February 13, 2015

Cops See It Differently - Part Two

Our second hour of stories about policing and race. We hear about one city where relations between police and black residents went terribly, and another city where they seem to be improving remarkably. And one of our producers asks: Why aren't police chiefs talking about race after incidents where unarmed black men are wrongly killed by officers? 

Surveillance video of Earl Sampson under arrest for trespassing at the store where he works.

Since we first ran this show, there have been several developments at the Miami Gardens police department.

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.


This American Life producer Robyn Semien watched the Eric Garner video with a friend who's a New York cop. Robyn's black. Her friend's white. Robyn says she'd assumed they'd at least find some common ground in how they view the video. They find none. (5 1/2 minutes)
Act Two

Comey Don't Play That

FBI Director James Comey gave a speech this week calling for law enforcement to redouble its efforts to serve the black community, and calling for a conversation about race in policing. Producer Robyn Semien has noticed that local big city police chiefs do not think race is a factor in the newsmaking incidents where white officers kill unarmed black men. She and Sean Cole visit a police department that's doing a good job fixing the problem of cops killing black men: the Las Vegas PD. (21 minutes)