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House | March 10, 2015 | Press Room | Representative Rodney Moore Press Conference

Full MP3 Audio File

Well, good afternoon. Want to go ahead and we start--we were gonna start at 12:00 but we’re about two minutes behind, so I want to be respectful of everyone’s time. My name is Rodney Moore. I represent the 99th district from Mecklenburg County. A few minutes ago we filed House Bill 193, which the bill prohibits discriminatory practices by law enforcement officials. It also compels law enforcement agencies to give their new hires, their new officers diversity training, cultural diversity training. It also seeks to capture data for traffic stops, homicide data, so in instances or claims of racial bias by the police, we can either prove or dispel those accusations through data. And so that’s just some of the highlights of the bill. I really have a lot of great partners here. And first of all, let me recognize my primary sponsors with me on the bill, Rep. Jean Farmer Butterfield, Rep. Cecil Brockman, Rep. Craig, I’m not gonna--Graig, Graig Meyer, I’m already--from Orange County. And so this is a, this is a great first step, I think. And having, and having the conversation about how police, how our law enforcement agencies interact with our communities of color, with the community as a whole, as you know, there have been instances across the nation where there’s been some questionable action as it relates to police and homicides for men of color. And so what we strive to do with this particular bill is to have this conversation initially in NC and come up with some ways that we can start to rebuild the public trust with our law enforcement agencies, and have an open and fair dialogue, and have a way that we can hold people accountable for misdeeds. And so that’s the long and short of the bill. And so right now I’d like to have any of my prime sponsors who would like to say a few words, one to two minutes, I have to emphasize that, because I’m sure there may be some questions, and we want to have as much time for questions as possible. So if there’s any of my co-prime sponsors or cosponsors that want to, please be one to two minutes, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Rep. Moore. My constituents asked that I sign onto this bill as a primary sponsor in Pitt County. Recently they had a forum where they had the faith-based community, they had law enforcement and they actually had an individual who had been racially profiled at that panel. And during that discussion, but the main thing I hear was they wanted fairness and justice, and they wanted people to be treated the same. And they want someone to be kind of a watchdog to oversee and make sure that people were treated equally as it deals in relation to the law, basically. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hey, I’m Cecil Brockman. I just want to say thank you to Rep. Rodney Moore for his leadership on this bill. As a young African-American of color, this bill affects me personally. I’ve had, unfortunately, instances where I’ve had dealings with law enforcement, where I didn’t necessarily agree with why I was pulled over and stopped. And I think a lot of members in the African American community have had the same you know, experience. And so I think this bill ias a great bill to try to fix that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m Graig Meyer from House District 50, Orange and Durham Counties. I’m happy to sponsor this bill really in honor of all the families that I spent 16 years working with in the schools before I entered the legislature, and thinking about the many, many times I listened to mothers and fathers talk about the tough lessons that they had to teach to their children about interacting with law enforcement...and the great amount of pain that those parents felt when they didn’t feel like...

System of justice was protecting their children and working in their best interest. We know that this nation needs a sustained dialogue about trust between our law enforcement system and our communities of color. We hope that this bill will help to promote that dialogue and ensure that our citizens fell like the legislature is here to ensure that the balances of the scales of justice are set equally and they have the chance to have their voices and their experiences represented in the process. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Meyer. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have some, let me acknowledge some partners that have been very helpful in the formation of this bill. I’d like to recognize Sarah Preston from the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Mr. Collins which you will hear from briefly, and also I’d like to thank the North Carolina Justice Center and now I will introduce the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, Representative Garland Pierce from [??] North Carolina and thank you for your participation Representative Pierce. It’s very important that the Legislative Black Caucus really gets behind this. I appreciate your support and you have three minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. State Representative Garland Pierce in House District 48. We’re delighted as the Legislative Black Caucus to share with Representative Moore on this very important piece of legislation. We have talked to the leadership about it and one of our concerns and one of our agenda items when we talk to the House leader and the Senate leader as something that we really want to push forward. I think the President said it well in Selma that we still have a ways to go. We’re not there yet. So we would hope with this bill that, I think law enforcement is somewhat I would say they have some sensitivity to it and I think it’s something that we should continue to have this conversation about profiling and I think for different reasons no doubt they see young black males in a light that’s just not favorable at this present time and I think that more that we share with them and the more that they become sensitized or trained that everybody who looks like a person of color is not a person that’s trying to get into something that they should not be doing, so I would ask that we have the continued support of all of our colleagues across the aisle as Representative Moore makes every attempt to move this legislation forward that we all rally with him because it’ll protect all of our boys because I think what’s constant is a great example of how things, the more we talk about it, the more it is revealed on TVs that it’s still going on. So we need to have a serious conversation and dialogue and I hope our representative ever success that he’s able to move this legislation and we continue to have this conversation because too many young men’s lives are being destroyed, too many young men’s lives are being taken and too many ending up in the court system based on the way that they look, where they come from and we really need to stop that and I hope we can work together as this body to improve this whole situation about profiling, and I just believe that we will. I think North Carolina’s ready for it and I think we have the drive to do it. Thank you, Representative. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Representative Michaux, would you like to say a few words? It’s your option. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. This is a subject that really needs no introduction to anybody, particularly those of us of color because many of us have in the past been profiled. I’m reminded sort of the ideas that have been put into people’s minds. For instance, everything black is not evil, right, is evil, everything black is evil. I’ll give you an example, when we were growing up we were given fables and stories and what not, and you take the story of the ugly duckling. At one time he was a black ugly duckling and what happened to him was he turned into a beautiful white swan, and when you look at King Arthur and the knights of the round table, the black knight at the round table was the evil knight. The black sheep of the family. Everything was evil. Well, what this bill does is gonna make people understand that black is not evil. That it takes both the black keys and the white keys on a piano to make harmonies. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well said. I couldn’t have said it better.

Speaker changes:is there any other Representative or senator would like ?? something this time ?? Speaker changes:?? bill this time we move forward and i ?? so that people of color I'm not being stopped everyday just because of their driving ?? just you should be profile i support this bill and i think it is necessary that we take her what being stated here we were putted into will throughout the state of north Carolina there should be no ?? you know we needed segregation along time go and so we end turned the clock back ?? doing what the day ended this is 2015 and we must stop that profile way of signaling out ?? north Carolina wold do better and we will better and this bill ensure that we should ?? Speaker changes:?? Speaker changes:now we would her briefly from young Jeremy ?? southern collision for social justice and if anyone else thank you very much good afternoon Speaker changes:thank you Representative ?? for social justice I'm excited for being cross the state to turn north Carolina it related of ratio profiling my organization is full organizational based community ?? we worked there ?? everyday we represent person cross the state and beyond who are victims of ration profiling not just my office is like other offices?? but also establishing standard that would say enough is enough so we are excited to be dirt of this collision and look forward to success on this effort thank you Speaker changes:i think just a time hearing all the colleagues saying the same thing but there are other fold who are profile based on ?? out of the norm of what that community is fixed that community of could we could move forward is affecting lot of people yes it is affecting lot people and affecting other young men too from other ethnic groups who were out of the norm from what they ?? from other particular committee and how other see them also Speaker changes:?? Speaker changes:thank you Representative pierce lemme say that this bill is not just about that ?? profile this is about profile won the basis of nationality ?? religious affiliation sexual identity all are these saying re very critical these group of people have been profile or discriminated against some point t time or not her and some so we should be very based in ?? conclusive bout how we protect all of ourselves off course the ?? the black issue has been standing since the begging of this nation we know the rules of this nation we understand that we ?? actually go into the core of what happened and also we should come together and fix it there are also this is gonna be very very difficult conversation but you know difficulty leads to

Strength, strength leads to character and character leads to victory and so right now I see someone I must acknowledge, our Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, Miss Keever, thank you for coming. Would you very quickly like to give a few remarks or are you? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think I’m here in support. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right, God bless you. God bless you. God bless you. Okay, now since we’ve got all the particulars out are there any questions. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I can’t remember if you said this before but have you had dialogue with the Sheriff’s Association or other law enforcement groups and if so were they. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, we’ve had some dialogue initially with the sheriff’s groups. Haven’t had the opportunity to sit down with the FOP, Fraternal Order of Police or the PVA. I have reached out to the North State Officer’s Association and so this, as we go along, once this bill is filed, this bill is filed now so as we go along I welcome those conversations with the Sheriff’s Association and all law enforcement representatives. I think that for this bill to be successful that we’re gonna need dialogue from both sides and as I said it’s gonna be a tough conversation but the conversation needs to be had because we are losing lives, lives are being affected in a very negative way because of the misconceptions that some have in law enforcement as it relates to communities of color and other groups of people, so I look forward to that conversation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And how is it going so far? I think you mentioned some dialogue with the Sheriff’s Association. What’s your understanding so far? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, I think they’re in a wait and see mode. I think now that we have the bill out and it’s filed, I think now is the time we can really go out and go into the intricacies of the bill and go out and have a great dialogue from that, so I’m looking forward to that. Hopefully we can set up some meetings with those representatives and kind of see where they shake out on the bill and try to make a way so that we can be respectful of everybody’s opinion but also put good policy in place. [SPEAKER CHANGES] You said you hope to rebuild public trust. What is the state of that public trust right now then? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, the state of public trust as it relates to law enforcement and I can say particularly the African American community has always been a very strained relationship. I think you have some instances, just last Friday you had a young man in Milwaukee who was shot by law enforcement. You actually had a young lady most recently in Charlotte, NC who was shot and killed by CMPD officer and the young lady had a knife. She had a knife, she didn’t have a gun and he could’ve tazed her. And we have to look at these attitudes. We have to correct these attitudes and have more dialogue as it relates to our way of dealing or interacting with the police and their way. So I think that the public trust right now is strained. Very strained. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What sort of feedback have you gotten from your republican colleagues when this was proposed? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, I think about my republican colleagues. We’ve talked, I’ve talked to, and let me say I’ve talked to leadership about this issue and they were in wait and see mode just like everyone else and so now hopefully we can start to have a dialogue. I’m interested to see where this bill will be placed and what committee it will be placed in and depending on what committee it will be placed in we will start reaching out to that committee chair and speaker’s office and see if we can, whatever revisions we need to make. My goal is to get this bill signed into law. That’s my goal and so I know we have a long way to go, but I think, I know it’s not impossible to do, I know it’s not impossible, but we’re going to have some dialogue and we’re going to have some disagreements, but I think that we can all come together and we can at least agree on that racial profiling or profiling by any, for any, any, anything is not acceptable in North Carolina. So I think we can all agree on that, we just maybe have differences on how we can achieve it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think we gave him a chance on that, but I guess I could easily see republican leaders saying yeah, we agree that racial profiling or any sort of profiling is wrong but it’s just a question of whether we need new laws

I've heard some people say that the construction and case law already says that discriminatory profiling is discriminatory and illegal. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, thank you [SPEAKER CHANGES] No I'm just saying. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah, I understand. What I stated is that you know there are provisions in the constitution but are they being enforced? And by what I understand and the tone of what's happening out in the community, clearly you have laws on the books but it's not being enforced. So I guess this would be a friendly reminder if you will that we need to really enforce our laws with fairness and equity. And so that's what I would say there again it's an ongoing conversation. Patrick. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So in the bill it prohibits discriminary discriminatory profiling if I remember it correctly there's no punishment laid out in the law if somebody does that. How do you envision say some police officer does something like happened in Cleveland or New York how do you envision this bill working to make the process work better here compared to maybe how it has in Ferguson or New York? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Right right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I mean [SPEAKER CHANGES] Right well I think that with this particular bill this basically serves as a template. It's like a guiding document. Now, once we get this law enacted then we may have to go through possibly understanding from a judiciary point what the penalties how do we hold people accountable. But my intention for this particular bill was to get it in place try to put something in place you know we have more work to do but that's a great question and, yes you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Let me get back to Gary's point, Gary you make a good point but just remember right now in our state constitution it says it deals with the qualification for voting and what did we do with house bill five eighty nine last year try to add more qualifications for voting. We have in our United States constitution even though it's illegal under the fourteenth fifteenth amendment we still have statements in there stating that black folks are three fifths of a person. So you've got all of these things written in the law but whether or not they, this bill so it's there we've got the protections there but we don't we're not enforcing them we're not doing what we need to do with what's there, this adds to that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you representative Michaux. [SPEAKER CHANGES] In Fayetteville several times over the past several years they've attempted to get a police review board bill through just for Fayetteville and it's generated huge opposition from law enforcement [SPEAKER CHANGES] Right. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What are you going to do if you get that this time? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, what this bill actually has a provision that it talks about citizens review boards what I've seen the issue is that every time a municipality wants to institute a review board they have to come like you said a city specific or municipality specific. This bill will empower cities or municipalities if they want to have a citizens review board it's not mandatory that they establish a citizens review board let me make that clear, but if they have the will at least they won't have to keep coming back to the general assembly to ask for a review board in Willmington or Charlotte or wherever. This would be a blanket approval for them to go forward with their process. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My question this bill might get opposition because of that provision from the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, it's already gettin opposition. [SPEAKER CHANGES] What are you going to do about that? [SPEAKER CHANGES] We are going to sit at the table we're going to talk about it we're going to come up with a solution that fits both. One of the things that I'm very aware of is that people will instantly, instantly oppose a bill that they haven't seen. So now the bill is out here let's go to the table we know we have differences, but let's sit down and talk about it and come up with a workable solution. So there again I look forward to those conversations with whoever is opposed or would be opposed to implementations of citizens review board. Okay, very quickly let me give reverend Nelson Johnson from Greensboro two minutes to he's one of the people

First of all, thank you. Sorry about being late. I’m so grateful that Representative Moore has brought this bill forward and one way to think of it is at the end of the day citizens actually have to run our government. This bill provides tools that are useful to citizens and there is almost an inherent push back to greater oversight. Nothing new about that, but that’s absolutely important and it’s especially important to those agencies that are empowered to take life, protect life, imprison people, so I think we need to embrace the spirit of this and that gives us what we need to work through the particularities of it and I want to say that oversight is important and Ferguson provides a little bit of a window into a moment. You can’t generalize it but you can’t make it specific only to Ferguson. You have to assume that this is happening all over the nation to greater and lesser degrees and so I think we ought to embrace this. We’re gonna go back and work in Greensboro to support it, we’re gonna reach out to other cities around the state to support it. It is time. We don’t have to wait for more imprisonments, more deaths. It’s time to do it. It’s the right thing to do, it’s the moral thing to do and it’s overdue. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you [??] [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think that Representative Floyd wanted to speak. I think he had some background on your question about Fayeteville very quickly, thanks. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you so much. What this bill provides and the reason why I came on board because of that portion of the bill, timing is everything, you know, within the text of a bill there. If it’s a short session they say that if you have all members on board it’s easier to push through pieces of legislation. Now, if you don’t then it’s very difficult. This allows, I mean this empowers to a simply majority vote of the members of that particular board, maybe a county board or commission or a city council to establish a review board by simply not using the text that it takes a majority of the members to put forward. This is why I came on board supporting the bill because it gives local municipalities simply a majority. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Thank you, Representative Floyd. Are there any other questions? Seeing none, thank you for coming and appreciate and we will look forward to speaking with you further about this piece of legislation. Thank you very much.