A guest on MSNBC over the weekend said that the "public should not trust police officers."
Asked about the recent tensions in Charlotte, North Carolina, Judith Browne Dianis, a civil rights attorney and co-director of the Advancement Project, told MSNBC host Joy Reid that citizens shouldn't trust law enforcement because police are "framing the story."
"I found a write up in a police magazine that was counseling officers on how to frame a crime-scene situation in which they are involved in a shooting along these lines," Reid said.
She then asked: "Why should the public trust police departments when officers know what to say, how to frame, how to put together the facts in such a way the officer will be exonerated almost every time?"
The host was referring to the 1989 Supreme Court decision Graham v. Connor, which found that "the reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene rather than 20/20 vision of hindsight," according to then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Dianis answered as follows:
I mean, this is the core of the problem is that the public should not trust police officers. These police departments, what they are doing and in Charlotte, it shows a beautiful story line for them. They are creating a narrative. They start off with framing the story from the very beginning, in the way that they what to frame it putting out the person who is the head of the police union and the police chief gets to say something. Then hey show a picture of an alleged gun at the scene. So they are creating a story. So they have created their context. So they tried to sway the public and potential jury in the their own way. But what the public wants, what Charlotte uprising is asking for is stop telling us the story and show us the story. Instead of you creating the continuous lies you think we should believe. So we don’t need more context. We need the actual video.
The comments came just hours after police in Charlotte released bodycam and dashcam video showing the moments leading up the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott by a black officer. Along with the video footage, Charlotte police also released photos showing the handgun recovered at the scene.
In cell phone footage released before the bodycam and dashcam video, Scott's wife is heard telling police that her husband does not have a gun. Officers, however, are heard repeatedly telling Scott to "drop the gun" moments before the shooting.
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