Race. Justice. In America Town Hall

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos moderates a town hall with Facebook on race and justice in America.
44:32 | 12/10/14

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Transcript for Race. Justice. In America Town Hall
Here namely. And Lana. No probable cause exists to file picture he's officer Wilson. Positive we've had that exact same. Threw away. Old apple Michael Brown junior fans. That this process it broke. Cannot resist arrest. Because resisting arrest. Leads to confrontation. Confrontation. Leads to tragedy. Four conviction. Romo and officers. So much fallout out raise calls for change in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown air garnered twelve year old to near rice all the hands of police. Raising big questions about race justice where we are as a country right now how to move forward. That's we're gonna talk about today here on FaceBook want to begin by me getting the answers people across the country we asked them how race is affecting their personal interaction with police. And here. Is what they said. The minute a pop is approaching me about something and I'm nervous because. I've been in situations where you know they abuse their power liking it's long been less comfortable but in its news time. A. They're putting your. The police came to my street and I without stop playing basketball. And I remember they grabbed me my dominant second race I'll probably fifty pounds at this point grabbed me and they sell Landon. Race definitely affects my interaction with the police. Because if I am people go where I want to be here respectful. So that there's no misunderstanding. And now my aunt and two. I definitely feel that I overlooked sometimes by the police I jumped turnstiles a few times and I definitely feel that I wouldn't have gone noted that night and black or Latino or any other news. And that's gave him sleeping. Back at a lot of. They are here to protect after added. There change. Back in hand count before. You know for no reason Torre stereotype for no reason but by the end of the day you know he had not doing anything illegally shooting the you know accountable for anything. I would shirt and tie every day in some of that is I do like to dress well. But a lot of it is I just don't like to be bothered I don't want have to be Bob about law enforcement so that's been my whole motto my whole life just don't give them a reason. Personal experience of Americans all across the couch wearing a lot about it and FaceBook as well we the panel of experts. Here in this year cross country talk about it as well I'm joined by my colleague chief national correspondent Byron Pitts. The former new York city police commissioner Ray Kelly thank you for being here political strategist Matthew daddy sent an Austin, Texas today Charlotte Eiffel. The president NAACP legal defense fund. Marc Morial president of the National Urban League. And credit Hudson a former police officer with the Saint Louis police force and and ready let me begin what you see you right there you wrote a pretty remarkable piece. About the kind of racism you encountered inside the police force when you served. On that force what do you make these reactions you just saw from Americans about their encounters. With police. I fully expected. I think they're reflect the experiences of the segment of the society that those people that you interviewed came for. And the idea that the one young lady expressed that we put our lives on the line and today. We're potentially putting our lives on the line every day we started it all in for that. But the fact the last Arnault and put my life at risk everyday doesn't mean acted too recklessly. Risk the lives of the people that I answer or recklessly take the lives of the people and I served. Women are more in the street when I saw that video over era Goran. And our saw him being choked out. Let me tell you so Dole's officers could have stopped choking him the only person's life was at risk during that encounter was mr. gore. And for those offices to proceed as they did in violation of New York patrol guide policy. This is not a legal put their policy is no so cold and we see that the coroner rules that that is death by homicide. There's no indictment and it happens right in front of us you can understand why people from black and bro communities all over this country have a legitimate fear. Oh police officers. Everywhere. Ray Kelly former commissioner I'm sure you've seen that kind of reaction. In the wake of the killing American garner. But what do you say to those people who. Are afraid of the police. Both tours are gone is concerned no question about it that tape and very disturbing of course there was no true bill. Voted blunted by the grandeur we don't know specifically what they swore. And off they went through frame by frame I don't know what the what he officers had hopefully someday that'll that'll come out. Yes I can understand certain when you have high profile events like Eric garner. Like Michael Brown if it sets us back it set. Police community relations act. It's significantly but from my vantage point being and we've seen over forty years. I think the relationships between the pleas and Marty minority communities. Are stronger then than they've ever been absent of course this thesis. Two events a lot of work has been done. And there's a lot of effort to make departments reflect the communities that they serve especially in Norway only different fashion as presented earlier pleased its offices at one and 106 countries and the please officer rank. Is now majority minority warring. Go ahead you're leaving your point to Byron can say be because you went back here. Hometown of Baltimore and looked at the relationship. Between the police and the community towards Baltimore this is a see this predominantly black the police department 40%. Black African American. But there is tremendous animosity between the civilian population police prevented is as one person thome doesn't Bob black and white it's about what can look. In the past four years Baltimore has paid out five point seven million dollars. You know alleged police brutality cases there is an issue there it is it is seething human being of people have been with us and like you say they're there it's not black and white. Right because I think people it as. That people see them just as they as a symbol whereas the police that the police the polls and that there and they're not there to certain people tell me. They're there to harm and injure job in many places we've seen Ferguson. And the the anger in Baltimore is as strong as it is if not stronger than new York and Ferguson so it isn't just. Those two places in many places and in America. I want only get to our questions from FaceBook and into the the first one comes from blows BN. He says as a young black person living in America should I trust the US justice system in the wake. All the racing Granger decisions not indict the officers involved in the deaths. Michael brown and Herring going I'm sure you've gotten that question a lot in the recent show and I fully assess. While I say that you know in in many ways the question. Focuses on the most recent cases and that's why we're having this conversation today but the truth is it's not just the high profile it's the low profile. People every day are having encounters with the police that are shaping what they think about the justice system. And those encounters too often particularly when we are talking about young African Americans and particularly young African American men. Suggest to them that the police are not there to serve them suggest that they are being targeted because of their race. And suggest that the relationship is not one of trust and partnership but is one of the police essentially kind of being an occupying force in their communities. And and that's not because of these two cases these two cases are showing the rest of America. What communities. All over this country already feel let me let me bring in question mark -- as well but let me add to that mark. What route did commissioner Kelly was saying about the growing diversity of police forces and release a lot of statistics I've read not only here in New York City but across the country of cases. Proving case at least miss misconduct going down. Over time in people reporting overall more positive interactions. Police. You know I can offer a sort of two perspectives on this problem one. Is to just look at some numbers so. Oh when you think about drug arrest. African Americans may represent 14% of the population may be an equal percentage of quote. Drug users in the United States yet represent. Over 50% of vols a rest it. For possession and distribution of illegal narcotics. May represent 14% of the population but over 50%. Of those in jail. On drug charges. Those numbers are give gest of peak. At what these are anecdotal testimonies and incidents are saying in terms of what happens on the street but George. I also. You know rely on my experience I served as mayor New Orleans in the 1990s. Inherited a very bad situation of corrupt. Brutal police department but in a seven year period. Made a dramatic change with a commitment to community policing with a zero tolerance policy. For violation of people's civil rights the point is is that there are examples. Are around the country in the last 25 years where cities have reduced crime. And improve police community relations so this stands for the proposition of rejecting the idea that public safety. Is inimical with the idea that they could be good police commute. Anyway isn't that what it got it that's an excellent point I want to bring them back to get to commissioner Kelly is it did seem that there's this massive. Focus on community policing the 1911. Hits it seems like there's a move away towards the militarization of police forces much more focus on the fear. Of terrorism did police take their eye off the ball. Well I think 9/11 obviously in in this city. Dramatic an impact. I would say that community policing. And the concerts impunity please still ally general away there's there's a lot warrants or action these days in a statement twenty years ago. And that that really comes from community please. Yeah I think there was made before for a period of time shift. Towards counterterrorism certainly here. We've had sixteen plots against the city since since until it's something that you really have to focus I don't think it was on of course the whole community relations man a fact. Last year and a poll 2013. 70% approval rating for the NYPD. And by at a higher according quite frankly that had not been indicator of this gives them. And a lot of people think a lot of politicians didn't go ahead that is allowed it to politicians love the Senate's into the race well. I mean let's let's get the history right where are we talking about a city if we're talking about New York. In which the issue of stop and frisk essentially gripped the imagination of the entire country and influence last mayoral election. You had 650000. Stops. In any yearly period largely African American bulletin and S and Latino men and none of whom by the way we're involved in any of the terrorist incidents that happen. Either on 9/11 or subsequently. You essentially had a policy in which African American man were being. Engaged by the police. Not because they were engaged in criminal conduct but as a way of kind of striking fear into the community of creating a kind of deterrence a kind of hyper to Terrence. And that eroded the relationship between. African Americans Latinos especially young people and the police and I'm. Betting that if you looked at the approval ratings and you did it by age he would come out with a different figure than 70%. That that former commissioner Kelly just described. And that's what you're seeing in Ferguson the relationship between the police and young African Americans was bad before Mike Brown was killed. It was bad because of the way in which the police engaged young people. And that's the issue that we have to be focused on today. Not just that every time an incident happened since then if your reaction but that there is an ongoing crisis in that relationship between law enforcement and young after. Impairment are talking with the officer about that he said that he perceive there are many anti police areas. In Ferguson and that was one of the things that he was concerned about as well be your right the relationship had afraid throughout then that town and of course. That the of the numbers on the police force of a white officers far. Did not match the population. Ferguson I wanna move by. Diet something enjoy it I think it's owners of that. The in Ferguson as I understand. The only murder that took place in Ferguson. This year up until now is that of Mike Brown. So there's been very little discussion about whether or not Ferguson is really want to use the word murder there. A community a community. Where there's been high levels of violence. Or whether it was a community where what the police did was focus on low grade. Issuance of summons and low grade arrest. For things that people considered to be minor and minuscule. Just imagine though Glenn read and then I want to move on. A I want to say to the commissioner when you hear things like an anti police area. In Ferguson to wait an area becomes anti police it's for example when they arrest the black men during a traffic stop taken to the station. While he's handcuffed. Beat him in in choice simple bleeding or in their uniforms. A sound area becomes anti police we're going to miss our don't want to miss an opportunity here today commissioner. As law enforcement people to save this law enforcement is a noble profession. Most of the men and women in are good people trying to do a very difficult job. But we know we have to say in words to America that we know. That there are men and women in their profession will knowingly and willfully violates it was human rights civil rights and civil liberties and accountability. Has to be present for those people who violate our policies in malls there has to be punishment. For vim and in the broken system that we have doesn't provide. Let me move on right now with President Obama has been addressing this in many different forms including last night in an interview with Jorge Ramos a fusion take a look. Criminal justice system is improved. I think that if you talk to. Younger people. Your daughter. My dogs. Their attitudes. Absolutely are better when it comes to race on commendation for rewards of that favorite. There's no really a lot of improvement well but you know B the folks who say there's not a lot of improvement. I don't think we're live in in the fifties and remember order was like to be black or Hispanic. And interacting with the police that. They don't they don't even remember what it was like twenty years ago that there has been improvement the question is. What more do we need to do and what's clear when you look at some of the reports that have occurred around the country. Is that not only is there are still a lot of suspicion and mistrust between police officers and communities of color. But. What's also true is that there are still instances in which. A young black board or brown board. Is. Not. Being evaluated. In terms of risk precisely in the same way as they white young person might be. By the police now that's can be solved through better training. Better accountability that are transparency and so the task force we put together is designed to do precisely this. That he down want to bring you win and this is when things you've been writing about is also that all of us have to address. Even wanna are not only are overt and conscious prejudices but the ones that may be beneath the surface. Yeah I mean I think that part of what this is is when these things happen they dropped into a country's bucket of a lot of frustration and turmoil around. And whenever race bubbles up like this. It always is seething beneath the surface and all of us I grew I was born in Detroit. We moved across to the mitts are right right before the riots across state mile which with the dividing line. The van between white and black interestingly today that area I moved to is now predominantly black in the area of Detroit that we moved into. But all of us I think police officers. And in in the people in the community minority groups in the community. All of us have a bias and all of us have a theory all of us have a prejudice that ultimately I think we need to look at an address in ourselves there is no way. This comes to consensus and we work this out. What each side points the finger at the other side and says. If the if the law enforced would just address their problems that would fix it and then other side points that they're the minority communities and says. If they would if they were just be better actions and better activities inside the community that would fix it in the end. We have to be accountable I think George. For our own self and for our own biases and then we can walk up I think and then we can have a conversation. But until we address some of us our own biases that we may not even know we have until it infinite like this happen. We need to let me talk to the police officers and and and new places jobs while I was second only to sell neighboring Byron Pitts and then we can give back she act. They way they can they reflect. I'm the kind of biases they might bring to the job the kind of fears they have had every every day that. The time my spoon the officers again good and decent men and women. As one officer said the reality for me is what my I know my job is to protect and serve. But in the day my job is to makes remind men and women get home safe. There's an old saying a law enforcement opera I'd rather be judged by twelve and carried by six. And so it is in areas where there they're confronted with violence there is that real fear trader there's just there's just powerful book with human years ago. And about in South Africa called cap report. A powerful line the book and says the only thing in South Africa during a part time more frightening and white police officer is a black as its. And so I think certainly. Race perhaps is the root of this but I think it's more complicated than that there's also includes this this this this perception us against them please fill in that way people community. Why did you take that on because a year African American a sword of damocles forcing you saw racism inside the police force and also to go on patrol every day. To be sure. It's not only warrant officers who abuse their authority you have black offices that do would Asian Hispanic whoever the issue is. Where the authority is abuse an injury remains consistent. In black and brown communities but first I want to Apple's something that Matthew sit because he's exactly right. If we're going to talk about a way forward if we're gonna talk about building a police community relationship the first step in that process has to be put beside. To fully acknowledge what it has contributed to the breakdown in the relationship. And I think I've seen that more on the community side. Because we do have issues that we have to work the rim minority communities reluctant to violence and everything else but I haven't seen any of it. On the law enforcement side where we stick to the narrative regardless of what the evidence shows us. And yes there are biases that we bring naturally as human beings to the job. There also prejudices that we bring to the job and I make this analogy. For those of you who are old enough to remember this movie. It was called the mask ended its star Jim Carrey if you remember that is huge mass that he could put Owen in. Whatever your character was when you put this mass going to be we'll good you would now magnanimous trying to save the world. But if you were evil. Or review war. Be vigilant or if you were angry and you put the mass gore and now you've become a monster. That beds is the same thing and police culture really fertilizers. The Kurds is that we see you in some of them. Do involve race when I was there in Saint Louis when Arnold on the department that was a website called Saint Louis tough talk it started maybe a couple of few years after I started. Witt web site. Hosted. Many offices who would go on there and comment in ways that was so angry and so racist. Relative to their areas that they had to petroleum and sometimes relative to their fellow officers that they had to work with. What also African American that the site administrator had to shut it down. If you saw the St. Louis Rams. Do their hands up demonstration. In support of the Ferguson. Young people who've been out on the streets over a hundred days and they were immediately attacked are represented of the Saint Louis police offices association. Use all following that. The Saint Louis ethical society which isn't the black police offices association. Yes we have to. Come out in support of them so even with in the right yes. Race comes in the place. No question about it Eleanor bring that to commissioner Kevin also as I do that I want to bring another FaceBook question comes from Nancy Lee. Commissioner says lately it seems the police have been too quick on the draw. Is retraining even worth the time. And money so let's let's let's take a look at these two issues and when he didn't this do police have to be more reflective about the on the biases they bring. 222 the job and can training. Addressed. Absolutely have to be more reflected no question about a lot of that work is going on. Think training is always a reflexive response when something goes wrong way. And pleasing its. It's an easy answer it it buys time it depends on the to training. What works. Well I play in this city and I in this my experience at the speak about it we have all training credit was examined by the commission. On more force than the democratization in lasted for years. It was renewed in the 2002 to 2006 renewed in 2009. The dude in 2012. They found the training here to be to be excellent so. Taking always use more training sure you can use more training but it depends on what the substances. And and what you don't want the goal is a you have to would then apply. I think ideally the problems that you're trying to address and then a sort of a package that's going to. Taken all that let's do that what are the publicly traded dress Natalie this is. He sees its training and supervision and accountability you cannot dis aggregate training from it and think it's going to produce anything you can do all the training in the world. But if the supervisor. Of that police officer is not ensuring that what was taught in that training is actually happening. And that when it doesn't happen when their aberrations that those who took part. From the protocols are actually punished. Nothing is going to change so the training that commissioner Kelly just talked about we talk about the NYPD that's the same NYPD that just killed. A kayaker early in a public housing stairway two weeks ago that killed Eric garner just a few months ago with that so called we're talking about the same police department. So we've got to be looking not only at the training which I believe in wholeheartedly. Because you asked the question to what you said. What about the split second decisions that that police are making in the and then shooting on the draw. The way we control our biases you and I forget about police officers for second we walk into a room we see somebody. We have automatic feelings we have automatic views about who they are where they're from what their accent tells us. It's only because we choose to slow down. Those process c.s and give people a chance to be heard have a conversation with them talk about our kids. That we're able to actually cabin what are our instinctive or natural diocese for stereotypes George when police rolled up quietly near writes the young twelve year old in that park. And within two seconds they shoot him. They have not even taken a moment. To assess the situation to manage their own fears to manage their own. That is to manage their own finally learned that in Wheaton and in the case of the arts are probably shouldn't even be in the given his previous history. The zillion dollar mark more out training and George you know Eric Adams is that current. Brooklyn Borough president former NY teeple in my PD police captain. He's written. A few pieces he's spoken out around these incidents and one of the things that struck me as he said. Training in this supports what Sherlund. Gest observed training is one thing but what he says happens in black and brown communities in New York City in this is coming from him. Is that. Officers are in effect retraining. By the their fellow officers. Especially when their assigned to black and brown communities so that the training protocols and training regiments. Are not followed by officers when they get out on the street. That's why supervision. And what we have in the garner case the Michael Brown case. Is a failure of accountability when in fact the grand juries. Will not indict no matter what the situation is so. I point that what Eric Adams says as an interesting experience that supports the idea. That the real question is not what the training years. But whether training protocols or scrupulously. Follow and adhere to what officers actually get on the streets of the. And in Andover officers of course to total 12 coming utopia but questioned the man reading you and others. Weigh in on this because you know a lot of the times police are called on the make split second decisions and Sandra Anders. Says. I don't understand why no one has taken responsibility for their own actions of these situations. Had the victims put themselves she puts victims in quotes there. Put themselves in position that would draw the attention of the police. Do they not bear some of the responsibility for the situation. And bring everybody on this direct did you go first you've been on both sides. Her two to first. Piggyback on what mr. morial was saying about training not necessarily translate into action or mystery sometimes. It's ignore priority even going to the street. Our remember sitting in it racial sensitivity training classes of police also with some mark fellow officers. Who then proceeded to open up newspapers. And read them. While the trader was presenting and ask aloud how long we have to sit and listen to this politically correct BS before we can give back to work. So accountability. Is the most important piece right now as we. Move the nation forward to a better place and police community relations accountability. Is the most important thing right now now. Relative to. Personal responsibility I think generally everyone in every community including the African American community understands. Personal responsibility and accountability. It's situation or. This there are times win a person's actions. Lead to an encounter with the police that involves an escalation of force but I go back to the garner case because that's the woman we saw with our old acts. He was standing there ban. His actions didn't warn the force that was used against him. And as it was ruled a homicide I would say that it was very excessive force in relation to what his given offense was which I understand it to be he best selling looms. Cigarettes are going acacia of course the in this case you have a lot of testimony that it was Michael Bruno's reaching into the car reaching for the officer's gun. The two things I would say about that one is there's sold many of these cases now that it's become almost absurd to continue to ask why how that the person bring this on themselves to near rice's twelve years old and standing. In the park with with a toy gun. Look far Jones is trying to get his ID from the car that the police officer in South Carolina the trooper has told him to get an as he goes to get it he's shot four times. By the police might lean cannot be standing on a highway walking on a highway in Los Angeles when she gets pummeled and assaulted by the police Chris lolly is in a mall in Minnesota waiting for his kids when he's taped by the police. We've seen sold many of these now with our own eyes. That actually to continue to ask the question is part of the corrosive ness of the conversation between blacks and whites today. When you see with your own eyes what we saw on Eric on a case or in the commuter rights case and you have people sable maybe they did something. It's the desperate search to find some way in which black people are responsible for their own victimization. The personal responsibility issue is kind of a red Herring because the truth is. You know I don't know whether people a church going or not but every Sunday in the African American community the subject is about personal responsibility. Within our own community we have rallies against violence against guns against gains it's not as though we're not engaged in that issue. And so that's why I think what. What read it said is so important he said what he hears on the other side though is silence. Tell me what we have seen from police departments in which they have publicly identified the fact that there is a problem first of all that we're not making it up it's not something from our imagination. That it's a problem that needs to be addressed that there is biased in policing that needs to be dealt with in grappled with and that they're prepared to take it on. That's what we need to hear today they're the ones who have the power of state behind them we've authorized them with a gun. With lethal force to be able to enter our communities and to work on the on the behest of state. And we need to hear from them that they are willing to take this. Environmentally and Matthew Dowd first had to get you know you'd advise a lot of political candidates and a lot of difficult issues. Elitism major police department's company right now and say how do we handle this what do we do to address but Sherlund just talked about what do you say. Well I think the first thing they have to do is get out of the conversation of justifying their actions and individual cases. Obviously I think every single place in an individual case needs to be decided on its own before we get into a broad cultural. Just conversation about what's going on in the culture in the black community the white Armenian law enforcement. We decide the individual cases what was justify what wasn't. And then have accountability in them but I think the police officers and mayors actually need a first look at themselves instead of saying well why isn't that. Minority community doing acts and they did this wrong and they did this wrong and basically say. Do we walked in the door. With our own fear in our own distrust what we police ate a minority community. And most of the time whether it's justified or not. They walked into priority communities with a sense of fear in a sense of distrust and that is conveyed until both sides in this come with a sense of distrust and a sense of fear. And I think again going back to what was said earlier this conversation. I think the first thing law enforcement can do is instead of saying what are you doing over there to say what can we do better. To not cause and ratchet that fear up one week police are when we going to a community. Byron Pitts now the Cleveland police force is gonna have to do that data consent decree from the Jesper but it makes me think he talked about Baltimore 40% African American police force. African American air Cleveland Ohio Frank Jackson African American there. What happened what wait at least worsening pain in Cleveland but how will they. How they move for him even setting a lot of these these cities. I think that there's there's an effort to go back to community policing the the this commission Baltimore whose that this mr. Oakland African American man with a Ph.D. The criminal justice talks about change in the dynamic in part we're talking about. Is the narrative right you you I'm picking what you said earlier what he'll sing couldn't believe me or your lineup it's in this age of social media. People have a sense of what's going wishers some video tours and second in recent weeks we've seen video capturing intense and violent. Interactions between the police in people of color take a look in Florida. A grandmother was taints. In the back and arrested for resisting arrest after police tell her and her family together or out of the road. Charges against her were later dropped there were no charges against the officer. In South Carolina all this happen this fall a state trooper shoots an unarmed man for an alleged seatbelt violation. It happens at a gas station parking lot to his way to ship via the officer was at his asking him what's driver's license and he tries to get it. He gets shot the officer has been fired and charged with assault. And finally an Indiana. A man in the car with this family during a traffic stop police fired a stun gun at the man fifteen though drivers fourteen year old son in the back seat. Videotapes those officers has recently been returned to duty so we're. So jurors out I've talked to professional people I've talked to cab drivers blue collar folk who say. I hear the statistics yes perhaps things are getting better this is in 1963. Anymore but better isn't necessarily good. And and these video clips or we're seeing this age of social media add to the narrative they just trust the people have a well. Agreeing that the commission because you know there's this big debate now about whether more police should be wearing body cameras and in half and what impact that's been happier to you also see. People out of street there iphones they had their phones they have cameras it does create an entirely new dynamic here. You're absolutely right. Right on target everybody has a camera and that the police have to be fully aware that they weren't apparently in. Instead what they're going up I think the testing for camera should go forward and no question about it this certainty movement correction president. Authorized 35000 cameras I think you have to do it that a little bit of portion because his group was pleased office two to hesitate if they hesitate from doing new things that you want to do. Not that bad bad for society had a as the morning has of the did they do. Well no it's all in the interest if they know that everything is going to be filmed and they get a Cold War a fight whatever. Do they hesitate do they wait a minute do they wait more than that so they don't want to be see this. This recession interest intention is what's your take your saying and sometimes inherited the escalate situations you have to slow down but the please don't always have that luxury. Not by I think about it but I I think the only metric should not necessarily be. Reduction in complaints against the please you can do that by my having the please not fully respond. I think to Mike my position is you have to do total longitudinal study to see if this is impacting other aspect a police. I like because I can't be done in with reasons Marc Morial and nations. He gave his when American people are 91%. Support body cameras and asked what body cameras and dashboard cameras now you certainly have to figure out a way to get it right but transparency. Is why we're having the air garner conversation transparency is why we're having to meal rice. Conversation but I also note that in Illinois. There's an effort there to pass a law which makes it illegal for a person to use their phone camera to if you will. Our record police actions that kind of laws got to be unconstitutional but also. In violation of the public interest the idea that on a public street. Actions can be observed by citizens and citizens have a role in doing this. Cameras dashboard cameras body cameras it's the use of technology. As a tool of accountability and won't fix the problem but it's a good thing and it's got overwhelming support. From the American people so that while they may be divided. What some underlying issues here they are fairly unanimous about the use of this technology. In his commissioner Panetta president Obama's call for 75 million dollars I think to fund more cameras read it. And a camera system about this idea. That if an officer anticipates he's going to be filmed it make calls him to hesitate while Paul's that affected his duties. Cameras produce work is generated believed to be the most objective records that we can head. They're dispassionate observers. So the idea that a officer thinks that of an objective record is going to be created or visit tariffs are with the citizen. Is going to slow him down and I think that is a problem in and of itself. When I was on the force are would've welcomes you. Filming me at any point in an imperative that I have with the citizen and I think that narrative itself this idea that more accountability. More observational. Pinned to the police from doing the work that they necessarily have to do is another narrative that needs to be table. OK you know what we're we're we're just met at a time but I want to take one more FaceBook question and give you all a chance to respond because your Shelley Meyer to narrow. And she says we keep hearing things need to change which they obviously do. What are people's opinion as to how they feel that change needs to begin. What steps to people feel first must be taken saying chain scenes in places a lot of talk. Let's steps to make that happen are actually put in place so who needs to address or oversee. Making these changes Matthew got you beat him. Well as as we talked about first I think there's a couple of things. One you have to see that this isn't just a black problem or a minority problem there is a whole bunch of people that and about beat these protests. That our white better Asian that are a lot of different colors that are protesting what's gone on what's driving that some of its race. But what's really driving it is a sense that they can't trust the institutions in America. So that's one part how do we real build faith and trust. In our institutions so that the public whether you're white black Asian Latino you can trust whatever the do and whether it's Washington DC. Or your local law enforcement that's one and two as we said earlier I think. The first step and this is to understand all of us. Whether we're white or black or Latino we all have biases and prejudices and no matter what you try to do in a police training unit a unit the first address. What those are and how do you overcome those may be overcoming those is you don't put yourself in a situation where they're gonna flare whatever that happens to be and I think in the black community. African American community. They have to understand their own biases whether it's toward police officers. Other whites or whatever has to be and if we start in our own communities and say what is our accountability and I do agree there's been much less of that. In the law enforcement community than there has been and the African American community but that's the place to start but George. We have to rebuild our faith and trust in institutions because we have a generation that's growing up that doesn't trust any of the institutions. At all mark Mariano question about that so I wouldn't would certainly point everyone's attention to the ten point. Journey to justice plan at the National Urban League is released which are ten ideas. For police reform and accountability it's at our website www. And you will about a war. And offer this suggestion I think that. This is a time when we ought to be focused not simply on a conversation. Yes a bunch Ross but also about changes. That are meaningful and real when it comes to the criminal justice system and the system of policing and police accountability. Squarely. Responsible for that our mayors. Police chiefs local community leaders. Because police chiefs are hired by mayor's policy is set by municipal government. We need them to take a more aggressive role in this conversation. This is darker be solved from Washington. Although Washington has an important leadership role and could do things like enable more body cameras pass a national anti racial profiling law. But I would argue. That it's more than a converse it's more than discussion time. It's time for action and I think we have an opportunity because of this awareness. To bring about significant changes aren't criminal justice and police accountability added Hudson. Well I'm incurs from what I have seen across the country it is a diverse. And glory movements and includes people from from every race and every walk of life and is considered own human rights day I know that NAACP. Relative to police and community issues has. Some strategies as well. First we need are uniform. National standard on use of force. While rows of to what police can do to citizens. Were. They work. We need to in the racial profiling across the country. And put some kind of accountability in place when a policy prohibiting racial profiling if violated. We need great data collection on interactions between the police and communities they serve with transparency. Attest to that and finally. We need to return to the community policing model. I figure works. Think. Clearly. We should give back to it right. Now the ideas ideas commission can. I think the ideas are our sound that I think we will see to change meaningful change so on a ground change. I think you'll see much more focus on of diversity of departments I think. Major departments. Concentrating on this and have for years but the smaller departments obviously. Ferguson and disproportionate there I think it really jolted to a lot of people medium sized cities I think you'll see a continued move. Floyd the somewhat shocked when they soar of those weapons of war on the streets of of Ferguson I would hope that you see more focus on mutual aid training. Small towns just can't handle major event so what you sort of person. But many police departments coming together wearing different uniforms different leadership different called from different levels. Of training and think the federal government can open at record. And I think ultimately you'll probably see some consolidation of departments basically there's too many small please call there. This fifty police departments in for in Saint Louis county. But ninety municipalities to me clearly there are potentially a four. We're. Gains in terms of administrative course that sort of thing and it can and reversing the diversity issues as well sure we. Give. Half a billion dollars a year in grants to police departments all over this country. And those grants need to be conditioned on some of the changes that we're talking about. This year is actually the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits the federal government from giving funds to any program that engages in discrimination it's actually. How desegregation happened in schools in the north it was the money now I hate to sound you know pragmatic and not high minded. But the reality is as as others have said it is time for real action. And we have the opportunity now to demand that police departments in the in exchange for being able to get the support which they need in which they should have. That they engage in the kind of training we're talking about not only implicit bias training but training in. Better training in. Rolling off on him yes the use of body worn cameras also we ought to be looking at this issue of special prosecutors being appointed to deal with cases involving. Police killings of unarmed civilians prosecutors are just conflicted local prosecutors are inflicted out of being able to properly prosecute these cases because of their relationship with police officers. And until you see accountability until people in the community can actually see police officers being held to account for taking the life of a twelve year old child. You know or of an unarmed man you're not going to be able to build the kind of confidence and trust that everyone's been saying they want communities to have in police off. And it's his last. You're just never conversation on FaceBook I hear the tackles the forces of the past. 27 of September 1966. Doctor King said or Ryan is the language of the unheard. Will be signed Ferguson the unhurt black Hispanic. Not feeling like him what's what our nation has always proven our history is that we get it eventually and that we proved we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Law enforcement has a role laws changed in 1960s right that they cause people to to do differently. The GI bill changed in the middle class it seems to me that we that that everyone is tells everyone has some measure of responsibility as a nation we've proven. That once the unhurt speak out we listen we get it right not now but eventually. And we have seen in the wake of all of these. Protests in the wake of these actions Aaron actually has been some discussion across party lines across racial lines and maybe you say will lead. Action this has been a fascinating. Conversations of testing it's it and conversation that's going to continue we want you stay with ABC news for our continuing coverage three suggests American you can always follow it. Her FaceBook page have a good. Room yeah.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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