MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Good morning!
Businesses in downtown Chicago bore the brunt of looting and vandalism during recent protests. The lasting damage to the community won’t be as easy to repair as the smashed windows.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Protests over police misconduct also have public schools rethinking their campus law enforcement policies.
Plus we’ll meet a couple school teachers who are lobbying for a renewed commitment to teaching U-S Civics.
And Cal Thomas with a call to prayer.
BASHAM: It’s Thursday, June 18th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
BASHAM: Up next, Kent Covington has today’s news.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Former police officer charged with murder in shooting of black man » Prosecutors Wednesday announced criminal charges against a white Atlanta police officer for the fatal shooting of a black man last week.
HOWARD: These are the 11 charges against officer Rolfe. The first charge is felony murder.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. heard there. The murder charge against Garrett Rolfe carries possible life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Other charges include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The charges stem from a Friday night incident outside a Wendy’s restaurant. After an initially peaceful interaction, 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks resisted arrest for driving under the influence. He then stole a police taser and fled. As he ran away, he fired the taser over his shoulder at Rolfe who then grabbed his sidearm and shot Brooks. The fatal rounds struck Brooks in the back.
Paul Howard said Brooks was never a threat to the officers and deadly force was not warranted. And he added that after the shooting, both officers at the scene waited more than 2 minutes before providing medical attention to Brooks.
HOWARD: During the 2 minutes and 12 seconds, officer Rolfe actually kicked Mr. Brooks while he laid on the ground, while he was there fighting for his life.
The other officer, Devin Brosnan, stood either on Brooks’ arms or shoulders, which is an unauthorized form of restraint. For that, Brosnan is charged with aggravated assault and other offenses. But he is cooperating with the state and has agreed to testify against Rolfe.
Howard said it was the first time in 40 such cases in which an officer has come forward to do this.
GOP unveils police reform “Justice Act” » Meantime, on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Senate Republicans unveiled their police reform bill, countering Democratic legislation in the House.
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott led the GOP task force that wrote the bill.
SCOTT: We find ourselves at a place with a package that I think speaks to the families that I spoke with yesterday—we hear you.
The “Justice Act” calls for restrictions on chokeholds and sets up new commissions to study law enforcement and race. And it would beef up requirements for law enforcement to compile use-of-force reports in a nationwide database. It also establishes tracking for “no-knock” warrants.
Democrats say the bill doesn’t go far enough. Senator Dick Durbin described it this way…
DURBIN: Let’s not do something that is a token halfhearted approach.
Moments later, Senator Scott choked up as he noted that Wednesday was the fifth anniversary of the Emanuel AME church shooting in his home state. And Scott, who is the only black Republican member of the Senate, had this response to Durbin:
SCOTT: To be considered a token piece of legislation because perhaps I’m African American and I’m the only one on this side of the aisle—I don’t know what he meant. But I can tell you, on this day to have those comments again hurts the soul.
Durbin later sought out Senator Scott on the Senate floor and apologized for his remarks.
Arizona gov. announces new measures to fight coronavirus spread » With coronavirus cases rising in Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey announced several new measures Wednesday to fight the spread of the virus.
Among them, he’s authorizing local governments to mandate the use of face masks in public. He’s also reinforcing guidelines to ensure that businesses are doing their part to protect employees and customers.
DUCEY: And if they don’t, there will be enforcement, and they will be held accountable.
Arizona is one of several states with recent spikes in new cases. Others include Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Nevada.
Justice Department sues to delay release of Bolton book » The Justice Department is suing former national security adviser John Bolton to delay the publication of a tell-all book about his time in the Trump White House.
The Trump administration says the book contains sensitive and even classified information.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway…
CONWAY: The name of the book is The Room Where It Happened. So Ambassador Bolton himself makes clear that he was in the Oval Office. He was in the Situation Room. He had a lot of access to the president.
In its lawsuit, the Justice Department contends Bolton did not complete a pre-publication review to ensure that the manuscript did not contain classified material. It’s asking a federal court to delay publication of the book to allow for a completion of the national security review process. The book is scheduled for release next week.
The lawsuit also seeks to prevent Bolton from profiting off the book, particularly if he—quote—“refuses to complete the prepublication review process.”
Bolton’s lawyer and publisher have denied that he short-circuited proper procedures.
North Korea announces plans to further militarize border with South » North Korea said Wednesday that it plans to step up its military presence along its border with South Korea—nullifying deals it made with the South just two years ago. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has that story.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Pyongyang announced that it will send more soldiers to the border, reinstall guard posts, and resume military exercises at front-line areas.
That news came one day after the North blew up a liaison office along the border that was used for diplomatic talks.
Those steps would destroy agreements the two countries reached in 2018—aimed at lowering military tensions along the border.
Many experts believe the latest provocations are aimed at applying pressure on Seoul and Washington amid stalled nuclear negotiations.
South Korea’s military expressed regret over the North Korean announcement and warned that the North will face unspecified consequences if it violates the 2018 deals.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: taking stock of the damage left by violent protests.
Plus, Cal Thomas with a call to prayer.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MEGAN BASHAM: It’s Thursday the 18th of June, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Megan Basham.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up: recovering from a man-made disaster.
When peaceful protests gave way to violence, vandals and looters smashed windows and cleaned out stores in cities from Atlanta to Los Angeles. In Chicago, one city official described the chaos as “the wild, wild west.”
BASHAM: In the weeks since then, business owners have been cleaning up and taking stock. Smaller businesses are trying to figure out when—or even whether—they can reopen. What they decide will affect not only their families but their communities as well.
WORLD reporter Anna Johansen has our story.
ANDRE BALLARD: One of the things that living in the city of Chicago you can hear very distinctly is police cars, sirens. You hear an outcry in the distance.
ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: Andre Ballard is the pastor of the Orchard Church in Chicago. He and his wife, Leslie, live in the Near West Side neighborhood.
LESLIE BALLARD: I could hear all night helicopters just hovering so I knew that something was going on.
ANDRE BALLARD: So being in the city of Chicago, you’re exposed and impacted by things that are going on whether it’s hit your street or not.
Looters hit a CVS four blocks away from where the Ballards live. They ransacked jewelry stores, ATMs, cell phone shops. On the northwest side of the city, rioters also hit a small beauty store called Hair Town.
It’s owned by a South Korean couple who immigrated to the United States in 2009. Their daughter-in-law, Jeongwon Yoon, says they had just stocked up on new products and were getting ready to reopen on June 3rd after two months of coronavirus shutdown.
Yoon was at her in-laws’ house when the rioters hit. She watched the feed from the security camera and saw someone throw a brick through the store’s front window.
YOON: And the glass door was broken and like a bunch of people came in after that. They destroyed the security camera as well. So we lost the connection. My mother in law was completely panic and she even get like—anxiety, anxiety. And fear. She was like really shaking, her body, whole body was shaking.
They called the police six times, but no one ever came. So Yoon’s husband, Jon, drove to the store.
JON YOON: [SPEAKING]
When he got there, he saw crowds of people.
YOON: (TRANSLATING) People are just kept coming and going and looted, looted. That’s what he was watching, people…coming out, coming out, coming out our store and (the) whole plaza was actually looted.
Jon couldn’t do anything about it. He just sat in the car and watched.
The entire shopping plaza got trashed that night. As did hundreds of other stores across the city. A few days later, business owners started picking up the pieces.
O’HALLORAN: These guys are still waiting for glass. Yeah. Okay, so here’s a bunch that are still getting put back together.
Mark O’Halloran is the director of economic development for a group called Together Chicago. Last week, we drove around the Near West Side neighborhood and he pointed out businesses that got hit. A few windows were still covered by plywood. But O’Halloran says most businesses have been able to reopen.
O’HALLORAN: And we just drove by on Madison Street, a whole bunch of them that have already gotten all the damage taken care of, the glass is back up, the doors have been fixed, spray paint has been washed off, and they’ve restocked with merchandise. So, for those that had insurance, they were back in business within a couple of days.
There are some businesses that haven’t reopened…but O’Halloran says that’s a very small percentage.
O’HALLORAN: The small businesses that experienced looting and damage for whom that event was the last straw, were businesses that were, unfortunately, barely viable heading into all of this. And so for them, they’re out of capital, they are closing permanently. And that’s just, that’s a massive loss for these communities.
Jeongwon Yoon’s in-laws do have insurance, but it’s not going to cover all the damage.
YOON: Their damage was already over like $500,000. But the insurance only covers like $100,000.
They’ll use that $100,000 dollars to buy things like display cases and a new cash register and shelving. But they still aren’t sure where they’ll get the money to restock all the products. It may be six months before they can reopen.
YOON: They cannot give up. That’s not an option. Yeah, they cannot give up the store.
Other stores are able to reopen, but might not be willing. A Walmart on Chicago’s South Side got ransacked, and the company isn’t making any promises about reopening. Closures like that could hurt low-income neighborhoods.
Leslie Ballard is an OBGYN. She usually sends patients to the CVS four blocks from her house—the one that got ransacked.
LESLIE BALLARD: Walgreens, CVS, Targets, Walmart. So last week there was just patient after patient who because of looting and you know, vandalism in the area, they weren’t able to get things like insulin, other diabetic medications, high blood pressure medications.
Many people in the Near West Side don’t have cars. So if a store in their neighborhood closes permanently, that could have significant consequences.
Andre Ballard says this is a chance for the church to step up and help in a tangible way.
ANDRE BALLARD: We are grateful we have a church that has some financial resources and we’re able to pay some people’s rent and provide for some people to buy groceries, things of that nature.
Ballard wants to be a doer of the word, not just a hearer.
ANDRE BALLARD: We also do want to love on our police officers, men and women, we want to love on our neighbors, love on our members, Black and Brown, who are experiencing some of these difficult things and see how we might be able to live this life together in a way that would be beneficial for us all.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen in Chicago, Illinois.
NICK EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: rethinking police on campus.
Many public school districts contract with local police or sheriff’s departments to provide SROs, as they’re known, School Resource Officers.
These officers watch for potential threats on campus, address criminal behavior, and build relationships with students and staff.
MEGAN BASHAM: But some SROs have faced criticism in recent years for mishandling situations—even treating some students abusively. With so much attention on reform in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police, many school boards are reconsidering their campus policing policies.
WORLD Radio correspondent Laura Edghill reports.
LAURA EDGHILL, REPORTER: Mark Coil compares officers who work in schools to neighborhood cops like his own grandfather and great-grandfather. They both walked beats in Detroit in the early to mid-1900s and developed strong bonds with the communities they served.
COIL: They knew Al owned the bakery, and Sal owned the butcher shop, and they knew everybody well. And what does an SRO do? He’s consistent. He’s there every day and he knows his people because the school becomes his beat.
Coil followed in his family’s footsteps and is now deputy chief of police in Shelby Township, Michigan. He sees school resource officers as a vital link to the community.
COIL: I think the quintessential word in the SRO is “resource.” It’s the school resource officer. And when you have that conduit for the district and the child and the families to point to and say “that’s our guy, that’s our gal.” That is community outreach at its best.
Most schools try to work with the same officers over time so students can forge trusting relationships with them. The officers provide on-site security, handle criminal complaints, and even serve as guest experts in the classroom on topics like drug awareness and risk avoidance.
But trust doesn’t always form, and sometimes it breaks down.
Minority students in particular often view SROs with suspicion and fear. There’s a growing perception that officers disproportionately single out students of color for even minor infractions.
Many school leaders were already weighing the pros and cons of having a constant police presence on campus when recent events tipped the scales in critics’ favor.
School boards in Minneapolis, Denver, and Portland, Oregon, all voted this month to dissolve their contracts with local law enforcement. Andrea Valderrama heads the board at Portland’s David Douglas School District.
VALDERAMA: I will say that the action is long overdue. What I’m hearing from my students, my staff, and my community out here in David Douglas is that police officers do not contribute to an environment of safety.
Valderrama said that in a recent school safety survey, the largely Hispanic and Asian community requested more wrap-around services, restorative justice, and mental health support in lieu of on-campus police presence. Other districts are requesting similar changes, urging their school boards to shift millions in funding from law enforcement to alternative supports. And while Portland school officials don’t cite specific incidents with their officers, others around the country do.
Last year, two SROs in Florida were caught on video pushing a defiant high school girl to the ground. Another in North Carolina was filmed repeatedly slamming a young middle school boy onto the floor. Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame quickly suspended the officer responsible for the North Carolina incident.
BRAME: I was stunned. I was shocked. Seeing a child that small reminded me of one of my grandkids.
Some incidents have even involved elementary age students. In 2015, parents sued an SRO in Kentucky for handcuffing their 8-year-old son with special needs in response to a disciplinary problem.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the case on behalf of the Kentucky boy’s family. Attorney Matt Coles explained the basis for the suit during an interview on the TODAY show.
COLES: We don’t think handcuffs at the biceps are the way to treat an 8-year-old child, even if the child is emotionally distraught.
But those who support police on campus say officer misconduct is usually due to a lack of training.
Mo Canady heads the National Association of School Resource Officers. He worries districts are cutting ties with local police as a knee-jerk reaction.
CANADY: I think that when a school district or law enforcement agency makes the decision to push out SROs, they’re getting rid of what is potentially their best community-based policing tool. It may be broken, or bent, or busted. I believe we can help repair whatever those problems may be if they just give us an opportunity.
The absence of SROs also raises concerns about school safety. Without officers on campus, parents and community members worry about school shootings and violent altercations that could escalate quickly.
Last year in Portland, an SRO at Parkrose High School tackled a suicidal student as he pulled a shotgun from under his trench coat. The officer is credited with averting what could have been a much larger tragedy.
Deputy Chief Mark Coil says ultimately, the problems don’t stem from having an officer on campus. They arise from an individual’s intentions.
COIL: Any law enforcement officer that’s engaged in a service, whatever that service they provide, if they do that with an ill heart or an ill mind, that’s when we see problems. The vast majority of great SROs go out and do their job because they’re committed and they have the moral and ethical character to go do their job.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Laura Edghill.
NICK EICHER: While professional team sports hope to resume next month, NASCAR and the UFC have already returned.
And in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to add one more to that list.
Competitors are currently training for a July 4th showdown, when they’ll push their bodies to the absolute limit.
All eyes will be on a 12-time champion. He’s heard here with an ESPN reporter after nearly setting a new world record last July.
AUDIO:You came out of the gates at an incredible pace but started to slow around the fifth minute. What slowed you down?
Yeah, I came out fast and then I slowed down faster than I would have liked. I tried to adjust and tried to chew more, make it easier to make it easier on my throat to swallow them. But I was just slowing down. I don’t know if it was the heat or what.
With all the talk of chewing and swallowing, you’ve probably guessed by now that was Joey Chestnut—world champion hot-dog eater after downing 71 dogs in 10 minutes at last year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest!
The reigning women’s champ, Miki Sudo will also defend her title.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER: Today is Thursday, June 18th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Civics 101.
Many American students graduate without a basic knowledge of how our government works. WORLD reporter Kim Henderson introduces us today to some people making a case for civics education.
KIM HENDERSON, CORRESPONDENT: David Higgs spent the bulk of his career guiding college freshmen through required world history courses…
HIGGS: You guys have a test on Thursday…
From the Punic Wars to Pearl Harbor, history helped Higgs engage young minds for three decades. But he’s noticed a deficit.
HIGGS: I would like to see more emphasis on American history. We need more civics classes.
He says academic instruction has been replaced with an inundation of media.
HIGGS: …which seems to be always in some type of harangue over politics. So it seems to be a turnoff to them, and we need to get them to understand they are a part of that process and to be prepared.
Higgs sees many students arrive at college with little understanding about how their government works. They lack the basics.
HIGGS: –basic understandings of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the duties of a president of the United States, obligations of the Congress to the president or the relations of the Supreme Court to the president.
It’s Monday night, and a group of teenagers are gathered in a parking lot for some social interaction.
AUDIO: [STUDENTS HANGING OUT IN PARKING LOT]
Civics is the furthest thing from their minds.
AUDIO: (Kim: Name the 3 branches of the government. Can anybody do that?) Guy: I can’t. (laughs) Girl: Is it legislative? Uh… (snaps fingers) Guy: Republic? Kim: How old do you have to be to run for President? Guy: 21? (laughs) Girl: 25? (Kim: Does anybody know who the vice president is?) Girl: Mike Pence? (Kim: Who’s the secretary of state?) Guy: Nancy Pelosi?
A couple of 17-year-olds hanging out around the fringe fare a little better.
GIRLS: The legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch. (haltingly) We’ve been out of school a while.
They also got the age you can run for president, 35, as well as some of the vice president’s responsibilities. But could they name any of the amendments that make up the Bill of Rights?
GIRLS: Not off the top of my head, but I probably do know them…
The problem isn’t localized. Late last year, a federal judge in Rhode Island began considering a different kind of case for civics.
Fourteen plaintiffs, including students and their parents, sued the state, arguing that Rhode Island violates students’ constitutional rights. How? By failing to teach civics, leaving students unprepared for life as responsible citizens.
But David Higgs says civics knowledge isn’t the only thing lacking. Civics teachers are scarce, too.
HIGGS: We’re a capitalistic society. You don’t find someone who just majors in political science unless they go into law school and there’s, you know, more opportunity out there for them in that regard. Not in teaching.
Thirty-year-old Walt Allen bucked that trend. He has a degree in history and a masters in social studies.
ALLEN: It’s so easy to get people interested in social studies because it, all the dramatic aspects of our lives — politics, finances, you know — it’s all whirled into one. I feel bad for science and math teachers because the deck is stacked against them…
Allen did his student teaching at a public school in the Bronx. He often taught recent immigrants, like two girls from Yemen he remembers.
ALLEN: Explaining how, uh, our revolutionary forefathers were taxed to the point of war — they just couldn’t understand that. They were like, well, what do you mean they rebelled against the king? They just, you know, can’t imagine that happening.
These days Allen teaches in the Deep South. His objective is the same now as it was in New York. It’s something he learned from his high school government teacher on a military base in South Korea.
ALLEN: He said, “If you don’t take away anything from my class, understand that the legislative branch makes laws. The executive branch enforces laws, and the judicial branch interprets laws.” If I can get a student to understand that, then they understand pretty much how the government works.
He says students who’ve grown up in the United States are familiar with the broad stroke of ideas, but the specifics of government trip them up. Like how old you have to be to vote.
ALLEN: I run into that a lot. We have a lot of students who might not be in a household where an adult is actively voting. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of lack of understanding. And it’s really sad. It is not this generation’s fault. It’s the fault of every generation that’s come before them.
Like David Higgs, Allen points to growing distrust of government that’s harming young citizens. He says it’s a shame.
ALLEN: We certainly have our problems, but if you’ve traveled anywhere else in the world, it doesn’t take long to see we have got a pretty good thing going.
KIM: How old are you guys? (STUDENTS: 15, 17, 18…)
Back at the parking lot, a recent high school graduate admits one thing from her civics lessons really stuck with her.
STUDENT: Oh, the Roe v. Wade. That kind of stuff got to me… What did I learn? Like, abortion is wrong, but, like, if someone has sex without consent and they want to abort the baby, uh, I don’t find that wrong… (Kim: So you learned this in –?) STUDENT: Government class…
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson in Wesson and Brookhaven, Mississippi.
MEGAN BASHAM: Today is Thursday, June 18th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.
NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Commentator Cal Thomas now with a call for perspective and prayer in these tumultuous times.
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: It is a gift, as Robert Burns wrote, to see ourselves as others see us.
Regimes in China and Iran, who violently repress even peaceful demonstrators, are mocking us and claiming we are no better than they when police and the National Guard put down street violence.
These are the inevitable consequences when a nation forgets who and what it is and when some of its citizens reject the values that built and sustained it. Have we forgotten that the evil of slavery and Jim Crow laws throughout the South have been mostly corrected and, in some cases, atoned for in blood and legislation?
Perfect we have not yet become, but our journey is advancing, not retreating.
The current tumult started with justifiable outrage over the killing of George Floyd. After peaceful demonstrations, things turned violent. Censorship of speech and mob rule quickly became the norm.
TV programs about the police have been canceled before a single complaint. Gone with the Wind is gone from HBO Max. The New York Times—which brags of its commitment to a “diversity” of opinions on its editorial page—apologized and withdrew from its website a column written by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who called for a military response to street riots.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for the removal of Confederate statues from the Capitol Building. The irony is that most, if not all, of these notable men were Democrats, a party opposed to Reconstruction after the Civil War and the authors of Jim Crow laws. Their racist descendants opposed civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Will these purists tear down the Richard Russell Senate Office Building, named for the senator from Georgia who opposed all such legislation?
Yes, reforms are needed as they always are in a pluralistic nation with competing ideas, especially because of our racial history. But tearing things down, including history, does not help others rise.
Let us turn to God in prayer for our nation. And let us remember the words of Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address. Quote—”We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
I’m Cal Thomas.
NICK EICHER: An all-woman panel tomorrow on Culture Friday for a conversation on J.K. Rowling, transgenderism, and the Supreme Court.
Also tomorrow, a review of an unusual Sherlock Holmes movie.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MEGAN BASHAM: And I’m Megan Basham.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
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Isaiah tells us, this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite and trembles at my word.
I hope you’ll have a great rest of the day. We’ll talk to you tomorrow!