MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: June 30, 2020

Tonight, in his new book, Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City, author Wes Moore chronicles the uprising and the urgent need to address both inequitable policing that occurs in poor and black neighborhoods as well as the underlying conditions that he says, “oftentimes our citizens of color…constrained by poverty, racism and systemic injustice…are repeatedly being forced to endure.

AIRED: June 30, 2020 | 0:29:02
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY

JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM,

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,

ROSALIND P. WALTER,

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,

AND BY --

>>> WELCOME TO SHOERK I'M JACK

FORD.

-- WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

I'M JACK FORD.

IN THE SUMMER OF 2014 THE CITY

AND NATION WERE SHOCKED BY A

SCENE THAT HAD BECOME ALL TOO

FAMILIAR TO US A. YOUNG

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAN BY THE NAME

OF FREDDIE GRAY WAS ARRESTED

AFTER HAVING MADE EYE CONTACT

WITH AN OFFICER AND THEN FLED.

AFTER HE WAS ARRESTED AND

ALLEGEDLY HE HAD A KNIFE ON THEM

AND THEN HE WAS THROWN INTO A

POLICE VEHICLE AND TAKEN ON WHAT

WAS CALLED A ROUGH RIDE AND HE

WAS LEFT WITH SEVERE DAMAGE TO

HIS SPINAL CHORD AND ULTIMATELY

LED TO HIS DEATH.

THE AFTERMATH OF WHAT HAPPENED

TO FREDDIE GRAY LEFT BALTIMORE

IN SHOCK.

DAYS OF PROTEST FOLLOWED.

AND THEN DAYS OF VIOLENCE AND

DESTRUCTION TOOK PLACE.

THAT STORY NOW IS BEING TOLD IN

A COMPELLING NEW BOOK.

IT'S CALLED "FIVE DAYS: THE

FIERY RECKONING OF AN AMERICAN

CITY".

THE AUTHOR IS WES MOORE.

HE WAS BORN IN BALTIMORE, RAISED

IN THE BRONX, WENT ON TO BECOME

A RHODES SCHOLAR A. DECORATED

COMBAT VETERAN, A BEST SELLING

AUTHOR AND CURRENTLY THE CEO OF

THE ROBIN HOOD ORGANIZATION, THE

LARGEST POVERTY FIGHTING

ORGANIZATION IN NEW YORK CITY.

WE ARE DELIGHTED TO HAVE WES

MOORE ON WITH US NOW TO TALK

ABOUT THE BOOK AND WHAT IS

HAPPENING TODAY.

>> ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.

>> I WANT TO START WITH THE

BOOK.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE BOOK, AND

THEN WE WILL SEGUE INTO WHAT IS

TAKING PLACE TODAY AND WHO IS

ROILING OUR SOCIETY.

YOU START THE BOOK, VERY FIRST

PAGES WITH YOU SITTING IN A

CHURCH FOR THE FUNERAL OF A

YOUNG MAN YOU HAD NEVER MET,

FREDDIE GRAY.

WHAT WAS IT THAT DREW YOU TO HIS

FUNERAL?

>> I -- I WAS -- I WAS AMAZED

THAT WHEN I FIRST WALKED INTO

THAT -- FIRST WALKED INTO THAT

CHURCH -- FIRST, EVERYBODY WAS

THERE.

I SWEAR, THE ENTIRE CITY OF

DRAMAT

BALTIMORE CAME THERE.

AND I WONDERED WHAT WAS THE

MOTIVATION FOR EVERYONE BEING

THERE AT THAT POINT.

AND THEN ALSO, WHAT WAS -- WERE

ANY OF US PREPARED TO DO

WHATEVER IT WOULD TAKE TO MAKE

SURE THAT A TRAGEDY LIKE HIS

DIDN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN.

I FOUND MYSELF THERE.

LIKE YOU SAID, IT IS THE FIRST

FUNERAL THAT I HAD EVER BEEN AT

WHERE I DIDN'T ACTUALLY KNOW THE

PERSON WHILE THEY WERE ACTUALLY

LIVING.

I FELT LIKE THAT WAS PART OF THE

PROBLEM.

>> WHY?

WHY DID YOU FEEL LIKE THAT WAS

PART OF THE PROBLEM?

>> I FEEL LIKE IT WAS THE FIRST

MOMENT THAT I OWNED AND STARTED

THINKING ABOUT MY OWN COMPLICITY

IN THIS MOMENT.

FOR THE FACT THAT REAR WAS A

YOUNG MAN THAT IF -- YOU KNOW,

IF WE ARE BEING COMPLETELY

HONEST, MAYBE THE MOST PEACEFUL

WEEK OF HIS LIFE WAS THE WEEK

WHEN HE WAS IN A COMA, WHERE

DOCTORS AND PROTESTERS AND

LAWYERS KNEW HIS NAME, WHERE HE

HAD PEOPLE WHO WERE GIVING HIM

24/7 CARE, WHERE THE SOCIETY

CARED WHETHER HE LIVED OR DIED.

FOR THAT TO MAYBE BE THE MOST

PEACEFUL WEEK OF HIS LIFE WAS

PART OF THE PROBLEM.

AND SO IT REALLY BEGAN WHERE I

WANTED TO GO THROUGH THIS WHOLE

PERSONAL EXPOURLATION ABOUT --

YOU KNOW, ABOUT BOTH WHAT

HAPPENED TO FREDDIE, BUT ALSO

WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO MY

HOMETOWN.

AND QUICKLY BECAME THIS

LARGER -- IT TURNED INTO REALLY

JUST A LARGER EXPLORATION ABOUT

POVERTY AND INEQUITY, THAT PART

OF THE BIGGEST TRAGEDY OF

FREDDIE WASN'T JUST HIS DEATH,

THE HORROR OF HIS DEATH, THAT A

YOUNG MAN -- AND YOU SAID IT,

JACK FORD, WHAT HE WAS GUILTY

OF, SERIOUSLY, WHAT THEY WAS

GUILTY OF WAS MAKING EYE CONTACT

WITH POLICE AND RUNNING.

BECAUSE IN CERTAIN

NEIGHBORHOODS, IN CERTAIN

NEIGHBORHOODS DEEMED TO BE HIGH

CRIME NEIGHBORHOODS SIMPLY

MAKING MY CONTACT AND RUNNING

FROM POLICE IS ENOUGH TO GIVE

POLICE PROBABLE CAUSE.

HAD HE DONE THAT IN ANOTHER

NEIGHBORHOOD HE WOULD HAVE BEEN

GOING FOR A JOG.

BUT BECAUSE HE DID IT IN HIS

NEIGHBORHOOD IT NOW DEEMED

PROBABLE CAUSE.

AND HE WAS ARRESTED AND A WEEK

LATER HE WAS IN A COMA.

SO MUCH OF THE ATTENTION AND

ACTIVITY WAS AROUND HIS DEATH.

YOU BUT I WANTED TO BE ABLE TO

DIG DEEPER, TO DIG INTO THE

HORROR OF HIS LIFE, TO DIG INTO

THE HORROR OF WHY THESE THINGS

CONTINUE TO HAPPEN IN OUR

COMMUNITIES AND WHAT WE CONTINUE

TO DO IT.

>> YOU ARE AMONG OTHER THINGS I

MENTIONED, A STORY TELLER, A

WRITER.

AND AFTER BEING DRAWN TO THIS,

AS YOU SAID, IN YOUR YOUR HOME

TOWN, YOU DECIDED TO TELL THE

STORY THROUGH THE EYES OF A

VARIETY OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

WHY RATHER THAN JUST DOING A

LINEAR STORY TELLING DID YOU

DECIDE THAT THAT WAS THE

APPROACH THAT YOU WANTED TO

TAKE?

>> YOU KNOW, IT'S -- IT'S

INTERESTING BECAUSE WHEN I FIRST

STARTED GOING THROUGH THE

PROCESS I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE

OUT HOW DO YOU TELL THIS STORY?

THAT BALTIMORE IS A CITY OF -

CHARACTERS.

HOW DO YOU FIND U KNOW, THE

EIGHT THAT YOU WANTED TO FOCUS

IN ON?

BUT I SELECTED THESE EIGHT

BECAUSE I THOUGHT THEY ALL DID A

REALLY WONDERFUL JOB OF TELLING

A UNIQUE STORY THROUGH UNIQUE

VANTAGE POINT WHERE I HONESTLY

BELIEVE FOR A PERSON WHO IS

READING THE STORY YOU WILL FIND

SOMEBODY IN THAT BOOK WHO

COMPLETELY RESONATES WITH YOU.

AND UB YOU WILL PROBABLY FIND

SOMEONE IN THAT BOOK WHO IS THE

COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF WHERE YOU

ARE.

BUT THAT'S LIFE.

THAT'S HUMANITY.

AND SO WHETHER YOU ARE LOOKING

AT IT THROUGH THE EYES OF

TAWANDA JONES, A WOMAN WHO IS

HELPING TO LEAD THE MARCHES AND

STANDING WITH THE GREAT

FAMILY -- AND THEY LEARNED ABOUT

HER BECAUSE TWO YEARS BEFORE,

HER BROTHER DIED IN POLICE

CUSTODY.

AND EVERY WEEK, SHE LEADS

PROTESTS.

EVERY WEDNESDAY, STILL TO THIS

DAY, SHE LEADS PROTESTS

DEMANDING FOR ACCOUNT SKPBLT

JUSTICE FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO HER

BROTHER.

BUT SHE WANTED TO SPEND TIME

LEADING THE MARCH WITH THE GRAY

FAMILY.

SO WHILE SHE IS HAPPY THE CITY

IS STANDING BUT, SHE IS ALSO

THINK TO HERSELF, WHERE WAS THIS

WHEN MY BROTHER WAS KILLED?

WE ALSO HAVE A POLICE MAJOR, WHO

IS ONE OF THE TOP RANKING

AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN THE

BALTIMORE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT

WHO ALSO GREW UP IN WEST

BALTIMORE AND WHO TOLD ME.

HE SAID, LISTEN, I KNOW FOR A

FACT THAT NONE OF MY COLLEAGUES

WOKE UP THAT MORNING WITH

HOMICIDE ON THEIR MIND.

I ALSO DON'T KNOW THAT FOR THE

KIDS IN WEST BALTIMORE WHY THEY

DON'T BELIEVE ME.

BY BEING ABLE TO FOLLOW A SMALL

BUSINESS OWNER, WHO HAS BEN A

COMMUNITY ACTIVIST FOR THE PAST

20 YEARS, HIRING KIDS WHO NO ONE

ELSE WOULD HIRE, AND HOW -- WHAT

HAPPENED TO HIS BUSINESS DURING

ALL OF THIS, PARTICULARLY ONCE

THE LOOTING BEGAN.

TO THE SON OF THE OWNER OF THE

BALTIMORE ORIOLES WHO IS THE

HEAD OF BASEBALL OPERATIONS SO

WHEN THE BALTIMORE ORIOLES

PLAYED THE CHICAGO WHITE SOX AND

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN BASEBALL

HISTORY THEY PLAYED AN OFFICIAL

GAME WHERE THE ATTENDANCE WAS

ZERO AND THE REASON WAS BECAUSE

BALTIMORE WAS IN A STATE OF

EMERGENCY.

SO LOOK AT IT THROUGH ALL OF

THESE VARIOUS LENS AND BE ABLE

TO TAKE A READER ON THIS JOURNEY

TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT HAPPENED

AND WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN MANY

WAYS IS LIKE RELIVING HISTORY

FROM WHAT WE ARE SEEING RIGHT

NOW.

>> ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I HAVE

SEEN YOU SAY ABOUT THIS -- AND I

THINK IS VERY, VERY TELLING.

YOU TOUCHED ON IT A FEW MOMENTS

AGO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THIS

WEEK IN THE COMA WAS THE MOST

PEACEFUL TIME IN FREDDIE GRAY AS

LIFE.

YOU TALK ABOUT THE NOTION THAT

THIS STORY IS AS MUCH ABOUT HOW

HE HAD LIVED AS IT IS ABOUT HOW

HE HAD DIED.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

>> IF YOU LOOK AT HOW FREDDIE

GRAY WAS EVEN BROUGHT INTO THIS

WORLD, YOU SEE THE LEVEL OF

UNFAIRNESS, AND FRANKLY, THE

HEART BREAK THAT THIS WORLD

LEVELED ON FREDDIE GRAY.

FREDDIE GRAY WAS BORN PREMATURE.

HE WAS BORN ADDICTED TO HEROIN,

UNDERWEIGHT.

HIS MOTHER HAD BATTLED ADDICTION

FOR MUCH OF HER LIFE.

HIS MOTHER HAS GROWN UP AND

LIVED IN POVERTY HER ENTIRE

LIFE.

SHE'S NEVER KNOWN ANYTHING ELSE.

SHE GIVES BIRTH TO FREDDIE AND

HIS TWIN SISTER FREDRICKA.

AND WHEN THEY FINALLY GAINED

ENOUGH WEIGHT TO LEAVE THE

HOSPITAL THEY WENT TO A HOUSING

PROJECT IN WET BALTIMORE ON

NORTH CAREY STREET N. 2009 THAT

HOUSE ALONG WITH 400 OTHERS WERE

NAMED IN A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT

BECAUSE THE ENDEMIC LEVELS OF

LEAD INSIDE OF THAT HOME.

WE HAVE SEWN KNOWN FOR A CENTURY

THAT LEAD IS A NEUROTOXIN.

WE KNOW, AND THE CDC TELLS US

THAT IF SOMEONE HAS FIVE

MICROBES OF LEAD IN EVERY

DECILITER OF BLOOD THEN THAT

PERSON WILL HAVE COGNITIVE

DAMAGE FOR THE REST OF THEIR

LIFE.

FREDDIE GRAY HAD 36.

THIS IS A PERSON WHO WAS BORN

UNDERWEIGHT, ADDICTED TO HEROIN,

LEAD POISONED.

AND BY THAT TIME IN HIS LIFE,

HE'S 2 YEARS OLD.

THE POINT IS THAT FREDDIE GRAY

NEVER HAD A SHOT.

THE POINT IS THAT FREDDIE GRAY'S

LAST DAY IN SCHOOL WAS IN THE

TENTH GRADE WHEN HE WAS 19 YEARS

OLD, THAT FREDDIE GRAY WAS IN

DEVELOPMENTAL COURSE WORK AND

SPECIAL EDUCATION COURSEWORK HIS

ENTIRE LIFE BECAUSE OF THE LEAD

POISONING.

THAT A YEAR AND A HALF BEFORE

FREDDIE GRAY DIED HIMSELF HE

WATCHED HIS HALF BROTHER KILLED

IN DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE, SHOT TO

DEATH.

THAT WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE

LIFE THAT FREDDIE GRAY HAD TO

LIVE, WE HAVE TO BE JUST AS

DELIBERATE ABOUT DEMANDING

JUSTICE FOR HIS DEATH IS AS WE

ARE ABOUT DEMONSTRATEDING

JUSTICE FOR HIS LIFE AND MAKING

SURE THAT THE CONDITIONS --

DEMANDING JUSTICE FOR HIS LIFE

AND MAKING SURE THAT THE

CONDITIONS THAT YOUNG PEOPLE

LIKE FREDDIE ARE DEALING WITH

AND EXISTING IN ALL OF THE TIME,

THAT PART OF OUR SOCIETAL

RESPONSIBILITY, PART OF OUR

COMPLICITY, THE COMPLICITY THAT

EVEN WEIGHED ON ME AS I WAS

TRYING TO WRITE THE STORY IS HOW

DO WE THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT

CREATING THE PATHWAYS FOR THE

CHILDREN AND FOR THE FAMILIES

THAT END UP HAVING LONG TERM

CONSEQUENCES NOT JUST ON US

STRUCTURALLY, BUT FRANKLY, LONG

TERM MORAL CONSEQUENCES ON WHO

WE ARE AS A SOCIETY.

>> WE ARE TALKING WITH WES

MOORE, THE AUTHOR OF THE

COMPELLING NEW BOOK CALLED "FIVE

DAYS: THE FIRING RECKONING OF A

CITY".

ALSO THE CEO THE ROBIN HOOD

FOUNDATION.

THIS STORY AS I SAID AT THE

BEGINNING IS SO POWERFUL.

AND THERE ARE SO MANY

PERSONALITIES DRIVING THIS

STORY -- ONE OF THE THING YOU

TALK ABOUT HERE IS NOT JUST THE

PHYSICAL DESTRUCTION OF THE CITY

OF BALTIMORE, BUT THE

PSYCHOLOGICAL DESTRUCTION OF THE

CITY OF BALTIMORE.

HOW DO YOU MEAN THAT?

>> YEAH, IT'S THAT WHEN WE THINK

ABOUT WHERE BALTIMORE IS.

BALTIMORE, WHEN PEOPLE SAY DO

YOU FOLLOW EIGHT CHARACTERS?

IN MANY WAYS -- YOU JUST HIT THE

NAIL ON THE HEAD -- IT'S

ACTUALLY NINE.

THE CITY OF BALTIMORE IN MANY

WAY IS A CHARACTER IN AND OF

ITSELF IN THIS STORY.

AND WHAT TYPE OF DAMAGE WAS DONE

NOT JUST BY THE UNRESTS, AND NOT

JUST BY THE -- YOU KNOW, THE

UPRISING THAT TOOK PLACE

AROUND -- AROUND FREDDIE, BUT

FRANKLY FOR THE FACT THAT FOR

MANY PEOPLE IN BALTIMORE WHAT

HAPPENED OVER THOSE DAYS WAS

AMAZINGLY PREDICTABLE.

AND NOT EVEN --

>> PREDICTABLE IN WHAT SENSE?

>> YEAH.

WELL, PREDICTABLE ONE WAS THAT

YOU SAW THAT FREDDIE REALLY

REPRESENTED A LONGER LINE OF

PEOPLE OF PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN

LOST IN POLICE CUSTODY AND WITH

INEQUITABLE POLICE VIOLENCE.

BECAUSE EVEN FINISHES DID YOU

TAKE A LOOK AT BALTIMORE ALONE,

IN THE TWO YEARS PRIOR TO

BALTIMORE, THERE WASN'T JUST --

IN TWO YEARS PRIOR TO FREDDIE

GRAY, THERE WAS ALSO ANTHONY

ANDERSON, THERE WAS CHRIS BROWN,

THERE WAS TYRONE WEST.

SO FREDDIE GRAY ACTUALLY

JOINED -- HE JOINED A FRATERNITY

WHEN HE DIED IN POLICE CUSTODY.

AND FRANKLY, ONE OF THE MORE

SETTLING GROUPINGS THAT

BALTIMORE CITY STILL HAS TO

WRESTLE AND CONTEND WITH.

WE ALSO KNOW THAT WHEN YOU ARE

LOOKING AT BALTIMORE CITY AS A

WHOLE, THE LEVEL OF ENTRENCHED

AND CONCENTRATED POVERTY IN THAT

CITY CANNOT GO -- CANNOT GO

UNDISCUSSED.

WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE TYPE

OF SCENARIOS AND THE EXAMPLES

THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.

WHEN WE SAY THAT WHAT HAPPENED

WITHIN FREDDIE AND THE UNREST

WAS VERY PREDICTABLE, YOU SAW

THAT WHAT PEOPLE WERE SCREAMING

ABOUT WAS ABOUT JUST MORE THAN

JUST FREDDIE.

THERE IS ONE SCENE WHERE I TALK

ABOUT HOW TAWANDA ONE OF THE

CHARACTERS THAT WE FOLLOW WAS

TELLING ME THAT SHE WAS HEARING

THE SCREAMS OF THE CHILDREN AS

THEY WERE YELLING AT THE POLICE

OFFICERS WHO WERE ALL IN THEIR

FULL RIOT GEAR.

SHE SAID YOU KNOW THE THING THAT

AMAZED HER IS THAT THEY WEREN'T

YELLING FREDDIE'S GAME.

THEY WERE YELLING OTHER STUFF.

THEY WERE SAYING "THIS IS FOR MY

UNCLE BUCK" OR "THIS IS FOR THE

TIME WHEN YOU PUT YOUR HANDS ON

MY MOM".

THEY WERE YELLING OUT THOSE

OTHER GRIEVANCES BUT THIS MOMENT

WAS A CHANCE TO EXERCISE THEIR

GRIEVANCES.

SO WHEN WE SAY IT IS

PREDICTABLE, WHAT WE MEAN IS WE

SAW A MOMENT THAT FREDDIE IN

MANY WAYS WAS NOT THE EXPLOSIVE.

THE EXPLOSIVE WAS WELL PAVED.

WHAT FREDDIE WAS WAS THE SPARK,

AND THE WICKS WITH REALLY SHORT.

BECAUSE OF THE HISTORY OF

INEQUITY, BECAUSE OF THE HISTORY

OF SYSTEMIC RACISM AND ALL THE

CHALLENGE THAT EXIST.

SO TO TALK ABOUT THE CITY OF

BALTIMORE WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT

THE HISTORY OF THINGS LIKE RED

LINING, WHICH IS BASICALLY

PUTTING A MAP -- THE ESSENTIAL

PART OF WHY THEY CALL IT RED

LINE WAS THAT PRACTICE OF EARLY

DIDDING BY RACE WHO COULD LIVE

THERE.

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TALK ABOUT

THE HISTORY OF BALTIMORE WITHOUT

TALKING ABOUT DISCRIMINATORY

LENDING AND DISCRIMINATORY

LIVING AND THE GI BILL.

OUR COLLECTIVE LACK OF ABILITY

TO BE ABLE TO TACKLE AND ADDRESS

THOSE THINGS IS PART OF THE

PROBLEM THAT WE SAW, THE

EXPLOSION THAT WE SAW AT THAT

MOMENT.

>> LET ME -- YOU TALK ABOUT AN

EXPLOSION.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT LEAP, THAT

EXPLOSIVE LEAP FROM FREDDIE GRAY

AND THE STORY THAT YOU TELL IN"

FIVE DAYS " TO WHAT'S GOING ON

TODAY.

YOU MENTIONED THAT ONE OF THE

THINGS THAT YOU SAW WAS FREDDIE

GRAY'S NAME WAS THROWING AN

EVERY GROWING LITANY IF YOU

WILL, OF NAMES OF

AFRICAN-AMERICANS, OLDER

AFRICAN-AMERICANS BEING EITHER

KILLED OR DAMAGED AT THE HANDS

OF THE POLICE AND THE JUSTICE

SYSTEM.

>> YEAH.

>> BUT IF IT SEEMS THAT -- AND

CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG ME IF

YOU THINK THIS IS WRONG.

IT SEEMS THAT FOR EACH OF THESE

UP STANCES WE SAW AN PLOEGS LIKE

YOU MENTIONED.

EACH PERSON WAS THE SPARK.

WE SAW AN EXPLOSION.

WE SAW ACTIVITY.

WE SAW PROTESTS.

WE SAW SOMETIMES VIOLENCE.

WE SAW SOME DEGREE OF A

DEDICATION TO CHANGE THINGS.

AND THEN WE SEEMED TO -- THAT

ALL SEEMED TO FADE AWAY.

>> YEAH.

YEAH.

>> NOW WE HAVE GEORGE FLOYD.

>> RIGHT.

>> AND GEORGE FLOYD SEEMS -- I

WOULD LIKE YOUR THOUGHTS ON

THIS.

IT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN THE

IMPETUS FOR CHANGE IN THE SENSE

THAT THINGS FEEL A LITTLE

DIFFERENT NOW, DIFFERENT IN THE

SENSE THAT PERHAPS IN THE NOT

GOING TO FADE AWAY.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

>> I THINK WE ARE SEEING A

RELATIVE MEASURE OF

UNDERSTANDING THAT INJUSTICE

COMPOUNDS, AND TRAUMA COMPOUNDS,

AND PAIN COMPOUNDS.

AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, IT IS

IMPORTANT TO I THINK TO

HIGHLIGHT THE MOMENT THAT THIS

IS COMING OFF OF.

THAT THIS IS ALSO COMING OFF OF

THE FACT THAT 2020 HAS THROWN

TWO GENUINE CRISES AT OUR DOOR

STEPS, WITHIN A MATTER OF MONTHS

OF EACH OTHER.

YOU KNOW, THE FIRST WAS THE

INTRODUCTION OF A VIRUS, YOU

KNOW, THAT HAS HAD CATASTROPHIC

HEALTH AND ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS

ON OUR SOCIETY.

AND THE OTHER WAS THE VERY

UNNEEDED REMINDER OF HOW

INEQUITABLE POLICING IS IN

DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES.

AND -- BUT THE REALITY OF BOTH

OF THESE CRISES IS DESPITE THE

FACT THAT THEY ARE VERY

DIFFERENT, THEY EXPOSE THE SAME

TRUTH.

WHILE COVID-19 IMPACTED

EVERYBODY, IT DID NOT IMPACT

EVERYBODY EQUALLY.

AND WHILE PEOPLE OF COLOR

CONTRACTED COVID AT TWICE THE

RATE AND ALSO DIED AT TWICE THE

RATE.

AND POLICE REFORM IS NECESSARY

FOR ALL COMMUNITIES.

BUT THE REALITY IS THAT WHEN YOU

WATCHED GEORGE FLOYD'S BODY ON

CAMERA, HANDCUFFED, LAYING ON

THE GROUND, AND TAKING HIS FINAL

BREATHS, BEGGING FOR AIR, YOU

REALIZE -- AND WITH THE OFFICER

NONCHALANTLY LEANING HIS KNEE

INTO HIS NECK WE WATCHED HIS

NAME BEING ADDED TO A MUCH

LONGER LINEAGE OF OTHER NAME.

AND FRANKLY AT THIS POINT NAMES

WEREN'T BEING CAUGHT ON CAMERA.

AND IT WAS THE NAME OF MANY

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN LIKE WALTER

SCOTT AND FREDDIE GRAYS AND THE

TRAYVON BROWNS AND AHMAUD

ARBERYS.

IT'S ALSO BLACK WOMEN.

IT'S SANDRA BLAND.

IT'S BREONNA TAYLOR.

WE SEE HOW WHEN YOU HAVE THESE

TWO CRISES WHICH ARE DIFFERENT

WE ALSO UNDERSTAND HOW SOLVING

FOR COVID IS NOT JUST ABOUT

DEVELOPMENTING A VACCINE.

AND WHAT PEOPLE ARE PROTESTING

IS NOT JUST INEQUITABLE

POLICING.

I THINK PEOPLE ARE UNDERSTANDING

NOW IT IS A MUCH LARGER

CONVERSATION ABOUT RACISM.

AND THAT THIS IDEA THAT IT IS

NOT JUST A DIFFICULT ISSUE IN

OUR COUNTRY, IT'S THE MOST

DIFFICULT ISSUE THAT OUR COUNTRY

HAS.

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT

HISTORICALLY, WE TUSSLED WITH IT

BUT WE HAVE YET TO FULLY DEFEAT

IT.

AND THE RACIAL INJUSTICE THAT I

THINK PEOPLE ARE FEELING AND

SEEING AND THAT PEOPLE ARE

PROTESTING OVER IS THE THING

THAT ACTUALLY DOES FEEL

DIFFERENT NOW.

WHERE THE BAR IS NOW HIGHER,

THIS IS NOT JUST SIMPLY ABOUT --

WE DON'T JUST WANT CHARGES BUT

WE WANT CONVICTIONS ON THE

OFFICERS WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT

THE MURDER OF MR. FLOYD.

BUT IT'S ALSO ABOUT HOW DO WE

DEAL WITH ISSUES OF HEALTH

INJUSTICE?

HOW DO WE UNDERSTAND THE FACT

THAT LITERALLY RIGHT NOW A BLACK

WOMAN WITH BREAST CANCER HAS A

42% HIGHLY LIKELIHOOD OF DYING

THAN A WHITE WOMAN WITH BREAST

CANCER?

HOW DO WE DEAL WITH THE REALITY

THAT A BLACK COLLEGE GRADUATE

RIGHT NOW HAS THE SAME EARNING

POWER AS A WHITE HIGH SCHOOL

DROPOUT?

THAT'S DATA.

THOSE ARE FACTS.

I THINK WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

AND PROTESTING RIGHT NOW IS THAT

WHAT WE ARE DOING -- THIS IS

MUCH BIGGER THAN JUST SIMPLY

ABOUT WE WANT TO DEMAND JUSTICE

FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO A -- WHAT

HAPPENED TO FREDDIE LIKE FIVE

YEARS AGO OR EVEN WHAT HAPPENED

TO MR. FLOYD A FEW MONTHS OR A

MONTH BACK.

BUT THIS IS ALSO ABOUT HOW CAN

THIS COUNTRY TACKLE THIS BIGGER

ISSUE OF RACISM IN A WAY THAT'S

DEFINITIVE, SINCERE AND MOVING

OUR COUNTRY FORWARD IN A

COLLECTIVE FASHION?

BECAUSE THAT'S THE THING WE HAVE

AVOIDED AND THE THING WE HAVE

MISSED FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

>> SHOULD THERE BE ANY CONCERN

AS OUR FOCUS NOW IS ON POLICE

REFORM -- AND WE'VE SEEN A

FAIRLY UNIVERSAL OUTCRY FOR

POLICE REFORM -- NOW, SOME OF

THE SUGGESTIONS AS TO HOW IT

SHOULD BE DONE VARY.

AT ONE END OF THE SPECTRUM YOU

HAVE SUGGESTIONS THAT DO AWAY

WITH POLICE DEPARTMENTS

COMPLETELY.

THEN YOU HAVE ALL OTHER SORTS OF

SCENARIOS ON THAT SPECTRUM AND

DEFUNDING WHICH CAN BE A LOT OF

THINGS.

>> RIGHT.

>> ARE YOU AT ALL CONCERNED THAT

PERHAPS AN UNINTENDED

CONSEQUENCE OF US FOCUSING ON

POLICE REFORM, WHICH WE NEED TO

FOCUS ON, MIGHT TAKE FOCUS AWAY

FROM THE OTHER -- THE HEALTH

INEQUITIES, THE THINGS THAT YOU

TALKED ABOUT BEFORE, THE

WORKPLACE INEQUITIES, THAT WE

MIGHT LOSE FOCUS ON THOSE

BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO CREATE A

LASER FOCUS ON THE POLICE AND

JUSTICE REFORM?

>> YEAH.

I THINK WE AS A COUNTRY HAVE TO

BE COMFORTABLE WITH DEALING WITH

THEM ALL.

AND DEALING WITH THEM ALL

SIMULTANEOUSLY BECAUSE THE

REALITY IS WHEN WE ARE LOOKING

AT THE DEPTH OF DISPARITY THAT

EXISTS IT DIDN'T HAPPEN IN A

SINGULAR FASHION.

IT HAPPENED WITH A VERY HOLISTIC

AND A VERY DELIBERATE NATURE TO

IT.

WE HAVE TO DO THE SAME WHEN IT

COMES THE REBUILDING ON OUR

SOCIETY.

SO I DO WORRY IF PEOPLE THINK

THAT SOMEHOW IF YOU JUST MAKE

BASIC ADJUSTMENTS TO THE POLICE

DEPARTMENT THAT THAT'S SOMEHOW

GOING TO SOLVE ANYTHING.

NOR DO I THINK THAT BEING ABLE

TO LOOK AT THINGS LIKE -- SO FOR

EXAMPLE, I DON'T WANT TO -- I

DON'T WANT TO ABOLISH THE

POLICE.

YOU KNOW, I WANT TO ABOLISH

POLICE BRUTALITY.

I WANT TO ABOLISH RACIAL

PROFILING.

I WANT TO ABOLISH THE HYPER

MILITARIZATION OF POLICE.

BECAUSE I'M A DEEP BELIEVER THAT

SOMETIMES WHEN YOU DRESS FOR

CONFLICT, CONFLICT HAPPENS.

SO I'M A BIG BELIEVER IN THAT.

BUT WHAT I AM ALSO A BELIEVER IN

IS THAT OUR BUDGETS ARE MORAL

DOCUMENTS.

SO WHEN WE ARE LOOKING AT HOW WE

EVEN THINK ABOUT FUNDING RIGHT

NOW -- TAKE NEW YORK FOR

EXAMPLE.

FOR EVERY DOLLAR THAT THE

N.Y.P.D. GETS, YOUTH

DEVELOPMENTS GETS 11 CENTS.

FOR EVERY DOLLAR THAT THE

N.Y.P.D. GETS, HEALTH AND MENTAL

HYGIENE GETS 31 CENTS.

IN BALTIMORE CITY, THE HEALTH

DEPARTMENT, THEIR JULY BUDGET

HOVERS AROUND $41 MILLION.

THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IN

BALTIMORE CITY, THEIR BUDGET

HOVERS AROUND $509 MILLION.

SO PART OF THE ISSUE IS THAT WE

ARE ASKING OUR POLICE, ASKING

OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT TO TAKE ON

OBSTACLES AND TAKE ON CHALLENGES

THAT FRANKLY THEY ARE NOT THE

BEST TEAM TO TAKE ON.

WE ARE ASKING THEM TO DO THINGS

THAT THEY ARE NOT THE MOST

QUALIFIED TO DO.

SO EVERYTHING FROM -- EVERYTHING

FROM A BREAKING AND ENTERING TO

IF A PERSON IS HAVING A MENTAL

HEALTH BREAKDOWN TO IF SOMEONE

IS -- IF SOMEONE DOESN'T LIKE

THAT KIDS ARE LIGHTING FIRE

CRACKERS FOR FOURTH OF JULY --

THE IMMEDIATE RESPONSE FOR ALL

OF IT IS CALLING THE POLICE.

AND THAT'S WHAT LEADS INTO PART

OF THIS CHALLENGE THAT WE HAVE,

IS THAT WE DON'T -- WE CANNOT

HAVE JUST A KINETIC SOLUTION TO

EVERYTHING ELSE.

NOW WE ALSO THOUGH, YOU KNOW, TO

YOUR POINT, HAVE TO REMEMBER

THAT IN ORDER FOR US TO REALLY

PRESERVE A SENSE OF EQUITY IN

EVERYTHING THAT WE DO, IT ALSO

JUST CAN'T END WITH

CONVERSATIONS AROUND POLICE

BUDGETS OR CONVERSATIONS AROUND

DO WE BAN CHOKE HOLDS?

THAT IT REALLY DOES MEAN HOW ARE

WE GOING TO BE AMAZINGLY AND

REMARKABLY DELIBERATE ABOUT

PUTTING TOGETHER SYSTEMS AND

STRUCTURES THAT ARE GOING TO

GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE

ABLE TO CREATE A BETTER SOCIETY.

HOW DOING FROM BEING --

SAYING -- YOU KNOW, SAYING --

NOT JUST BEING NOT RACIST TO

ACTUALLY BEING ANTI-RACIST.

AND THAT MEANS -- YOU KNOW, THAT

MEANS ACTIVELY IDENTIFYING

BELIEFS AND ACTIONS AND POLICIES

THAT ARE ENFORCING RACIAL

INEQUITIES AND FORCING TO CHANGE

THEM.

RARELY INEQUITIES ISN'T AN ACT.

THAT'S MISCONSTRUED THAT IF A

PERSON DOESN'T SAY A RACIAL

EPITHET THAT THAT PERSON IS NOT

SOMEHOW RACIST.

RACISM ISN'T AN ACT.

IT IS A SYSTEM.

WE THEN HAVE TO BE INCREDIBLY

DELIBERATE ABOUT COMING FORWARD

WITH WAYS OF ADDRESSING THE

CAUSE AND NOT SIMPLY JUSTINING

TO GO AFTER THE EFFECT.

THINGS LIKE INEQUITABLE

POLICING, AN EFFECT OF THIS

LARGER CHALLENGE OF RACE THAT WE

AS A SOCIETY STILL HAVE TO

WRESTLE WITH.

>> LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.

WE COULD TALK FOR HOURS HERE.

ABOUT GIVEN THE LIMITS OF OUR

TIME, LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.

ARE YOU NOW AT ALL OPTIMISTIC

THAT PERHAPS THINGS MIGHT BE

DIFFERENT NOW IN TERMS OF MOVING

FORWARD, PAYING ATTENTION, AND

AFFECTING REAL AND MEANINGFUL

CHANGE?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW ME.

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL FOR ME.

RIGHT?

I AM AN INCREDIBLY OPTIMISTIC

PERSON.

I'M ALSO A PERSON WHO

UNDERSTANDS THAT -- THAT AS DR.

KING SAYS, THAT THE MORAL ARC IS

LONG IN OUR COUNTRY AND IT BENDS

TOWARDS JUSTICE.

BUT I ALSO BELIEVE THAT IT

DOESN'T BEND TOWARD JUSTICE

AUTOMATICALLY.

I BELIEVE IT BENDS TOWARDS

JUSTICE BECAUSE PEOPLE MAKE IT

BEND THERE.

I BELIEVE IT BENDS TOWARDS

JUSTICE BECAUSE THERE ARE PEOPLE

ON OTHER SIDE WHO ARE PULLING TO

MAKE SURE THAT ARC ACTUALLY

BENDS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

BUT I THINK IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO

LOOK AT WHAT'S EVEN HAPPENED

EVEN OVER THESE PAST MONTHS AND

YEARS AND NOT HAVE A SENSE OF

OPTIMISM.

I MEAN, I THINK ABOUT -- I THINK

ABOUT EVEN JUST A SMALL EXAMPLE

WHERE I WILL GIVE YOU THREE

NAMES, PATRICE COLORS, OPAL

TEMETI, AND ALICIA GARZA.

THESE WERE THREE WOMEN WHO YEARS

AGO PEOPLE WERE LITERALLY

CALLING TERRORISTS.

>> RIGHT, RIGHT.

>> WHERE THE ORGANIZATION THAT

THEY STARTED, CALLED BLACK LIVES

MATTERS, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE

THAT BLACK LIVES MATTER WAS

STARTED BY THREE BLACK WOMEN.

>> RIGHT.

>> WAS AN ORGANIZATION THAT WAS

CALLED AN OFFICIAL TERRORIST

ORGANIZATION.

NOW WE HAVE GOT EVERYBODY FROM

CORPORATE AMERICA TO COMMUNITY

MEMBERS TO EVERYONE SAYING BLACK

LIVES MATTER.

>> AND PERHAPS THEY ARE MEANING

IT NOW.

>> PERHAPS --

>> THEY ARE SAYING IT.

AND PERHAPS IT MEANS SOMETHING

NOW.

>> THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT.

AND SAYING IT IN A WAY THAT, YOU

KNOW, THAT BLACK LIVES MATTER

WAS SIMPLY JUST A CALL FOR

CENTURIES DINS DISPROPORTIONATE

VIOLENCE AND TREATMENT OF BLACK

PEOPLE THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY HAVE

A CONVERSATION BICHLT WHEN I

THINK ABOUT HOW THAT HAS MOVED I

CAN'T HELP BUT BE OPTIMISTIC

THAT WE CAN STILL DO BETTER AND

WE WILL.

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY

JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,

ROSALIND P. WALTER,

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,

AND BY --