tv Washington Journal Jeff Pegues Discusses Policing in Minority Communities CSPAN May 16, 2017 7:31pm-8:01pm EDT
"washington journal". >> the new york times reporting today what donald trump told fbi director james comey about the michael flynn investigation, this according to a memo by mr. comey quote, i hope you can see her way clear to letting things go. he's a good guy. i hope you can let this go. that according to a memo written by james comey written about today in the new york times where you can read more. we hear from capitol hill the outgoing chair of the house's oversight committee say gop oversight is going to get the comey memo if it exists. i need to see it sooner rather than later. we will continue to follow the story tonight. in the meantime will hear about the relationship between lawgtrn enforcement and communities of i color.
>> you probably know jeff from cbs news. he's also author of the new book, black and blue inside the divide between the police and black america.did you as we take up this conversation during police week, i want to ask why did you write this book and why did you write it now? >> i thought this was the righto time. something i started working at about a year ago, that was at a time when many of these stories, ferguson and baltimore were still in the news is still an issue, north charleston and the shooting there. so, i wanted to tell this fromat both sides. a lot of these show one side of the divide i wanted to cover both sides equally.n i spent time in chicago talking to people in the community but also talking to police officers. police officials to get the real story. did not going to those neighborhoods with my suit and
tie, i went alone, carried my phone, just a recorder and just sat down in the neighborhoods to get the story, blunt talk. >> host: so where are we in this divide between the police and the community? is it getting better or worse? >> guest: it still exists.s.up depending on what the flashpoint is and what story pops up in th. news is a good barometer of whether it's getting better or worse. we know there is reform throughout the country amonger police chiefs and local police departments moving had no matter what the fed stupid we see in this is something i talk about cameras, and blue, we have police officials moving with the body cameras, more transparency and more accountability. a finding ways to reach out to people in the community. this is a device that continues but steps are being taken to wah
prove relation. >> host: did you watch trumps speech at the capital. >> guest: i did. >> host: that headlines is that police officers need more protection what you think about that? >> guest: if you talk to police officers, the rank-and-file they would agree with that. that is something i've heard from police officers across the country. they appreciate what they see as president trumps support of law enforcement. that something they hear the words and it's comforting to law-enforcement.saying a the question is, how to the communities feel about what the message president trump is saying and what that means for them. >> host: more of that message from president trump yesterday. >> we also must end the reckless words of incitement that give rise to danger and give rise to
violence. it is time to work with our cops, not against the, but support them in making our streets safe, not to obstruct is them. which we are doing. we obstruct them.ge it's time for all americans from all parties and beliefs to join together in a simple goal to ensure every child in america has the right to grow up and safety, security, peace.ide with true social justice means a future where every child in every neighborhood can play outside without fear, can walk home safely from school and can about the beautiful dreams that fill their heart, like you, micah. [applause] freedom includes the right to be free and i mean totally free from crime and from violence ms
13 is going to be gone from our streets very soon, believe me. [applause] when policing is reduced, it's often in the poorest and most vulnerable americans who are the first to suffer. we have all seen the tragic rise in violence and crimes in many of our disadvantaged communities. we have seen the unbearable core of the shortcomings in baltimo baltimore, and chicago that have cut short so many lives inseminate beautiful, beautiful dreams.nts? check, you're listening to the president yesterday, what are you thinking as he is making those comments?
>> guest: i think if you're police officer and hearing that, that's the message you want to hear from the president of the united states. however, how is that message received an inner-city communities where they view police tactics a certain way, that is always bearing down on these communities with tough policing tactics to drive down crime. what is happened and i talk about this in black and blue, it's driven a wedge betweenn police and the community. had you repair that? i don't know if there is a message in there for people in the community who feel police officers, and this is according to one person i spoke with in the book, treat them like livestock, show a lack of respect for them and so, is there a message there for the inner-city communities were trying to heal the divisive woods of this conflict between black and blue? >> will hear your thoughts for about the next 25 minutes or so,
phone lines are split up by regional lines. if you're on the easterner central time zone it is twoain zeros to 740-8000 especially for law enforcement and thewe'l segments, 202 separate ###-8002 bruce's waiting in michigan. good morning. >> caller: good morning. how are you. >> i'm a native to trade and a retired child abuse investigator. one of the things i've seen in n detroit is a lack of respect for the black community by the police departments in the area. i have to agree with -- there has to be a huge wedge in the police community relations but i would like to know what efforts to think are necessary in order to crack the barrier that seems
to be getting bigger and bigger? >> caller: i think it's going to take a combination of things. >> guest: i don't think there's anyone fix. what i've learned from talking to people on both sides, it has to start with regaining respect from both sides. this is a community issue. in a people willing to reach out to police officers and vice versa. until you do that, you can't break down the animosity. you can't diminish the animosity between both sides and the hard feelings between both sides. that's something i talk about in the book. you also have to have police departments increasing their training and transparency. that's important because people in the community want to go the police are there to serve them.
so they want to know that theer police officers are there to help them, to serve them, to protect and serve them. but there is so much bad blood in these communities and some of that is fueled by what people see in tv every night and what please suffer see a tv as well.t you have so many hard feelingsau in these communities. i talk about this in the book, some of us like therapy. you have to acknowledge there's a problem because there's some people in the community or ine policing who don't want to acknowledge there's a problem yu here. until you admit that you can't really move forward and do a better job of addressing theeraf concerns of not only people in the community, but also please. >> one official that acknowledged that was willing to talk candidly was james comey..i what he think his departure from
the head of the fbi means for this effort? it. >> guest: that's a good point. james comey has been central to so much of what law-enforcementa has done over the past three for years. on this issue in particular he was speaking out on this issue at a time when president obamac could not and what eric holder could not. or loretta lynch. every time they would bring up the issue they would be criticized for whatever reason. you will see in the book that james comey took the lead on this issue. he was able to speak to both sides in such a way there is understanding. he really picked up and he didn't have to do it. he made some of the speeches weighing in on this issue because it's something he felt m deeply about. >> host: so who picks it up now?
>> guest: the question is who could appeal to people in the community with in this community.yo is it just sessions are present trump himself? from what i seen talking on botu sides it's good that you're supporting police officers and what they do. but who's going to speak to people in the community when something happened questio? who will assure them that it's can be okay and is there figurea in this administration who will. do that. >> host: and you don't think there's a go to person right now. >> were early on and i don't think we seen it. >> oscar, morning. you're on. >> good morning everyone. i grew up in washington, d.c. i remember the boys club in uptown d.c. near cathedral avenue. i also remember policeman when i was a kid, i was around 7778, in
northeast, the police officers were part of the community. they worked in the boys club their part of the number eight boys club in the city. and you can see black and white and latinos, even now you can see there is a push for hiring more hispanic officers. i noticed cronyism especially in the midwest, you don't see the black and wet officers in the same, you see them in the inner cities. but you don't see them west of the mason dixon. everywhere you go it's alwayss so-and-so's cousin or brother who got hired as a policeman the bottom line is we should of kepd the affirmative-action and make sure those hired out of ten officers they could've either been raised or lived in the inner-city. try
>> i know there are police departments across the country that are trying to increase diversity because they know that it's also part of this issue and bridging the divide between black and blue.u however, it's easier said thanin done because if you see the images on tv their people in the black community who don't want l be a part of this. why would they? there's so much attention a place in these days and a lot of it is negative. it is a question of increasing diversity which police department are trying to do, but that is not the only issue at play. it's not only about diversity. you have to have the right policies in place that encourage the right type of policing. i know there are a lot of police departments moving in that direction right now. he says as it will take time to
go through the ranks. there's police departments across the country that are having a hard time findinga lot recruits. there could be a number of reasons dealing with conflicts over caesar dealing with the best and brightest in the military instead of the local police force. this is something were grappling with their trying to increase the numbers in the rank-and-file, but it's easier said than done. illinois. good . . r. jeff pegues, wonderful to talk to you. i'm just curious what your experience was when it come to of police?ning i was in dispatch operator, of and file law enforcement, but part of the police department. thing that i've found is that the police, when they are rained, they're always assumption is their life is in danger. parse and to be the parcel of training. of course when you hire nothing, is hammers, all they see
nothing, but i would be curious what you found in your research. thank you very much. >> guest: that's part of the issue here too and i know i keep saying that but this is a complex problem and i was fortunate enough to interview some of the innovators across the country and charles ramsey is someone who is in that realm that he has written a foreword for this book did i knowonent of training is a big component of this with a look at the 21ststtt century policing report thathi came from the white house the obama administration, training h is a big part of that in any the justice department investigations across thethere country and that common thread there is a lack of training and in how to put in policies that increase the training of police officers. >> host: we have a fantastic
force. >> guest: that's another fantastic question. it's important what's happening on the local level and you have those across the country that relies they have to make changes. this is about life and death on both sides. chi no matter what the federal government says i'd had police chiefs across the country saying they are going to continue with some of these reforms and b training is a big part of that. part of the problem of cross the country is police have been asked to do so much more than the original mission. they are running from call toes call so there are fewer opportunities for training but a lot of these investigations and a lot of these task forcee respa -- recommendation includes calls for increased training.ew reporter:.rc >> host: survey they did some 80,000 policemen and women
around the country a report that came out earlier this year. they are finding 806% of officers say fatal encounters that made policing heart of the 93% say officers have becomey. more concerned about their safety and 76% of officers have been reluctant to use force when it's appropriate and 75% say interactions between police and blacks have become more tense and 72% say officers have become less willing to stop and spestion people who seem suspicious. of those things what concerns you the most? >> guest: well, they all do. looking at this issue is someone who cares about this issue when you talk about how police are feeling this is something that we have seen not only in the big cities where some of these conflicts have played out in the headlines but also in smaller communities, wealthier communities with fewer blacks and people of color.
you are still seeing this same sentiment and that's the theme of my book.ou i talk about connecticut a town that i grew up in a relatively wealthy town, 98% of the population is white however you have police officers who are concerned about pulling over people of color for fear that they will be painted as racist or that they were profiling. that is the ferguson affected that something the james comey,l a term that he essentially made famous. it's this idea that because of the videotaped incident, the social media viral nature of some of these police encounters between black and blue it has caused this backlash where police officers are reluctant to make stops for fear that they will be painted as racist.
so that is an issue in some of these communities and the statistics from the pole that you mentioned. it's happening in big cities and small cities and the question is how the move forward. how do you bridge that gap? >> host: glen oak maryland calling in this morning. good morning. >> caller: good morning, how are you guys doing? a couple of good topics here. the thing that i have noticed between law enforcement and -- the officers see this individual that he is about to encounterrh and he assumes the individual is going to treat them with arms so he assumes such. both sides put up these walls and nobody is tearing the wall down so they can know what each other is going through. both sides have fear.
>> host: who can lead the tearing down of those walls? >> caller: it's going to depend on individuals. at some point that got to lower my fear level down and say this officer that i'm about too encounter, i'm hoping that heis sees me as a citizen and not as someone that's going to do him harm and from a law enforcement standpoint these guys have to say okay let me treat this citizen as a citizen that i swore to protect and serve and not somebody that's going to do wrong. until this happens nothing is going to change. >> guest: he raises a very good point. this is something i've talked about a lot in this book, is that there is fear on both sides. how do you get rid of that and this goes back to that therapy that i compare this to.hrough s you have to through some sort of mass dissemination of information find a way to break
down these walls so that those sides don't have preconceived notions of each other that increases that fear and how do you decrease half-year? that's about meeting people. getting out of those police cruisers and meeting people in the community and talking to them.. the images with a are the ones where you see police officers dancing with kids in the community are playing soccerr with kids in the community. it's a minor thing but that starts the initiative and sends a message to people all across the country and people in the inner city who only see police a certain way because they are showing up at exactly the wrong time and your life. it's important and this is something i found in my research i think a lot of police chiefs know this you get out of in the community before there's a 911 call. you get there before that happens the people know who you are and they know that blue is not bad.
blue is there to help. >> host: colorado springs, colorado. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i wanted to say being a person who has studied law enforcement in school and being black i feel that policing should e. on a national level training that's comprehensive to every neighborhood and when it police officer is done with that training that they are moved to areas that they are not a part of and otherwise something like busting. you move white officers to black neighborhoods the first couple of years so that they would no and experience what it's like to be in that type of neighborhood and four white officers, black
officers to be moved to white neighborhoods so they can feel what it would be like and then to come back, go back to training and discuss what they have learned and move on. >> host: thanks for bringing it up. what do you think about that? >> guest: that's another good option and what is encouraging that you hear people that are calling in, they have ideas on how to improve this relationship and that's what it is. police officers are there to protect and serve. out 99.9% of police officers on the streets every day are doing it for the right reasons. they didn't get into it to make money. they got in to it to help people. >> host: she's talking about a national standard for training. is there a national standard for training when it comes to relations were set up to the individual department? >> guest: as far as i know that's up to the individual department and terror groupsrn
like the international association of chiefs of police mo believe that there should the more of the national commission, and national consensus behind reform that will help across a broaderou section of this country. you are right, some departments don't have the money or the funding to increase their training but it is so important in terms of what these police officers do day-to-day. >> host: the author of the new book black and blue the insidei fight between police and black america. taking your calls in a special in for police officers 202748 8002. cornelius is in able florida. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i would like to complement mr. begase in his study and the. book.
he is a good addition to the debate but really it goes beyond black and blue. i'm looking at the book written by michelle alexander a law professor called the new jim crow, mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. it tells us that the criminal justice system is dead to a very large extent for the imprisonment of blacks. it sets up this bad feeling between blacks and whites and let me say again that black lives matter as meaning that people just what to tend to skip over. time and again month after month white policeman have killed blacks, not only men but women and children and it gotten away with it. the criminal justice system has allowed it.
it has created a bad feeling between blacks and whites. accob >> guest: accountability is a big part of this issue. people watch the news. they see what's happening and they see that a police officer who clearly may have been in some sort of violation in terms of these police shootings is not prosecuted and a lot of these studies by the justice department and other groups have found that accountability for police actions that are unlawful has been lacking so to move forward, part of this is accountability, holding police officers accountable for any crime that they may commit. >> host: has there have been a turning point when it comes to accountability?en are there specific incidents that make people believe there's more accountability in the system or is that something that we are waiting for? >> guest: if you look across history there are incidents thad have happened where people in
the black community have questioned whether justice iss applied equally. water scott shooting in north i charleston, south carolina something that comes to mind. eric garner on staten island is something else that comes to mind. freddie gray, so you can list off a number of issues and that's something i talk about in the book. people in the black community see these instances that they feel justice, where they feel justice has not been served and that's something you just don't forget. that increases the fear.li that increases the fear of police and that's why so many families who are african-american families in this country feel like they have andhave that talk with their kids. when they look at the images that they see and not just in the last four years but throughout the history of this
country? >> host: describe some of that talk there you heard it as you are writing the book? >> guest: the top that i heard in the talk but i had growing u as an african-american in this country. my parents are from birmingham and montgomery alabama. they were growing up in the 60s. they were heavily involved in the civil rights movement. we grew up in an era where you had to ride in the back of the bus and you saw alabama neesa poses and billy clubs and dogs so these are images that black americans have in their heads.do doesn't just fade away. it's handed down through generations.