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tv   Open Phones With Jill Leovy  CSPAN  April 26, 2015 10:00pm-10:31pm EDT

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w anything of clinical process to discover what works. >> so we were gone the novel partnerships. well. there is a new book out on several bestsellers list and it is called "ghettoside: a true story of murder in america." and it is written by los angeles times reporter, jill leovy. she is joining us now at "the l.a. times" festival of books. who was bright in l.a.? >> guest: brands finale isn't 18-year-old living in south los angeles, the son of an lapd homicide detective who is black. his mother was an anagram from costa rica. he was murdered in 2007 and the story of his murder is the central narrative of the book at her side.
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throughout the case the investigation of the case and the eventual prosecution to defendants. >> host: the fact his murder was solved was that rare? was that you need? >> when i calculated the 20 years prior to his dad was particularly for black men if you use 40% or 45%, you would be in the right territory. it depends the way you look at it. you can look at how many are convict did bush gives you a smaller number are how many are cleared by means other than the rest. i think 40% for that part of the city at that time. >> how does that compare to the rest of the nation and the rest of the city question aren't >> one of the things i said was officially reported a non-reliable numbers in my point of view. i looked at 16,000 homicide
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cases and in the city of l.a. and counted each case in the resolution. nationally for urban areas 50% was reported for the largest urban areas. again i think those are a bit inflated and sometimes nodded in a malicious way they are easy to solve cases that accumulate outside of urban areas. >> what is the term nhi and why to use that question art >> guest: you know the acronym was in the vernacular of prosecutors were in the 80s. in that no human involved and it was a quip that people would say for certain crimes that didn't attract a lot of public notice
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or public outrage. the murders of black men particularly black gang members typically got no news coverage and elicited outrage. there were things that followed from that. very concrete resource allocation that depended on whether a case got a lot of attention or not. nhi i think actually has a dual meaning. obviously there's the disturbing implication for the police are saying they don't care. it was also used as lack humor. the world is not going to care even if we do. it is not so much in these in the 2000 when i was reporting "ghettoside." was something the cops.web, but it was still the case a homicide got no press coverage are very vital and there is a sense that they didn't receive the attention that were more
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unlikely as they would rarely receive. >> host: jill leovy if it's a book about lack on black crime? >> guest: yes. specifically black on black murder good for a couple reasons is that murder matters. if i ascribe the most destructive, where people lose their lives. also the most measurable. it is much harder to underreport murderers and other crimes and this is obvious to crime data how much is happening, how much is officially reported. a murderer tends to be a more accountable climate. it gives you an indication of a phenomenon going back decades and decades and black communities in america that is a consequence of lawlessness. a long painful history of
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wallace is in black america which is what you see in the other places. >> you do some historical analysis in here as well. i can't find a page right away, to use a lawlessness also has it own rules. >> guest: you know it is not hobbesian. it is not every man for himself. very quick rewind to go authorities lose their grip when there's no one to turn to people forge other structures. so there is an organization to informal justice of wallace as. i think as a society we look at from the disk and can we say senseless gang violence. up close it is not exactly senseless and what we call gang violence is a factual organization in the world. in sort of a civil war environment. you see it on the frontiers.
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and it's a process by which people affiliate and try to seek protection from each other and police themselves which is a term scholars sometimes you paradox that we think of the violent of the inner city is a of self policing. i came to believe that it is self policing in a better kind of policing. >> host: 202 if you want to talk to someone about her new story, "ghettoside: a true story of murder in america." 748-8200 for those of you in eastern actual time zones. 748-8201 in the mountain or pacific time zones. we are on location in los angeles at "the l.a. times" festival of books. the camp said the university of southern california. someone we are sitting at this beautiful campus, $60,000 a year to go here.
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the neighborhood to investigate, how close to where we are sitting? >> guest: i could watch as some of the homicide and i reported on from this campus yet i worked mostly further to the south but this area south of the freeway is the northernmost and westernmost point of what used to be a very long like celebration in the city of los angeles. institutionally it is a legal product and you cannot sell your house to a black person. those overthrown by supreme court in the 40s. the actual task of getting people to stop de facto observing really to decades after that. for a long time up through the 80s the "los angeles times"
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used the phrase be grow community for an area to the east of here, old south central along central avenue. that has been the term for decades prior to that because it was such a separate world. such an absolute invisible wall that plays black residents of the city in different neighborhoods and white residents. here we are kind of at the top left hand corner of what i consider my coverage area when i was covering homicide. today, almost 20% of los angeles' population is down on paper to 8% or 9%. i think it's actually lower than not. this area, a majority latino has changed a great deal. >> south central became a term without learned in the early 90s that the riot in l.a. the term has gone away right? officially it no longer has any
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use. what i found as a lot of people these neighborhoods still use it and they still use it and they might use this cynically, but also price only. many people are part of the name and referred to the area by the same name. there is no other adequately comprehensive name for this part of the city. the replacement names were all smaller neighborhood in pieces and child. the idea was to ruin the stigma, but they also you know unintentionally removed a political definition for an area from it harder to mobilize when you don't give it a name and you don't call it south-central. south-central move to central avenue to the east of the original south central avenue. people started to move west and central avenue in later decades of the 20th century. the term now is a bit fuzzy.
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refers to those areas and also to the west and south of central avenue. >> host: how many murders in l.a. county every year question or >> guest: l.a. county is in the five or six hundreds. l.a. city is down to 250 260. that is miniscule. the homicide report was a blog project. there were almost a thousand homicides a year and now countywide come a much larger area than l.a. city in the low six hundreds. >> host: jill leovy, and "ghettoside," do you advocate for anything? >> guest: one thing that is so commonsensical i can't call it advocacy. maybe it's not as obvious as it should be. fall the homicides which are kind of the same crime but with
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a lot dire consequence. i think it is important to say that because a lot of the criminal justice debates today are about mass incarceration and what people on the left, you actually see people in the right taken this up now because it cost so much to have people in place and is. you can talk about it if you catch them. if you never catch them the whole thing is irrelevant. this is not the kind of study. it's not my own way of looking on it. the data sent just it is not how severely you will be punished. it is the likelihood of being caught that will deter people from crime. if you look at murder, you can
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make an argument for decades and decades the likelihood of being caught created a lower price for committing these crimes. it was so unlikely to be caught that it cheapens it and it has been a fact in terms of the frequency. >> host: before we talk about the book anymore, let's take some calls. art in sacramento, california. you were on with "l.a. times" reporter, jill leovy. >> caller: hayek on the thank you for having me. i appreciate what you said about this also been an issue around the globe. what is your take on the failure of the system to actually have good enforcement within these committees? why is it the authorities don't have a better handle on providing error just as in giving safety and security to
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does people that are innocent in the community because sometimes in the data you turn to the strongest person in the community in madison the police all the time. so corruption dysfunction within the police, within the city government exacerbates the problem? as an independent contractor, it is terribly dysfunctional. the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. we can see the dysfunction of the system sales lot of money spent and sometimes in the dirt we take things in her own hands because the government doesn't function. >> host: let's leave it there. let's get a response from jill leovy. >> guest: interesting question brought up by the collar.
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from the very beginning of what ari said one thing that was so persuasive for me in formulating this idea of lawlessness amok in another context internationally and think how similar they are, how similar the barrios in american cities, even like 19th century contacts, the homicide rate for irish immigrants in the 1890s to new york city was almost exactly what it was in south-central l.a. and compton in the navy sent to thousands. you see matches similar to raise the homicides and interaction with authority. one thing that is interesting about black american history as we are not talking about a vacuum. we're not talking about nonsense. but talk about dysfunctional criminal justice. i was like a partially functioning system.
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the partially functioning system works because if there were a vacuum you actually get organization in the vacuum. it's sad no really takes hold. always a situation of chaos and competition. that explains a lot about why this has been a perpetual in black america. what it would take to fix you see i always a member from chief bernard at the lapd was because the criminal justice system, but it is five parts about related things jammed together and they don't work together well. >> host: from "ghettoside," jill leovy writes many critics today complain the criminal justice system is heavy-handed and unfair to authorities. we are great deal about capital punishment drug laws supposed
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misuse of eyewitness evidence, traveling high levels of blackmail incarceration and so forth. to assert that black americans suffer from too little application, not too much seems at odds with common perception. >> guest: i did write that. it is not as much of a paradox as it sounds like. i am talking about two different things. they are important things. i came to believe the way you respond to violence in a society is foundational. it is what you build everything else on. so if you have a system that responds adequately, response stickers late when human beings are hurt or killed you can develop a lot of law on top of that. if you do a lot of minor enforcement for crimes that don't hurt people in that you leave the hurt unprotect dead,
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that is a completely different thing. that is the very dish another. you are hammering people for the small stuff and you shrug your shoulders and turned the other way when they need the protection and might of the state to stand up physically, to have their backs to use the phrase the man in south l.a. to justify the gang membership. what does that mean that someone has their back? if someone hurts you, they know all your friends will be after them. the state needs to assume that role. you need to have the knowledge no one else that the knowledge. so if you spend all your time as the criminal justice system has hammering in the south and outlay small nuisance crimes.
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but you are leaving that is not going to build the legal structures or system postcode next call comes from sherry in apple valley caliph wordnet. >> caller: thank you very much. i'd like the author to address the incredibly effective police officers such as detective skaggs that she writes about in her book. i keep waiting to hear her talk about these incredible people that have a 100% clearance rate. please have her address that. >> host: who is john skaggs? s. go when you write a book you don't want to talk about it because you are done with it. john skaggs is the main character. he investigates the murder.
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he is a tall guy a california guy, a surfer. he's republican, which is true of a lot of colleagues in the lapd. he takes a lot of personal pride in this particular job of investigating black on black murder in high crime areas, some and it doesn't draw a lot of warrior within the lapd. it's not a glamorous job, but his job he learned to craft a over years and years of scores and scores of cases. so when he gets the case finally, he has a lot of real expertise that apply to the case and also this unequivocal personality purity of somebody's very high-energy, very action oriented, drinks 12 cups of coffee a day and in the end is so relentless in the pursuit of
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this case that it does end up in court although it had originally been thought to be one of the cases likely to remain unsolved. it was very, very interesting to work with john skaggs on a lot of levels. to give you an idea of the kind of source he was i spent at least two years reconstructing everything about the case. we had some hours long interviews that i taped and maybe a year and a half into that in five or 10 interviews than it and there it ain't, john skaggs said to me what is this for anyway? you know i am writing a book. it wasn't a theoretical idea. he wanted to know what i was doing and then he went on talking. so focused on the work that it just didn't even matter to him.
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i was completely taken back by the question, but every legislator character is very consistent. people are who they are. >> host: from "ghettoside," something intimate and nation acquiesced, shooting, stabbing, inner-city black men suggested these men were expendable. it is better off without them. >> guest: next call comes from art. you are on booktv. >> caller: heiko meyer to mention a lot of its economical and obviously a racial attached to it. an upstate new york producer all. we seem to see a lot of the same things going on here and it's predominately white. a lot more economical situation being involved in it. obviously we have a lot of black crime and a lot of white crane. it seems to be more and more going towards economic as the
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nation is going in the way it is. is honored if you think this is a future trend that we will see more white people involved in situations and therefore may be become the more mainstream issue. as usual with things -- >> host: jill leovy. thank you, sir. >> guest: i think not. groups are growing down precipitously. the economic pain is very tricky. you have about equal poverty for blacks and whites in south l.a. but much higher death rates for homicides for blacks and latinos. you see this around the country. during the great depression, homicide rates fell. there is some indication that it's the opposite. it is when you bring in a very
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lucrative black market, think of crack in the 80s but that is when fights broke out. it is actually the entrance of a way to make money into an underground economy that will be gasoline on the fire and not the other way around. i suspect there is some lack market that is lucrative helping to drive that. but to address the spirit of the question, i certainly think any group of people under the right conditions is vulnerable to high homicide rate. if you're not been anywhere at anytime throughout history and it does not happen to black people because they are black. it happens because of historical conditions. >> host: greg tarboro north carolina. go ahead. >> caller: ms. leovy, am i pronouncing that correctly?
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>> host: leovy. >> caller: leovy, i'm so sorry. in any event i saw the statistics. i don't make money doing this i might be wrong. i heard over all more people die from suicide than they do from car accidents. i know particularly in black communities in general for those of us who are able to get college degrees and not do drugs and not shoot anybody or hurt anybody. it seems as though tmv is there is a failsafe. you know, someone who has a decent job there is tmv to start the ball rolling and usually with caucasian if it happens that is not a problem.
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>> guest: yeah, it's a great point. posted as to the issue of reversing minor crimes. really an interesting thing that came out of the controversy is that although italy shooting had in decatur had a lot of the protests, in the end with the federal government came in and said what is really about, what did they come up with municipal infraction and this terrifies story of the way municipal code violations have been really wielded like a weapon against the black population. ..
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>> host: here's the book. ghetto side, the >> if we go ahead of the crisis ahead of the environmental disasters, we will find them running out of control. this is what i promise to show you.
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somewhere during 2014 it was warm everywhere in the world. which was us. [laughter] so a few are in a cod in the north atlantic. with the goal of namibia and the northeast. but trying to cut use a deep south and it does it again whether that is so long term due normal that is obviously too early to say. but i do believe sustainable development is the calling
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card of our time. because it is the philosophy that says we need a holistic approach to put economic and social and environmental objectives and a holistic for remark not just chasing a the bottom line of the incumbent the environmental and social the holistic we combines these objectives. it is the study of complex nonlinear interacting in human systems. with that analytical approach in my view both of positive and normative framework for our time.
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what is important is it very lucky that the members of united nations decided in 2012 to but is a state not -- sustainable development for global development for the coming generation. so the world will adopt sustainable development goals. putting a lot of hope the world doesn't agree on much of anything but what it does agree on rethink get noticed. we think the world will agree pending the outcome of the negotiations on sustainable development goals i believe it is a core
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organizing principle for the coming generation. >> gone with tonight's program. see spiffier long history serious featured interviews with more than 50 primitive historians in the recently released informative book the experts paid to intimate


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