WBEZ | Tracey Meares http://www.wbez.org/tags/tracey-meares Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 8,000 Chicago cops now a little friendlier http://www.wbez.org/news/8000-chicago-cops-now-little-friendlier-109425 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Bruce Lipman.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>There&rsquo;s a video that&rsquo;s gone viral of a Baltimore police officer getting some kids in trouble for skateboarding. He puts a seemingly compliant 14-year-old in a headlock and pulls him to the ground. &ldquo;Sit down!&rdquo; the officer yells. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not a dude!&nbsp; When I&rsquo;m talking to you, you shut your mouth and you listen!&rdquo;</p><p>The officer is unhinged. The video is about three and a half minutes and there are several times when the confrontation seems to be over. The kids stand around looking down and shuffling their feet but then the cop turns around, comes back and kicks it off again.</p><p>&ldquo;Son, what is your problem?&nbsp; Do you go to school and give your teacher this kind of lip and back-talk your teacher?&nbsp; Now what makes you think you can do it to a police officer?&rdquo;</p><p>The teen, flabbergasted, says Duuuude.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Stop calling me dude!&rdquo; the officer yells. &ldquo;A dude is somebody who works on a ranch!&nbsp; I&rsquo;m not man, I&rsquo;m not dude, I am officer Rivieri.&rdquo;</p><p>It was probably helpful that Officer Rivieri identified himself on tape for future disciplinary proceedings. He was fired.</p><p>Cops are trained to take control, but Chicago police are being taught there&rsquo;s more than one way to do that. You don&rsquo;t always have to come on strong, yelling out commands. In fact, officers are learning that that approach can actually make policing much harder.</p><p><strong>McCarthy cites research</strong></p><p>The video with Officer Rivieri is being used in a class at the Chicago police academy in what NOT to do. The one-day training on something called police legitimacy, an idea based on academic research into effective policing. Superintendent Garry McCarthy has been pushing it since he came to Chicago. He often drops the names of researchers and academics Tracey Meares and Tom Tyler who have articulated and championed the twin ideas of procedural justice and police legitimacy.</p><p>McCarthy explained those ideas on WBEZ&rsquo;s Afternoon Shift in February of 2012.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not what you do, it&rsquo;s how you do it,&rdquo; said McCarthy. &quot;So you can stop somebody but when you explain to them why you stopped them, and when you leave them with a different taste in their mouths rather than saying now, get the hell off the corner, there&rsquo;s a whole different intention that people take away from that encounter.&rdquo;</p><p>So, let&rsquo;s say you get pulled over and get a ticket but the cop was really nice. The research finds that you could leave that interaction feeling good about police even though you got a ticket. On the flip side, let&rsquo;s say you don&rsquo;t get the ticket but the cop is a total&hellip; well, let&rsquo;s keep it clean for the kids and just say he&rsquo;s not nice. Even though you didn&rsquo;t get a ticket you&rsquo;ll likely leave that interaction with a negative view of police.</p><p>The point is, it&rsquo;s not just the outcome that matters. The process is important, hence the name: procedural justice. McCarthy explains. &ldquo;You explain to them why you stopped them, somebody got shot here, there&rsquo;s somebody with a gun around the corner, whatever the case might be, instead of just saying, &lsquo;Shut up.&nbsp; I&rsquo;ll ask the questions.&rsquo;&nbsp; Whole different dynamic there, so that&rsquo;s a cultural change in policing that we have to infuse into the department-- of respect.&rdquo;</p><p>Since McCarthy made those comments almost two years ago the department has trained 8,000&nbsp; officers. McCarthy says this is a step towards repairing the legacy of mistrust between poor communities of color and the police.</p><p><strong>At the police academy</strong></p><p>By seven on a fall morning, Mike Reischl is getting a couple dozen officers settled in a class room at the Chicago Police Academy on the city&rsquo;s West Side. He tells the officers there&rsquo;s coffee in the back and asks them to contribute 50 cents. He clarifies that all the money goes to purchasing the coffee and drinks at the back. I guess it&rsquo;s just in case you think someone might be skimming a couple quarters here and there.</p><p>&ldquo;Police legitimacy, it&rsquo;s got a lousy name doesn&rsquo;t it?&nbsp; It does!&rdquo; Reischl tells the class. &ldquo;Somewhere along the line you get the connotation that somehow you&rsquo;re illegitimate, right?&nbsp; So you got to come here and be legitimate.&rdquo;</p><p>Reischl tells the officers that they&rsquo;re not here because something went wrong, or because someone filed a lawsuit.</p><p>Like the other instructors Reischl wears a shirt and tie and there&rsquo;s a gun on his hip. Police officers sit in plainclothes at desks pushed together into groups of four. Half the lights are off in the room so it&rsquo;s easier to see the powerpoint presentation on the screen. Reischl casts a shadow on the screen as he moves around the front of the classroom and lays out a scenario.</p><p>&ldquo;You got four gangbangers up against the car,&rdquo; Reischl says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s Friday night in the summertime, it&rsquo;s a real hot night.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s going to be rocking and rolling all night long and all weekend long.&nbsp; So you start your tour of duty, you want to find out what&rsquo;s going on, what&rsquo;s the conflicts?&nbsp; What&rsquo;s the problems I&rsquo;m going to have to manage?&nbsp; So you see the usuals on the corner and you throw &lsquo;em up against the car and you start going through &lsquo;em. You want that intelligence, okay, you build that rapport. All of a sudden they start talking to you. Yeah, Junebug&rsquo;s mad at Mookie.&nbsp; Mookie&rsquo;s mad at Junebug, all that kind of nonsense. Alright?&nbsp; But there&rsquo;s four of them and there&rsquo;s two of you. Good officer safety technique, hey get another unit over there. Go on the radio get back-up. The gangbangers, they start giving you the information you need. All weekend long you&rsquo;re going to need this information. All of a sudden your back-up shows up, car pulls up, all of a sudden copper hops out of the car, starts walking toward those kids, every one of those kids shut up because they realize who&rsquo;s walking towards them. All of a sudden all of that intel goes out the window.&nbsp; Why did they shut up when that one officer shows up on the scene?&nbsp; Didn&rsquo;t treat them fairly and respectfully, and now guess what?&nbsp; You don&rsquo;t know what&rsquo;s going on on your beat.&rdquo;</p><p>I can&rsquo;t help but think that if there are any cops in this room who have used bull-headed techniques in the past, they might be shrinking in their chairs at the thought that their brothers and sisters in blue might view their tactics as moronic. Reischl goes on to tell his students they need to listen to the citizens they&rsquo;re serving.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t give anybody a voice and you don&rsquo;t listen, the people on the other end get irritated and get mad.&nbsp; How many coppers, &lsquo;sit down, shut up.&rsquo;&nbsp; &lsquo;I didn&rsquo;t even tell you why I&hellip;.&rsquo; &lsquo;Sit down and shut up!&rsquo;&nbsp; Well, I didn&rsquo;t even tell you why i called you&hellip;.&rsquo;&nbsp; &lsquo; SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP I&rsquo;M THE POLICE I&rsquo;LL LOCK YOU UP!&rsquo;&nbsp; Coppers do that, right?&nbsp; They don&rsquo;t give em the voice,&rdquo; says&nbsp; Reischl.</p><p>All this training is based on research measuring how citizens engage with police. But Reischl knows his audience and he and the other instructors sometimes poke fun at the &ldquo;pointy headed&rdquo; researchers and academics who come up with the phrases like, &ldquo;giving voice.&rdquo; But one instructor tells the cops that even the best batters in the major leagues take advice on their swing from people who can&rsquo;t hit a ball but know the physics of hitting the sweet spot on the bat.</p><p>And the instructors appeal to the officers&rsquo; self-interest.</p><p><strong>Chill out.&nbsp; You&rsquo;ll be less stressed.</strong></p><p>Reischl asks each pod of four officers to write down their goals on a large white sheet of paper that&rsquo;s taped to the wall. Each group comes up with essentially the same list. The officers want to make it home safe each night, make it to retirement and avoid lawsuits or getting sent to prison themselves.</p><p>Instructors then talk about how treating citizens with respect is a way to get more trust and compliance from citizens. Compliance means less stress and less physical contact and that means cops get to go home safe.</p><p>For Officer Nicholas Gould, a lot of this is just common sense. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a good day if you don&rsquo;t throw down.&nbsp; I don&rsquo;t need to come to work and get hurt.&nbsp; I don&rsquo;t need broken bones or skinned knees or, what&rsquo;s the one rule?&nbsp; To go home safely,&rdquo; Gould says.</p><p>Gould is 6&rsquo;1&rdquo; and more than 300 pounds and in this classroom he kind of looks like an adult sitting in a child-sized desk. We chat during a break and he tells me perhaps because of his size, he rarely needs to put his hands on people to get them to comply ,but he also says he&rsquo;s respectful and able to keep his cool even in heated situations.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m able to, I don&rsquo;t know how you say this, like, just calm people.&nbsp; I&rsquo;m very good at that,&rdquo; he says..</p><p><strong>Does it work?</strong></p><p>A couple officers I talk to make fun of this class. One who is a couple months from retirement says it&rsquo;s a little bit late.&nbsp; But most of the officers say it&rsquo;s a good reminder. That&rsquo;s what Lt. Bruce Lipman hoped when he developed the training.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a fairly nasty part of society that police see,&rdquo; Lipman says during the lunch break of the legitimacy training. &ldquo;We very seldom get called to a house and asked, &lsquo;Hey listen, you want to come over and have tea and coffee?&rsquo; Even people who are, you know, just victimized, we feel bad for those victims. Just over time, just starts to make officers cynical and they start to kind of lose their way a little bit about why they started on the job.&nbsp; Most of the officers, 99 percent of the time, I mean really, and the statistics bear this out, do the right thing. They&rsquo;ve learned this is the way to do it but this is more like a refresher for them.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>More research</strong></p><p>Lipman says the police department isn&rsquo;t just hoping that this training has an impact. They&rsquo;re measuring it with help from Wesley Skogan at Northwestern University. Lipman says thousands of officers have been surveyed, some before taking the training and some after. They were asked to rate statements like &ldquo;listening and talking to people is a good way to take charge of situations.&rdquo; Officers who filled out the survey after the training gave that statement significantly more importance than officers who hadn&rsquo;t yet had the training.</p></p> Sat, 21 Dec 2013 23:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/8000-chicago-cops-now-little-friendlier-109425 Restoring Roseland: Confronting violence with peaceful practices http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/restoring-roseland-confronting-violence-peaceful-practices-106651 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/130412_Restorative Justice 1_ko.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>More than 500 homicides were reported in the city of Chicago last year: 361 of the victims were African-American males; 220 were between the ages of 15 and 24.</p><p>In the fall of 2009, Christian Fenger High School became national news after violence took one of its own. A short while later, the school implemented a program that aims to squash America&rsquo;s culture of violence. It&rsquo;s called restorative justice, and for Fenger, it came after a particularly gruesome death.</p><p>One September afternoon, a fight stemming from an earlier gang-related shooting erupted just blocks from the school. Amateur video of the mob-like brawl showed dozens of people hurling punches, kicks, bottles and bricks at one another. Sophomore Derrion Albert was killed. He was the third Chicago Public School student killed, just a few weeks into the school year.</p><p>Senior Gerald Banks was a class behind Albert. He remembered always being on edge his freshman year. Banks recalled news cameras parked outside of the school every morning and fights every day.</p><p>&ldquo;Everybody had their backs turned, making sure nobody was going to swing,&rdquo; Banks remembered.</p><p>Fenger&#39;s Culture and climate specialist Robert Spicer arrived at the school just two weeks before Albert&rsquo;s death. He referred to Albert&rsquo;s death as rock bottom, noting that the school had well over 375 arrests that year.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of these young people out here shooting and do all that stuff, they don&rsquo;t want to do this,&quot; Spicer explained.&nbsp;&quot;They don&rsquo;t want to carry a gun. But they feel forced to&mdash;because they feel like nobody out here is going to protect them so they have to protect themselves. So the only way they can be heard and respected is if they carry a gun. That&rsquo;s terrible.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Fenger needed a new approach&mdash;which is exactly what Spicer was brought there to do; and so he started implementing restorative justice.</p><p>Restorative justice is a philosophy that centers around relationships and trust. It seeks to address the needs of the victim, the wrongdoer and the community. It&rsquo;s also about healing: dressing the wounds many of these children leave raw and bare. The ones that eat at them until they&rsquo;re overcome.&nbsp;</p><p>He saw an opportunity for Fenger to be the game changers to, as he put it, &ldquo;show our society that it&rsquo;s possible to go into an urban environment, introduce these practices and be able to bring civility and sanity back into that school, any school.&rdquo;</p><p>Part of this process takes place in the peace room, just down the hall from the Fenger&rsquo;s main office. There, on the floor, in the middle of the room, is a black and white mat. On it rests &rdquo;talking pieces&rdquo; objects of significance to Spicer and the seniors who serve as peer jurors and help lead peace circles. The pieces are things like stuffed animals, a rain stick, a tree stump...when a member of the circle holds the talking piece, it&rsquo;s their time to talk.</p><p>The peace room is where stakeholders in a conflict can come together to have a summit of sorts. Last week, a group of freshman girls gathered there after gossip got a little too close to a fight. With a potential 10-day suspension on the horizon, Spicer rerouted the girls to a peace circle.</p><p>Spicer told them that the circle was their time to be real. Their time to say what was on their minds. Because, as he put it, no one else was going to give them the time&mdash;not the dean and certainly not the real world.</p><p>&ldquo;You know this is not a game,&quot; Spicer warned.&nbsp;&quot;You know what&rsquo;s waiting for you if you decide to take your attitude and go out here and do stupid, silly stuff&mdash;they ready to send you right up out of here. And that world out there, as cold as it is...it&rsquo;s even colder without an education.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>That&rsquo;s the meat and potatoes right there: The object of the game is to get kids back in class. Because a kid with an education is much more likely to survive.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;People who drop out from high school are much more likely to become gang-involved than those (who) do not. And we know that a very, very important predictor of graduating high school is being able to ready by third grade,&rdquo; <a href="http://www.law.yale.edu/faculty/TMeares.htm" target="_blank">Tracey Meares</a>, the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale Law School, explained.</p><p>Meares&rsquo; research focuses on crime prevention strategies. She spent a great deal of time looking at the city of Chicago, particularly areas of high crime and poverty.</p><p>Meares subscribes to the idea that violence should be treated like a public health issue, more specifically, like a blood-born pathogen. Therefore the best violence-reduction strategy, as Meares described it, is to identify the people who are central to the network of crime, who occupy important places in densely connected networks, and to intervene to try to get them to stop engaging in violence.</p><p>Almost four years into Fenger&rsquo;s philosophical switch, the rate of freshman on track to graduate rose to between 75 and 85 percent, from around 40. Arrests at school were down. So why not put a peace room in every school?</p><p><a href="http://umojacorporation.org/leadership/staff/ilana-zafran/" target="_blank">Ilana Zafran</a> helps implement restorative justice programs in partner schools around Chicago. She said the biggest problem is patience. People want immediate results but changing a culture and restorative justice takestime.</p><p>The other criticism, Zafran explained, is that people want those who have wronged them to be held accountable. Or more intimately, when confronted, to admit their error and apologize. But, she said, sometimes people aren&rsquo;t ready to admit wrongdoing. And that can be hard.</p><p>Back at Fenger, after the talking piece had been round the circle a few times, one of the freshman girls echoed Meares&rsquo; earlier point.</p><p>She explained that while she might be &ldquo;the coolest, funniest short person you know,&rdquo; if someone had a problem with her, she&rsquo;d just avoid them. Because, she shared, her friend&rsquo;s cousin was shot and killed over some &lsquo;he-said-she-said stuff&rsquo;&mdash;and if her friend had been there, she&rsquo;d be gone too. And she wasn&rsquo;t about to lose her life over something as small as all that. She wanted to be sure the group knew, for her, the situation was over. And asked them to let it go.</p><p>The hope is that young people can learn to let go. That they can squash things before they escalate, before someone raises a hand or a gun. Or that they share senior Ana Muniz&rsquo;s philosophy on fighting.</p><p>&ldquo;You need two people to fight&mdash;I&rsquo;m not available. I&rsquo;m never available. If you want to talk,&rdquo; Muniz clarified, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m available to talk.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Muniz, who was raised in Mexico, said she already took the lessons she&rsquo;s learned to her family back home. She convened peace circles at her younger sister&rsquo;s school. The hope is that peace circles continue to expand and that what&rsquo;s happening at Fenger will continue to create ripples of peace.</p><p dir="ltr" id="internal-source-marker_0.5029294477684348"><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez" target="_blank">@katieobez</a></em></p></p> Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/restoring-roseland-confronting-violence-peaceful-practices-106651 Long Hot Summer: Understanding the crime stats fueling Supt. McCarthy and his long-term strategy http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-understanding-crime-stats-fueling-supt-mccarthy-and-his-long-term <p><div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/6903820882_8b7dd3dce4_z.jpg" title="Stop The Violence mural on the 1800 Block of North Drake Avenue. (Flickr/Jeff Zoline)" /></div></div><div><em>Summer after summer, Chicagoans are consumed by violence and a seemingly exponential murder rate. And, it seems, summer after summer, we talk about the need for whole families, better education, jobs and police boots on the ground&mdash;yet, the cycle continues. This year, </em>Afternoon Shift<em> hopes to move beyond the headlines in hopes of better understanding the violence&mdash;it roots and possible remedy&mdash;through frank, forward-thinking, holistic conversations in a series we&rsquo;re calling, </em>Long Hot Summer.<br /><div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F53072108&amp;auto_play=true&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;color=ff7700" width="100%"></iframe></p></div>Police superintendents weren&rsquo;t always slaves to crime statistics, but CompStat changed all that. The system, which collects data on everything from curfew violations to murder, generates reports on crime trends within a geographic area. Once the numbers are crunched, ranking officers are called to the carpet to field questions from their command staff and chief, who will undoubtedly be probed on the numbers by the mayor &mdash; and citizens &mdash; of the city he&rsquo;s been charged to protect.</div><p>The system came into vogue in the mid-1990s after New York City&rsquo;s police commissioner, Bill Bratton, implemented CompStat to increase accountability in the department. During Bratton&rsquo;s roughly two-year tenure, the murder rate halved. And so, when Bratton left, CompStat and its emphasis on accountability remained. Garry McCarthy was a captain in Bratton&rsquo;s army at the time and made a name for himself at Bratton&#39;s CompStat meetings. Soon enough, he was running them.</p><p>Crime statistics have been the sharpest tool in McCarthy&rsquo;s belt as he&rsquo;s crafted a once unimaginable career. Before coming to Chicago, McCarthy was the top cop in Newark, New Jersey, where he helped reduce the murder rate by roughly a third.</p><p>Supt. McCarthy and his meteoric career are <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2012/Garry-McCarthy-Under-the-Gun/" target="_blank">profiled</a> in a piece by Noah Isackson the August issue of <em>Chicago </em>magazine. All eyes are on the superintendent as he combats the immediate concerns of a rising murder rate with a long-view strategy. He&rsquo;s also battling a broader misinterpretation of the numbers, according to crime expert <a href="http://www.law.yale.edu/faculty/TMeares.htm" target="_blank">Tracey Meares</a>. She says it&rsquo;s inaccurate to say that Chicago is dangerous&mdash;because the city as a whole is not dangerous.</p><p>That said, Meares explained that the city, specifically areas of high crime like police districts 11 and 7, are incredibly dangerous, lethal even, for a select network of people. Meares pointed to the work of one of her frequent collaborators, Andrew V. Papachristos to sharpen the point. In 2011, the sociologist wrote a piece called &ldquo;<a href="http://www.papachristos.org/Publications_2_files/The%20Small%20World%20of%20Murde_v8_10dec.pdf" target="_blank">The Small World of Murder</a>,&rdquo; wherein he explained that 70 percent of the homicides in the 11<sup>TH</sup> Police District occurred in a network consisting of only 1,500 people, all with criminal records. For people in this network, the odds of being a homicide victim is 30 out of every 1,000 people. To further underline his point, Papchristos pointed out that the risk of stepping on a land mine in Afghanistan is less than 10 out of 1,000&mdash;meaning it is safer to walk around a real war zone than it is for young men in this network to walk around West Garfield Park.</p><div>&nbsp;<p>&nbsp;</p><p>So then what is the risk for West Garfield Park&rsquo;s other 80,000 residents? When the network is removed, the odds drop to 1 in 1,000. Meares says this context is imperative to understanding crime statistics and McCarthy&rsquo;s long-term strategy, which is bolstered by Meares&rsquo; ideas about legitimacy. The Yale Law School professor is helping Chicago&rsquo;s police chief craft his strategy and train his troops. She joined <em>Afternoon Shift</em> to share her sage advice for fighting crime in Chicago.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 16 Jul 2012 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-understanding-crime-stats-fueling-supt-mccarthy-and-his-long-term