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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  May 17, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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changes, and how it should work. but 56 state and local officials have already asked for drones. drones are coming. bill press wrote a terrific article about that but don't worry in pakistan only 17% are civilian deaths. "viewpoint" is next. ♪ [ theme music ] ♪ good evening. i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint," the race card has been flashed in the 2012 campaign, and then slipped back to the bottom of the deck at least for now. the "new york times" reporting that a team of republican strategists were preparing the $10 million race-based attack to link president obama with onetime pastor and spiritual advisor, the reverend jeremiah wright. the plan was commissioned by
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billionaire joe ricketts. developed by fred davis who suggested a similar ad to the mccain cam contain in 2008. "new york times" reporters secured a copy of the campaign plan from, quote, a person not connected to the proposal. under the title "the defeat of barack hussein obama," the rick it's plan to end his spending for good, it is slimed calling president obama quote: out to change that and make the president unlikable to independent voters, and i quote:
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though campaign also called for a quote: conservative talk radio host larry elder was contacted to fill the role. brian baker president of the ending spending action fund insisted the plan was and i quote: which doesn't explain why the plan's authors wrote they had received quote: preliminary approval and were ready to jump into action when plan approval came through. and mitt romney tried to have it both ways. >> i want to make it very clear i repudiate that effort. i think it's the wrong coarse for a pac or a campaign. i have been disappointed in the president's campaign to date which is focused on character
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assassination. joining me now, rutenberg, one of the two "new york times" reporters who broke this story. thanks for joining us. >> thank for having me governor? >> who is joe ricketts. there seems to be a lineup of mega mega billionaires who is he? >> he is by the bootstraps kind of guy. his family owns the chicago cubs. he is basically trying to break into that club and i think he learned the hard way that not everybody is cut out for that kind of work. >> like he said here is a pile of money, and like bees to honey a lot of the political consultants showed up with plans on how to take down barack obama. how close was this to actually getting on the air? >> here is what we know.
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we know what is in the document and it is quote from joe ricketts saying that similar ads four years ago should have been run. there is a page on page 46 of this booklet where the team says we have started to put together a team but we're still awaiting final approval. it was moving down the tracks in a pretty serious way from what we can tell. >> do you think if you had not broken this story and the memorandum would not have made its way into the public domain that it would have been approved? >> today is one of those interesting day where after that happened we are hearing something different than what we heard yesterday. yesterday we talked to the ricketts advisors and we were under the impression this was still in the mix. today we are being told it was rejected out of hand and he would have never approved
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something like this. >> so who knows. fred davis who is the consult important who came up with this plan to once again link or try to link president obama to reverend wright could theoretically go out and try to market this to somebody else at this point. >> fred davis produced a spot just like for the mechanic cane campaign. and i think in his view -- and i think he would say this but that they should have ran. so he definitely thinks it will work again from everything we can tell in this document. >> in a way what we're seeing here is that candidate himself may not determine the arc of a campaign in the sense you have a consult act who might or might not find somebody to bank roll this. and suddenly stuff will be on the air whether or whether or not the candidate wants it. >> fred davis is one of the top
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ad guys in the country, so when he is being solicited and we understand he was solicited by mr. ricketts and sfamly and associates, some of them, they know what they are getting, though, so wliel fred wants to get this ad out, he is being hired as a professional. >> he doesn't always win needless to say, he did the famous christine oh donal i am not a witch ad. he is creative but he knows how to grab the public's at attention. what was the piece of this proposal that you found either most offensive or most edgy or troubling in terms of what politics might or might not become. >> i guess -- i -- i am more comfortable talking about what stuck out to me the most. >> sure. >> and what stuck out to me the most was the challenge that the republicans acknowledge they have, and the romney campaign agree that independent voters
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still like barack obama, and how do you grapple with that. so this campaign says quite plainly it is actually laments voters still don't hate the president, but they are proposing to change that basically. >> and what you sense underneath it is those who produce the memo do dislike the president with a certain intensity. they can't cognitively get their arms around the fact that people like the president because they clearly do not. >> governor i don't actually know that. i have covered these guys for a long time, and they don't talk to me in those terms. for all we know they are channelling what their client was looking for. a lot of this team was working for who? the former governor of utah. one of the most moderate candidates in the primaryies.
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>> and he was always unsuccessful. again not to take a shot at fred davis, but this is not a path necessarily to success, even though it is a memorandum that grabs attention. >> that's what we understand the ricketts family was looking for. some of them are democrats. laura rickets is an obama supporter. but mr. ricketts was looking for something that would get maximum impact for $10 million. >> all right. jim rutenberg, one of the two "new york times" reporters who broke this story, thanks for your time. >> thank you governor. >> with me now to parse the politics of this story, ford o'connell, and former spokesman for the campaign committee. ford let me start with you. this strikes me as being both ugly and dumb. am i wrong about this?
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you were a mccain advisor. how do you look at this memo and react? >> romney was wright to distance himself from this. if it had been executed it likely would have failed and backfired. and frankly that's not what mitt romney needs because president obama would have gotten sympathy. at the end of the day this was a bad deal all around and it was wrong. >> i'm with you on that. it just doesn't seem to me the public is going to embrace the notion that reverend wright is somehow what barack obama stands for. it's completely contrary to what we have seen. it just doesn't resinate with anybody. having said that, doug, do you think this issue comes back. is racism a part and parcel of the argument made against the president? >> i wish i could stand here being shocked and surprised by this proposal but the reality is racial attacks have been a
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part of gop politics for a long time. you had the southern strategy the willie horton ad with ron gant, and jesse helms. the problem here for republicans is they were called out on it. and i think mitt romney really had a moral leadership opportunity here and he ended up using it for political purposes to turn around and make a political attack on the president. he really should have stood out there and not only condemned it, but just left it at that, but then he used it to try to gain political points with the president. and we have seen this time and time again where he hasn't stood up to the extreme wings of his party as he should have. >> doug i disagree. i think he did everything he needed to do. everything in a campaign is political. i think mitt romney did what he did, and did what he needed to do and got out of there. >> let me ask you this, though.
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doug, do you worry that somebody else -- cory in a sense that this is not what politics should be. >> yeah. >> do you think somebody else might pick up this -- this issue? will fred davis take this memo now and somebody else will say i like this line of attack. will some other zillionary decide to put these ads on the air? >> i wouldn't be surprised. but the whole reverend wright situation was litigated in 2008. the president gave an historic speech on race and i think the american people looked at it and they were able to give the president the benefit of the doubt, so it didn't really work then. i'm not sure if bringing it up now is going to work either. i agree with ford. it's the wrong type of politics. i think the president is a pretty much a fully defined
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politician in the eyes of the people. they like him personally. i don't think they are going to believe he is some sort of militant black president. >> doug, i think there is something very important in that memo, and that is the fact that president obama is extremely likable. and mitt romney has to cut into president obama's likability gap. and the best way for him to do that is come out with a compelling personal narrative, while reminding american voters where president obama is to blame for the abysmal economy. >> ford, let me push you a little bit on that. i agree that governor romney needs -- >> look at that. >> you are saying i'm note here for that purpose. i'm a little surprised president obama has very good, wise advisors around him, they know the best way to make him likable is not that he is going to be
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funny on the stump, but tell a story of success and genuineness, and so why haven't they done that? >> i think they don't know how to message it yoet. what they really need to do is paint him as an american success story, a competent governor and a man of faith. and right now they just don't know how to get that patch work together. but the clock is against them, because if they didn't define mitt romney to the american voter, president obama will do it for them. >> they have the opportunity -- bain could have been a successful story, but doug i want to come back to you because i think last week we spent a lot of time going back and forth about whether mitt romney maybe having bullied somebody in high school was an appropriate topic of conversation, a lot of republicans are saying sure it is. but not to come back to reverend wright, but if that was relevant
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then last wreak, why isn't reverend wright the same? >> two points on that. one, i don't think it was really relevant on someone who doesn't really believe that you should be looking through people's yearbooks and things like to but to ford's point, the problem that mitt romney has is he's kind of a postcard right now, and so he's opening the door for these kind of examinations to take place, because he is not filling the holes himself. now the other point i would bring up is that the mitt romney -- the romney campaign actually went even farther back when they attacked the president when he was seven for eating a cuisine over this indonesia. so they kind of opened the door on that. i'm not someone who thinks we should be looking at people's high school -- >> that was all we had for president obama's campaign decided to talk about dogs on roofs -- >> but he was over 30.
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my only point is is that mitt romney needs to do a better job of describing who he is, what he stands for, and what his vision is, and he has not done that, and people are going to fill in the holes if he doesn't do that. >> i'm sure governor romney is thrill for you giving him advice and i agree about high school yearbooks. >> perfection and politics is a myth, eliot. >> yes. many thanks you both for some of your time tonight. >> thank you, eliot. >> we'll follow up on the story of jpmorgan of the american born. more "viewpoint" coming up.
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the changing face of america brings us to our number of the day, 50.4%. that's the percentage of the population younger than 1 year of age that was of hispanic
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asian, or african american decent in the 12-month period that ended last july. it's the first time that number was over 50%. part of the reason is the every-widening generational divide between non-hispanic whites, and hispanics. minorities accounted for 92% of the nation's population growth. professor of family and planning said, and i quote: politicians angrily debating how to restrict immigration can learn a lesson from president clinton who once said that
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minorities are remaining us all of what it truly means to be an american. a billion here, a billion there, eventually it starts to add up to real money. jamie dimon's prediction that their $3 billion in losses could double next quarter seems to be coming true. the losses are now at least $3 billion and not likely to stop there. the federal reserve is
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investigating whether jamie dimon took any risks that he shouldn't have. and now a class action lawsuit has been filed alleging quote: joining me now to discuss all of the latest on the latest on jpmorgan co-author of "reckless endangerment," and managing director at investment research firm graham fisher and company, josh rosner. josh, as always a pleasure to chat with you. >> great to see you. >> after the cataclysm of '08 we rebuilt the same system -- >> that's right. >> are we really that stupid. >> yeah. >> not good news. >> no, unfortunately we didn't change a wheel lot. we created a law that was 2200 pages that we're in the process of writing. legislatures left it to
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regulators to ultimately write the law, and the industry has gotten back to doing what the industry does best which is influencing the regulators saying the rule needs to be tweaked this way or that way add complexity and we'll created loopholes. so they create the complexity -- >> absolutely. and there are so many aspects of this particular one that are interesting. you know, most importantly why is it that the federal reserve is doing the investigation when this happened within the depository, the bank -- >> right. >> which should be the occ. the occ is the same occ that was asleep at the switch that had not caught the risks of banc of america -- >> i barely disagree. it wasn't asleep at the switch, it was affirmatively turning it
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off. because we investigated against them. to tbtf to be to fail is even worse than it is now. >> far worse. because we're asleep believing we're protecting at this point. >> can we claw back at least the money paid to these executives? >> well, that's ironically another piece of the rule-making process that is being debated. most of the companies at this point have policies in place on clawbacks, whether he see it or not is a whole different issue. >> i want to talk about one of the underlying problems structurally. jamie dimon you just said was being investigated by the fed. who sits on the board of the new york fed jamie dimon. >> that's right. it's worst than that. the federal reserve board is supposed to regulate the bank
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holding companies of these too big to fail institutions. the federal reserve delegated their authority to the district banks to do that work. during the crisis after the crisis, we heard the fed has a change of policy they are going to bring that back to for the most part, washington and here we are with the new york fed leading the investigation of this jamie dimon trade, or this jpmorgan trade, not the board of governors, and as you pointed out the board on which he sits. >> most people would be astonished he sits on the board that is regulating him, how can this be -- >> he is a large shareholder. the district banks of the feds are -- >> and tim geithner when he was there, was chosen to be the
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president by none other than the ceo's of -- >> that's right. >> now let's talk numbers for a second. 2 billion came 3 billion. how big can this get? >> we don't know how big it can get. because again the transparency doesn't exist. and we still don't have the answer. so that's part of what we're looking at. it would say it is irrelevant relative to the asset base of jpmorgan. but i was operation risk internal control failure it's a question of why couldn't it have been 20 or 60? >> if all of the banks were doing the same thing -- >> that's right. >> you predicted as i said in the intro, predicted '08 -- you said we have a sub prime bubble here, what do you see brewing out there now that makes you -- >> well, i mean the
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unpreparedness of the same global central banks and bank regulators is not -- you know that unpreparedness is still there, and a frankly as we're starting to watch the emergence of potentially serious bank runs in greece, spain, italy, we're not prepared for that -- >> this is something out of the great depression. people are lining up to take their money out -- >> they are not yet lining up -- >> they with wiring it. these days it is done virtually -- >> that's right. so the question and problem is do our regulators really have a feel for what the exposures of our institutions would be? the correlated risk on the trading december tock a greek failure. and any answer is no. >> he understood it and predicted it.
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josh rosner thanks as always for being with us tonight. >> great to see you. coming up don't make joe biden angry, you wouldn't like him when he is angry. the viewfinder is next.
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coming up current's exclusive follow up toe the documentary, "american jihadi." but first, mitt romney has some new campaign slogans, joe biden has some anger, and orly taitz has what might be the most poorly produced political ad in history. when it doesn't fit anywhere else, we put it in the viewfinder. ♪ >> i think that the political contention -- contentionsness -- has been worse. i think if you go back to the 1900s it was probably ugly or uglier than it was now. >> why does it feel so bad right now. >> sodomy is not a civil rights. and there's an effort by
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homosexual lobbyists. >> in case after case orly has fought harder than anyone else to bring life to the obama eligibility issue which our go is trying to hide. >> they don't get us! they don't get who we are! my mother and my father believed that if i wanted to be president of the united states! i could be! i could be vice president! [ cheers and applause ] >> my mother and father believed that if my brother or sister wanted to be a millionaire! they could be a millary! >> officials in london plan to use high-pitched sounds to disperse crowds at the olympics this summer. >> i'm not sure i get what that means. >> what does that mean? >> i don't know what any of this means. ♪ >> anyone that is familiar with dr. taitz knows she has no off
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switch. she is like the energizer bunny on steroids. >> now mitt romney is also trying out new campaign slogans. i the other guys are talking about everything but the economy, and i am going to talk about nothing. a better california awaits my support is with dr. taitz. ♪ >> as i said last night, mitt romney could be the most awkward politician ever. your exclusive interview with the family of ohm har-humammy ahead.
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last night we spoke to christof putzil, it who tells the story of a young american who became an islamic terrorist. in recent days he was been contacted by the terrorist omar humammy. tonight as promised christof putzil introduced to omar humammy parents. >> omar humammy, the 28-year-old american from alabama who joined in al-qaeda-affiliated islamic militant group in sew mally has just published his paper confirming he is alive. following his journey from small town suburban kid in alabama to
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waging jihad on the front lines. however, i had not been in touch until now. last month he contacted me to say he was alive and wanted to tell his story. i drove to alabama to tell his parents. >> hi, it's krzysztof, i'm on my way over. i should be there in about ten minutes. omar's father is sirrian american, and his mother debra a southern baptist. they haven't heard from omar humammy in hears. >> the first thing i do in the morning is scour the internet. and as long as i know that he is alive . . . that is enough for
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me. [ sobbing ] >> he logged on to the internet. where that morning, he released a 125-page memoir online. >> the narrative is part diary, part travel guide, part gee audi training manual. he writes fondly of the family he remembers, and fantasizes about what it would be like to come home and see them one last time. i couldn't live there, i would like to have a three-day visit to see my mom, my dad, and my sister. i always think about how my mom and dad used to [ indiscernible ] for our education and how they would always come to our soccer games and take us out for the movies.
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i have to wonder what this experience has done to them. and whether or not we will ever meet again. >> a family reunion is unlikely. omar humammy is wanted by the fbi. and indicted. once considered a key figure of the leadership posting videos on youtube to recruit other westerners, he appears to have fallen out of favor with the very group he joined. he contacted me after posting a video on youtube. in one our first exchanges he told me, i just know there are a lot of people who would like to see me dead. i asked if america is still a legitimate target? he responded they look at me to
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be a target so why should i not see them as a target. >> i say one thing without any reservations, not because i'm his father but my son, omar is the smartest person that i knew. >> how then do -- do you explain when you hear all of the atrocities that a group like committed. that you know this man is involved in that. >> in his mine he is fulfilling god's guidance to him. and no one can convince him otherwise. >> you see that video, you were just struck by the tensions the impossible questions that -- that just can't be answered. take his father at face value. the kid may be smart, but he is
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clearly twisted and become a terrorist. do you have any incite in to what he believes the world should look like and why are we an enemy? >> i think you can never underestimate the power of faith. faith is an incredibly strong driver. when omar converted to islam he found -- found his path and he was always -- before he converted a very committed person. that was part of his personality. he -- if he was going to do something, he wanted to be the best at it so now he is going to be a jihadiist, and he wants to be the best. >> he write about soccer games and his parents in alabama what is evil about that, such that now he is a wanted terrorist? >> i think that's what is such a fascinating window in to who are these people that are out to
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destroy america? or people that we refer to as terrorists. and this is one of the first times that we have somebody that looks like us that is doing this. there are lots of terrorists in the world, but they are always aligned with a different country, and this is somebody who comes from our country. >> any incite into why he is now on the run from his own group? >> you know, it's all been a little bit vague, except they have been in control of southern somalia for quite a while now, but they have begun to weaken and it looks like he has a fallen out of their graces. he is a strong-headed guys, and there may have been some disagreements on how to implement islamic law. he is a guy that i think used to
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be a big hauncho and now not so much. >> but no indication that it has made him question his terrorist path? >> yeah, i thought when he first came to me maybe he was looking at a way to surrender, and i quickly discovered he had no plan on doing that whatsoever. and what is interesting is one thing he does want is communication. i don't think he has talked with anyone for a very long time. >> does he want martyr dom. >> i think we would love that. >> all right.
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thank you very much. >> i'm lance armstrong. if somebody put my back into a corner, i'm coming out swinging.
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later on "viewpoint," congress needs real fiscal answers and needs a few grownups in charge. but now let's visit jennifer grandholm in "the war room." >> conspiracy living we'll take a closer look at the plot to bring reverend wright back out. and then we have norm ornstine on how money is polluting the american political system, and we also have bob ryshe on as well. >> excellent. all-star line up. the book that ornstine wrote is
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excellent. >> exactly. more "viewpoint" coming up next. important these subjects can be that's why time warner cable developed connect a million minds. to introduce kids in our communities to the opportunities that inspire them to develop these important skills. how can my car go faster? maybe your child will figure it out. find out more at connectamillionminds.com >>(narrator) gavin newsom, lieutenant governor of california, and former mayor of san francisco is coming to current tv. >>every night on cable news networks everyone's focusing on what's wrong. i want this show to move past that. i love creative people, and with all the vexing problems we have we need creative thinking. >>(narrator) with interviews with notables from silicon valley, hollywood, and beyond. >>at the end of the day this show's simple. it's about ideas. ideas are the best politics. ideas can bring us together. >>(narrator) the gavin newsom show. premiers friday at 11 eastern/ 8 pacific. only on current tv.
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♪ we need a mighty duck next year, and i don't mean a cartoon character. i mean the opposite of a lame-duck congress. since the legislature has enough cartoon characters already. it needs more grown ups especially after this election. we are heading to a convergence of factors that will deal a major blow to our economy, as much as a 5% drop in gdp as we turn the corner into next year. why? for a lot of reasons. the 2001/2003 tax cuts will expire next year. unemployment benefits will expire for millions of people. payroll taxes will go up by almost 50%, plus we're looking at spending cuts. and in case you forgot we're going to hit that ceiling again close to thinged of this year.
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remember how house speaker john boehner held the debt payment hostage in 2011? well, he has threatened to do it again. this ads up to one big fiscal mill stone around our necks. so here is my modest proposal for the people who can solve this. first get away from the cameras. second, start right now. representatives from the white house, speaker boehner and harry reid shout start meeting and talking today without the politicking and posturing away from the prioring eyes of the media. they need to speak like real people so agreements can be reached right after the election, before the debt ceiling deadline. as a nation we must stay far back from the edge of this cliff. all we need are some grownups in congress, and a mighty duck. that's my view.
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last year 168,126 black men
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between the ages of 14 and 24 were stopped under new york's stop and frisk program. 10,000 more than even lived in the city. citing the city's cavalier attitudes, federal judge shira scheindlin allowed the lawsuit to move forward as a class action suit. mere hours after the ruling was made public, the police commissioner sent a letter outlining changes the nypd would be making to the stop and fisk program, including: but the new york civil liberties union was not impressed, saying
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and i quote: joining us now is director of the new york civil liberties union, donna lieberman. donna thank you. congratulations huge win. stop and frisk has been part and parcel of the new york pd policy for years. why is it a violation of the constitution. >> you are supposed to be allowed to go about your business in -- in this society without being interfered with by the police. without having to account for yourself to the police, unless you are engaged in suspicious
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behavior. >> right. >> but what is happening on the streets of new york city if you are a black or latino male particularly, but not just them you will be stopped for no reason whatsoever and you could be subjected to a frisk like 55% of the time. not when the police suspect that you are carrying a gun, but when they don't. and this is a program that means that any trip to the store, any ride home -- any walk home from school, any hanging out on the stoop can result in you upagainst the wall spread your legs, patted down, and -- and that's not free. >> that's not what our constitution calls for? >> it's totally not what the constitution calls for. >> the words are reasonable suspicion. an officer needs reasonable suspicion before you can stop
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somebody. >> right. >> and what the judge said was that having gone through hundreds of thousands of these forms filled out by the pd officers who do the stops and frisks, she said no guts. >> that's what is going to be decided in -- in -- when this case proceeds to trial. she hasn't concluded that they have violated the -- the constitutional rights of everybody in the lawsuit, otherwise, the case would be over, but she said that there is a valid claim here and she says that the pd -- the new york police department is -- is -- exhibits disdain for the constitutional rights not to be stopped by the police -- >> cavalier disregard, the phrase i think she used. let's put up on the screen, there is as you alluded to a significant racial element to this. the likelihood of being stopped
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and frisks if you are black or latino stupendously greater than if you are white. the police department says we are do this in precincts with high crime, and therefore this is justified. why is that logic flawed? >> it's very tempting to buy the nypd's logic. but tell me how on earth is going to where the crime is to stop hundreds of thousands of innocent people every year almost 90% of the people stopped including of the black and latino people stopped are so innocent that an era of zero-tolerance policing where they would give a ticket or arrest to an open beer container if they could, they only come up with like 11% either arrest or summons. they are not going after criminals or people engaged in
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suspicious behavior. they are going after innocent people, and -- and that's not preventing crime. >> one of the defenses the pd articulates is we're getting guns off of the street. >> baloney. i'll let you finish. er >> counsel let me ask the question. >> all right. [ laughter ] >> it is an issue, because they say look, we can see the bulge in the pocket and as a prosecutor i could have cops who could say that, and sometimes yes, and sometimes no. were the numbers there to justify this in terms of the number of guns recovered compared to the number of stops? >> the number of guns recovered on this program is pathetic. it is -- it is i think 1.9% of the frisks that they do -- and it's about 0.15% of all of the
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stops. if this were private business -- >> uh-huh. >> there's no way that a program with an effectiveness ratio like that would ever be allowed to continue. this is a pathetically ineffective program, you do better with a buyback program. >> what interest the remedies, and by that i mean saying when i was attorney general we did what was the first big study of this. looked at it and not surprisingly found similar data. what would you say to commissioner kelly who i think most would agree is a good person. what would you want him to do to retrain the force? how would you address this problem? what would you do if you were in charge for a day? >> well, the first thing they think the commissioner needs to do is acknowledge that he has a problem. >> uh-huh. >> and it's not just a pr problem, it's not just a problem as he said in his letter today of public confidence being
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eroded it's a problem of suspiciousless stops happening. and he has to announce from the height of his office that there is going to be a new regime in the nypd and suspicionless stops are unacceptable. >> there are quotas or efforts by supervisors to get the officers on the streets to do this? >> there's no question that there are quotas in the nypd. there are tapes of roll calls that -- where people -- where officers are told to meet the quotas. i don't think the pda likes the quotas, or the line officers like the quotas. but there are quotas or stop and frisks, and arrests. that's no way to run a police
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