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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 Episode #60: The Bear

From Life of the Law | Part of the Life of the Law series | 20:22

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When I first meet Frank Abramovitz, he’s wearing a leather Harley Davidson hat and jeans that are a little too short. He has bright blue eyes and a gold hoop in his ear. He’s 75 years old, and he’s the first bounty hunter I’ve ever met. “They call me the Bear,” Frank tells me.“Cuz I put a couple guys through a door one night and after that everybody called me the Bear.”

Before Frank, the only bounty hunter I’d ever heard of was that guy Dog, with his own TV show. But Frank says Dog’s a jackass and a phony. Frank has a lot of strong opinions. So first, a little background on bounty hunting: bounty hunters like Frank get cases from a bondsman.

They try to find fugitives who have jumped bail. They often work with the police. But once he’s on a case, Frank can actually do a lot of stuff the police can’t do. “We don’t have to read you your rights,” says Frank. “I can go into church and take you out, if you’re in the synagogue I can take you out. I can kick your doors in at 1, 2, 3 o’clock in the morning.”

I’m supposed to be here for a sit down interview with Frank. But instead, I end up following Frank and four other agents around until 5 in the morning. We’re looking for some guy named Neil. Neil’s wanted for criminal threatening and disorderly conduct.

A lot of fugitives list false addresses on their paperwork, which means bounty hunters do a lot of snooping around. They talk to prostitutes, hit up corner stores, question barbers. They look for the fugitive’s friends and family. But Frank says they often find more information online. I watch Frank click through every thing Neil’s ever posted on Facebook.

Once they have a good idea of where someone might be, the agents stakeout the house. We spend a lot of time watching curtains twitch and wondering if it might mean anything. After a while, we raid the building. That often means searching the place. According to Frank, “I don’t care if you hide in the ceiling, we’re gonna find you. We’ve pulled them out of washing machines. We’ve pulled them out from underneath closets. We pulled a guy out of Hudson, NH out of a chimney.” He says they don’t mind showing up on holidays, even arresting people during Christmas dinner. Frank once arrested a fugitive during the guy’s own wedding.

But despite all this effort, the business isn’t that profitable. Frank tells me that bounty hunters only make 10% of the fugitive’s bail. On Neil’s case, for example, their cut is $80. For five agents, that’s about $16 apiece. And I watch them track this guy for over 15 hours. Per person, it pans out to about a dollar an hour. And that’s not even counting all the money we spend on coffee.

So if it’s not the money, why are the agents putting all this time into searching criminal’s bedrooms? Over and over again, I get the same answer: to keep people safe. “You’re off the road, you’re going to jail, see you later,” explains Jeff Dumensil. He’s at work even though he has some broken ribs right now. “I want to scare the shit out of you because I don’t want you doing it again.”

I keep asking the agents if they ever feel bad for the people they’re hunting. Because you end up learning all sorts of intimate details about these people in bad situations. I know that Neil loves rap music. I know his mom rolls her own cigarettes and watches “Cops.” I know that his girlfriend has struggled with drug addiction, that she worked as a prostitute. And the agents agree that not all the fugitives are bad people.

Some of them even send Frank Christmas cards after they’ve been arrested. But none of the agents feel guilty. Frank says that after a while, you just hear the same stories over and over again. “We don’t believe them anymore. We know the routine.”

Robert Laflamme is the newest member of the team. He’s the only one who says he hasn’t hit that point yet. “The adrenaline was nice and everything,” says Rob about his first arrest, “and I actually kind of felt bad because when we went in, there was little kids there. And I was like apologetic about how we came in, how we were walking in front of the little kid, and she wasn’t understanding. So it’s hard. For me.”

And it’s even harder because Rob grew up here, in Manchester. “I do know a lot of people,” he says, “and when I walk in, I know the people that live in the apartment that know the kid we’re going after.” Because of the crowd he used to hang out with, Rob has no doubt that before long he’ll have to arrest a friend.

But even though some parts are hard, when we’re on the stakeout, Rob says he already thinks of the other agents like a family. At the end of the day, Rob goes back home to his kids. But Frank often stays at the office, and just sleeps on the couch by his desk. His family is mostly gone now.

Before he took on fugitive recovery, Frank was a cop. So he has a history with, as he puts it, “taking the scum off the streets.” But Frank’s commitment to the business is about more than catching criminals.

For 22 years, Frank was married to a woman named Athena. Here are some things that happened in that time: they threw huge parties, ate a lot of Greek food, rode around on Frank’s motorcycle. Athena regularly called Frank on his bullshit. Frank decided Athena was the love of his life.

For a long time, Athena owned a beauty shop. And then she just got sick of it. She got a bad infection on her hands from some toxic hair dye. She was tired of doing dead people’s hair for funerals. So she decided to get into the bounty hunting business.

Athena owned the agency from 1970 until 1984. But one day, Athena’s doctor called Frank into his office and offered him a drink. He said he didn’t want a drink. He said what’s wrong with my wife? The doctor told him Athena had ovarian cancer. She died a year later. Frank couldn’t let Athena’s business die too, and that’s why he became a bounty hunter.

After his wife, Frank lost a daughter as well. He has two other kids, but he doesn’t really talk to them. He says they don’t need him anymore, now that they have money. Most of what’s important to Frank comes back to the office. He still thinks of it as his wife’s business. He calls Jeff his adopted son. And Frank doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon: “The day I quit,” he says, “is the day I’m gonna die.”

The agents do eventually catch Neil, the guy we’ve been looking for—but not till a couple days later, after I’m gone. The day I visit, the team goes home sleepy and empty-handed. I drive home at sunrise. It’s all very poetic.

I’m tempted to make some grand statement here, something about a man who lost everyone important to him and now spends all his time looking for strangers. But maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe it is just about making the streets safer. Or hanging out with people you think are fun. Maybe the only lesson here is that you shouldn’t jump bail in the state of New Hampshire.

“We don’t stop, that’s the problem,” says Jeff. “We’re going after you. We’re looking for you. We’re going to your parents’ house, we’re going to your girlfriend’s house, we’re looking for you everywhere.

You don’t want to be messing with us. Cuz we’ll getcha. We always do.”

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.

Interrogators Without Pliers

From Matt Thompson | 27:31

Why torture doesn't work. How to trick the enemy into revealing secrets. Lessons from the Master Interrogator of the Luftwaffe. The British Police use of empathy as a weapon. With Ali Soufan, ex FBI special agent and interrogator.

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 The Chinese strategist and philospher Sun Tzu wrote in 'The Art of War' that 'If you know others and know yourself you will win a hundred battles.'  Which is obviously good advice but finding out about the 'other' is not straightforward.  What if they don't want to talk and share their secrets with you? 

Much of the debate about the interrogation of suspects in America's War on Terror has been about whether the methods used, such as waterboarding, could be described as torture.  In this programme Julian Putkowski sets aside all moral questions and instead thinks about efficiency.  What is the most effective way to extract high quality information out of the enemy, the other.

If we are civil to our captives might we get them to cooperate?  What if we could get as much – or even more – information in exchange for a lot less pain?

Julian's unlikey role model is the Master Interrogator of the Luftwaffe Hanns Scharff. He gently extracted information from downed US fighter pilots by being friendly and never appearing to show interest when a new piece of the mosaic fell into place. Scharff summed it up as  'a display of information and persuasion appealing to common sense'.

We do not know for sure where the Scharff technique came from originally.   But it may have been from a colourful German fighter ace, Franz von Werra.  He had been downed and captured by the British and interrogated by the RAF. He had been expecting rough handling but found his captors were rather genial chaps and harsh treatment was the exception to the rule. He later escaped and made it back to Germany. One of his first trips was to Dulag Luft where he sat in on interrogations.  He was horrified at how superficial, even farcical the interrogations were. He said: 'I would rather be interrogated by half a dozen German inquisitors than 1 RAF expert.'  His recommendations were personally approved by Hermann Goering.

Julian interviews: Dr Gavin Oxburgh, at the University of Teeside, UK who is  an international expert on police questioning.

Ali Soufan, an FBI special agent and author of 'The Black Banners.'

Claudius Scharff, Hanns son, who tells us about trips to the zoo and shows us a fascinating 'visitor's book' Hanns got the POW's to sign.

 

 

 

 

Measured by Mistakes: The Reality and Representation of Policing

From WFHB | Part of the Interchange series | 57:53

Tonight’s program seeks to shine a light first on what’s been called the “militarization” of police across the country due to something like a federal “give away” program where state and local forces are made the beneficiaries of excess military production (the "1033 Program"). We’ll also try to detach that reality from the “on the ground” aspects of being a police officer in a community. And finally, I’ll ask our guests to answer one question: Which should we want, officers of the law or officers of the peace?

Badge-wo-tagline_small Tonight’s program seeks to shine a light first on what’s been called the “militarization” of police across the country due to something like a federal “give away” program where state and local forces are made the beneficiaries of excess military production (the "1033 Program"). We’ll also try to detach that reality from the “on the ground” aspects of being a police officer in a community. And finally, I’ll ask our guests to answer one question: Which should we want, officers of the law or officers of the peace?

Joining us tonight are Monroe County Sheriff James Kennedy who has held that elected office since 2007, and Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Greg Jeffers whose research focuses on police-citizen interactions and resident’s perceptions of the police.

Reveal for May 2015

From Reveal | 58:59

Program audio arrives May 7 for air window open May 9-June 12, 2015.

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In this episode, 
Reveal continues its in-depth look at law and disorder:

  • we expose some of the tensions between police and the communities they serve, and how video cameras are dramatically changing the public's relationship with law enforcement. 
  • In Washington, D.C., we examine why there’s been a huge increase in the number of people charged with assaulting a police officer. We team up with WAMU and American University to examine three years of court cases, and find that the people being charged are the ones who normally end up in the hospital. 
  • We also explore what happens when police and communities keep an eye on each other. Officers patrol the streets watching for crime, but now citizens are using video cameras to monitor police. We tag along with cop watchers in Texas.
  • And citizens aren’t the only ones getting into the game, we investigate the consequences of private companies storing evidence captured by cop body cams.
  • Finally, we look back and talk to the man who some say pioneered citizen journalism when he recorded the Los Angeles police beating of Rodney King in 1991.

 

DIGITAL ASSETS
Access digital assets by CLICKING HERE. ALL assets except for specifically marked social media copy are embargoed until 12:01amPT/3:01amET, Saturday, May 9. Help or questions? Contact Meghann Farnsworth at mfarnsworth-at-cironline-dot.org

NEW: Reveal Host Promos

 script promos for station hosts to read ( :20 of copy)

LEAD STORY >>

Coming up on REVEAL…In Washington D.C., being charged with “Assaulting a Police Officer” can mean something else entirely. A joint investigation with WAMU and American University examined three years of court cases to find out what happens in D.C. when someone is charged with 'assaulting a police officer.' The result is often more than an arrest: the suspect frequently lands in the hospital.That story and much more coming up on REVEAL from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, here on ___________.

COP WATCH (B1) >>

Coming up on REVEAL…What happens when police and communities keep an eye on each other? Officers patrol the streets watching for crime, but now citizens are using video cameras to monitor police. The Reveal team tags along with cop watchers in Texas.That story and much more coming up on REVEAL, from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, here on ___________.

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GEORGE HOLLIDAY (C2) >>

Coming up on REVEAL…24 years ago, one man found himself recording a disturbing event that would play over and over on newscasts across the country. Reveal talks to the man who some say pioneered citizen journalism when he caught the Los Angeles police beating of Rodney King in 1991. That story and much more coming up on REVEAL, from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, here on ___________.

The Reason in the Riot

From BackStory with the American History Guys | Part of the BackStory with the American History Guys: Favorites series | 10:24

Brian Balogh speaks with former Senator Fred Harris about the commission convened by President Lyndon Johnson in the dark days of the 1967 Detroit riots, and their surprising conclusions about police and protesters

Police-blurb-photo-300x239_small Brian Balogh speaks with former Senator Fred Harris about the commission convened by President Lyndon Johnson in the dark days of the 1967 Detroit riots, and their surprising conclusions about police and protesters

Bodily Safety: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Police Shootings

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

Ta-Nehisi Coates' friend from Howard University was shot and killed by police in Virginia back in 2000. Written in the form of a letter to his own teenage son, Coates’ book "Between the World and Me" puts police shootings in a wider context. Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke as part of the Lannan Foundation's Pursuit of Cultural Freedom Series.

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When journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates set out to write about police killings he went to visit Mable Jones. Back in 2000, Jones’ son, a friend of Coates from their time at Howard University, was shot and killed by police in Virginia. He was twenty five years old. Written in the form of a letter to his own teenage son, Coates’ book "Between the World and Me" puts police shootings in a wider context.

Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke as part of the Lannan Foundation's Pursuit of Cultural Freedom Series.