Soledad O’Brien‘s special ‘Black In America: Black & Blue’ premieres tonight on CNN. The award-winning journalist who was formerly a CNN anchor and is now an independent producer, says that the events in Ferguson put the relationship between Blacks and the police on the media forefront.
“It turned out to be really interesting timing around the interaction of police and the Black community,” O’Brien says. “Which we see in Ferguson is a disaster. You have a community that hates the police and you have police that seem to hate the community and obviously what you end up getting is a complete mess. We looked at the NYPD post stop-and-frisk and you see the number of stop and frisks going down …but what does it do to someone’s psyche to keep getting stopped over and over again.
We look at how cell phones have really changed how we look at these stops. We profiled one young man who was stopped a hundred times, often in front of his professor, often in front of his classmates. That kind of thing is incredibly humiliating but if its not caught on camera, its hard to prove that your civil rights have been violated.”
O’Brien’s special includes an interview with a Black police officer who has himself been stopped and frisked.
“The officer that we talked to would say his father was a cop, he loved his father, he thought his father contributed to the community, he made the community safer and that’s what he wanted to do, to contribute to the community,” O’Brien says.
“What we’re interested in that intersection of how do you keep crime out of the community and not criminalize and trample on the rights of people who are minding their own business,” she says. “The young man that has been stopped a hundred times has never had any legal issues. He just so-called ‘fits the description.'”
Black in America: Black and Blue airs on CNN tonight at 9 and 11 p.m. (ET)
Click the link above to hear the entire interview!
(Photo: PR Photos)