Building Trust: Race, Police & the Community, Pt. 1

Part 1: Steve Adubato and Michael Hill, Anchor and Correspondent at NJTV News, host “Building Trust: Race, Police & the Community,” a two-part panel discussion looking at the complex and sometimes confrontational relationship between the police and the minority community, and ways the community can begin to move the discussion forward.

4/1/17 #3001






"Welcome to a very special edition of One on One. I'm Steve Adubato. I recently cohosted a panel discussion with Michael Hill, anchor and correspondent for NJTV news, where we looked at the complex and sometimes confrontational relationship between police and the minority community, and ways that we can begin to move that conversation forward. Here now is that conversation. 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, and we can still see it today. And it works to the disproportionate disadvantage of men of color, and people of color in this country." Reverend Gilmore, are we dealing with modern day policing, a hangover from slavery? That's obviously a very volatile question. That's why I asked it. [laughter] Look, I have a certain perspective about policing, okay? And one of the things... Tell folks about your background. Sure. My dad was one of the first African Americans on the police force. He joined the force in 1955, and he retired in 1980. And he and the sheriff were partners at one point. And then he was also a minister. So he was able to help bridge that gap. And so personally, I have, obviously, a great affection for the police department and what they do. I also can't help but look at things from a biblical lens, because I'm a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So I can't help it. And one of the things the Bible lets us know is that God has ordained authority. But we're dealing with individuals, and there is no police force without individuals. You know. So it's hard to take the system away from the individual. Because the individuals make up the system. You know. And so we have some good cops and we have some bad cops. And we have some who are racist..."