MetroFocus: April 21, 2021

CHAUVIN JURY DELIVERS JUSTICE

Guilty on all charges. That was the verdict from the Minneapolis jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. The verdict came after just 10 hours of deliberations, and after prosecutors told jurors to quote “believe your eyes.” In Minneapolis and throughout the country, anxious anticipation turned into relief and tears of joy. Including here in New York, where people gathered across the city and marched peacefully to celebrate the verdict. President Joe Biden and Vice President Harris spoke to the nation, and urged Congress to pass the bill drafted in George Floyd’s name. The question, what now? Will this verdict be a turning point in justice for Black Americans? Tonight, we get reaction and analysis from Santita Jackson, morning drive host and producer of the syndicated “Santita Jackson Show” which airs on the largest progressive talk radio station in Minnesota, and from Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor and adjunct professor of clinical law at NYU’s School Of Law.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION, AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

> GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES.

THAT WAS THE VERDICT FROM A MINNEAPOLIS JURY IN THE TRIAL OF DEREK CHAUVIN FOR THE MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD.

THE VERDICT CAME AFTER JUST 10 HOURS OF DELIBERATIONS AND AFTER PROSECUTORS TOLD JURORS TO, QUOTE, BELIEVE YOUR EYES.

IN MINNEAPOLIS AND THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, ANXIOUS ANTICIPATION TURNED INTO RELIEF AND TEARS OF JOY.

INCLUDING HERE IN NEW YORK, WHERE PEOPLE GATHERED ACROSS THE CITY AND MARCHED PEACEFULLY TO CELEBRATE THE VERDICT.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS SPOKE TO THE NATION AND URGED CONGRESS TO PASS THE BILL DRAFTED IN GEORGE FLOYD'S NAME.

BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS, NOW WHAT?

WILL THE VERDICT BE THE TURNING POINT IN JUSTICE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS?

OR WILL THIS EXCEEDINGLY RARE CONVICTION REMAIN JUST THAT, RARE?

SO JOINING US TONIGHT WITH REACTION AND ANALYSIS ARE CENTITA JACKSON, 'MONEY DRIVE' HOST AND PRODUCER OF 'CENTITA JACKSON SHOW' WHICH AIRS ON THE LARGEST TALK RADIO STATION IN MINNESOTA.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU, A JOY TO BE HERE.

WE'RE ALSO JOINED BY A FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR AND ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF CLINICAL LAW AT NYU'S SCHOOL OF LAW, JENNIFER, WELCOME BACK TO THE SHOW.

SO JENNIFER, I'D LIKE TO START WITH YOU.

AND ONCE WE ALL, OF COURSE, HEARD GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES, THERE WERE SOME PEOPLE WHO WERE STILL A LITTLE BIT CONFUSED ABOUT THE LEGAL PROCESS AND HOW IS IT THAT ONE PERSON CAN BE CONVICTED ON THREE DIFFERENT CHARGES OF MURDER?

I'M WONDERING IF YOU CAN GIVE US A QUICK EXPLANATION FOR LEGALLY HOW THAT WORKS.

SOMEONE CAN BE CHARGED WITH EACH CRIME FOR WHICH THE ELEMENTS ARE MET.

AND SO THERE ARE DIFFERENT ELEMENTS FOR EACH OF THE THREE CRIMES OF WHICH DEREK CHAUVIN WAS CONVICTED.

IT WILL MEAN THAT AT SENTENCING, HE WON'T BE SENTENCED CONSECUTIVELY ON ALL THREE CHARGES.

SO IN OTHER WORDS, HE WON'T SERVE THE TIME FOR EACH OF THEM ONE AFTER THE OTHER, LIKE THEY'RE ALL STACKED TOGETHER.

HE INSTEAD WILL BE SENTENCED BASED ON THE TOP COUNT, WHICH IS MURDER TWO.

BUT WHAT IT GIVES, IT GIVES THE JURY THE ABILITY TO CHOOSE WHETHER OR NOT THE PROSECUTORS HAD MADE OUT THE MOST SERIOUS CASE THEY'VE CHARGED HERE, MURDER TWO, OR WHETHER, IN FACT, THEY ONLY REACHED THE ELEMENTS OF MANSLAUGHTER.

SO IT GIVES THEM SOME OPTIONS THERE.

THAT'S WHY PROSECUTORS CHARGE IT THAT WAY.

AND OF COURSE, WE ALSO HAVE SOME I GUESS PERHAPS BREAKING NEWS TO ADD TO THIS, AND THAT IS THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE AN INVESTIGATION GOING INTO HOW POLICING IS HANDLED IN MINNESOTA.

THAT'S RIGHT.

SO A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, MERRICK GARLAND ANNOUNCED THAT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WOULD REVERSE A TRUMP-ERA POLICY OF NOT ENTERING INTO CONSENT DECREES WITH LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS.

SO DERRICK GARLAND SAID THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS NOW BACK IN THE BUSINESS OF OVERSEEING LOCAL POLICING AND MAKING SURE IT COMPLIES WITH CITIZENS' CIVIL RIGHTS.

TODAY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCED, IN FACT, THEY ARE GOING TO BE INVESTIGATING MINNEAPOLIS SPECIFICALLY TO SEE WHETHER THERE IS EXCESSIVE FORCE USED THERE AS A SYSTEMIC MATTER, AND LIKELY THEY WILL ENTER INTO SOME SORT OF CONSENT DECREE WHEREBY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT WILL HAVE TO BE OVERSEEN BY FEDERAL AUTHORITIES TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE TRAINING AND IMPLEMENTING THAT TRAINING IN THE RIGHT WAY.

THAT GIVES US A SENSE OF AT LEAST LEGALLY WHAT HAPPENED, AND LEGALLY WHAT'S MIGHT BE HAPPENING.

CENTITA, I WANT TO BRING YOU IN AND GET A SENSE OF THE EMOTION OF THE DAY.

IT WAS ONE OF THOSE RARE MOMENTS WHERE I THINK PEOPLE WILL REMEMBER WHERE THEY WERE, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOW THEY FELT GOING INTO THE READING OF THAT VERDICT.

IT WAS SHOCKING, ACTUALLY.

TEN HOURS OF DELIBERATIONS?

AND SO I HAD THE FEELING, JENNA AND JENNIFER, THAT IT WAS A GUILTY VERDICT.

POLITICALLY, I THINK THAT AMERICA, BECAUSE THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING, AMERICA COULD HAVE WITHSTOOD NOT GUILTY ON ANY OF THE COUNTS.

BECAUSE THE EVIDENCE WAS SO OVERWHELMING.

AND YET FOR MINNESOTANS IN PARTICULAR, PARTICULARLY THOSE BLACK AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND LATINX PEOPLE IN MINNEAPOLIS, ST. PAUL, BROOKLYN CENTER, THERE WAS OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE, UNDERWHELMING FAITH IN THE SYSTEM, UNTIL YESTERDAY.

UNTIL YESTERDAY.

YESTERDAY, THE CITY, MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, THE FOURTH-WORST CITY FOR BLACK PEOPLE TO LIVE IN, ACCORDING TO THE METRICS OF THE U.S. CENSUS DATA, THEY FEEL THAT THERE'S A NEW DAY, PERHAPS.

YOU GOT A CHANCE TO SEE A POLICE CHIEF, AIR REN DONE DOUGH, W ACTUAL SUED THE POLICE DEPARTMENT TO YOUR POINT, SUED THEM FOR RACIST PRACTICES.

AS HE WAS ABLE TO MOVE UP THE RANKS, HE ALSO IS HELPING TO CHANGE THE CULTURE.

THUS WE SAW SO MANY PEOPLE BREAKING THE BLUE WALL, RIGHT?

THEN WE SEE THE FRUITION OF SPIKE MOSS' WORK.

WHO IS SPIKE MOSS?

ONE OF THESE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND YOU DON'T KNOW WHO'S BEEN ORGANIZING FOR 50 YEARS.

PRINCE KNEW HIM ARE HE WOULD PUT PRINCE IN TALLY SHOWS.

JIMMY JAM AND TERRY LEWIS KNEW HIM, HE PUT THEM IN UP OR DOWN PROGRAMS BECAUSE THEY WERE GOING TO BE ENGINEERS, IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT.

ON AND ON AND ON.

THEN REVEREND JERRY McAFEE, WHO'S BEEN MEN CHERRING KEITH ELLISON, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE.

YOU HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE ON THE GROUND WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING EVEN UP AGAINST THESE VERY, VERY DIFFICULT CONDITIONS.

WE THINK OF -- THEY KEPT TALKING ABOUT EMMETT TILL YESTERDAY, AND I THINK THAT WAS VERY STRIKING FOR ALL OF US.

EVEN THOUGH NONE OF US WERE ALIVE AT THAT TIME, WHO CAN FORGET HIS MOTHER, WHO CAN FORGET HIS FACE?

THAT IS WHERE THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER BEGINS.

SO THIS BOY WHO WAS LYNCHED IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA AND THIS MAN WHO ESSENTIALLY WAS LYNCHED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, THAT ANALOGY WAS NOT LOST ON ANYONE.

AND SO THAT WAS -- WHEN YOU TALK TO PEOPLE IN MINNESOTA TODAY, AND I TALKED TO PEOPLE IN MINNESOTA YESTERDAY, AND THEY WERE CRYING.

THEY SAID, I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE IT.

WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS FOR DECADES.

WE'VE BEEN FIGHTING.

WE'VE BEEN CALLING.

WE'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR POLICE REFORM.

WE'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR SOME DAYLIGHT.

AND I THINK THAT NOW THEY BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE IT.

BUT THE VERDICT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE CULTURE HAS COMPLETELY TURNED.

AND THAT IS WHERE THE WORK IS GOING TO HAVE TO HAPPEN.

THAT IS WHERE THEY KNOW THAT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE LEGISLATURE TO CHANGE THE LAWS.

THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT CHIEF AIR REN DONE DOUGH TO HELP RESHAPE THE CULTURE SO THAT THE THIN BLUE LINE WILL CONTINUE TO BREAK AND JUSTICE IS DONE.

OF COURSE.

JENNIFER, GOING BACK TO YOU, BECAUSE THERE ARE GOING TO BE AT LEAST ANOTHER TRIAL, THEORETICALLY IN THE BROOKLYN CENTER AREA, I'M NOT SURE IF THEY'RE GOING TO MOVE THE TRIAL, I DON'T THINK THAT'S BEEN DETERMINED YET.

OF COURSE, THERE IS THE POSSIBLE TRIAL OF THE YOUNG MAN WHO WAS KILLED OR THE YOUNG CHILD, I SHOULD SAY, HE WAS 13, IN THE CHICAGO AREA.

AND THEN THERE IS ANOTHER CASE IN OHIO.

SO MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, DO YOU THINK PART OF THE FACT THAT NOT ONLY WAS THE WORLD WATCHING, BUT WE'VE SEEN OTHER CASES WHERE THERE WERE VIDEOTAPES.

BUT THIS TIME THE PROSECUTION LITERALLY HAD NUMEROUS POLICE OFFICERS BREAKING THAT THIN BLUE LINE TO CONDEMN WHAT HAD BEEN DONE AND SAY, THIS IS NOT PRACTICE, THIS IS NOT WHAT POLICE ARE SUPPOSED TO DO.

DO YOU THINK THAT THESE OTHER THEORETICALLY, UPCOMING TRIALS -- PROVIDED THAT IT'S DEEMED THAT ALL OF THEM WILL GO TO TRIAL -- DO THEY NEED THAT KIND OF A SLAM DUNK TO GET ANOTHER CONVICTION?

WELL, DON'T FORGET, JENNA, WE MAY HAVE THREE MORE TRIALS IN THIS MATTER.

BECAUSE THREE OTHER OFFICERS ARE STILL CHARGED WITH THE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD.

OF COURSE.

WE'LL SEE.

I SUSPECT THEY'LL TRY TO PLEAD OUT.

BUT THAT COULD BE COMING AS WELL.

HERE'S THE THING.

CASES, CRIMINAL CASES, HAVE TO RISE AND FALL ON THE FACTS OF THIS PARTICULAR CASE.

OUR SYSTEM REQUIRES THAT FOR A TRIAL TO BE FAIR TO THE DEFENDANT, YOU CAN'T BRING IN ALL THESE OVERARCHING ISSUES OF RACIAL JUSTICE AND THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO OTHER PEOPLE AT OTHER TIMES.

IT REALLY HAS TO BE ALL ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT AND WHETHER THAT MEETS THE ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME AS CHARGED.

I DO THINK THAT, TO THE EXTENT THAT PROSECUTORS ARE CHARGING POLICE OFFICERS WITH THESE CRIMES, THAT IT WILL BE VERY HELPFUL FOR THEM TO TRY TO HAVE TESTIMONY FROM FELLOW OFFICERS.

IT DOES DEMONSTRATE THAT WHATEVER THAT OFFICER DID DOES NOT HAVE THE SUPPORT OF HIS OR CHER FELLOW OFFICERS AND DOES NOT NEED THE TRAINING AND POLICIES OF THAT PARTICULAR POLICE DEPARTMENT.

AND I THOUGHT THAT WAS SOME OF THE MOST POWERFUL TESTIMONY WE SAW IN THE DEREK CHAUVIN TRIAL, WAS THAT HIS FELLOW OFFICERS WERE NOT STANDING BEHIND HIM IN THIS SOLID, SILENT BLUE LINE OF SUPPORT, BUT WERE, IN FACT, ON THE WITNESS STAND AGAINST HIM.

SO I DO THINK THAT THE PROSECUTORS SHOULD TRY TO BRING THAT SORT OF EVIDENCE WHERE THEY CAN.

I THINK IT'S VERY, VERY POWERFUL AND IMPORTANT FOR THE JURY TO HEAR THAT.

BUT AGAIN, IT'S REALLY GOING TO DEPEND ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN EACH ONE OF THESE CASES.

EVEN MAYBE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT IS THE DEVELOPMENT YOU REFERENCED, WHICH IS ALL OF THIS RECORDED EVIDENCE WE'RE SEEING.

BODY CAM FOOTAGE.

HOWS THE JURY TO SEE ACTUALLY WHAT HAPPENED.

THE FACT THAT WE HAVE BODY CAMS IS A MAJOR LEAP FORWARD IN BEING ABLE TO HOLD OFFICERS ACCOUNTABLE WHEN THEY DO SOMETHING WRONG.

WHAT WAS ALSO STRIKING, REALLY, YOU SAW THE POLICE TURN.

YOU HAVE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

NORMALLY WE'RE ON THE DEFENSE SIDE ON THIS RIGHT?

NO.

THIS WAS THE PROSECUTION THAT WAS LEADING THIS PROSECUTION.

THIS WAS THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO WAS SITTING AT THE FOREFRONT WHO WAS MASTERFULLY MARSHALING THIS CASE.

SO YOU HAVE, LIKE THE PROSECUTOR IN BALTIMORE, THE PROSECUTOR IN COOK COUNTY, YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING IN AS ATTORNEYS GENERAL WHO ARE GOING IN AS PROSECUTORS WHO ARE SAYING, YOU KNOW WHAT?

WE CAN DO THIS ANOTHER WAY.

WE CAN ACTUALLY DO THIS IN A WAY THAT IS GOING TO NOT DIMINISH THE POLICE BUT NOT DIMINISH THE CITIZENRY EITHER.

BECAUSE WE SAW THE FULL WEIGHT OF THE STATE ON GEORGE FLOYD'S SIDE.

THAT'S SO RARE.

THAT'S SO RARE.

AND YET AT THE SAME TIME, AMAKIAH BRYANT, THE YOUNG LADY KILLED LAST NIGHT -- SHE WAS A CHILD, A TEENAGER, HEM NOT ADULTIFY HER, WHO CALLED THE POLICE BECAUSE THERE WAS AN ALTERCATION TAKING PLACE IN HER FOSTER HOME.

WELL, SHE HAD A KNIFE.

YOU KNOW, THERE'S AN OLD EXPRESSION THAT YOU DON'T TAKE, WHAT, A KNIFE TO A GUNFIGHT?

WELL, YOU SHOULDN'T TAKE A GUN TO A KNIFE FIGHT EITHER.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS CHILD.

AND THEN THE POLICE WHO WERE THERE, THESE OFFICERS STARTED TAUNTING THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH 'BLUE LIVES MATTER.'

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?

WE'RE DEALING WITH A DEEP CULTURAL PROBLEM.

I THINK THAT WE'VE MADE A CRACK, BUT IT'S JUST LIKE AN ICEBERG.

WHAT YOU SEE AT THE TOP IS NOTHING COMPARED TO ALL OF THE ICE THAT'S UNDERNEATH.

BUT I THINK IT IS STILL -- STILL, WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY WAS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT.

IT WAS THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG.

IT WAS THE TIP OF THE SPEAR.

BUT IF YOU CONTINUE TO ELECT PEOPLE LIKE KEITH ELLISON, PEOPLE WHO REALLY WANT TO BALANCE THE SCALES, AND REALLY BE JUST.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO FAVOR ANYONE OVER ANYONE ELSE.

I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE CHANGE.

I THINK OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DEMAND THAT.

TENS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE MARCHING, THEY ARE RESHAPING THE WORLD IN WAYS THAT WE CANNOT EVEN IMAGINE.

JENNIFER, FOR THE POTENTIAL, LET'S SAY, OF THIS GEORGE FLOYD LEGISLATION THAT WE DID HEAR VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS BRING UP, IS THAT SOMETHING THAT'S NEEDED?

BECAUSE SO OFTEN WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THESE CASES AND WE BRING IN A LEGAL MIND, USUALLY IT'S YOU GUYS, THE LAWYERS, REMINDING US, IT DIFFERS FROM JURISDICTION TO JURISDICTION, FROM STATE TO STATE, IN TERMS OF WHAT THE RIGHTS OF POLICE OR WHAT THE LAWS AROUND POLICING ARE AND WHAT THE LAWS AROUND USE OF FORCE IS.

DOES THIS NEED TO HAVE A FEDERAL BASELINE TO AT LEAST GET EVERYONE UNDER THE SAME UMBRELLA?

AND DO YOU THINK THAT EVEN HAS A CHANCE?

WELL, IT WOULD CERTAINLY HELP.

I MEAN, THE PROBLEM WITH POLICING, LIKE SO MANY OTHER ISSUES THAT ARE TYPICALLY HANDLED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, THERE'S JUST NO WAY -- IT'S LIKE WHAC-A-MOLE.

YOU COULD TAKE ONE POLICE DEPARTMENT AT A TIME.

THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS GOING TO INVESTIGATE MINNEAPOLIS, FINE.

THEY WILL ENTER INTO A CONSENT DECREE WITH MINNEAPOLIS.

BUT THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF OTHER CITIES AROUND THE COUNTRY THAT COULD BE PROBLEMS AS WELL.

SO THE BENEFIT OF FEDERAL LEGISLATION IS TO SET A BASELINE FOR EVERYONE.

REQUIREMENTS FOR EVERYONE AS TO HOW THEY HAVE TO CONDUCT THEMSELVES AND HOW THEY HAVE TO TREAT CITIZENS.

SO IT WOULD BE A GREAT BENEFIT IN TERMS OF SETTING THAT BASELINE AND ENSURING AT LEAST SOME CONSISTENCY, OR CONSEQUENCE TO THAT IF CONSISTENCY DOESN'T HAPPEN.

WHETHER IT WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN POLITICALLY WITH THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE SPLIT AS THEY CURRENTLY ARE, I DON'T KNOW.

THAT'S MORE OF A POLITICAL ANALYST'S JOB.

IT'S GOING TO BE A TOUGH SELL, I THINK.

REPUBLICANS ARE TRADITIONALLY VERY PRO-POLICE, PRO-LAW ENFORCEMENT.

AND THEY WILL SAY, AND THERE'S SOME MERIT TO THIS, THAT THE POLICE NEED TO BE ABLE TO ACT AND SET THEIR OWN POLICIES AND CONDUCT THEMSELVES ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN CITY AND WHAT THINGS ARE LIKE ON THE GROUND AND THAT THEY SHOULDN'T BE DICTATED TO BY CONGRESS SITTING IN THE BEAUTIFUL WHITE HALLS OF THE CAPITOL IN WASHINGTON, D.C., SO FAR AWAY.

SO WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS ON THE GROUND.

I DO THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO AT LEAST TRY TO SET A BASELINE, THOUGH, GIVEN WHAT WE'VE SEEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS.

OF COURSE.

CENTITA, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, YOU MENTIONED THAT EVEN IN THIS -- THE SHOOTING THAT TOOK PLACE IN OHIO OF THIS CHILD THAT YOU MENTIONED IN FOSTER CARE, THAT THERE WERE TAUNTS OF 'BLUE LIVES MATTER' THAT WERE HAPPENING.

I CAN'T VERIFY THAT.

BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS A POSSIBILITY THAT THAT MOST LIKELY HAPPENED.

MY QUESTION TO YOU, HOWEVER, IS, WITH SO MUCH TENSION BETWEEN PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPORTIVE OF POLICE DEPARTMENTS AT ALL COSTS, WITHOUT QUESTION, AND PEOPLE WHO FEEL AS THOUGH POLICE DEPARTMENTS NEED TO BE DEFUNDED AND PUBLIC SAFETY NEEDS TO BE REIMAGINED, IS THERE ANY IN BETWEEN?

BECAUSE THERE'S BEEN SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO HAVE BROUGHT UP THAT THIS COUNTRY HAS SPENT MILLIONS AND MILLIONS ON RETRAINING AND SENSITIVITY AND UNDERSTANDING, AND YET THIS PROBLEM PERSISTS.

I THINK WE HAVE TO REALLY WORK ON THE LANGUAGING.

BECAUSE I LIVE IN THE HEART OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY.

NO ONE WANTS TO DEFUND THE POLICE.

YOU DON'T WANT TO OVERFUND THE UNDERQUALIFIED.

THE FACT IS, SOME PLACES YOU NEED A SOCIAL WORKER.

SOME PLACES YOU NEED A PSYCHIATRIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST, AS OPPOSED TO SOMEONE WHO IS GOING IN WITH GUNS BLAZING.

SO THERE'S THAT.

I THINK THAT THERE'S TREMENDOUS SUPPORT IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY AND THE BROWN COMMUNITY, INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY, LATINX COMMUNITY, VULNERABLE WOMEN IN ALL OF THAT, FOR POLICE -- LOOK, YOU WANT THE POLICE TO HAVE YOUR BACK, YOU JUST DON'T WANT THEM TO BE ON YOUR BACK.

YOU WANT TO SUPPORT POLICE DOING GOOD WORK IN GOOD WAYS.

I'M OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE GROWN UP WITH OFFICER FRIENDLY.

OFFICER FRIENDLY WAS IN THE SOMEONE THAT -- GOT AN AMEN, JENNA, AMEN.

BUT, YOU KNOW, YOU RAN TOWARD OFFICER FRIENDLY.

BECAUSE YOU KNEW THAT OFFICER FRIENDLY WAS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF YOU.

NOW WE'RE RUNNING AWAY FROM THE POLICE.

THAT IS VERY UNHEALTHY.

IT'S UNHEALTHY FOR THE POLICE, IT'S UNHEALTHY FOR THE CITIZENRY.

I THINK THAT WHAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO IS MATURE OUR CONVERSATION, MATURE OUR POLITICS, UNDERSTAND THAT WE NEED EACH OTHER.

WE HAVE TO KNOW, UNDERSTAND WHO'S SERVING WHOM.

I DON'T SERVE THE POLICE, AND I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SUBSERVIENT TO THE POLICE.

I'VE HEARD STORIES ABOUT WOMEN WHO GET PULLED OVER AT NIGHT BY THE POLICE, AND THEY DON'T HAVE A GOOD FEELING ABOUT IT.

IT'S NOT A RACIAL THING, IT'S A GENDER THING.

THEN YOU COME INTO THESE BLACK AND BROWN AND POOR COMMUNITIES, AND IT'S A RACIAL THING, BUT IT'S ALSO A MONEY THING.

YOU KNOW, A VULNERABILITY THING.

I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE A REAL CONVERSATION, BECAUSE WE'RE SUCH A YOUNG NATION, ONLY A COUPLE HUNDRED YEARS OLD.

WE'RE LOOKING AT OTHER COUNTRIES WHO ARE HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS OLD, YEARS OF AGE.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW WE MANAGE POWER.

I HAVE SOME GREAT RESPECT FOR PEOPLE WHO RUN FOR TROUBLE.

MY FIREFIGHTERS, MY POLICE, ET CETERA, MY FRONTLINE WORKERS WHO GO WHERE DISEASE IS WHILE I'M TRYING TO RUN AWAY FROM IT.

BUT I NEED YOU TO MANAGE THE POWER THAT I YIELD TO YOU CORRECTLY.

H POWER CAN CORRUPT ABSOLUTELY.

ABSOLUTE POWER DOES DO THAT.

BUT NOT IF YOUR HAVE MITIGATION.

I'M A WOMAN OF FAITH.

EVERY ACTION MERITS AN EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTION.

IF YOU JAM ME, ONE DAY I'M GOING TO GET YOU BACK.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO STOP THE WHOLE POLITICS OF WANTING TO SEE -- I HATED TO SEE THIS MAN WALK OUT OF THE COURTROOM IN HANDCUFFS.

IT BROKE MY HEART.

BUT MY HEART WAS BROKEN TO SEE HIM CHOKE THIS MAN TO DEATH.

SO I WANT TO -- I THINK THAT WHAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO IS REALLY HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH EACH OTHER, HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH EACH OTHER, MORE THAN OUR POLITICS, AND MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT HOW WE WANT TO LIVE.

ARE WE GOING TO HAVE A LOVING COMMUNITY IN WHICH EVERYONE CAN LITERALLY BREATHE FREELY?

IN WHICH WE CAN HAVE POLICE WHO PROTECT AND SERVE US, NOT THOSE TO WHOM WE MUST BE SUBSERVIENT?

AND WE HAVE TO GET THAT CLEAR WITH THE POLICE.

WE HAVE TO LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU ARE TAKING CARE OF ME BECAUSE I GIVE YOU CONSENT TO DO SO.

AND WHEN WE MAKE THAT DECISION, AND WHEN WE SAY, NOW I'M NOT GOING TO RULE OVER YOU AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO RULE OVER ME, I NEED YOU TO PROTECT ME, I NEED YOU TO TAKE CARE OF MY NEIGHBORHOOD, I NEED MY CHILDREN TO FEEL SAFE AROUND YOU, THE WIVES, THE HUSBANDS, THE PARTNERS.

THAT'S WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU.

AND WE ALSO NEED TO LOOK AT A POPULATION WHICH IS QUITE VULNERABLE.

A HIGH RATE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DRUG ABUSE, ALCOHOLISM IN THE POLICE RANKS.

THEY, LIKE MOST PEOPLE, HAVE A LOT OF TROUBLE.

WE NEED TO LOOK AT THAT.

WHEN WE HAVE THESE POLICE SHOOTINGS, THEY TOO NEED TOXICOLOGY REPORTS.

I DON'T THINK THEY NEED TO BE BROUGHT FORTH, NECESSARILY THAT THEY'VE BEEN ABUSING DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, BUT THEY NEED HELP.

MAYBE GEORGE FLOYD HAS HELPED US MATURE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT BLACK ABUSE.

STOP CRIMINALIZING PEOPLE.

I THINK THERE ARE A LOT OF TAKEAWAYS THAT IN THE FIRST BLUSH OF THIS CONVICTION, WE DON'T REALLY SEE YET.

IT'S GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME TO UNPACK IT ALL.

BECAUSE WE HAVE YET TO SEE THIS MAN GO TO JAIL.

THAT'S GOING TO BE A MOMENT.

I THINK, JENNIFER, I DO BELIEVE THAT THESE THREE POLICE OFFICERS, I THINK THEY'RE GOING TO TRY THEM TOGETHER, WHICH IS INTERESTING.

THERE WAS SOMETHING THAT I HEARD THIS MORNING OUT OF MINNESOTA.

THAT WILL BE INTERESTING.

BUT NOW WE'VE GOT DAUNTE WRIGHT'S CASE.

THAT WILL BE VERY INTERESTING.

THERE'S A LOT THAT'S STIRRING.

NOW WE'VE GOT MYEKA BRYANT'S CASE.

AVERAGE OF THREE A DAY, THE STUDY THAT CAME OUT APRIL 17th.

I'M HOPING AND I'M WAITING.

I'M STEPPING BACK.

I'M LISTENING TO THE CONVERSATIONS EVERY DAY.

BUT I DO KNOW THE PEOPLE ARE MORE HOPEFUL TODAY THAN THEY WERE YESTERDAY, AND THAT'S A VERY GOOD THING.

WE DO HAVE A PRESIDENT AND A VICE PRESIDENT WHO SAID, I HEAR YOU.

YOU DO HAVE ELECTED OFFICIALS, YOU HAVE AN ATTORNEY GENERAL, WHO SAID, I HEAR YOU, MINNESOTA.

I HEAR YOU.

THAT'S IMPORTANT.

AND I THINK THAT IF THEY HANDLE THIS RIGHT, MINNEAPOLIS, ST.

PAUL, AND BROOKLYN CENTER CAN BE A BEACON UNTO THIS COUNTRY, IF NOT UNTO THE WORLD, AND I THINK THAT COULD HAPPEN.

I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD AGREE FAITH IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE DEALING WITH THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM.

JENNIFER, I ALSO WONDER, A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLE ALSO TALK ABOUT LEGAL PRECEDENT.

AND DOES THIS CONVICTION SET ONE?

AND DOES THAT GIVE ANY KIND OF ROADMAP, PERHAPS, FOR OTHER PROSECUTORS WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE BRINGING CHARGES AGAINST THESE OFFICERS WHO MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE ABUSED FORCE?

TECHNICALLY, LEGALLY, IT DOESN'T SET A LEGAL PRECEDENT IN THE SENSE OF OTHER FOLKS BEING ABLE TO RELY ON THIS JURY'S DECISION.

BUT IF YOU MEAN MORE INFORMALLY, LIKE DOES IT EMBOLDEN PROSECUTORS TO GO AFTER POLICE FOR THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR, I THINK IT DOES.

THESE HAVE BEEN CASES THAT HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN VERY HARD TO WIN.

MOST OF THE TIME THEY'RE NOT EVEN BROUGHT.

BUT WHEN THEY ARE BROUGHT AND PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY INDICTED, THEY'VE OFTEN BEEN LOST IN COURT.

THESE OFFICERS HAVE BEEN ACQUITTED OR JURIES HAVE HUNG.

THE FACT THAT WE HAD HERE A VERY SWIFT DECISION BY A JURY, OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE, 10 HOURS OF DELIBERATION ON THREE SERIOUS CHARGES WHERE THEY CONVICTED ON ALL THREE OF THEM -- I THINK DOES DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU CAN DO THESE CASES.

THESE WERE VERY STRONG FACTS FOR THE PROSECUTION, NOT EVERY PROSECUTOR IS GOING TO BE FACED WITH THIS KIND OF EVIDENCE.

BUT IT SHOWS THAT IT CAN BE DONE AND IT SHOWS THAT IF YOU HAVE THE WILL, IF YOU HAVE THE FACTS, YOU CAN BRING THESE CASES, YOU CAN WIN, EVEN IN THE FACE OF THE BLUE WALL OF SILENCE AND ALL OF WHAT JURORS BRING TO THE COURTROOM IN TERMS OF BEING INCLINED TO TRUST THE POLICE AND THAT SORT OF THING.

THAT CAN BE OVERCOME IN THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES WITH THE RIGHT FACTS.

I THINK THAT'S A POWERFUL THING.

CENTITA, WE'RE COMING UP ON THE END OF OUR TIME.

I DID KIND OF WANT TO BUILD ON -- YOU MENTIONED OFFICER FRIENDLY.

I'LL HAVE TO GOOGLE WHEN WE'RE DONE.

OH!

THANK YOU.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, THOUGH, I'VE ALSO SEEN AND HEARD A LOT OF CONVERSATION ABOUT THIS NOTION OF 'THE GOOD COP.'

AND IF THERE ARE GOOD COPS, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A GOOD COP?

WITH A MINUTE AND A HALF LEFT, I'D LOVE TO GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT -- DO WE GRAPPLE WITH THAT?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ONE OF THE GOOD COPS?

SOMETIMES WE DON'T SEE THEM ON THE STREETS AND THAT'S UNFORTUNATE.

THE GOOD COP PROTECTS AND SERVES.

THE GOOD COP UNDERSTANDS THAT THEY ARE SERVING THEIR COMMUNITY.

THE GOOD COP IS SOMEONE I RUN TO OR RUN FOR, NOT RUN AWAY FROM.

THE GOOD COP IS SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO AND HAS THE SPACE TO FIGHT CORRUPTION IN HIS OR HER WORKPLACE.

THAT'S THE GOOD COP.

THE GOOD COP IS GOING TO MAKE OUR SOCIETY BETTER, IS GOING TO MAKE US ALL FEEL AND ACTUALLY BE SAFER.

THAT'S WHAT THE GOOD COP IS.

YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO REALLY MAYBE HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT COPS?

BECAUSE THEIR BEGINNING IN OUR COUNTRY IS NOT SO GREAT.

THEY WERE SLAVE CATCHERS.

MAYBE IF WE GET DOWN TO THE ROOTS, WE CAN LOOK AT SOME OF THE STRANGE FRUIT AND SAY, YOU KNOW, MAYBE WE NEED TO KIND OF REDO THIS.

TWEAK THIS.

WE DON'T NEED TO HUNT HUMAN BEINGS.

WE NEED TO HELP HUMAN BEINGS.

WE NEED TO -- THESE OFFICERS, THEY USED TO BE PEACE OFFICERS, RIGHT, JENNIFER?

BUT NOW THEY ARE LAW AND ORDER.

IT'S CHANGED.

AND IT CHANGED IN OUR LIFETIME.

REALLY OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS OR SO.

AS CHILDREN, THEY WERE OFFICERS OF THE PEACE.

YOU USED TO GET ARRESTED FOR DISTURBING THE PEACE.

WE DON'T EVEN HAVE PEACE AS A BASELINE ANYMORE IN OUR SOCIETY.

AND WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THAT.

WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S SOMEWHERE THAT WE HAVE ALL GONE OFF THE RAILS HERE.

AND OUR POLICE ALONG WITH IT.

AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE.

IF WE HAD HAD ANOTHER DECISION YESTERDAY, WE WOULD HAVE -- WE WOULD BE HAVING A VERY DIFFERENT CONVERSATION TODAY.

UH-HUH.

POLICE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HOLD BACK THE ANGER AND THE ANGUISH.

WE NEED TO BE MINDFUL OF THAT.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE, WE'VE RUN OUT OF TIME.

I WANT TO THANK BOTH GUESTS, CENTITA JACKSON, 'MORNING DRIVE JIRS PRODUCER AND 'THE CENTITA JACKSON SHOW,' AND JENNIFER RODGERS, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF CLINICAL LAW AT NYU SCHOOL OF LAW.

THANK YOU BOTH FOR HAVING THIS INCREDIBLE IMPORTANT CONVERSATION AFTER THE VERDICT THAT WE ALL ANTICIPATED.

BLESSINGS TO YOU, THANK YOU.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION, AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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