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tv   Open Phones  CSPAN  April 22, 2021 1:09pm-1:45pm EDT

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god intended. >> how long do you think that a number that's still above half a million in a week stops being a good number during the pandemic? >> you know, we're doing some things right now. i think once this rescue plan is approved, the sky is the limit in terms of unemployment dropping. we may even get down to some record lows, because i think a lot of people in the country support the american rescue plan. republicans, democrats, las vegas raiders, [ inaudible ]. but everybody supports it. and so we have a chance to make this nation into country where if you want a job, it's there. we're not there. we're moving there. and i'm looking forward to, you know, the report that comes out.
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i'm excited as i hope all americans are that we're moving in the right direction. >> congressman emanuel cleaver, democrat of missouri, chairman of the financial services housing subcommittee, always do appreciate your time when you stop by "the washington journal." >> good to be with you. >> good thursday morning you to. you can start calling in now. the subject of police reform, the subject of senate majority leader chuck schumer's remarks as he began proceedings yesterday in the senate. this is what he had to say. >> we should not mistake a guilty verdict in this case as evidence that the problem with police misconduct has been solved or that the divide between law enforcement and so many of the communities they serve has been bridged. it has not. we must remain diligent in our efforts to bring meaningful change to police departments across the country, to reform practices and training, and the legal protections that grant too
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great a shield to police officers guilty of misconduct. we also must remain diligent in striving to root out the racial bias in our society, in our health care system, in jobs, in housing, in the economy, in the boardroom and at the ballot box, on our streets and in our schools. this goes way beyond party or political faction. racism strikes at the very core of this country. justice, true justice, will not come until we finally banish the ancient poison of racism from the american soul. the senate will continue that work as we strive to ensure that george floyd's tragic death will not be in vain. we will not rest until the senate passes strong legislation to end the systemic bias in law enforcement. >> senate majority leader chuck schumer yesterday on capitol hill.
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the focus of democrats' efforts in congress, the george floyd justice in policing act of 2021. the act prohibits racial profiling by law enforcement, bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants, limits the transfer of military-grade equipment to police departments, requires police officers to use body cameras, makes it easier to prosecute offending officers, and limits qualified immunity as a defense for police officers. and it collects data on police misconduct and use of force, just some of what the george floyd justice in policing act would do. in "the washington post" lead story today, they note that democrats and civil rights activists would push for the legislation on the anniversary of george floyd's death, may 25 of this year. that story also noting the chief republican negotiator on this issue, senator tim scott of south carolina, in the "usa today" story about these efforts at police reform on capitol hill, the focus on some of the tim scott's effort, noting it
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was tim scott, a republican, who sponsored a policing bill that died last summer because democrats blocked it, arguing it didn't go far enough. scott said wednesday they note that language on a compromise legislation would be finalized in, quote, a week or two as he discussed a handful of sticking points with other lawmakers including those in the democratic party. it was yesterday on fox news that house republican whip steve scalise talked about tim scott's efforts and also concerns about the democratic legislation that's been crafted on this issue. this is what steve scalise had to say. >> but i think we do know what happened last june when tim scott on the senate side tried to get a reform bill done and ironically, democrats in the senate used the filibuster to stop it. are things different now? >> that's right. well, bill, good to be with you. if you look -- senator tim scott put a lot of work into coming up with a bill that really focuses on the root of the problem, how
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do you go after the culture in some of these departments like minneapolis where you've had these bad cops. yesterday a dirty cop was put in jail. that's the way justice is supposed to work. but my colleague in the house pete stauber was a cop, a good cop in minnesota. he worked with tim scott on that bill. i would like to see president biden fulfill his promise of unity by working with republicans. you don't approach an issue this sensitive like police reform in a hyperpartisan way where you're going after all cops, where they take away qualified immunity which undermines the work of good cops. i would hope that president biden reaches out to senator tim scott and pete stauber who understands what you need to do. >> mentioning president biden, president biden highlighting the issue of police reform in the wake of the derek chauvin verdict. and we found out yesterday that he's expected to continue to highlight it next week in that
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anticipated joint address to congress. this is jen psaki in the white house briefing room yesterday. >> he used the opportunity last night to deliver remarks and i will say, as he is preparing to, as he's thinking about what his joint session speech looks like next week, he has every intention of using that as an opportunity to elevate this issue and talk about the importance of putting police reform measures in place. >> reporter: one of the key sticking points is that qualified immunity provision. is the president willing to compromise on qualified immunity, would he back a bill that didn't include qualified immunity? >> again, i think the stage we're in now is that leaders on the hill need to have discussions among themselves about where they can find agreement. often those discussions, as is the case in diplomacy, the most effective strategy is to allow space for those conversations to happen privately. once they come to agreement and we're certainly hopeful they'll
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do that, we'll have to take a look at what that looks like. >> jen psaki in the white house briefing room yesterday. you heard the issue of qualified immunity being brought up in the briefing room. here is the story in "usa today" about a debate on police immunity energized. you'll remember the supreme court took a pass on cases about that issue last year. qualified immunity, the doctrine that protects police and other government officials from civil liability when they do not violate, quote, clearly established law. the issue, "usa today" notes, has snarled washington's effort to respond to police misconduct in recent years. so we're asking you this morning, amid these debates, what policing reforms would you support. phone lines, 202-748-8000 if you're in the eastern or central time zones. 202-748-8001 if you're in mountain or pacific time zones. we do want to hear from members of law enforcement and their families as well, 202-748-8002. with that, joe is up first out
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of massachusetts. good morning, joe. >> good morning. the problem we have is the mindset of the police, of so many police today, and that is that they have to dominate any interactions with the citizens. and the idea that a police officer can come up to a car, tap on the window with a gun, scream obscenities at the citizen before he's even spoken to him, that kind of interaction should not be allowed. and it all stems from that. >> so how do you change that, joe? you're saying better training, or is it having officers respond differently? how do you fix the problem you're talking about? >> i think it's up to what the so-called good cops -- when a good cop stands by and allows another cop to abuse a citizen in any way, shape, or form, and doesn't do something about it,
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that is why the problem exists. the verdict this week is a chip in that, a chip away at that blue wall, which i think is our main problem. >> joe, do you think the verdict this week will keep up the momentum for police reform or do you think people will say, look, there was a verdict this week on a bad cop, the issue that police reform is working through the justice system. >> i would like to be optimistic but i don't think so. i mean, there's a whole subgroup of police that belong to the white power nationalist movement. and, you know, i've seen documentaries where they raise their children specifically to go into law enforcement so that they can have a hold on that group. >> that's joe in massachusetts. this is dorie out of spokane, washington. good morning. >> yes, good morning. my favorite show. >> appreciate that, dorie. >> my question is this.
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my answer is this to the gentleman who just called and to both sides. people over a number of years, after a number of abusive situations in their own right, are tense. we need a mass education program to advise both sides not to escalate. if the individual who is being arrested or acosted or is trying to talk to the officer, if both sides would just simply not resist, it escalates to the violence. we need a mass education program on both sides, to calm this situation and it would never get to any violence on either side. thank you. >> dorie in washington. russ in california with this text this morning. on police reform, what about society reform. if you want to see an
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improvement in public police relations, encourage compliance and respect of law enforcement. that's the core problem. heath, denver, colorado, good morning. you're next. >> oh, my heart hurts. i'm happy that you played box to open it. you know they didn't mention the george floyd legislation passed in the house by the congressional black caucus. the population most impacted by these reforms. they just dismiss that out of hand. and fox has not even mentioned the passage, they only refer to tim scott's bill. we know the tim scott bill is not written by tim scott. it is written by the gop. it's written by mcconnell and others. so thank you for playing that. >> so keith, what in the tim scott bill do you disagree with?
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just a rundown -- >> there's only one thing in it. there is only one thing in it. >> so there's a few things in it, keith. this is a column in "the washington post," so we're operating under the same base of information. marc thiessen talks about in his column today, the bill includes a number of democratic proposals including making lynching a federal hate crime, a review of the u.s. criminal justice system, collecting data on police use of force, barring the use of chokeholds by federal officers, withholding funds to police department that fail to report to the justice department when no-knock warrants are used. just to wrap up some of the provisions in that one. >> that's all in the democratic bill, plus more, like qualified
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immunity. and that is a huge sticking point, right? so if the dems have all that stuff in already, and who is pro-lynching? so, i mean, it's almost ridiculous, because no one can vote against a lynching bill, but they can vote against stuff that would make real change. now, i do have some very direct things that we could do. the national registry, so cops can't move around. the gop opposes that. why doesn't the gop use this as a moment to sit down with the congressional black caucus? >> keith, one question for you before you go. if democrats can get the things that are in the tim scott bill but qualified immunity is the thing that won't get the 60-vote
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threshold in the senate, should they go for what they can get or hold out? >> i'm 61 years old, sir. it was getting so much better, even during the nixon era, and after ronald reagan, everything got worse. everything got bad. so no, no. and the young people are not going to be patient like me, as they just proved. and the george floyd conviction, without the video, without the protest, without keith ellison, there would have never been a prosecution and everybody knows that. >> that's keith out of denver, colorado this morning, taking your phone calls on phone lines split up regionally. 202-748-8 ooo in eastern and
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central time zones, 8001 in mountain and pacific time zones. keith mentioned body cameras, mandating the use of body cameras in the george floyd justice in policing act. there are plenty of states that have body camera laws and various laws about these body cameras by police departments. some 34 states and the district of columbia have created laws about the use of body cameras, although those laws are very different when it comes to different aspects of its use including privacy concerns, the use of audio and visual. the state by state breakdown from the urban institute about the various laws by state about where body cameras can be used, when they can used, rules for public access, how they can be used, rules on video storage. a lot of issues with body cameras as well. earline is next out of florida. good morning. >> good morning.
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my first time calling, and i made it, i actually went through and i'm very happy. >> glad you got through, earline. go ahead. >> oh, thank you. i want any of the viewers that are listening right now to check their local police departments, their state, and see what percentage of black honorable men and women are serving in their community as law enforcement officers. i checked, like in indianapolis, 25 or 30% out of 800, possibly, i could be wrong there, just 25 to 30% are black officers out of 800. >> earline, is your point that police departments should better reflect the communities that they police? >> yes, they should have more black african-americans that are
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wonderful men and women that could get out and help their communities, not just their communities but the whole thing. so it would be evenly balanced. so the blacks could better just get along with the police and they could help them, help the police, and the police could help them. >> that's earline out of florida. this is greg, mechanicsburg, pennsylvania, on the line for members of law enforcement. greg, are you an officer? >> no, i'm an attorney, and i do a lot of criminal defense. >> what are your thoughts about this issue of police reform, what can be done, what should be done? >> what should be done is the focus of the mainstream media should be on the conduct of everybody involved, everybody. the percentage of people who are arrested is astronomically
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correct. law enforcement does a very, very good job, a much better job here than in any other country in the world. the problem nowadays is that everybody is an attorney, since o.j., and everybody is a victim. so when i talk to people about their interaction with the officer, it's never that they did anything wrong, despite the evidence to the contrary. so if that is the initial reaction everybody has, because the mainstream media has said cops are all bad, it should not surprise anybody that it gets out of hand. what is an officer to do? look at all these situations where the officer went out of his or her way for half an hour, 45 minutes.
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why should it take that long for an interaction? black lives matter, yesterday an activist said police should stay out of knife fights, in our culture that's how we deal with things. now, that's not an exact quote, but that's pretty damn close. why is that not an issue today in your show? we got to focus on everybody in every situation, not just one side. don't demonize one side and sanitize the other. >> that's greg from mechanicsburg. >> that's what the mainstream media is doing. >> greg in mechanicsburg, pennsylvania, a day after the justice department announced that it was instituting an investigation of the minneapolis police department, the first action aimed at a local law enforcement agency since president biden took office to
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determine whether the department has engaged in systemic misconduct. that constituted, quote, unconstitutional or unlawful policing. this is attorney general merrick garland speaking yesterday about the launching of this investigation. >> most of our nation's law enforcement officers do their difficult jobs honorably and lawfully. i strongly believe that good officers do not want to work in systems that allow bad practices. good officers welcome accountability because accountability as an essential part of building trust with the community and public safety requires public trust. i have been involved in the legal system in one way or another for most of my adult life. i know that justice is sometimes slow, sometimes elusive, and sometimes never comes.
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the department of justice will be unwavering in its pursuit of equal justice under law. the challenges we face are deeply woven into our history. they did not arise today or last year. building trust between community and law enforcement will take time and effort by all of us. but we undertake this task with determination and urgency, knowing that change cannot wait. >> attorney general merrick garland yesterday. taking your phone calls this morning on "the washington journal," asking you what policing reforms would you support. out of pittsburgh, this is bob. good morning. >> good morning. that lawyer made up a good point, and a case in point is the film of the officer saving a black girl from getting knifed to death in columbus.
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maybe the best things for cops to do is stay out of black neighborhoods, let them kill each other, and you won't hear about it. you never hear the news talk about chicago, baltimore, nothing like that, that's all right. >> that's bob in pennsylvania. this is dean, reno, nevada. good morning. >> good morning. >> go ahead, dean. >> this whole thing is a great big brainwash. if black people are committing so much crime in this country, if they get stopped, they don't do what they're told to do. >> dean, when you say black people are committing so much crime, what stats do you point to? >> they commit more crime than white people do. >> where do you get that information, dean? >> they -- they -- they do not do what the cops tell them to do, that's where the trouble starts. >> all right. that's dean in reno. this is eloise, sun city,
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california. good morning. >> hi, thank you for taking my call. do people ever consider some of this resistance may be because people are afraid? we watch police shoot people in the back as they're running away from them. we see these images all the time. so when you stop a person of color, i'm a person of color, and when they stop me, i get nervous, because we see what they are capable of doing to black people. so some of these people, these young men and young women, when the police come up on them, they're scared, because they don't know if they're going to get shot or not. so they resist because out of fear, many times. as far as reform, one of the reforms i believe needs to happen is, all these lawsuits that people file come out of taxpayers' money. we need to come up with a system where that burden isn't put on us. that needs to be put on the
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police and whoever is involved in causing these problems. the police may have to take out some kind of insurance or something so if they get sued for something like this, they need to be held responsible for it, not the taxpayers. thank you. >> that's eloise in california. one of the callers bringing up the incident in ohio, the shooting of that 16-year-old girl in columbus, ohio, and it getting a lot of attention this week and yesterday in part because of some tweets by nba star lebron james. the espn article on his tweets, los angeles lakers star lebron james posted and later deleted a tweet on wednesday about the fatal police shooting of ma'khia bryant, a 16-year-old black girl in columbus, ohio. in a series of tweets he went on to say why he did it. the since-deleted tweet showed a
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photo of officer riordan with the caption, "you're next." body cam footage showed the officer identified as riordan as he walked toward the group of people in the driveway. bryant could be seen swinging a knife wildly, the officer shouts several times "get down," bryant charges the girl who is pinned to the car with a few feet away. the officer fires four shots and bryant slumps to the ground. lebron james' tweets that he put up after deleting the original tweet said this. anger does any of us any good including myself, gathering all the facts and education does though my anger is still here for what happened to that little girl my sympathy for her family and may justice reavailable i'm so damn tired of seeing black people killed by police i took
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the tweet down because it's being used to create more hate this isn't about one officer it's about the entire system and they always use our words to create a more racism i am so desperate for more accountability. lebron james on twitter yesterday. back to your phone calls. to new mexico, this is joan. good morning. >> good morning. thank you for your wonderful program. my father and my uncle and my first husband were all police officers. and i think police officers are wonderful, for the most part. and as far as accountability goes, i love the lapel cameras, because they show exactly what's going on. i would like to see a more fair approach by the news media. if they show a black person being killed or hurt by the police, they should show five or six police officers being harmed by criminals.
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they're not giving their coverage. police officers put their life on the line and they do so much good. and i think the education needs to start at home and in our schools and our community needs to start respecting our law enforcement. >> patty, north branford, connecticut. >> i want to make a comment. they talk about making laws about the police. why don't they pass a law about resisting arrest, give ten years in jail, automatic, and a high fine. >> patty, there are laws about resisting arrest on the books. >> no, they're not strict enough. this is why they're getting killed. i obey the law, i put my hands up, on the steering wheel, why can't they? another thing. keith ellison. who is he is pass judgment? he was charged with raping two women, nothing ever came of that. >> that's patty in connecticut. this is terry in bellwood, illinois. good morning.
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>> good morning. sorry about that. hey, i think we need to recruit more young police officers regardless of their race, because they understand the culture. a lot of the officers, they got embedded in their mind -- can you hear me? >> i can hear you, terry. a lot of officers what? >> a lot of the officers had, you know, from the old school, have embedded in their mind, was this -- i hate to say this racist mentality, but that's the way it is. and until we address that, we're going to have this problem. it's just -- >> terry, you think this is a generational thing that will fix itself, we don't need any new policing reforms? >> no, no, i'm not saying we don't need no new reforms. we need to add that along with it. this is a young country, and for us to move forward, we have to think long term. it's time for america to wake up
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and grow up. that's all i got to say. >> that's terry in illinois. this is alexis, wilmington, north carolina. good morning. >> good morning. thanks for having me. i just -- i need to see that immunity thing go away. it's not fair to either side, really. it gives way too [ inaudible ] that these police officers just don't have. there should be a psych evaluation, especially if they're coming from the military, and by the way, all that military stuff needs to be done away with. cameras mean everything. i was on the streets 30 years ago working with police side by side as an emt. they did the same thing then. and i am so guilty of not
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speaking up. >> so alexis, if you can get some of those things but can't get qualified immunity, and you're a lawmaker working on legislation, do you go for the cameras, the limits, the transfer of military equipment, if you can't get qualified immunity, as something that gets enough votes to pass in the senate? >> no. that's why chauvin stayed on that man's neck, besides being -- again, he's got that omnipotency. there are too many restrictions on our morals. he lost his, he was way gone. >> alexis in wilmington this morning. qualified immunity, just to explain it again, the judicially created doctrine that shields government officials from being
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held personally liable as long as the official did not violate, quote, clearly established law. to explain what clearly established law is, to show that, courts have generally required plaintiffs to point to an already existing judicial decision with substantially similar facts, a similar case. and the limiting qualified immunity, part of the george floyd justice in policing act. the federal law enforcement officers association weighing in, back in march, when that act was passed in the house about qualified immunity, this is what they had to say. qualified immunity has an often misunderstood high bar for officers to receive and is the only protection that law enforcement officers have from frivolous lawsuits. the george floyd justice in policing act accomplishes nothing, they said at the time, of what is needed. it defunds the police and only further entrenches an antipolice dialogue. there are answers to law enforcement reforms that both the public and law enforcement have been calling for.
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however, in order to be effective, they must be realistic and receive law enforcement input. passing legislation that's unrealistic does not accomplish the goal of helping law enforcement professionalize and it's a waste of time. that statement from the federal law enforcement officers association, the union for federal law enforcement officers, back at the beginning of march when that was passed. it's just after 7:30 on the east coast. we're taking your phone calls, asking what police reforms you would support. go ahead and keep calling in, as we let you know about the schedule on capitol hill today. the senate, in today, this morning, at 10:00 a.m. to continue debate on the covid-19 hate crimes act legislation that would assign a point person at the justice department to expedite the review of covid-19-related hate crimes that target asian-americans and pacific islanders. the house in early this morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern, that's when we'll end our program today. today they'll be debating the washington, d.c. admission act.
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that act would make the district of columbia the 51st state, it would be known as the washington douglass commonwealth. the house will be on a two-week recess returning for votes on tuesday, may 11. so plenty of action on the house floor today to follow all day long here on c-span and in the senate, on c-span2. back to your phone calls. this is christian, takoma park, maryland, on the line for law enforcement. are you a police officer, christian? >> to be honest, i do want to mention a couple of things. it's really sad to hear so many people from different parts of the u.s. coming back with this racist rhetoric. i have personally been the victim of police brutality. i'm not black myself, i'm hispanic. i've seen the way some police officers operate. even with cameras, i've seen how they will park their vehicles backwards so the cameras wouldn't be facing. this was when i was in college
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before the body cameras were used. >> christian, i'm sorry, now you say you're an officer yourself? >> yes, so i do approve of the police reforms, i don't think anybody should be immune from anything. it's unfair to say only black people or people of color resist. even in college i saw a lot of white fraternity kids who outright would try to run away from police or even fight with police officers in colleges. i've never seen one of them get shot. obviously, you know, you face your charges and you deal with your consequences. but the consequences in those cases were not a bullet to the back. and i just don't think police should be outright murdering people for a traffic violation or for whatever they should be. everyone should see their day in trial. >> the line is for law enforcement officers, also members of the their family. we want to hear from you. otherwise, phone lines are
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region. elaine from olympia, washington. good morning. >> good morning. i used to be a liquor enforcement officer. i didn't carry a gun. i just want you to know that. there's two points i want to make. first of all, if you look at doj stats, percentage-wise, blacks do commit a greater proportion of crime. so as a result, i think that it instills fear on the part of the police. and in turn, the way that the police react to black crime is they are also fearful. and that fear raises immediately the level of belligerence between the two parties, you might say. but what i would like to see is the police get out in their own communities and have films of people --


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