Ben Carson on Crime
Tea Party challenger in Republican primary
CARSON: That does happen.
Q: Has that ever happened to you?
CARSON: Yes. The attorney general of Missouri, last year, had a report that came out that said in the Ferguson area [where a police killing of a young black man sparked riots], blacks were seven times more likely to be stopped, and twice as more likely to be arrested.
Q: Whose fault is that?
CARSON: Well, the real question is, what can we do about this kind of situation? You know, everybody's going to be off in their little corners. And people are product of their life experiences. But can we actually solve this problem? And there are a lot of things that we can probably talk about.
CARSON: There are a lot of things. For instance, police being equipped with cameras.
Q: There is a movement of having the cameras on this.
CARSON: 85% of these things would be stopped by that.
OTHER GUEST: Rialto, California equipped their police officers with body-worn cameras, and the crime rate dropped, and the also the complaints about abuse by police officers.
BEN CARSON: I think the issues are really much bigger than what has been portrayed to be. I've seen police excesses, living in inner city Detroit and inner city Boston. But I've seen a lot more situations where the police saved the situation. And I'm not sure that this is a police versus black community issue. You know, anger issues get in the way. And if you take race out of the issue altogether, and you take a group of young men and you raise them with no respect for authority, not learning to take on personal responsibility, having easy access to drugs and alcohol, they're very likely to end up as victims of violence or incarceration. It has nothing to do with race. So, yes, is there racism? Are there problems? Yes. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But we need to start looking at bigger issues here. We have to develop our resources appropriately.
OBAMA: If a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that--from top to bottom--both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.
REP. DONNA EDWARDS: When I talk to my son who's 24 and to his peers, what they say is that the president gave them their voice for their experiences.
Q: Dr. Carson, some conservatives are criticizing the president for making this about race again. Do you agree?
CARSON: I understand why there's a lot of outrage. You have a situation where you have a young black male, walking home, not doing anything incorrect, and he ends up killed and nobody suffers any consequences. On the surface, that would appear to be a gross miscarriage of justice. It's not a perfect system. But it's the best system that we have. We have to decide whether we are willing to live with that or not.
CARSON: Well, I think we have a tendency to overemphasize superficial aspects of people. And that's what Martin Luther King was talking about when he said let's talk about the content of one's character rather than the superficial characteristics. We need to tone down this rhetoric. Those of us in leadership positions need to be looking for things that we can take out of the situation that will be helpful. Not things that inflame the situation. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't look carefully at all of our laws, we shouldn't look carefully at this verdict and its outcome. Make sure that everything has been done correctly. But let's tone down the rhetoric and recognize that we, the people, are not each other's enemies.
Subsequently, helmet laws were enacted, much to the displeasure of many motorcyclists, but to the great relief of many health-care practitioners. The ramifications of such irresponsible behavior [by those] motorcyclists extend far beyond the inconvenience suffered by people like me who had to take care of them. Sometimes the head injuries were very severe. Few people stop to philosophize about whether the victims have a right to consume enormous amounts of medical resources. We do not discuss the behavior that created the problem, and we generally do not discuss the price of treatment.
I am not accusing anyone of anything other than failing to look at the big picture when dealing with important legal matters. Some will say that I am advocating a conservative approach to the case, but I would strongly disagree and would say that this is neither a conservative nor liberal view, but rather a practical and logical one. If we can just tone down the rhetoric and discuss things like rational human beings, applying justice equally and not based on some political philosophy.
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