The Curious Death of Sandra Bland w/Malcolm Gladwell | Joe Rogan

Taken from JRE #1383 w/Malcolm Gladwell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Okg2L…
09:42
communication and he is this attitude
09:45
that he’s a cop and that you have to
09:48
listen to the cops because he’s them and
09:50
you’re you yeah and that that’s like
09:53
when he’s telling her to put the
09:55
cigarette out and she’s saying I don’t
09:57
have to do that and he’s saying get out
09:58
of your vehicle and she’s saying I don’t
10:00
have to do that and then he’s screaming
10:02
at her I mean that’s that’s all right
10:04
there yeah so it seems like to me he
10:05
wants compliance he won’t sir to listen
10:07
he does yeah he does what he gets it’s
10:10
funny the what’s remarkable about that
10:14
tape which I must have seen 50 times and
10:18
which has been viewed on YouTube you
10:20
know even a couple million times is how
10:22
quickly it escalates you know the whole
10:24
thing is it’s insanely short yeah you
10:28
you would think if I was telling you the
10:30
story of this you would think oh this
10:32
unfolds over 10 minutes and it doesn’t
10:35
it unfolds over a minute and a half and
10:39
that what I remember years ago I wrote
10:41
my second book blink and I have in that
10:44
book a chapter about a very famous
10:47
infamous police shooting in New York
10:49
case of amadou diallo I remember that I
10:51
remember that was shot like 40 times by
10:53
cops yeah and one of the big things I
10:55
was interested in talking about in that
10:59
case was how long does it take how long
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did it take for that whole terrible
11:05
sequence to go
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down so from the moment the police
11:08
develop it suspicions about amadou
11:12
diallo to the moment that amadou diallo
11:14
is lying dead on his front porch how
11:17
long how much time elapsed and the
11:19
answer is like two seconds
11:21
it’s boo boo boo it’s like and I had a
11:24
conversation with them actually here in
11:26
the valley with Gavin de Becker
11:30
has he ever been on your show no
11:32
fascinating guy was a security expert on
11:35
a security expert incredibly interesting
11:37
guy’s friends with Sam Harris I know
11:39
that yes yeah yeah and he was talking
11:43
about this question of time that when
11:46
you’re a security guard guarding someone
11:48
you know famous a lot of what you’re
11:50
trying to do is to inject time into the
11:53
scenario instead of you don’t want
11:56
something to unfold in a second and a
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half where you have almost no time to
12:00
react properly and what you want to do
12:01
is to uh knit to unfold in five seconds
12:03
if you can an align this up I can’t
12:06
remember his exact term but basically
12:07
what your job is is to add seconds into
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the the encounter so that you have a
12:13
chance to intelligently respond to
12:16
what’s going on and so he was hit this
12:18
great riff about um how good Israeli
12:23
secrets of Secret Service guys are and
12:26
one of the things they do is they’re
12:28
they’re they’re either not armed or they
12:31
don’t they’re trained not to go for
12:33
their weapons in these situations
12:35
because this point is so say you’re
12:37
guarding the president you’re a body man
12:40
for the president you walk into a crowd
12:42
somebody comes up to you like pulls a
12:45
gun wants to shoot the president
12:46
his point is if you’re the secret
12:48
security guy and your first instinct in
12:51
response to someone pulling a gun is to
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go for your own gun you’ve lost a second
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and a half right your hands got to go
12:58
down to here your whole focus is on
13:00
getting to your own gun and in the
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meantime the other guy whose guns
13:04
already out has already shot you’ve lost
13:06
you need to be someone who forgets about
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your own gun and just focuses on the on
13:12
the man in front of you right and
13:13
protected the president but he was all
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in the context of time is this really
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crucial
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variable in these kind of encounters and
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everything as a police officer you
13:24
should be doing is slowing it down wait
13:28
I you know
13:30
analyze what’s happening and that’s what
13:33
he doesn’t do the cop in this instance
13:35
speeds it up right he goes to DEFCON you
13:39
know she likes a cigarette and within
13:40
seconds he’s screaming at her this is
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like you know a parent shouldn’t do that
13:45
I mean let a little police officer by
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the side of the highway Brett but the
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difference is he knows she’s not a
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criminal
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I mean he must know it’s [ __ ]
13:54
he’s pulling her over because he’s
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trying to write a ticket and the way
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he’s communicating with her when she
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lights a cigarette
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it’s like she’s inferior like he this is
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not someone who’s scared he’s not scared
14:07
of a perpetrator he’s not scared that
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there’s a criminal in the car about to
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shoot him he’s not scared of that at all
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he wants uh Terr total complete
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compliance and he’s talking to her like
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like he’s a drill sergeant but can’t you
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can’t both those things be true how so
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well in this so in the deposition he
14:27
gives which I get to the end of the book
14:29
and I got the tape of the deposition
14:30
it’s bad it’s totally fascinating
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it’s like he’s sitting down with the
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investigating officer in looking into
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the death of Sandra bland and he’s got I
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don’t know how long it is two hours now
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he’s walking them through what he was
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thinking that day and he makes the case
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that he was terrified that he was
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convinced he says he goes back to his
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squad car comes up and there’s submit
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there’s some evidence to support this so
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he pulls her over and he goes to the
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passenger side window and leans and says
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ma’am you realize why I pulled you over
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blah blah and is are you okay because he
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she doesn’t seem right to him she gives
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him her license he goes back to his
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squad car and he says while he’s in the
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squad car he looks ahead and he sees her
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making what he calls furtive movements
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so he’s like furtive movements also he
15:20
thinks she’s being all kind of jumpy and
15:23
you know isn’t he just says I saw her
15:25
moving around in ways it didn’t make me
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happy and then when he returns to the
15:29
car he returns driver’s side which is
15:32
crucial because if
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you’re a cop you go driver’s side only
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if you think that you might be in danger
15:36
right he doesn’t if you go driver’s side
15:39
you’re exposing yourself to the road
15:40
when you reason you do that is it when
15:42
your driver’s side you can see the it’s
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very very difficult if someone has a gun
15:47
to shoot the police officer who’s pulled
15:50
them over if the police officer is on
15:51
the driver’s side right you have an
15:53
angle if they’re on the passenger side
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so why does he go but if he thinks she’s
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harmless there’s no reason to go back
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driver’s side I think this guy I think
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these two things are linked I actually
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believe him he constructs this
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ridiculous fantasy about how she’s
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dangerous but I think that’s just what
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he was trained to do he’s a paranoid cop
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and then why is he’s so insistent that
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she be compliant for the same reason
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because he’s terrified he’s like do
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exactly what I say cuz I don’t know what
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the what’s gonna happen here right and
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she’s I you know I I don’t know I I
16:28
don’t think those two those two strains
16:32
of of interpretation are mutually
16:34
exclusive mmm that’s interesting it
16:37
didn’t sound like he was scared at all
16:40
it sounds like he was pissed that she
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wasn’t listening to him yeah I didn’t I
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didn’t think he sounded even remotely
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scared I felt like he had I mean we’re
16:49
reading into it right right I have no
16:51
idea but from my interpretation was he
16:54
had decided that she wasn’t listening to
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him and he was gonna make her listen him
16:59
yeah that’s what I got out of it I
17:01
didn’t get any fear and I thought that
17:03
version of it that he described just
17:05
sounds like horseshit it sounds like
17:07
what you would say after the fact to
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strengthen your case well they so
17:12
there’s another element in here that I
17:13
get into which is I got his record as a
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police officer he’d been on the on the
17:19
force for I forgot nine ten months and
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we have a record of every traffic stop
17:24
he ever made and when you look at his
17:26
list of traffic stops you reason you
17:28
realized that what happened that day
17:30
with Sandra bland was not an anomaly
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that he’s one of those guys who pulls
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over everyone for [ __ ] reasons mmm
17:38
all day long so I think I’ve forgotten
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exact number but in the hour before he
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pulled over Sandra bland he pulled over
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for people for other people for equally
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ridiculous reasons he’s that cop no and
17:51
he’s that cop because he’s been trained
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that way right that’s a kind of quotas
17:55
strange strain of modern policing which
17:57
says go beyond the ticket pull someone
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over if you if anything looks a little
18:01
bit weird because you might find
18:02
something else now if you look at his
18:04
history as a cop he almost never found
18:06
anything else his history is a cop in
18:09
fact I went through this I forget how
18:11
many hundreds of traffic stops he had in
18:13
nine months if you go through them
18:15
he has like once he found some marijuana
18:17
on a kid and by the way the town in
18:19
which he was working as a college town
18:21
so I mean how hard is that I think he
18:24
found a gun once misdemeanor gun but
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everything else was like pulling over
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people for you know the the light above
18:33
their license plate was out got that’s
18:37
the level of stuff he was using he did
18:39
this all day long every day
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so he’s like to him it’s second nature
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yeah pull her over like who knows what’s
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going on she’s out of state she’s young
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black woman was this comparable to the
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way the rest of the cops on the force
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and his division did it well I looked at
18:57
I didn’t look at the rest of the cops on
18:59
his voice what I looked at were state
19:02
numbers to the wherever they’re several
19:05
American states give us like North
19:07
Carolina for example will give us
19:10
precise complete statistics on the
19:16
number of traffic stops done by their
19:18
police officers and the reasons for
19:20
those stops so when you look at that so
19:22
I have the I look at the North Carolina
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numbers for example in the North
19:25
Carolina Highway Patrol it’s the same
19:27
thing they’re pulling over unbelievable
19:29
numbers of people and finding nothing
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like night you know one percent less
19:34
than one percent hit rates in some cases
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of being hit rate being finding
19:38
something of interest
19:39
so like they’re pulling over ninety nine
19:41
people for no reason in order to find
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one person who’s got you know a bag of
19:46
dope or something in the car
19:48
you cannot conduct policing in in a
19:53
civil society like that and expect to
19:55
have decent relationships between law
19:57
enforcement
19:58
in the civilian population yeah no
20:00
question but doesn’t that sort of
20:02
support the idea that he’s full of [ __ ]
20:03
that he was really concerned that she
20:05
had something he’d never encountered
20:07
anything well or or this was the one the
20:11
fantasy in his head is so what so the
20:13
questions why does he keep doing it if
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this is a guy who day in day out pulls
20:16
over people for no reason and finds
20:18
nothing and continues to do it
20:20
now there’s two explanations one is he’s
20:22
totally cynical and thinks this is the
20:24
way to be an effective police officer X
20:26
mission number two is this is a guy who
20:28
has a powerful fantasy in his head that
20:30
one day I’m gonna hit the jackpot and
20:33
I’m gonna open the trunk and is going to
20:34
be 15 pounds of heroin and I’m gonna be
20:37
the biggest star who ever lived I think
20:39
there’s also a rush of just being able
20:41
to get people to pull over this the the
20:44
compliance thing which is another reason
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why he was so furious that what she
20:47
wasn’t listening to him yeah and she
20:48
kept a cigarette lit yeah or she was
20:51
listening but not complying yes yeah um
20:53
what are the laws I mean are you allowed
20:56
to smoke a cigarette in your car when a
20:57
cop pulls you over how does it work like
21:00
that
21:00
yeah I mean of course yeah they can’t
21:03
stop you from engaging they can’t tell
21:05
you to put out your cigarette there’s no
21:07
law no he could have said I mean no
21:10
there’s no law I mean the car though two
21:13
things the courts historically give
21:16
enormous leeway to the police officers
21:19
in a traffic stop as opposed to a
21:21
person-to-person stop but uh but no I I
21:24
mean right this is about what he should
21:26
have said is he could have said ma’am do
21:31
you mind I would prefer if you put out
21:35
the cigarette while we’re talking or I’m
21:37
allergic to smoke or whatever I mean
21:39
he’s a million ways to him to do it
21:40
nicely
21:40
yeah but he’s he’s a jackass about yeah
21:42
but I mean he’s basically doing the job
21:46
like a jackass he’s doing a jackass
21:48
version of being a cop well so this is
21:50
so this is one of a really really
21:53
crucial point in the argument of the
21:54
book which is I think the real lesson of
21:58
that case is not that he’s a bad cop
22:00
he’s in fact doing precisely as he is
22:02
was in trained and instructed to do he’s
22:05
a he’s the ideal cop and the problem is
22:10
with the particular philosophy of
22:12
law enforcement that has emerged over
22:14
the last ten years in this country which
22:16
has incentivized and encouraged police
22:20
officers to engage in these incredibly
22:23
low reward activities like pulling over
22:26
a hundred people or defying one person
22:28
who’s done something wrong that has
22:29
become enshrined in the strategy of many
22:32
police forces around the country they
22:34
tell them to do this I have a whole
22:37
section of book right go through in
22:38
detail one of the most important police
22:41
training manuals which is you know
22:45
required reading for somebody coming up
22:47
and which they just walk you through
22:48
this like it is your job to pull over
22:51
lots and lots and lots and lots of
22:53
people even if you only find something
22:55
in a small percentage of cases why
22:57
that’s what being a proactive police
22:58
officer is all about right so they are
23:01
trained that that phrase go beyond the
23:03
ticket is a is a term of art in police
23:07
training like you got to be thinking you
23:09
sure you pulled him over for having a
23:11
taillight that’s out
23:12
but you’re look you’re thinking beyond
23:14
that is there something else in the car
23:16
that’s problematic that’s to try to find
23:18
so there he was being a dutiful police
23:22
officer and the the answer is to
23:24
re-examine our philosophies of law
23:27
enforcement not know I mean you can’t
23:30
dismiss this thing by saying oh that’s
23:32
just a particularly bad cop not great
23:34
but I don’t know if he’s any worse than
23:36
you know he’s just doing what he was
23:38
trained to do that’s the issue
23:40
he should be trained to do something
23:41
different right that is the issue right
23:42
the issue is there this is standard
23:45
practice a treat citizens that are doing
23:48
nothing wrong as if they’re criminals
23:50
yeah and pull them over and give them
23:52
extreme paranoia and freak them out yeah
23:55
I hope you find something I was home I’m
23:58
Canadian and I was home in Canada
24:00
small-town Canada couple weeks ago and I
24:04
saw in the pack you know how these cars
24:06
always have there’s often that our
24:08
slogan on the side of the car the back
24:09
of the commune so in my little hometown
24:11
in southwestern Ontario sleepy you know
24:14
farm country the slogan on the back of
24:17
the police cars is people helping people
24:20
so Canadian like the X know understand
24:25
this
24:26
country with very low levels of gun
24:29
ownership which means that a police
24:30
officer does not enter into an encounter
24:32
with a civilian with the same degree of
24:34
fear or paranoia that the civilian has a
24:37
handgun right which is a big part of
24:39
this regardless of how one feels about
24:42
gun laws in this country the fact that
24:44
there are lots of guns mean makes the
24:46
job of a police officer a lot harder and
24:48
every police officer will tell you that
24:49
in Canada they don’t have that fear but
24:51
it’s also Canada and its small town
24:53
Canada and so when you encounter a
24:55
police officer in my little town he’s
24:57
like he’s people helping people he’s
24:59
like he’s like driving like a Camry and
25:02
he’s you know he’s like this genial
25:04
person who was a really camera amis I
25:06
forgotten exactly what the driver was
25:08
not like they’re not driving scars yeah
25:11
explorers painted black with like big
25:14
bull bars at the front right and then
25:17
you go you know I was you go I mean even
25:20
in LA I hate you know I like that
25:22
cars are painted black and white so they
25:25
look ferocious I mean the whole thing
25:27
that was it is still look ferocious do I
25:30
just look they identify as police to
25:32
connait to a Canadian looks to me it
25:35
looks a little why do they have to paint
25:37
them black forgets nothing Oakland
25:39
Raiders I mean it’s like what do you
25:41
think they should paint them something
25:43
mild and like bright yellow something
25:45
lovely something lovely like a nice can
25:48
you imagine a like a teal or a
25:50
lime-green well that would be yeah
25:52
because there’s a lot of black cars a
25:54
lot of white cars a lot of teal cars
25:55
it’s good so it would yeah it would
25:57
stand out like oh it’s cop this paint
26:00
car but you know this kind of symbolism
26:03
right matters right right you wanna see
26:06
an image sheriff joe arpaio who makes
26:08
all those prisoners wear pink yeah yeah
26:11
that’s kind of thing but I mean to
26:14
against his point though how many women
26:16
shoot cops
26:18
isn’t that an insanely low number yeah I
26:21
mean insanely low I mean what are the
26:24
numbers I mean it’s probably almost
26:26
non-existent
26:27
yeah well guys pull over women I don’t
26:29
think they’re worried about being shot I
26:30
really don’t I think it’s horseshit I
26:33
think it’s all after the fact yeah he
26:35
was trying to concoct some sort of an
26:36
excuse I was gonna excuse for
26:38
is he still in the force I know he was
26:41
either he’s kicked off for I forgotten
26:46
the precise language they used but for
26:48
basically being impolite to a civilian
26:52
but um yeah I don’t think there’s a lot
26:54
of but I don’t know whether I mean I I
26:57
still think we’re saying the same thing
26:59
which is the thing that’s driving him
27:02
his motivation is not rational right and
27:05
if you were a rational actor you would
27:07
never engage in an activity where 99.9%
27:10
of your police stops resulted in nothing
27:13
right
27:14
yeah he’s he is off in some weird kind
27:17
of fantasy land for a reason which is
27:20
that’s what in certain jurisdictions in
27:23
this country that’s what law enforcement
27:24
has come to look at Brooke like yeah
27:26
that’s that’s problematic it’s a huge
27:28
problem
27:34
[Applause]

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