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tv   Washington Journal Laurie Robinson  CSPAN  April 28, 2021 4:21pm-4:31pm EDT

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♪ >> he is not only the -- she served as the former co-chair for the white house task force on 21st century policing from 2014 and 2015. ms. robinson, thanks for joining us this morning. guest:good morning. host:reform efforts posttrial. at the headlines says the terrain going forward will not be the same. can you tell us why? guest:it's helpful to step back
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and think about the terrain before this as well. if we look back to michael brown's death in 2014, and the death of eric garner and tamir rice and others in the aftermath of that, the institute of justice did a study and showed that 34 states and the district of columbia passed 79 laws on police reform in the two years after ferguson. there was a flurry of activity at that time to pass laws on things like body worn cameras, training for police, what's called crisis intervention team training on handling individuals whose -- who have mental health problem to read that has --
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mental health problems. in the aftermath of george floyd 's tragic death, there has been movement forward. national conference and state legislatures have said that 30 states have passed 140 laws or a little more than that in the policing area just sent last may. the terrain has shifted now because despite all of the attention that has been focused on this area by states and local governments in changing laws. the attention with the verdict last week of not only our country but the international, global community has been fixed on why policing, in their view,
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is still broken and what more can be done to fix it. i think that attention will continue to be mobilized around what steps can be taken to move forward in this area and that's why it's important. host:you talked about this idea of what's broken in american law enforcement. what would you say are the top elements? >> what i also said was the importance of leaders within policing to carry the banner forward on this because i think there are strong leaders within policing particularly on the management side. i think police unions are also important to help in building corrective action. i think the two areas where we
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need to change particularly are, perhaps i'd say three, but substantively use of force and police accountability. that's kind of two buckets, two areas. the broader area is, one would say, police culture. the way things are done. we need to recognize that institutionally, changing institutions is not an overnight task. work will proceed over a. of time. we need to recognize that policing is -- work will proceed over a period of time. in britain, there are something like 35 police departments. here we have 18,000 state and
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local police departments, police agencies and they are not federally controlled. they are all controlled at the local level. mayors, county commissioners, locally elected sheriff. that means you don't, for example, order change from the top. i was surprised when i -- i was surprised how many people including some members of the washington press asked me after the report was concluded whether president obama was going to order police chief in the united states to implement some of those recommendations. the president of the united states does not have the authority to order any police chief at the local level to do
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much of anything. our decentralized system means that institutional change and policing is a longer process. guest: -- host: this is laurie robinson. if you want to ask her questions, (202) 748-8000 . -- (202) 748-8000 and the eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8002 if you are in the mountain and pacific time zones. you can also text us at (202) 748-8003. you talked about the amount of influence the federal government has on this issue.
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i want to play a little bit about the why, the why they are doing that. >> we are uniquely aware of the challenges faced by those who serve as police officers. we see their commitment firsthand every and we recognize the complex issues that make their already difficult jobs already -- already difficult jobs even harder. also charged with ensuring that the constitutional and federal statutory rights of all people are protected. as i explained last week, congress has authorized the department to conduct practiced investigations to help it fulfill that response ability. those investigations and the recommendations and actions that ensue not only protect individuals civil-rights, they also assist police departments
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in developing measures to increase transparency and accountability. host: those investigations, minneapolis and louisville, what you think about the justice department role. guest: first of all, i would say that i worked very closely with law enforcement over my career. i was with the justice department for 10 years as an assistant attorney general. worked with state and local law enforcement across the country and with the international association of chief of police. i was one of their committee chairs and i agree and -- i agree with the attorney general that law enforcement have extraordinarily challenging jobs that call for very difficult incisions frequently made in difficult terrain and kind of split second required decision-making.
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at the same time, the justice department an important role in that think attorney general garland is making a correct decision and reinstituting the pattern of practice of lawsuits for investigations -- short investigations i should say in this case that he has done in the minneapolis case and here in -- and the announcemen >> we are back. we will be joined shortly by senator graham and senator cruz, and perhaps others. i will yield to senator graham when he arrives, but i have a few questions in the meantime. first, let me ask the


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