Complex News introduces a new episode of its “Complex World” docuseries today examining the important topic of police accountability and what has held up the process for so long. The episode titled Above the Law: Why Police Almost Never Get Convicted delves into qualified immunity and how police unions have often prevented departments from disciplining officers as well as the power of protest and what has been achieved thus far.
Tune in as activist Tamika Mallory discusses the important protests for those like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and hear from the former Minneapolis Chief of Police Janee Harteau. Viewers will also have the chance to listen in on a conversation with civil rights attorney Jonathan M. Smith, who was responsible for investigating 23 police departments, including the Ferguson, Missouri police department, under the Obama Justice Department.
“Remember, Ahmaud Arbery’s murder happened two months before the protests began and then the arrests. So if there had been no protest, there would’ve been no awareness, there would’ve been no cry for justice, and there would’ve been no reason for the McMichaels to be arrested…I think protests are not the only answer but certainly it’s a big piece of the puzzle in terms of bringing awareness and getting everybody on the same page.”
“We had implicit bias training, we focused on procedural justice, I mean all of those things were a part of my platform in tenure as Chief and this is still happening. Three years after I left, but the fact that it was at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, four of them, is something that I just struggle to even comprehend. It’s unacceptable at any level. And nobody should be ok with it, especially not police. I’ve called out the Union President, I’ve called on the Minneapolis police department to have the courage and the intestinal fortitude to stand up and say this is wrong.”
“Well it’s not a bad apples problem, certainly there are people who do bad things in police departments just like there is in any other profession and we need to deal with that. And you need to deal with the officers who engage in extreme misconduct. But the problem is actually in the structure of police departments and in the culture of police departments.”
–Jonathan M. Smith
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Complex News’ current-affairs docuseries “Complex World” brings the information and issues that matter with in-depth storytelling through the unique Complex lens. New episodes of “Complex World” air bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. ET on Complex News’ YouTube channel.