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Playlist: POLICING

Compiled By: Erika McGinty

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POLICING

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.

Building Mainstreets and Re-Thinking Law Enforcement

From Smart City Radio | 59:32

This week on Smart City, Criminologist David Kennedy tells us how a new way of thinking about law enforcement is driving violent crime out of neighborhoods. And we'll talk about neighborhoods on the mend with Yavocka Young of Mainstreet Anacostia.

Default-piece-image-0 This week on the show, we're digging into the issue of urban crime with our guest David Kennedy.  David is a criminologist and professor at the John Jay College in New York, but his field work in troubled neighborhoods has revolutionized law enforcement, and made cities safer.

And, with the economy tanking and retail especially taking a hit, we'll find out how one neighborhood is working to bring small business to their main street.  Yavocka Young of Main Street Anacostia is our guest. 

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;

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.

Alleged Illegal Searches

From HowSound | 21:55

Criminal justice reporter Ailsa Chang on her duPont-Columbia award winning story for WNYC.

Howsoundfinallarge_small

Ailsa Chang is relatively new to reporting and boy-oh-boy did she hit the ground running. A year or so after Ailsa began reporting for WNYC in New York City, she won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award for her two-part series "Alleged Illegal Searches by NYPD May Be Increasing Marijuana Arrests." In fact, Ailsa says the series was her first-ever investigative story.

On this edition of HowSound, Ailsa shares her approach to reporting the criminal justice beat in New York City. In short: make connections,  confirm everything you can, be prepared to sit for long hours in court, make more connections, and report the truth.

By the way, Ailsa recently left WNYC. You may start hearing her voice on signature NPR programs reporting on economics from New York City.

Cheers, Rob

Crime

From Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow- Phil Mariage | Part of the Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow series | 29:00

Crime is discussed between the older, middle and younger generations.

Ytt-300x300_small Crime is in the news everyday in every city. This is a discussion reflecting the perspectives held by the older,, middle and younger generations on the nature and impact of crime. Crime itself has not changed and for the most part affects each generation the same way, but things like identity theft, incarceration and drugs are perceived in different ways with each passing generation. My guests are from the Arkansas Crime Infomation Center and part of our discussion deals with the Sex Offender Registry.

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.

Holding the Police Accountable

From Prairie Public | Part of the Why? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life series | 54:00

Host Jack Russell Weinstein visits with Samuel Walker, Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice.

Walker_small Samuel Walker has spent his career asking who polices the police. His books and paper titles read like a laundry list of horror stories – police abuse of teenage girls, the unsuccessful nature of police “sweeps” – but he also expresses an optimism about community influence and citizen involvement. On today’s episode, we dive headfirst into the controversial and complicated world of law enforcement

Boston Marathon Bomb Attack ( Updated Sat. April 20 Version)

From Paul Fischer | Part of the What's the Frequency, Kenneth? a newsical series series | 58:31

A review of the terror attack.. and subsequent events including Thurs. overnight police firefight with suspects, Boston lockdown Friday, suspect in custody Friday night and Pres. Obama on remaining questions....told entirely through actualities and music

Default-piece-image-0 This can be used as a stand alone program or as part of the weekly series "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" which airs/streams on a number of public radio stations around the country.

Standardized SWAT: How US Police Forces Have Come to Resemble the Military

From WFHB | Part of the Standing Room Only series | 55:17

Radley Balko's new book “Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces” explains how various factors and ill-advised policies have led to the US government arming and training local police forces to be more like a soldier, and less like the traditional concept of a cop.

Badge-wo-tagline_small

Radley Balko is an award winning investigative journalist for The Huffington Post, former senior editor for Reason Magazine and IU Alumnus. His new book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces explains how various factors and ill-advised policies have led to the US government arming and training local police forces to be more like a soldier, and less like the traditional concept of a cop. He returned to IU on September 26th, at the request of student Libertarian group Young Americans for Liberty, to speak to a crowd about the militarization of domestic police and his new book. This talk was recorded live-on-location, at Woodburn Hall, for Standing Room Only on WFHB.

Drone practice above Upstate New York

From North Country Public Radio | 07:01

Drones, or unmanned aircraft, are making headlines for their controversial attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan…and for how they could be used for surveillance in our own country. The Air Force already flies its premier attack drone, the MQ-9 Reaper, over parts of Upstate New York, including the Adirondack Mountains, for training purposes. David Sommerstein reports on the balance between military training and a creepy “eye in the sky”.

Img_5009_small There's been a lot of news lately about the Obama Administration's use of drones, or unmanned military aircraft, to kill alleged terrorists. Critics have said the attacks violate international law and have also killed many civilians. Drones will likely be a major topic in confirmation hearings for John Brennan to be the next head of the CIA.

The drones that fly over Afghanistan are often piloted by people sitting in suburban Syracuse, NY. Those pilots train by flying high over Upstate New York, including the Adirondack Mountains.  North Country Public Radio's David Sommerstein reports on the fine line between military training and a creepy "eye in the sky".


Life of the Law (Series)

Produced by Life of the Law

Most recent piece in this series:

Life of the Law Shorts #30 Trouble With Profiling"

From Life of the Law | Part of the Life of the Law series | 04:40

Ep30_jude_photo1_small

This is a story about looking for something, without exactly looking for it.

Ismael Ramos in front of Lake Pleasant on the Olympic Peninsula this year.

Ismael Ramos in front of Lake Pleasant on the Olympic Peninsula this year.

A few years ago, Ismael Ramos and some friends were riding along a two-lane highway on the Olympic Peninsula. The peninsula is in Washington State, but right near the Canadian border.

It was the summer before Ramos’ senior year of high school, and his friend’s dad was driving them to rent tuxedos for a quinceañera party. A quinceañera is a kind of Latin American “Sweet 16” for 15-year old girls.

As they were driving, they passed a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle–a white SUV with a green stripe–stopped by the side of the highway.

Ramos remembered joking about it at first: “You know, truck full of Mexican kids, he is probably going to start following us.”

Then a little while later, they passed another Border Patrol vehicle. This time the car pulled a U-turn and started driving right behind them.

 

Washington’s Olympic Peninsula where Ismael Ramos lives.

Washington’s Olympic Peninsula where Ismael Ramos lives.

“We weren’t acting suspicious in any way, clearly we didn’t have anything with us,” Ramos said. “So I mean there was just no reason for them to pull us over.”

But the agent did pull them over. He came up to the car, and then another Border Patrol car drove up.

“[The agent] said turn off the truck and so the driver did,” Ramos said. “And then he reached in and tried to take the keys out of the ignition, and he couldn’t, so the driver took them out and handed them to him.”

Then, as Ramos remembers it, the agent started asking where they were born. He wanted to see IDs from everyone, even though one of the kids was only 13.

The agent didn’t say why he had stopped them, but Ramos thinks he knows.

“I’ve got black hair,” he said. “I’m kind of like a light brown skin tone, I’m not really brown-brown, but I mean you can tell that I am a Hispanic.”

Ramos was born in Washington State, and like everyone born in the United States, he is an American citizen. In fact, there was only one person in the car–the driver–who wasn’t born in the US, and he is a legal permanent resident. The whole scenario made Ramos angry.

“I am just as American as you are, I was born and raised here,” Ramos said. “And so, why should I be the only one that has to be questioned? Or why is my ethnicity the one that has to stick out compared to everybody else?”

Ismael was stopped by a Border Patrol vehicle in Washington state that looked like this one, seen in Nogales, Ariz. Credit: Jude Joffe-Block

Ismael was stopped by a Border Patrol vehicle in Washington state that looked like this one, seen in Nogales, Ariz.
Credit: Jude Joffe-Block

The Rules

Federal law enforcement agents–such as those from the FBI, the DEA, and Customs and Border Protection–are forbidden from using race or ethnicity as a reason to suspect a certain person might be breaking the law.

The guidelines, however, do include some exceptions for border and national security, and in “exceptional instances,” but it’s not clear what counts as ‘exceptional instances.’

Hipolito Acosta, a retired Department of Homeland Security official and former Border Patrol agent who is Mexican-American, said that as a teenager living on the Texas border, he was stopped and questioned by border agents. These days, he says, there’s much less profiling along the border.

Still, he said, it is hard to keep racial or ethnic appearance completely out of border enforcement. “Let’s be real,” he said. “When we have the entrants coming in from the Southern border, the great, great majority are of Latin descent, whether they are Mexicans or Central Americans. Is that going to be considered? Of course it is going to be considered.”

In fiscal 2013 (October 2012-September 2013), the U.S. Border Patrol made more than 420,000 apprehensions of people  coming into this country illegally. For years now, more than half the people caught coming in have been Mexican, and most of the rest were Central American.

And that raises the big question: if the Border Patrol’s job is to find and catch people coming into the country illegally, and most of the people who cross the border without papers are Latin American, should border agents be allowed to stop people because they look Latino?

In 1975, the Supreme Court said yes, as long as Mexican appearance isn’t the only reason for the stop. The case was USA v Brignoni-Ponce . Two years earlier, in March 1973, Felix Humberto Brignoni-Ponce had been driving two undocumented passengers along a highway north of San Diego. Brignoni-Ponce was Puerto Rican, and therefore a US citizen; one of his passengers was Mexican, the other Guatemalan. The Border Patrol stopped the car, and arrested Brignoni-Ponce for human smuggling.

Brignoni-Ponce fought the case, arguing that the stop was illegal; the Border Patrol agent admitted that the only reason he pulled over the car was because the people in it looked Mexican.

John Cleary, the federal public defender who represented Brignoni-Ponce before the Supreme Court, argued that that logic–pulling somebody over to investigate immigration status because they, or their passengers look Mexican–is just plain racist.

“Can they say that a person who appears to be of Mexican descent in the area of Southern California contiguous with the Republic of Mexico constitute some rational basis, reasonable suspicion that that person is an alien?” Cleary asked in his oral argument. “I would contend if such ever was the case that would be rank racism.”

Cleary also mocked the government’s assumptions that agents can recognize Mexican citizens by their grooming habits and other stereotypes. “You contest because they have coarse hands, that they wear coarse clothes, they have their haircut in a certain way,” he said. To hit home his point about the absurdity of it all, he added, “I’ve had my haircut once or twice in Tijuana.”

The deputy solicitor general Andrew Frey, who represented the U.S. government in the case, argued that agents should have broad discretion to question anyone they want in the border region, because they have the difficult job of securing the border.

“Suppose that a Border Patrol car is driving along the road and it sees a car drive by,” Frey said to the justices. “Six persons who appear to be Mexicans and I think that to ask the officer to ignore that fact would be to ignore the reasonableness requirement of the Fourth Amendment.”

The Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable search and seizure. But it does let law enforcement agents stop a car, if they have a reasonable suspicion—that they can back up with specific facts–that something illegal is happening.

The Court voted unanimously in favor of Brignoni-Ponce. But in its opinion, written by Justice Lewis Powell, the Court decided that Border Patrol agents may use “Mexican appearance” when they decide whom to pull over, as long as that isn’t the only factor.

“The likelihood that any given person of Mexican ancestry is an alien is high enough to make Mexican appearance a relevant factor, but, standing alone, it does not justify stopping all Mexican-Americans to ask if they are aliens,” Powell wrote.

Kevin Johnson, the dean of the UC Davis School of Law, has studied racial profiling extensively. He said the Supreme Court’s opinion looked like it limited the use of race in border stops, but instead it did the opposite.

“Some would say that it helped to institutionalize the consideration of race in immigration enforcement,” he said, “in a way that isn’t consistent with modern constitutional sensibilities.”

In any case, demographics, especially along the border, have changed dramatically since the Supreme Court decided Brignoni-Ponce. Latinos now make up more than 16 percent of the population, and the vast majority are in the US legally.

In fact, since 1975, lower courts have tried to find different ways to update the Supreme Court’s opinion. In 2000, for example, in a case called USA vs. Montero-Camargo, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that in areas like Southern California with large Latino populations, “Hispanic appearance is of little or no use in determining which particular individuals among the vast Hispanic populace should be stopped by law enforcement officials on the lookout for illegal aliens.” In other words, when there are a lot of Hispanic people around, it doesn’t make sense to stop people because they look Hispanic.

The 9th Circuit Court also wrote that stops based on race or ethnicity, “send a clear message that those who are not white enjoy a lesser degree of constitutional protection – that they are in effect assumed to be potential criminals first and individuals second.”

But even that answer is not cut and dry. Six years later, a panel of judges from the same Circuit said that in parts of the jurisdiction with only a few Latinos, it is okay to consider Latino appearance as one reason in the calculus for making an immigration stop.

On Patrol

I wanted to get a feel for how the Border Patrol does its job, so I took a ride with agent Peter Bidegain, the spokesman for the agency’s Tucson office.

We drove along the border fence and on back roads in Southern Arizona. Around this part of the border, agents mostly stop people walking through the desert, whom they suspect of having crossed the border illegally. But agents can also stop cars, as long as they have reason to suspect something criminal is going on, which usually means drug or human smuggling.

“The vehicle may be coming out of an area where you have historically had a lot of smuggling,” Bidegain said. “It may be coming out of an area where a vehicle normally isn’t in that area, the vehicle may be too clean for an area, it may be too dirty for an area, it is not really one set thing, it is just kind of a whole set of circumstances that you can articulate.”

That all may sound vague. But that’s because more and more, the U.S. Supreme Court has been granting law enforcement broad discretion in deciding what facts justify a stop.

In USA v. Arvizu in 2002 , for example, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision to throw out a stop where a Border Patrol agent had relied on seemingly innocent factors to justify pulling over a car. (It turned out the driver was, in fact, smuggling marijuana.) Among the reasons the agent cited for making the stop was that the driver slowed down and didn’t make eye contact when he spotted the agent, and that the children in the backseat waved in an odd way. In its decision, the Supreme Court said that border agents could rely on factors–such as the children’s waving, for example–that wouldn’t be suspicious on their own, but that, taken together, could seem suspicious.

“Basically it gives [the agents] a green light to consider whatever they want to consider in making an immigration stop,” said Kevin Johnson of UC Davis School of Law. Because agents have so much room to decide when to make a stop, he said, it looks like agents aren’t using race as a reason to stop people. But really, he thinks it’s just harder to tell what is really motivating a stop.

“The court, by not creating any bright line rules, and by giving great discretion to the Border Patrol officers, has made it increasingly difficult to really make sure and eliminate racial bias from entering into immigration stops.”

All of which is little comfort to Latino citizens like Ismael Ramos, who is still puzzled about why–depending how the law is interpreted–Border Patrol agents can legally consider his ethnicity suspicious.

“I live in a border area, but it is the Canadian border, not the Mexican border,” Ramos said. “So don’t you think, you know, they should try to be looking for some Canadian illegal immigrants?”

Ramos was part of a lawsuit that the American Civil Liberties Union and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project brought against Border Patrol , accusing them of making unfair stops in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Border Patrol denied they’d done anything wrong. But in 2013, as part of a settlement, the agency agreed to share data about its stops in the area . The agency also agreed to provide local agents with a refresher course on the Fourth Amendment.

Meanwhile, though, more and more local police forces across the country have begun doing immigration-related enforcement, which means more agencies need to figure out what’s legal patrolling and what’s illegal discrimination.

Professor Jon Gould , American University was an advising scholar on this story.

Further Reading:

Updating Brignoni-Ponce: A Critical Analysis of Race-Based Immigration Enforcement
NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy
Kristin Connor

How Racial Profiling Became the ‘Law of the Land’: United States v. Brignoni-Ponce and Whren v. United States and the Need for Rebellious Lawyering
Social Science Research Network
Kevin Johnson

U.S. Border Patrol settles racial profiling case, will share stop records
Associated Press
Manuel Valdes

Judge Finds Legal Errors In ICE Training
Fronteras Desk
Jude Joffe-Block

Angry Judge Says Sheriff Defied Order on Latinos
New York Times
Fernanda Santos