Building Trust: Race, Police and the Community
This 1-hour special addresses the complex and sometimes confrontational relationship between police and the minority community, and ways that we can begin to move the issue forward. Moderated by Steve Adubato and NJTV's Michael Hill, this program featured a panel of 12 leaders from sectors of government, business, law enforcement, education, as well as religious and community leaders in and around the city of Newark. Panelists include Michele Adubato, CEO, North Ward Center; Reverend Phillip Gilmore, St. John's Community Baptist Church, Bergen Street in Newark; Armando Fontoura, Sheriff, Essex County Sheriff's Office; Todd Clear, University Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers-Newark; Ryan Haygood, President & CEO, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice; Ras Baraka, Mayor, City of Newark; Michellene Davis, Executive VP & Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, RWJBarnabas Health; Camelia Valdes, Passaic County Prosecutor; Levi Holmes, President, Newark Bronze Shields; Zellie Imani, Lead Organizer, Black Lives Matter, Paterson, New Jersey; Fatimah Loren Muhammad, Director, Trauma Advocacy Initiative, Equal Justice USA and Anthony Ambrose, Director of Public Safety, Newark Police, Fire, OEM.
"Hi, I'm Steve Adubato. Welcome to a very special program called Building Trust: Race, Police, and the Community. I'm joined here by my colleague Michael Hill, anchor and correspondent for NJTV News. Michael, recently we sat down with a group of 12 very distinguished, important, and concerned citizens, leaders, about this important issue. Describe that conversation. It was comprehensive Steve. A wide range of issues. We're talking about implicit bias, police training, we looked at justice, and what it looks like and to whom. We also put the spotlight on why police forces, and how they could benefit from hiring more women, which was a really interesting discussion. You know, as Michael describes this, I will say, you're about to see this conversation unscripted, I mean, totally unscripted, people had no idea what anybody else was going to say. Very little editing, to be very candid with you, because we had to condense, really, a two hour conversation. But Michael really got to the heart of this conversation, right at the beginning, when he asked, very simply, "Is the system broken?" Let's pick up the conversation right there. I had an interesting conversation in July about a guy... he's a schoolteacher in Newark who was walking in a People's Organization for Progress demonstration, and he raised a point that I had heard before, but not the way he had put it. And this goes back to the issue of race. I went to him to ask him about, "Okay, what's the solution to this?" "What's the issue here?" And he took us way back to slavery. And said, "The institution of policing today, resembles the institution of slavery, where there were a group of men who went and rounded up enslaved men and so forth," and he said that, "I'm not saying that the individual police officers in their uniforms are racist, but what I am saying," he said, "is that the institution is built on a system that was racist..."