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Retired officer speaks about problem with the culture of policing

Posted at 11:47 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-09 00:04:16-04

Neill Franklin wore the badge for 34 years from state police, to Baltimore city to Maryland Transit Police, blue runs through his blood.

"I've been there," he said. "I know what the culture is like."

But the veteran law enforcement man says he doesn't like what he's seeing.
       
"When they leave the academy setting and they're out there on the streets with the culture of policing which is very problematic we see it video after video," Franklin said.

Related: 2 police shootings strike chord in Baltimore

Videos like what we saw this week from Minnesota as Diamond Reynolds gave us the Facebook live play by play of her boyfriend Philando Castile's killing by a police officer.

"I've stopped thousands and thousands of people in traffic stops through my career," Franklin said. "I never ever had to draw my weapon."

See also: Dallas Attack: 12 officers shot, 5 killed; 2 civilians injured

Franklin says the videos only document a long standing problem that existed well before smartphones and social media capturing it all.

"We're dealing with historical racial systems and problems in this country have never, ever been resolved and we still have a long way to go," he said. "We've never stopped the rhetoric in this country. People are afraid of black males, but in policing it's okay to be afraid but you have to have courage."

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Franklin left policing in 2010 to run LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the non-profit, international, educational organization of former officers and law enforcement agents oppose the current War on Drugs.
He does support more enhanced training.

"I love my profession. For me it's about improving the relationship between police and the community."

He believes it’s up to law enforcement to begin the healing process.

"Of the few bad apples that are committing acts of excessive force and criminal behavior, do you think many of our brothers and sisters in uniform know about these people committing this acts of course they do," Franklin said.

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