Based both on his own experience and that of K. L. Williams, a long-term trainer of police officers, Hudson says that: "on any given day, 15% of police officers will do the right thing, no matter what is happening; 15% will abuse their authority at every opportunity; and the remaining 70% could go either way depending on whom they are working with."
The importance I take from that is that 2 out of 3 officers are influenced more by their peers and the culture of the particular department they are working in -- than by any internal sense of right and wrong or by any training. "If their command ranks are racist or allow institutional racism to persist, or if a number of officers in their department are racist, they may end up doing terrible things."
Hudson continues: "It is not only white officers who abuse their authority. The effect of institutional racism is such that no matter what color the officer abusing the citizen is, in the vast majority of those cases of abuse that citizen will be black or brown.
"That is what is allowed."
"And no matter what an officer has done to a black person, that officer can always cover himself in the running narrative of heroism, risk, and sacrifice that is available to a uniformed police officer by virtue of simply reporting for duty. . . .
"[T]his myth about the general goodness of cops obscures the truth of what needs to be done to fix the system. It makes it look like all we need to do is hire good people, rather than fix the entire system. Institutional racism runs throughout our criminal justice system. Its presence in police culture, though often flatly denied by the many police apologists that appear in the media now, has been central to the breakdown in police-community relationships for decades in spite of good people doing police work. . . ."
Hudson's extensive article then gives examples of police brutality and excessive use of force that he has witnessed, as well as his take on highly publicized cases nationwide. He concludes with these paragraphs.
Police abuse in black and brown communities is generations old. It is nothing new.Racism is woven into the fabric of our nation. At no time in our history has there been a national consensus that everyone should be equally valued in all areas of life. We are rooted in racism in spite of the better efforts of Americans of all races to change that.
"Because of this legacy of racism, police abuse in black and brown communities is generations old. It is nothing new. It has become more visible to mainstream America largely because of the proliferation of personal recording devices, cellphone cameras, video recorders — they're everywhere. We need police officers. We also need them to be held accountable to the communities they serve."
Everyone needs to read this entire article, which is titled, "I'm a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing." It can be found at http://www.vox.com/2015/5/28/8661977/race-police-officer