Professor: ‘American Policing Was Founded On Slave Patrols’ [VIDEO]

Steve Guest Media Reporter
Font Size:

Reacting to the not guilty verdict of one of the officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, Morgan State University Professor Lawrence Brown claimed that there is bias in policing because “American policing was founded on slave patrols.”

Appearing on “MSNBC Live” with Tamron Hall on Monday, Brown said that “the criminal justice system apparently is not really designed to bring justice for victims like Freddie.” (RELATED: NOT GUILTY: Baltimore Officer In Death Of Freddie Gray To Walk Free)

Hall asked Brown, “What do you expect the reaction to be now that you have one hung jury and now this acquittal from the judge in this case?”

“Well, I think you’ll have an increasing sense of really frustration against the criminal justice system here,” Brown said. “You mentioned that there was an African-American judge. We have a black mayor. We had a black policeman but you know, American policing was founded on slave patrols.”

“This system of policing has been always exacting disproportionate violence against African-Americans throughout the history of this country. So I don’t think that people here who are living in the communities where there’s a high level of police aggression, a high level of police brutality, they’re not going to be happy with this,” Brown said. “[T]here’s going to have to be a lot of discussions about the criminal justice system right here in Baltimore, Maryland, whether or not it can in fact deliver justice for people living in disinvested Red Line, black communities.”

Brown then insinuated that the prosecutors involved in the case rigged it in favor of the police. “Remember, prosecutors are used to working with the police so is it possible that they’re going to deliver the best case they can deliver, that they’re going to be the strongest prosecutors they can when they’re working with police every day.”

Hall interjected, “That’s an interesting question you’re posing. As you pointed out, the mayor is African-American. Baltimore State’s attorney Marilyn Mosby is the person that announced the charges, she’s African-American. So because this verdict did not go down in the way that you and many others wanted it to, you believe that there’s a systemic conspiracy that also then involves African-American leaders of your city and even prosecutors?”

“No, it doesn’t have to be a conspiracy. It is the way the system is designed,” Brown replied. “Remember, we’re talking about Supreme Court decisions. We’re talking about laws and legal structures. So regardless of the people that you put in place, this system is not designed to work with or work for the interests of people living in disinvested Red Line, black communities. The people you’re talking about have a higher level of class, a higher level standard of living. But for poor African-Americans living in disinvested Red Line, black communities, this system isn’t designed to work for them and I think many of us are very clear about that today.”

Follow Steve on Twitter and Facebook