FROM Gerald Landsberg
Mental Illness and Law Enforcement Last year in Fullerton, California police officers beat a homeless schizophrenic into a coma. After he died, the district attorney of conservative Orange County prosecuted two of the cops for manslaughter and second-degree murder. The trial took three weeks and evidence included a videotape featuring police batons, multiple strikes with a Taser and the voice of Kelly Thomas. After less than two days of deliberation, the jury acquitted both officers of all charges. As many as half the people killed by police in the US are mentally ill. Deadly violence occurs after cops have been called to deal with a crisis caused by disease, rather than criminality. But police training calls for the use of force, rather than empathy, and the public tends to side with officers of the law. With mental hospitals closed down and services cut back, confrontations may be inevitable. We look at potential solutions to a humanitarian problem.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?