applause]
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until the rainbow burns the stars out of the sky. ain't that loving you? until the ocean covers every mountain high. and i have got to say always, i will be loving you always. there is no greater love than this. that these five men gave their lives for all of us. it is my honor to introduce to you the president of the united states of america, president barack obama. thank you. [applause]
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pres. obama: thank you. thank you. thank you very much. to president and mrs. bush, my friend, the vice president and dr. biden, mayor rawlings, chief spiller. clergy, members of congress, chief brown -- i'm so glad i met michelle first because she loves stevie wonder.
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[applause] [laughter] pres. obama: most of all, to families. and friends. and colleagues and fellow officers. scripture tells us that in our sufferings there is glory. because we know that suffering produces perseverance.
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perseverance and character, and character, hope. truths of these words are hard to see. right now, those words test us because the people of dallas, people across the country are suffering. we're here to honor the memory urn the loss of five fellow americans, to grieve with their loved ones, to support this community, to pray for the wounded, and to try to find some meaning amidst our sorrow.
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for the men and women who protect and serve the people of dallas, last thursday began like any other day. like most americans, each day probably have too quick a breakfast, kiss your family goodbye, and head to work. but your work and the work of police officers across the country is like no other. the moment you put on that uniform, you have answered a call that at any moment, even in the briefest interaction, may
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put your life in harms way. his wife katrina was not only the spouse of a police officer but a detective on the force. they have the two kids. lauren took been fishing. they used to probably go to their school in uniform. the night before he died he bought dinner for a homeless man. the next night, katrina had to tell their children that their dad was gone. they don't get it yet, their grandma said. yet.
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michael krol answered that call. his mother said, he knew the dangers of the job but he never shied away from his duty. he came 1000 miles from his home state of michigan to be a cop in dallas, telling his family, "this is something i wanted to do." last year, he brought his girlfriend back to detroit for thanksgiving. that was the last time he would see his family. michael smith answered that call. in the army and over almost 30 years working for the dallas police association, which gave him the appropriately named cops cop award. a man of deep faith. when he was off duty, he could be found at church or playing
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softball with his two girls. today, those girls have lost their dad. for god has called michael home. patrick zamarripa, he answered that call. just 32, a former altar boy who served in the navy and dreamed of being a cop. he liked to post videos of himself and his kids on social media. on thursday night, his partner christie posted a photo of her and her daughter at a texas rangers game and tagged her partners that he could see it while on duty. brent thompson answered that call. he served his country as a marine. contractor,ter as a
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he spent time in some of the most dangerous parts of iraq and afghanistan. a few years ago, he settled down in dallas for a new life of service as a transit cop. just about two weeks ago, he married a fellow officer. their whole life together waiting before them. like police officers across the country, these men and their families shared a commitment to something larger than themselves. they weren't looking for their names to be up in lights. they would tell you the pay was decent but it wouldn't make you rich. they could have told you about the stress and long shifts. they would probably agree with chief brown when he said that
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cops do not expect to hear the words thank you very often, especially from those who need them the most. no, the reward comes in knowing that our entire way of life in america depends on the rule of law. that the maintenance of that law is a hard and daily labor. that in this country, we don't have soldiers in the streets or malicious setting the rules. instead, we have public service. police officers like the men who were taken away from us. that is what these five were doing last thursday when they were assigned to protect and
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keep orderly a peaceful protest in response to the killing of alton sterling in baton rouge and philando castile of minnesota. they are upholding the constitutional rights of this country. for a while, the protest went on without incident. despite the fact that police conduct was the subject of the protest, despite the fact that there must have been science or slogans chants or with which they profoundly disagreed, these men and this department did their jobs like the professionals they were. in fact, the police had been part of the protest plan. dallas pd even posted photos on
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their twitter feeds of their officers standing among the processors. two officers, black and white smile next to a man that had a sign that read "no justice, no peace." then, around 9:00, the gunfire came. another community torn apart. more hearts broken. more questions about what caused and what might prevent another such tragedy. i know that americans are struggling right now with what we have witnessed over the past week. first, the shootings in minnesota and baton rouge, the protests.
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then, the targeting of police by the shooter here, an act not just of demented violence but of racial hatred. all of it left us wounded and angry and hurt. it is as if the deepest faultlines of our democracy of exposed,uddenly been perhaps even widened. although we know that such divisions are not new, that they have surely been worse even in the recent past, that offers us little comfort. faced with this violence, we wonder if the divides of race in america can ever be breached. if an african community that feels unfairly targeted i police, and police
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departments that feel unfairly maligned for doing their jobs can ever understand each other's experience. we turn on the tv or surf the internet and we can watch positions harden and lines drawn. and people retreat to their respective corners. politicians calculate how to grab attention or avoid the fallout. we see all this and it's hard not to think sometimes that the center won't hold and that things might get worse. i understand. i understand how americans are feeling. but, dallas, i'm here to say we must reject such despair. i'm here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem. and i know that because i know
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america. i know how far we've come against impossible odds. [applause] pres. obama: i know we will make it because of what i have experienced in my own life, what i have seen of this country and its people, their goodness and decency, as president of the united states. and i know it because of what we have seen here in dallas, how all of you out of great suffering have shown us the meaning of perseverance and character. and hope. when the bullets started flying, the men and women of the dallas
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police, they did not flinch and they did not react recklessly. they showed incredible restraint. helped in some cases by protesters, they evacuated the injured, isolated the shooter, and saved more lives than we will ever know. [applause] pres. obama: we mourn fewer pres. obama: we mourn fewer people today because of your brave actions. [applause] "everyone was helping each other," one witness said. it wasn't about black or white. everyone was picking each other up and moving them away. see, that's the america i know.
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the police helped shetamia taylor as she was shot trying to shield her four sons. she said she wanted her boys to join her to protest the incidents of black men being killed. she also said to the dallas pd, "thank you for being heroes." and today, her 12-year old son wants to be a cop when he grows up. that's the america i know. [applause]
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pres. obama: in the aftermath of the shooting, we've seen mayor rawlings and chief brown, a white man and a black man with different backgrounds, working not just to restore order and support a shaken city, a shaken department, but working together to unify a city with strength and grace and wisdom. [applause] pres. obama: and in the process, we've been reminded that the dallas police department has been at the forefront of improving relations between police and the community. the murder rate here has fallen. complaints of excessive force have been cut by 64%. the dallas police department has been doing it the right way.
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[applause] pres. obama: and so, mayor rawlings and chief brown, on behalf of the american people, thank you for your steady leadership, thank you for your powerful example. we could not be prouder of you. [applause] pres. obama: these men in this department, this is the america i know. today, in this audience, i have seen people who have protested on behalf of criminal justice reform grieving alongside police officers. i see people who mourn for the five officers we lost but also weep for the families of alton
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sterling and philando castile. in this audience, i see what's possible -- [applause] pres. obama: i see what's possible when we recognize that we are one american family, all deserving of equal treatment, all deserving of equal respect, all children of god. that's the america that i know. now, i'm not naive. i have spoken at too many memorials during the course of this presidency. i've hugged too many families who have lost a loved one to senseless violence. and i've seen how a spirit of unity, born of tragedy, can gradually dissipate, overtaken
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by the return to business as usual, by inertia and old habits and expediency. i see how easily we slip back into our old notions, because they're comfortable, we're used to them. i've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change. i've seen how inadequate my own words have been. and so i'm reminded of a passage in john's gospel. "let us love not with words or speech, but with actions and in truth."
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if we're to sustain the unity we need to get through these difficult times. if we are to honor these five outstanding officers who we've lost, then we will need to act on the truths that we know. and that's not easy. it makes us uncomfortable. but we're going to have to be honest with each other and ourselves. we know that the overwhelming majority of police officers do an incredibly hard and dangerous job fairly and professionally. they are deserving of our respect and not our scorn. [applause]
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pres. obama: and when anyone, no matter how good their intentions may be, paints all police as biased or bigoted, we undermine those officers we depend on for our safety. and as for those who use rhetoric suggesting harm to police, even if they don't act on it themselves -- well, they not only make the jobs of police officers even more dangerous, but they do a disservice to the very cause of justice that they claim to promote. [applause] pres. obama: we also know that centuries of racial discrimination -- of slavery,
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and subjugation, and jim crow -- they didn't simply vanish with the end of lawful segregation. they didn't just stop when dr. king made a speech, or the voting rights act and the civil rights act were signed. race relations have improved dramatically in my lifetime. those who deny it are dishonoring the struggles that helped us achieve that progress. but we know -- [applause] pres. obama: but, america, we know that bias remains. we know it. whether you are black or white or hispanic or asian or native american or of middle eastern descent, we have all seen this
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bigotry in our own lives at some point. we've heard it at times in our own homes. if we're honest, perhaps we've heard prejudice in our own heads and felt it in our own hearts. we know that. and while some suffer far more under racism's burden, some feel, to a far greater extent, discrimination's sting. although most of us do our best to guard against it and teach our children better, none of us is entirely innocent. no institution is entirely immune. and that includes our police departments. we know this.
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and so when african americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment, when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently, so that if you're black you're more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested, more likely to get longer sentences, more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime. when mothers and fathers raise their kids right and have the talk about how to respond if stopped by a police officer -- "yes, sir," "no, sir" -- but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door, still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right
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might end in tragedy when all , this takes place more than 50 years after the passage of the civil rights act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid. [applause] pres. obama: we can't simply dismiss it as a symptom of political correctness or reverse racism. to have your experience denied like that, dismissed by those in authority, dismissed perhaps even by your white friends and coworkers and fellow church members again and again and again -- it hurts. surely we can see that, all of us.
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we also know what chief brown has said is true, that so much of the tensions between police departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves. [applause] pres. obama: as a society, we choose to underinvest in decent schools. we allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer
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no prospect for gainful employment. we refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs. we flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book -- [applause] pres. obama: and then we tell the police, "you're a social worker, you're the parent, you're the teacher, you're the drug counselor." we tell them to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs, and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience. don't make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind.
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and then we feign surprise when, periodically, the tensions boil over. we know those things to be true. they've been true for a long time. we know it. police, you know it. protestors, you know it. you know how dangerous some of the communities where these police officers serve are, and you pretend as if there's no context. these things we know to be true. and if we cannot even talk about these things -- if we cannot talk honestly and openly not just in the comfort of our own circles, but with those who look different than us or bring a different perspective, then we
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will never break this dangerous cycle. in the end, it's not about finding policies that work. it is about forging consensus, and fighting cynicism, and finding the will to make change. can we do this? can we find the character, as americans, to open our hearts to each other? can we see in each other a common humanity and a shared dignity, and recognize how our different experiences have shaped us? and it doesn't make anybody
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perfectly good or perfectly bad, it just makes us human. i don't know. i confess that sometimes i, too, experience doubt. i've been to too many of these things. i've seen too many families go through this. but then i am reminded of what the lord tells ezekiel: i will give you a new heart, the lord says, and put a new spirit in you. i will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. that's what we must pray for, each of us. a new heart.
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not a heart of stone, but a heart open to the fears and hopes and challenges of our fellow citizens. that's what we've seen in dallas these past few days. that's what we must sustain. because with an open heart, we can learn to stand in each other's shoes and look at the world through each other's eyes, so that maybe the police officer sees his own son in that teenager with a hoodie who's kind of goofing off but not dangerous and the teenager -- maybe the teenager will see in the police officer the same words and values and authority of his parents. [applause] pres. obama: with an open heart, we can abandon the overheated rhetoric and the oversimplification that reduces whole categories of our fellow
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americans not just to opponents, but to enemies. with an open heart, those protesting for change will guard against reckless language going forward, look at the model set by the five officers we mourn today, acknowledge the progress brought about by the sincere efforts of police departments like this one in dallas, and embark on the hard but necessary work of negotiation, the pursuit of reconciliation. with an open heart, police departments will acknowledge that, just like the rest of us, they are not perfect. that insisting we do better to root out racial bias is not an attack on cops, but an effort to live up to our highest ideals. [applause] pres. obama: and i understand
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these protests, i see them, they can be messy. sometimes they can be hijacked by an irresponsible few. police can get hurt. protestors can get hurt. they can be frustrating. but even those who dislike the phrase "black lives matter," surely we should be able to hear the pain of alton sterling's family. [applause] pres. obama: when we hear a friend describe him by saying that "whatever he cooked, he cooked enough for everybody," that should sound familiar to us, that maybe he wasn't so different than us, so that we can, yes, insist that his life matters. just as we should hear the students and coworkers describe their affection for philando
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castile as a gentle soul -- "mr. rogers with dreadlocks," they called him -- and know that his life mattered to a whole lot of people of all races, of all ages, and that we have to do what we can, without putting officers' lives at risk, but do better to prevent another life like his from being lost. with an open heart, we can worry less about which side has been wronged, and worry more about joining sides to do right. [applause] pres. obama: because the vicious killer of these police officers, they won't be the last person who tries to make us turn on one other.
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the killer in orlando wasn't, nor was the killer in charleston. we know there is evil in this world. that's why we need police departments. [applause] pres. obama: but, as americans, we can decide that people like this killer will ultimately fail. they will not drive us apart. we can decide to come together and make our country reflect the good inside us, the hopes and simple dreams we share. we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering
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produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. for all of us, life presents challenges and suffering. accidents, illnesses, the loss of loved ones. there are times when we are overwhelmed by sudden calamity, natural or manmade. all of us, we make mistakes. and at times, we are lost. and as we get older, we learn we don't always have control of things. not even a president does. but we do have control over how we respond to the world. we do have control over how we treat one another.
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america does not ask us to be perfect. precisely because of our individual imperfections, our founders gave us institutions to guard against tyranny and ensure no one is above the law. a democracy that gives us the space to work through our differences and debate them peacefully, to make things better, even if it doesn't always happen as fast as we'd like. america gives us the capacity to change. but as the men we mourn today, these five heroes, knew better than most, we cannot take the blessings of this nation for granted. only by working together can we
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preserve those institutions of family and community, rights and responsibilities, law and self-government, that is the hallmark of this nation. for, it turns out, we do not persevere alone. our character is not found in isolation. hope does not arise by putting our fellow man down, it is found by lifting others up. [applause] pres. obama: and that's what i take away from the lives of these outstanding men. the pain we feel may not soon pass, but my faith tells me that they did not die in vain. i believe our sorrow can make us a better country. i believe our righteous anger
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can be transformed into more justice and more peace. weeping may endure for a night, but i'm convinced joy comes in the morning. [applause] pres. obama: we cannot match the sacrifices made by officers zamarripa and ahrens, krol, smith, and thompson, but surely we can try to match their sense of service. we cannot match their courage, but we can strive to match their devotion. may god bless their memory. may god bless this country that we love. [applause]
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>> after the shootings in louisiana, minnesota, and dallas, south carolina senator tim scott, the only republican in the u.s. senate who is african-american gave three speeches. you can see them all at the one we will watch now happened the day after the memorial for the five police officer's killed in dallas. senator scott describes his own interaction with police. >> mr. president i rise today to , give my second speech, this time of the issues we are facing as a nation following last week's tragedies in dallas, minnesota, and baton rouge. this speech is perhaps the most difficult because it is the most personal. on monday, i talked about how
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the vast majority of our law enforcement officers have only two things in mind, protect and serve. but as i noted then, we do have serious issues that must be resolved. in many cities and towns across the nation, there is a deep divide between the black community and law enforcement, a trust gap, a tension that has been growing for decades. -- as an a family family, one american family, we cannot ignore these issues. while so many officers do good -- and we should be very thankful in support of all those officers that do good -- some simply do not. i have experienced it myself. so today, i want to speak about some of those issues, not with anger, though i have been angry.
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i tell my story not out of frustration, though at times i have been frustrated. i stand here before you today because i'm seeking for all of us, the entire american family, to work together so we all experience the lyrics of a song that we can hear but not see -- peace, love, and understanding. because i shuddered when i heard eric garner say, "i can't breathe." i wept when i watched walter scott turn and run away and get shot and killed from the back. and i broke when i heard the 4-year-old daughter of philando castile's girlfriend tell her
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mother, "it's okay. i'm right here with you." these are people lost forever. fathers, brothers, sons. some will say, and maybe even scream, "but they have criminal records. they were criminals, they spent time in jail." and while having a record should not sentence you to death, i say, ok then. i will share with you some of my own experiences or the experiences of good friends and other professionals. i can certainly remember the very first time that i was pulled over by a police officer as just a youngster. i was driving a car that had an improper headlight. it didn't work right.
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and the cop came up to my car, hand on his gun, and said, "boy, don't you know your headlight is not working properly?" i felt embarrassed, ashamed, and scared. very scared. but instead of sharing experience after experience, i want to go to a time in my life when i was an elected official and share just a couple of stories as an elected official. but please remember that, in the course of one year, i've been stopped seven times by law enforcement officers. not four, not five, not six, but seven times in one year as an elected official. was i speeding sometimes? sure.
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but the vast majority of the time, i was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or some other reason just as trivial. one of the times, i remember i was leaving the mall. i took a left out of the mall and as soon as i took a left, a police officer pulled in right behind me. that was my first left. i got to another traffic light, i took another left into a neighborhood. police followed behind me. i took a third left onto the street that at the time led to my apartment complex. finally, i took a fourth left coming into my apartment complex and then the blue lights went on. the officer approached the car and said that i did not use my
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turn signal on the fourth turn. keep in mind, as you might imagine, i was paying very close attention to the law enforcement officer who followed me on four turns. do you really think that somehow i forgot to use my turn signal on that fourth turn? well, according to him, i did. another time, i was following a friend of mine. we had just left working out and we were heading to outback to grab a bite to eat about 4:00 in the afternoon. he pulls out and i pull out behind him. we're driving down the road and blue lights come on. an officer pulls me into the median and starts telling me that he thinks perhaps the car is stolen. well, i started to ask myself because i was smart enough not to ask him, asking myself, is the license plate coming in as stolen? does the license plate match the car? i was looking for some rational reason that may have prompted him to stopping me on the side of the road.
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i also think about the experiences of my brother who became a command sergeant major in the united states army, the highest rank for an enlisted soldier. he was driving from texas to charleston, pulled over by a law enforcement officer who wanted to know if he had stolen the car he was driving because it was a volvo. i do not know many african-american men who do not have a very similar story to tell, no matter the profession, no matter their income, no matter their disposition in life. i also recall the story of one of my former staffers, a great guy, about 30 years old, who drove a chrysler 300. a nice car, without any question, but not a ferrari, not a super nice car.
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he was pulled over so many times here in d.c. for absolutely no reason other than for driving a nice car. he sold that car and bought a more obscure form of transportation. he was tired of being targeted. imagine the frustration, the irritation, the sense of a loss of dignity that accompanies each of those stops. hillhere on capitol
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favre serving the great people of south carolina as the united states congress member and senator for the last six years. there's a few ways to identify a member of congress. it typically when you've been here a couple years, law enforcement officers get to know and identify you by face. if that doesn't happen and you have a license you can show your i oftentimes say the house pen is larger because our egos are bigger. i recall walking into an office building just last year after being here for five years in the capital. the officer looked at me and said, the pen i know. you i don't. show me your id.
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i was thinking to myself, either he things i am committing a crime by impersonating a member of congress or what? well, i will tell you that later that evening, i received a phone call from his supervisor apologizing for the behavior. mr. president, that is at least the third phone call i have received from a supervisor or the chief of police since i have been in the senate. so while i thank god i have not endured bodily harm, i have however felt the pressure applied by the scales of justice when they are slanted. i have felt the anger, the frustration, the sadness, and the humiliation that comes with feeling like you are being
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targeted for nothing more than being just yourself. as the former staffer i mentioned earlier told me, there is absolutely nothing more frustrating, more damaging to your soul than when you know you are following the rules and being treated like you are not. but make no mistake, no matter this turmoil, these issues should not lead anyone to any conclusion other than to abide by the laws. i think reverend dr. martin luther king junior said it so well. returning violence with violence only leads to more violence and to even darker nights, nights to paraphrase without stars.
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there is never, ever an acceptable reason to harm a member of our law enforcement community. ever. i don't want anyone to misinterpret the words that i am saying. because even in the times of great darkness, there is a light. as i shared monday, there are hundreds, thousands of stories of officers who go beyond the call of duty. ms. taylor, as i spoke about monday night, at the dallas incident was covered completely by at least three officers who were willing to lose their life to save hers. we have a real opportunity to be grateful and thankful for our men and women in uniform. i shared another story on monday night as well.
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while the one i want to tell you today does not involve a tragic loss of life, it does show support that meant a lot to me at the time it occurred. prior to serving in the united states senate, i was an elected official on the county level, state level, and member of the united states congress. i believe it is my responsibility to hang out, to be with my constituents as much as possible and hear their concerns. so at some point during my time as a public servant, i traveled to an event that i was invited to along with two staffers and two law enforcement officers, all white. when we arrived at the event, the organizers seemed to have a particular issue with me coming into the event. he allowed my staffers to go into the event, seemed to be allowing the officers to go to the event who both said they weren't going in if i was not going in. so in order to avoid a real
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tense situation, i opted to leave because there is no way of winning that kind of debate ever. but i was so proud and thankful for those two law enforcement officers who were enraged by this treatment. it was such a moment that i will never forget and a situation i would love to forget. now the situation that happens all across the country -- this is a situation that happens all across the country whether we want to recognize it or not. it may not happen 1000 times a day, but it happens too many times a day. and to see it as i have had a chance to see it helps me
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understand why this issue has wounds that have not healed in a generation. it helped me to appreciate and understand and hopefully communicate why it is time for this american family to have a serious conversation about where we are and where we are going and how to get there. we must find a way to fill these cracks in the very foundation of our country. tomorrow, i will return with my final speech in this three-part series. on solutions and how to get to where we need to go by talking about the policies that get us there and the people solutions, because i, like you, mr. president, i don't believe all answers are in government.
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i don't think all the solutions we need starting government. today, however, i simply ask you this. recognize that just because you do not feel the pain, the anguish of another, does not mean it does not exist. to ignore their struggles, our struggles, does not make them disappear. it simply leaves you blind and the american family very vulnerable. some search so hard to explain away in justice that they are slowly wiping away who we are as a nation, but we must come together to fulfill what we all know is possible here in america, peace, love, and understanding, fairness.
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thank you, mr. president. >> senator from california. >> may i say to my colleague how much i appreciate his frank discussion today. we are so blessed to have you and cory booker here. we don't have enough diversity here. let me just be clear. and, as much as all of us want to walk in each other's shoes, because each of us has different experiences in our lives, it really matters who is in the room, who is at the microphone, who is sharing the truth and you have shared a truth with us today. and i want to say senator booker shared similar stories with us and our caucus. and it is life-changing for us. and i so appreciate everything you have said and it makes us better to have you and cory booker here.
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and having said that, i came to the floor to discuss a very similar topic, the status of race relations in america today, because i don't think you and cory booker should have to be the ones to have to carry this forward. because, mr. president, when i was a little girl when i was 10, i came face-to-face with ugly, vile, stupid, dangerous discrimination. i cheered on jackie robinson with all my girl power to counteract what my dad said with hatred aimed at jackie because of the color of his skin, and how blessed was i when i worked hard with a republican colleague to make sure jackie robinson got the congressional medal of honor. then when i was with my mother in florida, the same age, 10 years old, 1950, i saw african
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americans forced to sit in the back of the bus. i got up to offer my seat to an elderly woman. she must have been 55 at the time. i was 10. she looked old to me. i stood up. she refused me. she said, no, and i was hurt. i said to my mother, what is happening here? why won't the woman take my seat? and my mother said segregation. well growing up in brooklyn this made no sense to me. my mother could have let it go. instead, she told me to follow her to the back of the bus, not that anyone noticed, but we knew exactly what we were doing, and i felt part of her team, part of the team against this craziness where people have to go to the
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back of the bus simply because of the color of their skin. the civil rights movement has made enormous progress in our lives, but the trouble remains in our hearts. there is too much hatred in our communities. let's be clear, whether you are a police officer regardless of the color of your skin, kissing his or her family goodbye in the morning, or the parents of a young african-american teenager, no one, mr. president, should never have to fear that they will not see their loved ones at night. yet that is a truth in america. a truth that has been witnessed by a couple of our senators. no one should have to fear that they wouldn't see their loved ones at night because of this type of hatred.
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now is not the time to paint whole groups of people with a broadbrush, because when you do that, that is the definition of prejudice. you can't broad brush a whole community because of the color of their skin or their religion or who they love. and you can't -- all the police in the police department. what we need is the de-escalation of suspicion and an escalation of trust. a de-escalation of suspicion and an escalation of trust. it is long past time that we look inside our own hearts, look inside our own souls, and banish the hatred. we must instead embrace each other as god's creation.
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because each of us are god's creation. dr. martin luther king wrote "men often hate each other because they fear each other. they fear each other because they don't know each other. they don't know each other because they cannot communicate. they cannot communicate because they are separated." that is what dr. martin luther king said. a man who taught is love, a man who taught his compassion, and man who taught as nonviolence, a man who taught us to listen to each other, a man who taught us to walk in each other's shoes. so we need a conversation, and we started by breaking down the barriers that separate us, bridging the gap between law enforcement and establishing trust. healing will begin in the
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straits, and it should. policing should be for the community, by the community, and with the community. excuse me. when i was a county supervisor in the 1970's there were police versus community issues, so i recommended and my colleagues concurred a new system of community policing. what does it mean? it means you get the police out of a central precinct and you move them into the community. relationships develop. it seems so right, it worked so well that i would shocked when i got out of local government when i realized that not enough committees were following that same community policing method. there's cooperation and true protection of the community, and it's an obvious step should be implemented widely.
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what can we do? we can't force people to love. we can suggest it. we can't force people to love. we can't force people to be tolerant. we can suggest it. but i think there are certain things we can do. i have introduced legislation with senator cory booker called the pride act, and it would start us off by giving statistics that we need. how many shootings are there in our communities by the police to the community? how many shootings by the committee towards the police are
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there? believe it or not, we don't really collect those numbers. we would provide funding to states for the use of force training, for law enforcement agencies and personnel, including de-escalation and bias training, and funding for tip lines and hotlines and public awareness announcements to gain information regarding use of force against the police. it's a very balanced piece of legislation that looks at the problems on both sides. secondly, we need to better support law enforcement agencies who work to advance the practice of community policing. we can do that by increasing funding for the justice department community policing development program. that provides law-enforcement agencies with funding to implement innovative community policing practices. but guess what, mr. president? the funding for this critical program, which may well be one of our most important
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priorities, is $8 million a year. that's it. for the whole country, it's not enough. we need to do better. third, we should provide dedicated funding for justice department programs to initiate former gatherings to bring or summits community members and police into one conversation. anyone who looked at dallas understand how hard they are trying, how much they have done. when i saw president obama with mrs. obama and president george w. bush with laura bush, i was so happy. they are starting that conversation. the building of that trust. the tearing down of that suspicion. one of the founders of black lives of matter said "we had so many different experiences that are rich and complex. we need to bring all of these experiences to the table to
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achieve the solutions we desire, and anyone listening to senator scott or anyone who has heard the stories are read some of the words of senator booker, we have a lot to learn. a united states senator being stopped, he said, seven times? this is what i heard senator scott say. in one year? because of the color of his skin. what -- it's just too much for these people to bear, and we need to help them change policies that lead to the suspicion. yes, we have so many different experiences that are rich and complex. and we need to bring those experiences to the table. my friend, the senator from alaska, is here. we are only 20 women out of 100.
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i think that our colleagues understand we have brought something to the body. we have brought our experiences to the body, and it transcends partisanship. when we are in the room, it's a little bit of a different conversation because not that we're any better, but we have had different experiences, and when our african-american colleagues tell us, look at our lives, look at what we have been through. we have the same job as you. why are we pulled over seven times in a year? why have we been scared? there is something wrong and we cannot turn our back on it and we can't leave it up just to those colleagues to lead us. we need to help them and work together and have this conversation.
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four, we must formally recognize and encourage police departments who epitomize what it means to be a keeper of the peace, a keeper of the peace. that is what they want to be. those officers who attend community meetings after work, who spend their saturdays playing basketball with the neighborhood kids, who attend church services and so they can contact with the congregants, who take lower income children shopping for toys and gifts for christmas, who stopped to check in on residents just because they care. that is happening all over the country. that is why we can't paint people with a broad brush. it's wrong. in my state, in the san francisco bay area, you should see what some of these officers do.
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they have a growing divide between the community and the police, and the police department knew something had to change, so they invited the public to participate in those changes. they held open door community meetings. they created the citizen advisory board to make sure citizens voices were heard. they invited residents to experience their training simulator and to give them a new perspective on what police experience, see it through our eyes, they said. and let's de-escalate the tension and escalate the trust. they put a high importance on hiring officers with a connection to vallejo and wanted to serve the public. they even started a late-night youth program at the local high school. they started change from within that community. so i think we should have a community policing innovation
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fund at the justice department, which would reward law enforcement agencies and localities who are doing the right thing. >> we just heard senator barbara boxer talk about her proposal to create a community policing innovation fund at the justice department. josh lederman of the associated press, what are other members of congress doing on police and race relations? >> we have seen a lot of members of congress taken interest in this, but it's difficult to find solutions that happen as a result of new laws. some of what you have seen is a renewed conversation about things congress has talked about for quite some time. criminal justice reform that congress has yet to be able to make a lot of solid progress on. the other being gun control, something the president has talked a lot about. last month, senate republicans blocked an attempt by democrats to pass legislation that would
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prevent people on the terror list from buying guns, and we have seen other challenges for democrats on that issue as well. >> the house bipartisan policing strategies working group met for the first time. tell us about that group. >> this is an effort started by the top republican on the house judiciary committee and his ranking member, the top democrat on that committee. they have met. they have been discussing some of the things congress could try to do to try to find solutions for this, but things are really getting heated and you have a political issue like this that is so controversial, there's not a lot of optimism that congress will move on something major on this anytime soon. >> president obama recently signed the active shooter training bill. what exactly does that do? >> this is a piece of legislation that allows law enforcement departments to access federal funds to improve their training for active shooter situations. it is important to note that this does not create new funds.
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these are existing federal funds that can be direct did to that effort. congress passed this with very little fanfare. the president signed it and didn't do any major ceremony but signed it in private and it has now become law. >> several senators have also introduced a back the blue act. what would that do? >> that legislation would create strict minimum sentences for people who are targeting law enforcement officers, and you see that coming from republican members of congress. they are really trying to show in light of these incidents we have had that they are taking an active role in trying to protect law enforcement and do something proactive about the issue. >> as a c-span's issue spotlight
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continues, we will hear about one families encounter and the police chief takes part in a law-enforcement perspective. panel on the it begins with a five minute documentary on the incident. ♪ >> they called me at work about 5:15. she said i am going to take the boys to my mother's house. i'm going to let them ride their bicycles for a while. i said ok. i can meet you at your mother's house. i got to vicky's house at about 6:00. we were sitting in the backyard, just joking around. mom came and cj asked me if they could ride their bikes around for five more minutes. i said fine. >> i am sitting on the couch in the house and i hear my mother banging on the door saying the police are outside. as we are coming out the door, you see three white police officers walking toward my son, putting their gloves on.
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>> like the gloves that you put on when you want to rough somebody up or frisk somebody, work gloves. he walks over to the fence. he points to monte, "you, come here." me being a dad walk over and tell him hold up. >> he said you're not going anywhere. why do you want to talk to my son? and he was like, who are you. i said i'm his dad. is it a problem? >> first of all, i wasn't calling you. second of all, we got him for fleeing a scene. this is what he said. we got him for fleeing a scene. i said ok you got him fleeing the scene of what? he said he didn't do anything, but when i called him to come here, he kept on going and didn't stop for me.
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>> he's riding a bike, a three-wheel tricycle bike like for your grandma, you know. >> fleeing means you are running from them. i was going at a steady pace. like a pace if they really one -- wanted to get me, they could hop out of the car and walk at the same pace. when i was turning to come into my grandmother's alley, they said that right then they told me to get off my bicycle, but i heard no police. i didn't even see a car. >> their explanation was he ran from the police. >> that gives us the right to stop and search your son because people run from us on bikes. that is not probable cause to stop somebody child. >> are you just supposed to say ok, come on, fine? no. why? >> he tells me, since you are getting in my face, i should
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lock you up right now. i said well since you feel like i'm up in your face, i'm going to back up, so i backup and that's when i said can you just call your supervisor because this is getting out of hand. the station is across the street. i would appreciate it if you called your supervisor. i just need someone to talk to that is not angry right now. >> i don't know what kind of distress signal he sent out but he sent out a distress signal which led to maybe 30 or 40 police cars lining up my mother's alley. >> right. please back up. please. please backup. >> how? for a 15-year-old. for a 15-year-old.
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for a good 15-year-old. deandre, i need you to go in the house. a 15-year-old. one. one. one. they can't tell me i can't do this. don't worry about it. one 15-year-old. one 15-year-old. what? >> {indiscernible] >> shut up. shut up. let me talk. [inaudible]
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>> there was shocking to me. i was taking all of this in, like a bike with no lights. 15-year-old. one 15-year-old. one. mom, move before they touch you. [applause] let me introduce who i have on stage. you will recognize some of them.
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is a filmmaker. almonte harris and kelvin davis. these three were seen on the screen. it's difficult to watch this over and over and over. i was backstage with you and watched year shoulders. >> so emotional every time i see the scene. when you look back and think about what could've happened, is there anything in your mind that thinks, what is the one thing that might have stopped this from escalating to the point it did? the only thing i could think they could've changed it is the
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police actually listening to us. police just wanted to know, why is it you want to search our son . i don't know what the reason was . it is so frustrating -- to seereason we are able this is because your sister was filming it. phone, the way the three cops approached us. she just pulled out her phone and started filming. >> you have had a relationship with his family for some time. you were not drawn to this because of this incident? >> no, calvin was the last person on earth i would expect to be arrested. we were already filming the
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family and continue to, just following him through high school and beyond, filming his cousin and his parents. it just happened during the time. when i heard the story, thank god that her sister filmed it. i don't think we would have been able to tell it very well if she had not taken video of the actual arrest. >> i'm wondering if it would be hard to even get people to understand what happened that night if you weren't able to see it, listen to the discourse that night. >> when you hear the term "assault on a police officer," that brings up a specific idea. all he did was question the police officer. he spoke. he spoke. he said why do want to talk to my son? why did you follow him down the alley? he was riding down the sidewalk.
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why? is that illegal? >> so what you did not see in the film is what happened after this. you were taken into custody. >> yes, spent the night. >> as the case proceeded, you were given a choice. you were offered a deal. >> yes, and the deal was that i could do 32 hours of community service and have the charges somewhat expunged. 32 hours of community service. >> why did you decide to do this when you thought you had done nothing wrong? >> when i went to court the next day, they appointed me a court appointed lawyer. i'm thinking this is a small case. i will take the court-appointed lawyer. the court-appointed lawyer said,
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it is your words against his words. nine times out of 10, you are not going to beat this. i would take the 32 community hours of service and get it over with. >> did you wrestle with this? did you have to make a decision right away? >> i think i had a week, a few days in between the time before going back to court. she really wanted me to just fight it. but i grew up in washington, d.c. my whole life. the interactions between minorities and police officers, from what i know as an experience, is never good. to me, i just wanted to get it over with, be done with as part of it, go on with my life.
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after the 32 hours of community service, just be done with it. >> where did you do your community service? >> the department of public works landfill. right on michigan avenue. they gave me two months to complete 32 hours at my own pace. so i think i finished it within the first month prior to going back to court. i did eight hours for four consecutive weekends at the landfill cleaning up trash. >> so you fulfilled your community service? and the deal was that it would be expunged from your record? has it been removed? >> well, not in a sense. me and my wife went through some family changes and have adopted two more boys.
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two twins. [applause] >> seriously. >> the process of adoption, i don't know if anyone here has ever been through it. >> they do a full check. >> they do a full fbi background check. it came up. >> how are you informed that it came up? >> they do a fingerprint check, and luckily it wasn't one of the things that will stop them from doing the adoption, but the social worker let me know that it came up. i had a chance to explain to her. assaulting a police officer specifically to me is physical violence against a police
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officer, so i got a chance to explain my part of the story to the social worker. >> how will you eventually get that removed? >> i don't know. it is in the works now. there is something they call expungement, and you have to go to the courthouse from what i have been told and investigated myself. you have to physically go to the courthouse and set some type of date. in some way you can get a trial date to expunge your records. >> you plan on doing it? >> of course. >> the young lady said it will never be removed from your record. it is something that you can't go into, but that will always pop up on his record. >> it is not expunged. it is just sealed. only certain people can see it. if you want to do an extensive
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background check, fbi check, i think it will come up. if you want to do a local police check -- >> if you want to get a job. >> yeah, it will come up. >> if you are asked if you have been convicted of a crime? >> on the paperwork part where it says have you ever been convicted of a crime, technically i was not convicted, but just for safe purposes, i will put yes so that if it comes up i can explain to the employer. >> once you put yes, do you have an opportunity to explain that or do you go on that pile instead of this pile? >> that is what obama is doing now. the check the box thing. >> i want to hear from you if you don't mind. the police officers involved in
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this, and we should say that there will be police officers on stage and we will talk about some of these issues and have something to say about what they have seen in the film, but the police officers patrolled the neighborhood, which means that some of the gentlemen there in a back alley are people you might see as you move around the neighborhood. what have those encounters been like for you? >> i have not really encountered any of the police officers in the video recently. just school, home, homework, my brother, that's all. michele: we had a chance to talk backstage. you said you never ride a bike anymore. >> when it gets dark outside, when they can say i did not have a light on my bicycle again, i would rather just walk. michele: you won't get on a bike at all at night? >> right.
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michele: how do you as a young person process something like this? you live in a community where many people feel like their encounters with law enforcement are prickly, are negative. leave a bad taste in their mouth. sometimes they end up going to jail for reasons that are curious, but at the same time, there are people in the community saying, make our streets safer. there are some people who need to go to jail and we need to make sure the police go down hard on them so we can sit on our front porch and enjoy our evening, so the kids can ride bikes at dusk, so they can play kickball. what would you say to those people in the community who might look at this and say this kind of aggressive policing is needed sometimes? >> it is needed for the situations that it is needed for. me riding a bike without a light, i don't think that is a situation where it is needed for. [applause]
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>> i don't think that's a situation. somebody getting hit by a car, or getting shot, stabbed, that's where i think they should be, but they are not there when something like that happens -- [applause] it is crazy. the other day i am on my way to school with me and my friend and we are walking and an officer is staring at my friend. he threw something in the trash. he asked my friend, what are you looking at? he was like, what you looking at? i'm just like, come on. we just went to school. it was uncalled for. it is a situation that is not called for. >> that is my first time hearing this. i would have said, where is he?
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>> he told his mom. his mom is a judge in one of the washington, d.c., courthouses. she says she is on it. [applause] [laughter] michele: have your parents given you the talk? >> what talk? [laughter] michele: have they ever talked to you -- pardon me. when you leave the house, particularly now after this encounter, do they tell you, do they give you advice, son, this is how you should carry yourself? these are the do's and don'ts? >> every day, get your work done, come back home, family comes first. have your belt on. [laughter] >> every day. >> we have an eight-year-old who mimics everything you do.
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he won't wear his pants hanging down. he thinks that is foolish. [laughter] >> since all this has happened, my eight-year-old, calvin junior, he is terrified of the police. we can drive and mom will be behind us and he will be like, are the police behind us? i'm like, we are ok. we have our seatbelts on. we are fine. he is terrified because he was right there. michele: how do you inoculate that? how do you deal with that? do you want your son to be afraid of police? >> i do not want him to be afraid of the police. again, there are situations where you do want police in your neighborhood. you have people committing crimes and doing so many things. you do want the police in your neighborhood.
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you do want your child to be able to go up and speak to the police and let them know the police is there for you. after he was in this real-life situation, how do we tell him that? michele: how do you tell him? >> i will protect you. that is my biggest thing. i will protect you. that is even for the police. it doesn't matter. i am your mom. let me know. i will handle it. michele: do you know any of the police officers in your community by name? >> no. >> one is retired. michele: i'm not asking to be provocative. what does that say? >> it says a lot, actually. you know, i was having a conversation with kelly the other day leading up to this event. you get those officers in these neighborhoods, your duty is to protect and serve.
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i was telling kelly the other day. we were having a conversation. i said when the officers come to these neighborhoods it seems like their whole duty is to seek and destroy. to me, really. that is what it seems like. the encounters, there is no positive encounters with police officers. michele: how do you fix -- when you talk to police officers, they feel that they face a wall of distrust or hatred. they would like something different. they would like to figure out how to bridge that gap as well. there are people doing innovative things. having chicago police officers interview young people in the community and vice versa. it is interesting what they can actually say to each other if
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they are alone in a room and have a chance to talk. in birmingham, alabama, the police chief was sending police officers into schools to read to students so that students would see a police officer's badge, his name, and get to know young people. as they grew up, they would remember. i remember monte. he liked curious george. some of those things are looked at with derision, soft approaches to policing, but do those kinds of things make any sense to you? >> they do. >> i just wanted to point out that prior to the incident, both of them were raising their children to be respectful of the police. this negative -- monte actually can't remember how many times he has been approached by the police in d.c., walking his dog, riding the metro, playing with his friends, and the police are waiting at the next stop for him.
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i think -- i want the idea -- the police are here for you. they are the good guys. when you see the rest of the film, you will hear them talk about that. i think when you talk about having the community, there is no accountability right now. the only reason we know about this is because somebody put out the cell phone footage. even after he was arrested, even after the sergeant in charge found out what was actually happening and had happened, he still signed off on charging calvin with two crimes. so, i think, you know, where does it stop? that is incredible. how did everyone watch this and allow it to happen? >> he will be let out tonight. he will be let out tonight. but when he had the interview,
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the cop decided we want you to stay tonight, and that is exactly what they told him. the arresting cop wants you to stay tonight. >> it was actually two charges. assaulting a police officer and tampering with evidence. >> which is monte. >> what is the evidence? are you calling my son the evidence? michele: the charge of assaulting a police officer is not always physical in its nature. >> no, in the process of making the film and editing it i read a report about an assault on a police officer and how the law is so vague here in d.c. nearly 4000 people have been charged with assault on a police officer between 2012 and 2014, 90% were black. the majority of them were not charged with anything else.
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if you can use a law that just by talking to a police officer that you can be charged with assault and there is nothing else, what is happening? they are all black citizens. i mean, how can you expect monte to believe and respect an institution that treats him like that? michele: this is something being discussed right now in the police force. it will be interesting to hear from law enforcement officers when they take the stage. we don't have much time left. i wanted to make sure we have time for a couple questions from the audience. you got your hand up so fast. >> thank you very much. this has been a very heavy panel. i want to say as a citizen that i am sorry. i want to tell ms. norris that you have to tell your children to not look somebody in the eye.
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i am sorry about that. that is very wrong. that is not america. i have a question. for the young man, what do you want to do when you grow up? what would you want to be? congratulations to both of you. >> thank you for your question. >> thank you. [applause] >> actually this is my senior year in high school right now. [applause] so i am actually playing rugby. i would like a scholarship for that. [laughter] >> we would, too. right? >> i have been thinking about going into the d.c. fire department, but taking college classes at nova. i don't think the fire department is enough. i still need to get my degree. [applause]
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>> we have another question right down here. it is hard for me to see. and then we will go over there. >> hi, everyone. i taught him last year. [applause] >> i was surprised when i saw you. my question for you, how does this affect you at school? is there a parallel structure to what you see with the institution of the police, is there a parallel issue with education? yes, no, how do you see it? >> i don't really see it as a problem with school, but it gets in the way.
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i understand the question, but as far as, i don't feel judged by the police, that is every day. it don't get in the way. you have to be strong. you have to want to go to school. you have to know that when you go to school you might get in a situation and have to be above it and know what you are doing. michele: since we will have law enforcement officers on stage soon, we could go on, but we have to move on to the next panel. i want to end by asking you to pose a question that they might consider answering. >> as far as law enforcement? >> if you had a chance to sit down -- what would you want to know about how they do their job or what question would you pose to people working in law enforcement? >> why was my stepdad arrested?
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why was my little brother crying because i did not have a light on my bike? michele: is there anything you would ask about how they do their job? not just about that night. calvin, what about you? >> what question would i ask? i would just want to know, i have been doing research about racial issues within the u.s., and they changed that law in 2007 that i have read, assaulting a police officer. i want to know why in 2007 was it changed to be so vague? you know, prior to 2007, that law was specifically assaulting
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a police officer, hands-on assault with a police officer. after 2007, i just want to know why did the law become so vague, where people can get locked up for a long time, lose their job, and not be able to get a job because of that law? what happened that led to that law change? [applause] michele: thank you very much. thank you. [applause] ♪ >> hello, everyone. i'm really excited i was asked to moderate this panel.
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in much of my writing, in this era of attention to police misconduct and police brutality, i deal with people on the other end of it. i tend to hear one side of it. i am very privileged to be here to talk to actual police officers actually dealing with the work. i'm hoping we can get to a different perspective into the roots of some of the things we have been seeing and talking about in this country. i'm here with ron davis, director of community oriented policing services at the department of justice. the chief of police for washington, d.c. and virginia, who is a police officer in new jersey. i have a lot of questions for you. i want to start with the chief. i want to get this out of the way. we just had a panel and they showed a video of an incident that happened.
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i viewed it myself. all of us who have seen it have thought it is disturbing. i wanted to give you a chance to respond before we move forward. >> i have seen parts of the video, not all of it. i know there is still some production going on with finishing the film. of course, i tried to do some research, so i just saw it recently. it happened back in 2012. i looked to see if there was a complaint filed, what happened with the charges, and then i reached out to calvin just because i felt like i should reach out to calvin and offer an opportunity to speak with the family about the incident. i always say, because i have learned the hard way in my career, that when i see video of something, an interaction with police and community members,
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i'm not going to comment on that specific piece of video. there was no complaint filed, no investigation done, so i don't have the benefit of hindsight. this was all looked into, statements taken, but i normally don't comment on those things anyway because as soon as i make a comment on a piece of video i see, inevitably another piece of video or something else will surface, but i will say this about that interaction. any time i see an interaction between a community member and a police officer that ends badly, and there are a lot of ways it can end badly -- in this case you have a family or father who is saying, my kids are afraid of the police. to me, that is bad. anytime i see anything like that, it bothers me. because there are too many positive things that police officers do every day and
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interactions in the community for one incident to change a family's perception, and we have to make sure that does not happen. i also think, in terms of watching the snippets of video that i saw with calvin, is that it just takes one or two small things to change the tone of an encounter with a police officer, and sometimes, it is the tone of the police officer, sometimes, it is how you say something, the way you say something, the body language as you approach, the circumstances at the time, but once that tension starts, it tends to not stop. and so i think the important thing for us as police officers to remember is that we have to be very conscious of the way we approach people and speak to people. most people get defensive if they feel like you are being offensive. so being very respectful in


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