June 1, 2021

Accountability in Policing: Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio example?

Lydia Guzman is the Chairwomen of the Phoenix PD Hispanic Advisory Board


Join Sgt. Tom Datro and his guest Lydia Guzman the Chairwomen of the Phoenix PD and the Dept of Public Safety's Hispanic Advisory Boards as they talk about accountability in policing. In 2017, Lydia’s actions as well as those from other activists helped convict Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

In this episode you will learn:

  • When Sheriff Joe crossed the line. 
  • Reappropriating funds for Mental Health experts 

  • What to do when a police officer gets "the jitters" after a shooting. 
  • The problem with the sheriff being an elected. 
  • Use of force and what keeps her up at night. 

Read The Book: Driving while Brown  https://www.amazon.com/Driving-While-Brown-Sheriff-Resistance/dp/0520294084

Connect with Lydia Guzman on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lydiaguzman?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LydiaGuzmans

 

Connect with Policing in America Podcast on:

Website: https://www.policinginamerica.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/policinginamericapodcast/

Email: policinginamericapodcast@gmail.com

 

 

 

Transcript

i saw a video where you know some somebody was recording a cop that worked taking someone down and it looked from that cop view you know they were resisting arrest or whatever but what they didn't know is that there was somebody else just down the street recording from a different viewpoint that was not the case and you heard the verbal comments stop resisting stop resisting well the guy from the other camera recorded something different that the person was not resisting and was you know pretty much almost unconscious from the beating welcome to policing in america a podcast about race and policing the good the bad and the ugly the goal is to have uncomfortable conversations to spark positive change my name is sergeant tom datro i'm currently the officer in charge of a unit that creates delivers and maintains police training in the largest urban police department on the west coast of

america hello everyone and welcome back to the policing in america podcast this is a bittersweet introduction for me as we look to close out the season uh here on episode 14 and it's been a very interesting fun trying and emotional experience launching this podcast i have learned a lot more than i thought i would i thought i would be the one doing more the educating coming into this but my guests have taught me quite a bit a lot of what they taught me i've already started implementing in some of the trainings that i do and even in my everyday life when i'm out there interacting with the public so i plan to continue doing this type of work i'm hoping to launch another season i'm hoping to get more guests maybe we'll revisit some of the people we had in season one for some special episodes i really look forward to your feedback so if you enjoyed the podcast if something spoke to you please consider subscribing please consider leaving uh the reviews please email us at leasing in america podcast gmail.com i'd love to hear from you and ideas that you might want to share maybe there's topics you want to hear maybe there's specific people you'd like me to interview and i could reach out to them maybe you want to be on the show reach out let's continue this conversation let's continue moving forward and in that vein i think i wanted to end on something that we can all agree on which is accountability i think we all agree that when you engage in policing and police work and the enormous power that you're granted through the government there needs to be a level of accountability and with that i have a very special guest and we're going to dive into police accountability

hi everyone thank you again for tuning in to the policing in america podcast oftentimes in policing we hear the term accountability and the citizens rightfully expect more and more accountability by our nation's law enforcement um departments and so i have with me today a guest uh we're gonna discuss a little bit of that accountability what it means and what it would look like and what are the reasonable expectations of accountability so please allow me to introduce lydia guzman lydia guzman is the chairwoman of the phoenix pd hispanic advisory board and also the department of public safety hispanic advisor board she currently sits on the use of force board and disciplinary review board of the phoenix police department in 2017 lydia's actions as well as those from other activists helped convict then sheriff joe arpaio he was convicted for failing to stop his traffic officers from racially profiling suspected undocumented immigrants lydia welcome and thank you so much for being here well thank you for having me tom i appreciate being here well let's if you don't mind that that is going to be a big topic i i know law enforcement in general uh very familiar with with then you know like sheriff joe arpaio and can you maybe tell us a little bit about how that came to be and you know the story behind that sure sure well you know back in like 2006 um sheriff joe arpaio uh you know he he you know like any other sheriff he's an elected official and like any elected official um they have to you know they cater to the folks that elect them okay and so there was a point when sheriff joe arpaio was actually very popular with the latino community and you know a lot of people don't know this but he was very popular um so what had happened in you know not after 9 11 you know there was a lot of backlash against the immigrant community and when that happened i mean you know if if you were supporting the immigrant community if you were you know standing by defending the immigrant community there was a there was a uh a part that were that we're saying you're un-american you're unpatriotic and that was a lot of the rhetoric that we saw and so there was a a soldier back in 2006 his name is patrick hobb and he was discharged he was dishonorably discharged and what had happened is he stopped a group of individuals in a van up along i-8 and he held them at gunpoint he was suspecting that they might be undocumented the way he was a police officer at the time so he wasn't yeah so he was not a police officer oh he wasn't just a regular citizen so what had happened is holding them at gunpoint he took the law into his own hands and so the sheriff said you just can't do this and what he did is he pressed charges and of course the latino community we applauded him this is wonderful he's protecting our civil rights because i mean you know you and i all know that you know how can you tell someone's legal status by looking at them right right this man was not a an immigration officer he was just a regular citizen and when he did that he um you know the sheriff placed charges on him wow so the backlash against the sheriff was horrible he started receiving threats of we're not going to vote for you again you're an american unpatriotic and it was at that moment that the sheriff knew that if he wanted to get re-elected he had to turn and this is this was the beginning of him surrounding himself around people that you know that that were very loud and very vocal and very anti-immigrant and i think that corrupted the whole sense of what this agency did with as far as policing wow that's fascinating well that is fascinating i never knew that i i didn't know that was sort of the genesis of would you say it was a pretty stark turnaround for the then sheriff to his his attitude towards immigration so his attitude towards immigration did change and it was very surprising it was very surprising for a community who really liked him i remember back in the day i went you know right after this whole patrick hob thing i went to uh an event where we actually provided him with an award the mexican consulate provided him with an award for protecting civil rights and so but then you know shortly thereafter things changed so this sheriff knowing full well that he needed to get reelected um you know he started feeling the backlash and then he started turning and before you know it there were posters and vans and report you know if you want to report illegal aliens and that that was a rhetoric that was being told and we were like we don't know this man anymore and so he surrounded himself with with folks that were anti-immigrant that were very racist and so that really corrupted what this this agency started to do and this and he started using this agency along with um partnerships with dhs like 287 g's to enforce immigration in such a corrupt way that he violated everybody's civil rights and this was the beginning of collecting evidence for a racial civil rights lawsuit all right i'm sorry we're good that's okay so dhs department of homeland security started working um in in conjunction with phoenix no no it was the counties maricopa county so as maricopa county sheriffs right that's who was okay so i'm i'm thinking now i kind of want to take this in different directions so there's there seems to be i i want to get your feel for this because i'm i'm in a fairly predominant hispanic area myself where i'm at here out on the west coast and it seems to be a a pretty robust diverse viewpoint of immigration undocumented illegal you know the terms are everywhere and i'm just wondering were there segments of the hispanic community out there that supported this sort of over aggressive policing that sort of embolded him or gave him momentum so so there were indeed and here's what the the the conversation around that was you know well he's he's enforcing the law because that's exactly what the sheriff was saying i'm just enforcing the law and if you don't like the law changed a lot well unfortunately that is not what the la the the type of law that he was tasked to enforce when he was elected um he wasn't elected to be chief immigration officer and the the mere fact that he had an agreement with immigration to enforce immigration law um after you know during the course of the the hearings and i testified in court um immigration did testify that you know they did not train him properly and they did not train the officers properly and the officers were going out and stopping people willy-nilly and asking them for their you know if they were yeah for their papers basically and so and so that was the civil rights lawsuit because what it did it created this fear in the community and now you have this community who was afraid of the people that were supposed to protect them yes so this is interesting so it's not necessarily because his defense was these laws around the books so it's not that it was the enforcement of the laws it was the fact that one the way those laws were being enforced and then two it's not your responsibility to enforce those laws that's correct and and it's his interpretation of what he thinks that law was and so where did your did you have um your government did your governor get involved in this was it that high up in the in the political sphere or was it more local at just maricopa so this was just maricopa county um the surrounding counties knowing you know the surrounding counties didn't take in any part of that type of activity and you know interestingly enough the governor she you know we had a governor who also was very political and so you know these were those times the writing on the wall you know and so when you you become the poster child for what you think is going to be popular on the ballot then that that's how it corrupts the whole political system and in an agency that is supposed to um you know this this is i think what's wrong with sheriff's offices across the country is that they are elected and when they're elected when they're elected it becomes political and when politics moves your handling of the law then you know it's applied and equally or you have folks that are that are just catering to a certain select vocal few does that make sense what i'm saying oh it makes perfect sense and this almost leads me to a little bit of a a conundrum here because what i hear at the municipality level so in cities and we're just going to take we're going to take chicago as a city so chicago has a superintendent um some places may call them chiefs of police or superintendents but chicago also has a sheriff so you know the sheriff does the counties and the municipalities have their own and there was an argument locally that some of the municipalities the chief of police is appointed by the mayor and so they're beholden to the mayor and the aldermans or city council members and so it seems like no matter how you do this that political that political influence is very pervasive and you know sometimes you just got to do it you just got to do what you is right now let me ask you and and i'm trying to be charitable and i have no real view on this it's not my state and i really didn't pay much attention to it but was there was there any empathy for maybe a rock of a better word understanding of the fact that he said hey look i'm i have people supporting me i have a governor that's supporting this and and whether it's political or not did anybody try to talk to him and say look let's partner with this let's try to do this differently was there an outreach that tried to take place yes there was as a matter of fact um so so the department of homeland security uh met with him and said hey listen you're abusing the this 287g that we entered into a contract with you and you're abusing this authority um there was a point where the department of justice they conducted an investigation because at some point you know we started gathering information we started collecting evidence and we started sharing it with lawyers lawyers from the aclu lawyers with the investigators with the department of justice and so they wrote a scathing report back in 2008 so now we're talking two years have passed since the beginning of his activities and in this report when when this report came out in december um that very next day department of homeland security rescinded arpaio's 287g it was that scathing uh and and you know one of the the takeaways of this is that you know um arpaio being the elected official that he is and and pandering to the base that he thought was supporting him became more more emboldened and and he said well i don't need them i'm going to continue to do what i do and it became a show a circus and now we have in our hands a circus interesting now and this is

it is hard now to figure out what to do with this now because you there's two democratic processes going on there's somebody there's people who are electing him and would it not be fair i'm not countering i'm more playing a devil's advocate position would it not be fair for him to say look i'm in charge now the people voted me in and if you don't want this then vote me out but until then i'm gonna ride this wave and then isn't that what isn't that what we want or are you thinking because of the damage being done we have to stop this sooner than the vote so there were several layers that were taking place now the layers involved the there was a lot of um media

joe arpaio had a pr firm working for him pretty much his media team and this is why he became popular not only in in across the country but around the world as america's toughest sheriff because he just spit out press releases after press releases and um you know and they knew what they were doing when it came to trying to get media attention and so he was popular and that popularity what resonated with the voters now unfortunately the narrative was was a little twisted and you know what what he was saying to the media and to and to the reporters was a little twisted there was some point where the reporters started catching on and they started doing their own investigations and it throughout their investigations they started finding cases of racial profiling they started finding abuse of power and they started finding you know more and more cases where they would you know um manipulate reports and that was actually a lot of those investigative reports were used as evidence during the case against him so there was a point in time when this was happening in your opinion where it could have been brought to his attention he could have stopped it and could have saved this that there was this was this was salvageable and then it got to a point where there was a point of no return it seems like that's correct there was a point of no return and here's here's when he crossed the line when after the department of justice released that scathing report they said to him we want to work with you to fix this and you know we're going to go ahead and start visiting your jails because of the complaints about the jobs we're going to go ahead and visit with you on your on your trainings and your reports he denied them access to those he denied them access to reports to any sort of policies and so there was no other choice left but for them to file their own lawsuit and so now you have the civil um the civil racial profiling lawsuit by by groups like the aclu and then another lawsuit that was brought up independently by the department of justice two suits going on pretty much sewing for the same thing but you know and then you have this man who is who's stubborn and he said no and so you know you see a lot of you know i think it became just a matter of um you know i i i've got bigger pants than you do yeah yeah no i hear you and and there's there's this thing that i tell my officers sometimes and it's it's a it's a phenomenon of the brain it's called sunken cost fallacy and it's this idea of you just can't take a loss like i can't be wrong on this i'm going to keep going down this rabbit hole and i'll find my off ramp somewhere or i'll find a way out of this but the problem is you should just take the loss at that point when the dhs said look these issues are happening we want to work with you he could take the laws he may have taken some hits they may have been some reports in editorials or some op-eds that said this guy's bad but it wouldn't have been it would have been stopped before it was a conviction of civil rights violations but sometimes that brain gets stuck in this and they just we all we we all have the propensity to fall victim to this idea and it sounds like that's what happened because now things are spinning out of control exactly there was that sense of denial and i'll just tell you one thing that here america county that sense of denial is resonating to this day because this is the same county that's doing the the audit because they want you know after several audits of the of the county elections so oh my gosh you're right wow so this is you're right it's resonating it's reverberating and it's um infiltrating other venues other venues of democratic process that's correct and wow you know so we have we have interesting um we have interesting folks that are very passionate and they'll take it to the extreme so that's you know america good morning i'm just at least i'm lucky to live here yeah well you know what is the old saying may you be may you be lucky enough to live in interesting times right and that's what you are in so i'm gonna just kind of transition a little bit speaking about an off-ramp i'd like to kind of chew your ear on the use of force board and the disciplinary review board and i understand you know you're not necessarily representing your department these talks but so general conversations on this now one thing that i swim upstream against is this idea of use of force and it seems to always lend itself to race right that seems to be the big issue now you sit on these boards and i'm assuming your data is going to be similar to the data across the country which is things like shootings are rare events relative to the amount of contacts is that similar in your in your exposure um yeah the the phoenix police department um about two years ago they had the largest numbers of police shootings in the nation and the police chief was struggling with you know either my officers are just shooting so many people what do we do about it okay and um they they did a study they had the national policing um folks that come in and do a study and i think the 21st century police and they also you know they came in and they they talked to people they did a study and they came up with recommendations and they came up with nine recommendations under study okay and so they're looking at implementing these recommendations so that they can get a handle on the police shootings so what the police is doing is they are um working on more training um and you've heard the whole conversation across the country of the whole defund the police sure and so the the the defund the police really i mean you know the term defend the police really is misleading because i think that it has more to do with um putting money into a portion of policing that would require uh non-uniform individuals to go and and see some of these cases where you need a professional that specializes in mental health or you know counseling so yes and so you know it's a matter of just you know appropriating some funds so to uh put into specialists and experts that they specialize in mental health crisis um because a lot of times you know when someone is having a mental health crisis what's happening now is that families are calling

officer 911 up when you have a uniform officer that has a gun showing up to uh to a home let's say where you know someone is experiencing a mental crisis someone with a gun is not going to make things better you know and so you know i think the the phoenix department as well as other departments across the country they're looking at this different where now they have to see how they're going to de-escalate those types of situations with people that are experts in trying to you know manage these prices and that's one of the several things that that have to be done um the officers themselves have to receive training more de-escalation training um some of the other things that they're looking at is alternate use of force where it's less deadly use of force um you know obviously less lethal options well that's correct less lethal and i mean obviously there are options you know you know there are options um you know the gun you know doesn't have to be the only option and there's a series of things that are being implemented and you know with that you know comes a lot of training and i think that the training is very important yeah and and lydia that's so well you you you are very eloquent with that the defund the police i think people got over their skis a little bit because what you don't want to do i think they think the the the phrase was like we're going to take away policing and the idea i think the idea was we're going to reallocate certain things that maybe shouldn't fall under the purview of police maybe they shouldn't you know there shouldn't be something that we respond to and and i go back to your accountability responsibility officers are not well trained to handle mental health crises in the country we're trying but this takes time people get their masters right to deal with these types of people have these types of mental health crises but yet they're being held accountable right they're being they're being made responsible and they're being held accountable but yet they're not getting the tools training uh the soft skills we're really good at giving them hard skills right so they come in and order go ahead please your thoughts and and so here's the thing i mean you can't just say to a department stop shooting people you know because just saying that you just set them up for failure okay so but you know you know let's figure out how can we stop shooting people let's give them tools just like you said alternatives let's give them the tools they need let's give them the training you know that way they can have the training on um less lethal force let's give them the training on you know a de-escalation let's give them the training that they would need also to call professionals when professionals need to be called you know because i mean you know the the the the cause of police officer they're not just you know coming in and trying to stop a bank robbery okay i mean in the cause of police officer you wear many hats and and unfortunately a lot of the hats shouldn't be placed on the head of a police officer and that is where the funding needs to be allocated to the right people to help the departments do their job better does that make sense what i'm saying it makes sense lydia and it almost sounds like you you are empathetic to to the person on patrol you know who's being asked to do all these things and it's it's difficult if you're not fully trained it is difficult how would you i've had this discussion with a guest a friend of mine and we've talked about if you want to have a professional organization that can handle a lot of these societal issues everything from the bank robber to somebody suffering from a mental health crisis well then you need to make the profession truly professional and maybe we should consider things like a four-year degree in maybe social work or maybe communications or something like that do you have any opinion on that by chance you know i've heard different proposals not only in state but federal in the federal um uh proposal for national police reform that there should be a four-year degree but then again i mean i've known people with four-year degrees that can't tie their shoes okay i mean you know god god bless everybody okay but right right it's not a guarantee is what you're saying i think it's it's not a guarantee um but you know i i think what we need is is you know to look at the temper you know the temperament of folks and okay um you know the uh a lot of it has to do with with um the hiring also okay you know when you do i mean i know that there's a lot of testing that gets done the the mmpi testing and all of those that measure a person's temperament you know measure that a person is not gonna you know lose it and go from from zero to a hundred in less than a second you know because that i think also says a lot um you know i i just this week i sat on a use of force hearing in which this was a high profile case that you know i i have lots of trouble with because you know everything that was on the procedure he did procedurally right except for the fact that in my opinion he was too quick and i think that he used poor judgment in doing this and of course you know somebody died as a result of it but it's just a matter of you know was was this person too too quick to respond was you know this officer too quick to respond because he did everything right except for the fact that i think he just acted too quickly but then again here we are asking them to use the judgment call yes and and i'm i'm right now working with someone i had on the show weeks back on developing training that teaches officers how to make good decisions we tell them things like just use common sense be a leader make a good decision but we really never teach them how to make a good decision how to have critical thinking skills how to make good decisions under stress and this is going to take a significant more um commitment to an academy-style training yeah it's going to be academy-style training there's going to have to be um you know i i don't know what the national um the national reform is going to look like the one that the president is talking about um but i do know that you know right now every department has different sets of standards yeah i saw the you know i see the different policies that you know the different use of force policies that each department has it is a checkerboard and then when you try to put it in a in a statewide standard and you compare it at the post you know then you also they understand that it's also a checkerboard of standards and so how do you do we do we make it uniform and does something in los angeles also resonate to something like in you know in in you know small town you know illinois right right now you're absolutely right it lydia you you me you used a um i think was like an acronym you said mmpi what is that so so that is a uh that is a psychological training it's a training that a lot of police officers that i know the lapd and other police officers agencies what they do is they make them go through a series of testing to see where they are psychologically and it's like a three-hour four-hour test yes i get it it's the minnesota multi-phasic personality inventory i see a psychological test that assesses personality traits and psychopathology my goodness yes i didn't remember it being called that because it was about almost 20 years ago but yes we do that and that's one way to test for those things it's one way to see an individual's personality and their propensity to overreact to things now gosh you've really given me some really neat things to go on but i wanna i hope remind me about the national standardizing of policing because i find this to be a really interesting conversation but you said the hiring and i'm starting to think more and more that that could be a very a very fruitful endeavor when we hire people and maybe it starts with a more robust how would i say a more robust um like probation period where we tell these officers look let's see if you have what it takes we're going to go we're going to give you the mmpi we're going to put you on probation but maybe after two years of this the stress gets to you right this is all cumulative so the officer that's seven years down the road is not the same officer that was bright-eyed bushy-tailed didn't have the cynicism that they had at year one so maybe there's a way we re check on these individuals and at the hiring phase we tell them look you're not guaranteed this job you're going to get a psychological test every year and if it turns out that this mmpi changes because we have your baseline now at the beginning and if it turns out it changes we have a off ramp where we can transition them to you know you don't want to just take away their career but maybe we transition them or maybe we take them out of a a field capacity and let that you know the the the sympathetic nervous system sort of calm down are there any talks about stuff like that and you know that's absolutely correct i mean when a police officer after a police shooting um when and after they experienced that there is this this uh element that they go through it's like the jitters it's you know for those that are not police officers it's very similar to like when somebody just escapes a really bad accident you get the jitters and you get really nervous okay and so you know it's really hard to get behind the wheel after you have the jitters because you think everything is going to be an accident you think you're going to crash or you know so it's really difficult same thing with a police officer and i think that when when you have that taking place you have the police officer now have the jitters and could be trigger happy and this this you know i'm not saying that you know every cop goes through this but it's a human it's a natural human um recurrence and i think that these are the types of things that just one of several that we should take into consideration when you decide to take someone off the beat whether it's temporarily or permanently you know you the the the departments do this also with with um canines you know if there's a canine that's just a little bit too overreactive if it's too overreactive and you know that this dog is gonna snap and bite take him off the beat you know he's no longer a good fit to be a canine yes and and it seems like my goodness as we look back on this with the with the benefit of 2020 hindsight and you look at how these instances like you say you almost get an accident you get that little you get that like adrenaline dump and that gives you the jitters it's the same thing when the you're driving and the lights come on in your rearview mirror and everybody gets that little perk i still get it and imagine that happening multiple times a day and how that's going to wear on you over the course of days and weeks and months and then you also start to get desensitized so then you have somebody like you know like what happened in minneapolis who's just so comfortable keeping body weight on somebody who is no longer conscious at this point right and so there is this slow erosion of of your your your critical thinking your empathy and these like periodic check-ins i think could be beneficial but that's not going to take less funding that's going to take more funding and do you think society has the stomach to put more money towards policing i think you know when and i think you you said it you know perfectly that's not going to take less funding it's going to take more funding okay but when you look at some departments and some cities and municipalities that are struggling with balancing their budget the more funding comes from the department sometimes to get put into this um as a result you know i i saw and i'm seeing now that um departments are suffering with um

you know it's it's very hard to be a police officer these days okay because there are you know we all know this and i speak to the to the chief all the time um you know there are the bad apples that ruin it for the entire barrel okay and morale you know um it's really hard to recruit it's really hard to you know to to get that community support and in doing so you know you have folks that are leaving you're not hiring fast enough for the folks that are leaving right now okay so when you look at what may be coming down the pipeline with this police reform and accountability okay accountability you know i don't know if if you had a chance to um talk about qualified immunity that might be inserted into the language of this new police bill but this scares a lot of police officers yeah and so i get it i get it but when you look at what happened in minneapolis with george floyd and you look at you know i'm i'm first and foremost a civil rights advocate okay and a human rights advocate and when i see what happened and i saw that you know the need for justice i know that there was that there was a conviction right the police officer was convicted criminally charged and convicted but was that really the justice and then there was the the the monetary settlement the civil rights settlement right but what is justice justice should really look like accountability right and so that is where how do you insert accountability because uh you know so so that you know rather than making settlements a normal part of business does that make sense what i'm saying no it does and and i i kind of wonder about this myself because because some would say okay the crime occurred and we can now call it a crime because he's been found guilty of three so we can now say a crime occurred and the process worked for the justice component but i i think what i hear you saying is too like the life was lost and no amount of justice really really counters that so how do we how do we look forward from this how do you pick up the pieces now how does minneapolis build trust with their law enforcement officers when this happens right when you see other officers standing around not intervening you know how do you get accountability back into that i think that's a tough hilled amount yeah and that's this is a conversation that is taking place across the nation um you know when you look at ferguson that's right look at you know and and and just as early as as you know uh as we had videotapes in our hands you know where four police officers uh you know beat the heck out of roddy king okay it was those videos but did did this type of abuse of civil rights and human rights abuses happen since we started having videos or did this exist before and nobody cared to listen like the tree in the forest that fought that fell who heard it right and so good analogy you know and so so this is just one of those things where justice does it look like does it look like you know uh something that happened in court or does it look like real reform with tangible results yeah i see that i see your point now i see what you mean it's not necessarily the justice doesn't end right there the justice the accountability doesn't end at the decision of the court the accountability transcends and the accountability keeps going uh and and like you say it looks for real reform what i think we have a hard time with and when i say we all say law enforcement what i think we have a hard time with is that there are so many millions of contacts every year and upwards of 100 million maybe more 300 million and you have these instances you have the bad actors and you have the bad instances that are caught but the majority of our officers are doing the right thing but they feel like they're getting swept into this the majority of you know when when this happened in minneapolis the people where i am in my city said oh that's that's going to be bad for them but it's not going to be bad for us we do all this work and we have all these programs and it still blew up here and so you know we have people on the line for 12 days getting called racist and murderer and we're thinking we haven't did this since rodney king right so how do you find the balance between it just seems like it's so hard for activists or city activists to say look there are good police doing good work even president obama said 99 percent of cops are doing the right thing all the time he he had the courage to say that because it was the bad actors right now it feels like it's wrong to even compliment the good cops who are really trying you know my um in in working with different um law enforcement leaders and different agencies that do studies on um you know all of the different happenings with law enforcement agencies one thing that i've always recommended is that the leaders of the law enforcement agencies need to do a better job of not only having that relationship with community leaders leaders that have credibility in the community that that can um help build communication dialogue bridges and help you know i think uh you know build some sort of an understanding of you know of policies but at the same time of you know because it goes back and forth not just learning what the department does but also you know for example in in my case in maricopa county um letting the deputies know how the community is still very much afraid how to rebuild those bridges and so there is a lot of work to be done you know we need to do something we need to fix this and so i think once we have some sort of system in place where we have real reform and i'm hoping that part of the reform is partnerships with with community organizations and community leaders i i have said this a number of times and people that know me get tired of hearing it but every opportunity i have to speak with somebody in in my capacity as a law enforcement officer and they're part of the public i want them to have a good interaction with me and it's like putting a penny in a bank and i called you know making a deposit in the bank of public trust and it's just a penny it's very small but if all of us across the country put in these pennies we're going to build up a fund and it's almost like a rainy day fund because something bad is going to happen again there is going to be a video where some officer makes a poor decision it's inevitable no it will never have perfection and when that happens whether it's two days from now or two years from now i want to establish a little bit of trust with my community to say look i know this is bad but i know you're good and same with your officers in maricopa i know these deputies are good and maybe this happened in uh you know mesa arizona right or some other area or maybe texas but i know our guys and gals here are really trying and so that i feel like that has to be expressed more and i need our officers to embrace that because it's not it's a it's a future investment to their partners who are younger than them on the job right and you know for for a lot of the the young folks that are that are joining that are rookies um you know this isn't the end of the world you know this is there there's a uh there's a lot at the end of the rainbow and i think at some point there there will be that that um that understanding but i think it's going to take a matter of the leaders not only with the different law enforcement agencies but also the city leaders the state leaders and the community leaders that you know your local reverends and your local you know um educators and all of those folks that come together and say how do we move forward we know we identify with that this is happening and if we can all sit down and and reckon with this that this is happening let's move forward because we're going to fix it together it's such a positive message lydia and how long have you been in a civil rights advocate and whatnot how long has that been your your passion well um so so i've been doing this for for a number of years now and um i mean full disclosure is you know i was married to uh someone in law enforcement and he you know he saw a lot of um you know a lot of inequities and not not only within the department because you know within the department i mean you know just like with my own colleagues at you know where i work i work for a non-profit a civil rights nonprofit but you know you see a lot of you know you see a lot of things and you try to you know make sure that you're a good steward and a good fella you know and so doing this for this many years um i've i've worked i've seen and i've collaborated and i continue to to have conversations with agencies like you know the policing project and the department of justice and you know because i live in the same community that the the agencies you know you know those cops probably send their kids to school in the same schools where my kids went to school we probably worship together we probably shop at the same stores we're part of the same community and so i want to make sure that i'm part of the solution oh wonderful that that's really nice to hear because a lot of times we we will speak i say we in general the law enforcement will speak with community activists i'm not cleaning active advocate disorderly for community advocates for civil rights and it tends to be a lot of you're doing this wrong you you you blame blame blame and it does seem like you have much more the open hand the olive branch let's come together and and that is it's such a breath of fresh air because i think officers can get behind that because i know their officers like you said you you are married to one we see things where improvements can be had um what what is it what is something oh that's what i want to ask you you've been doing this a number of times have you seen progress i'm not saying we're done but have you seen progress in policing in this country so so in my next conversation with um someone who is actually helping to draft you know the the legislation um you know one of my concerns that i have you know and uh has has been the influence that um police associations and unions have and um let me preface that by saying that i am a union person all the way i was a union organized union organizer and so there's you know i'm not trying to to dis on unions here's the thing though when unions are very influential in in lots of city council elections lots of you know um mayoral elections lots of you know and with that also comes them wielding the power of trying to establish negotiations to protect their members okay and so um there's got to be some sort of a line where you have to acknowledge that sometimes you have you know um a a bad worker if let's say that i'm i'm the union that represents the the grocery workers you know if there's a guy that works over the produce section that keeps putting rotten tomatoes out there you know and i'm trying to get him in trouble because he keeps doing it and the union keeps protecting him then we have a problem sure sure and i've heard this before the idea that you know the unions will protect you know the bad officers the bad actors and that's where we go back to accountability i i think like you unions would want to represent the best of the best and anybody who is infiltrating that and making all of the the badge wearers if you will look bad they should be the first ones to say let me get that out you know the grocery store manager should be looking to get that person out specifically because that tomato is ruining all the other tomatoes that's correct to draw an analysis that is absolutely correct and i've often used that analysis analogy because even the chief the chief of police that i talk to here in phoenix you know she says i have a problem with my hands you know the chiefs they come in and they they rotate you know sometimes when you know a new mayor or whatever you know like this chief they'll you know they'll hire a new chief right and that's what we've seen happen and so and a lot of it has to do with the the um the the uh the support that the union has on this right and so when a chief you know knows that they have bad apples sometimes they rely on the same community help me get rid of these bad guys i'm going to teach the community how to do you know how to file reports so that you know in some states they call them internal affairs but you know professional standards you know come in and they look at and investigate so that we can do more training or disciplinary you know because it's the bad apples and we you know you and i we can't say it enough the bad apples that need to be they need to be gone yeah and and i might even go a step further and tell me what you think of this there's an interesting book that talks about the bad apple theory and it's called the lucifer effect and i forget the guy's name it's mr zamboni one of these i forget his name but he talks about how sometimes the bad apples are created because the system that they're working the barrel that they're working in so you figure these officers who are violating the civil rights they're doing it at the behest of their sheriff who's saying do these things i want you to enforce these laws and you have people who are now the bad apples but they're following the they're they're situated in the barrel and they're doing these things but if he never said that or if he worked with the dhs he could have saved them from being put in that position so there are also there are also systems in place and i think that's what people you know talk about when they say systemic racism or systemic injustice am i am i getting that no you you never get it yeah and and i'll tell you what that is exactly what happened and i point to the book behind me please talk about that yeah so so this book is called driving while brown okay and so this this talks about the the latino resistance against the sheriff and what it took and basically it's not so much the protests but it's the the learning what the rules are so that you know how to identify the violations um collecting the evidence sharing it and building cases and throughout the process building coalitions with because this was you know people thought that this was just immigrant rights groups that were that were that started this movement at some point journalists were behind this elected officials the mayor became the target of this this this sheriff i mean it just became this whole circus right you know but it's one of those things where you build the movement and it was so this is really a story and it's a true story of what it took to to take down america's toughest sheriff who was doing everything possibly to block investigations investigators destroying evidence all of those things i mean it was criminal af okay and so when when you know it it became very difficult but but the the end result of this of course was the voters saw with their own eyes what happened and it was the same voters that took him out yeah you know there was one thing happening in the courts but there was another thing happening in in the um the public eye and so public opinion is what took him out at the end of the day wow yeah it's it's ironic right the same people he he may have thought was supporting this were the same ones that said you know no more interesting what lydia what keeps you up at night most right now about the position policing is in so you know it's funny you say that because um i spent the last three days crying over this case that i just heard it was it's a high profile case and um this this case had to do with you know um a a uh a police officer who went on a domestic violence call and they knock on the door and you know it wasn't really a domestic violence you know people people here screaming or whatever in the apartments and they call the police and whatever and sometimes it's just either a football game or or video games right but you know they're going and so um you know when when someone knocks at your door late at night within you know people tend to answer the door here in arizona we have this is a second amendment state where people have a right to carry and they answer the girl with a gun in their hand right in the middle of the night and so you know these two cops one cop was in front he actually had a chance to um you know i'll tell you the details because it's over the news so it's not i'm not giving you information that has not been disclosed so okay but um the the the cop in the front had it the the chance to take two steps back take the gun out of his holster align it with this flashlight put the you know when you put the finger on the trigger but you don't yeah all the way okay you know say gun gun gun um the the the guy that answers the door so oh and so he puts his hand up puts the gun down and he's gonna and he's kneeling down to put the gun down when the cop be next to him pow pow pow and shot him okay so and this was it so this person's in his house um no this was right at the doorway right right right right right right right right right right right right right yeah right when you step out the doorway so when he steps back to put the gun back down he's kneeling down you know and so that's he shot him so my concern with the whole thing and this is what kept me up at night and i mean i um you know tom i cried for three days because you know this is just one of those things where the the use of force board you know looked at this case and and i looked at this case you know why did one officer act one way and not the other one okay you know and so you see and so is it more training do we need do we need more you know and so you know when when the board has to when the use of force board has to review these they look at was there a violation of policy you know did he do did the police officers do anything wrong and and at that point just like when arpaio said well if you know do we need to change the policy then right now so this shooting took place one officer shoots one officer doesn't and did the shooting result in a fatality correct yeah and so you know and and this you know this man was not in a commission of a crime or anything he just happened to answer his door with you know but it's just one of those things i just went horribly wrong you know and you know and so and going back this is not a black a white thing a brown thing or whatever you know this gentleman was was an angled man you know who was you know um trying to protect his home you know practicing his second amendment right he answers the door and boom you know he was shot and how long ago was this last year so the shooting took place last year so wow it's interesting it it it they don't seem to generate as much attention when they're you know if the media doesn't get the sensationalism of of the color of the races it doesn't align well uh it's unfortunate because i tend to align with you and what i hear the verbiage are saying we have police issues we have policy issues that we have reform issues you know and and i just listened to a a meeting wherein the the solving of this was going to be the wave of a magic wand and we're just going to hire more people of color and for some reason this will magically solve the inability to make critical decisions you know the policies don't change well the policies don't change and and you know um when when it comes to the issue of racial profiling and race inequity and the systemic racism that's taking place you know those types of cases are different than you know the case that i just mentioned um you know let's let's be real that you know when when a person is stopped you know i i i know for a fact that you know here in maricopa county there was a study that was done that when a person because we have more brown people here than we do you know african-american and so when enough when a brown person is stopped in maricopa county the stock tends to last longer the university of arizona they concluded this just recently even after this hearing with the new sheriff still and so that there's still issues that that need to be taken care of um were they asking for immigration papers no but the fact of the matter is they're being questioned more they're being suspected more they're being whatever and so so the issue does exist okay um yeah you know and i'll point to another example i i have a husband who who's anglo okay and um we were stopped first beating and he had a gun in his console the officer didn't even bat an eye but i wonder if my husband were black you see and so i i put that out there because i acknowledge that this that that is the reality and so why does that make people nervous you know and i think these are these are those uncomfortable um facts that we need to to acknowledge that exist and how how can we curve that how can we you know do more is it more implicit by it bias training you know so yeah no i i appreciate you saying that and i prior to launching the podcast i certainly had a different opinion and this cod podcast has helped me grow a little bit i had a guest on his name is mumbai naji and maybe najai if i may pronounce it but he created an app called legal equalizer and it's a little phone app so when you get pulled over by the police you touch the app and it sends out a location as to where you are it contacts five friends and it lights up a camera so as soon as the officer walks up you can say officer just you know we're being filmed and you know my mom's on it my sister's on it okay and when when we spoke about this i was really i was thinking he was gonna say it's because of these reasons but what he told me was fascinating and it's not it was the same thing you just said that little extra line of questioning it it wasn't like the big pervasive gun in the face it was that little pervasive so where are you going and he's like well what does it matter you stop me because i didn't signal why do you want to know where i'm going like give me the tick and move on and kind of like you said it's the extra questioning the university of arizona study says these stops take a little bit longer and so now i've grown empathetic to people of color when they share this and i see you know i've heard this too many times now i've heard this from you know he's out in atlanta you're in phoenix you know that we had another guest who was up in northern california and i said i i'm seeing a trend and that's what it is if i'm gonna be realistic and intellectually honest that trend is there and we have to figure out why now the implicit bias stuff you guys you're with phoenix pd is that who you sit on the board with right yeah but you know but but i'm familiar with it with implicit bias because um i also i no longer am on the board but i was on the board that was created by the the judge under the maricopa county um when they you know the settlement and um they had to go through implicit bias and i had to sit there and and not only review the training but also interview the officers that were going to do the training and so there's i mean there's a lot of thought that goes into implicit bias training sure you know because you know it's not only changing how one you you're trying to change how one thinks about a community but also how they react how they react absolutely it's well said uh one thing that i've been kind of railing on lydia and i want to get your take on it i have said that when the internal pressure so here we go back to the barrel when the internal pressure is such that a good cop is always associate with a cop who makes an arrest or a cop who finds a gun that incentivizes the cop to do things that are a little bit more i don't want to say you know misconduct but they might keep somebody a little bit longer they're just going to go a little extra because they're searching for something where if we if they said look a good cop is somebody that enforces the law but if you don't get an arrest you don't get an arrest like don't start manufacturing things don't start even going down that path because you're looking for something because that's your definition and i need to look they stop somebody there's nothing there have a good day you know i'm gonna and and that says and that's like when you say are they looking for something because you know is it that you know a bunch of brown kids do you think that they might have you know some some drugs on them so when you start doing the the the probing and then even even just seeing them down this down the street you know i've heard the term establish probable cause you know i've heard the term you know and so and and it's they establish probable cause to stop them and then and then goes to questioning and then goes you know the probing and so and and for what because of maybe maybe what the officer thinks and this is where the implicit bias training a real good training would hopefully get those notions out of the head that you know you know not all kids that you know like if there's four kids in a car that you know trust me they they probably don't have drugs on them right and and you're right and biased training is is important you know at this point it's well established and it's it's part of it's part of policing and if police officers don't like it i would i would ask them to research a little bit and embrace it because it's not going anywhere but then we also have to have some policy shifts like you said we could train people all the time but if we don't have some good policy changes what would be a policy or two that you'd like to see reformed well you know you know um when when it happens a lot you know um one of the policies that i like to see is that this is where the accountability takes place okay um the i believe that a police officer should be held accountable you know you do it's like with any job you do this repeatedly there's got to be consequences you know um aside of you know the city paying out a settlement there has to be also some personal consequences because whether if this person loses their job or you know something even further in the case of the officer in in minnesota you know that that person was held criminally responsible okay but there has to be real consequences and there has to be rules that allow that kind of stuff to happen because there are there are lots like i said a lot of good cops but there are the ones that say well you know i got a great union you know and the policies here protect me and and they know what line they cannot cross just you know um you know just just just some of the things that make it appear you know i'll i'll give you an example i i saw a video where you know some somebody was recording a cop that worked taking someone down and it looked from that cop's view you know they were resisting arrest or whatever but what they didn't know is that there was somebody else just down the street recording from a different viewpoint that was not the case and you heard the verbal commands stop resisting stop resisting well the guy from the other camera recorded something different that the person was not resisting and was you know pretty much almost unconscious from the beating so so you know what the if if if some cops knew about this and and i'll tell you what you know i like i said this is does not apply to every cop what i'm saying okay but you know and and and i will tell you that a good portion of cops are good cops but you do have the few and those few when they make those mistakes it amplifies yeah and it makes it look like it's every damn you know caught right and that's not the that's not the case yeah and you're not the first one to say that and i i i completely get it when it comes to like the accountability what do you think about something along the lines of police officers having to get their own malpractice insurance or their own you know we talk about qualified immunity and i'm still trying to get my mind around this but if the city said look we're not going to we're not going to insure you but you will get your own and if you're doing everything by the book and you follow all these policies you're going to be covered for these things you do everything right but once you step outside of it your malpractice insurance whether it's through the city or maybe a private company says you're not being covered on these things do you think that could change behavior would that be enough i think i think it's a matter of definition tom why because um you know right now they kind of have that already through the union memberships they pay okay so they kind of already have their liability insurance if you will right because they have you know a a representative that will stand with them during the hearings and maybe sometimes they'll you know the same union will also hire a criminal attorney to stand with him should this officer be facing criminal charges and um then of course when they see something that looks really big and ugly you know i'm sorry you were in a you know this was this was something criminal the union cannot defend you or whatever you know um same thing that's the same thing with the liability insurance you know whether it's property insurance or your auto insurance or your homeowner's insurance right if you're doing something legal they know where to draw the line so we do kind of already have that okay and you know um but i think there's got to be some sort of personal you know whether they get a malpractice on top of what the protection that they already have with the union because this this thing with with um qualified immunity i think it's coming i know that it's a stickler over in the senate but i think it's coming and i think the language that is being written right now is going above and beyond what we just discussed yeah i think you're right on that there's a few other people i have conversation with offline and i agree with you i think this is coming in some way and if it's not going to be taken away if there's going to be some significant modifications to that so lydia so much i can talk to you about and and i also want to be respectful of your time so let me let me start kind of bringing all this to a close we could wrap this up but i could go on for for hours if you could reframe something that would that could help us move forward i think you said you know dark days are coming and we still but tell the young officers that good days are ahead as well if you could reframe something about this position we're in now to help people on both sides say let's come together what what part of this conversation would you reframe or restate or you know just kind of reach out i've said this before um to two officers that are going through training when they're new because i sometimes i get a chance to talk to them and i'll tell them that um first i commend you for being a police officer because you know the fact that you want to to go out there and put your life on the line especially during these times is very commendable and thank you for your service okay the second thing i want to say is um you know embrace the opportunity to have a relationship with with the community community policing is something that has been long lost and that's something that i remember growing up i saw programs like adam 12 where you know the the peacock knew the name of the of the ladies and knew the kids names okay i i hope and pray for the day that we would one day come to to that where we have that relationship because at the end of the day the members of the community want safe communities sure but you know right now we're working on removing that division and that division is you know right now it is there's a lot of politics involved there's a lot of rhetoric involved and there's a lot of hurt from years of systemic racism but that doesn't mean that everybody did it we're gonna we're taking it out like a bad route like a bad weed good days are coming just be patient i i love it lydia that's so nice because you talk about these really controversial um emotionally charged topics but you do it in a way that is disarming and i'm hoping that people listen to this say look there's reasonable people on both sides of this that are truly trying to reach out and they're truly trying to make a difference and uh i'll be honest i hope you and i continue this talk uh afterwards because i have some questions for you about what you think i could add to my training so i could help them out a little bit i do look forward to it awesome thank you lydia and thank you so much for being here and uh and i'm really excited that you're here and i can't wait to work with you in the future thank you for having me thanks for listening to policing in america with sergeant tom datro if you have any thoughts you'd like to share or if you have any suggestions on how to make positive change in regards to policing in america head to my website and send me a message thanks for listening