Building Trust: Race, Police & the Community, Pt. 2

Part 2: 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.

4/8/17 #3002






"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. In this next session, we'll look at justice. What does justice look like? And to whom? And that's one of the important things about this entire discussion of families of loved ones. What does it look like to them? What does it look like to advocates? What does it look like to police officers? You know, to that point Michael, what is so troubling... but it's a reality, as you well know in the reporting you've done for NJTV News, the question of justice, and how people will perceive it. Too often, unfortunately, it breaks down along racial lines. The prism that people have when they look at justice is... is colored by race. But the question is, where do we go from here? And this is the part of the discussion where we try to grapple with that question. Let's take a look. Mrs. Valdes, it's... if Zellie is saying he wants justice, and the prosecutor has within his or her realm all of the evidence to take before a grand jury to say whatever, there's the power. And so far based on what Zellie says, all these police shootings that... where is the prosecution? Where's the justice? I think it's a broader discussion about what people perceive the police role is, and what people perceive and judge civilian behavior to be. Because we have presented cases where I'm like, "There's a video, there's witnesses, we're going to get an indictment." And then it doesn't come. Not because of any lack of effort on the prosecution part, but because of grand jurors, who are a cross section of the community, listened to that, and decided the police officer was justified. And Levi, how do you get justice when some of these encounters with the police... someone's being choked and strangled? Someone's being shot? Someone's being chased? The evidence is there, as the prosecutor said. There it is right there. Everybody can say, "It's okay, it looks like manslaughter. It looks like a homicide. The guy was running away. He wasn't after the police officers." So where's the justice? How do you get it? Well one situation, like the prosecutor said, one thing that people have to understand is when things go before the grand jury, the perception..."