Has the use of excessive force by police really increased in recent years — or are we just seeing it more because everyone now has a phone with a video camera equipped?
In a video posted by 41 Action News, Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte explained how technology has made it easier for people to see how police interact with their communities in ways that just weren’t possible even ten years ago.
“Things are changing, when you talk about social media and those sorts of things,” Forte explained. “I remember, 31 years ago, we’re sitting around talking about the same thing. Black-on-black homicides and how police abuse people in the field. And I guarantee you, most of us — which is not good enough — treat people fairly and we’re here because we care… This is nothing new that’s happening now, this is nothing new in America. Now it’s being captured on video.”
Elsewhere in the video, Forte outlined how police in Kansas City and elsewhere needed to take a hard look at their internal cultures.
“Law enforcement is slow to change, especially police,” he said. “When you talk about police, policing is changing all around us, but guess what? We’re slow to change. And we want to fight every change. When you talk about tactical disengagement, guess how many people came to me and said, ‘Well, you know you don’t want to do that… that’s being cowards.'”
Check out the full video below.