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Public Safety in an Era of Criminal Justice Reform

Wed, May 27, 2020 EVENTCAST

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Public Safety in an Era of Criminal Justice Reform

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Forum

Public Safety in an Era of Criminal Justice Reform

EVENTCAST 01:00pm—03:00pm
Wednesday May 27
Wednesday May 27 2020
PAST EVENT Wednesday May 27 2020

Can America maintain public safety in an era of criminal justice reform and public health crises? In many parts of the country, crime rates are near all-time lows, but, in others, they are approaching all-time highs, even amidst an unprecedented lockdown brought on by Covid-19.

Measures such as bail reform and drug decriminalization have helped to bring on a decline in the national prison population, but dozens of states are projecting growth in their prison populations over the next decade. At the same time, other challenges, such as recidivism, continue to increase. Given all this, how should America tackle meaningful reform?

On May 27, Manhattan Institute senior fellow Jason Riley joined Harvard University’s Roland Fryer to discuss the diverse set of concerns driving America’s debate on criminal justice, followed by discussions with police chiefs and leading academics on the front lines of these reforms.

AGENDA:

1:00 PM – 1:10 PM
INTRODUCTION
Jason Riley, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

1:10 PM – 2:00 PM
INTERVIEW: Policing the Police
Roland Fryer, Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Interviewer: Jason Riley, Manhattan Institute

2:00 PM – 2:50 PM
PANEL: Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform
Edward Flynn, Former Milwaukee Police Chief
Kmele Foster, Partner, Free Think
Barry Latzer, Emeritus Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Dr. Wilfred Reilly, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Kentucky State University
Moderator: Howard Husock, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

2:50 PM – 3:00 PM
CLOSING REMARKS
Jason Riley, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

Event Transcript

Michael Hendrix:

Welcome to the Manhattan Institute, for our EventCast on Public Safety in an Era of Criminal Justice Reform. I'm Michael Hendrix, director of state and local policy. And we're grateful to be joined by a stellar lineup, kicking off with our senior fellow Jason Riley. After I introduce him, we'll dive right in. Throughout the program, please feel free to enter your questions throughout on our Slido platform. And our moderators will either wrap them into the discussion or include them in the Q&A at the end. Also, please click the polls tab and share your affiliation with us, including even if you don't have one.

Michael Hendrix:

And now without further ado, Jason Riley. Jason is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a commentator for Fox News. He is also a recipient of the 2018 Bradley Prize. After joining the Journal in 1994, he was named a senior editorial writer in 2000 and a member of the editorial board in 2005. Jason also speaks frequently on ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS, and NPR and is the author of multiple books and countless opinion pieces on the issues of politics, economics, education, immigration, and race. Jason, over to you.

Jason Riley:

Thank you, Michael, for that introduction. And I want to welcome everyone to this Manhattan Institute event on criminal justice reform and public safety. What we've tried to do today is to assemble a group of people that can talk about race and policing from different perspectives. So we have some academics, some journalists, some law enforcement professionals. We also have participants who know something about being young and black and dealing with police. So we have people who can bring that to the discussion as well, not only facts and data, but also personal experience. And I hope they will be willing to draw on that experience with the discussion. Now this obviously is an emotional topic, but the goal is to have a rational and informed discussion. And I'm pretty confident that we can do that in this format because we have mute buttons. Now, some of you probably know that we originally scheduled this event for earlier this year, but like everyone else, we had to make some adjustments due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jason Riley:

In the interim, however, I'd argue that the urgency of this issue has only grown. We've had the case of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, who was chased down by a former police officer and his son, and then shot dead. We have Breonna Taylor, a black emergency room technician in Louisville who was killed by police when they were issuing a no knock warrant on her home. And most recently we have this George Floyd case of a black suspect in Minneapolis who died in police custody after a police officer, it was seen pressing his knee against the man's throat until he passed out. The point here is not to litigate these cases. We don't know all the facts. We don't know all the circumstances, but I do want to make a larger point about these events and that's that they seem to fit a pattern. A black person is killed, a video surfaces, perhaps on social media showing some part of the encounter, the video goes viral, cable news channels pick it up, and a narrative takes hold.

Jason Riley:

The incident, however statistically rare it might be, is presented as commonplace, as typical of what black people in America have to endure on a daily basis. Presidential candidates talk about systemic racism being in the air that we breathe. The New York Times runs full page stories about jogging while black, the mayor of Minneapolis issues over the top statements like, "Being black in America should not be a death sentence." This is part of a pattern that we've seen time and time and again, and then the protesters come out and the activists come out, and they target, of course, the police. And then with increasing frequency, the federal government gets involved. And that brings us to our headliner today, Professor Roland Fryer of Harvard University, who's going to talk about the efficacy of these investigations and how they impact public safety, particularly in minority communities.

Jason Riley:

He has coauthored a new academic paper on the subject, and his concern is that we may be investigating police departments in a way that leads to even more violent crime and even fatalities and lives lost in these communities. This follows an earlier paper that he wrote on police use of force and whether there is evidence that blacks and Hispanics are being unfairly targeted by law enforcement. We'll talk about that as well. Professor Fryer is one of his generation's leading social scientists. He's a MacArthur Genius Grant award winner. He's also a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, which goes to the country's leading economists under the age of 40 and is considered by many to be second in prestige, only to the Nobel Prize.

Jason Riley:

In addition to his research on criminal justice, he's also published pathbreaking studies on education, everything from the achievement gap to minority attitudes, towards schooling and to school choice. But whatever the subject, Professor Fryer can be counted on to bring facts and data and logic to the discussion, and he's going to share some of that with us today. So without further ado, let's get the discussion started, Professor.

Roland Fryer:

Thank you.

Jason Riley:

How are you today?

Roland Fryer:

I am doing really well. I'm a little overdue because of COVID for a haircut, so you'll have to excuse me.

Jason Riley:

Looks good. Looks good to me, looks good to me, obviously. So Professor, the title of your paper is Policing the Police, the Impact of Pattern or Practice Investigations on Crime. So maybe you could just start by explaining that term. What is a pattern or practice investigation, and why did you decide to look into them in the first place?

Roland Fryer:

Sure. A pattern or practice investigation is the federal government's, one of their main tools, if not the main tool to investigate police departments across America, where there have been complaints about systemic racism. So many of the cases that you just described and the ones that have come before it in the last few years, particularly under the Obama administration, folks in the federal government have gone into cities and investigated whole police departments to really look for, just as the title suggests, a pattern or practice that's discriminatory towards certain groups. This started in 1992, actually right after the Rodney King riots in California. Congress gave the authority to the federal government to investigate police departments in this way. And here's where I got the idea. I basically got it from police.

Roland Fryer:

So in 2016, I wrote a paper about looking at police shootings. So the paper looked at racial differences in police use of force, which started from being pushed all the way up to police shootings. And as part of that paper, I have to admit that partly because of the way I grew up as a kid or what have you, I had a particular view of the police. And as a social scientist going into this from a data perspective, but also just answering any questions [inaudible 00:08:41], I just figured, I really needed to understand how the police view these situations and not rely on my 14 or 15-year-old self to think about and to analyze the police. And so I embedded myself in a police department, in more than one actually. I went into Camden and did a couple shifts with police in Camden, did the same thing in Houston and other cities.

Roland Fryer:

And I have to say it was one of the best educations I'd gotten since my grandmother taught me to read, and it was just really eyeopening. And as part of that process to try to understand which data sets exist, to understand the police side of using force, just chatting with police officers, one of the things that kept coming up were police officers who had undergone one of these investigations and what it made them feel like. And so after I finished that paper in 2016, I immediately started working on this because if racial differences in police use of force is a problem, then the main policy tool to fix that problem is through these pattern or practice investigations. So for me, those two papers, the two sets of inquiry [inaudible 00:09:55] today.

Jason Riley:

So I remember an interview you did about the first paper, and I do want to talk about that a little later on, but I remember reading that you had said you went into that research with certain expectations of what you might find. You said, "I tend to think there might be some prejudicial policing going on here. And I was surprised not to find it." Did you bring certain expectations to this pattern or practice research as well? And were you surprised by anything you found after you got into the weeds?

Roland Fryer:

Yeah. I think any social scientist who says they didn't have any expectations going into a research paper is full of crap. So of course I did. And in the first one, I really did believe that it was just hard not to believe. I think of myself as one of the most rigorous stats people around, like I will out-nerd you, Jason, any day, but how could I not be moved by the videos and what we were seeing? And the frequency of them seemed just like it wouldn't end. Every week or two weeks, so it seemed, there was a new video surfacing with abhorrent behavior. And so you just start to think, "Wow, that must be the norm," almost like you described in the beginning. And so I wanted to do something. I wanted to do something positive, but I'm not a big protester. That's just not my style, personally. I get hot quickly. I don't know what it is, but I don't like it, that's not my thing, right? I respect people who do that, but that's not me.

Roland Fryer:

I'm a data nerd, and so I started just collecting mounds of data that way, millions of police stops, et cetera. In this most recent paper, yes, I also went into it thinking that this was probably just being ignored. I thought they were pretty benevolent. I thought it's an investigation, but likely nothing happens. And the police officers that I've talked to in multiple districts who said they had changed their behavior completely after an investigation, I thought were feeding me the same type of information that you get on cable news. And so I just thought, "No, it's not. We won't find that in data," but I was really blown away by what the results said, [crosstalk 00:12:30].

Jason Riley:

So let's talk about the results. What was the top line finding in the pattern or practice research?

Roland Fryer:

Sure. Top line finding is, in general, pattern or practice investigations don't really do much, crime doesn't change that much. And there's been one case in all of them LA some time ago where crime seems to have gone down. So the pattern and practice investigation might have worked. That's one observation out of 50. And so the statistician in me won't allow me to say that that's a pattern. Of those were... But I like to delineate the types of situations in which pattern or practice investigations were launched. Let's imagine one of them, there was a report to the federal government that a city is behaving in a systematically discriminatory way, and the federal government goes in. They investigate, they put in some patterns or practices that they think are positive because of what they found. And they leave.

Roland Fryer:

In those cases, what we found was that it just had zero effect. Crime didn't go up that much, or didn't go up at all. And we can't find any evidence that officer behavior changed. On the other hand, when the federal government launches into a hotbed, let's call it... So they'd go into a city where you have a viral event, and there are protests, and their community and police relations are strained. In those cases, we find pretty dramatic results. And just to prove to everyone I'm a nerd, I'm going to show you just a couple of slides on this because I don't want you to... My English language about that is not great, but my data is better. So let me show this, me get this quickly. Okay. I think I am 10 seconds away here.

Roland Fryer:

There we are. Now, if I go up and I say, okay, what these are, these are the dark black lines are cumulative homicides on the left, total crime on the right, but that's total felony crimes. I don't have misdemeanors in here. And this is... On the X axis at the bottom is months since the investigation was announced. So Jason, what I do here is I say the experiment, if you will, is, or the event that I'm trying to analyze is the announcement the day the announcement was made that this city would be under investigation. And then I am tracking homicides per 100,000 when that happened. So if you look overall, the pattern or practice investigations have a small but measurable, negative impact on homicides when you take all cities combined, and total crime is roughly zero. Okay? So not a lot going on there, if anything, slightly positive.

Roland Fryer:

However, when I look at cities in which the investigation was preceded by a viral event, so exactly those types that you described in your opening, homicides go up considerably, total crime goes up considerably. Okay? And so this is cumulative for 24 months, and you'll notice the homicides haven't tapered off yet. They have not hit their peak in the data window that we described. I want to show you one last thing on this. Questions, why? Okay. So when I look at police activity, these are stops to see, not in a traffic stop way, but many of these are just police civilian contacts. Okay? And the first panel shows what happens when you have an investigation without a deadly incident that preceded it. So nothing. This red line is when the date of the investigation was announced, not a lot at all.

Roland Fryer:

When it's a viral shooting only, that's the right panel, without an investigation, if anything, police activity goes up, not down. I'll just give you two cities. But this is true in all six of them where we've seen this recently. Look at this in Chicago, okay? I've been doing data analysis now for nearly two decades, and I don't have any graphs this pretty, this is an awful thing we're looking at, but just the data aesthetics. Look at this, this is the month the investigation was announced. Now, I could also show you literally down to the day in Chicago that the investigation was announced. To the left of that red bar, you see here are the police civilian contacts in Chicago before the investigation was announced. Look what happens immediately when the investigation is announced that month. You have a 90% drop in police civilian contacts. Riverside, California is the same. Baltimore was the same. Ferguson was the same.

Roland Fryer:

Baltimore literally went to zero, okay? Zero. There was no... You can't get negative police contact. So they literally went to the bottom. And the last thing is when you look, of course, in this and ask yourself the question, "Well, are the places, the precincts in a city in which you see the largest change in stops pre and post the announcement of the investigation, are those the places where you see homicide go up?" And the answer is absolutely. And so just to give you a sense of the magnitude, and then I'll be quiet, we are talking about just, not just, but for the important lives of Laquan McDonald, Michael Brown, et cetera, Freddie Gray, the investigations into those incidents with police in which those individuals lost their lives, which is tragic, I don't want to underplay this in any way, shape or form, I'm deeply empathetic.

Roland Fryer:

Because of those investigations though, my estimates show that we lost a thousand more lives, most of them black as well, because of the increases in homicide, and almost 40,000 more felony crimes. Okay, so this is not to say, and I hope we really get into the meat of this, this is not to say that police departments shouldn't be investigated, but to quote Rahm Emanuel in Chicago, "Investigations have to be done with the police, not to the police."

Jason Riley:

Okay. So, just so I'm clear here, you need some preconditions for the dramatic drop in police civilian contact that you've described to take place, which happened in Baltimore, in Chicago, in Ferguson. You need a high profile event that gets a lot of media attention, goes viral, and then you need the feds to announce in response to that, that they're going to do one of these pattern or practice investigations. It's the combination of those two things that you think leads to these drops in police activity.

Roland Fryer:

That's what the data tell me, and it's important to delineate. When you have one of these high profile cases where there's a video, and it goes viral, and there is not an investigation, you do not see an increase in crime.

Jason Riley:

Right, right. Okay.

Roland Fryer:

That's the important part because I don't want to move three things around. There's one thing that's changing between those two things in these cities, and it's important.

Jason Riley:

Okay. Okay. And you mentioned Rahm Emanuel, and I want to ask you about him because I think in the report that I read in your paper, you thank some politicians and policy types and law enforcement types for their input in your research. I'm wondering if they say things to you off the record or in private that you don't hear them saying publicly. I'm wondering if there's a political correctness problem here that prevents us from having more honest conversations about what we're talking about here.

Roland Fryer:

That's a good question. That's above my pay grade. I don't know that. And I'd love to even answer the question directly, but I don't know what they say in public because I don't follow that, really. So I have found that throughout my time as an economist, that many of the comments on the papers that I write that are the most salient and important and that push my thinking the most don't come from my colleagues down the hall. It actually comes from people in school districts who were actually running school districts, mayors in cities, police chiefs who have a intuition and an understanding of what's actually going on instead of us sitting around in the ivory towers guessing about what's going on. I would love to talk to real people about what happened.

Jason Riley:

And you've also said that it's the pullback in proactive policing. It's not that the police stop policing at all. They're still handing out tickets for speeding. They're still answering 911 calls. It's a specific type of policing, an important part of policing, you say, that is affected by these investigations and leads to these spikes in crimes. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Roland Fryer:

Yeah, that's incredibly important and thank you for mentioning that. So I also looked at response times to 911 calls and things like that. And when you talk to police about it, getting back to your previous question, they tell you that straight up, "I'm doing my job." I don't know if that's true or not. I don't have the job manual, but that is their response. And I take that to mean they are responding to 911 calls. So we don't see any change in response time for 911 calls. What we do see is a huge change. So that change in Chicago I described, much of that was driven by not because they didn't stop people for speeding on the highway, but when they see something they think is suspicious, they are not. And just refuse to be proactive.

Roland Fryer:

And they, or I've talked to police officers who say, "When we're under investigation, I'm not going to chase someone down an alley at 2:00 in the morning. It's just not going to happen." And so I think there are types of policing from the data that we see that are dramatically reduced. And those types are much more likely the proactive types, where they go and ask a group of people on the corner or what have you, what they're doing there at two o'clock in the morning. And that stuff is going on.

Jason Riley:

And what's your theory as to why they are pulling back somewhat? Fear? Spite? Is it coming from higher ups in the department? Any thoughts on what's going on there?

Roland Fryer:

I think it could be a combination of all three, Jason. I don't know the answer. This is where things get very difficult for me because it's where the social science ends and speculation begins. I will say that in talking to police officers, I've heard all three. I've heard literally the terms, "I'm not going to be the next YouTube sensation." You probably know about at least one case in Chicago, in which a female police officer was beat up quite badly because she didn't want to pull her gun on the suspect because she didn't want this to, that they didn't want to be made infamous by one of these events. And I think part of it could be spite.

Roland Fryer:

Look, if we look at another aspect of this that has nothing to do with race in policing, but just look at Alex Moss is an economist at Princeton, and he's got a famous paper about what happens when the police union negotiates about salary. Okay? And what he finds is that when they lose the negotiation and don't get the salary bump they want, or an arbitrator doesn't pick their side relative to management, then you also see an increase in crime. So there's this term called the blue flu, where if you upset police officers, it can have effects on crime. I see this as an extreme version of that, that some of it could be spite, some of it could be fear. I've heard other police officers say, "I just want to get my pension, man." Like I just said, I mean, I think that's goes into the fear bucket, and people are worried. What if you make an honest mistake, do you want your career to be over?

Jason Riley:

Okay, okay. You mentioned earlier how your own upbringing informs your interest in this topic somewhat. And I wonder if you could expand on that a little bit, where you grew up and what your relationship as a teenager or a young adult was with law enforcement, or what was the relationship of your peer group with law enforcement? Did you leave the house every day in fear of getting shot by a cop or getting harassed by cops? Any thoughts on it?

Roland Fryer:

Sure. I grew up in a combination, I'd say, kind of three quarters in every year North Texas near Dallas and a quarter in Daytona Beach, Florida. And I did not leave the house every day in fear that I was going to be shot by the police, that didn't enter my mind. I didn't like getting pulled over by the police, I can tell you that. And part of that was I was a knucklehead, and I didn't want the police to know what was in the car. So that was part of it. And part of it was I didn't want my grandmother to know what was in the car instead. And part of it was a culture, a reputation that the police didn't have the best interests of black people in mind.

Roland Fryer:

And so I have been in one really bad altercation with the police, and I won't forget it. It's an event you don't forget. I've been in other altercations with the police where nothing happened at all. They called me sir, and have a good breakfast, I got my kids in the car and that kind of thing, I will say, however, my wife is from Austria, and her view of when the police pull her over, she's like, "Yay. I was lost anyway, I could use some help." I don't have that. I'm more nervous than that based on my experiences, but I don't think living in fear is fair for me, but that's for me.

Jason Riley:

Well, let me ask you a big picture question here, in terms of policing in general and the role it plays in our discussions of criminal justice reform, or what's wrong with the system. And I'm wondering given your earlier paper on finding that the police are not in fact targeting young black and Hispanic men with lethal force, and the findings in this paper, are we putting too much emphasis on the policing aspect of this issue? In other words, we know that black and Hispanic men, particularly young black and Hispanic men, commit a disproportionate amount of crime, including violent crime.

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:29:04]

Jason Riley:

... disproportionate amount of crime, including violent crime, which is going to draw police attention. So, you have more encounters with police, which will inevitably lead to more mistakes happening during those encounters. And it's just a function of the numbers. And if we really want to get at a root cause here, should we be looking at the police as much as we're looking at the police? Obviously, bad cops we need to make sure there aren't... They exist and they cannot be ignored. We don't want the public trust in law enforcement to be undermined but the amount of attention policing gets in this discussion, is it justified given what you've seen in your research?

Roland Fryer:

That is a great question. I don't know the answer to that one. I will say that if you talk to the police, I believe they would say policing gets too much attention, schools don't get enough. Other parts of society that we're asking the police to essentially solve for because it's a [inaudible 00:30:10] should be also addressed. I would say that in my other paper, I did find that I didn't find racial bias in shootings, but we did find very large racial differences in lower level uses of force. Okay. And so, that part is real and we need to do something about that part. And I think that I have heard some activists say, if we, I'm going to try to phrase this in the way they do it, "If we didn't have the lower level uses of force, maybe then we would have more trust between us to talk about the police shootings." Right?

Jason Riley:

Okay.

Roland Fryer:

So, in the case, in my opinion, that's empathetic to that view. It's like, if I know that there are big racial differences in the lower level uses of force and the difference between whites and blacks is 25%, even when the police say that, "Both white and black subjects have been fully compliant." Okay. Even if that's the case, I don't know what we expect from a rational person when there's a shooting that we don't know what happened. Right. So, if you have discrimination and at the lower levels and you have imperfect information at the top level, how you ferret that out is difficult. But let me just say one last thing on this and this because I think it's actually funny. I wouldn't underestimate how much a little fear and uncertainty on small probability events can radically change human behavior. We're all sheltered in right now.

Roland Fryer:

Because there is an uncertainty, lots of uncertainty around the virus, even though, my wife won't let me move because she just thinks I am one big walking precondition, even though I show her every day, "But come on, I'm like 40 and I workout all the time. Can I please go to the grocery store?" She's like, "Nope." Right. And so somehow, I don't know how to fit that together. That we're doing that piece but then we're also saying, "Hey, just because there were a hundred shootings last year. We shouldn't, that's not the average." It's definitely not the average for sure. But neither are... The median, I think, response to COVID is almost, it's close to asymptomatic. Yet, it's changing our behavior and so on. We need to put the same lens on both in some social scientific way to really understand.

Jason Riley:

So, if you're arguing in the paper that these pattern practice investigations can backfire, and often do, after these high profile events, what is the response to this finding? I mean, we want police departments to be investigating if we suspect them of wrongdoing, particularly if they think there's a culture, or pattern, or history in this police department of this sort of aberrant behavior. So what is the alternative to a pattern and practice investigation when we suspect something is up?

Roland Fryer:

Yeah. It's what we're working on now and have worked on. What does optimal investigation of police departments look like? I don't know yet, but I do know there's no free lunch. And so, my guess is that we are going to have to get comfortable with some uncomfortable trade-offs when it comes to investigating police departments. If you go full bore, then you end up actually taking good cops and changing their behavior. And we see from the graphs that that's not a good idea. If you don't do anything, then you allow discrimination to potentially manifest itself. And so, I think I'd like to keep working on this but the things that are top of mind for me are, what it looks like to investigate individual officers when there's something, when there's an event that is above some threshold where it's clear an investigation is needed. Instead of doing the entire department, maybe there's a way to more narrowly target the investigations. And so, that's the kind of thing we're working on now but I don't have a perfect answer. I will say again, channeling Chicago, I do believe that in the interim, figuring out how to do it together and not in a rancorous way is that is a good start.

Jason Riley:

Yeah. You had mentioned to me earlier, in another discussion, that after your first paper came out, I believe it was after, that you spoke with President Obama about it, and he explained why the feds were so eager to get involved in these investigations. They saw it as I believe you said an opportunity for reform. Can you talk about his argument? And we can maybe use that as representative of the federal view, how they view these incidents and their role.

Roland Fryer:

Yeah. I obviously can't speak for then President Obama, but I think that in a meeting that you described, it was pretty interesting to see law enforcement, to see activists, to see high members of the federal government in a room talking about solutions, so. And how can one, they were dealing with the third question that is in this research program for me, how do you try to root out bad policing without affecting good police? And I think that's the fundamental question. And I think that folks in the justice department under Obama did see it as an opportunity to, given the amount of attention that was on police violence in the US, an opportunity to reform police departments in a better way. I just think that those things can backfire you don't do it in the right way.

Jason Riley:

Okay. Okay. We did have one question about, and I'm not sure about this, is the paper actually out yet? Can people view it or are we still waiting on the official version?

Roland Fryer:

No, the official version should be ready to go. Things have just been a little slower in COVID-19, but it's been posted. It's just not, I don't think it's actually on the website, but I'll make sure that Manhattan Institute gets a copy and they can post it.

Jason Riley:

Okay, okay, okay. So, you're not calling for an end to these federal investigations necessarily. You're saying we might find a better way of conducting them or a way that is mindful of the backlash that could occur if they're not done properly.

Roland Fryer:

Yeah. I mean, I'd never think of myself as a person who can call for an end to anything. I've got a three year old, I can't call end to [inaudible 00:37:55] but I think that you hit the nail on the head which is, it's not about not investigating or not looking for systemic discrimination within police departments. If we have evidence that that exists, of course we should look into it, but how we do that is extraordinarily important. So, coming to town guns blazing may not be the right way to do it. And I'm not saying I know the right way to do it. I'm saying the way we're doing it now is costing black lives. And it pains me because they are going... no one's writing about those.

Jason Riley:

Yeah. Yeah. And you also spoke earlier about how the media had sort of been managing your expectations on what you would find before you began some of this research and I want to talk about the media's role. You say that along with the activist, the media can really drum up interest in these stories, which lead to these federal investigations. And I wonder if you have any thoughts on how responsibly the media covers this sort of thing, in terms of putting things in perspective. I mean, I remember a lot of coverage whenever, let's say an illegal immigrant commits a crime, and the media is very quick to explain how statistically speaking immigrants are not more likely to commit violent crimes, the natives and so forth, but they want to really put this in context because they don't want immigrants or illegal immigrants to be a target. They don't seem to go through the same care when a police officer shoots a black person, even though it's a statistically, very, very rare event. They don't seem to want to bring that sort of perspective to the discussion. And I'm just wondering if you think a more responsible media in that sense could play a positive role here,

Roland Fryer:

Man, how much time you got? I want a more responsible media on every dimension. You've mentioned one or two, I mean I could just keep listing them man. I mean don't get me started, please.

Jason Riley:

No. Well I ask you this is because the data, which I'm sure you've seen a few, the number of police shootings overall has gone down dramatically in recent decades. I mean, it is plummeted, literally plummeted and yet these events are never put into that sort of context.

Roland Fryer:

Understood.

Jason Riley:

But the empirical data, is extremely clear in terms of the timelines.

Roland Fryer:

But aren't these your people man? Shouldn't you be-

Jason Riley:

They are my people.

Roland Fryer:

[crosstalk 00:41:03] shouldn't you be doing something about this? Let me turn this around. Can we switch back? I'll ask the questions. Look I've been doing this stuff since, 17 years now and this is my 17th year at Harvard. And I have had the great fortune of talking to a lot of folks in the media but I've only had one shouting match and it was about this paper. And it was just a refusal. I'm not going to mention the medium, but a refusal to believe it. And a deep anger with me and the paper's not even out yet. I just went with it to try to get some feedback on what we were finding and a deep refusal to just sit with the reality that maybe this particular type of investigation, not all investigation, but this particular type might be causing black lives. And my view is, if you care about lives, then you should care about this. Even if we disagree about what the next thing to come is, right? That's a different story because we don't have data on it yet, but the absolute refusal to grapple with the data, the insistence that I not put this out because that would be bad. And that they're sure these investigations are working on dimensions that we can't measure. I just, I can't, I don't know what to do with it.

Jason Riley:

So, when you present the data, there's either a disbelief in your numbers, or it's just dismissed as not relevant to the overall picture they're trying to paint in their narrative?

Roland Fryer:

D, all the above. And so yes, there's part, this particular conversation was part that, and part a more philosophical or at least different way of thinking about the world. Which is I've seen these investigations firsthand. They are good and they root out systemic discrimination. And so, you don't calculate all lots of positive benefits from them that are not realized and in crime. And I say, of course, "Great, show me those things and we'll include those in our analysis." Right? And so, you have similar things on every dimension, whether it's education or anything else. When don't like a result. It's the old it's really important on the stuff I didn't measure trick.

Jason Riley:

Okay.

Roland Fryer:

That's what this particular person did, but I was very surprised at the immediate, immediate and how strong the pushback was. I thought the person might sit with the numbers for a bit and go, "Damn, a thousand lives. That's a lot." And so, let's think about what that means.

Jason Riley:

Well, I can anticipate some pushback to the current paper from police in terms of saying, as they were telling you when you were out riding with them, "No, we're doing our job. We're doing our job, we're doing our job." But as you say, police are human beings and they're going to respond to incentives. And if you're going to scapegoat them for the problems in these communities, I think they're going to behave accordingly, right?

Roland Fryer:

Yeah, that's what human beings do. And whether or not they were doing extra and not doing extra, or were doing their jobs and are doing less than their jobs. That's not up for me to say I don't, that's not what my paper's about, what my paper's about change, identifying a behavioral change that's related to important statistics when it comes to crime and homicides, particularly in lower income police districts.

Jason Riley:

That 1000 lives number that you mentioned, over what time period are you talking about there? That's a question from one of the viewers.

Roland Fryer:

That was summed across six cities over 24 months after the investigations.

Jason Riley:

Okay, okay. Okay.

Roland Fryer:

Every month would go by, if I had more data they'd be... it's a cumulative number. So it would be [inaudible 00:45:42].

Jason Riley:

Another question I wanted to ask you that we, and you hear this a lot from the media and from the activists, is the tension between the police and these minority communities. And my question is, do you get any sense that that is overplayed at all? We know that the 9-1-1 calls mostly originate in black communities, brown communities, which is a funny way of showing police you don't like them, if you're constantly calling them to come help. And of course, most of the people living in these neighborhoods are law abiding people. And it is a small percentage of these populations that is causing 90% of the trouble. So again, the question is, is this tension as palpable as some of the activists and some of the media coverage has led the public to believe? Or is it tension between certain elements of these communities and law enforcement?

Roland Fryer:

Well, it's almost surely certain elements.

Jason Riley:

And I say that, just a quick follow-up, because as you mentioned, when you were younger you didn't want to get stopped by the police because of what you might have in the car. So, if some interviewer comes up to you 17, 18 year old Roland Fryer because of what your relationship was like, "Please, I want them to leave me alone." But you had an ulterior motive there. I'm just wondering how representative 18 year old Roland Fryer was of the quote unquote black community and its relationship with the police.

Roland Fryer:

I don't think I'm representative of any community but I'm just being straight with you that there must be a statute of limitations on knuckleheadery in [inaudible 00:47:33]. Look, I think that, of course the tension is stronger in some subsets of the community relative to others.

Jason Riley:

Of course.

Roland Fryer:

However, I will say, I also see lots of different tension across the cities that I was able to visit, right.? So, I would say one of the most embarrassing things that, again since we're admitting embarrassing things on Manhattan Institute's [inaudible 00:48:01]. I think one of the more embarrassing things is that even despite my bias going in, eight hours in a police car riding around and you start to see everyone you see as a criminal, it's just, it's really hard, right? Like I mean, some of these police are really skilled at it because I was like, "Hey, hey." I mean, I did some training when I was working on my first police paper and the police trainers told me I was the worst police officer they'd ever seen. I was terrible.

Roland Fryer:

Okay, and so, in one community I would go in someone who would look like, "Hey, if I was here I think I'd ask that person a few questions." Police that were able to quickly say, "I know that person, that's Mr. Jones. He just likes to do that." I mean, it was really interesting to watch them make, fine delineation between some people, in some cities where I thought police and community relations were working well.

Roland Fryer:

In other situations, I would say that there was a lot of palpable tension at every stop, right? I did a double shift in the Houston police department, a lot of tension at every stop. And when I asked the officer, I was riding around with I said, "Hey, like the first couple of three steps out of this car and you seem really nervous." And he was like, "This is Houston, man. Everyone's got a gun." And so, he was nervous, the person in [inaudible 00:49:24] might've been nervous. And you can see, you can just imagine that it doesn't take... How many of those interactions happen a day. Even with a very low hazard rate, right? I'm a nerd. A few of those can just turn out wrong, not turn out wrong but go wrong. And so, I see it in the ways you described certain segments of the community, of course, you know the statistics, but I think it's overlooked that some cities do this a lot better than other cities. And the question is what can we learn from them.

Jason Riley:

Okay. Okay, well, let's end our discussion there and let this expert panel that we've lined up, take it from here and perhaps expand on it hopefully. I'm going to turn things over now to Howard Husock my colleague at the Manhattan Institute and he is going to moderate the next panel. Thank you again, Professor Fryer and I'll be back when Howard's done to give a few closing remarks and thanks some people.

Howard Husock:

Thank you so much Jason, and sorry to be a little shaggy looking in my lockdown mode here. To respond and expand on Professor Fryer's new report and his observations. We do have an expert panel and an extremely varied panel. We have a practitioner, we have a political scientist, a criminal criminologist and we have a social commentator slash media executive. So, I think we're going to get a number of quite different perspectives. And I hope it will be quite useful.

Howard Husock:

I'm going to introduce our panelists now, beginning with Edward Flynn, Ed Flynn is the recently retired Chief of Police of Milwaukee Police Department, where he served from 2008 to 2018. He previously served as the police commissioner in Springfield, Mass, as well as the Secretary of Public Safety in Massachusetts. He has really had a long and distinguished career in law enforcement. He's a graduate of the FBI National Academy and he was part of the executive session on policing at the Harvard Kennedy school. Some of you may know that Bill Bratton, very successful police commissioner in New York was also a product of that same program.

Howard Husock:

Next we have Kmele Foster. Kmele is a partner at the media company Freethink. He's the co-founder of the telecommunications consultancy, a TelcolQ and is the co-host of the libertarian podcast The Fifth Column, has been the co-host of The Independents on the Fox Business Network. Former Chairman of the America's Future Foundation, a non-profit political activist organization. So, political activists are represented on our panel.

Howard Husock:

Next, we have Barry Latzer. Barry is the emeritus professor of John Jay College of Criminal Justice here in New York city. He's the author of The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America and the upcoming book, The Roots of Violent Crime in America: From the Gilded Age Through the Depression, it'll be published in 2021. He previously taught at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and prosecuted and defended accused criminals, both there and while at John Jay.

Howard Husock:

And our final panelist is Dr. Wilford Reilly. Dr. Reilly is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Kentucky State University, historically black college. He holds a PhD in political science and a law degree from Southern Illinois University. He's the author of the books Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War and Taboo: 10 Facts You Can't Talk About and The $50,000,000 Question. I'd like to begin if I might with Chief Flynn. Good afternoon, Chief Flynn.

Ed Flynn:

Good afternoon.

Howard Husock:

You heard the situation laid out by Professor Fryer. And it seems like a vice, if I might, law enforcement is squeezed into between trying to control crime and trying to preclude incidents that might be viewed as race related or as reflective of racism on the part of the police. What was it like for you in Milwaukee, which I should point out is a city, 38% black, a 26% poverty rate, kind of ground zero for this kind of thing. What was it like to operate such a police department? In that context.

Ed Flynn:

Well, it's a challenge in any area to operate in that context certainly. There are many social and historical reasons why African Americans, particularly young African American males, may be distrustful of the police. But I would say there is my pre Ferguson environment and my post Ferguson environment in which given the extraordinary homicide rate in Milwaukee when I arrived, they were averaging about 130 homicides a year in a city of 600,000. My first two years there, we reduced it to the seventies. And for most of the decade I was there, it was below a hundred. The year after Ferguson and went up to 142 and what we were experiencing was a version of what Dr. Fryers has been studying, which is a post critical incident environment against the context of other critical incidents in other cities that are apparently showing this pattern of rampant police, illegal activity.

Ed Flynn:

And there was a viral video of me back then floating around, I think it ended up with like 8 million hits, of me expressing my frustration at a community meeting, where we were being assailed over an incident in which a police officer use deadly force on a mentally ill man who was assaulting the officer with the officer's baton. And I was on my way to a homicide scene where a five year old girl had been shot to death in her house, in a drive by shooting because two drug hit men hit the wrong house and had killed this girl sitting on her grandfather's lap. And what was so frustrating to me is that here our officers are the ones out there in that environment, trying to protect folks and there being assailed as the source of the problem.

Ed Flynn:

And what I try to explain to people is that, and I just want to thank Dr. Fryers for actually getting in a police car and watching the Wolf and warp of policing is it's practiced in disadvantaged neighborhoods, is the fact that the police... When I look at the disparate death rates in their COVID environment and people look at this and they think it's a major public health emergency and something should be done about it. I agree. And the people that are risking their lives in hospitals treating this disparate death rate from COVID are rightly hailed as heroes. And I think of my son, who's patrolling the streets of Washington, DC right now, patrolling neighborhoods that have a disparate homicide rates, 80, 85% of the homicides in this city are African-American victims the same as it was in Milwaukee, but he's assumed to be biased because he's in those neighborhoods engaged in proactive activity policing. And so, I think our fundamental issue was really raised in the prior conversation is that the neighborhoods at risk of violent crime want and need ethical policing, responsible to their concerns. And the fact is proactive activity save lives.

Ed Flynn:

But what we haven't figured out is, what is an acceptable disparity in police activity? And what's an unacceptable disparity? And what's the denominator? I mean, if I applied this same dosage of policing in every neighborhood of Milwaukee, I'd have been guilty of ethical, immoral malpractice because the fact of the matter is where the 9-1-1 calls are, where the bodies were falling, who the described offenders were, were the exact same neighborhoods where poverty, and unemployment, and educational achievement, and housing quality were all below scale, all at poverty rates. And we are the one aspect of society's response to the overall ills of poverty who seem to be the fall guys for those ills while everyone else is dealing with the same disparities we are. I think we have to decide what it is we're trying to accomplish here. We're trying to reduce the death rate in these communities that are plagued by so many social ills and they're destabilized by violence.

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:58:04]

Ed Flynn:

... are plagued by so many social ills and they're destabilized by violence. The police are charged with doing something about it, but we are operating in a political and media environment right now that values conflict above all, and I don't know. Yeah, I was aware of the concept of alternative facts before I ever heard anybody in the White House try out that expression. Meaning, all right, your side of the issue claims these are the most relevant facts. Well, I have other relevant facts. Your relevant facts are a number of critical incidents have occurred involving police officers and African American men resulting in death, some of those deaths wrongful.

Ed Flynn:

My alternative fact is we're deploying officers where there's the greatest risk of violent death, and those are African American communities in Milwaukee. You are 12 times more likely to be murdered and 15 times more likely to be shot if you are an African American than a white person, and we were supposed to do something about it. I think trying to do something about it isn't just about the police or requires some political moral courage to just raise the level of the conversation.

Ed Flynn:

We're not blaming the victims for being victimized, but it's part of a context of the many negative components of intergenerational poverty and our symptom of that, the police, is dealing with the violence and to disaggregate that from everything else and make the police now the symbol of the unfinished work of civil rights while everybody else goes about their business is destructive to those same communities that need us to try to help them stabilize so they can exact informal social control. So, that's the dreadful thing about it. The missing link is pattern of practice of investigations don't cause additional homicides, but the destabilization and de-legitimization of policing does and that's accomplished when every disparity has to be a bias disparity and no other explanation is permitted. That's just destroying rational conversation.

Howard Husock:

Okay. Thank you, Chief Flynn. I'm going to jump to Professor Reilly if I might. We're going to get to everybody of course, but you published a book called Hate Crime Hoax. Do the protestors, if the activist, Black Lives Matter, are they entirely wrong? We just had an incident yesterday in Minnesota where a young black man died with his ... the knee of a police officer on his neck apparently and he actually said I can't breathe. Just as happened in a famous or infamous incident in New York. Are you really confident that these protests are ill founded?

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

Well, as Dr. Fryer said, I tend to be ... I'm an academic myself. I feel like I can out nerd pretty much anyone on the panel. I tend to the extent possible be data driven. So, when you say something like wrong that's almost a moral statement. What I think about most Black Lives Matter style activists is that they're well intentioned at the general, but they're very unaware of some of the real facts here that are relevant to this debate. So, I mean, as regards Dr. Fryer's enlightening comments, I mean, there's an obvious statement of fact here, which is that if you pull serving police officers back from proactive policing in high crime neighborhoods, you're going to see more crime.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

I'm actually from Chicago. I was born on the South side of the city. I grew up in the Wicker Park neighborhood pre gentrification, and a couple of months after the events in Ferguson, I recall one of our news weeklies. One of the African American papers I believe running an incredible headline that ran police stops down 90% while crime skyrockets. So, that obviously was a tragedy and that was a tragedy that claimed primarily black and brown lives. The narrative that's generally used to justify that kind of system shift on the part of police departments is the Black Lives Matter narrative. Cherno Biko once went on Fox News and claimed that to quote, a black man is murdered by the police every 28 hours. There is ... I mean, the platform for the movement for black lives uses figures like thousands.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

There's this idea ... and several contexts, of course, but there's this idea that there's a wave of police near assassinations of African Americans, especially males for, this is the implication little reason, and that is not really accurate in any sense. The reason Dr. Fryer's work is valuable to those of us in the academic community is that he runs comprehensive well done regressions. What he points out and Heather MacDonald at Manhattan Institute has done this as well, is that if you adjust for very basic variables like crime rate and urban status, which you can easily do, and what's called the stat package program like [inaudible 01:02:59] there is no statistically significant disparity in the shootings of African Americans as versus for example Hispanics or urban whites or any other large population group. There's not a gigantic gap in the first place.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

I mean, I obviously pulled up the statistics on this before this conversation today. As per one of my own books, Taboo, in 2015, which is a representative year that's used reasonably often in the discipline, there were roughly 1,200 people all in that were killed in encounters with on-duty police officers. 258 of those persons were black. If you unpack that a little bit more, exactly 17, 17 were unarmed black men that were killed specifically at encounters with on-duty white officers. That is an extraordinarily small number of people. That is significantly smaller the number of people killed annually by bees, wasps and hornets for example. In 2019, we see a pretty similar pattern. I'm using Washington Post data here, but there were 1,004 people killed during that year in its entirety. Of those 235 were black.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

I will note in the interest of honesty that some of these individuals believe more than 100 were not identified by race, but you see a very specific 200 to 300 in the overall pool annually that are African American. So, there's a huge media element to me of the miscomprehension that goes on around this. So, in a typical year, as I've mentioned, African American men make up perhaps 25% of those killed by police. However, cases in which police have unfortunate violent encounters with African American men make up about 80%, I'd say a bit more, of the stories around this area covered by the national media.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

While researching Taboo, I actually just very simply deleted cookies on a couple of computers and searched well-known police shooting. Of the cases that were turned up during the first 10 pages of results, we found ... in fact, I know three white cases, two Hispanic cases, 32 black cases, despite the actual numbers that are on point here. So, I think that this kind of curation of fear actually occurs in the context of many topics. As it would be difficult not to today, a number of us had mentioned COVID-19. Obviously, a terrible killer, something to be aware of, let's not take excessive risks, but I actually pulled up the data from the CDC as of yesterday while we were talking.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

The total number of people under the age of 25 so far to die from COVID in the United States is 88. The number of persons between 25 and 34 to die from COVID-19 in the United States, 463. Total number under 45, although I may have neglected to add two of these categories, but it looks like 1,186. So, when we make complex difficult moral decisions, it's absolutely important that we have the real facts on deck. We have to decide which trade offs we do want. Any human loss whether that's to COVID or to a law officer's bullet is a great tragedy, but it makes no sense to respond to a false narrative with specific directed real action.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

So, I think that many of the people that are engaging in advocacy on the Black Lives Matter side, simply don't know what the facts are. If you asked many passionate, proud young activists to estimate the number of black men killed by white officers in fights or encounters in a typical year unarmed, I don't think they'd say 15, and that's a problem.

Howard Husock:

Let me turn to a slightly out of order from what I want to Kmele Foster. We've had a variety of, I won't say denunciations, but concerns expressed about the media. You have a lot of experience in the media. It may be true that the media blows these things out of proportion, but if you're Chief Flynn in Milwaukee, you can't make that go away. You can't say, "Well, those are not the most important facts." Those are still the facts he has to deal with. How might you advise him to think about that dilemma?

Kmele Foster:

Well, that's a very difficult circumstance. Obviously, when an incident like this occurs, and it does take control of the local and in many cases national media conversation, any police department finds itself in a very difficult spot. Usually, the response that you'll see is not unlike the shooting that we saw, just this ... not the shooting but the man who died while he was being apprehended by the police just this week where local officials, especially now post Black Lives Matter movement, tend to come out. They'll say something very resonant with community concern, something along the lines of no black person should be killed for being black or being black shouldn't be a death sentence.

Kmele Foster:

When you have to deal with that hyperbole, it can be extremely emotional, but I think it's terribly important that we start at some point before the incident when we're talking about how to address these issues. For the most part, I mean, I could give advice on how to respond, but that's triage. Before and perhaps even after an incident like this, I think the way in which these shootings are investigated and adjudicated is critically important to the conversation. It's something that is generally overlooked.

Kmele Foster:

I have had and I've been involved in stories where we've investigated the various ways that different departments [inaudible 01:08:55] police involved deaths and one of the things that I think is underappreciated and profoundly poorly understood is the degree to which investigations into civilian deaths when the police are involved can oftentimes seem secretive, can oftentimes not be nearly as independent as folks might deem appropriate and can very often involve local district attorneys, police officers who are effectively coworkers. That is a dynamic that is obviously problematic. I don't think it lends itself to creating trust amongst the public at large and the police.

Kmele Foster:

It is certainly the case that one doesn't want to create an overly rivalrous process wherein you're to hang every police officer for any mistake that's made during the line of duty, even an honest mistake, but like transportation safety, like an institution like the National Transportation Safety Board, we investigate airline crashes just as we ought to impartially and thoughtfully, prudently, extensively investigate all police involved deaths with an eye toward developing policy that improves things and makes it better and the degree we find ourselves politicizing these encounters.

Kmele Foster:

So, we find ourselves looking at the death of Breonna Taylor, for example. A 26 year old woman was killed in her home as a result of a midnight no knock raid in her house. The police department had the wrong address. It's very easy for the media to latch onto a racial narrative. It's very easy for activists to get animated about this along those same lines. For whatever reason, it becomes a lot more difficult for us to have this sort of broad national conversation that it seems very appropriate to have about the number of no knock raids that ought to be happening, about the frequency with which these things are happening and the degree to which it's even necessary about the underlying policies that we have as a society have endorsed where we're asking police officers to enforce a range of laws that may or may not serve our best interests.

Kmele Foster:

Unfortunately, because of the disproportionate emphasis on race, I think we don't get around to having those conversations. So, the best advice that I can give to local law enforcement, to municipal governments that are responsible for funding them and operating them is to make certain that you are giving people the sort of transparency that is actually required when incidents like this happen. To empower your citizens so that they can have visibility into what's going on, because that is the only way that we can actually find our way out of this in a way that actually gets us the result that we want. A minimal number of people getting hurt, police officers empowered to do their jobs and a citizenry that can trust their police departments and have faith in them.

Howard Husock:

Thank you, Kmele. Let me turn to Barry Latzer, John Jay College. He is both our criminologist and our historian of the panel. Chief Flynn in talking about the really broad backdrop for the conflicts and controversies that were engaged in, exposed to, talked about it's the product of intergenerational poverty. Police can't be expected to solve that. You've looked at the history of violent crime. Do you see contemporary violent crime in American history as linked to intergenerational poverty?

Barry Latzer:

Well, yes I do, Howard, but that's not the primary cause. Otherwise, all impoverished groups would commit the same amount of violent crime and we know that's not the case. So, poverty is one factor, but it's not the only or necessarily the most significant factor in producing violent crime and also-

Howard Husock:

So, what do you see as the most significant factors?

Barry Latzer:

There are cultural factors, too. There are groups because of their experiences that resort to violence. African Americans in the United States are a prime example, of course, and because of their historical/cultural experiences, we find a longstanding and ongoing problem in poor black communities. When I say long standing, my research shows that the excessive violence in the impoverished African American communities goes back to the 1880s and continues right through the 20th century. May I comment also on another historical issue that relates to Professor Fryer's paper?

Howard Husock:

Please.

Barry Latzer:

From around the late 1960s to the early 1990s, this country went through probably the worst violent crime boom that ever occurred in its history. During that period, police tried everything they could think of to stanch the tide of violence. For the most part, nothing worked. The tactics that worked in one city didn't seem to work in another city. So, there's a second order if you will inference in Professor Fryer's paper, a forthcoming paper. The first inference of course has to do with the impact of investigations on policing, but the second order inference seems to me and I'm skeptical about it is that the police can readily control violent crime. They could reduce violent crime. All they have to do is be proactive.

Barry Latzer:

I'm very skeptical about that simply because I know for a fact, and I can prove it and have proved it, that there have been various tactics, including proactive policing, community policing, hotspots policing and I can go through the whole long list of the different police tactics, that worked with varying degrees of effectiveness. So, my argument would be even if Professor Fryer's right that within 24 months let's say of the start of an investigation you have an uptick in homicide or violent crime, I'm not at all persuaded that that's due to reduction in proactive policing. Now, I'm sure Professor Fryer is an excellent researcher and I'm sure he controlled for all sorts of factors that could have affected the crime rate, but I'm very skeptical about it. I'm pro-police, and I'm not sympathetic to Black Lives Matter at all.

Barry Latzer:

I recognize how much we need the police. I'm in complete sync with the Chief's remarks about these being social problems and not just the police's problems, but I'm very skeptical that the police can effectively stanch violent crime rates because they didn't, they didn't over a period of over 30 years. That's why I think the second order inferences in Professor Fryer's paper should be examined and shouldn't be readily accepted.

Howard Husock:

All right. Well, we have to go back to Chief Flynn. He talked about his experience in Milwaukee pre Ferguson and post Ferguson and drew a sharp line between under 100 murders and 143 murders. I'm guessing you would take issue with Professor Latzer.

Ed Flynn:

Well, somewhat. I mean, I went to John Jay, so I'm a scholar of policing history as well. I'm familiar with the areas he's contrasting. I think we could probably have a widely discussion about the impact of the police on crime in different generations of our iterations and our access to better intelligence and the types of officers we're recruiting and any police tactic has to be embedded in an overall strategy. So, he's correct in noting that some tactics work well in some cities, but not in others, but that's because the other variables in the replicated city weren't addressed. There weren't perhaps preexisting relationships of trust with the community or there wasn't a coordination with the rest of the criminal justice system.

Ed Flynn:

I mean, one of the painful things we've learned is something has to happen after an arrest if you're trying to reduce crime and that requires the intervention of the district attorney's office. It requires that the courts operate effectively and of course we all know that the court systems are overwhelmed because even with ... no courts in America can handle the number of jury trials that would be required for all the felony arrest made in a given city. So consequently, there's always spillage, which means career criminals get to re-offend while they're awaiting an intervention of the courts, but I think what it is necessary to keep in mind is that police activity does matter if it is connected to an overarching strategy.

Ed Flynn:

We did the kind of analysis that Roland Fryer did. We measured our traffic stop activity in Milwaukee. We had used that because we found that traffic accidents were collocated with high crime neighborhoods. Now, our instruction to the officers was to emphasize warnings, because we didn't want to pile little tickets on poor people and then have their licenses suspended, but we wanted to see high profile active police enforcement of traffic laws, even if it did culminate in a warning. What we saw was there was an absolute negative connection between traffic stop activity and three variables, which surprised us. There was literature that said you could stop robberies and car thefts with street level traffic enforcement by regular patrol units, but the third thing we saw and we impacted was the non fatal shootings.

Ed Flynn:

So, three activities that required the vigorous use of public space could be deterred by data-driven policing enforcement activities, regardless of whether or not an arrest or a citation was issued that in some ways, can we say contended for the public space to make it available to all, because poverty doesn't cause crime linearly. I understand that, but I also understand that public space violence does more harm to those criminals who happened to be poor and that is why we have the public police. Other people with criminal intent of different social classes, don't mug people. They figure out other ways to get your money.

Ed Flynn:

So, the challenge is we have to be visible and available in the neighborhoods where that public space must be contended for. If we do it effectively, trying to connect the communities as well as part of a thoughtful, overall strategy, we can have an impact on crime. When you delegitimize us and back us off, like the manager arguing with the umpire, it's about the next call, all right? You do see an impact on what happens in those public spaces. I commend Professor Fryer for examining that honestly. The challenge of course is, how do we entertain different facts that support perhaps different interpretations that all disparities can only be explained by biased?

Howard Husock:

I don't want to get into a policing debate between you and Professor Latzer, although that would be quite interesting, but Professor Reilly, we have on the table a bleak picture about the limits of policing, and then we have something related, but it was saying that Chief Flynn also said before, which was the importance of getting to what he called ethical policing, ethical dimension of police activity. In a sense, he just gave us a really interesting example. Let's go to high crime neighborhoods and disproportionately if you will enforce traffic laws. Do you ... and I want to ask Kmele the same thing. Do you regard those as examples of ethical policing?

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

Kmele, do you want to take that first or I can.

Kmele Foster:

Sure. Sure.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

Go ahead.

Kmele Foster:

I mean, it's certainly a matter of how the policy is instituted. I mean, I lived in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn as a actively gentrifying neighborhood, at least that was before the pandemic. I guess everyone sort of took off in a manner of speaking afterwards, at least those that could, but while I was there, I certainly saw incidents where there would be a shooting in the neighborhood. Immediately after the shooting, you see precisely the sort of spike that Professor Fryer was describing afterwards, where the police would be present inside of train terminals, et cetera. This was in the last several years. So, most of the active concern about stop and frisk in New York City abated because the policies had changed, but it is certainly appropriate.

Kmele Foster:

I think for many of the residents of a community, generally speaking, black and white, it is appreciated to see that sort of response after something like that happens. But, of course, one has concerns about the way a policy like that is instituted. Again, I think unless you're able to cultivate the sort of trust necessary, certainly, making additional stops in a neighborhood just to take a look inside of someone's car, I mean, perhaps that could be done in a way that makes sense, but if it's just a stop on the basis of suspicion as opposed to someone actually had some sort of moving violation, then that certainly seems like something that would raise some levels of concerns from a civil liberty standpoint.

Howard Husock:

Yeah. So, Professor Reilly, what does go too far then? What would become unethical police?

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

Okay. That's a good direct question. I think a good direct answer would be abuse. So, I mean, one thing that I think we're all in agreement on across the panel is that actual unethical policing of the kind you used to see in say black communities in the South in the 1930s is unacceptable. You shouldn't have police officers man handling or physically abusing people. You shouldn't have police officers, for example, taking large amounts of money from drug dealers and essentially stealing it. The use of racial language shouldn't be tolerated, so on. So, I think that at the baseline, obviously, police departments should work with community leaders. If there are any remaining angry caveman on the forest, they should be removed from the forest, turn in the badge and the gun.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

But, one thing I absolutely do want to say here as again a guy who came of age in mid 1990s Chicago, the underlying reality in Chicago and New York and Milwaukee and these other world cities in terms of Detroit, in terms of why there are so many police officers in certain areas of town, the underlying reality is crime. I live in Kentucky about 30 minutes from Appalachia. Now, we see the exact same issue with "poor white communities" in Frankfurt, Lexington, so on down the line. The police are near those trailer parks because there's a lot of crime there. If you're looking for someone who might be selling crystal methamphetamine, there's going to be a profile of a working class Caucasian individual who might be committing that crime.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

So, I mean, in general, policing since the CompStat era in the 1990s has involved sending officers to high crime areas to try to reduce crime. My assumption having looked at some of the models is that if crime ever stabilized at the citywide normal, those officers would be to some extent withdrawn from those areas, but sending police into afflicted areas to ... for example stop and frisk, to search young males for the weapons used in violent crimes is probably a necessary evil. I would draw the line at abuse such as expressed racism, theft, manhandling people so on down the line, but we can't ignore the reality of crime. It would be to a certain extent malfeasance of duty to have the same number of heavily armed police officers swaggering around a suburban neighborhood full of young mothers, as you would have in a housing project community or a trailer park community.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

That wouldn't make any sense because in the first community, you don't have a very large number of violent crimes. So, I think there certainly is an ethical explanation for "CompStat policing, targeted policing", as long as that doesn't lead into the individual abuse of citizens, but that ... and you're going to have trouble drawing what exists on either side of that line, but that I think is the distinction that has to be drawn. You simply can't pull the police out of the highest crime areas because people note that there are more police in high crime areas. Of course, there are.

Howard Husock:

Well, a related question that comes from one of our viewers, and I think it's for Professor Latzer. Implicit in what Professor Reilly just said is that if you're going to target communities with a disproportionate amount of police activity, you better have good data. Are you satisfied as a criminologist that what Professor Reilly called the CompStat era, computer directed policing, do we really have the data and the data systems in so many local police force? We have thousands of local police forces. Do we have the kind of data that makes that practical?

Barry Latzer:

Well, if you mean crime data, there's no question. The data is unimpeachable. I mean, the data ... you can't even argue with the data. So, the answer is indubitably, unquestionably. We have the data. The data show where the crime is. The crime is in the poor African American areas of big cities. That's why-

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [01:27:04]

Barry Latzer:

... African American areas of big cities. That's why we have a problem. Policing those areas, of course, creates racial tensions. That's why I said I agreed with everything Chief Flynn said, because as a matter of fact, that's the major problem in the United States in terms of policing and has been for the past half century. By the way, just as a historical point, it might be interesting to note that prior to the 1960s, the police didn't have big problems in black communities because they under police them. They ignored the crime that was going on in those black communities. It's just that when you had a big migration from the south of African Americans up north, and when crime started to hit whites as well as blacks and crime rates soared, that you had a much bigger demand for policing in black communities, but that's where the crime is. I think the data are unimpeachable, unquestionably correct.

Howard Husock:

Would you speak briefly? You made an offhanded comment that I thought was... Got my attention and that was about a culture of violent crime in African American communities going back to the 1880s.

Barry Latzer:

Right.

Howard Husock:

Why is that? Why is that?

Barry Latzer:

The theory I present in my forthcoming book, in which I allude to in the book about crime in the post World War II era is as follows. 90% of the black population prior to 1910 lived in the south. Southern whites had very high violent crime rates. Southern blacks, in effect, adopted the same sort of... They call it the honor code. If you're insulted, if someone offends you, if you have a grudge with somebody, you resort to violence to defend your honor, to defend your integrity. This type of approach to interpersonal relations supports a great deal of violence.

Barry Latzer:

It existed among whites in the south and existed by the way, throughout the 20th century. Some of the areas where Professor Riley is in the Appalachians are a witness to this and it exists among African Americans. Now, as African Americans moved to the middle class as with all ethnic groups that have moved to the middle class, you will see a big decline in violent crime.

Barry Latzer:

We're not talking about a racial characteristic here, violent crime rates among middle class, African Americans, probably not any different than violent crime rates among middle class whites. We're talking about a cultural manifestation that develops in the south and was transported north with the great migration. It was largely ignored. That's why black and black crime rates continued, and I would add further because racism, because of discrimination, it was more difficult for blacks to move to the middle class that perpetuated this lower class black population, which they engaged in high levels of interpersonal violence. This, in a nutshell, is my theory of violent crime in the United States. Although I don't want to limit this to African Americans because whites did more than their share, but that's my theory of violent crime in the United States for most of our history since the 19th century.

Howard Husock:

Right. But don't things change? There's one way to change that you just put forward, become economically better off?

Barry Latzer:

Yes.

Howard Husock:

I want to turn to Kmele on this. Do we have a reward in popular culture for engaging in allusions to violent behavior that are perpetuating the honor culture that Professor Latzer referred to over and apart from poverty? I guess I'm talking about hiphop and rap music and other forms of [crosstalk 00:04:11] culture.

Kmele Foster:

Sure. Yeah. I've certainly heard allusions to that. The fact of the matter is that major consumers of hip hop exist all around the world in virtually every community. I haven't seen any evidence that hip hop in particular is driving violence. It is certainly a genre in which there is a great deal of violence, but one could say the same about R rated films. Again, I also haven't seen any sort of indication that people who go to see diehard films with great regularity are more likely to shoot people. I think that crime is complex. I've certainly seen some honor culture before. I definitely think it's appropriate to look at cultural aspects that might be contributing to rates of violence in particular communities. I actually think that... If I'm remembering the data I've seen and I haven't looked at it recently, there really is a bit of stickiness there in terms of blacks being overrepresented across different income groups in various violent crime stats.

Kmele Foster:

Even middle class blacks tend to be overrepresented compared with their middle class counterparts. That's a confounding and difficult reality that we have to contend with, but I do also think that it's separate and apart from a number of the other issues related to policing and criminal justice issues broadly, I think that a conversation about what we can do to ensure that we're having, as I mentioned earlier, independent investigations. It's important conversations about what we can do to ensure that the impartiality in our justice system is very important.

Kmele Foster:

Even those conversations tend to be dominated by concerns about race, but the things that most concerned me pertain to forensic science, for example, and whether or not our practices and procedures there are ones that are actually getting us good outcomes. We've seen pretty good rigorous scientific work that suggests that in many instances, we're not getting great results there and we failed to do anything about it. In fact, the Obama administration failed to do anything about it when they had an opportunity. I hope that we're able to disentangle these conversations about policing and race enough for us to see clearly the opportunity that we have to improve policing and to deliver a better quality of life to citizens who are in the most challenged communities in the country.

Howard Husock:

I'm going to get to Chief Flynn in a minute, and his reaction to your points about transparency and investigations and the alliances between district attorneys and police are the perceived alliances, but would you expand on what you mean by forensic science?

Kmele Foster:

There have been a number of high profile incidents of many, many cases being overturned because there've been discoveries about various tactics that have been used in courts when prosecuting crimes, whether it be the dental records or forensics related to bullet analysis that have proven to be less than thoroughly scientific with questions about the reproducibility of results around those practices, and still many of those practices continue to be used in courts today and greatly to the disadvantage of folks who have the least means to mount a defense to push back against scientifically dubious practices that have been used in courts to convict people of various crimes.

Kmele Foster:

I think you have to have conversations about that and an examination of that. There was a report that was issued in 2017 towards the end of President Obama's time in office or 2016, end of 2017. There was the president's council on science. I can't remember the name exactly, but anyone who's looking for this can find it, that actually has a pretty comprehensive summary of a lot of the areas that have the highest difficulty and propose the great many reforms. Unfortunately, the Obama Justice Department declined to do anything about this report, despite the fact that it was constituted by that particular administration.

Howard Husock:

Chief Flynn, does Kmele's point about both those kinds of postmortems, I guess you would have to call them and transparency in the judicial and investigative process, does that make sense to you? Do you think it would have helped you in Milwaukee or would help other police chiefs, including the potential police chief who was your son?

Ed Flynn:

Well, there's times I just say no, even though the points he makes are all good ones. When you're in the middle of one of those controversies, the facts stop mattering. Controversy has become evidence for a strongly held position. It didn't matter in Milwaukee that over the course of my tenure, we have a 77% decrease that citizen complaints against the police. The University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee did a public survey. They conducted it, not the police department. In fact, we had a three quarter approval rating including a 62% approval rating in the African American community. Of course, I was concerned about that gap and approval ratings, black and white, but what public official wouldn't kill for 60% approval rate from anybody? None of it mattered. What matters is we had a controversial use of force, that this use of force was perceived by some, to be evidence of a national problem.

Ed Flynn:

We got fitted into the national conversation and it was one of these incidents where I really had to make a tough call because at the point the officer use deadly force to kill this deranged man, your officer's being assaulted. He'd been disarmed of his baton. He had no options. I had to defend that use of force, but they ended up firing him because of his incompetence in handling initial encounter. He have had the appropriate training to handle the mentally ill. He went in by himself. He put his hands on the man and patted him down without engaging in a conversation. It was the officer who created jeopardy. I heard the officer even as always said, he should not be criminally charged and he ultimately wasn't. The result was that the local black lives matter people demanded that I'd be fired for not wanting his prosecution and the police union voted no confidence at me. I like to think at that moment, I brought the police and the community together.

Kmele Foster:

But I wonder...

Howard Husock:

Go ahead.

Ed Flynn:

[crosstalk 01:38:00] right now is the police have become symbols. All right? We are symbols of much bigger issues, but the conversation politically and in the media has been oversimplified to the point of uselessness. I can barely read the paper anymore because I know what everybody's going to say. As soon as this story happened, yes, it looks like police malpractice to me. Sure, it heck does. But what's the editorial, The Washington Post today? When will it stop? The police were going...

Kmele Foster:

Right.

Ed Flynn:

Stop it. You're worried about acceptance in the community when the biggest propaganda are delegitimizing police community relations.

Howard Husock:

Okay. Let's slow down. Let's slow down. Kmele, you want to...

Kmele Foster:

Can I ask a quick follow up?

Howard Husock:

Yeah, please do.

Kmele Foster:

Quick follow up. I'd say strong agreement with you. It's actually worse than useless. I'll emphasize this a bit, it is dangerous. There have been incidents of mass shootings where people have targeted police officers, motivated about precisely these kinds of narratives. I don't think people are particularly careful when they go on television and say, "It's seems like it's open season on black man or something insane like that."

Kmele Foster:

That is hyperbole worse than that. It's dangerous hyperbole, but I do wonder if you'd agree with me, because as you were describing a circumstance where you found an officer who had done something wrong, who jeopardized citizens' lives, it seems to me, based on what I've seen, that there are far too many situations where there are, in fact, law enforcement officers who respond to incentives just like any other person would, who look to protect people who work in the same profession they do, who think to themselves perhaps they are, but for the grace of God, go I, and who might obscure the truth and allow for a circumstance where a bad officer continues to do. Continues to be on the force, endangering fellow officers and endangering citizens.

Kmele Foster:

I wonder if you'd agree that there ought to be broadly understood and applied standards for guaranteeing independent investigations of say, police involved, encounters with police when someone is killed or seriously injured. Because I have seen circumstances where there is essentially police officers investigating fellow officers when something like this happens and the truth doesn't come out. Whether or not that individual incidents, which again, if it's the wrong sort of person, if it's a white officer and a white citizen who's killed, no one is paying attention, but it matters a great deal whether or not we're adjudicating those things fairly, and whether or not we're getting bad cops off of the force and whether or not we're changing policy in order to protect people and allow cops to do their job safely.

Howard Husock:

I would just point out that a Chief Flynn has given us a new phrase. Police created jeopardy. Police created jeopardy, the bad practice of the officer that he discussed created the jeopardy that he was in. That's a new term. Now, we have another phenomenon that's going on and that's related to policing. That's what some people call mass incarceration, some called the incarceration. I wanted to ask both Barry and Professor Riley. Do you see that the mass incarceration and the demands for release of certain lower levels, so-called criminals as an appropriate response to the concern about over policing, or is it a complicating... Making it worse?

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

Well, everyone has a bias and I'll be open and say I lean center right, right upfront. But my strong impression is that mass incarceration in the United States, except to the limited extent that you're talking about low level drug offenses, is a result of mass crime. During the period between the mid to late 1960s and about 1994 where you had the expansion of the welfare state, where you had specific changes under law, the fruit of the poison tree rule, Miranda, Escobedo, Gideon assigned public defenders for all felony and misdemeanor defendant, so on down the line, as a result of all this, you saw a dramatic, I believe 400% would be accurate increase in crime. This resulted in a large number of people being incarcerated. Many studies like The New Jim Crow that look at...

Howard Husock:

That's a book by Michelle Alexander.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

Yes. Yeah. I was just about to point that out, but Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow, for example, look at the reality, one, of high rates of incarceration and two, the reality of racial disparities in incarceration and say that what we're doing is creating a new chattel slave system. Ignoring the fact that not long after the original chattel slave system ended, we did not see this kind of racial disparities, this kind of rates of incarceration.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

This is to some very large extent, a result of the growth in crime in the recent past history of the United States and getting to the point, the obvious reality is that if you begin letting large numbers of people out of jail or out of prison, you're going to see once again, a substantial increase in crime. I believe it was The New York Times that once ran a hilarious headline that was along the lines of, "Despite the fact that more criminals are in prison, crime continues to decrease, or we're not seeing increases in crime."

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

You're going to see the exact reverse of that if you begin emptying the prisons and jails. Again, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen a very, very, very slight foretaste of that. Obviously, I think Kmele would probably agree with this, but I think that almost all drugs of pleasure and personal doses should be legalized for example. But when you're talking about the majority of the crimes that are going to take you to prison, not to a one week stay in the county hotel, taking the people that have committed these offenses burglary, sexual assault too, and so on and releasing them in public is going to have a major negative effect that is entirely, entirely predictable.

Howard Husock:

Well, Professor...

Barry Latzer:

Yeah. I agree with that. I agree with that. Were you going to turn to me or not?

Howard Husock:

Yeah. I was going to turn to you. I was going to ask you whether... Go ahead and agree, but I was going to ask you whether there's a [inaudible 01:44:23] hears about if low level drug offenses were not offensive, there was a decriminalization or legalization, then we wouldn't see this mass incarceration.

Barry Latzer:

Well, if you look only in prisons, then it's only going to have at best, a 16% impact on the prison population. Most of those drug imprisonments are for dealing and not for possession, not for mere possession.

Howard Husock:

Yeah. But do those kinds of incidents in which police are either cracking down or searching for drugs or arresting somebody for possession disproportionally, or do we know lead to these kinds of altercations?

Barry Latzer:

Oh, I don't know if those particularly two altercations, maybe some of the other panelists can...

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

Just one very quick comment here. Two sentences, first of all, my impression is that most of the altercations that lead to a viral shooting would be something like a domestic violence, potential arrest or something outside of liquor serving establishment. I'd have to check the data on that, but I don't think drug cases are disproportionately represented.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

But one point that was made in passing is in the... Chief Flynn's made this point. In the United States, criminal justice, and to some extent, criminal bargaining system, something like 97% of legal cases are plea bargain. If someone is in prison for the crime of marijuana possession, that's almost certainly the charge that they've "[inaudible 00:18:50]" out of a list of several charges that it could include trafficking of the same substance, possession of cocaine as well as marijuana, possession of an illegal firearm and so on down the line. There are very, very few... It's hard to go to prison, at least the first couple of times you get arrested. There are going to be very, very few people that's African American, white, et cetera in prison just on the basis of a misdemeanor of "marijuana [inaudible 01:46:13]."

Barry Latzer:

Yeah. Nobody goes to prison for that, jail maybe, but not prison. The real issue here is recidivism and you have very high recidivism rates in the United States. If you release people and the time spent in prison is only about two years on average anyway. If you release people who are prone to commit additional crimes as soon as they get out, and we know the data and the data are pretty horrifying to the Bureau of Justice Statistics or the Justice Department track people for nine years, and you had an 80% something recidivism rate measuring recidivism by an arrest for serious offense. With that high recidivism rate, if you release people prematurely, you're bound to increase crime.

Howard Husock:

Okay.

Ed Flynn:

[inaudible 00:20:04], I'm going to make a point.

Howard Husock:

Well, I'm going to give you a chance, but it's going to be your closing remarks.

Ed Flynn:

Well, keep in mind [crosstalk 01:47:11].

Howard Husock:

Okay. Hang on. I'm going to give everybody now a chance. We're coming to the end of our time, so everybody will get... I'd ask you to reflect on maybe what you got out of this that you didn't think before, or know before. I know that's hard for academics because they already know what they know, but I'm going to start with Chief Flynn and reflect on the conversation and closing remarks of any kind.

Ed Flynn:

Sure. Well, the immediate conversation, I just like to note that most victims of violent crime are victimized by people who look like them. That has some meaning for those who find themselves in jail later on. The larger issue is I just would really like to commend Roland Fryer for doing the kind of research that put him in squad cars, watching the context of policing in the environment in which it occurs and making an effort to understand policing beyond the numbers. Some great scholarship has come out of observational studies. I think his may have done potential, simply analyzing data and discovering disparities that anybody could have anticipated, but it does not help move the community conversation or get us closer to true justice for disadvantaged communities.

Howard Husock:

Thank you. Kmele Foster.

Kmele Foster:

I would agree forcefully with all of that. I'll begin by also thanking Professor Fryer for the work that he's been doing. I think for some time, he's been amongst the most thoughtful people on these issues providing really indispensable data, which unfortunately, I think it's almost... I don't know if it's bias predominantly or if it's an unwillingness to look the facts in the face when it comes to these issues, but it is very useful to have folks who are doing that kind of rigorous work and worth very much underscoring the conclusion, or at least the central finding of this paper with respect to the excess deaths that are occurring around these issues.

Kmele Foster:

I think highlighting for people, the degree to which our panics around these issues or panics around particular police involved shootings aren't serving the communities that we are at least extensively concerned about is very important. The number of police shootings that occur on an annual basis since 2015 has not really changed that much, and neither as the composition of the people who are getting shot, which suggests that probably not the case that all of this is motivated by racism or if it is, we're certainly not doing anything about it. It is high time that we change our approach and our conversations around these issues involve. I think this is a great panel and a great start.

Howard Husock:

I'll go to Barry Latzer.

Barry Latzer:

Well, one would hope that this would change the dialogue and at least bring a breath of fresh air into this conversation so that we begin to realize that there are consequences for what I would call over investigating police departments in the United States. I'm not optimistic that this would happen, but one remains hopeful.

Howard Husock:

Finally, Wilfred Reilly.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

Well, as everyone said, thanks to Dr. Fryer for the excellent research he's doing. Thanks to you guys, the gentlemen on the panel for having me. The one thing that really stood out to me on the second half of this conversation was the statement that the police have become a symbol. I very much, as a young man, for example, talking online, see that some people will defend police departments literally no matter what they do. Others will find the police to almost always be at fault as they try to keep order in high crime cities.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

I don't think that either is useful when at the level of Manhattan Institute or the people here we're discussing serious issues like crime, the focus should be on reality and not symbology. My statement to the audience would be look at what the actual numbers are before taking a strong position on questions like this one, challenge and question narratives. My final line, the narrative that raises ever precedent, a lot of these situations, I find very questionable. I've been doing a little Googling and Binging while we've been talking, and I pulled up the name, I happened to, of the first officer to have been fired in the unfortunate situation that just happened in Minneapolis.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly:

His name was [inaudible 00:24:35], if I have that correct. He appears to be of Cambodia and American descent. The idea that this is a racist anti-black attack, perhaps not, it could simply be poor policing or even a tough situation we don't know much about. First, get the facts. Then, the opinion.

Howard Husock:

Thanks to all our panelists, Chief Edward Flynn, Kmele Foster, Professor Wilfred Reilly, Professor Barry Latzer. Thanks to all of you. Now, back to my colleague, Jason Riley.

Jason Riley:

Thank you, Howard. I'd like to second that. I think that it's a very stimulating panel discussion. I want to thank everyone who participated in this. I know we had this all set up and ready to go some months ago and we had to pull the plug at the last minute. I'm just very, very grateful that you all made yourselves available to do this today. I hope the audience got the breath of fresh air [inaudible 01:52:26] that I got from the conversation. I also want to second the importance and significance of the work that that Professor Fryer is doing. It is to be commended. There are so many social scientists who shy away from this type of work. They don't want the backlash. They don't want to follow the facts where they lead, and so they simply go along to get along with the narrative where they keep their mouth shut and that's not helping anyone.

Jason Riley:

It's not hoping to close these gaps that we all want to see closed and improve the situation in these low income communities. We need to have honest conversations about the problem if we're ever going to get to the solution. I really, really commend Professor Fryer for doing that and taking the time to chat with us about his paper. I encourage you to read it when it is available, as well as his last paper. Again, I just want to thank my colleagues at the Manhattan Institute, Michael Hendrix especially, and the rest of my colleagues there who work so hard to put this all together online. I hope you all felt it was worth, worth your time. Be safe, everyone. Thank you.

PART 4 OF 4 ENDS [01:53:52]

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