Are Police ‘Prejudice and Hate’ Really the Central Problem, Chuck?
Morning Joe did a very decent job today of covering the shooting of police officers in Dallas and the issue of police shootings of African-American. The remarks were generally even-handed. Even Al Sharpton was cautious and balanced in his comments. And so it was surprising that of all people, Chuck Todd made the most tendentious remark.
Speaking of the shooting of Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, and discussing the need for better police training, Todd said: “how do you train prejudice and hate out of somebody’s heart? That’s a tough thing.” Is there racism among police? Of course, as there is in every segment of society. Was the Minnesota governor right when he said Castile would be alive if he were white? Quite possibly. But for Todd to focus on police “prejudice and hate” was a gross and unfair overgeneralization. Chuck Todd: please spend a few days in a police cruiser in an inner city. See what the police see and have to deal with every day. Then come back and tell us whether police “prejudice and hate” is the key to the problems facing our society.
In introducing the discussion, Mika Brzezinski had the equanimity to say that “even in the St. Paul story, I don’t look at that cop as a bad guy. I looked at him, what you saw in that video, is a scared guy, a guy who did not know what he was doing.”
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: The conversation is so, has so many different facets to it because, you know, even in the St. Paul story, I don’t look at that cop as a bad guy. I looked at him, what you saw in that video, is a scared guy, a guy who did not know what he was doing.
CHUCK TODD: Then he shouldn’t have been a police officer. He was poorly trained.
CHRIS JANSING: But most officers never fire their weapon in the line of duty.
AL SHARPTON: But that’s why, this is what I’m saying. He was scared.
MIKA: He was scared.
SHARPTON: But Castile is dead —
MIKA: I hear you!
SHARPTON: — and we’ve got to deal with all of that. This guy may be afraid for any number of reasons.
SHARPTON: But this young man lost his life in front of a child and his girlfriend.
MIKA: I’m not discounting that.
SHARPTON: At a traffic stop.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Mika’s point —
SHARPTON: No, I understand her point.
JOE: And yesterday this comes down to training. This comes down to professionalism. This comes down to having police officers that can de-escalate situations.
MIKA: His life. I mean, he will never.
SHARPTON: Mika is saying it wouldn’t have happened if it had been somebody else.
CHUCK TODD: How do you train prejudice and hate out of somebody’s heart? That’s a tough thing. I mean, it’s the hardest part of this. You have to make sure you’re also recruiting people that are, you know, it’s tough.
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