Danny Glover & Larry Hamm on Black Lives Matter, Police Killings & How to Stop Donald Trump
In New Jersey, lawmakers have recently introduced legislation that would require the state’s attorney general to review every death at the hands of law enforcement. One of the key backers of the New Jersey legislation has been Larry Hamm, chair of the People’s Organization for Progress in New Jersey. We recently spoke to Hamm and actor Danny Glover in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We end today’s show looking at police brutality. In New Jersey, lawmakers have recently introduced legislation that would require the state’s attorney general to review every death at the hands of law enforcement. One of the key backers of the New Jersey legislation has been Larry Hamm, chair of the People’s Organization for Progress in New Jersey.
AMY GOODMAN: We recently spoke to Larry Hamm and actor Danny Glover in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention, interviewing them the morning after the mothers of children killed by police or vigilantes spoke at the DNC. I began by asking Larry Hamm to talk about the significance of that rare moment at the convention.
LARRY HAMM: Well, it was very painful. But let me say, first of all, that it was an extraordinary moment. I’ve been involved in electoral politics going back to the National Black Political Convention in 1972, and I couldn’t have imagined a moment when a major political party would have the mothers of victims like these premiered and presented at a national convention. So it was an extraordinary moment. And the mothers presented themselves well. And they spoke well. And there’s nothing that the mothers said that I could disagree with. I love those mothers.
But at the same time, I wish someone would have said police brutality must stop. Nobody said that, I mean, unless I missed it. Police brutality must stop. In the two years since the death of Michael Brown, 2,500 people have been killed by police in the United States—last year, 1,135 killed; this year, 506 killed. And it goes on and on and on. No one said—and you had the mothers—the mothers who actually spoke, two of the three, their sons were victims of racist violence, not police brutality, per se. But no one said racist violence must stop. Nobody talked about the numbers of incidents. And I wouldn’t expect them to do so, but you have to understand, there was a whole segment of the convention that kind of dealt with this issue. They brought the chief of police from Pittsburgh to speak. And the emphasis was on community-police cooperation, gun control. But nobody’s talking about police brutality.
I support the Black Lives Matter movement. But we’re saying black lives matter, black lives matter. No one is saying stop police brutality. Our people are being killed in the street. And the people who are killing them are not being held accountable, not being indicted, not going to trial, not being found guilty. And this is the problem. You know, we don’t want police—I’m not—one of these chiefs talked about, "Well, they expect so much of the police, to be this, that." Not expecting that. What we expect: Don’t kill unarmed black people. And if you do it, you have to face the same consequences as if I would have done it. And this is the problem. And it was a very painful moment for me when the mothers spoke, but they did well. I have no criticisms of those women in pain.
But in New Jersey, we have Abdul Kamal, who was killed by the Irvington police, shot 15 times. He had a cellphone in his hand. Jerame Reid got out the car with his hands up—it’s on video—shot at point-blank range by a black police officer, Braheme Days. Kashad Ashford, shot four times in the head while he was unconscious. Little 14-year-old Radazz Hearns, shot seven times in the back. You know, and it goes on and on. And somehow, the discussion is always deflected, and these—the murders of those police in Dallas and, I believe it was, in Baton Rouge, you know, every time the movement seems to get white-hot and there’s a real sharp focus on the police, something is used to deflect and to fuzzy that focus. And we got to get that focus back. We got to get it back, and we got to force every possible change that is needed to deal with this problem.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Larry, you have been pushing for this for decades. I don’t know if a week goes by where Democracy Now! doesn’t get a press release from People’s Organization for Progress in Newark, New Jersey, where you are holding another protest somewhere in New Jersey—
LARRY HAMM: Yes.
READ MORE: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/8/17/danny_glover_larry_hamm_on_black
Posted By: Deacon Ron Gray
Monday, August 22nd 2016 at 3:23PM
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