FROM Eugene O'Donnell
Escalation of Violence in Ferguson Missouri For more than 10 days, heavily armed officers in body armor and SWAT vehicles have clashed with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. The use of military equipment against peaceful protesters backfired on local police, producing an escalation of violence. Members of Congress, including presidential prospect Rand Paul, are pointing fingers at the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. Washington gives heavy weapons, riot gear and armored personnel carriers to police forces who aren’t trained to use them, even if they needed to. We’ll hear how long-term policies have led to unintended consequences.
New York City Must Change Its 'Stop and Frisk' Policing Mayor Bloomberg's "stop and frisk" policy gets some credit for reducing crime in New York City. But today, a federal judge ruled that it violates the constitutional rights of minorities and needs to be monitored. Eugene O'Donnell, a former New York City Police officer and prosecutor, is now a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
The Cop, the Professor and the President of the United States In an incident now familiar to most Americans, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates arrived home from a trip to China to find his door jammed. He and his driver tried to force it open. A neighbor reported a possible break-in, and Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley showed up at the home. After a verbal confrontation about racial profiling, Gates was arrested outside for disorderly conduct, a charge that was later dismissed . President Obama was asked about the incident at a press conference .
The Cop, the Professor and the President of the United States In an incident now familiar to most Americans, a Harvard professor arrived home from a trip to China to find his door jammed. He and his driver tried to force it open, a neighbor reported a possible break-in and Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley showed up at the home. After a verbal confrontation about racial profiling, Henry Louis Gates was arrested outside for disorderly conduct, a charge that was later dismissed . The White House says tonight’s " beer summit " is an effort to start a dialogue on race relations in the United States. It follows President Obama’s comment that a white policeman acted “stupidly” by arresting Gates. Was it a case of “racial profiling?” Was the professor first to raise the issue of race? Did the President make a political blunder? Is it a "teachable moment" or a distraction from healthcare reform and the rest of the White House agenda?
LAPD Chief Apologizes for Police Conduct at May Day Melee Los Angeles' Police Chief has done something he was hardly known for when he was Chief of Police in New York. William Bratton has publicly apologized, for his own failures and those of his command staff. On May Day, 6000 peaceful protesters were routed from MacArthur Park by baton-wielding officers of the LAPD's elite Metro Squad. TV news stations recorded numerous incidents involving women, children and reporters being struck, with some falling to the ground. Yesterday, Chief Bratton made a "self-critical" report to the civilian Police Commission. Is it an isolated incident or a new trend in law enforcement? Eugene O'Donnell, a former officer in the New York Police Department, is Professor of Law and Police Studies at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Chief Bratton Apologizes for LAPD Treatment of Protesters LA Police Chief William Bratton’s most highly trained officers went out of control last Tuesday, when Platoon B of the Metro Squad fired rubber bullets and swung batons at peaceful demonstrators and reporters. The Chief says the cops outnumbered the few he called "agitators" more than three to one. LA Police Protective League President Bob Baker says, "We are being damned before a trial or investigation," which is having "a profound impact not only on Metro but every officer in the city."
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.