tv Washington Journal Eugene O Donnell CSPAN June 5, 2020 11:26am-12:02pm EDT
showed the bombing at the baptist church, fire hoses and dogs in birmingham, and george wallace standing in a schoolhouse door. and he looked up at me and he sad, why didso papa do those things to other people. and it broke my heart. and i said, he never told me why he did those things to other people. but i know he was wrong so maybe it will be up to you and me to make things right. announcer: watch sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. >> eugene o'donnell is a lecturer at the john jay college of criminal justice, a former
new york city police officer and trainer and instructor at the police academy in new york city. welcome to washington journal. guest: good to be with you. host: let me ask you about how this all started. what do you think went wrong in the encounter between the four officers and george floyd on that memorial day arrest attempt? it is a complex conversation. it will consume a lot of time. it is a terrible outcome. my condolences to the deceased and the family of the deceased. event, the this error gartner event, -- eric --ner event the same thing happened. they were in search of cigarettes. the mayors have to give more clarity. matters,ndly important
police should not be involved. i hate that it had to end badly. this is so horrible, 8 minutes on the guy's neck. no one can promise that you won't have some version of this going forward. policing is the nature of the work. we have people offering up the idea that if you train, you can train your way to a point where this won't happen again. there is no way to do that. the only way to do that is to completely curtail policing. policing has been curtailed in cities like philly and milwaukee at chicago and baltimore. any doubts, all they have to look out what happened -- all they have to do is look at what happens this weekend. the new york times and washington post viciously, a
hate campaign against the police. no fact was too important to ignore. ingenuity,tion, this 4000 to 5000 negative articles. not one single article talking about policing from the urban perspective of a police person. the important conversation to have now that we should've had years ago, this is a long time coming, how to protect the in ary with the police much smaller availability. is of the reasons for that it will exacerbate a total collapse and interest of young people to be police officers. who in their right mind would want to put on a police uniform in a big city? obviously the weekend,
lawless list and looting and rioting, the most obvious example of what you call a collapse of policing. cities like new york and baltimore, chicago, how is that evidence? what does that look like, the lack of policing or drawback by police forces? murder withoks like no consequences. it means police make it to your house, they don't have a whole lot of power. if you are -- if you are going to construct a conversation , the millions of calls that police do per year, the enormous amount of work the people do there and the good work that they do and the cops that know how much work they do and recognize the caricature of people throwing out there, if you are going to say that five years, 25 million calls mostly without incidents of any kind,
be it not necessarily misconduct, but that is enough to stop a city in its tracks. trainmayors who drove the and drove their cities over the like mayor frey and mayor durkan who were the mostly stream is voices and agreed that there note -- there is no institution in america worse than the police. nothing is worse. you can have 25,000 homicides in chicago, nothing is worse than the american police. that is where they took the conversation and they cannot get out of that. public that it was some sort of monster. the reality is people die when the police do their job. far morepeople die -- people die when the police do not do their job.
the response time has flatlined because there is no policing. peoplere two groups of that have been totally silenced in this conversation. one would be police officers. what would they know? i have never had a conversation with a cop that i had not learned things that are really insight. if you go to a committee meeting, it is a different conversation. people in the hollywood hills who have their security guaranteed, they can make shots of the police. if we have learned anything in the last couple louise, institutions have to be defended. -- last couple of weeks. whether it is the police or the
parties, the republican party or the president, no more important agency than the fbi in racial justice and going after the terrorists that have latched onto these protests. there is no way to do that. the construct that the fbi that people don't have political opinions, what kind of people do not have opinions? we would hope they will look at candidates and conclude office. people can judge whether the fbi thinks -- host: will open up the phone .ines for viewers and listeners .he lines, (202) 748-8001
for republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8002. if you are an official, (202) 748-8003. we will get to your calls and comments in a moment. a question for you about new york's police force. you are part of the transition team for mayor de blasio in 2013. one headline says, the blahs yell faces cheers as police crackdown. this is in the wake of the protests and rioting and looting in new york city. how do you think the nypd has faired? >> there is a guinness book of world records for someone trying to pick ice with the nypd. fights. thousands of people have attacked and you just -- used hate speech. , they willoking
eventually get it, a video that will show the police in the it0's so that they can use to further distort the conversation. the mayor of new york has played a despicable role in this conversation as have so many other so-called progressive people who, senator sanders comes to mind, people have demagogue the issue of public safety by saying who is the villain in all of this. the issue is the police. during his campaign, with young people hanging on his every word, had no problems with young america. he knew all he had to say was he was a mayor, he ran burlington. he had to say public safety is a comic in a conversation and he knew the room would empty out.
year,engaged in this one two-year, three-year campaign suggesting that we should be hunting for enemies. targetlthy, starbucks, and all of these entities we are targeting in this event. he is confused about whether looting has a value. it is not too late for the people who did this to correct the record. policing will not be resuscitated. the damage that these folks did will endure. , who will on a path protect the police? will it be the army? ar-15's were out on the street. will we have political violence
where leaders are killed? we already had a congressman from the republican party shot. a democratic congresswoman shot in the head. attempts to breach the white house. these are very serious conversations, they should have been done for five years. what is really discouraging is the conversation about policing got narrower and the larger conversation got totally polarized. c-span is the only place for anybody to have a conversation that is not insane at this point. ask you abouto lawsuits regarding excessive force. a supreme court reporter right as protests continue over the death of george ford, the supreme court is examining a form of the minute -- immunity that has shielded police from lawsuits for alleged civil rights violations. the court could announce on
monday whether it will accept the argument next term, challenges to qualified immunity protects officers from lawsuits unless plaintiffs can show that the accused violated clearly established laws or constitutional rights they should reasonably be aware of. what is your view on the immunity argument? outt: this is being pushed by the french that hijacks this conversation -- fringe. the idea that only the police can use force in society. elected officials made the case that they cannot understand why the police whatever use coercion or intimidation or physical force in a country. 84 shootings last weekend, this --t weekend, 24 fatalities an enormous amount of violence. now we have a situation where we
will give a report card to cops who are going into these situations. no matter how much they are told not to, they can help abide by their own code. homicide is duke and metallized so you wonder why they are doing it. this is the conversation where we are at. the use of force is brutality. the use of deadly force is murder. coercivecannot be ever. we are now hearing things like, the officer had a prior history of using force. mayors could have cleaned this up before i got ready of actively hot. they could have been courageous and used clinical cap. -- political capitol. mayors have no connection within their own communities.
i would like to have that conversation, we should have cameras on politicians. i don't mean that in a cynical way your -- cynical way. two leadingweek or up to the riots, what were the mayors doing? what leadership did they exert. what relationship did they have for the community? i believe there is no connection at all and they know they cannot solve fundamental problems so they will take these very complicated problems they failed to solve and became a lightning rod. they said to their constituents, the only problem in this country is the police. that is what they said. they led the charge and now they have driven so far and they cannot get ahead of the lunatic fringe that wants to put the police out of business. the center of this conversation is whether or not police should
be put out of business and the mayors in these cities have a lot to answer for. they themselves are driving the train. if the police are put out of business, people in neighborhoods will not be able to get around safety will pay the price. there are millions of americans this past weekend contemplating whether they will stay in cities. cities will be very forlorn places. they are not safe. host: we have calls waiting for you. have genie in california. good morning. think that ally of policeations stations should be started immediately.
they are really hoping that maybe they could get retrained to maintain transparency. we should be able to say that this officer and validate it with video. they should not be allowed to keep getting pats on the back. they are humans. their adrenaline goes up. ,ll of these things, the mental it leads to the transparent. if these people are going to police people out there, they want to know that they are going to be safe and that is all this is all about. that is what they are fighting for. host: genie in california. eugene o'donnell, your thoughts?
guest: the last thing anybody should think is going to be helpful now is a lecture to the human -- police on human rights. have their human rights been kicked in many different ways by mayors. heroicallyfoot ,efended -- mayor lightfoot after the police heroically defended the city, went on the air the very next day. imagine watching television and finding out that the mayor is listening to complaints at that late date against the police. look at the hate speech. i have not seen anything horrific written about floyd's death. i have seen tens of thousands of , while --reatening vile hate speech directed to the
police. if anyone needs to be lectured to by people who never put themselves in harm's way, i saw chicago, many of them were white, many of them were not white, but they were protecting west philadelphia. if that neighborhood burns down, that neighborhood will never come back. they were discharging their duty. the media was there. what where they dear -- there to do? to find another story to write negatively about the police. the young folks policing in the last few days is how maybe 1000 cops literally saved some parts es. storety's -- citi owners, immigrants, and the vulnerable were left to their own devices. 911 was not answered.
police officers were told to allow people to loot, which might have been a good idea. this is not a good time for people to be wagging their fingers at police officers. been crossing the picket lines of clear and present danger and death but have been attacked and the resident mayor has graded an environment where they cannot defend themselves. host: we do have a line for law enforcement officers. that line is (202) 748-8003. mike, from maryland, good morning. i'm a law enforcement officer now because the police cannot do their jobs. this pity party that eugene is having for himself about how hard it is for cops. it is so impossible for us to not put our d on the next of protesters. it is a direct correlation
between those cities having riots and those that are not. it is directly lined to the police officers. the cops have not been tear-gassing and knocking over old people and running them over with horses, driving cars into crowds, all of the outrageous and unbelievably violent nonsense that guys like eugene are responsible for. this guy is an absolute clown. this is the problem why policing in new york has been historically an issue. you can rattle them off. this guy goes directed from the police department to training cops at the cop academy. host: we will hear a response from eugene o'donnell. guest: it sounds like hate speech to me, but we will move on. let's look at the data. we are in an environment where you could write a piece looking at the historic abuses that have occurred, they complicate the relationship between the african-american community,
there is no place to publish that analysis. nobody would read it. the mib tod compare the ku klux klan, people would read that. nypd. we have an extremist be theation, c-span may only place left in the center. as i have been say to the media, i know these stories help them when you wrote them. i think you knew a lot of them were not true. you may not known -- you may not have known where you would take us. do we feel better today in a country that is increasingly on un-governable. some of the cities that do not havedisturbances, extraordinary levels of violent
crime, the streets that are among the most dangerous in the world. it is a complicate a conversation. to do it ethically is a hard thing to do. if the police do their job, some people might lose their lives. but if the police do not do their job, thousands of people are losing their lives. police used to be willing to go out and take risks. they can no longer do that. this is a great triumph for the extreme left. for thea great victory extreme left, the prolapse -- collapse of policing. every weekend in chicago, kids will be alive on saturday and sunday and they won't be alive. host: let me get to todd in south carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. with almost everything that is going on, the big fix in minnesota would have been if there were not four white cops at that scene, they would have had an interracial said, i think it would have been a lot less
trouble. with all of these police chiefs showing up on the tv saying, we are not going to allow the cops to go out there and do their jobs, it is just tying all of their hands up. the governor and mayors and police chiefs and everybody else , they are tying everybody's hands up, they need to stop that. we have enough of that in congress and we don't need it for people to get hurt out on the streets. as we know from congress, when you make decisions, you draw fire and heat. this is a comp located conversation. i think most people are probably open to having a real conversation, not the insane circudriven circuit -- s. the last shooting in minneapolis
were the officer shot an white australian woman, we can have this conversation but it needs to be data-driven. , everylike new york metric proves in every possible way, i am not saying there are not abuses, violent conflict if work against people -- conflicting work against people. reform, we cano stop making that happen and not make those arrests. that is an enormously charged situation that no matter what the police would have to do that. any of those arrests could end with a death. it is very easy for officers to get injured. many officers are injured in routine arrests. host: a question for you from florida. should officers live in the communities or neighborhoods in which they serve?
now, presence does not make the heart grow fonder. as this conversation goes more polar, police people are telling their children, do not even go near policing. they are telling people they cannot wait to get out. when they leave, they don't just leave the city, they leave the state, they leave the entire region. they don't want to deal with this anymore. you can see why. one hour ofat just the extraordinary assault that is clear and present danger ,fficers face in these protests unsupported, with a history of lunatics showing up. the mayors are urging a lunatic fringe into their cities. we have had officers assassinated because of a suggestion by mayor de blasio
that the police are picking on people randomly. disingenuous? as the mayor know, all you have to do is tell them not to do proactive policing. just tell them not to do it. then on the fact that if you on the street, lives will be lost. if you say that to people, you contextualize the conversation. this is a strawman argument. people don't care whether the city is attacked and people are shot if the mayor is going on tv after the cops are defended season -- defending the city and attack them, we have been doing this for five years. i have been warning that if we don't have a serious conversation about this topic,
policing is going to collapse. policing collapsed on monday. it will continue to limp on. but any department is at risk now if the formulation is one event, one saying it is upsetting. that is a standard that cannot be met. that will be the standard -- there are two good reasons to spend our money elsewhere. that is one and the fact that we can get anybody -- again, if we find someone who wants to be an urban cop -- host: lots of calls waiting period john in clearwater, florida. good morning. john, mute your volume. caller: i just did. good morning. i like to preface my remarks by saying i am not in any way trying to excuse the egregious police behavior. but there are two things that concern me that i would like comments on. one, why has there been no
meaningful discussion about the rate of crime in the black communities? it seems to be totally ignored. we hear about the mass incarceration. the scenario seems to be that the police are just indiscriminately picking up black males and putting them in prison. why don't we discuss the high rate of homicide and other violent crimes committed within the black community? the second russian, the matter i would like to comment on -- second question, on the last 20 or 30 years i have seen an incredible increase in the amount of really destructive weapons available to the general public. those weapons make themselves available to the criminal element and police seem to be in many regards outgunned. and i can understand why perhaps the police have adopted a more militarized approach because i
think it is becoming more dangerous over the last 20 or 30 years for them to do their job. host: john, we will let you go. eugene o'donnell? libertarians, republicans, and democrats took shot at the police and now you see the complexity of that conversation. washe first question which -- host: the rate of crime. guest: mass incarceration was a catastrophe. arrests were made that were ludicrous. junk arrests. the fact that this stuff is still being handled as a policing matter, we should hang our heads in shame. those of us who are older know better. when policing was put into this metric driven insanity, it has targeted the afghan american community and people being arrested for things that are embarrassing to say --
african-american community. this whole conversation was -- people like one who was one of the most vile persons in the community who wanted to run for senate. the republican party which has no residence in urban america has been driven out, and democrats, too. i count myself in that also for not seeing the slow burning , --strophe of over-jailing we need sensible justice reform. the republican party should reunite the country on things like jail reform which is mostly the right thing to do. there are some exceptions to that. that is mostly the right thing to do. , the media, has
some shame. school shootings, terrorist attacks, the idea that the police could come in plain clothes and minivans that are set on fire and have cocktails thrown at them and they are rolled over and nobody can figure out why the police want to have more equipment. this is the most nuanced conversation. it takes years to have. is soned 25 things, there much to learn. ideological on conversations. where are we going to be? are we going to have this for the next five years in america? host: regina in pennsylvania, welcome. caller: hi.
i appreciate your position on what you are saying about the far-left. i am appalled that you are talking about trump and republicans being a problem. in pittsburgh, it is run by democrats. they are both sanctuary cities. people before the protests in east liberty and different places and different businesses that the police could not protect. all that you are saying right here, the money actually went to ording parks in pittsburgh maybe putting more money into -- when i was a substitute teacher, i knew someday that child would be before a policeman like you. the principal told me i don't need any help. if they throw a chair at me, so what. so i really feel for you, but it is time to realize what you
originally said. the police did stand down. what is the problem if mr. trump is saying, i want to protect businesses, i want them to be able to protect their own property and not have the police injured. as far as i'm concerned, where is the big fuss with minorities about getting coronavirus when they are all standing together having a big protest and running around throwing bottles and some of the lights are doing that. we had a white man -- some of the whites. we had a man picked up in pittsburgh and had a gofundme account to get a lawyer. he torched and encouraged torching one of the police cars. host: that is regina in [video clip] guest: it's so clear the president is not fit to be in
office. does he think he's helping the police with a kind of rhetoric he is engaged in? the real heroic cops in the neighborhoods are trying to have relationships with people in a most difficult situation and he's provoking people and talking about sending in the army, talking about american citizens, the african american committee has a long history of serving this country from top to bottom and anybody wants to see it, look at the covid crisis and the lifeline of the country in every role they have taken in the postal service, transit workers, service workers of every kind, doctors, nurses, you name it. the african american community has been in the middle of that and nobody can avoid noticing the tone of this president's comments. he gave one of the most insulting speeches to the police suggesting they should brutalize people.
the police departments are proud, the people i know, are proud to be of service and take great risks. despite very difficult circumstances, they take every step they can to save a life. that's equally felt by new york city cops. that's not because there is a guideline. cops are proud that they don't have to violently resolve the most 30 situations. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] this is a very touchy subject. mr.t of all, caller: o'donnell says this should have