tv Brookings Institution Discussion on Police Shootings Unarmed Black Men CSPAN November 1, 2018 8:43am-10:30am EDT
justification. but then in grant v. connor, there was again this question about what does this mean and actually what is the legal standards? so this was a fourth amendment see accident occur. it has shaped the way that police departments have framed the way that their use of force policies are framed the way that people are trained around use of force. some of the things that grant v connor emphasized it was not about looking at hindsight 2020 hindsight at the situation. it's about an what an
objectively reasonable officer would have done in the circumstances. and that grant v connor decision the ideas about grant v connor if you think about when the awareness of just law enforcement officers about supreme court precedents, you can think about the miranda rights. everybody is aware of that. but as a close second, even if they're not thinking this is about grant v connor, in the way that police reports are written. in the way that people are being train in police academy. the kind of framing of the use of force and when that use of force is justified is really heavily shaped by the way that grant v connor really with an eye towards saying that much use
of force and use of deadly force is reasonable. the way that grant v connor framed that discussion. >> great. thank you very much for that. peter, i wanted to chat about these two standards. you know, definitely the tennessee v garner said the constitutional standard. the grant v connor set other standards. but have the states -- states sought to set higher standards than these two standards or different standards than these two standards that we've just discussed? >> so in a word, no. most states, i mean, there are some exceptions of tennessee, for example. they have modified their statute. most states have statutes that actually predate tennessee v.
garner and basically cod fify t common law rules. from california, where i'm from, our statute on basically the criminal affirmative defense for law enforcement officers was 1872 and the state was the wild west and hasn't been updated since. most state standards, california is actually codifies the old fleeing felon rule that officers can shoot any fleeing suspect. so it does not meet constitutional standards. and certainly doesn't meet modern policing practice. i think what i will say is that if you want to look for standards that are above the constitutional floor, the place you have to look is actually police agencies. especially in recent years a number of police agencies have
brought on more progressive policies through some on their own or through oversight by the federal department of justice. if you look at the consent decree being put in place by the department of justice. almost all of them have use of force component that has higher standards. it includes a component that includes higher standards. and even the police executive research forum will kind of research for both police management issued a set of recommendations around the use of force policies. the second of which was the departments should enact policies that have higher standards than grant v connor. >> thank you very much. that's helpful. so i want to get you your thoughts as part of this discussion and i wanted to know given the sort of changing landscape of standards, have we seen any relationship of those changes which, you know,
initially are decided in the court and then later implemented in individual police departments. has that changed the volume or the nature of fatal shootings around the nation? >> yes. so kind of system being 1980s what we see is a decrease in officer-involved shootings and killings. all of a sudden in the mid '90s we started to see a huge increase. and that's kind of what we've seen over the past, say, you know, 20 years or so. and part of that is making sense of a a conundrum that people try to focus on which is in the 'out we started to see record lows in terms of violent crime and it's continued up until relatively recently. it hasn't necessarily responded. and i think what the other panel lists are highlighting is since that tennessee v. garner decision. i'm from tennessee so i think about that particular time and what they meant being in tennessee and compared to other states. part of that we start to see a
series of other cases. i think instead of necessarily naming the cases, question can think about the outcome of the cases, stop and frisk, jump out the, which is where you have an undercover group of officers who are in plains clothes jumping out on the street. and the precedence here is it's about whether or not someone is suspected of engaging in a felony. and i think part of recognizing what that means it gives officers a lot of discretion to make a justification for who they perceive to be engaged in a felony and what type of felony they perceive them to be engaged in. in many respects they're able to make decisions as they're going along. we're focussing on these set of cases as it relates to this, i don't want people to forget this stat that african-american men compared to white men are about four times more likely to be killed by the police without attacking nor will they have a weapon. these are individuals who the police have said no they weren't
engaging in a crime and no they didn't have a weapon. yet still we still see this outcome. but besides that group, i have to look at what lead up to that particular encounter. that's when the fact that minorities are more likely to be pulled over than whites, more likely to be searched than whites, more likely to have violent force used problem them. in the cases over the past 30 years or so have established a precedence that's okay based on what a reasonable officer would do. and i think it's difficult for people to understand that but what that precedence essentially means is you ask other officers what they have engaged in the same type of behavior given the circumstances and given what they know about the situation. now, of course, you ask specific police departments and unions who decided to double down on that and rectify that and make it what they perceive to be more objective. at the end of the day, in many respects, it's still police officers policing other police
officers about these alleged behaviors. what we see is an outcome and huge disparity i think in the united states of america none of us should be comfortable with. >> all right. if i could just pick up from that. in that question about objective reasonableness. right. and what it means. it sounds very scientific and, of course, you would like to see what would an objectively reasonable officer do in this situation. but i think we have to definitely put layers on top of this. so interesting in, you know, tennessee v. garner and a lot of kind of seminal police use of force cases, there is no mention of race. right. it's just some suspect. some person by name and we are not necessarily taking into account the effect that had on the weight of the interaction of the arrest. so i want to bring in some of what we know even more now about
the way that it is explicit and implicit bias is at play in so many of our discretionary decisions in the criminal legal system. including those decisions about who to arrest, who to stop and frisk, who to search. right. so when we think about the science around implicit bias and explicit bias is often unconscious kind of snap judgment reaction that we all have around a variety of issues. but we think about what we know about implicit bias against african-americans and we know that a number of studies have shown there's a vast majority of white people have implicit bias against that is negative towards african-americans. and that in some studies there's
kind of about half to a majority of black people. it's not just something that is only white people need to address. right. but that these are -- these implicit these kind of under the surface biases that help to change the way that we are perceiving a situation can have really negative effects in these interactions where we are having ambiguous situations where you have to make a snap judgment. well, we have studies showing if you have an ambiguous situation and the person has dark skin as opposed to a person with light skin, that we're seeing people making more negative assumptions about that and we're seeing people make assumptions that add to culpability. i think we have scary information about what it means when we're talking about children. we can all think of tamir rice and his death as a potential,
you know, example of this where when we think about black boys and girls are seen as older more culpable and less human. when i say less human, i'm saying that in a literal way. it's easier for people's brains to associate black boys with animal-type, ape-type figures as opposed to human beings. there's a dehumanzation bias. what does it mean when we're talking about these very charged and very life and death interactions that can happen between black people and the police. so when we're talking about the legal structure, we're talking about these cases that don't necessarily take that into account. when you think about these, you know, the problem of this
explicit and implicit bias in general society and we bring it into law enforcement interactions, we have to think about what does it mean about the way that juries are willing to accept the i was afraid for my life. when the idea of a scary big black man is something that is kind of hard coated into a lot of our subconscious, what does it mean for whether a jury is willing to accept that an officer had a fear that the fear was objectively reasonable. >> so let me kind of expand that a little bit. so what we're talking about a standard around reasonable officer standard. right. you're saying that the circumstances under which those decisions and actions are made. right vary when you're talking
about encounters with african-americans. in particular african-american males. and that the case law does not speak to that. so my question is, is there -- this is going to be, you know, you give me your best answer. there's obviously no right answer to this. is there a uniquely objective, reasonable officer standard when we're talking about the use of lethal force? >> i'm going to say no. >> okay. >> i think, look, i think that the concept of reasonableness comes into the legal standards in a couple of ways. there's the reasonable officer standard and there's the graham just asking the question what reasonable officer think of the use of force, what is reasonable under the circumstances. >> right. okay. from my perspective, it's been the second reasonable that is also problematic. i mean, for all the reasons as
stated. that is essentially no standard at all. does it seem reasonable? does it seem like something you would do? there's no -- that standard itself provides very little guidance or framework for somebody to evaluate whether force is reasonable. the evaluation is then loaded with the implicit and explicit bias. >> my question is, does the definition of what is reasonable change depending on who it is you're interacting with? >> yes. that's certainly true. and, actually, to go into graham a little bit more, right. the court in graham outlined three factors. the severity of the crime at issue, the immediacy of threat, and the amount of active resistance the subject was engaging in to evaluate what force was reasonable. it's unquestionable that the
threat and even the amount of active resistance is going to be -- it's a subjective judgment that is going to be evaluated, in part, based on race. that's just the what research and daily experience shows us. so maybe jumping the gun a bit, but one of the things that we have been working on in california is ways to change that standard so it is a little more guided and constrained in ways that we think that are kind of representative. >> okay. we'll come back to that. given this reasonable standard both in terms of reasonable officer, you know, view of what he or she might do in a similar situation and the idea of a reasonable threat. so those two areas. is the standard of evidence around what institutes reasonable threat different in
cases involving black males than it is for white males? >> yes. so part of what happens with the reasonable threat is fear. so fear plays a role in the decision-making process. did the officer fear for his or her life? did the lives of other people around feared? then we see the outcome and it's justified and they were acting reasonable. what race and skin tone does in america, unfortunately, is that blackness becomes weaponized. so even when people don't have a weapon, even when they're not engaging in any type of physical force, their physical body becomes a weapon. it becomes criminalized in the way that justifies the actions of individuals engaging in certain things. and we see that in a host of studies that we heard about. it's not just about being perceived as older. there's another study that showed when you take white black
men looking to say their bodies were tested that stills perceive the black men as being larger and stronger than the white men. i think what we look at the mike brown situation, i think regardless of what people kind of think about what lead up to that. one key thing i remember reading from former officer darren wilson he said michael brown looked like a demon. like halloween is coming up. what do you do when you see a demon? there aren't enough bullets that will stop a demon. what do you have to do to stop a demon? he went on to say he looked like hulk hogan. both of these men are 6'4". they're both large, tall men. so we think about these particular actions, if that's the reasonable standard then what we start to see it is justified in many regards some of the outcomes we see as it relates to implicit bias, in particular. and part of your original
question was about do we see a difference? yes, we see a difference. >> in the standard of evidence? >> yes. and police officers actually say there's indifference. i think the part people don't get is all they have to do especially with the fraternal order of police gets involved. you have to convince a few groups of people the grand jury, the prosecutor's office. and the actual jury of people who uphold the same biases that the officers do. i can speak directly to this. some of the work we've been doing with police officers over the past few years. we have to take explicit associations test. they're based out of harvard. they show a host of biases about all sorts. we did these with police officers. one of the officers was about race and weapons. the test was whether or not
people exhibit more preferences or bias toward blacks with weapons or whites with weapons. what we found even shocked me. that overwhelmingly the police officers reported a bias toward blacks with weapons and none of the officers reported bias toward whites. it was simply not existing. what is key here, it was not white officers. it was not male officers. this was just officers and it's not just officers it's humans. it's people. so part of it we have to realize that officers when they're off duty or before they became police officers, they're people who socialized just like us. unless we take officers through a particular training when they're becoming officers to disrupt kind of the racialized way we're socialized and the gender way we're socialized, then we're going to keep seeing these outcomes. these reasonable outcomes that justify an aim to talk about an
outcome that wasn't of course -- objective at all. unfortunately when police killings, for the most part, we have evidence about 16 states from around the country. we know how many people get the flu every year. we don't know how many people are shot by the police. to me, as a taxpayer, that's a problem. >> i want to ask peter. in this question about standard of evidence and whether it changes depending on the race of the victim. do you have any thoughts on that? >> yeah, i mean, more or less along the lines behalf i said before. i think that's absolutely right. and the problem is come pound-- compounded the more you have a vague standard. i absolutely agree that one of the things we need to do is follow social science research and investigate ways to address and eliminate bias culturally
not just in law enforcement. but i think there's also work we can do toward refining those standards to try to focus fact. focus prosecutors and juries on more objective facts. so one of the things we've done in california the aclu and a number of organizations sponsored legislation that would have changed the state authorization for police officers to use deadly force. and changed it from a reasonable standard to a necessitiy standard. in some ways it echoes the standard the supreme court set forth in tennessee v garner. the court retreated from that first in graham and later basically said they reset it. tennessee v garner it was just graham and so even the necessity standard of the supreme court
has really faded, to some extent. we try to basically bring it back under state law. and that does a few things. require, requiring necessity. first of all, i think most people, most members of the public white communities and most officers think that police should not be using force unless they have to. that's a pretty straightforward kind of moral place that we can agree. but that also focuses officers on alternative tactics that they can use. i think one of the problems with the grand standard and much of the jurs prudence it kind of -- there's been writing about this from the professor of university of north carolina who is a former police officer and brandon garrett written on how the jurs prudence force doesn't
leave room for police tactics. there's no element in the analysis what police could do other than using force. and that's what we sought to bring back by emphasizing necessity. necessity, by its nature, asks what else we might be able to do. and the bill we ran expolice i italy had a provigts that required deescalation tactics whatever it was safe and reasonable to do so. that's something that police departments have been enacting upon a policy level. departments that have done that seen reduces in serious numbers of force.
and a policy that required deescalation essentially put in place of the necessity standard reduced mid level and serious uses of force by 60% over a three year period. which is a striking reduction. >> great. yes. >> i think with a summary saying yes you can have an evidence around on the surface is the same for everybody. there's a lot more underneath the surface. you can have something that is partially neutral but in practice we see how we're getting different result the. i think what peter said about taking the actual reality is actually very much of a t tennessee v farner and not la--
garner. they recognize there were less tools. people weren't -- police didn't have guns. right. and because of that, this whole, well, we could pursue the felon and use deadly force was the argument raised in tennessee v beg -- garner. you didn't have ways that actually allowed you to actually control the situation in a different way. recognizing that the reality of policing changes, the issues that are surrounding our understanding of what is necessary to actually ensure that the public is safe, that police officers are safe, and that there were not actually
losing more force than necessary in a situation change. that goes back to kind of that fundamental idea of this is what the fourth amendment should. requiring as far as this seizure of a person. i think some of that. looking a the possibilities for police tactics. looking a the reality of the social science research we have is very much in line with kind of what the original limit on -- >> great. that's helpful. there's several strands here. i'm going to pursue each individually. so, you know, our audience can follow. now i want to talk about what is happening in police departments
across the country? we're clearly not the first ones to identify implicit bias. there's certainly a lot of case law and social science and research, et. cetera. what is happening in police departments and police fraternal associations that is being -- that is used to both acknowledge that kind of implicit bias and also help police officers recognize it and utilize tools to overcome it when they are in the kinds of situations. >> well, i think there has been a significant change in departments. and officers' general approach to the issue of bias. in 2018 in l.a. we released a report on racial profiling in lapd that was basically about
implicit bias. we didn't use the terminology but, you know, looked at outcomes and how much more likely african-americans, in particular, were going to be stopped and pillulled out of th cars. there was a tremendous reaction against that. what happened in the decade since then, the idea of implicit bias, the idea that everybody is subject tobias, because it's in the water in american culture has enabled, i think, police to recognize that's a problem but it's a problem everybody has but they have to deal with more seriously because they carry guns and they arrest people. through trainings that at least
make officers aware of some of the issues that dr. lang talked about. but ynl one -- i mean, one of the problems there's not a lot of evidence-based training out there. >> research shows that a oneoff only does so much. part of it is what you want to do is plant a seed and allowing that seed to grow in time. part of what we have to do,
everyone in this room, is we essentially have to be resocialized with how we've been trained to think in america. one of the things we've been doing in the university of maryland is we developed the virtual reality simulation programs. it gets at police officer decision making so we can better objective fie wh object fie what is going on. it's not just about conscious or unconscious attitudes. it's about what is beneath the skin. being able to exam people's heart rate, stress level, reaction time. this happens to officers in a second. it should be noted when reckless civilians like most of us in this room go through police simulations, we fail miserably. police officers are better than we are. that's important to put that in context. part is highlighting some of these broader patterns. one of the studies i note is
what happens when people are in close promiximity to certain people? people have a certain reaction. if i came in here with a snake and a spider. some people jumped. if i give you a gun and you're shooting a t shooting a the snake like crazy. some people have the same physiological reaction to black men as they do to snakes and spiders. we wonder why we see the outcomes we do. so i think that's part of it. we can objective fie what is happening. we can take it out of a computer based simulation and put people in a real world example. what is happening in police departments. i think we have to definitely mention that police officers get sanctioned internally a lot. these are things we never see.
i think they're watered down. study police for the past few years. it's about police accountability. some of the ways to do this is like with these court cases we put up that were put up, it pretty much all of them there were large civil settlements billions of dollars of taxpayer money going out. so we take fred i adie ray in baltimore. imagine if the payment shifted from taxpayer money to police pensions. to fraternal order of police dues. to police department insurances. then all of a sudden when peter gets ready to do something, that's my pension on the line. part is making people
accountable for themselves and the way that the policy, the way we have it set up now when police officers engage in decision making rarely are they held accountable to each other. and we have to change that. >> let me ask a question around training and police officer training more generally. a lot of police officers can be very overwhelmed when they are constantly put in these stressful situations. i'm wondering when we talk about utilizing tactics around deescalation whether or not that is a kind of perspective that is instituting training around deescalation. something that is gaining momentum or is it something were you seeing trials of spot solutions around that.
i think there's a question where it's put as a priority. you know, given other options or if deescalation is seen as, in some ways, dangerous. right. while you're trying to deescalate you might be, you know, harmed in some way. i think i've seen a number of policies. when i was at the ncaacp i woul work with local branchs trying to get policy changes around use of force. there was some policies it was pretty clear that deescalation was the last option. yeah, if you have to, you know, try not to. but really here is the legal standard you can use force. you know, the most force as possible. right. and i think that the ways that deescalation is framed can make a big impact on the way that
people are actually acting on the streets every day. right. so i think there are a number of issues. i think we can think about the way it's framed in the training. the way that your policy is written. the way that your state legal standards will impact the norms that -- whether you feel like you're accountable. are you going to get in real trouble if you don't first try to deescalate the situation. and i would also say that in many of the situations that if you look at with a use of deadly force or just a use of, you know, extreme force, if you look at the last second before the person used deadly force, there are a lot of times you're like at that stage maybe they didn't have many options. if you backed it up a little
bit, right, which they were saying did you have some choices to make that might not have put you in that situation where there was a conflict. right. it's usually -- there's are a lot of times you can back up. like, okay, maybe if it was done differently a couple of minutes before this wouldn't have felt like the life or death situation it was. i think that's important. >> that's helpful. they put a lot of hours and work. i think part is acknowledging it's hard work and most would never do it. if you want to know what your department and your local departments are doing, you can look at how many hours they're spenting on a lot of things. there's a lot of hours spent on tactics and very little on social interactions. it's what police officers do all
the time. it's something i've heard them say it's bothered me that they're like some people are good at it and some people aren't. that's not true. you can train people to be better at social interactions. the first step of deescalation is often times a conversation. the other part is what people don't realize. they have a string of things they're supposed to deescalate first with is the taser. one thing people don't realize about the taser, you have to be in a certain close proximity to use the taser. if the taser doesn't work, you have to go to the next option which is the gun. at times, officers actually sanction internally for the speed in which they engage example. tamir rice they rolled up on that 12-year-old so fast. but rolling up on him so fast, they couldn't use another option. they thought he was older. people can talk about the police officer and how he had been, you know, let go from other jobs.
he resigned and probably shouldn't have been a police officer. and laquon mcdonald. it was out situation. it was also the fact there was so many officers not engaging that they suggested that van dyke's behavior was so unreasonable that the evidence was overwhelming. part of the reason they had to gauge is all of it didn't have a taser. so laquon mcdonald might be alive if one of the officers had atizer to use before van dyke got there. it has to do with funding and the fact that the police departments are growing. one other quick thing that is important for people to recognize this. first, i want to add that. police officers don't have good opportunities. they're overwhelmed, over stressed, underpaid. if you say something is wrong in my head, you'll be put on desk
duty. they'll view you as a liability. if i have 17 years on the force and three years retired, we need to set up a better mechanism for police officers to go outside the apartments and get help. the second thing, when we were deserving what they were doing. that. would go put us through a simulation and say you didn't engage in the correct behavior or the correct state. you'll would essentially get shot in the simulation. sometimes the training officers will sit in the dark with a pellet gun. some people know this. they will shot the cadet going through simulation. it will hurt. they'll make you red paint for days. so you are walking around everybody else with red pain on your shirt. what do you think you're going to think and do when you get on the street? that's the current stir owe.
the counter active. the outcomes that we've seen are the recipe that have been brought up. i'll stop there. >> than -- that has been excellent. i'm shifting to the question about the necessary standard versus other standards. so, you know, most of us don't know what the difference is. you started talking about that, peter. can you tell us what the difference is between the necessary standard and the other standards that exist. >> yep. well, i mean, as i said before, i don't think that on some level
it's not actually all that different from the doctrine that the supreme court in garner talks about necessity. in the context of is it necessary to prevent escape along with probable cause. it there's a serious threat. so i think it's in some ways not all that different. it's clearer in that it focuses on alternatives. as i said before, i think there are, like, one is deescalation and not just for us lethal options. but, i mean, you're right that officers have been train on deescalation even for datds. older officers who may not want to get into fights talk about talking people in instead of using force. and officers know how to do that. they know things like using
distance, time, and cover to reduce the threat to themselves which allows them to give. -- to emily more options. to communicate. the tamir rice example is a great one. win of the -- one of the big things officers say they were confronted with the threat they had no other options. if they had come in more slowly and gotten out on the other side of the car, used the entry block as cover, they could have communicated once and they could see it was a 12-year-old boy with a boy and the last point i want to make is those points about thinking about officers leading up to the use of force. it's also a doctrinal problem. it's not clear but a number of courts said when you evaluate
use of force you only look at the moment they pull the trigger. so in the tamir rice situation, obviously, that falls far short what is necessary to understand whether that shooting to a common understanding whether it was necessary. there was a case at the supreme court last year it came out of l.a. deputies were longing for a suspect they it and they kick the the door of the house in. shot a guy sitting with bb gun. they shot him many times. they were confronted in close quarters with a guy as a gun. it might look necessary. if you think back a few moments and going into houses without announcing themselves it seems less necessary. so another aspect, i think, of the necessity standard which is actually part of the legislation we worked on it's explicitly
considering wider force. and think dwlo and did, you know, they zig when they should have zagged. >> let me ask you given that sort of argument. whether or not body cameras will change the discussion around evidentairy standards. do you have any thoughts about that? >> yeah. we conducted a large study with millions of counties in a large
study with police officers. we interviewed about a hundred police officers and 100 citizens. overwhelmingly everyone supported body-warm cameras. they are perceived to provide more transparency. and people on both sides of the ail consider that to be aren't in favor of it. people who are big supporters of police say people are going to see how the police officers get treated. it's going to justify police officers' actions. on the other hand, people who are big proponents of the civilian opportunities to be freer say the same thing. it if the-- these are going to how bad people are being treated by the police.
the key part is from the legal perspective is to expand the range by which courts make decisions. the public is making a decision on a 3 to 5 minute clip. the court is not making that same decision on the 3 to 5 minute clip. it's a gap here. the second thing that happens it may resolve how to implement. there are some places they can hit the button and it womans back to 30. when they stay on longer, the more information we have. i think it's a resource issue. people don't realize it's a lot of money to outfit them with new equipment. it's another day that police
officers have to deal with and write reports on. >> and training, i would imagine. >> and training. we're talking about a lot of money. i think there are certain prands that allow you some of the enough stuff literally a sergeant or, you know, a captain can literal ily loly look at th footage of your officer. i think a lot of that needs to be public records but police officers fear walking into someone's home and someone might not be completely clothed or someone is dealing with a serious incident. police officers have real concerns. overall people support them and i think they matter. they provide more transparency in the way we can get that.
we need more consistency and for the legal precedence to match the data we're able to get. resources are to mention the federal government is actually helping to set and support police standards. so as we started out about 18,000 law enforcement organizations across the country. there's no central management. there's no central oversight of that, right. but the department of justice and the way it deals with these issues can really help set tones. i think can really support change. we know and this was the department of justice. it brought together experts to
taunt the issues. they brought them and talked about the issues we've talked about today. public trust and accountability and implicit bias and the need for for police officers, body worn cameras, one of the ways many jurisdictions have been able to start pilot programs was through the support of the department of justice and making sure that's happened. we know that the department of justice in the investigation -- the systemic investigations of police departments, the pursuit of consent decrees, has really been helped to shape, one, our knowledge of some of what's going on within police departments, and two, that search for best practices and figuring out where we can change the way that force is being used through a collaborative process. i'm from cincinnati, ohio, where there was a very community
engaged, collaborative process around changing police practices. i don't think that -- even though we are talking about law enforcement across the country, we're talking about the work that needs to be done on the state level. we cannot underestimate the power of federal government and federal resources in helping to kind of establish and support best practices around use of force and one is supporting body cameras. there are a lot to talk about, about body worn cameras, are they protecting privacies and are police officers able to watch the cameras before they write a police report because that can be problematic. we have seen where that -- sometimes when the camera can look back 30 seconds where we've seen examples of people planting drugs in the 30 seconds, actually doing things that you would otherwise not have
evidence of. i think they're a really important tool in so many areas of use of force, but they are complexities that communities will be dealing with and hopefully will have support federally around. >> great. i want to ask one more question and then open it up to the audience. that is, you talked about, you know, work, profession -- a pota in this area. you work at the state level and work with police and communities. let me ask you all, communities are the ones who are -- and families are the ones most impacted when we have a case of lethal force and a young man dies, right, as a result of that. what is the role for communities in this conversation and how can those communities best add their voices as we think about
different kinds of standards around the use of lethal force? >> i love this question. as a person who has really been engaged with communities that have been struggling with these issues, i think that when we look at the way ha communities are dealing with use of lethal force and we can talk about the death penalty if anyone wants to because we can bring out state sanctioned violence in many ways, but i think that the lived experience of communities has to be central to this conversation, and we also know about the trauma and anxiety that communities are dealing with when there's that threat of lethal force that is kind of hovering over everybody's head. that's something that we have recognized and that is not
something new, but i think we're having a deeper conversation about what that means. we're seeing studies of the trauma and anxiety. there's s.o.s. on the streets that was done in ohio. that was a study about how people's daily lives and the way that they operate their daily lives are affected by the way that their fears of potential police violence. given that information, given that lived experience, i think that the ability of communities to help shape the standards that are governing the use of force in police departments is crucial. helping to shape their police departments generally is crucial. having community oversight such as civilian oversight boards. participating in making policies, participating in hiring and disciplinary decisions often. when we have the police department as actually seen as a
part of our community and a part of the work that we're doing to keep each other safe, i think it's really important. i think we're seeing things like the work being done in california to pass that law. there's a ballot measure in washington state right now about changing the use of force standards. the voice of communities and that kind of being able to build power and investment in keeping our communities safe and recognizing what does that mean. many times that doesn't necessarily mean more police on the streets. it can mean more mental health workers on the streets. one of the figures we haven't talked about is how about a fourth of those police shootings are for somebody who has exhibited symptoms of some type of mental illness or disturbance. i think that community involvement in all of these pieces is crucial to actually finding a step forward. >> peter? >> i agree completely with all of that.
i want to add one piece, which is i think rashawn mentioned earlier that the component of administrative discipline, you know, that accountability. we've been talking about accountability or lack thereof through the criminal process. that's another component, right, officers getting disciplined or fired, but in many states there is no -- that information is completely confidential. that was the case in california until a bill passed this year which will create some narrow exceptions for shootings and other serious uses of force and other categories. under the previous rule, not only did communities see like the stephon clark shooting that happened, if the bill hadn't passed, communities wouldn't know if the officer was fired as a result of that shooting and in most departments in california they wouldn't say whether the shooting was in or out of policy. there's no way for a community to engage with the system that's
most likely to hold an officer accountable in some measure in the disciplinary system if they don't know what's going on. that's at odds with our basic principles of democracy that people need to hold the government accountable for what they're doing if the -- these important decisions about how departments address police shootings are kept completely closed off. just to follow up, one way to address transparency is not just releasing the investigations and the disciplinary result, it's collecting that data. again, as rashawn said, we don't collect that data nationally. we do in california. there's a requirement. pretty straightforward requirement. departments have to provide information of fairly detailed report to the state department of justice every time there is a use of deadly force whether that results in a fatality or not. there's no requirement.
we collect sta tetistics on cri but none by homicide by police officers and that should change. >> rashawn? >> yes, and yes. there's no reason why as taxpayers we shouldn't know when an incident happened what the outcome is. i think it's our right to know that. part of that starts with us voting locally and particularly voting for local officials who will be willing to push some of these policies further. in other words, i mean, like with the civilian oversight committees, the ones that i've been involved with and know about, it's nice to have them, but in terms of their influence and influencing what happens in a police department is limited. all of a sudden you elect a mayor who pushes for that change and now that establishes a precedence that can be implemented in other places, right. that's a big one. in terms of the transparency, it's another big one. i would also encourage people to go through their local police civilian organizations to actually go through and see what police officers encounter.
you can have a better understanding of why they make the decisions they make. you don't necessarily have to agree all the time, but the importance is to understand why they're making those decisions. voting locally becomes very important. then volunteer. volunteer to get involved in these organizations and figure out how you can actually make a difference in what's happening in your own backyard. >> on that note, i am going to open it up for audience questions. what we're going to do is take like two or three and then -- at a time and then answer. we have a number of hands here. whoever is running the mic, let's start on this side and move over there. >> good afternoon. you can hear me, right? all right. so my name is kenneth.
i'm a graduate student getting my masters in intelligence. last year october i think the 7th, i got wrongfully detained in new york city. i got like -- it was like a jump out. a group of people like in the east village, it was like 22 dark-skinned gentlemen, myself and someone i didn't know, that was like and of mine in brooklyn, he sent me a video on youtube, it was a video in pennsylvania where the state troopers they stopped a black man for speeding and then proceeded to drive off and he flagged them down and came back and then it escalated further where they tased him multiple times, fought him, he fought the
tasers, fought them, ran around the car, ranis gun and popped them, shot the cops several times, white cops. what happened as a result of that was that that guy who got -- the black man who committed those crimes, he got like 55 to like 100 years in prison. what stands out to me is like also like my bias as a black man towards police, the implicit bias you spoke of, it goes both ways. to what goes on in a cop's mind in terms of deescalate and the second example i showed, it could have deescalated and it came back and escalated further. one of the cops fell into a coma. he was -- he was clinically dead when he got to the hospital in a
coma, came out of the coma and didn't remember the incident. then it goes further in terms of the way that black men are sentenced disproportionately towards their white counterparts. in situations where maybe police are justified, then they throw the book at my brothers. i just wanted to see if you had any opinions on that. then i also thought about like entertainment and media in terms of like from 1991 until now, like how, you know, music, particularly hip-hop, kind of like moves that forward too. >> okay. so we're going to take several questions. thank you. there's a gentleman behind him, right behind him, right there. >> hello. yeah. i'm alan davis, a retired new york city police officer, former federal officer with the bureau of prisons and international
police department violence for many years. my question points to this objective reasonableness that graham offers us as law and how it seems that -- it's really dependent on how that's interpreted by every different officer and every different jurisdiction and how they seek to apply it. my question really is focused on what the doctor mentioned in terms of how can communities get a standard that you approve of. i wonder from the panel, if folks let their elected leaders know what the standards were and voted them in or out depending on whether they adhered to those community standards -- because i remember in new york we had a lot of corruption and they gave all the classes and be nice to blacks and hispanics and nice to people and none of that worked.
one day they start locking up people in uniform on the street. i was there. and then corruption slowed down because they had a direct impact on people's lives. my question is, do you think direct involvement by citizens in terms of holding their police chiefs and their mayors to this standard that community decides is appropriate would have an effect on who was disciplined, who was fired? regardless of whether they were convicted in a court, but who got to keep their jobs and who didn't. >> absolutely. >> great. thanks very much. there's a gentleman with the red right here and then we're going to answer these questions after this gentleman asks and then we'll come back for more. okay. >> my name is gus. i'm with the voice of democracy for the united states [ inaudible ]. just as a friend suggestion perhaps in the future, for the ten-minute question thing i think is imbalanced.
just a point of reference. i ran four olympics, went to stanford, did all the stuff -- lived a life that was honorable. you find in all that you're talking about, there's still that system of who is this person, why is this person driving this kind of car, why is this person in this neighborhood. it gets to the point it's so exhausting. you get it from white police officers and also from black police officers. my question is with regard to chicago and the tragedy going on in chicago, who's going to hold that black on black crime statistic, who's going to hold those folks accountable? you have jesse jackson and president obama, you have that city is a killing zone and i find that the black community is ignoring that reality. >> thank you. we have a question on chicago violence and accountability there. we have a question about the direct involvement of citizens
in creating and enforcing community standards around the use of lethal force. then we also have a question around sentencing and escalation/deescalation. one thing i would say to the panelists is try to be brief. you don't have to answer every one. pick one and then we can go from there. i'm going to start with rashawn. >> i'll be quick. thank you for your questions. in regards to chicago, you know, people always highlight black on black crime, but for some reason, we don't frame crime as being white on white crime. crime is crime. >> no, no, no. >> let me finish. >> [ inaudible ] you're giving them an out, you know that. you're giving them an out. come on now. >> so i'm going to ask us to respectfully listen to the panelists as they complete their
answers. go ahead. >> thank you. here's the stat for everybody who wants to know. 94% of crime that black people commit, violent crime and homicides, is committed by other black. 86% against whites is committed by other whites. we don't frame it the same way. when we talk about the media, part of the first gentleman's question, part of the way the media frames things it skews things for us. i know from being from these communities, whether st. louis, memphis, chicago, or baltimore, that people are invested in their communities and they are actively doing something to deal with the crime that's happening in their communities. if we want to deal with crime, we have to deal with a lack of education and job opportunities. that is part of what people don't want to talk about. statistically, when we run analysis on what causes crime, those are the things that causes crime. people are engaging in certain types of actions and should be sanctioned for that. to the next part, i think preemptory strikes matter a lot. lawyers are able to preemptively
strike people is part of the problem. then i think for african-american men in particular, there is a legit fear of police officers that really needs to be dealt with and part of that legitness is that a lot of african-american males have had bad interactions for police officers. that doesn't justify anyone doing anything else to police officers at all. some of the incidents that we've seen over the past years need to be corrected and something that needs to be done and we're starting to do some of this at the university of maryland to examine what happens when people interact with trustees of the institution. police officers are trustees of the criminal justice system. how do people respond to them. does that leave to a [ inaudible ]. that becomes a reasonable response when scared. you run. for some reason all of a sudden that running can lead to a negative outcome. >> i'm going to go down the line. >> i'll address the second question about accountability
and, graham, first of all i want to thank you. i think it's a very important point and i talked about transparency, we've talked about training. if there's not accountability to the training and not accountability after things are out in public, we're not going to see change. i think too often we see these kind of frightening examples where there is transparency, there's a video of what happened, and an officer is not held accountable and not fired, not charged, and if that happens nothing will change. thank you for sharing that. in terms of communities holding officers accountable for or departments accountable for setting standards, i think that's hugely important. there's actually a kind of a cliche in law enforcement of shootings that were used in force that were lawful but awful. i don't know if you've heard this, right. that reflects a use of force that officers can agree is -- should not have happened, but is not against the rules. the fact that that's a cliche is
very striking. we set these rules. the community sets the rules. we're supposed to set them in keeping with our moral standards. if there is such thing as lawful but awful, there's a cliche, there's a category of uses of force where we all agree that they're awful, but they're not against the rules. we need to change the rules. >> just to follow up on that, for example, the example that many use is seattle about having better use of force policies, right. you can have better use of force policies than the constitutional floor, right. you can have -- push your community police officers to have better. the sentencing disparity question, the first one, that ties into this issue of black on black crime and implicit bias. we need to address the racial legacy of the criminal justice system that is being played out in all of these pieces. there are state sanctioned kind of violence against black people which has been about the
justifications of police shootings throughout, from slavery starting, which does tie in to the way that we decide who is worthy of -- who we can lock up and throw away or kill and throw away, right. the value of black lives -- and i know that we have been talking about that a little bit -- plays itself out in many ways. think about if black victims of crime and how they are treated compared to others. we have as a society a lot of work to do to actually have a wholistic job. the work that we're doing around law enforcement accountability is work that happens in the courts, that happens in the ballot box, that is happening in our communities and the day-to-day interactions. we need to be creating and influencing the structures that are helping to continue the reinforced kind of legacy of
racism that is part of what was at the founding of the nation, but can be different in the future. >> great. thank you. we're going to take another three questions. let's start over here, please. then we'll kind of work our way around. >> how are you doing? my name is [ inaudible ]. i'm the host of freedom fighters of the dmv for wbgr networks. one of the things that i've been working on for a long time is that police officers, we don't have a national database and that our society is basically governed by licenses and my colleague, she and my other colleague, they are -- they are a mandatory licensed person including myself. for the nation, why is it that police officers can make decisions to be lawyers, doctors, killers, everything else, but without a license?
why is that the national, such as the fbi, has no documentation for holding records on police behavior and conduct and why is it that we don't have a national database? why are those persons not licensed and why are we not talking about that? >> thank you. >> let's go directly behind him. there's a young lady right there. can you raise your hand again. >> my question was basically the same, we are licensed and probably many people in this room have occupational licenses, and wherever i go as a licensed person throughout this country, they can pull it up and find out what i did. a police officer, that crazy person who killed tamir rice in cleveland, had the community not been outraged and spoken up, he would have been on his way to try to kill somebody
else in another department. would you recommend that people in communities start a petition demanding from their city council or county governments that police need to start having licenses say in [ inaudible ] county. they're criminals. >> thank you. let's get two more questions since i think we can probably cover those two. let's work this side of the room here. we've got a young lady in a red jacket there. yes. you. yes. >> hi there. this is not so much a question as much a comment to the chicago and always the grults that's made about the black on black crime and violent crime. my name is linda garcia. i'm the director at the leadership conference for civil and human rights and before that i was at the department of justice where i did work on the investigation of the chicago police department and one thing that i can say is that the communities, they want good
policing. what they don't want is police to oversaturate areas and shake people down wrongly and to use excessive force and those are two different things. just in changing the way that policing is done, you can answer the issues of violence, but that's not done through unconstitutional and biased policing. >> thank you. then we have this young lady here in the gray jacket and then we're going to take those questions and answer those. >> my name is claudia ferris. i am just a neighborhood person in this context. i live in an area which is oversaturated by police coverage and i don't trust the police. i am a very privileged person in terms of my access to society, my knowledge about how things function, but those people are my neighbors. i live with them. it bothers me when they are harassed by the police.
i don't know what to do about it. i just have -- like i walk around with an attitude. nothing that i do, think about, react to, is helpful in that regard because i don't feel that i have access to true levers of effectiveness. i just put that out there. >> okay. great. thank you very much. we have questions on community trust, right, and community leverage, licensing of police, and then the openness of the data -- administrative databases that deal with the disposition of a police officer's case. feel free. >> i'll just start with the trust piece and connecting that to violence in communities. i think that's really important. also, leadership conference has
a great body camera tool if folks want to use it to look at body camera policies. what i think that the point about the tie-in, right, because if you're actually going to close cases, you actually need to talk to people who will -- are willing to talk to you. so recognizing that the creating police departments that are actually able to build trust with individuals, is actually important. police departments recognize. the 21st century task force report on the 21st century policing raises a -- a lot of police leaders have said building trust is fundamental. we're not going to build trust unless there's true accountability when someone has done something wrong. that piece is crucial and is a part of addressing high rates of
violence. i don't think it's a coincidence that many of the cities that we're seeing some serious violence issues, that we are also seeing some serious police corruption issues and, you know, police violence as well. >> peter? >> on that point, i just, you know, completely agree and agree with linda's point about the oversaturation is not the same as good policing. there are ways that many communities are kind of harmed twice by the police. once through the failure to police properly and provide safety and again through the actually harmful policing techniques. we say this all the time, that good policing, a lot of the stuff we're advocating for, will build trust that will make police able to do their jobs more easily and more effectively and it's i think not just a cliche. on -- i also wanted to address the point about licensing.
so there's a term for this in the kind of police reform movement which is decertification and it is -- there are states that do this, that require just like a contractor, a lawyer, even a barber has to maintain licenses. in california, i know, you know, barber shops are inspected, there are state inspectors that come around and make sure the combs are really in the blue liquid and stuff like that but there's no licensing for -- there's no licensing for state licensing for police officers which allows officers who are -- to quit from a department while under the cloud of investigation and misconduct and move to another department, that problem is exacerbated when records are not public, so it can actually, you know, be administratively difficult for -- certainly in california, up until this point and in states where there is a confidentiality for disciplinary records, a department that is
hiring a lateral officer can't just go and look up their discipline, they have to get a waiver signed by applicants and make sure it's all -- and it doesn't always happen. a scheme where there is state certifying and licensing entity is something there has been a move toward their recommendations around at least the interim report of the 21st century task force on policing and that would be an important piece of accountability long term. >> yeah. i mean, i think in the tamir rice situation as well as in a situation that recently happened in pittsburgh, both of those officers did this method, which is the fraternal order of police tell police officers to resign. a police department will want to get rid of them. they might write them a recommendation to go somewhere else. that's the way that bad apples spew. i don't think there are more bad apples in policing as in other professions, but at the same time that process allows it to continue. as it relates to community
trust, i think we have to push for policies that actually allow police officers to live near us. what i mean by that is, there's a recent study that shows that police officers, as well as teachers, actually can't live in 60 of the major metropolitan areas in the united states. they simply don't know the people. they have no empathy. there are the other issues we're talking about too. if you have a level of empathy and living by certain people you're policing, it's shown if we go back in time those relationships start to build and then what that leads to is police officers starting to view everyone as a person who their kids go to school with, a person they might go to church with, a person they see mowing their grass. instead what happens, they might see them as a suspicious person and when they see them as such it leads to the host of outcomes we're talking about today. >> so i want to extend a very, very deep and sincere thank you to our event staff. [ applause ]
policymakers conference in washington. among those speaking today, david petraeus and a former member of the egyptian parliament and officials with the cry and the u.s. agency for international development and watch it live on c-span 3. in prime time on c-span 3, american history tv remembers first lady barbara bush. we start at 8:00 p.m. eastern with an event from the george w. bush presidential center in dallas where her daughter-in-law and former first lady laura bush introduces five of barbara bush's grandchildren. later, george w. bush and a personal friend of the first lady, a journalist and the former white house staffer share their memories of barbara bush. american history tv in prime time on c-span 3 beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern. this weekend on american history tv, saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on the civil war, historian peter carmichael talks
about public reaction to photographs of the dead at the 1862 battle and the soldiers' perspectives from letters to home. >> the people were changed by a strange spell that dwells in the dead and the eyes of dead men. he said this was a terrible fascination that these people had with death, and he said that these photographs in the end, all that they really did was satisfy this morbid satisfaction. >> at 8:00 p.m., on lectures in history, arizona state university professor kyle longly on president lyndon johnson and the vietnam war in 1968. >> here is one of the most powerful presidents in american history that has transformed the country, for better and for worse, giving up power to search for peace. that's pretty big. major step. it all relates to what? what's the issue?
vietnam. >> sunday, at 8:00 p.m. eastern, on the presidency, ronald reagan's attorney general talks about president reagan's views on communism and his relationship with pope john paul ii. >> you had two people, both leaders, one in the secular world, one in the religious world, with parallel interests. when those parallel interests were obvious, as what happened in poland there where they were under attack, if you will, then it was logical then for ronald reagan, particularly with his ideas about defeating communism, to cooperate. >> next weekend on american history tv, the world war i centennial, american history tv airs every weekend on c-span 3. ♪ a quarter of a century ago, c-span launched our longest running and most successful
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and why. >> i'm looking forward to having a republican majority in the next congress. we've started a lot of good policy initiatives within the congress over the last few years and i would like to see those move forward. i think it's important that we keep a republican majority, although it's important for both parties to work together and continue to get things done for the people of this country. >> my main issue is health care. if anything will change after the election. i have two parents who are unable to work due to health issues and i wouldn't want them to go through the process of not having health care. >> if the midterm elections result in a change in control of congress it would be a good thing for education. we're very concerned about the agenda now headed towards privatization of schools, school voucher, having the devos as the secretary of education has been the wrong way to go. we're concerned with the supreme
court going forward and the decisions that will be made that will impact our students and our public schools and we are hoping for good funding for public schools and we are hoping for a turnaround in the midterm elections as well as in our state and hoping for a governor who is a friend of education. >> i'm hoping that republicans still control congress after the midterms so that we can keep moving president trump's agenda forward and, for me, what i've been working on is term limits. i've sponsored an article 5 term limits bill so that maine will join a convention for the term limits amendment and if i get re-elected here for maine's 129th legislature, i look forward to sponsoring that again and getting that in for the people of maine and for the people of the united states. >> what i would like to see in the midterm elections is that the economy stays the way it is. it's doing really well. we would love to see it continue,
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