tv Washington Journal Lawrence O Donnell CSPAN July 3, 2018 1:54pm-2:57pm EDT
eisenhower. he has always inspired me, and i think he is rated one of the best presidents in american history. i am also going to read the chris matthews biography, bobby kennedy. i think chris matthews has done an excellent job in his regard, and of course we commemorate this years -- this year, the 50th anniversary of the tragic assassination of senator kennedy. >> book tv wants to know what you are reading. send us your summer reading list onatwitter --via twitter, our instagram, or posted on our facebook page. -- tv on c-span2, sup television for serious readers. hostxt, author and msnbc lawrence o'donnell on updates to
a 1975 police shooting of an unarmed black man in boston. this is from today's washington journal. o'donnell lawrence his book. he joins us now. that book was reissued in paperback last week. why did you think now is the time to revisit this particular story? guest: the problem with police use of deadly force has continued in the four decades since i started studying it. the first thing i ever wrote was an op-ed piece in the new york times in 1970 nine about the problems involving police use of deadly force. that was the very first time that the new york times printed anything about police using deadly force. anything analytical or critical. the subject has not changed over
time, but it has become something people are more aware of in the last few years because of cable news, the internet, and personal handheld videos. we all have video cameras in our pockets now. some police activity which would have been in the dark of night and could not be proved to be misconduct is now shown through video to be misconduct. that is always on the case of antwon rose, where he was in east pittsburgh, running away from a police officer. posing no threat. unarmed. he was shot in the back. that officer has now been criminally charged in that incident because, entirely because, there is video that shows exactly what i just described. my book is an updated version of what i wrote in the 1980's, bringing the story of james
bowden which happened here in boston, he was killed by boston police officers, and bringing that story into its modern context now. where people are much more attuned to what these problems are. i want to say, as a statistical overview, and i've been studying this for decades, we have a soft picture of the statistics of police use of deadly force because the fbi crime it is my view that they think most of them are soft shootings, that indeed that person had a gun or some kind of legal threat
being posed to the police officer or somebody else, and that the shooting was by all police rules the right thing to do. so i am not talking about most police shootings. i'm talking about the problem cases, and i am definitely talking about the unarmed cases. and in particular the case of , unarmed black men, which is a real problem area in the police use of deadly force. and the case i talk about in my book is one of the cases of an unarmed black man in boston. it turned into a very dramatic trial. my father was the lawyer in the case. the widow of james bowden, who was killed by police, came to my father and asked him to take the case. the boston police were surprised because my father used to be a boston police officer. he started his work life as a boston police officer and he ended up working hard and full-time as a police officer
, but going to law school, college and law school during the nights here in boston. so he was able to take on that case with the unique perspective of being a police officer himself. and he got into a multiyear very dramatic war with his own police department. and that is the story i tell in the book. and i do think that in those days, probably no other lawyer could have successfully handled that case. because there was no video showing how he was shot in the back. and it took everything that he knew as the next cop and a trial lawyer to bring the truth to the jury in that case. which he did in that case. host: i want to talk about the statistics. and also invite our viewers to call in if they want to join the discussion. democrats, (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independent, (202) 748-8002. but before we get to those
statistics, who was james bowden and what happened that night in 1975? he was 25 years old. he was working full-time as a maintenance worker at boston city hospital. he was married and had two children. a four-year-old daughter and six-month-old son. and one of the big surprises for the police on smith street in boston in the middle of the housing project, after they shot him was the discovery that he , had no criminal record. thathat is the thing really changes the nature of a police investigation of a police shooting. what they expect in these instances, even if it is a bad shooting, is that they find someone with a criminal record and it they are going to be able to say, he was a bad guy, and it will be easier to tell the story that he somehow threatened them, even though he was unarmed. and none of that worked in this case.
in what was a boston police department cover. -- cover up. and it took years for us to dismantle that. and by us i mean my father and my whole family. my older brothers were lawyers and we all worked on this case with my father. i investigated this along with him and i ended up speaking to more police officers in boston then my father was able to bring in to the case legally, because my book covers more territory than just the court case. and so in that investigation, both the courtroom investigation and my own, we discover that the police knew right away that this was a very bad shooting. out that we went are going to have to tell a story about this one. -- that got together thing about police coverups in this situation is that they are all imperfect, to put it mildly.
and in those days, most of them never got examined by anyone. so if we hadn't studied it, we wouldn't have been able to show just how badly this police cover-up was put together. and that is why it unraveled in front of a jury in court. host: so your father was a police officer before he went into law. why did he take the case? guest: because he was a police officer, that one was one reason. when he heard this story and read the newspaper article about it he had a very strong , suspicion that this was a dad -- that shooting. host: what did he see? guest: it was primarily what he knew about james bowden. that he had no criminal record. and the profile that i just gave you. when he heard that, when he
heard that from his widow the , first thing that any cop thinks is that well, this isn't the kind of guy who gets into this time of trouble. by the time he is 25 years old and he has no criminal record he , probably plays life pretty straight. and so he started to suspect right away there was something wrong. but there is another personal and emotional side of this. that is, when my father was 11 years old, he lost his father in tragic circumstances so he was sitting there in his office in boston, talking to a widow with two children at home. and what he says in me after he had decided to take the case, actually years later when i asked about, why did you take the case, he said i could not let that widow go home that day without a lawyer. host: the widow you mention is patricia. jim is the son. and the daughter -- what happened to them at the end of the case? guest: the case took several
years to go through court. it went to trial once. and in the city of boston appealed, because my father won the case for the family. the appeal took seven years. it went all the way to the supreme court. it went back for another trial. my father tried the case again and won again. and this is part of the new material in the book. it took years to collect the civil rights judgment that the jury gave the family in federal court. because the city of boston was under no obligation to pay it. as most cities at that time were. they were under no legal obligation to pay a judgment for any family that brought a case like this. and so it took years. and it took political pressure, which is not something that the o'donnell family could exercise in boston, because we were not politically connected in any way at that time. but the african-american community in boston rallied
around this cause. local preachers, especially got involved. and in they brought the pressure to city hall. especially after the mayor change. -- we a marital election had a mayoral election and there was a new mayor and that was the one who actually pay the judgment that the city owed and was hit with during the time of the previous mayor. so that took quite a while. when we see these cases today and we see the really bad shootings, the really bad killings -- eric garner -- one of the things we see that is now almost routine, especially if there is video, like there was video of eric garner -- within a relatively short amount of time compared to the seven year saga that i talk about in my book, within a relatively short amount of time, approximately one year, you will see the city involved make a financial settlement with
the family in usually a matter of millions of dollars. in the case of eric garner, $5 million. that came from the city of new york. in the 1980's, when this case was going through the court, there were none of those settlements. none of them. and no one had ever really won critics, taken it , taken it- verdicts to trial and won the verdict in federal court. so the system has changed in that way. it has improved in that way. there are many spots of isolated improvement that i can identify in the problems associated with the use of deadly force. and i am happy to say being in boston today that the boston police department is one of the areas of improvement. and bill evans, who is the current police commissioner in boston is one of the best police , leaders -- if not the best -- currently working in the united
states. and i do not believe that the story that i tell in my book that happened with the boston police department in the 1970's and 1980's could happen in today's police department and i hope i am right about that. host: you mentioned the family, the dedication in the , "deadly force" -- you can see the dedication there. lawrence o'donnell is joining us to talk about the release of his book. again, phone lines for democrats, republicans and independents. if you want to join the conversation. we will start with art in painesville, ohio. art, good morning. caller: this isn't why i am calling. but you can't strangle a guy in 15 seconds. like you saw in that film. from what i have
shootingsolice happened a year. 600 of them are white. under 200 are black. the others are hispanic. what happened to the white lady killed in minnesota when she called the police and she was in her pajamas? how come you don't play up that story? host: i will let you take that on. guest: there are more than 900. that is the approximation. and "the washington post," since the killing of michael brown, has dedicated an effort every year to try to figure out and account for the total number of people killed by police. and we still don't have it. but "the washington post" approximation is the best and it is well over 1000 at this point. force is what they call that number that they try to stay on top of each year. so far in 2018, the number is 516 people have been killed so far this year. guest: and we are halfway
through the year. back when i was studying, we didn't have the internet. we literally, when i was first starting it, we had to literally cut with scissors articles out of newspapers around the country, and that eliminated all the smaller towns where this was happening. the highest number we could get back in the the highest 1970's, approximation was 600. now it is very likely that there , were many more shootings in the 1970's and 1980's that there -- than there are now. we have seen with large individual place apartments, the number of shootings by police have declined steadily. but at the same time, the number of killings of police officers has declined also. so the overall rate of gunfire
around police officers seems to have declined rather significantly over the last 30 years or so, but it is a real struggle to get at what the numbers are. and every questionable case out there is something that people can argue about. and struggle with, and try to figure out exactly what happened. so the aftermath that we really are good honest , investigations. investigations with the best of intentions from beginning to end . is an some cases, and it minority of the cases, we want to see a jury in a courtroom make a decision about what they believe happened. 516 police shootings so far this year. 21 more than a same time last according to "the
washington post." 987 people were fatally shot. in 2017. 963 lawrence o'donnell, has there been an effort -- is an remember, this approximation. that "thee number washington post" has been able to actually document. the real number is something higher than that. host: has there been an effort to get the federal government to track of this officially? guest: yes. a few democrats in congress have tried to get the justice department to do this. the justice department has specifically refused to do it. host: dennis in austin, texas. go ahead. caller: yes, my name is denise. i called to say that i feel like policing is completely
off-balance. i remember when there was not a shoot to kill policy. but i feel like as a black woman the police are not there to , protect me. they are more threatening and they are more likely to kill me. and i feel like with all of these call ins, that white people feel like they are there to protect and serve them only. that is my comment. that allsten, i hear the time and all i can say is i can completely understand how someone would feel that way. host: you point out in your book that a problem in the 1970's, departments didn't have deadly force rules. do they all have that now? guest: yes, they pretty much all have that now. and the rules are almost all good rules. they are with the most advanced rules were in the 1970's and
they are defense of life rules. and the rule in most departments is specified. not departments that do specify it are controlled by the state law from where they are. so it is a defense of life will. rule. you cannot shoot somebody just because they are running away from you. in fact, one year after my book came out, the supreme court ruled you cannot shoot someone just because that person is running away from you, just because you are a police officer. some states used to specifically laws,lean -- fleeing because they used to say that a police officer could legally shoot anyone who they suspect of a felony who is running away from them. it didn't matter if they were a threat to anyone. but that has been struck down.
so the basic rule, it has to be defense of life. and i fully support police officers using deadly force in the defense of their lives or others. it is that area where after-the-fact we look at it and we say, well what was the threat , to life here? those are the cases that really have to be thoroughly investigated. host: the book "deadly force" ," the author lawrence o'donnell is with us for the next 30 minutes. join us. we have phone numbers for democrats, republicans and independent callers. david in minnesota, good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. good morning, america. i have a question at the end , but i will veer off because you put this person on air and i think the rhetoric and the propaganda that has been coming out ever since donald trump was
elected, i personally hold people like your guest responsible for the shooting of congressmen at the baseball game. i have tuned into your show and you, rachel maddow, chris matthews you are so disgusted , with the president that i have never heard so much negativity. and just outright violent talk. coming out of your mouth. so i would say two things. one question is name two things , you love about our current president. that is all i will say. hour: what we do with my of television, the only one that i can explain, is we deal with the truth as we see it. days,st of the time, most the president of the united states, in most instances, is
not only not on the side of truth, but he is proven way -- provably says things that are not true. the lies of the president of the united states is now a category of journalistic tracking and statistical analysis. how often and how much he lies. we have never lived like a -- with a presidency like this. so the job of covering this presidency is unlike the job of covering any presidency that we have ever had to cover. so for people who are thrilled with this presidency and you want to pretend that the president doesn't lie every day about the tiniest things -- the tiniest things and the biggest things -- that there are no more nuclear threats from north korea, things like that. if you want to believe that, this is the country where you
can believe that. and there's not a thing that i am ever going to say that will end or upset your beliefs in that. host: your book, "playing with fire, the transformation of american politics." what lessons can we take today from looking back 50 years ago to that campaign? guest: 50 years ago, we see the beginnings of the politics that we have now. 50 years ago in that campaign, that was the presidential campaign where roger ailes entered his work life in politics. he was in show business. richard nixon lured him into the campaign to help with the tv side of the campaign. and he did a great job of that. he went on to work on other successful republican campaigns, and then run fox news for many years. so roger ailes, who was brought
into politics in 1968 had a longer-lasting effect on presidential politics than even richard nixon. we saw in 1968 an opening on the left side of the democratic party that we hadn't seen before, that was the jean mccarthy campaign. followed by the bobby kennedy campaign. those were insurgent campaigns on the left side of the party, running against the more moderate democratic establishment. we saw that model again with bernie sanders in 2016. so there are all sorts of dynamics that began in 1968, that we continue to see in our politics today. host: coming off of that question that we asked today, you see that same opening happening in the form of cortez and what happened last week in new york? guest: it is really hard to say, especially in house races. there are so many of them.
and there is always a rush, as soon as anything like this happens, there is always a rush to attach a large and important explanation to it which has nothing to do with local politics. and that is always countered by the tip o'neill saying that all politics is local. and it takes a while to figure out and find out what these things mean. i mean i was working in the , united states senate in 1994 in the midterm congressional election of the clinton presidency's first term, and the speaker of the house the , democratic speaker of the house was defeated back home in his own reelection campaign. and no one knew what to read into that because it was so shocking. and it turned out there really wasn't much to read into it.
there wasn't much to change about the way the democrats were running their campaigns. and what was going on was an energy that was against the progressivism of the current president. and the clinton presidency from shat point forward, after it first two progressive years became a very moderate slow-moving presidency. , because at that point it was quickly controlled by a republican congress. and he became the editor of legislation, to the effect that he couldn't. and it is very hard to tell. and i was fascinated by the bronx, queens district. i know it well. and in some ways, i am surprised joe crowley was able to hold onto it for as long as he did. because of the demographic change in the district.
and be going to wait patient about that, to see what it means to the party. and it could be something that is a large and important trend. i will admit to not being one who thought bernie sanders was going to do well at all as a challenger to her clinton for the nomination. bernie sanders started off at 3% and i remember privately thinking that ok, maybe 6% or 9%? maybe? and so i sat back and i watched that sanders surge with real surprise and that kind of patiently studied it in real-time. and so i am one who will have to wait. i cannot make judgments about what these things mean instantaneously. host: a question from twitter. what is the difference between
socialism and democratic socialism? guest: semantics. socialism in the 1950's in america became a bad word and we then became anti-intellectual about socialism. we as a country stopped thinking about what actually is and we adopted, for the most part a , posture of fear against the word and the concept of socialism. and so when medicare was proposed in the 1960's, the argument against it was essentially, it is socialism. that was the entire argument. and it was kind of surprising that that argument didn't work, especially because it was true. medicare is socialism. and everyone on medicare is the beneficiary of a very smart socialistic program called medicare.
and to deny that it is socialism is to deny economic literacy. but that is what our politics does. so socialism, it turns out, is not terrifying if you know what it is. the other thing about socialism us in thell around united states and it has been for most of the 20th century. and our country would not work without it. every country in the world is now what economists call a mixed economy. meaning they are mixes, to varying degrees, of capitalism and socialism. and cuba is at one extreme of socialism, with very little capitalism. and the united states is in an area that is much more toward the middle. i mean, think about our health care system. almost half of the spending in the american health care system is government spending.
that is socialistic spending. every single penny. so is our health care system socialist? no. is our health care system socialistic? yes. does our health care system have capitalistic elements? yes, it does. and so people have to grow up, they have to drop their fear of the word, they have to look at the socialism that a like, they have to look at the socialism they think is smart. they have to look at it like social security and other socialistic programs that they do not even know are socialistic programs, and relax about the word, and make adult decisions about just how much socialism is the right mix for this economy and how much capitalism is the right mix. and the truth of it is, we cannot run this country without both of them.
host: lawrence o'donnell. joining us from boston this morning. and robert is joining us from connecticut. an independent. go ahead. caller: yes, every year in america, twice as many white people are shot and killed the by the police. why is it that we don't see many crying white mothers on tv? clinton andhillary the mothers of the black but domes -- black victims but with the white police officers who killed, where worth their mothers? i have a few friends who are cops and they show me the statistics on black men and how they murdered people at a rate that is 10 times more than whites and latinas put together. but it is always about the black.
where are the crying white mothers? guest: every case has to be analyzed individually. and when you do that, you do discover that there is a peculiar phenomenon involved with the unarmed black male victim. that in statistical terms, we see more of those. then we do of white victims. and let's remember what i said at the beginning, when you wonder about the cases that get protested and the ones that don't get protested, what i said at the beginning is that it is my belief that most shooting by police, most of it, is justified. so most of it does not invoke any protesting at all. we see a very tiny number of protest, if we talk about 1000 or more killings by police in a given year and we see a typical maximum less then one doesn't protests a year over the police use of deadly force, we're
-- less than one dozen protests a year over the police use of deadly force. we're talking about the really tiny piece of the total. so you cannot draw conclusions about what is happening overall with the police use of deadly force just by looking at the cases that get protested. host: a passage from your book, we wanted you to expand on. you write, "black america has always been -- this was a problem. cases of unjustified deadly force, passing the word. but it took a series of technological developments for white america to hear the stories. cable news, body cam video, a camera phone in everyone's pocket." guest: it also took the shooting of michael brown, because that was the first one that was protested in a major way. cable news andof
the internet. prior to that, it would have gone a significant distance in time before a major protest. i know people get the feeling that all of these cases are protested, but that is not even close. -- michaelchael case brown case did is it focused menus media on this issue for the first time in the age of cable news. and because the protesting in missouri turned into rioting cable networks were out there 24 , hours a day and people were covering it on the internet 24 hours a day. and the subject of police use of deadly force was suddenly front and center because of those developments. and especially the aftermath for a few weeks in ferguson. and that was the moment where -- no matter what you think of that shooting -- that was the moment
where america kind of stopped and went and realized, we will need to have to pay attention to this. host: michael from alabama. good morning. caller: good morning. lawrence o'donnell, i can't believe i have a chance to speak to you. thank you so much for speaking and standing up for us who have no public voice. man you are so special. , this element of fascism and racism that has taken over the country is bringing fear to everybody who has common sense. but what i'm asking you to do -- most of all, is to take and define how these republicans are actually defining what the democrats are about. we allow them to call us baby killers. we hate abortions. we are -- we are the real
pro-life people. i will let you get back to saying what you were saying, because what you are saying is so important in every way. guest: that is a good point. it is a difficult thing that -- the politics of abortion are difficult. and one of the things that is hard on the democratic pro-choice side of it, is to talk about abortion specifically. because i have never met anyone who is pro-choice who takes abortion lightly and doesn't think this is a difficult thing for people to go through. but that part of it -- it is hard to find the public rhetoric for that discussion. i certainly have never found the public rhetoric for that side of the discussion. but abortion is obviously what the next supreme court confirmation process is going to
be all about. democrats are going to try to do everything they can to ring bring attention to the possibility that roe v. wade is at risk in this confirmation process. and that means that they are going to strategically be trying to put enormous pressure on republicans. susan collins from maine and the representative from alaska, who are the only two pro-choice republicans in the united states side. and the democrats do not have any procedural or parliamentary trick that they can play on the senate floor or in a judiciary committee that could block this nomination. the democrats and the senate know that the only way the nomination could be stopped is with republican votes. senator know that murkowski and collins are the two most likely votes for them to try to attract. so they will be spending all of
their time doing that. host: should harry reid have used the nuclear option to get rid of the filibuster on everything except for the supreme court justices? guest: i worked in the senate for seven years. and at that time in the 1990's, we respected everyone of the rules. and each side had used the rules to their own advantage at some time. and each side the day that we were being frustrated -- and we knew there would be another day down the road where we would be using the filibuster rule in the same way that our opponents were using it that day. and so i was extremely reluctant, i was very slow to join in the chorus of get rid of it. people have to remember harry , reid was under tremendous pressure to get rid of it. my voice was not included in that pressure. that is another thing where i
just kind of sat back and watched and it did not have a strong feeling about it. what i do believe now is that if then,reid had not done it then mitch mcconnell would do it now. i don't see any reason why mitch mcconnell would not have done anything right now. host: caller from ohio is next. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to say that in the 1950's, we didn't have miranda person,ntil an illegal a mexican person, was jailed for rape. and later on they took it to the supreme court. and that is where the miranda rights came from. and later on they found out he was guilty of rape. you might be remember -- you
might be familiar with the case. also, i wanted to say that the thin blue line is getting thinner all the time. and i kind of wonder if the real goal here isn't to disarm our police officers. you know, the killing in dallas with the police officers, the way those guys were taken down, that was a professional hit job. i don't know if you realize that. that was just some ordinary -- that was not just some ordinary shooting that happened when that guy opened up on those people in that parking garage. and killed them like that. guest: i agree. it was. and we all were outraged at that. and there was not anybody in america supporting what happened to those police officers. heroicolice officers did work and the police officers who tried to stop that killing stop
, that killer, every single police officer in and around doing heroics work. for a long time they had no idea where the shots were coming from. and i will never forget that night and covering it. and i was watching nothing but heroic police officer work that night. and i never heard a comment anywhere in this country that said anything different. the loss of those police officers was a terrible tragedy and a terrible tragedy for their families and for the country. that is really what all the news coverage of that time delivered at the time. host: ed in jackson, tennessee. in independent. caller: we can have justice when those who have not been injured by injustice are as outraged by it as those who have been. that was written like 2000 years ago.
good to talk to you, lawrence. the difference is, the question the guy asked earlier about, where is the outrage when white cops get killed? and these people get killed. the outrage is that the police are hardly ever held accountable . theseack guys that killed certain people, they are put in prison for life, the death penalty. that is the difference. and what i want to mention -- i don't know if you mentioned this. police in other countries, our country kills 1000 people a year. some of these other countries, they haven't killed 50 people in 50 years. did you see that in "the guardian?" they have all of these numbers. for example, wales, england, 56 million people. 55 fatal police shootings in 24 years. the united states, 59 fatal police shootings in the first
days of of the year. guest: yes. that is the life of guns in america. the reason to concentrate on the subject is that police officers are government workers who have you than anyer other government workers including the president and the , supreme court and every member senator.ss, every alone among those government workers, the police officer can kill you. and can shoot and kill you on the spot with no trial. no jury. death penalty. on the street. that power is enormous. that power is a power that we cannot trust is being employed judiciously and carefully all the time. it is as simple as that. when you invest that enormous power in human beings, you have to be ready to deal with the
possible mistakes that those human beings can make. host: a question asked in a recent news article, after two officers were charged in two fatal police shootings, are arrests happening faster? guest: in general, certainly by a giant order of magnitude, happening faster than when i first started studying the subject in the 1970's and 1980's. they basically were not happening at all. ofy would just be a couple arrests at most, in the course of a year. sometimes zero. because the evidence wasn't there. the kind of evidence that was irrefutable. remember the evidence you need , in prosecuting a police officer is a much higher bar. juries are inclined to favor and sympathize with a police officer, as so many of our callers do this morning. and some will sympathize with
the police officer to the point of thinking that the police officer can do no wrong. so it is a high standard of bringing charges against police officers in these cases, and those charges are rare. but we certainly see more of those prosecutions now than we used to and a lot of that is thanks to the personal videos that people are able to make of the shooting incidents. host: what was the crucial evidence in the james bowdoin case? guest: it was the accumulation tf evidence that you needed a that time. the autopsy report, for example, it showed he was shot in the back and back of the neck. the police story was that he seemed to be threatening them and looked like he was holding a gun in his hand and he was aiming at them. and the devastating question in cross-examination was that if he was looking at you and aiming a gun at you, how did you shoot
him in the back and the back of the head? and then the gun that james , according to police officers, that he was using that night was found very far from the location of the shooting and the next question becomes, did how did he throw it so far away after he was shot in the back and the back of the neck and was dead? because he would've had to throw the gun far away after he was dead. claimed het they used was an automatic pistol and shells when they are fired and there was no ejected shell found inside james bowdoin's car. so that was just the tip of the iceberg of the evidence pile that took a couple of weeks to present to a jury. no gun powder residue on james bowdoin's hands. no fingerprints on the gun that was found way down the street
after the shooting. the police officer who found the gun told me that -- he didn't testify in the court case -- but he told me he believed it was planted by other police officers because he found it to hours -- two hours after the shooting. he arrived to the scene late and was told specifically by the sergeant to go "look over there" and he looked under a car and there it was. and he told me right away that he thought it was a dirty gun. a throwaway gun. discussed,ntire case and the shooting, in his book rereleased last week. lawrence o'donnell is with us for the next 10 minutes to take questions. good morning. caller: i would like to thank lawrence o'donnell because i watch msnbc all the time and i believe everything they report. -- i don't really think there is a solution to this problem as far as the police killing black youth.
because i think it is because the police are going into these areas with attitude, you know, they go into impoverished areas with attitudes and think that these guys possess weapons already. and they may have an attitude, or they may be part of a gang, and they go in there and it suddenly tempers flare. and guns a ripped -- erupt, or what? guest: i do think attitude is the central explainer of these cases. and it is completely human. the attitude is fear. it is fear of the situation. fear of the place they are in, if it is a community that is alien to them. it is fear of the person they are confronting. and it turns out after the fact that the fear is not justified
, in so many cases but fear is , what you see when you study the cases. in the case of james bowdoin, the two police officers jump out of their car, they run up to his car and they immediately within , three seconds, start firing. they do not yell, "we are police officers, get out of your car." they do not yell anything. they were terrified. and unjustifiably terrified about what they were confronting. and police officers never want to say, i was afraid. because iwhat i did was afraid. but for a moment if you want to get into their situation and imagine what they are feeling, the truth is that it was fear. the bad cases are the cases of police officers quickly overreacting to their fear. call from illinois.
an independent, good morning. caller: i am a retired police officer out of california. and for 23 years i was a police trainer, so i did have a chance to look at the police shootings and sadly, when i started my career in 1981, you never drew person for any reason unless it was so extreme , that you had no choice. but what i see these days sadly is so many things i cannot even begin to explain. other than come i have been hearing the words fear the , demographic change and the reality is that if you look at history people don't like , change. and people who have been in control for so long, they see the demographic shift. and so they are injecting fear into the people who look not like me. brown, black, or whites. so what is happening is
something that will absolutely happen, using california as a model, you go 50 years ago, butcans were hat in hand, now you go to the state of california, good luck trying to find work because it is virtually controlled by mexican people. is that good or bad, i cannot say, but back to the police shootings i can tell you this -- i wish we could sit and talk, because after analyzing most of the shootings, there is no reason that perception should become a reality when you are a police officer. did you see a gun? no, i didn't. well, why did you think he had one then? host: stay on the line for a second. let's get an answer. guest: i want to add one thing that i know our caller can confirm. this is one of the challenges for modern police training. a policeather became
officer, he learned how to be a police officer through training. everyone who shows up for police work now goes through a minimum of 20 years of that training on television, on watching cop shows and watching movies with -- dramaticshows cop shows in them. most police officers never fired their guns. they are never shot at. every police officer is shot at and fires their gun in every police show is shot at and fires their gun. on tv shows. so they are overtrained on the danger and the likelihood of the use of firearms. host: is that something you saw in your experience? caller: yes, spot on as far as you will always are going to have a healthy fear.
but you should. but when it gets to the point that you are so afraid -- most of my life i was in martial arts and grappling sports -- i had a healthy fear but i kept myself fit. and that is what i see lacking in a lot of departments. but you have to remember i , started in 1981. my friend were saying, you have to get yourself into shape, because we were expected to train quarterly, which is not nearly enough. but i challenge anybody to go around the country and if they have training once a year, that is a lot. because i don't care what size department, if they had training once a year, that is a lot. you consequently would have cops who are not in good shape. they become afraid. if you don't feel comfortable in yourself, you will have that fear. and what happens, you have these shootings. in my opinion and from what i have seen, they have been grossly wrong in the outcome. host: think you for sharing your experience. guest: i want to add to that and
say that there are no better analysts of bad police shootings than former police officers. they know. they know what a bad one looks like. and they know what a good one looks like. host: elizabeth is here in washington, d.c., good morning. caller: good morning. i was wondering if the man had stayed in his car, would that have changed the outcome? guest: we have no idea. antwon rose got out of the car and ran away from police and the officer shot him in his back. menave seen young unarmed stay in the car, sit in the car, and be shot. what is really difficult about this is it is very hard to figure out what recommendation, what behavioral recommendation
would you make to young unarmed black men in police encounters. and having studied this for decades, i am sorry to say that i do not know what to say. i cannot look at what rose jr. did and say, he should have done that, why did he do that, or did he know that being an unarmed and running away from a police officer was going to get him shot in the back in this country? that is against the law. host: time for one or two more calls. to louisville, kentucky. go ahead. caller: yes, i want to really commend lawrence o'donnell. because i look at his program. and i want to also say that the person who called from california, and he told you that he had been an officer since officerd i have been an
since 1961. and i never shot anybody. i never killed anybody. and i came in at a time when police threw down guns and fact.is a and anyone who is afraid of police should not get a job as a police officer. you can get any kind of job that you want. and so, i am saying this to the washington journal. the washington journal is a program that you can look at and you see what the real america is. because you have people calling in and saying the types of things that they say. lawrence o'donnell is about the truth. and i have been involved. thes there when they had national black police convention. i was one of the founders. we were founded in 1972. and that is the time when police were shooting people and all of
this stuff. so i would commend lawrence o'donnell. and also rachel on that program. the thing is, the truth, the truth -- the opposite of the truth is a lie. to not show any of the truth is a lie. you cannot deny that the president lies. that is wrong. you tell your children and you talk about the bible and that kind of stuff, it says tell the truth. host: we will give you the last 60 seconds. guest: you are hearing from an experienced former police officer there who is telling you the way that things were. he talked about what they used to call a throwdown knife or a throwdown gun. that was evidence they could plant in these situations where an unarmed suspect was killed and that is the story i tell in my book, about the killing in
boston. unfortunately, it is a story that is still with us. mother,pened to james's losing her son, is the same thing that happened to antwon rose's mother, who lost her son two weeks ago. there are marginal ways in which we have gotten better in dealing with this phenomenon, and we have become more honest in dealing with the phenomenon, but those marginal improvements are no constellation -- consolation to the mother of antwon rose today. ,"st: the book, "deadly force" and the author lawrence o'donnell, thank you for joining us. announcer: we will show this interview again tonight. and you can watch anytime online at c-span.org, or listen on our free radio app. on c-span, this week
at 8:00 p.m. eastern, in prime time -- on tuesday, the weekly standard hosts a conversation on the millennial generation. >> what is happening is sad on campuses and in high schools in terms of not reading certain books. and that is, that is a fight with fighting. because the people making these decisions are the baby boomers and not the millennials. announcer: on wednesday, lloyd blankfein. >> if you could go through that currency where they say that this is worth what it is worth because the government says it is, why couldn't you have a consensus currency? not for me come i do not do it. i do not own bitcoin. and as far as i know, goldman sachs has no bitcoin, but if it works out i could give you the historic facts on why that happened. announcer: racism in america. >> they fear that they are totally justified. white peers of black people are not. announcer: and on friday, kirk
cameron, attorney general jeff sessions, and republican senator cory gardner speaking at the western conservative summit in colorado. >> we at the department are hammering the criminals and violent groups, especially ms-13 , one of the most violent groups in the world. their motto, get this, "kill, rape and control." announcer: this week on c-span, c-span.org, and on the free radio app. justice anthony kennedy retirement brings a change to the supreme court. follow the story on taste and. from the president nominating a replacement, to the swearing in, all on c-span. c-span.org. or listen on the free radio app.
as part of our 50 capitals tour, and with the help of gci cable, the c-span bus visited alaska, with anchorage the final stop on the tour. role inays a critical making sure that our democracy is functional, provide an understanding of what is going on, and provides a window into washington dc that those of us who are a far distance away can see what is occurring. >> we really believe it is important to offer this to our customers, because we believe in our mission, to be an unfiltered and trusted media source. we proudly support their effort to inform and educate the nation on policy, politics, history, and current events. announcer: be sure to join us on july 20 1, 22, when we will feature a visit to alaska. watch alaska weekend on c-span, .org -- c-span.org, or listen on the c-span radio app app.
announcer: book to be recently visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they are reading this summer. >> it is a very hectic lifestyle and i am on an airplane a lot, just like other members, so i am always in the process of being in the middle books. so i am still reading a book by a good friend of mine from san antonio, who wrote a book called "the train to crystal city," about the internment camps in texas during world war ii, where they sent families of japanese, german and italian americans. it is a great book. i am also still reading "a world in disarray," about american foreign-policy and its future. and visiting some books i absolutely love, but have not looked at in a long time. "the purple decade," which came out in the 1980's, a collection of best works. and an anthology that came out by joan didion, called "we tell
ourselves stories in order to live." announcer: book tv wants to know what you are reading. send us your reading list at the tv or instagram, or posted to our facebook page, facebook.com/booktv. book tv on c-span2, television for serious readers. announcer: the atlantic magazine hosted a conference on the american dream and how it could change in the future. this runs about two hours thank you to ucla. thank you amy. jump right in to what i think is the most important question.