Watch How To Get A Bad Cop Fired, By Matthew Cooke [Video]

One of the hottest issues in the United States of America, is how police officers are using extreme force against citizens. This has resulted in many fatalities.
The Guardian has predicted in its Counted Project—which is documenting the story of each person who is killed in the US by a police officer—that the police will kill some 1,100 people by the end of this year, with black Americans being twice as likely to die. As of June 2015, the police have killed some 547 people in the US. This figure has since become long outdated.
However, in a quest to provide citizens with a better understanding of the police problem, the Oscar-nominated documentary film producer, Matthew Cooke has created a short video to show American citizens how a bad cop can be fired.
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In the video, Cooke and police accountability activist Van Jones, tackled the highly contested issue from multiple angles. Written below is the transcribed version of how the two gentlemen discussed the issue. Their initials have been used in the conversation; MC: Matthew Cooke and VJ: Van Jones.
MC: My name is Matthew Cooke, and this is how to fire a cop and change everything. There’s always been a tension in law enforcement, or any field in that matter, between working for the public good and letting power run amuck. For a page-turning history, there’s one book that stands above the rest, and that’s Radley Balko’s RISE OF THE WARRIOR COP. If you download the audiobook, you’ll be helping support this series. So back in 1995, there’s a guy named Van Jones and he starts the Bay Area Police Watch, a lawyer-referral service for victims of police abuse. As soon as it was set up, their hotline started receiving 15 calls a day. Van said, “Just because somebody calls and says officer so-and-so did something to me, it doesn’t mean something actually happened. But once you get 6 phone calls about the same officer, you see a pattern, and you can try to take affirmative steps.
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VJ: You think it’s hard to get a teacher fired, or your boss disciplined? Try to get a cop fired, that takes an awful lot.
MC: For two years, Van and Police Watch led a campaign against a dangerous killer named Officer Marc Andaya.
VJ: He’d actually killed two unarmed African American men. [The first man being] Jerry Stantal, who he shot.
MC: Jerry Stantal suffered from a mental illness. He was walking across the street.
VJ: And the police officer goes over to him, starts a fight, starts losing the fight, shoots the guy, reloads, shoots him again—including once in the head.
MC: A few years later, Officer Andaya kills another unarmed man.
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VJ: Erin Williams, [the second victim], was beat and stomped and pepper sprayed to death. This guy [Officer Andaya] had 5 lawsuits against him, 27 formal complaints against him, but he was still on the police force.
MC: Oftentimes, when we put the truth in front of any part of our criminal justice system, it’s not enough. We have to bring the facts to the people, and that’s what Van Jones and his partners did.
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VJ: We discovered that the police commission met every Wednesday night. So what we did was, we went and got hundreds of people from the community to stand in long lines and use their right to talk about what was going on. Everybody had two minutes or three minutes — we had people going out the back of the building sometimes. We had young people doing poetry and expressing themselves for the first time. Ultimately, 4 out of 5 of the police commissioners just quit. The mayor had to appoint a whole new commission.
VJ: That was an important moment for us to realize that these are just human beings, and they can be reasoned with or they can be pressured to do the right thing.
  1. Unearth lawsuits against cop
  2. Share findings with press
  3. Call the mayor
  4. Bring hundreds to public hearings
  5. NEVER give up!
MC: Since that time, Van Jones won a Human Rights Award. He stopped a super jail for juveniles, he wrote a best-selling book on revitalizing our economy with new energy, and served as a White House adviser. Most recently, he created cut50, a national bipartisan effort to safely reduce our prison population by 50% over the next 10 years — which is an appropriate response. The MINIMUM response we should take.
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VJ: We have a massive human rights catastrophe. Some of these people are doing 30 years for nonviolent drug offenses. You get 25 years for shooting a cop! That’s a human rights disaster.
MC: And what Van Jones and the community did in San Francisco, we can do on a national level.
VJ: There is a bill right now in Congress called the Safe Justice Act.
MC: The Safe Justice Act bill, if it became a law, would roll back mandatory minimums; increase incentives for rehabilitation; and expand release programs for elderly prisoners, so harmless men and women won’t spend their dying days behind bars.
VJ: And so, if you believe in liberty and justice for all, if you’re a democrat or a republican, you’ve gotta stand together on this.
MC: If we get a million people to sign this thing, we’ll have one of the biggest citizen coalitions for reforming criminal justice in history.
VJ: To lead means to go first, but often, the leaders are afraid to go first. They need to see the people go first.
MC: Let’s change lives. Bring families back together. Reunite children, fathers, mothers and grandparents, with just a few keystrokes. Visit and download RISE OF THE WARRIOR COP to hear an unbelievable piece of the puzzle, revealing where we are today, and help support this series. You can use the link in the description.