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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Black, White and Blue: America 2016. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 13, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Anderson. I am Don Lemon. I want to welcome our studio audience, welcome everyone. And I also want to welcome our viewers, right here in the United States and around the world. This is a live CNN Tonight Town Hall. Black, White, and Blue: America 2016.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baton Rouge, a routine police call and Alton Sterling is dead.
St. Paul, a routine traffic stop, and Philando Castile is dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please don't tell me that he's gone. Please officer, don't tell me that you just did this to him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dallas, an act of deadly terror, and Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarripa are dead.
How did it come to this?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESDIENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I see people who mourn for the five officers we lost, but also weep for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are police and civilians alike in the line of fire? Caught on camera for all the world to see? Tonight, Don Lemon brings all sides together for a live, CNN Town Hall event. Black, White, and Blue: America 2016.
LEMON: Good evening, everyone. I am so glad that we are doing this this evening. I'm so thankful that all of you can join us here.
We have a problem in this country. Americans are dying at the hands of our police; 518 shot and killed in the first six months of this year, on par with last year. And police, well police are dying too, 28 of them in firearm related incident. A 56 percent increase over last year, and it is only July. Meanwhile, a brand new, New York Times poll finds that 69 percent of
Americans say that race relations are bad. The highest level. That's since the Rodney King riots back in 1992.
Is this feeling because of a crime problem? Is it because of a race problem? Is it a police problem? Or all of the above? Well tonight, we have brought together community leaders. We've brought together mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. They're here in this audience. And of course, black, white, and of course blue as well.
All in this studio to do something very powerful, to listen to each other. To listen to each other. Whether we agree or not, especially when we disagree, we have to listen to each other. Because being heard, really being heard is the only way that we can begin to come together and solve this. Do you guys agree with that?
Applause. Do you agree with that?
Good. So, We're going to do that here in the studio. We're going to engage each other, and I hope you engage with us at home as well and start to have conversations. So, I'm going to get everyone in the audience a chance to talk. Hopefully everyone will get a chance to talk. But before we do that, I want you to be respectful of the people who are here on stage.
Because here with me now are the families of two victims cut down by gunfire just this past weekend. That is Rick Zamarripa, he is the father of a police officer, Patrick Zamarripa, one of the Dallas officers shot and killed by a sniper on Thursday night. And Patrick's stepmother, Maria Del Rosario, excuse me, Zamarripa is also here. Along with his brother, Carlos Zamarripa and his uncle, Fernando Zamarripa. So thank you so much, I know it's a very painful time for you.
It's also a painful time for Quinyetta McMillan, the mother of Alton Sterling's 15-year-old son. Sterling was shot dead last week outside of a convenience store in my hometown of Baton Rouge, by a police officer. So again, to all of the families here on stage with me and to all the people who are in the audience and at home who are grieving right now, we are honoring your loved ones and I'm so sorry for you loss.
So let's start with that premise.
PANEL: Thank you.
LEMON: Dad, this is very emotional. How are you?
RICK ZAMARRIPA, FATHER OF PATRICK ZAMARRIPA: It's -- I'm trying to hang in there. But I think I'm coming around OK.
LEMON: How are you doing?
MARIA DE ROSARIO ZAMARRIPA, STEPMOTHER OF PATRICK ZAMARRIPA: It's been tough. It's been tough around the house. You know, I see him crying and --
LEMON: Go ahead.
R. ZAMARRIPA: We have our moments. You know.
LEMON: You have your moments.
R. ZAMARRIPA: Yes.
LEMON: As I would imagine.
So, I know that your son was out protecting protesters, voicing concerns over police conduct. You knew something was wrong when you said, when he, when you text your son and he didn't text you. What did you know?
R. ZAMARRIPA: Right. At the time, I was watching TV. And he just, he told me, "Dad, they're going to move me to patrol and I'll be riding a bicycle, I'll be downtown." And when I heard the flash news, "Two police officers were gunned down in Dallas," I knew at that time it was Patrick. So, I got on my phone and texted him, "Patrick, are you OK?" He, all the time, "Dad," he'll say, he'll call me or text me, "I'm OK, I'll call you back later. I'm OK." I said, "OK, son." I know he's doing his job, so. And later on, we'll get together and -- but this time, I felt it. Gut feeling. He wouldn't call me back. And I knew it was him.
M. ZAMARRIPA: I kept telling him, "It's OK, he's OK, he just can't call you right now. He'll call you later." You know, he's OK, you know, just pray. And I text him, I said, you know, I text him and said "Patrick, please, you know, call your dad, he's crying." That was around 10:30. And we didn't hear from him.
LEMON: You're Carlos?
CARLOS ZAMARRIPA, BROTHER TO PATRICK ZAMARRIPA: Yes.
LEMON: You are on the verge of tears at every moment, I can see it.
C. ZAMARIPPA: Because it's hard. Because I was the one who contacted my mother, the first -- the very first out of all the family members. Because when I was first got word that there was something going on downtown, just like my father, I had this knot in my stomach that I could not shake. There was a pain inside of me that I knew a part of me was gone. My brother. I felt it. Instantly. It's like a piece of me, instantly left. Right away.
And it's almost surreal to know that I'm not going to have my brother no more. To know that I'm going to have that pain -- all the time knowing that I'm not going to have an older brother to call for, for advice. Or to get the earful from my older brother, the advice that a little brother hates to get, but I would love to hear right now.
M. ZAMARRIPA: We're going to miss it.
C. ZAMARRIPA: I would love to hear two seconds of my brother's voice, of him telling me as a little brother.
LEMON: What did you say, Maria?
M. ZAMARRIPA: That he's going to miss Patrick getting on to him.
LEMON: Fernando, you're a nephew served the military. You said, he knew no fear. Did he talk to you about the dangers of being a police officer? That he knew about the dangers being involved?
FERNANDO ZAMARRIPA, UNCLE TO PATRICK ZAMARRIPA: He knew about the dangers. Patrick, his goals, like he said at the very beginning, he wanted to become a police officer. As he was young, he first took note of the uniform that I wore when I was in the military. And he always admired it. He told me some day he's going to wear the uniform. And he did. When he became of age after high school. I was so proud of that moment when he did.
And he knew the danger. Especially -- all veterans do. Especially when they, when they say the oath, their oath of enlistment and they go in. It's one that we never forget as service members and veterans. And we still hold, hold it dear in our hearts our oaths. And that oath is to, that we swore to support and defend The Constitution. And that's the same oath he took. And from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Foreign and domestic. And that's the same oath I took, among all other veterans. And Patrick knew that.
And he also bare, he bared faith, allegiance to the same praise, the same cause. We all did. And he took that, and he ran with it. And he became that police officer. He knew the dangers, especially when you become a veteran.
LEMON: And that's why you do it. Because you want to, you know the dangers and some people said that they just --
F. ZAMARRIPA: And you're ready to face it.
LEMON: Doing what they want to do -
F. ZAMARRIPA: And to obey the orders of the President of the United States.
LEMON: Some people may think that you're on a different sides, right? But all pain is the same.
Quinyetta, there were protesters out in Dallas, they were protesting the death, of the killing of your son's father, by Baton Rouge police when all of this happened. Your son spoke out today and he said he wanted Americans to come together to unite and come together as a family.
Let's listen to this young man, and then we'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMERON STERLING, SON OF ALTON STERLING: I feel that people in general, no matter what the race is, should come together as one united family. There should be no more arguments, disagreements, violence, crimes. Everyone should come together as one united family. I want everyone to protest the right way. Protest in peace, not guns, not drugs, not alcohol, not violence. Everyone needs to protest in the right way. With peace. No violence. None whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: You OK? I see you wiping tears away. Your son and Alton must have been -- you are very proud of him.
QUINYETTA MCMILLON, MOTHER OF ALTON STERLING'S SON: I'm very proud of him. Just to know that my son is only 15, and some people look at him as if he's a lot wiser than what he is. And he really is.
He knows right from wrong. He knows that what is going on right now in America is not right. And he just wants justice for both sides.
LEMON: What would you like people to know about the violence that some African-Americans feel when it comes to police officers and policing in this country? There's a -- (INAUDIBLE) are clean right there.
MCMILLION: Thank you.
I just want the world to know that, you know, whether you are an officer or whether you just a regular, normal person, you know, both sides should, you know, be punished the same way.
MCMILLION: You know, if an officer does something and it's not right, then he should get his punishment for whatever it is that he has done wrong. Vice versa as a normal person.
LEMON: And you've said to me, your heart goes out for all the families involved for the officers.
MCMILLON: You have no idea how much goes out. Just even before the interview, we had no clue who we were -- no clue whatsoever. And we just started talking. And I just told him, I said, you know, this is our unity right here. This is it. I had no clue who they were. They had no clue who I was.
LEMON: What do you say to this family?
MCMILLON: I say to this family, we have to stay praying, no matter if you're in Dallas, no matter if you're in Baton Rouge, we all have to remember to keep God first. And that's the only way our pain will be able to be healed. There's nobody can humanly possibly tell us to make us feel better.
LEMON: What do you say, Carlos?
CARLOS ZAMARRIPA, BROTHER OF FALLEN DALLAS OFFICER PATRICK ZAMARRIPA: Well, my brother would want me to say, he'd want everything to stop. He would want peace. He'd want good to come out of all of this. Whether we all sit down and just take a second to realize that some good has to come out, because that's what my brother did every day when he put on the badge.
He went out for good, to help somebody, because that's the kind of heart that my brother had. He would only want good out of this. He would only want peace.
LEMON: Dad, what do you say?
ENRIQUE ZAMARRIPA, FATHER OF FALLEN DALLAS OFFICER PATRICK ZAMARRIPA: My son, as he was growing up I would tell him, you know the difference between right and wrong. Do the right thing all the time. And then later on he told me he wants to be a cop. I said, be a good cop. Don't be a bad cop. Be a good cop.
He said, dad, I will, I will, I'll make you proud of me. I'll make you proud of me. I'll do the right thing. He said, I got this. I got this, dad. And I believed it. Because Pat, he would give you his last dollar in his pocket if he had it and you needed it.
Just the other day, the same day right before he got killed, he helped feed a homeless person. He took him to buy something to eat. What I was told, (INAUDIBLE) person sat right behind Patrick, lunch or dinner, knowing Patrick would take care of him. He felt safe around Pat.
Pat didn't see color. He didn't care if you were white, green, purple, he's a true Mexican hero. He has always been my hero since day one. He was my little hero and now he's a big hero, in my heart. And nobody can ever take that away from me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you were his hero too. You were his hero.
He loved his dad. He adored his father. They were best friends.
LEMON: You all need healing. The country needs healing. What can you say to the country now about healing, these two families, again, people would think are on different sides, but all pain is the same. What do you say to the country, dad?
E. ZAMARRIPA: This has to stop. If I take another person's life, it won't make the other person's life come back. You know, we need to all live together, be one strong nation under God, you know. Let's all live together, love each other, help each other out, and not -- stop what we're doing. Stop all this killing.
MCMILLON: I've been saying the same since it all started, you know, violence to violence is not going to ever going to be the answer to nothing. Especially not in a situation that me and this family is sharing right now. And I think we all come together to say that we want peace. We want peace for both families.
LEMON: There's a lot of pain. A lot of heartbreak. A lot of suffering on this stage and a lot of it happening around the country. And I hope you all are listening to this so that we can come together.
I want to introduce -- thank you for telling your stories.
I want to introduce now someone who is my personal mentor who has a connection to the Dallas community. His church is there, he's a resident there, he' a pastor of the Potter's House, Bishop T.D. Jakes. And he's also the host of the "T.D. Jakes Show" which is coming this fall which will also provide healing to the country.
I'm so glad that you're hear. You've heard the two families, they've shared their common loss, loss is terrible. It's not black and white. It's not police officers versus other people. Pain is pain. What do you say to these families?
T.D. JAKES, PASTOR OF POTTER'S HOUSE: First of all, my heart goes out to this family, I'm really, really touched by your pain. I don't think that any reasonable person could see the pain that's on the stage tonight and not be touched by it, and in some way be related to it and connected to it.
I think that our country has a responsibility to bring about peace. And in order to have real lasting peace that vindicates the tremendous loss that we see on this stage today, we have to have peace and justice collaboratively.
And I don't think that we can really have one without the others. I think that we can have justice and there's a sharp difference between justice and vengeance. I think that there is a way that we can sit down as reasonable people, discuss the atrocities that we see on the stage tonight.
And come to a reasoned solution that gives us justice, that gives us peace, and takes the choices out of the hands of the vigilantes who take things into their own hands and go about it in a way that is divisive.
Clearly today it is not blacks against whites or whites against blacks. When you really talk to people, you find out that we really want the same things. We want our children to come home at night. All of our children. Whether they're wearing blue or blue jeans. We want them to come home at night. And surely there ought to be a way that we can get that done.
LEMON: You just said there's no -- go ahead.
LEMON: You just said that there is no black suffering, no white suffering, there is just suffering. People fear that we are being torn apart in this country. Are we -- are we being torn apart or were we ever that close together?
JAKES: We are only being torn apart if we let people tear us apart. I think that we're only torn apart when reasoned people remain silent. There are good people in all of our communities and good people need to stand up and say, and decide, as Patrick's father said, he said be a good cop, not a bad cop.
His own statement admits that there are two different types. When there are bad cops, we need to have our judicial system work the way that it says it's going to work. It needs to be blind and not pique depending upon the electoral processes and what's going on in politics and what pressure is placed on them.
We need a criminal justice system that we can count on, because if we don't have that kind of criminal justice, people will see vengeance and call it justice. There's no justice on the stage here. These are good people all in their respective places. And we owe it to them and to their sons and their loved ones to come together and solve this problem without politics taking it over.
LEMON: Thank you, Bishop. Thank you.
Thank you, all.
Our hearts are with you and our prayers and the country and really the world is watching. Thank you so much. We appreciate you for coming on.
So we're going to be back, right back with more answers to your questions in our live town hall event. We're going to take questions from the audience. I hope that you stay tuned and I hope that you -- this program will help heal the country, at least begin that healing.
Black, White, and Blue America 2016" will return in just a moment.
LEMON: Welcome back everyone to our live town hall event, "Black White, and Blue, America 2016. This is an unprecedented gathering of citizens, police, and experts. And in America where 69 percent of people in the latest New York Times poll, it says that race relations are bad, and in America where two African American men, and five white police officers were killed just last week. Let's take a look at the facts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: In the first six and a half months of this year, 518 people have been shot and killed by police in this country, 46.1 percent of them white, 24.5 percent black. But, those numbers from the Washington Post don't tell the whole story because whites are 77.1 percent of the total population, and blacks are only 13.3 percent.
And, as President Barack Obama pointed out last week, African Americans are 30 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over by police. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I need to that one of the reasons it is so difficult to break down exactly what is happening in encounters between police and African Americans is that the data can be conflicting. Case in point, a new study from Harvard that finds that black men and women are more likely to be touched, handcuffed, pushed to the ground or pepper sprayed by a police officer. But, the study finds no racial bias when it comes to police shootings. We'll discuss all of that tonight.
I want to turn to Chirlane McCray who is the first lady of New York City. We're fortunate, very fortunate to have you here, First Lady. Your husband is the mayor, Bill De Blasio of New York City, who happens to be white. We want to give some perspective to people here.
he's the head of the largest police department in the country. You have two children, Dante, and Kiar. You said this is personal for your family. What do you say to start off this questioning tonight for us?
QUESTION: This is a terrible, terrible painful time for us in this country. We will continue to mourn for -- while we will continue to mourn for so much longer. We still have to move forward. And -- we have to reach out to each other. We have to comfort each other. We have to rally around the good that is everywhere. And we cannot -- it's not healthy for us to live in a place that is negative and divisive. It's not good.
Tonight I'm very pleased that we are beginning to talk about all of these issues that affect us so deeply, that we can talk about solutions. That's what I'm most interested in because while these conversations may be uncomfortable, they're absolutely necessary. We have to get to some place where can be -- get tangible ways to move forward.
LEMON: And you're talking about solutions. You said that one of your solutions is a more diverse police force, including women who have social skills to help us resolve conflict. Two, you said more mental health services for our officers and communities. And, three, fewer guns. You want to know does any of this make us safer? What are the solutions? Thank you, First Lady.
I'm going to you, Cedric Alexander. As a former police chief, what are the solutions? What do you tell the first lady of New York city?
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I certainly agree with Mrs. McCray on a number of things she just said. First, starting with mental health. That's probably one of the biggest issues that we have in this country that we're confronted with. We know that policing is a very stressful profession. We know that they deal with a lot. We know that they go from one call to the next, and the next, and the next, and over time, certainly cumulative stress does occur, just like it would in any individual. Police officers are nothing but human beings.
We need to look at that, but in a much broader way, that's on the police side -- but on the community side we also know statistically that we have rising numbers of people that we're being confronted with, police officers, particularly, that have mental health issues. And, when you have one person over here that has a mental health issue, and then you have police officers themselves, regardless of what their mental or emotional state may happen to be, they're going to converge and there's going to sometimes be conflict.
Then, what we end up with, quite frankly, is situation which we're trying to explain. Because one thing we cannot forget in all of this, Police officers are called for everything. You heard that from Chief Brown, that's very true. You got to be a mental health counselor, marriage counselor, you got to know social services, you got to know a variety of different things because whatever is not functioning or working in our government police officers end up being the first responders. And then they end up being the ones that are called into these situations which they have to explain in a very tough time now in America where people are so angry, and people are so upset we can't even hear each other to even try to get to the solution, Mrs. McCray. And I think that's one of the biggest issues that we have that is in front of right...
LEMON; You think we need to deal with mental health issues in order to...
ALEXANDER: We need to deal with mental health issues in this country because there's a lack of mental health services that is -- that is in abundant need. Not just in large cities, but in small cities.
And, if you look at our police officers, we talk about the health of them, we want to make sure that they're taken care of because what we're asking them to do is a huge job. And a very tough job. And it just doesn't affect white officers, it affects all officers.
LEMON: And that's what the Dallas police chief -- are you guys in agreement with that? We need to deal with mental health in this country? A show of hands? You're in agreement with that? OK.
Alright, good. So, we'll discuss that. You have a very interesting question. This is James Ramsay, he's a grad student and campus minister at Harvard University. What's your question? Thank you for joining us tonight.
QUESTION: Thank you. My question is related, but a little different from the current discussion. In the eyes of law enforcement and criminal justice system, my question is what it is about black people that make us seem to police officers more dangerous, or in cases of police safety, our lives less valuable or even expendable whereas our white counterparts in similar situations either walk away from those encounters either unharmed, or if they don't those offending police officers are held accountable.
LEMON: That's a good question. Gary McCarthy, I want to go with you. Gary McCarthy, by the way, is a former police superintendent of Chicago. You led the department during the controversial Laquan McDaniels (ph), 17 years old. You unfortunately lost your job in part because of that.
What do you say to this question for him about seeing people of color as more threatening than whites?
GARY MCCARTHY, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, I'm sorry that you feel that way, james. I don't think it's the case, quite frankly. I think that we have to -- if we're going to have a conversation and Mrs. McCray actually said we need to have a conversation, you can't have a conversation one way, right? That would be a harangue, that would be not a dialogue.
And what's happened in this country so far, in my estimation, is that it's been a one way conversation about the police about the police, but not including the police. So, questions like this need to be asked and need to be answered. But the facts are as such that at the end of the day -- take the city of Chicago.
Eighty percent of our murder victims are African-American. More than 90% of the known offenders of those murders are African-American. So, when police officers go on patrol, a number of things happen. First of all, we put more police officers in those distressed communities. Communities with the highest levels of crime. Those interactions are therefore happening more frequently. And at the end of the day, we don't profile -- we don't profile races, we profile criminals.
And one of the things that I'm sorry if it's going to be controversial, but I need to put it on the table. One of the things that's happening in this country, and it's not -- it's a train. You're either on it, or you're under it. If you take the example of the issue of stop, question and frisk. Stop, question and frisk is based upon a 1968 case of Terry v. Ohio. They're called, "Terry stops".
Police officers are allowed by the Supreme Court's decision, to stop people based upon articulable, reasonable suspicion. That's what the Supreme Court found.
LEMON: But, you said this is going to be controversial, what will be controversial. You hate to say what?
MCCARTHY: What I'm going to tell you...
LEMON: ... By the way, you can say anything. That's why we're here.
MCCARTHY: And I don't mind. I don't mind.
LEMON: Go ahead.
MCCARTHY: I think you got the right guy, Don.
LEMON: What's controversial, go ahead.
MCCARTHY: What's controversial is the fact that this is now becoming the standard that's being used by the ACLU and the Department of Justice. Population demographics, not articulable, reasonable suspicion. Now, what feeds articulable, reasonable suspicion?
I presume everybody in this room has heard of CompStat, Computer Statistics. Bill Bratton created it with Jack Maple here in New York City in 1994. We identify where crime happens, when crime happens, and we go after it.
LEMON: Superintendent, just for the sake of time, not to cut you off, you're saying stop, question, and frisk, in your estimation, should be the legal use for police officers. Is that what you're saying?
MCCARTHY: Absolutely. It has to be.
LEMON: Which has been deemed profiling here in New York City, and stopped...
MCCARTHY: But it's fed by crime date, and here's my point. When we did our analysis in Chicago, we found that our stops almost exactly match percentage identification of offenders by civilians.
In other words, you get robbed, you tell us who robbed you, that's who we're stopping.
LEMON: OK, I want to add, what do you guys think of stop, question, and frisk? Do you think it should be legal here in New York City?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It isn't.
LEMON: But do you think it should be used?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) based on behaviors. It can't be about profiles of a particular person. It always has to be on behaviors. And that's what I think the superintendents talking about, is it's not just randomly stopping people of a certain race. You have to have specific and articulable facts to believe that there's criminal activity afoot, they say. That's the legal standard, and it's got to be observable behaviors. That's what's specific and articulable.
MARK O'MARA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The problem is this, if we can answer the question that was truly posed, we would have gotten 80% of the solution. The idea suggested by any police officer that there are not subtle biases about the way they deal with different demographics in this country is simply untrue.
O'MARA: We not it's not true because the statistics prove it to be true. There's no question that when a cop, most cops, enter into a situation., they treat the person that they're dealing with differently based upon the color of their skin.
We can make believe that we're not going to say that because it's not politically correct, but if we're truly here to talk about what really is the problem -- and I'm not some apologist about it. The reality is, because I've done it for 30 years, the reality is we are definitely dealing. Cops react differently to the people who they react with.
You can say that stop, and frisk, and talk is OK as long as it's based upon behavioral statistics, but it's who you're looking at that determines that behavior is suspect. That's what we got to get passed. The reality is that within that question, what we have to acknowledge, is that for whatever reason, 50 years, 100 years, your gene pool, whatever it might be that you say we do -- cops do come to that situation looking at black differently.
LEMON: OK, there's a gentlemen here, who's right here. If we have a microphone can we get right here. This gentleman, can we give him microphone on the end?
You said -- why do you want to talk? Why do you want to answer this?
QUESTION: Hey, Don. So, first and foremost, Demitri Roberts, former Chicago police officer. But, outside of -- before I was a police officer, I was a young black man on the Southside of Chicago who was racially profiled, but who also beat up by the police. And it was only because community members put their arms around me and said, turn your hate, turn your frustration into something positive. That led me to the military, but then, as Superintendent McCarthy knows, brought me back to that same neighborhood as a Chicago police officer.
LEMON: So, why are you so passionate about stop, question, and frisk? Do you believe in it? Do you think it's wrong?
QUESTION: About profiling because I was profiled. But, then as a law enforcement officer, I had to do some profiling to protect the citizens that I swore that I would do.
LEMON: Did you profile black men?
QUESTION: I profiled all people, and here's why. Because it's an effective policing tool. But, me having an appreciation and an understanding, having been on the negative side of profiling, I understand the negative connotations that it can bring. But, I also understood how effective it can be to protect those members of the community that I swore to protect...
LEMON: ... So is should be used. It should be -- you think it's an important part of policing, it should be used?
QUESTION: Absolutely. Let me underscore the real point here. There's cultural difference here. There's community cultural differences and there are police cultural differences. And where we have a real opportunity here, Don, is to bridge that divide between the cultural difference because when you take a police officer out of the police academy and you give him some diversity, immersion, and effective training about the community that he is going to police in, he's going to handle those citizens much differently.
And, he will profile. But, he will profile in the correct way because he has an appreciation for that community.
(APPLAUSE) LEMON: Go ahead. Charles, go ahead.
CHARLES BLOW, NEW YORK TIMES: Let me just say this unequivocally, the way that stop and frisk was practiced here in New York City was abominable, and ultimately immoral, and unconstitutional.
There is no way around that. At the height of stop and frisk in New York City, they were stopping and frisking more young black and brown men than there were young black and brown men in the city. That meant that somebody was getting more than one stop. That meant that if my two sons got no stops, somebody took a stop, or two, or three for them.
And do not let anyone kind of convince you that this was some polite, officer-friendly encounter. I heard one of the people who was one of the complaintants in the case give his account of being stopped and frisked. Number one, something like 90% of the people who were stopped and frisked here in New York City were never charged with a single thing.
That meant that they had done nothing wrong, they could find nothing on them, and they let them go. This young man had this happen to him -- I think his number was nine times. In the New York Times we had one guy who was up in like hundreds, like, 80 something, 90 something times. One person. But this guy who had been stopped nine times, and he described it.
He was taking care of his younger brothers and sisters. He described going out to a store at night, you know how kids they need milk, whatever the case, he'd go out to get it.
He'd encountered a police officer, it wasn't stop, question. It was on the ground, running your hands into every part of my body. it was as close as he could describe to a sexual violation as he could describe.
BLOW: and at the end of that violation, there was no, we're sorry, go on about your visit. It was simply walking away, leaving him there to get up on his own. And what we have to ask ourselves as a society is what psychic damage does something like that do to a whole generation of young men?
And these are the young men who you need to have turn to police officers and not take their, like, retributions and things into their own hands, you want them to turn to the officers and say, we need you to help us.
But those people will never turn to a person who has violated them in that way.
LEMON: We're going to continue this conversation. I have got to get to a break. And as you were saying that, James Ramsey (ph), over here, who asked a question saying, absolutely. So, listen, this gentleman standing here to my right, we're going to
talk to him when we come back. He saved lives in Dallas. And this is a doctor, Dr. Brian Williams, that we've heard so much about. He feels both sides of this story.
His story, more questions, more answers when we come right back.
LEMON: We're back now. And we've been having very difficult conversations, but very important conversations with our town hall, "Black, White, and Blue America 2016."
I want to tell you that President Barack Obama, holding a four-hour meeting on police and community relations at the White House just today. Law enforcement officials, political and spiritual leaders, and activists all taking part in this.
The president says he is encouraged by the conversation, but there is a lot of work to do to make sure communities feel that they are being treated fairly and police departments feel that they have the public's support.
So right back to our discussions now and the gentleman to my right who is a surgeon from Parkland Hospital in Dallas where some of the police officers were taken in Thursday's shooting. We're so happy that you could join us. Thank you so much for that.
DR. BRIAN WILLIAMS, TRAUMA SURGEON, PARKLAND HOSPITAL: Yes, absolutely.
LEMON: And, Doctor, you have a question for our panel.
WILLIAMS: Yes. I should also mention that I'm an associate professor of surgery at UT-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. And I strive to teach my daughter to appreciate and respect law enforcement, yet personally, I do have this basal level of distrust, and I've had some instances in my life where I've actually had some degree of fear. So I'd like to know how we actually get past this.
MONIFA BANDELE, SENIOR CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR, MOMSRISING.ORG: Yes. One of the things that I think a lot of times is missing from the conversation about solution is accountability, right? I think that we all at times in our lives can be victimized by various institutions in our community.
But what's happening when we encounter abuse by the police is that there's not an element of accountability. You feel that nothing will come to your rescue. There'll be no resolve if something happens to you at the hands of the police, because time and time again, district attorneys, state attorneys, even the Department of Justice have kind of failed to bring, for the most part, abusive police to justice.
And so that fear is very different than let's say the fear of a neighbor, someone else randomly doing something to you where you know you have recourse, you can go somewhere. You can seek justice somewhere.
And so that's the frustration, that's the fear, that's the isolation that you feel. And I think that all of the discussions about solutions, I think the first lady definitely hit the nail on the head.
But first, we've got to deal with the issue of accountability, because we could put all the training in place. We could put all the cultural competency in place. But if I'm not going to be held accountable to that training, it'll be all for naught.
And so I think that that's part of where you get to start to feel comfortable is if your life matters and if you can get justice if you are having an abusive relationship with a police officer.
LEMON: So what is the fear? How can you make that go away? What is the fear?
WILLIAMS: Well, I've this h this for a long time, and I will say, I've never been physically abused by police. I've never been verbally abused by police. But in the few interactions I've had, I have felt that the way I was treated was beyond what was necessary for that particular situation.
LEMON: And, Neill Franklin, that goes along with the stats that we were showing from the -- especially that "New York Times" stat that was taken, or poll that was taken that showed that most times, people of color will be knocked to the ground. They'll be frisked, they'll be abused by police officers more so than any other, than any other race.
NEILL FRANKLIN, RETIRED MARYLAND STATE POLICE MAJOR: Yes, and unfortunately the more times that the more opportunities there are for police to interact with people, the more opportunities for something to go wrong. And that's a lot of what we're seeing.
So, you know, Chief Brown started down this road of what, you know, we at LEAP (ph) have been saying for a very long time. We need to look at our policies. The policies that our lawmakers are putting in place, what are we requiring our police to do?
And the biggest example of this going wrong is the war on drugs. And you can't have a war on drugs, and I hate that term "war," but you can't have a war on drugs. You can only have a war on people.
And the way it has manifested itself here, it ended up being mainly war on black and brown people. And for things of -- you know, mere possession of drugs where people may have a substance abuse issue -- let me put it this way, we're attempting to solve a public health crisis with criminal justice solutions, and the tip of the spear is our police officer...
LEMON: I heard a lot of "uh-huhs" in the audience.
FRANKLIN: Well, of course, they know...
LEMON: Why do you agree with that?
FRANKLIN: ... especially the black folks out there like me, because this is what we're experiencing in our communities.
LEMON: Let me walk over here. Thank you, Doctor.
FRANKLIN: I'm from Baltimore. I'm from Baltimore. There never would have been a Freddie Gray, as one of many examples, there never would have been a Freddie Gray if it weren't for these drug policies. Someone arrested over and over and over and over again for possession of drugs.
LEMON: Why are you in agreement with this? What are you shaking your head for?
CORY HUGHES, PROTEST ORGANIZER, BROTHER OF MARK: Well, you know, like he said, you take people that have a health issue and you make it a criminal issue. And here's something that a lot of people don't talk about. When the young black kid gets caught with crack cocaine or weed, he goes to jail. But when the white kid gets caught with meth, he goes to rehab.
So nobody really discusses that. And, you know, I think another thing that we have to discuss when this young man right here, this officer here, he talks about it almost like a matter of fact, like we're making up this issue.
I'm so glad she said accountability, because one of the bridges, one of the things that will bridge the gap between blacks, whites, and police is acknowledgment. It's acknowledgment.
I can't cheat on my girlfriend and make it feel like it's her fault. I was the one that violated her. And so it's stop and frisk, with the disparity as it relates to black people going to jail for minor crimes. It has to be some form of acknowledgment. And once it's acknowledged, then we can start the healing process.
LEMON: By the way, this is Cory Hughes, Cory is one of the organizers of the Dallas march, by the way, that we know where sadly the officers were killed.
Go ahead, Monifa.
BANDELE: Yes, and I just want to say that that analogy about a relationship is very interesting because as the various police officers were saying, yes, we profile, yes, we have to do this, but it's for community safety. It sounds a lot like, I have to hurt you because i love you.
And that's -- that's entirely pathological because we -- to say that we can't find a way to make communities safe without violating people, without humiliating young children, like Charles mentioned, no one can trust that process.
LEMON: OK. I want to ask the audience this because there are people who believe that it's just -- it's only a perception. The fear is just -- it's not real. That African-Americans, black people, it's just a perception that they are in danger from police.
How many believe that it is a real fear? That it actually happens? That it actually happens? How many people feel that it is black people are just feeling this? That is a perception? Anybody in this room feel that it's just -- OK.
LEMON: I want Garry to weigh in on this.
GARRY MCCARTHY, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: This is a well-founded fear based upon the history of African- Americans in this country. Let's get it out in the open.
HUGHES: But you can't just say the history of African-Americans, you have to take responsibility and say, the history of the action of police in America.
MCCARTHY: Which is what I was saying. Because what I was going to point out is that the history of African-Americans in this country started with slavery. Then it moved to black codes, to segregation. And who was it who was enforcing those racist policies? It was the white police officer.
So that narrative exists in the community based on the history, and it's factual. And then what happens, we have bad incidents, we build on it and we worsen that perception. And that's on us.
BLOW: Let me add to this idea about -- you know, it's not just a historical thing. This is a present condition.
LEMON: Hold on, hold on.
LEMON: Look, hold on, Charles. We shouldn't overlook that he just took some responsibility, hang on, Charles, I'll let you get your point in. He just took some responsibility for what most people in this room and many people in the country feel is the problem that police officers are not taking responsibility.
Should we not give him some credit for that?
LEMON: Yes, we should. Because that's what this forum is all about.
Charles, I'll let you get, go ahead, quickly.
T.D. JAKES, PASTOR OF POTTER'S HOUSE: That's the first step to healing when you take responsibility for your behavior. It's the first step to healing. One of the things that really assaults the very fabric of our Constitution is that you've got 40 million African- Americans, from physicians to hip-hop artists to preachers saying the same thing.
And yet, this is a narrative that some groups of Americans refuse to believe. And that's a tragedy. If we were believed -- and women went through the same thing. Rape victims go through the same thing, it is so difficult to get those who have power to believe that this is legitimate.
African-Americans are not monolithic. We don't agree about anything else, but we all agree about this. Give us some credit for this. These are groups that we wouldn't agree about anything, but when it comes to this situation from a physician to a clergyman to a hip-hop artist, it's not like we had a big meeting for African-Americans and 40 million people said, we're going to come up with a story.
The fact that it is not believed is -- it's perhaps more assaulting than is the issue itself.
LEMON: But you said, not insulting, assaulting.
JAKES: Assaulting. It assaults you when you come forward and you are never believed. And it reminds me very much of sexual abuse victims. And we've had a history of that in this country.
And one of the things -- having counseled many of them, one of the things that is most damaging to a sexual abuse victim, it's not just the sexual abuse, it is the fact that I told someone in power, and they would not believe me.
JAKES: This generation of African-Americans are being assaulted in a way that we could fix if we could be heard and believed.
LEMON: Charles Blow, go ahead.
BLOW: Listen, I absolutely applaud anybody who takes personal responsibility, however, we keep pretending that this is an issue where police officers only must take responsibility rather than the wider society that put police in the position of having to make this many contacts with people in the first place.
The idea that the police are simply an articulation of society's desires to control bodies and to restrict problems to particular geographies is what is producing most of this problem.
If this -- if the same issues that are happening in poor black and brown neighborhoods were to spill over into the comfortable classes, into their neighborhoods, you would see an automatic, immediate addressing of these issues. But because we allow our police departments, or force them even -- I
mean, some of this is not even their fault, force them to treat these communities as ATM machines, instead of cutting -- cutting services in some cases, which some people would love, or raising taxes which other would love, and taking care of young people and like (INAUDIBLE) once said, it is easier to raise a strong child than it is to fix a broken man.
But we won't do that. What we will do is let that child be broken, and then force our police officers, flood them into the neighborhoods where we've allowed them to be broken in the first place and increase those interactions, make them write an atrocious number of tickets, put them into criminal justice systems that exact even more money for them, and that fills our budget shortfalls.
We have turned -- as Mother Jones once put it, we have turned whole police departments from "protect and serve" to "punish and profit." And that is all of society's problem.
LEMON: All right. I'm going to get -- hang on. I'm going to stand right here. So if you're in this audience, if you feel that you have a question concerning this, do you think that -- are you happy that he took responsibility at least? Is this where we start? Is this where we start?
And much further to go, right? How many of you -- you're all aware of Black Lives Matter, right? Are you all aware of what the former mayor of New York City said about Black Lives Matter?
He said that Black Lives Matter was an inherent racist group. So we're going to talk about that and much more, many more questions when we come right back. Don't go anywhere.