tv United Shades of America CNN May 13, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
let's go. enough of that. on this episode of "the united shades of america," we're talking about the police. >> woo. >> one person, everybody else is nervous. [ applause ] >> it's weird, i think it's a weird thing to say out loud, but i've never been arrested. i think it's a weird, humble braggy thing to say. i'm afraid if i say it out loud, i feel like i sound like i'm running for the nomination of the gop black guy. i've never been arrested, not like those other ones, yay, herman cain, yay! i've never heard a rap song. oh, you're perfect. i've never had sweet potato pie. it gets better and better. >> my name is w. kamau bell, as a comedian, i've find humor
living in parts of america i don't understand. now, i'm challenging myself to dig deeper. i'm on a mission to reach out and experience the cultures and beliefs that led to this great country. this is "the united shades of america." it seems like every time you turn on the news, you can see conflict between communities of color and the police. and this is causing many people to wonder, what has happened? well, i'll tell you, nothing has happened, other than technology making it easier to document what has been going on for centuries. it started when the first puritan got off the mayflower. he told the first native american he saw to keep it moving or he was going to get a ticket for loitering. now communities of color are banding together to figure out ways to organize and let the cops know, we're not going to take it. because a white guy who kills nine people gets arrested like this. and a black guy who sells loose
cigarettes gets arrested like this. so this week, i'm headed to one of the cities most often cited when the subject turns to crime and policing. camden, new jersey. but before i go there, i'm going to talk to the people across the river in philadelphia about the way we're being policed. and i could start with this guy or this guy or even this guy, but then you'd accuse me of being biased. so i think i'll start with these nice young women here. we're talking to people about policing in america. so how do you two feel about the police? >> i think the police are usually there to protect you. >> they've always been there to support us. on weekend nights and stuff like that. >> if something bad happens, you feel like you can call the police and they'll show up and take care of you? >> yeah. >> can i ask you another question? >> yes. >> what's that like? do you have black friends? do you have friends of color? >> yeah. a lot of snapchat friends out there.
hey, sasha. >> do any of your black friends come to you and say i'm worried about the police? i'm afraid of the police? >> i understand as a white male i'll never be in the same shoes as an african-american who just simply gets looked at a different way. and i understand that, that is just so sad, it's a sad truth. >> trust-wise, we would trust the cops. we grew up in a white, suburban neighborhood. so i can see how people in an urban environment might think differently. >> oh, bring it in, bring it in. do you understand that is a big thing. if white people have that conversation with other white people, then the world will change. >> right. >> this is my black friend! oh, my god. >> it was a spike lee movie. >> this is great, oh, my god. >> can you confirm you're his black friend? >> yes. >> i'm in, baby. >> he's turning redder than he is. >> yes. >> [ bleep ].
>> if things get bad, you feel like you can call the cops? >> i feel like i can. if you go five blocks that way, you're going to get a completely different perspective. >> i didn't have to walk anywhere. >> do you feel like when the [ bleep ] hits the fan, you can call the cops? >> i don't call them no because when i do call them, they say, get your hands out of your pocket. i just called you for help. >> have you had experience with the police that were not awesome, that were not five-star yelp reviews? >> i don't have enough fingers, man. >> really? >> i'm talking about the national crisis that america is in right now. many communities of color feel like we are not being policed appropriately. >> the police should feel like your neighbor. they should feel like your family. i think they have to go back to the basics. this is the community you protect and serve. >> yes, back to the basics. i hear people talk about those basics, when cops rescued cats
out of trees and told little billy to go home and do his homework, but those basics weren't in any neighborhood i grew up in, and i can't imagine that happening in any of the neighborhoods on the front lines of this conflict today. but according to the national news, they're doing it exactly that way here in camden. they're trying a method called community policing, where police walk the beat and get to know the citizens personally, instead of showing up when things go badly. the camden police department thinks this can work. and they're getting so much good press that even president obama showed up to check it out. >> i've come here to camden to hold you up as a symbol of promise for the nation. >> do i think it can work? i have no idea. but i'm going to spend a week with the camden city police department and hopefully find out. >> every day you put on this uniform, you bridge the gap between law enforcement and the
civilian population. >> sergeant ralph thornton is one of the people responsible for carrying out this community policing agenda. he's also one of those black people that you can't exactly tell how old he is. 25? 45? 120? >> i like to tell my cops, when you go to work, that particular area is your castle. you're the knight of that area. when enemies are at your gate, you protect it. >> the thing that comes up for me is i feel like some police feel like it is their area, but they own the area, know what i'm saying? i'm not the knight, i'm the king. >> got you. i do understand that. i use the word castle. but our officers are only as good as the rapport they have with the people in the area. >> brushing aside the fact that his analogy means that we go back to medieval times, the way to learn how they do it here is to see it up close. >> officer jeffries. >> very good officer, you're in good hands. >> i appreciate that.
it's not often i say that when one cop hands me over to another cop. thank you for putting me in good hands. >> just so you know, officer jeffries, this is my first time ever in a police car in any capacity. >> oh, yeah? >> in any capacity. >> good, good. >> i'm going where no other civilian black man has ever gone before, to the front seat of a police car. mama, i made it. >> camden has a reputation of being a rough area. this is the district you patrol? >> this is the district i patrol. the majority of the time, this is the area. this street right here is very heavily trafficked for drug activity. >> this seems like a pretty, i would say, frothy area. there's -- it's clearly a city that is having some urban blight, and there are a lot of buildings that are empty. people used to live in there and do business there and those businesses have left. what surprises you most about the job? >> to hear what camden once was, this is where you wanted to go. you wanted to go to vacation in camden. >> yep, camden was once a vacation and shopping destination for tourists and locals alike.
in the 1950s, industry was booming. jobs were aplenty. and camden's also got culture. it was the home of walt whitman and a place where lafayette hubbard said, i think i'll call it scientology. but late in the 1960s, economic conditions caused many businesses to leave. and like what often happens in these situations, it leads to poverty, poverty leads some people to crime and drugs, and in 2012, camden was named the most dangerous city in the u.s. congrats? camden is just ten miles wide and has a population of just 76,000 people. and most likely, everyone in the city has been touched by crime. you know what those crosses represent? >> 2012 was the worst year for camden. all of the homicides and murders. a cross for every victim. it was a very, very violent year.
>> officer jeffries is going to take me to the most notorious corner in the city. this is clearly a very active corner. how safe do you feel walking around camden? >> there's some places that depending on the call or at nighttime, late at night when the visibility's bad, i wouldn't necessarily want to walk by myself. >> and one of us just got the finger. >> yeah. >> how does it feel knowing that just happened? >> not everyone's going to be happy with you. just like everything else in life, not everyone's going to be happy with what you're doing. >> could be he's not a fan of my comedy. i'm not going to put it all on you. >> maybe, maybe. >> officer jeffery seems a little stiff to me. i'm going to help him with this community policing thing. >> now you're walking my beat. >> lead me way. >> so can you talk to us for a few minutes? >> yes. >> you can leave whenever you want to. officer jeffries. >> how you doing? >> how long have you lived in
camden, or do you live in camden? >> yes, i do, all my life. >> all your life. >> have you seen the city change in your lifetime? >> it's getting a little better. got a lot of work to do. >> how much work do they have to do? >> get these people off the corner, some people parks on on the side of my house using drugs. i called the police last week. >> did they respond quickly enough? >> no, they did not. >> this is the camden police. >> his people didn't respond. >> please talk to him. >> you all didn't respond fast enough. i stopped the car and told them where the car was. >> early in the morning or late at night? >> in the afternoon. broad daylight. and i did let them know. the loitering and drug use, and when i came back, the people were still there. >> why do you think that happens? >> it all depends on the time of day, however many officers are present, the priority of the call. that could have went out at the same time as a higher priority call. >> i'm sure you understand she doesn't know what the priority is. nobody told her there's a gunshot over here, so we can't come to you right away. >> you all can make it better. all you have to do is be on top of everybody.
>> you don't have to get a relationship with people, but speaking to them, everything's okay, you know? instead of saying, shut up, i'm in control. >> i hear you. it's not their job to punish you. >> i agree with him. we always want to use, if it came down to that, the amount of force that's needed, nothing more. >> the media often does a serious disservice to communities of color by acting as if citizens in these neighborhoods don't want to be policed, but it's just the opposite. we want cops in our neighborhood. we just want the good ones. what makes this simple salad the best simple salad ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple veggie dish ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever? heart healthy california walnuts. great tasting, heart healthy california walnuts.
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i have a thing, that natural fear of police that i think black people have instilled in them, the same way i have a natural fear of mountain lions. you know what i mean? it's just that i don't have to call a mountain lion if i'm in trouble. i do have to call a cop, but it's weird. i feel like, yeah, there's a bad thing happening at my house. could you send a wild mountain lion over to my house to see if it can help? i know it sounds crazy. that's how i feel about calling the cops. i'm in camden, new jersey, hanging out with cops to see if a comedian can solve the country's police brutality problem or something like that. and i'm here to talk to camden police chief scott thompson, who's been in charge since 2008, and is the man responsible for implementing all the new changes
in the force. >> where are we? it feels like i'm in the bat cave. >> this is the central nervous system for operation. it's our realtime tactical operational intelligence center. the idea is to prevent crime from happening in the first place. >> if you can see everybody in camden, you can see your police force. is that helpful too? >> that's one of the biggest problems we have right now is the issue of trust and legitimacy. >> as a black man in america from many people and cops, i'm perceived as a future criminal. it feels that police have to help change that perception. >> the burden is on us. not on sit back and keep doing what we're doing and expect the public to change on its own. here's what we can't deny. we all have biases, and there are implicit biases that end up shaping our actions. it's recognizing it, learning how to deal with it and processing it in a way to ensure
equity is being exuded. >> i think it's totally awesome that you are dealing with perception that cops have in this country, you're not pretending it doesn't exist. >> we're starting to see a lot of bad behavior of police officers. the video out of north charleston, it sickened me. what's created off of that is now our responsibility to fix. it starts by us fixing our own. that is not something you learn in a classroom. the only way the citizens are going to trust the officer, they have to have human contact with an officer, and it can't be only when that person calls 911 and says i have a problem. >> and that's the key to community policing, which is something that isn't new to camden. up until recently, if you wanted to join the camden police force, then you actually had to live in camden. but in 2011, the mayor decimated the police force because of a
lack of state funding and not surprisingly, crime spiked exponentially. then the city filed a waiver to let people join the police force whether they lived in camden or not, which may not sound like a big deal, but the question is, can you engage in community policing if you are not a member of the community? to find out, i'm meeting up with kelly francis, chairman of the camden chapter of the naacp. according to my black people guide book, he is going to have a lot to say. from what i've heard, there was a point when the cops in camden lost connection with the communities. >> what the biggest problem is, most of the police officers are not a part of the community that they serve. they don't live there. they come in as an army of occupation. >> and why do you think it's so important to have police officers who are from the community? >> first of all, you get to know the residents. you know who's who. you know the difference between a drug dealer and an honest person.
i know the difference. i've been here 65 years. guys who don't live in the community don't know that. they work their shifts or whatever, and they go back to their communities for the other 16 hours, but i'm not getting anything in return from them. >> they're not owning a home here, renting a home, buying groceries. >> they're not sharing our tax burden. they're our burden, they're taking our tax dollars but not returning anything. that's not community policing. that's all about appearances or show. >> you say to have true community policing you need to be from the community. >> exactly. that's what i grew up with. the cops were our neighbors. we went to school with their children, we went to churches with them. they were our mentors, role models. >> not just a police officer. >> yeah, absolutely. today the only thing we see is a blue uniform. >> that absolutely makes sense. knowing your local officers is key to feeling like you can
trust your local officers, feeling like you can talk to them, seeing them smile. right now if a cop smiles at me, i'm like, uh-oh, something really bad's about to go down. [ sirens ] to its roots. brewed only in golden, colorado... ...and nowhere else. ever. coors banquet. that's how it's done. waxed and shined.els to be treated like a trophy. we have seen the glory come, go, and come again. but a cadillac is no trophy. what you see is our future, and it will inspire every car that follows. ♪ its raised 1 dare devil, 2 dynamic diy duos,
i get it, not all cops, but some jobs, you have to hold that job up to a higher standard than other jobs. doesn't matter that it's not all cops. it's enough cops. #enough cops. you have to have like a 100% success rate, because if one person screws it up, it messes up the whole thing. some jobs you hold to a higher standard, like police, like priests, cops, baristas. don't screw up my civil liberties, don't screw up my swimsuit areas don't screw up my kids and don't screw up my mocha. that will ruin my day. if i'm going to understand this community policing thing i'm going to have to pound the pavement with officers that are actually from camden. how you doing? these officers, both from camden, have invited me to walk the beat with them.
today we're going to do a little walking the beat? >> right under the sun, yes. >> let's do it. what is the purpose of walking the beat? >> for police presence. a lot of people that live in the city, they don't want to see officers just riding in their cars. they want a more personal experience. >> being from camden, does that help you patrol and be police officers? >> yes, it makes them feel more comfortable because they're not like, you don't understand my situation. you didn't go there. i'm like, wait a minute, i'm from here, i was raised here. i know exactly what you're talking about. and it makes them feel a little more at ease because they think maybe she does get it. she knows what i see and have been through. >> they can't b.s. you in the same way. >> yes. >> they try. >> how are you guys? >> hey, man. >> are you the comedian? >> i am the -- >> i just told him that. >> looks like the police aren't the only ones with street cred. walking the beat is hard work. because not only does it last for an entire eight-hour shift but also because officers cabria
and ty have to convince this neighborhood, one person at a time, that police aren't jerks. >> i'm sorry, i like babies. he's a boy? how old is he? what's your name? >> valerie? >> don't be shy. it's okay. have a nice day, okay? >> you too. >> bye. >> i love kids. >> is that part of it? just talking to people, just being a person? >> mm-hm. because then they're not afraid of you when they see you. >> and it doesn't just put a police officer in their face when something bad happens. >> yes. >> a lot of people in our community are afraid of the cops, and a lot of people, i think -- i don't know. do you feel like you're judged because people of color are wearing the uniform. >> you get mixed reaction, especially with everything going on in the media. they only see your uniform. they don't see you as a human. they expect you not to understand. and they don't realize that
under this uniform, you're still a person. you still have feelings. has nothing to do with color. has nothing to do with gender. it just has to do with there are certain things that we have to do as officers. a lot of people understand that, they become a little irate at first, and then, i understand you're just doing your job. things go smoothly after that. >> is that yours right there? >> every time i pass there. >> is that a person? and i have to double back around. >> that was a santa claus. >> my name's kamau. >> you'll be seeing you and your man. >> i don't have no food. i don't know what you're sniffing. >> i don't know if this handshaking approach is the solution, but of all the bad things that could happen in an encounter with the police, i'll take awkward small talk any day. >> my name is kamau. >> magda.
>> your mother lives on fifth street or grant street? >> yeah. my aunt. you was at the incident for my daughter? >> yes. yes. >> and he's still in jail. >> that's good. >> that is good. >> i remember that. i remembered you and her. >> you had an incident and he showed up? >> for my daughter. a guy got fresh with her. >> got fresh with her. did he do a good job handling it? >> yes, he did. >> i'm glad he's still in jail, though. >> how long have you lived in camden? >> all my life. >> are things looking up? >> north camden's getting better as the days go by. >> thank you very much. thanks for talking to me. >> bye-bye. >> this was interesting, but, honestly, it might take a few hundred years of this kind of interaction before communities of color trust the police. but it does seem like a good start. but we all know right now in america we need way more than a good start. a very minor fender bender tonight in an unreasonably narrow fast food drive thru lane. but what a powerful life lesson. and don't worry i have everything handled.
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pg&e learned a tragic lesson we can never forget. this gas pipeline ruptured in san bruno. the explosion and fire killed eight people. pg&e was convicted of six felony charges including five violations of the u.s. pipeline safety act and obstructing an ntsb investigation. pg&e was fined, placed under an outside monitor, given five years of probation, and required to perform 10,000 hours of community service. we are deeply sorry. we failed our customers in san bruno. while an apology alone will never be enough, actions can make pg&e safer. and that's why we've replaced hundreds of miles of gas pipeline, adopted new leak detection technology
that is one-thousand times more sensitive, and built a state-of-the-art gas operations center. we can never forget what happened in san bruno. that's why we're working every day to make pg&e the safest energy company in the nation. back on the beat in camden, i'm heading out on patrol again. this time, i'm with officer matt d'daminico. >> did you always want to be a cop? >> i did. camden was hiring. i looked at it as a place to really learn and make a difference. >> when you're driving around, i see you looking out the window.
what are you doing? >> i always like to have my ear on the streets. my fellow officers have instilled it in my head, pay attention. that will save your life, always watch your six. >> and your six is what's behind you? >> yeah. >> i've seen the "bourne identity." i know what you're talking about. i'm kind of half a police officer. >> you're with it. >> i've absorbed a lot through matt damon. >> what are you doing right now? >> we're going to check out a house most known for cds activity. >> what is cds? >> drugs, controlled dangerous substance. >> 868. >> can you show me on a 40 abandoned check, marion and cain. roll me an assist, please? >> backup, this can't be good. >> so, yeah, this is the location, actually, the front door is open. last time i was here it was boarded up. so -- >> you think somebody maybe took the doors off the door? >> yeah, that's the way it
appears. it used to be you were only able to get in through the rear. stay there, don't move. >> have a seat for me real quick, ma'am? i just got to talk to you. >> cool. >> you were inside the property, right? >> oh, yeah, yeah. >> you know you can't be on the property? >> all right, there's three people in there, sarge. >> let me see your hands! let me see your hands now! >> come outside. >> everybody else inside, come out now! if you don't, i will release a dog, and he will bite you! >> come outside with your hands where i can see them. put it down, have a seat.
>> this house, which i don't even feel safe standing in, is apparently a well-known drug spot in camden. >> probably where they were. this looks fresh. this is fresh heroin that has not been used yet. >> oh, wow. >> the front is completely blown out or the side is completely blown out. >> you say watch where i step. i don't feel comfortable where i'm standing. this used to be somebody's home, somebody picked out that carpet. somebody was like, should we upgrade? this is the carpet we should get. there was discussions about this carpet going in here. >> memories were created here. christmas mornings, all that stuff. it took a dark turn. >> now it's this. >> and if you thought all this was happening in a deserted area of town, you'd be wrong. >> you live here in the neighborhood? >> i've been here about ten years already. >> did you see what just went down, what we were part of?
>> kind of. so many people going in and out of that house. it be like 50, 60 people coming in and out the house every day. >> really? day and night. i mean, come on, my kids be out here, a lot of kids be out here, and they grow up looking at that. oh, i'm interested in that so let me go do that. and now we have another drug user. come on. we don't need that out here. that's not cool. >> he's right, it isn't cool. and in parts of camden like this, this activity seems normal. and while i'm overwhelmed, this lady seems like she's taking a sunday drive in the park. >> hey, sweetie, how are you doing? >> good! >> ma'am? >> yes, dear. >> hi, my name is kamau. we're shooting in camden, talking about policing in camden, hanging out with the police. and you seem to be friends with the police. do you live here in camden? >> yes, i do. >> how do you feel about living in camden? >> i love this city. i saw you just drove through here. you were smiling and talking. it was almost as if you weren't
even -- i know you could see it was happening. >> it doesn't affect me. the key is, we have to get involved. now with this drug stuff, we have zombies walking through our streets. it's no excuse for that. and it has to be a proactive approach. if we choose not to get involved, then whatever happens we can't complain about. the minute we become involved and we're taking ownership of the situation and the problem. and when we have ownership of it, that means we can dictate what happens and how it happens. >> i don't know how she can handle this. she has pride in camden and believes it will get better. but for me at this point, i'm pretty much gutted. there's problems all over the country with police and how police are doing their thing and what police are doing, but we can't have that. it's just depressing. this is sad. kids should be able to play basketball right there, but i
wouldn't let my kids play basketball out here. the city has a lot of work to do. and i really hope this is the police force to do it. because they certainly need a police force that believes in the city and wants the city to do better. i got kids. i wouldn't -- i can't imagine what it's like to live in this city. and i'm sure it's great and people have great things they do here and they love it and they have pride. a met people with pride, but to know that this is always right around the corner is overwhelming. i can't imagine. this is really emotional. my belly pain and constipation?
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how they're trained. >> one, two, three. >> here at the police academy, potential officers are put through rigorous physical training. >> one more, push it! push it! >> these recruits have a tough and complicated job ahead of them, and i really have to ask, why would you want to be a cop? first question, why did you pick camden? you could have been police officers elsewhere. i hear there is a place called medford lakes. that sounds like that would be a barney fife situation. but you picked camden. >> personally, for me, my parents are pastors in camden, new jersey, so i've been in that community for so long. i could have chosen to work in a suburban community which may have been safer as some people say. >> a lot of cats in trees? >> yeah. but that's not what i felt like my calling was. my calling and what i have passion for is the urban community. that's where i want to work. >> there's a lot of policing to do. >> a lot of action, a lot of diversity as well. >> i think that's great. is there any part of it, the
idea of being a police officer is, what's the word i'm looking for, scares the -- out of me. i get it is a public service and you are helping people and we need police officers, well trained, highly effective, connected to the community police officers. is there any part that scares you, you are worried about? >> the only thing i'm nervous about is the culture toward law enforcement now. a lot of people are scared of law enforcement. i am hoping if i can bring some integrity to the job, respect, respecting people's privacy and rights that can generate a new attitude toward law enforcement. >> the most important thing is to get out there and build trust to have a safer environment for both the community and the officers. >> i'm glad you guys are looking forward to being cops and i think you have the right attitude. good luck out there on the streets of camden, as they say, let's be careful out there. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, sirs. >> stop calling me sir. >> while some officers say they
felt the call to protect and serve, i guess sometimes that comes from watching that liquid metal cop in "terminator ii." >> hey, kamau. how is everything? >> but for others, policing's in their blood. i'm meeting with officer bagley and his father, retired lieutenant scott bagley. another black man of unidentifiable age. this is the shooting range? >> yes, sir. >> this is where you come down here and keep your skills tight? >> pretty much. >> the threat is officially stopped. >> in the news a lot of times they say why didn't they wound them or shoot them in the leg. tell me why it's center mass. >> i'll give it to you in one word -- hollywood. >> hollywood. unfortunately, we're not all bruce willis and denzel washington. if we go to shoot for the arm or leg, if he moves, it might go in
the back and shoot baby susie, and we don't want that. >> you're police officers, but you're also black dudes. i'm a black dude. so i'm declaring a black guy meeting right now. talk about the relationship between the black community and the police department? right now, that relationship seems like it is in a crisis. there is a perception that black people have something extra to worry about when we are being policed. >> to me, it's the way it's promo promoted. a lot of incidents don't have to happen based on what i know and see and hear. a lot of these don't have to occur if you do exactly what you're told to do. if you're told to take your hands out of your pockets, it's a safety issue. safety of the officer and the individual. just follow the directions, even if you don't agree with it. follow it. even if you feel the officer is doing something wrong, follow it. you can address that later. >> it's hard for people to swallow, because it feels like, and i respect police officers, let me be clear, i don't think we should not have cops, but i understand when i see these
clips online of people getting upset. why they're upset. are there -- i'm not asking about cops in camden -- are there bad police officers? >> i would say absolutely. naturally, there's bad human beings. generally, there are bad people and sometimes people slip through the cracks, so to speak, and become police officers and then their true personality comes out after the fact. it is unfortunate, but it does happen that way. >> i think, for me, it feels like the last thing any police officer wants to do is admit that another cop is bad because they don't want to cross that thin, blue line. for us, i sometimes think if cops could go, yeah, that cop was not a good cop and we're glad we got him out of here, as opposed to saying, it is always on the citizens to know why things went down. know what i'm saying? >> yes. >> especially when i talk to officers of color, that's a thing we don't hear enough. >> you've asked those questions,
that means we get to ask you a question. >> i'll check you guys out later. if you have questions, feel free to ask. >> what's your perception of the average police officer now that you've gotten to speak to a few of them? >> i'm still processing it. a lot of it is still fresh for me. everything i'm hearing from people is things i would want to hear from police officers. sometimes you're like, is this the thing? or is this because the cameras are here? the idea of community policing and the idea of police living in the community, it seems like a better way to go. it's better if i come across police officers more often who i get to know than if i see them only when the [ bleep ] hits the fan. it's all in the news now. there's an epidemic of black people being killed, assaulted by black police officers. no. it's kind of always been happening. there's an epidemic of people having cell phone cameras is what there is. there's an epidemic of people sharing clips on social media.
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call for deadly force, i always think the same thing. what the hell are police thinking? >> so the camden police have invited me to get in the head of a cop in the heat of the moment. to see how officer bell would react in a tough situation. >> the system is very interactive, as close to real life as you're going to get without being in danger. >> sir, put down the weapon, sir. >> appear on the hexagon. you can maneuver all the way around the platform. the cameras from the computer and the monitors pick up your movements. >> sir, drop the weapon. >> and it allows 360-degree interaction. >> now this may look like a video game, but it's not. take it from me, the fact that it features real people in these scenarios, makes it very intense and a little too real.
>> sir, i don't want to hurt you. do not go in that building, sir. don't touch that door handle, sir. sir, drop the weapon. sir. >> four shots fired, got a male down. send me a 52. >> after every scenario, we do a debrief with the officer, let them know what they did right and what they did wrong. >> you have to do that, because this is out in the streets, this is life and death. >> yes. >> how do you think he did? >> he did excellent. he went from, sir, drop the gun and didn't realize this guy's thinking about committing suicide and brought it back down. i don't want to take this guy's life. let me try and save it by talking him through this situation he's going through. but if need be, i'll have to take it to prevent him from taking somebody else's life. >> after sergeant thornton gives me a crash course on handling a weapon -- >> bring the weapon down and up. pivot right.
>> -- it's time to begin. did i mention i'd rather hug it out? officer fontez is my backup. we check out a report of several suspicious camouflaged males in the back of a movie theater. a simulation closely related to the aurora movie theater shooting. >> where's he at? where's he at? talk to us. >> where is he at? where's he at? [ shots fired ] >> sir, sir, sir, let him go, sir. let her go, sir. you don't want to do this. sir, you don't want to do this. sir, calm down. we can talk about this, sir. we can talk about this, sir. [ shots fired ] >> stay in the game. stay in the game. >> please, help me! please help me, please! >> you know where he's at?
>> i bet that black guy gets shot a lot. >> where's he at? where's he at? you know where he's at? put the gun down. where's he at, where's he at? get down, get down. ma'am, get down. >> 834, another male down. >> you all right? >> time to find out how i did, and hopefully get a hug? >> if you felt that you could take this shot, then, yes, you'd have been justified. but you elected to try and talk him down, right? >> yes. >> it's not a wrong thing to do. that was your gut call. >> yeah. >> and, as an officer, you make split-second decisions that people have hours and days to
criticize. but the only thing you have to realize is that every decision you make, you have to live with. >> yes. >> no one else. keep going. at this point, off duty cop comes out, shows you his badge, has his gun. good control. way not to get sucked up into the scenario. all right? >> yeah. >> roll. you're coming in with your partner. you're clearing high/low. y'all are communicating. >> what are you doing? >> she gets shot. freeze. he shoots her twice. you and fontez take the shot and get him. good job. this is technically a win, but it's not. several people still died. and these are all things you have to live with. and you're going to monday morning quarterback yourself for the rest of your life.
>> apparently, i did well. they were clearly surprised that i hadn't just shot everybody, and we all know that most of policing isn't attempted murder-suicides and movie shooters. i wonder if they have a scenario for a black guy standing on the corner minding his own business, and if they do, how often does that guy die? >> should i have taken a shot? did i have the skills? did i do the right thing? >> obviously, this isn't a real scenario, and i'm sure the reality is way more intense than this, but it feels intense. any number of things can happen. it's my last night here, and in another effort to bring the city together, there's a basketball game between a local team and camden police. looks like community policing isn't helping their game any. and, of course, the police know it's going to take more than b-ball and walking the beat to
earn the trust and respect of the residents of camden, it's going to take time. many examples of police publicly doing their jobs well without people feeling like they're going too far. it's going to take people feeling like if they call the police when they need help that the police will come and make a bad situation better instead of the reverse, and this is bigger than camden. there's a national crisis happening in our country between communities of color and the police. now, look, do i think community policing will solve all our law enforcement issues? no. but, hopefully, it is a good start. time will tell. >> that guy looked at me like, what are you doing in the front seat? it's a unique experience for me to be in a cop car and see the look on some people's faces as the cop car passes. i want to be like, i'm not actually a police officer. i'm just hanging out. it's not that people look angry,
it's just that they're noticing, like the way i feel like i would notice if a bobcat walked through my street. i've never been to prison, except for this show. i've never been, which, again, is one of those weird things to say out loud. and how i feel about going to prison is like how a person in new york feels if they've been there all their life and never stepped in poop. doesn't mean you're good, just means you're lucky. i feel there are two things true about prison. every man in this room has had the thought of who he would be in prison. i think every guy feels like, i'd be the guy who ran the yard. i'd be the guy who was in charge. come to me if you need everything. every guy thinks they would be that guy when most of the people would be like -- [ crying ] please. my name is w. kamau bell. as a comedian, i've made a living finding humor in the parts of america i don't