I was chief of police in Madison, Wisconsin when the Rodney King video hit the nation. Not only was I shocked, so, too, were my officers who asked me to speak out on their behalf that this would never happen in our city. And I made a strong promise on their behalf.
The King video was the first bystander video to shock our nation. As we all know, much more came about with the advent of cell phone video capabilities.
Last year in May, the UCLA Department of History and the UCLA Interdepartmental Program in Afro-American Studies co-presented this important forum on race, police. and reform.
This is a most important discussion for police and community leaders. We need more of these discussions in America. It’s about a problem and what can be done about it and how the solution was to truly implement community/neighborhood-oriented policing. To, literally change direction — to transform!
First, a bit of history: from April 29 to May 4, 1992, people took to the streets of South Central Los Angeles to protest the acquittal of the four LAPD officers who brutally beat Rodney King.
Twenty-five years later, police reform still remains a hotly debated issue.
On this video the panel discusses the efficacy of consent decrees and other police reform policies including bias training, body cameras, and community policing.
The panel includes civil rights attorney Connie Rice (who now works for the LAPD), New Mexico state police officer Anwar Sanders, UCLA law professors Devon Carbado (moderator) and Beth Colgan, Arif Alikhan, Director of the LAPD Office of Constitutional Policing and Policy, and Priscilla Ocen, Associate
Professor of Law at Loyola Law School.
More on this subject and the Watts Project at: