Lack of Accountability for Police Violence is Solvable
This is solvable. I'm Jacob Weisberg. There is a lack of accountability for police, violence and one part of. Solving that is to give federal prosecutors more tools, so they can actually prosecute this cases. Approximately a thousand people killed during police encounters in the United States every year. And in fact, that number is held steady for nearly twenty years. Around half of those killed or white. Black Americans are more than twice as likely to die at the hands of police. They are killed disproportionately to their overall representation in the population. I'm thinking about. Say The shooting of Philander Castille. CAPLESS Tamir Rice twelve year, old boy, who was shot and killed by an officer when playing in a park in Cleveland. How do we achieve racial justice while protecting public safety? Lawyer Cheer Baynes believes the federal. Government has a key role to play. What exactly would you like to see? Happen there for Congress to lower the intense standard from willfulness recklessness, so that it would be a federal crime recklessly deprive someone of their rights under color of law to recklessly use excessive force for all the Americans who died during police encounters in less than two percent of cases, does an officer end up being charged with a crime? When you were at Doj how many times did specific language of willful thwart possible prosecution of of an officer? You think you felt a done something wrong. Routinely, that was the biggest barrier. It was always the central concern. Kira. Who's devoted his career to ending impunity for officers who commit crimes against citizens thinks we can fix this. The problem of lack of accountability for police violence is solvable. Cheering Baines is the director of Legal Strategies de Moth a racial justice organization before that he worked at the US Department of Justice, serving a senior counsel to the head the civil. Rights Division, that's the division that investigated. Ferguson Missouri and sued the city for unconstitutional policing and court practices. Baynes Co wrote the Ferguson report. Malcolm Bradwell spoke to Baynes about what needs to be done to solve the persistent problem of police impunity at the national level. To critical components are lowering the intense standard for the federal government to prosecute active excessive force criminally and using federal consent decrees to address systemic misconduct. You've been working on this question of how to make police better for quite some time right? Yes, actually. It's been an issue that's been. An issue that I've been distressed by want to do something about since I was a young kid. Actually the Rodney King case happened in the beating of Rodney King. One thousand, nine, hundred, one I was ten years old, and there are a lot of high profile incidents in the hundred ninety s with I'm dirty, yellow Louima and many other high profile cases of police violence police killings. Finish cared about as a high schooler for sure I can remember that were you in high school Chelmsford High School? It's a small town in Massachusetts next to the city of Lowell, maybe about thirty thousand thirty five thousand people. It wasn't like you were. LIVING IN LA or living in the Bronx where Ahmadou was shot, it was you were these were instance miles away. That nonetheless caught your attention. Absolutely these are national stories and I was very interested in. Civil Rights history even civil rights law. The role of lawyers in the civil rights movement. I think maybe juxtaposed that history and the principles underlying that movement with what I was seeing. Play out in terms of police violence in the country. At that time, and actually can remember. An organization called the stolen lives project that would collect information about the people who have been killed by police, disproportionately young black man. That is something that I recall, so. It's something I've. been working on for a long time ended up working on that some more in law school, focusing on it, and then it on my first job after clerking for a federal judge was to actually prosecute police misconduct cases including police violence. How early on you decide that? You wanted to become a lawyer depressingly early? Han actually I think I thought in high school. That would become a lawyer. What did you think of that decision? Well I'm an Indian kid and the child immigrants and so. I think a lot of people in that boat might relate. My mother wanted me to be a doctor. That would million other Indian children. Yeah Yeah. It's a common refrain and. Short of being a doctor, a lawyer was pretty good, so. But you know my family wasn't focused on these issues. These weren't the issues that they confronted him and they cared about it. In the sense research, generally aware my grandmother used to describe all this work as a community service or volunteer work and I'd have to actually get paid to do this job.