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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  April 10, 2015 5:30am-6:01am EDT

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hospital. he was receiving treatment for skin cancer since november. he played in 63 test matches but became even more well-known as an author columnist and commentator. lots more on our website as always, yes, civilians shouldn't do wrong things once we stimulate that, can we ask hard questions about how police are trained and how they react. it's "inside story". after the shooting of 50-year-old walter scott, a police officer told a story often heard in these cases, a scuffle, an attempt to disarm
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the officer, a feeling of threat to life - followed by a fatal shooting. in this case the story told by cell phone video rolled at the scene didn't match what the officer said about what happened. obviously there is still questions that need to be answered about what precedes the video seen by millions, and the time line that we see in the pictures. and the pictures are everywhere. by now you have likely seen them, we won't show them. what made the video shot by a bystander so chilling is scott is running away. no longer a threat to the officer. if he's committed an infraction, he's a minor one, and the peace and safety of the wider north charleston community is not threatened in a discernible way by scott's appearance. the officer is seen adopting a posture you might see at a fire range and he squeezes shot after
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shot until he stumps to the ground. there's no call for medical assistance. the officer radios shots fired, went to the taser, walks to scott's body and handcuffing the dead or dying man. if there was no video, the story getting the attention would be michael slager's. . joining me to discuss the death is michelle, vice president for legal progress at the center for american protection, and ron hoskill - president of the law enforcement defense fund. there'll be a trial, there'll be testimony and evidence. i don't want to try michael slager here, but i do want to talk about procedure. what do they tell you in the academy if a suspect is trying to elude you. if he's leaving the scene? >> not only in the academy, but across your career you are getting legal training relating
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to the use of force. according to the supreme court, that should be reasonable. it generally escalates depending on the amount of force required, and the force used against you as an officer. so the measure of reasonableness is a fourth amendment standard, and the supreme courted ruled on several occasions including seminal cases, which get with a person in slight in the police, and graham versus connor, which was another supreme court use of force analysis. the analysis is the threat - serious threat to your life or somebody near you. and how imminent is that threat. >> now, this is something that begins with a busted tail light on wall street are scott's car, and then a short time later he's laying face down in a field. is there
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a rule, even if not spoken out loud or written on paper that a policeman learns of proportionality, that if it's an armed robbery, an attempted kidnapping or firebombing that escalating to fatal use of force is called for while a stop beginning with a busted tail light maybe you don't have to shoot anyone. >> here is one of the challenges of policing - and yes there is a challenge and your question points to this, for a typical police officer, a car stop for a broken tail light may quickly escalate. you may not know who is in the car or what the intentions are. it's not uncommon. we saw recent video where there's a gun pointed at the officer and he's getting gunned down in what appears to be a routine car
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stop. the police are taught don't treat anything as routine, you have to take every individual encounter on its own. try to use your training and your skills and your de-escalation skills, hopefully, four firearm and legal knowledge to hopefully not have a encounter. >> michelle, what do you see going on in the video. and what should people who watch it, those who are glad for police protection in their neighbourhood, those that worry about police protection in the neighbourhood, all sorts of americans, what do they take away from the video. something that all americans share is the heart going out to the family of walter scott. to look at the video that has gone viral. you can hear and feel the heart break of a family in a community that is faced with this situation. but more
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importantly, i think what that incident shows us are two things. this stop came into play because of the broken taillight, and the fear that walter scott had, whatever we don't know all the details, but we know there was so much fear in the interaction between the police officer, that he felt it necessary to run from him. to me, that indicates that there is a breakdown both of the public policy that you were atried to be arrested because of child support payments - so there's a policy question there. but also that you didn't thing that you could have the kind of interaction with the police officer that wouldn't result in you running away or being so afraid of what that interaction could entail. >> don't dismiss the possible beef for child support. isn't that a central part of this story, that the fear might not exist over a taillight stop. but you realise that because
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you're already e-americaed - rightly, enmeshed rightly or wrongly in the system, there could be a downside effect of this stop for you. >> definitely, and i'm not minimising it. what i want to emphasise is should we reimagine the system where child support doesn't actually end you in prison? if the reason you are going to prison is because of child support payments, how would you meet those child support payments? we know one in three americans have a criminal record, and so that only leads to greater economic distress for that family. what i'm saying is if we look at the host of issues that come into play, whether it's escalation of use of force or questions about why the stop happened in the beginning, there are to many places where we have to rethink what happened, and say "are there things this that we as a community could have
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done better or public policy results that could have changed the interaction", and what was the conversation between the two that could have changed the outcome. was there a sense of trust that could have been established with that conversation as opposed to that fateful encounter. >> whatever proceeded the events that we then see unfold on the video, would you agree that there are other alternatives besides opening fire? if the guy lives in the community, he has - you have his car, run his plates, you know where he's from, roughly. if he is not home when you go there, you can find out where he is. were there other alternatives, beside opening fire at that point. his back is to you, he's not attacking you, he's trying to get away from you, and you make - the officer makes a big decision. >> right, a fatal decision.
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the answer is yes. the most obvious answer, and, you know, we brush by it - suspects run from the police. that is a common occurrence in america. whatever their motivators are, whether it's fear of incarceration, being fined, going to gaol for overnight, this happens every day. the most obvious response that police practice is "i run after them." i remind them that i'm the police, i catch up with them. the officer looked to be in good shape. the victim was no olympic sprinter. and so - and you call for backup. and the radio helps you chase this down. because friend are coming, police are coming to the scene to help you. were there alternatives - yes, there were. the video, the piece that we saw speaks for itself. it is concerning and i share michelle and the family's pain over this. video.
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>> when you submit yourself, you take the oath at the academy, you begin your training - is there an idea spoken and inculpated in a set of values, that the weapon is the last resort, rather than one of the earlier resorts. >> absolutely. >> the use of deadly force is the final option. and any basic amount or advanced police training reinforces that notion. that is the final ogs. most police officers and certainly police officers i have worked with over the course of my career - this is the last thing you want to do. you look at how this turns your own life upside down, you'll be in a use of force investigation, one that could well prosecute you. one that will financially devastate you. we need look no further than officer darren wilson nine months ago who many in the court of public opinion convicted, who was later
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acquitted by a d.o.j. report. look at how his life transformed. he is essentially a pariah on the run, has to hide. he's out of the public view, has no wherewithal to pay for the fees that mounted up to defend itself, that said he was justified. no rite-thinking police officer wants that. >> so what is the answer? >> this is - we are now - this is not the first case, we are at the end of a string of cases, different variables in each case, but a young boy in cleveland ohio, a shopper in a big box retail store in ohio, a guy walking down a stair in a public housing area in new york. in each case something went wrong and an unarmed man is dead. we heard talk about how police are trained. what is the problem? >> i put out a paper at the end of
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disease december talking about reforms, and we talked about data collection, the increased use of the department of justice. whatever their best practices that they are learning from pattern and practice investigations across the country. but i think one of the most important pieces in the paper - we talk about implicit bias, and what that is. and the idea and notion that each of us carry kind of the subconscious stereotypes, that we may not be aware of. they come into play with how we interact with one another. take your example of tamir rice. when the officer arrived on the scene. they didn't see a 12-year-old boy. he called in a 19, 20-year-old man with a gun. we know from research that typically african-american youth, men particularly, are seen as five years older.
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so what was it about that brief interaction that didn't see tamir rice as a 12-year-old boy, but a man and a threat. the question we have to ask one another in our society is how do we unpack and break the stereotypes, without question, they are interaction. >> good to see you both. >> thank you along with police shootings of unarmed black men in south carolina, new york and ohio, is a case of michael brown in ferguson, missouri. we'll talk to wesley bell, a newly elected member of the ferguson city council in a moment. stay with us, it's "inside story".
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welcome back to "inside story" on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. when the killing of michael brown broke this ferguson, missouri and made nationwide new, americans began to learn more about the community just outside st. louis. it had a sizeable black majority, much of the power in ferguson was in the hands of white politicians chosen in low-turn out elections. the mayor, the schoolboard and police force, and command structure were white in a mostly black down, after elections that will change some. wesley bell is a city council-elect from ferguson and joins me. welcome to the programme. what did you make to the video out of north charleston.
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>> watching the video and having an opportunity to watch it murder. >> i can't think of any other way to describe it. >> does the existence of the video change in the way you are watching it unfold. does it change the conversation. we had a law enforcement expert, a career law enforcement guest in the first segment. it seems like the reaction has been muted and measured. >> well, you know, i think as they say a picture tells 1,000 words. you know, reading it, because i initially read the article and it sounded, you know, it was bad, obviously, and seeing the video, i mean it literally turned my stomach. you know, understanding the - as an attorney, understanding the law, i can't see a way around it. i don't see any way to justify
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the use of deadly force in that situation. when i look at the mannerisms of the officer in this - in that video. it wasn't one that was under - it wasn't a person under distress, it was someone who was completely in control, and, again, that is just murder what do you - how do you explain to yourself, what do you make of the idea that just in the last year there have been all these killings of unarmed black men by law enforcement officers, what is going on? >> i think you can look back and - you can look back for years, and i'm talking about 10, 20, 50 and longer, and you'll see accounts of these things. you can watch old richard prior tapes, he talked about tensions with african-americans and
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minorities and some members of law enforcement. i want to be clear, we know the overwhelming majority of men and women in uniform are honest and protecting the streets. the problem is when you have a few who do this, is puts a black eye on the department. i'm - as many know, i'm a proponent of community oriented policing. that kind of approach, i think, will help reduce these kinds of incidents, when you have a person - i want to be clear, when you have a person with an agenda and they want to do something wrong, and they have a gun, there's no policing that will be a cure all. this person, based on what i saw in the video, he - he's where he needs to be. he's right where he belongs. over the last 25 years, violent crime in this country dropped like a rock, and almost
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everywhere. now, granted, not as far and not as fast in some of the neighbourhoods where crime was the biggest problem. in those places it dropped a great deal. why is there still a fear, apprehension among sworn officers in forces large and small that something can go wrong if you do business with a black man? >> i think it's a lack of being a part of the community. when you don't know someone, when you don't feel that the people around you are one of you, then you are going to view a situation differently. my brothers, we argue, fuss and fight. if they came at me in an aggressive manner, i would not take it seriously. i'm using that as an example. when you are in the community and you feel a part of that community, you may - you are
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going to see things differently, you'll approach the situations differently, when you see the community as separate from you, well, then, there's going to be a different approach, and one in which oftentimes we don't like the results, unfortunately. >> with the recent elections moved from being an outsider to an insider. you are part of the structure that you were protesting before. how do you think that will change you, and what can you go to change the way things operate in a place like ferguson. >> well, i wouldn't - i would say what i will do and what i have been doing is community building. i do think that in order to effect ute sustainable challenge, you have to have political access. so, you know, i encourage people, young people that you have to get involved in the process. yes, i'm an elected official.
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in two weeks i'll be an elected official. i haven't taken that oath as of yet. they move it up, i'll put my hand on the bible. in the meantime i'm getting up to speed, contacting state officials. there's issues near and dear to me that i want to move forward, which, in fact, i already have, and again as community oriented policing, and city and regional court reform. >> thank you for joining us, wesley bell. >> thank you for having me wesley bell was just elected a member of the ferguson city council. still ahead on "inside story". the government of greece wrote a check to the i.m.f. as part of the the economic aspects. we head to athens where ali return. >> al jazeera america brings you a first hand look at the environmental issues, and new understanding
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of our changing world. >> it's the very beginning >> this was a storm of the decade >>...hurricane... >> we can save species... >> our special month long focus, fragile planet
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you're watching "inside story" on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. greeks unhappy with the severe economic contraction brought on
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by austerity - shut businesses, lost jobs, government lay offs swept an anti-austerity party that never ran a government into power in greece, and for a while there was tough talks of standing up to the germans, rejecting the strait jakarta of european -- straight jacket of discipline. al jazeera's ali velshi is reporting from athens, rather than precipitate a crisis sounds ledge. >> they did. as late as last week they said rather than make the $500 million as part of the repayment, the interest on the loan, they'd prioritise the payment of government salaries and pensions. in the end they hardly could scrape up the $500 million. they managed to do so. they have more and more payments coming up, 420 million euro next
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week, 900 million towards the end of the month, and 2 billion in salaries and pensions in may. they need another 7 billion from the creditors. the condition was unless you tighten up in greece further, you will not get the money. the government was elected on the promise that they'd cause the strait jacket to be loosened, cause austerity to be pulled back. they have not delivered on the promise. yesterday the i.m.f. called the bank of greece and said the money better be paid and they gave the bank of grease instructions to wire $500 million. >> sounds like a desperate hail marry pass flavour to some of the things talked about by the knew syriza led government, looking to the russians, suing the germans for reparation for damages or curing during world war ii.
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things? >> there's deep frustrations amongst the deep people. there's a lot of corruption, taxes don't get paid, it's an inefficient society and economy. there were promises made that we'll ease up. things are tough you can't unload for trying. youth unemployment is at 50%. this government came in on a waive of populous pressure and frustration. last week, earlier this week, the finance minister was in washington. first with christine la guard of the i.m.f., then with the u.s. treasury trying to get them to put pressure on europe, and the prime minister of greece in russia. there was some hope, not a lot of likelihood. there was hopes among greeks that may be russia will throw greece a life line. if that happens, russia would extract concessions and most
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greeks wouldn't either. there's a sense of desperation, a sense of let's try anything. in the end the creditors said you need to pay the billion thursday, and as much as the greeks talked tough, they had to pay it. >> in the opening rounds of the crisis american stock exchanges went south when there was speculation of greece leaving the eurozone. if greece is a poor performer, not a useful member, why was there so much throw back and reluct apps to let greece go. >> it's a good question. it's hard to get to the bottom of why all of this is happening. in the end it's the beginning of a few things, european countries didn't want to see it happen, or face criticism that may be some of the way in which the euro was set up was ill-conceived where it was a monetary union.
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no unified approach to budgets and financial discipline. later it became something else. there were european banks exposed to losses if greece were to default or leave the euro, now there's political upheaval across europe. the idea that if nationalism takes route as it does in tough economies, that europe itself will come apart culturally at the scenes. unclear as to how long greece will push had before the rest of interested." >> ali velshi reporting from athens. thanks a lot. that's all for this edition of "inside story". we want you to talk back to your television, visit facebook and give us feedback on what you hear on the programme. we invite you to follow us on twitter. or follow me and get in touch at ray suarez news. see you next
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time. i'm ray ♪ ♪ this is al jazeera: welcome to the newshour in doha. good to have you with us. here is what's coming up in the next 60 minutes. a cargo plane touches down in yemen at the saudi-led airstrikes entering a third week. pakistan's parliament calls for a diplomatic solution in yemen and claim diagnose won't play a military role. >> what could be a summit of the americas to remember as u.s. and cuba


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