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tv   Lennon Remembered  BBC News  December 5, 2020 12:30am-1:01am GMT

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trade and around the world. talks between britain and the trade talks between britain and the european union have been put on hold until prime minister borisjohnson the commissioner can hold direct talks on saturday. they are trying to bridge significant distance differences in three key areas. the us president electjoe biden has called for urgent bipartisan agreement to help people who've lostjobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. he said americans needed help now. new figures show thejobs needed help now. new figures show the jobs market continues to grow although at a slower rate. the mayor of san francisco says she and political leaders across the bay area are imposing new lockdown orders and business restrictions to try and make draina curve restrictions to try and make drain a curve of covid—19. the us recorded more than 1a million cases. the highest of any country in the world.
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now on bbc news it's time for hardtalk. marks the 40th anniversary of the beetle murdered in new york on december the 8th 1980. and assesses his powerful legacy a0 years on. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur. these sensors systemic racial injustice in policing has fuelled the black lives matter movement. shared far beyond the shores of the united states. in britain it is two decades since top—level inquiry into london's police force found it be institutionally racist how much has really changed. my guess leroy logan was one of top policeman until he retired seven policeman until he retired seve n years policeman until he retired seven years ago. how easy policeman until he retired seven years ago. how easy is it to root out discrimination dressed in a police
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uniform welcome to hardtalk. thank you for the invitation. it's great to be here. delighted to have you you've written a fascinating memoir. you've entitled it closing rank my life as a cop. it's pretty clear what it's about. you talk about your decision to join the police force many many years ago it's what you say is a calling. you make it sound like a religious commitment you made to policing well, you had to be as strong as that. my career path was to be a clinical
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researcher in the royal hospital. and possibly going into medicine. so i was very clear on my path this strong voice kept resonating i was questioning my sanity why would ido questioning my sanity why would i do policing? having experienced so much during the days of the 70s and i saw how my father along this is driver. how he would be harassed by the police. to be clear, you are brought up in a not very well off black family. your family moved to london from jamaica. you as a kid saw it was a pretty tough life being a black kid on the streets of inner london. not least a tough life in terms of relationship with police. absolutely. it even happened when i went to school andi happened when i went to school and i come out of band practice
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and i come out of band practice and my trumpet, my satchel and i'd still get started. what we re i'd still get started. what were you doing now. what's in his trumpet case? a trumpet. i found really challenging and my father used to stand up for me when he got stopped by police and unfortunately he was a victim of a savage beating by police when i was actually in the process ofjoining. you can imagine how no way am i gonna bea imagine how no way am i gonna be a cop after all theirs. because how my hero my father had been savagely beaten over a traffic matter. i don't like i can imagine. i certainly cannot imagine how you would then second—guess yourself. and indeed overcame the suspicion and hostility of also your own family to actually go ahead and sign up andjoin family to actually go ahead and sign up and join this force. why did you do that despite the deep reservation of your dad?
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even though he successfully sued for unlawful arrest and excessive force. it still was there supporting me. but how he found out was the worst thing. because i had applied without him even knowing it. because officers and spoken to who used to work in hampstead used to use the facilities that were royal free. sort of gave me the human side of policing. and then when i was doing my degree i saw then when i was doing my degree isawa then when i was doing my degree i saw a black officer in the 70s and it resonated with me. i remember as a child injamaica i spent a few years in primary school in jamaica. and i spent a few years in primary school injamaica. and i saw black officers, black teachers, black prime ministers i thought actually, policing can be my calling. did friends and even some family call you a cello? absolutely full stop if you
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ever wa nt to absolutely full stop if you ever want to reduce your christmas card list by 70% join the mat. i was called judas, a sell—out. i don't know if i've sold out. as said very clearly, iama sold out. as said very clearly, i am a black man who happens to bea i am a black man who happens to be a cop. that means i integrated into the organisation with my beliefs and values. it's a long time now since you did the police training and then as a young beat officer. you joined the police on the streets of london. how painful is it now to recall some of the racism that racism on the street but i'm thinking of racism inside your own team. absolutely. i would get monkey noises on the radio. massive and
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word did you report it and wasn't investigated? word did you report it and wasn't investigated ? they word did you report it and wasn't investigated? they said they investigated but i didn't see the ib and spoken to. i didn't get any sort of feedback to stop in days casual racism and overt racism not necessarily directed at me and members of the public a look like me were always part of the narrative. how close did you come to walking away as a young police officer? many times, many times. some would say perhaps that would have been the move with the greatest integrity behind her. i see behind the system it is so rotten, it is so bad for my people in particular. but so bad for race relations in london that i will not be any sort of token or a fig leaf covering up was going on.
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..policemen or women who had done it. absolutely, and it wasn't a member of the public. and did you report it? was it investigated ? yeah, well, they said they investigated but i didn't see anyone being spoken to, i didn't get any sort of feedback. because in those days, casual racism and overt racism — not necessarily directed at me, but at members of the public who looked like me — were always part of their narrative. how close did you come to walking away as a young police officer? many times. some would say that perhaps that would be the move with the greatest amount of integrity behind it, to actually say "i've seen now inside the system. it is so rotten, it is so bad for my people in particular, but so bad for race relations in london that i will not be any sort of token or fig leaf covering up what is going on." i thought that many times. but i also saw what was bad in the met could easily be
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solved by what's good in it. there's some great people in the met — a majority of people want to serve all members of the public, regardless of background. but, with respect, that's not true, is it, leroy? because you — through the ‘80s and ‘90s — served in a period when policing in london was — we now can say with absolute assurance — systemically, institutionally racist, and we can say that because after the terrible racist murder of young stephen lawrence back in 1993, there was ultimately a full public inquiry and that was the conclusion that the lead of that inquiry, william macpherson, reached, institutional racism, and you are in there all of that time. and i gave evidence to macpherson to say as one of the three members of the bpa — black police association — that they were institutionally racist. but then you go home, take your salary, you are on the beat the next day — i dare say with a mix of emotionally white officers — and probably seeing things the very next day and that after that that disturb you and your conscience, but what did you do about it? i had to stand in the midst. you know, you are not going to steer a ship from the shore. you've going to be on board, in the captain's cabin, changing the direction. and we in the black police
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association saw an opportunity — especially after macpherson — to own the recommendations of the internal recruitment retention progression, as well as the external delivery to the black community. in this fascinating book, what strikes me what you don't do is you don't ever describe an incident where you felt personally compromised in your policing on the streets of london when faced with perhaps a racially charged situation. are you saying that never happened ? of course it happened! so what did you do? i challenge people! so, you know, there is no way officers — especially when i was a supervisor — they could mistreat people. and i had to report people where they were inappropriate. what i would like to do is spot it before it becomes a problem, put them on a development plan, even assist them with on—the—job training. i had to show ethical leadership. i had to speak truth to power, even at that grassroots level with officers. because i used to say to them "every time you have a encounter with a member of the public, that's a potential witness for a crime you have to investigate." but were officers that you worked closely with out—and—out racist, some of them? some of them had some real strong views because, unfortunately, the police does attract certain people with those very intolerant views, and the culture develops it in a way that it
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becomes the norm. so it was a cultural thing, and that is why we had to ensure, through the macpherson inquiry, we break into that culture. on a personal level, i'm just thinking of you as a young man, you marry, you have a family, you are living your life, and you are also undergoing this extraordinary career which is, as we've already touched upon, so full of challenge and stress. you say in the book "i knew that joining the police and being a policeman would set two worlds — my personal life and my professional life — on a collision course". is that how it felt? absolutely. you couldn't easily marry having a decent personal life and living this life as a black policeman in london? what i found that even though it was a collision course, i had the anchor of my faith to assist me to navigate through that. even when i was involved in the damilola taylor investigation and i brought in a cadre of black officers to assist... just reminding people — the damilola taylor case, which came years after the horrible racist murder of stephen lawrence — it was a different case,
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because this was a young black boy who was killed and it wasn't a racist attack in the case of damilola taylor, but it was a tragic case of a young black boy in the wrong place at the wrong time who, it seems, was attacked by people with a gang affiliation who just didn't like his presence on their patch at that particular time. and you are saying that when you investigated that, you applied new tactics, new sort of sensitivity and smart policing when it came to dealing with minority communities in london? absolutely. because the officers had shared that common experience with the community who had the information, and they wouldn't even open the door to white officers who did house to house inquiries. once i brought in that team, literally, within hours, they were opening doors, giving information, identifying
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witnesses and suspects and it eventual assisted in developing that conviction. what i saw, we have to show diversity in action, because that's when officers will really understand the importance of diversity, having a reflective organisation to build bridges with the community and not barriers. but you paint this picture of the damilola taylor case representing a sort of a watershed moment with more, sort of, sensitive policing. there was a cultural relations unit set up. you called — you labelled it ‘affinity policing' — the use of black police officers who had a knowledge of heritage and history and language, which could reach out to members of the black community in parts of london. all sounds great, but if one looks at the statistics, even in the last decade — long after damilola taylor's case — we see that still a black person is five times more likely at least to be stopped by the police than a white counterpart. we see that in every metric — for example, of black people in custody, in terms of violent acts and even death in custody, again, a disproportionate number of black people involved.
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the metrics suggest nothing much has actually changed. and you wouldn't be far wrong from that. u nfortu nately, after the macpherson report was published in february 1999, the stephen lawrence steering group, which was the independent oversight chaired by jack straw and with neville and doreen lawrence, amongst other people, like myself, used to hold chief constables and the commissions to account because what gets measured gets done. once that subsequent home secretaries took over and it was finally dissolved in 2009, and then austerity was brought in in 2010, the steering group oversight was gone, then chief constables were right there on homework about the recommendations and saying, "institutional racism is no longer useful" when it was supposed to be an aspiration to improve the internal and external elements of the police force. so forward momentum was lost, wasn't? absolutely.
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and more importantly, you then lost a lot of officers through austerity — especially citizen—focused cops, community cops, your safer neighbour teams, your safer schools officers. those lost connections with the community, and that is why things have gone backwards. so the look and feel of policing — in my estimation — reminds me of a pre—macpherson era. and that... that is a shocking thing to say. it is! but... the macpherson report was what, 1999? yep. and you are saying that the way you look at the direction of travel today, we seem to be going back to a period before 1999. yes, absolutely. it's about the leadership of the organisation to address the culture. i think the culture has been hijacked by the extremely aggressive and intolerant group of individuals that have taken over the organisation. that's a much harder organisation — the use of handcuffs, even before
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a stop and account, and stop and search, it's creating so much animosity. we have now got barriers, walls of silence, creating barriers that the police have created, and it's caused trauma for young people. i want to just tease out then what you think is happening, because you are an advocate now and a campaigner, and you work with a lot of young people in black communities across london. you are also an advocate for, again, smart policing. when you hear the chief of the metropolitan police of london today saying that she will not use this phrase "institutional racism" because she says it's no longer helpful, she says, "we have zero tolerance of racist behaviour "within the met", is that the sort of leadership the met needs? you have to walk the talk. even now, officers of black and minority ethnic backgrounds are five times more likely to be disciplined than their white counterparts. i myself was investigated
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for a witch—hunt over an £80 hotel bill in the late ‘90s. so in all honesty, it's quite clear that those sort of cases that were still the case 20—odd years ago are still happening now. and then you also see the disproportionality in even section 60 roadblocks... hang on a minute... 25 times more likely with black than in white to be stopped... and i — i, yeah... be stopped, and aggressively about. i gave some other stats about, you know, the number of stops made on black people as opposed to white people in london and the proportionality there. there is no question, there is a real disproportionality. but the police's response is, there's a disproportionality because there has to be, because we go to where the crime is being committed, and where we most urgently need to protect local populations, and often time in london, the truth is, that is in majority black communities. so that's why the numbers of stop and search are higher, and that's why the number of arrests are higher, and that's why also,
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it doesn't make sense to criticise the police for that reality. well, stop and search in leeds is not disproportionately black. you mean yorkshire city of leeds? absolutely. what it has to be as well, it has to be intelligence—led. and a cornerstone of police legitimacy is trust. if the communities don't trust you, they don't tell you who to really stop, and that's why even the actual hit rate of how many stops leads to interest, or uncovering a weapon is one in ten. so nine times out of ten, you are harassing the wrong sort of people. and that's what's creating the real animosity between the police and the public. do you think, it's interesting you talk about that, and clearly, tensions exist, and a sense of unfairness
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exists. you earlier talked about your initiative, you were one of the architects of this black police association, it's been around for a long time now. there are those within the police and without who argue that having a powerful black police association actually exacerbates the sense of differentness of black police officers. it does nothing to create a sense that all police officers are — whether they are white or black — utterly committed to nine prejudicial policing. well, they would say that, wouldn't they? because even when we were setting up the black police association, in ourfirst meetings, actually, in april of 1993, the same month as stephen lawrence was killed, they were pushing back saying, "you don't need a bpa because we take care of you". well, if you did, we wouldn't
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be feeling the need to form so you will work with us as equal partners. and they still don't want to do that now. and they fuel the culture. that's what creates young people to think, "i want nothing to do with the police". i have been running a charity called voyage youth. we set it up 20 years ago through the black police association — it was called the black police association charitable trust before it was now called voyage. and every year, i do the trust and confidence with those young people and they have always said "we feel over policed and under protected. the police disrespect us." this is year nine students, 1a—15, looking at developing themselves with their b tech level two that we offer so that they can actually have these points before they start school — gcse‘s, year ten, and they are always saying that. that is just a microcosm of the issue, and it is still the case today. and as you say, you are no longer in uniform and you are a community activist. i am very struck by your decision earlier this summer to join a black lives matter protest march in london. why did you do that? because i want to identify with that movement. yeah, but you knew that that could lead to confrontation with the police.
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well, as i said, i'm a black man who happened to be a cop. and it's really important for me to put that i am still a black man. for me to put that i am i still hurt... for me to put that i am the pain of seeing the torture of george floyd by an officer who has got the same protect and serve mantra, who are there to serve the community, and to see that torture and that death, there is no way that i could not hold back. i'd got to be there. and itjust so happened that that solidarity for the movement is so important. that's why, even when they are talking about black lives matter meaning something, and at the same time to say systemic racism doesn't exist, it's counterproductive. actually, on that question a black lives matter, when she saw that some of her own officers — metropolitan police officers — had taken in one of the early marches, the decision to actually respond to the crowd who had asked them to take the knee by taking the knee, several officers chose to kneel and take
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the knee. she then declared, i think within 2a hours, no officer shall do that again. how did you feel about that? if you had been in uniform at the time of this march and black lives matter, would you have taken the knee? if i felt that desire for solidarity with the community, yes, i would. would you have ignored the order of your senior officer? do you know, sometimes you have to. really, tell officers... i had to do it many times in the black police association. what you are doing is actually creating barriers, and at times, just doing that gesture of solidarity with the community can break down those barriers and actually help you to be more efficient and effective in serving the needs of the community. what works, in your view, you have had a long career in policing, now much more in community organisation, what works in terms of building a much more effective relationship, successful relationship, between the police and young people —
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particularly young men in black and minority ethnic communities — what works best? some talk about getting the police out, some talk about dismantling and defunding the police, but that is an extreme view. what can the police do — short of defunding and getting out — what can the police do to forge a relationship? change the narrative. if you think you can stop and search your way out of the problem, or arrest your way out of the problem, that's not going to work. went to work. i always hear officers saying, welcome in my experience... i did 30 years, i know the limitations of stop and search and it's a blunt tool commit has to be shortened up with community intelligence and trust is a critical part of that equation. you then have to ensure that you walk the talk. you have to have statement of intent to say, listen, we have a problem. acknowledge you have a problem. don't deny it and sweep it under the carpet and say, "0h, all is well."
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because we mark our own homework. let people understand that, yes, you are willing to see that these failings have had a detrimental effect and do something about it. and obviously start to really hone in on those officers who are draconian in their actions and really building barriers because of the way in which they operate with the community. so that the majority of officers who really are there for the right reasons and are doing a greatjob will have an opportunity to do so without feeling that they have misplaced loyalties. 0h, we don't speak against certain people, because it's a decision by decibels. and then supervisors to supervisors on the street with proper ethical leadership. i was public enemy number one on so many occasions, and they still are hounding me on social media. that's why i wrote the book. warts and all. they've got nothing else to say to me. it sounds like you feel that there is still an awful long way to go. absolutely. because i say, there is nothing bad in the met that can't be
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resolved by what's good in it. i will work to my dying day to help them. i don't want my grandchildren to grow up with inequalities and injustices, not just policing, but wider issues, just like my children's generation did. myself, my parents' generation, it's got to change. i will keep going until my dying day. leroy logan, we have to end there. i thank you very much indeed forjoining me on hardtalk. we started with widespread snow in scotland. that then turn to rain and most of snow that's falling right
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now is really over the high ground —— a wintry season. particularly over the peak district. it's been a messy picture because we had these bands of cloud bringing wet weather around an area of low pressure with some stronger winds. that will tend to move down into france, so for a start, the winds will ease and that we can should be turning drier as well. but still in cold air. clearing skies across parts the midlands, eastern england where we are likely to find a frost and some icy conditions as well. elsewhere will be quite as chilly or cold as last night in scotland. and what a rather across —— wetter weather. but for many, it will be turning dry with some sunshine. another chilly day, not
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as windy as it was on friday especially in the southwest. but those temperatures fall to 7 degrees. clear skies in the evening but we are likely to find some cloud and wetter weather just running into the far east of scotland and into the north of england as well. that'll keep the temperatures up here, but elsewhere we're likely to find frost more widely, and it brings the risk of icy patches as well. it will be quite foggy by the morning and across the southeast —— of some icy patches. we will still keep some cloud coming into the northeast of england, perhaps the midlands with a few showers. also some sunshine, the best temperatures probably in wales and the southwest, eight, maybe 9 degrees but in the cloud further east, it's going to be colder, around four celsius or so. early next week, one area of low pressure running to the southwest, another one threatening to come
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in off the north sea. that will bring some wetter weather across... next week is going to be dry generally. it is going to be cold and could be quite great with some patches of fog. —— quite grey. rain also some sleet and snow mainly over the high ground,
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welcome to bbc news, i'm luis vonjones. 0ur welcome to bbc news, i'm luis vonjones. our top stories: welcome to bbc news, i'm luis vonjones. 0urtop stories: new lockdowns are in place in san francisco to help curb a surge in coronavirus cases. us president—electjoe biden calls for congress to act without delay to help americans who have lost jobs as delay to help americans who have lostjobs as a result of covid—19. hello and welcome to the programme. the us has recorded 14.1 programme. the us has recorded 1a.1 million cases and 276,000 deaths from covid—19, highest of any country in the world. on
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