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Playlist: POLICING

Compiled By: Erika McGinty

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POLICING

65: Serve and Protect? A History of the Police, 9/20/2014

From BackStory with the American History Guys | Part of the BackStory with the American History Guys Weekly Episodes series | 54:00

For many Americans, the storyline that played out on August 9th in Ferguson, Mo. — when an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by a white police officer — is not a new one. But the sustained protests that followed, in which Ferguson police used military equipment to suppress peaceful protests, have generated a new round of questioning about local police’s role in their communities.

On this episode, BackStory looks at the history of policing in America, and how the police forces we’re familiar with today begin to take shape - and we'll consider what happens when the police don’t protect those they serve.

Police-blurb-photo-300x239_small For many Americans, the storyline that played out on August 9th in Ferguson, Mo. — when an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by a white police officer — is not a new one. But the sustained protests that followed, in which Ferguson police used military equipment to suppress peaceful protests, have generated a new round of questioning about local police’s role in their communities. On this episode, BackStory looks at the history of policing in America, and how the police forces we’re familiar with today begin to take shape - and we'll consider what happens when the police don’t protect those they serve.

Stories from the NYPD

From jrudolph group | 59:45

An audio history of the New York Police Department

180pxnewyorkcitypolicedepartmentemblem Archival recordings and recent interviews are woven together in this hour-long documentary that tells the story of the New York Police Department from the 1940s to the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. From Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia's famous, "sock 'em in the jaw," speech to new police officers in 1942, to first-hand accounts of a 1964 Harlem riot in which the police fired thousands of rounds of live ammunition, to the gripping story of police officers running for their lives after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, this program opens a window into the NYPD's fascinating history and the complex relationship between the police and the citizens of New York . With a score that includes music from cop shows like "Car 54 Where Are You" and clips from films including "Shaft" and "Serpico,? this program is a compelling examination of the one of the world's leading leading law enforcement organizations before and after 9/11. Among the topics covered - corruption scandals, struggles by police officers to win union representation, and conflicts between the police and New York's African-American and immigrant communities. You'll hear the voices of cops over the decades - emotional, colorful and controversial - along with their critics, their supporters, and scholars who have studied the NYPD. "Stories from the NYPD" is the latest in a series of historical radio documentaries about New York City by award-winning independent producer John Rudolph. Earlier programs (produced with WNYC, New York Public Radio) focused on New York City's waterfront; the career of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan; and the '60s civil rights movement in New York.

Return of the Neighborhood Beat Cop

From Ben Markus | 05:09

The story of how beat cops cleaned up one of the most notorious housing projects in the nation

3472_small In response to rising crime rates, police departments nationwide are going back to basics, combining traditional patrol methods with an earlier "beat cop" approach. In Sacramento's Phoenix Park housing project the police faced quite a challenge. Even though the neighborhood was mired by gangs and drugs, they made an immediate, and lasting, impact on the shockingly violent project.

How Homelessness Became a Crime

From Making Contact | 29:00

So-called ‘quality of life’ policing may temporarily decrease crime, but it has harsh consequences for innocent people caught up in the frenzy of arrests. If it’s illegal to be on a city’s sidewalks, parks and plazas, where else can people go?

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani made so-called ‘quality of life’ policing a worldwide trend. And while it may have temporarily decreased crime, there are harsh consequences for the thousands of innocent people caught up in the frenzy of arrests.  On this edition, the criminalization of homelessness.  If it’s illegal to be on a city’s sidewalks, parks and plazas, where else can people go?

 

Featuring:

Neil Smith, Center for Graduate Studies at the City University of New York Geography and Urbanism professor; Carlton Berkeley, Former NYPD Detective and author of ‘What to do if Stopped by the Police’; Genghis Kallid Muhammad, Gene Rice, Elise Lowe, Picture the Homeless members; Protestors opposing New York’s disorderly conduct law;  Melvin Williams, Coalition for the Homeless volunteer; Rob Robinson, National Campaign to Restore housing Rights organizer; Barbara Daughtery, homeless New Yorker; Mark Schuylen, former urban planner; Samuel Warber, street musician; Andy Blue, ‘Sidewalks are for People” campaign organizer; George Gascon, San Francisco Police Chief; John Avalos, San Francisco Supervisor; Jen Vandergriff, San Francisco resident; Jason Lean, homeless San Franciscan; Paul Boden, Western Regional Advocacy Project organizer

Producer/Host: Andrew Stelzer

Producer: Kyung Jin Lee

Producer/Online Editor: Pauline Bartolone

Contributing Producer: Sam Lewis

Executive Director: Lisa Rudman

Associate Director: Khanh Pham

Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator: Karl Jagbandhansingh

Station Relations: Daphne Young

Life of the Law (Series)

Produced by Life of the Law

Most recent piece in this series:

Life of the Law #46 – One Conjugal Visit

From Life of the Law | Part of the Life of the Law series | 17:48

Photo_6_-_myesha_and_marcello_paul_stand_on_the_porch_of_the_apartment_the_day_they_begin_their_conjugal_visit

How long could your relationship last without a kiss? Without more than a kiss? Could you last a year? Two? What about ten? Twenty? In prison, couples are forced to keep their relationships alive in visiting rooms, with 2 second hugs. One two. Let go. So they write letters and make phone calls. Many break up.

But there’s another option. If you’re married or in a domestic partnership, you might be eligible for something called a family visit, also known as a conjugal visit, or on the inside, a booty call. It means a couple can be together, inside prison, alone or with their children for extended visits. They can have privacy and they can have sex.

Back in the 90’s, 17 states allowed prisoners to have these conjugal visits. But things have changed. Earlier this year, Mississippi and New Mexico both ended conjugal visits in their prisons and today only three states, New York, Washington and California allow inmates to have this kind of intimacy.

I’m standing with Myesha Paul at the gate at San Quentin, the prison just north of San Francisco. Because her husband, Marcello Paul is locked up in a California prison, they still qualify for a conjugal visit and she’s letting me tag along.


Photo 2 - Myesha Paul waiting at the gate of San Quentin Prison to join her husband on the inside for a conjugal visit.


Myesha is middle aged with short, bleached blond hair and a no-nonsense look in her eye. She’s wearing baggy red sweatpants and a sweatshirt that’s too big. She knows the spoken and unspoken rules to one of these visits. The officers guarding the prison have told another woman who’s come for a visit she has to go back to her car and change before she’ll be allowed inside.

“Her t-shirt is fitting real tight, so yeah, they’re gonna make her change all that,” Myesha says watching the woman walk away. “You go through a lot comin’ up her. It got to the point where I just come up in sweat pants. Baggy sweat pants. Too much of a hassle. I’m not puttin’ on anybody else’s clothes. Leggings are comfortable but they’re not for up in here.”

“Why not,” I ask.

“They’re a little too revealing. They don’t want you to have anything that’s form fitting and although we come with hips and all that, so it’s kinda hard to find that don’t fit around, you know?” Myesha laughs, looking down at her full body. “I just buy some men’s sweat pants and make it work.”

“So when you’re inside, do you bring different clothes to wear for when you’re alone?” I ask.

“Mostly just shorts or comfortable pajamas,” Myesha says. “I don’t usually get dressed.”

Even in California not all prisoners qualify for these intimate visits. Prisoners convicted of a sexual crime or a violent crime against a minor or a member of their family and those serving life sentences are denied conjugal visits. Except for what happens behind closed doors during these officially sanctioned private visits, sex is totally illegal in prison.  That means tens of thousands men and women locked up in prisons throughout in America may never be able to sleep next to their partner or have sex, ever again.

As Myesha waits outside the gate, I ask her to describe the process for going inside the prison for a conjugal visit. Looking at the door stamped VISITOR, Myesha says, “I’m waiting for the family visit coordinator to come. (Officer) Foster. He’ll come and he’ll take me in there,” she says looking past the door into a space where officers will check her belongings. “He’ll get my bags and go through them instead of the metal detector. Then I go through the metal detector. I also go inside and pick out some movies, dominoes, that type of thing. Then he’ll grab my stuff, put it in the trunk, and take me down to see my husband.”

Watching Myesha pass through security, I imagine this prison approved sex will happen someplace prison-like, in a tiny room with a bare mattress. They’ll give them an hour.

Turns out, it’s not like that at all.

After passing through a metal detector Officer Foster helps Myesha carry her duffle bag and personal things to the car. It’s his job to escort the previous visitor out, and turn right back around and drive Myesha, in. One in, one out.

Photo 3 - Myesha Paul loading her weekend clothing, linens and supplies into the officer's car for drive to apartment where Marcello is waiting.


It’s a long drive around the edge of the prison, through a big gated checkpoint and up to a small one-story building surrounded by chain-link fence that’s topped with razor wire. An officer looks down from a watchtower nearby.

Marcello Paul, a big man with dreadlocks, gold capped teeth and a beaming smile walks to the opposite side of the locked gate and waits.

When it’s opened, Marcello and Myesha give each other a quick hug, and help carry the bags and pre-ordered food into the apartment.

While Myesha puts the food into the refrigerator, Marcello gives me a tour of the two-bedroom apartment.

There are cabinets with dishes, cups, bowls and plates, a microwave, sink and stove. There’s a table where Marcello says they say grace and play games. In the living room is a puffy black couch and chair. Marcello says it’s black leather. It’s not really leather, but it’s nice.

There are two bedrooms. The first has a worn double mattress on a metal frame. Marcello says he does a pre-clean to make sure everything is intact and washed, and then two days later, when it’s time to go, he cleans everything again, so it’s just the same as when they came in.

Turning from the first bedroom, is a bathroom with a door on it. That’s no small thing inside prison where toilets are public.

Looking into the spare room, a portable baby crib leans against the wall. Some couples bring their children along on a family visit. Myseha and Marcello don’t have any shared children so they spend their weekends alone.

In the middle of the room is a double bed, metal springs sticking out the edge of the mattress. But it’s the large round wet spot in the middle of the mattress we’re both looking at. Marcello says he’ll turn the mattress over and lay down a lot of blankets on top of the mattress.

Standing with Marcello, looking around, if it weren’t for the two officers standing in the middle of the room, it’d seem like a pretty normal apartment.

The officer tells me it’s time to go. Marcello and Myesha get just 48 hours together in the apartment. Once a month.

Photo 6 - Myesha and Marcello Paul stand on the porch of the apartment the day they begin their conjugal visit.

Myesha says they’ve been together 14 years. They met and fell in love while Myesha, a home health care worker, was taking care of Marcello’s mom. Marcello had committed a robbery before they met and gotten away with it. But eventually, it caught up with him and he was sentenced to 10 years. He’s done five of them.

I think about them all weekend.

Monday morning, I go back and meet up with Myesha as she’s coming out. We sit in her car and talk. She says the weekend with Marcello, “was good. It’s always good. Just don’t like going home.”

“Why?” I ask.

“I’m leaving my husband behind,” Myesha says. “We sat outside and played dominoes on Saturday. After that we went in and watched TV, watched movies.” She says they started with The Wire.

She tells me they pulled the bed into the living room so they could lie together while they watched. They cooked burgers and tacos. They listened to music. And sure, she says, they had sex. I ask if they ever have a conjugal visit when they don’t have sex. Myesha pauses, then says, “No. I mean we might have a conjugal visit where we don’t have as much sex as the one before. But no.”

But she says, for her a conjugal visit really isn’t about the sex. It’s about the smaller, quieter things, like Marcello waking her up in the morning, “It feels good,” she says, “because I don’t get that at home. Ya know. At home I’m sleeping by myself, unless my grandbaby or one of my kids wanna sleep with me. But they’re grown. But they still do sleep with me sometimes. But other than that, ya know, I’m waking myself up in the morning, or the alarm clock is waking me up, or my grandson comes and wakes me up. It’s good to have my husband waking me up.

“It’s the nicest thing about being married,” I say, “isn’t it? Waking up?”

“Yeah,” Myesha says, “Together.”

“Not alone,” I say, “You look up and there’s that person.”

“Yeah. I think he watches me through the night,” Myesha says, “ I know he do cause sometimes I wake up and he’s looking at me. And I do the same to him. Sometimes he’s sleeping and he wakes up and I’m watching him.”

While we’re sitting in her car, talking, her cell phone rings. It’s Marcello calling to make sure Myesha gets home safe.

Even though conjugal visits aren’t allowed in most US prisons, in many countries they’re common. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Russia, Spain, and Saudi Arabia all allow inmates and their partners to have conjugal visits. Mexico considers them a universal privilege and even allows families to move into prisons and live with their imprisoned relative.

-

All photos courtesy Nancy Mullane.

Edited By: Sally Herships

Produced By: Kaitlin Prest

Advisory Panel Scholar: Hadar Aviram

Music Composed by: Lawrence English

Breaking Through the Blue Wall of Silence

From Making Contact | Part of the Making Contact series | 28:56

Who gets to decide when an officer has done something wrong—the police chief or the people? Cities across the country are creating civilian oversight agencies which try to make local police and sheriffs accountable to the people.

Episode_pic_for__32-09_small Who polices the police? Do you or your neighbors have any say in the way your town’s cops and sheriffs do business? For more than 35 years, cities around the country have been creating civilian oversight agencies - trying to make local police and sheriffs accountable to the communities they serve. On this edition, producer Andrew Stelzer takes a look at the ongoing battle between the people and the police - and the debate over who gets to decide when an officer has done something wrong.

Featuring:
Barbara Attard, civilian oversight consultant, former San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints investigator and former Berkeley Police Review Commission Director; Marcel Diallo, artist and victim of police harassment; Rashidah Grinage, PUEBLO Executive Director; Jason Wechter, San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints investigator; Reginald Lyles, BART consultant and former Berkeley Police Officer; Gary Gee, BART Police Chief; Jesse Sekhon, BART Police Officers Association President; Quintin Mecke, California State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s Communications Director; Greg Kaufory, attorney; Omar Osirus, Jan, and Bo, protestors; Daniel Buford, Allen Temple Baptist Church Reverend; Joyce Hicks, San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints Director and former Oakland’s Citizens Police Review Board Director; Patrick Cacares, Oakland Citizens Police Review Board acting director; Paulette Hogan, tasered Oakland resident who filed complaint with Internal Affairs; Chris Shannon, Oakland Police Lieutenant; Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant’s uncle; Mark Kroeker, Portland Police Chief.


Program #32-09 - Begin date: 08/12/09. End date: 02/12/09.

Please call us if you carry us - 510-251-1332 and we will list your station on our website. If you excerpt, please credit early and often.

Oscar Grant and Police Accountability

From Making Contact | Part of the Making Contact series | 29:00

We take a look at the Police killing of Oscar Grant in Oakland, and the debate over who gets to decide when an officer has done something wrong.

I_am_oscar_grant_small Who polices the police? Do you or your neighbors have any say in the way your town’s cops and sheriffs do business? For more than 35 years, cities around the country have been creating civilian oversight agencies - trying to make local police and sheriffs accountable to the communities they serve.

On this edition we take a look at the Police killing of Oscar Grant in Oakland, and the debate over who gets to decide when an officer has done something wrong.

Featuring:
Barbara Attard, civilian oversight consultant, former San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints investigator and former Berkeley Police Review Commission Director; Marcel Diallo, artist and victim of police harassment; Rashidah Grinage, PUEBLO Executive Director; Jason Wechter, National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement Board Member; Reginald Lyles, BART consultant and former Berkeley Police Officer; Gary Gee, BART Police Chief; Jesse Sekhon, BART Police Officers Association President; Quintin Mecke, California State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s Communications Director; Greg Kaufory, attorney; Omar Osirus, Jan, and Bo, protestors; Daniel Buford, Allen Temple Baptist Church Reverend; Joyce Hicks, San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints Director and former Oakland’s Citizens Police Review Board Director; Patrick Cacares, Oakland Citizens Police Review Board acting director; Paulette Hogan, tasered Oakland resident who filed complaint with Internal Affairs; Chris Shannon, Oakland Police Lieutenant; Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant’s uncle; Mark Kroeker, Portland Police Chief;

The 1992 LA Rebellion: Twenty Years Later

From Dred-Scott Keyes | 01:00:13

The Cutting Edge looks at the causes and aftermath of the 1992 L.A. rebellion.

La-riot2_small The Cutting Edge looks at the  causes and aftermath of the 1992 L.A. rebellion through a sound collage of interviews and news reports.