Transcript for 3 of America's top police chiefs react to protests
Back now with three of America's top police chiefs for their perspective on the crisis rocking the country. Art Acevedo. Terence Monahan in New York City and C.J. Davis from Durham, North Carolina, Mrs. President of the national organization of black law enforcement executives and, chief Davis, let me begin nine days of protests right now, something deep seems to be happening in the country. So what do you say to those protesters who believe that policing in America is plagued by systemic racism? Well, I will have to say, first of all, good morning and thank you. I would have to say that the emotions and feelings that we see expressed out on the streets of cities all across the country are felt in a way that are substance yachted. There have been years and years of systemic racism in law enforcement and for many years noble has been on the forefront of those to try to impact change but I say that we should continue to work with our protesters and individuals in our communities so that they can have the opportunity and the space to express themselves. But at the same time we also send the message that we have to take care of our community. We still have to live here. So we've got to continue to work together so that these types of opportunities to heal are done in a way where everyone is respected. Chief Monahan, you made a point of engaging in the protesters personally and does appear New York was calmer last night. But the mayor and your department came for some criticism for governor Cuomo and the president. What's your assessment and how do you respond to that Last night was a lot better with the curfew at 8:00. We were able to get things under control and we had very few incidences. I respond heavily against that criticism. The men and women of my agency have done an outstanding job in light of being pelted with rocks and bottles, looting. We made hundreds and hundreds of arrests when necessary but allowed peaceful protests to continue when that was going on. We've been under attack from day one. I have close to 200 officers who have been injured since this began and those are the only ones willing to report their injuries. Quite a few cops hurt, continue to go right back out there to keep the city safe and to help us move along so it was very encouraging last night to see that we didn't have these other groups causing trouble. We had it well under control. Thank goodness it was. Chief Acevedo, let's talk about what's happening in Houston and respond to president trump's threat to send U.S. Troops into American cities in the mayors and police chiefs cannot keep things under control. Well, I think that our governor has already responded to that and this is Texas. We have our cities well -- safe and things are going well here and we don't need any support in terms of federal troops and so the best position is the local police that knows the community, knows our activists and most importantly is trusted by and large by the majority of the meme in Houston and through our state. Chief Davis, what do we do going forward? You've seen some calls for a national ban on chokeholes and neck strain we saw ended up with the death of George Floyd. Some departments already don't use them. Do we need a nationwide ban? We not just need a nationwide ban. We also need nationwide standards and it's my belief and my organization's belief as we continue to speak with congress and other legislators that unless we have sweeping changes in police reform and that policies aren't treated like a smorgasbord. Agencies have an opportunity to say we will take chokeholds or, no, we won't take choke hole, I believe that we need to have sweeping changes in police reform where we are supported with legislation and that agencies are held accountable to ensure that everybody, every agency, large and small, have the best practices in place or we're going to continue to see these -- we don't want to see this anymore. So we definitely need some standards in our police reform. Chief Monahan, what kind of reforms do you think would be helpful in this moment? It's a matter of being able to speak with one another and that's what it's about. It's important that we all see one another as human and that's what's going to move this forward. We have to talk every agency is different. I know art, I know C.J., my agency is different than theirs. Every leader has to be able to take a good, hard look at their agencies and see what they need to do to bridge that gap between the cops and the communities because we got to be one. If we're not one we're not doing the job. Let me follow up on that. Why do you think so many people out in the country feel that gap so deeply? Listen, there's been a lot of incidents that have happened and hits the media and it's a major play. One incident in Minnesota has gone throughout this country, you know, every cop in this country has said something that that was a horrible event in Minnesota but all 800,000 law enforcement officers in this country are now paying that price. We understand that there has to be change, that we have to work together. We have to condemn it when we see an officer do something completely and totally out of line but then understand that is not all 800,000 officers doing that. That we as an agency, we as a police department, we as law enforcement, we understand and we work together with our we all want the same thing, whether it's police or communities. We want to keep our cities safe. Chief Acevedo, you have George Floyd's funeral coming up in Houston next week. Tell us about the preparations for that. We're working closely with the family. Yesterday we helped them plan the funeral and we're really honored by the fact that they've allowed us to work with them because we want to bring him home and make sure that his funeral is about him and not people trying to hijack his memory and his death. It needs to lead to the reforms we're talking about and as far as reforms go let me just tell you, police chiefs in our profession we'll put those reforms forward and then we'll let the people of this community know which Democrat and which Republican and which independent voted, how they voted because they're going to have to make a choice. We're not going to let them vote in the dark when nobody know what is they're doing and people don't know who they're voting we will make sure that the people of this community that's hurting that want change, we're going to offer that change and then we're going to let them know who did what so they know who to vote for next time when they go back to the voting booth. Chief, I am so glad we had a chance to talk to all of you. Thank you for sharing your perspective and you're obviously very strong. Thanks very much.
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