Officer, George Floyd, Minneapolis Police Department discussed on The Takeaway
I'm Tansy Nevada today on the takeaway were exploring policing in the United States, and we start with a look at how deep the cultural bias are in police departments across the US, and what can be done to root them out? We're joined now by Phil, Stinson Professor Criminologists at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a former police officer Phil tracks police misconduct allegations, and he's also the author of the Book Criminology Explains Police violence and weighed in for us on the police response to the recent. We'll keep in mind. We have more than eighteen thousand state and local law enforcement agencies across the country, and it's not just the large cities that are having to deal with protesters and demonstrations over the last week or so it small towns. It's large cities. It's suburban areas. It's pretty much everywhere and I. Don't think that many law enforcement agencies understand the deep rooted problems that are giving rise to so many people so many different walks of life wanting to get involved wanting their voices. Voices to be heard and to get out in public and share the moment with their friends and their neighbors. The problem is when we all watched that video last week. The eight to ten minute video where Mr Floyd was killed in front of our eyes. It was troubling on many levels and one of the concerns. Is that people of all walks of life? Look at that video and the if they haven't experienced being up by the police being beaten up by police officer being. Being treated with a heavy hand by police officer, they may well know somebody who has been treated that way, and it's touched so many lives that people have just had enough. They think we see this over and over again, and the fact of the matter is these types of incidents where police officers manhandle somebody with a rough somebody up. They use too much force gratuitously happen every day across this country, so I want to break down a little bit more than because I feel. Feel like you know again. A lot of the images that I'm seeing are reminiscent of when I was covering the events in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown and the moment that really black lives matter catalyzed, and became really the head of what we were seeing in terms of protests around the country. What we're seeing now I think that's different. And I'm curious to know your thoughts is that there are some police departments that have showed some solidarity as we mentioned marching with. With protesters that feels new. Is it a PR stunt? Is it authentic as this? PD's who've realized you know. We really need to get our act together and so we're going to march in solidarity. How do you assess those I? Think it's sincere and I. Think it's from the heart. I think what's different in this incident. Is that in the past when we've watched videos? When we've looked at photographs when I talked law, enforcement officers across the country often at past incidents they will. Will have an explanation. They'll say well. You're not understanding the big picture. There's another side to the story. You don't know what we deal with on a daily basis I'm not hearing that this week. What I'm hearing from law enforcement officers from friends and former colleagues and people who've contacted me is that everybody is absolutely dismayed and without words to explain it. It's not explainable. You can't rationally explain what happened other than it was a willful and deliberate act. It went too far and. And it was troubling to other law enforcement officers, because at some point a few minutes into that video, one of the other officers who was on the scene, there should have tackled the officer that had his knee and Mr Floyd's neck and removed him. It was out of control and the fact that the other officers just stood by. Tell me that's normal behavior not to kill somebody to rough somebody up to take it too far to teach somebody a lesson. It was frankly A. A gleeful exercise of street justice. That's what we saw their teaching. Mr Floyd lessons, so he wouldn't give them a hard time if they ran into each other in the future, I? Mean we've seen this happen. Before with the death of Eric Garner again on video, saying the same words that Mr Floyd said which I can't breathe, and in that instance again another loss, another death of an unarmed black man, living living his life, and so I wonder what it is that changed now. Well what's different about that incident? What law enforcement officers have told me? Is that with Eric Gardner? They were still trying to secure him. They were still trying to get him a handcuffed that they were trying to effect arrest here. The situation completely different at one point. It seems like they had Mr Floyd handcuffed in a police cruiser, and then he ends up handcuffed on the ground. He was no threat at all to the officers there in that video that we watched and I think that's the difference. Is that law enforcement officers looking at this video day? Day See a difference, and they can explain it, and they're starting to realize. Maybe there is a problem even when they don't want to admit it. Maybe there's not a problem in their department. They say, but we get it. We're starting to get it and I. think that's what's happening. And that's what's different in this video and people all across the country can tell you these aren't isolated events, but this one law enforcement officers can explain it away. They just can't and that's the difference I. Mean I would argue that they couldn't explain away Eric Garner. But that would be for another segment of another show. A law enforcement in this country does have a history in some elements of that had often talked about as bad apples, right cops like the one who killed George Floyd for example, but there are deeper systemic issues in in law enforcement in police departments across the country that are tied to racism. What element here is about police training well as to the bad apple theory. We've gone way beyond that. You know in the New York Police Department the Mollen Commission back in Nineteen Ninety four thought that they had gotten rid of the bad apples theory and proved it wrong. I mean this. This is not a few bad apples. This is the police subculture. This normal police behaviors in terms of using too much force on a regular basis. It's not a situation of a few bad apples. You can't explain it that way. It's way beyond that, so it is an issue of training. It's an issue of supervision and it's an issue of the socialization process within police departments into the police culture of the police subcultures. I call it on a local level. It's very complicated in nuance because there are many levels here that have to be dealt with. There's no easy fixed the. The situation, but it's systemic. There's institutional racism in the criminal justice system, and they're certainly institutional racism in policing across the country and I can tell you. It's complicated by the fact that the supreme. Court gives deference to police officers in St encounters, they've allowed racial profiling to occur without any accountability across the country, so there's so many different levels here. It's not an easy fix. Let's talk a little bit about the systemic racism part of this we know for example with Eric Garner the move in question. There was the chokehold that was used on Mr Garner here at the Minneapolis. Minneapolis Police Department. There was a neck restraint used by the officer who ultimately killed George Floyd. We know that data from the Minneapolis Police Department shows that two thirds of the people who were put in neck restraints by police. There are black explained to us that tactic, and is it going to come under investigation as the chokehold did here in New York after the death of Mr Garner, will the data from the Minneapolis Police Department I reviewed it and it's frankly shocking. There's four types of neck restraints that they documenting their data and the numbers are just very troubling in terms. Of African Americans who were subjected to these compliance procedures. If you will and one of the most troubling ones was they actually have a procedure that allows an officer to render someone unconscious with a choke. Hold in to me. That is just shocking. You know I was a police officer for a few years very long time ago, and I can tell you when I was recruited Hampshire Police Academy in one, thousand, nine, hundred six. That's certainly wasn't allowed. It was well understood then in my training that certain types of neck holds would.