For Redditt Hudson, the reason behind the calamity in Ferguson, Missouri and the surrounding area is nothing new. Hudson — who served for five years as a cop in nearby St. Louis — said in a HuffPost Live interview Monday that his time on the force showed him how discriminatory the police can be.
Hudson, now a board chair for the Ethics Project, told host Marc Lamont Hill that the best chance the police in St. Louis, and around the country, have to undergo reform is now, with the criticisms and changes coming from the inside.
"I think we have the best chance, or an excellent chance, to further the movement that you've seen grow out of Ferguson and New York and other places by giving our voices, that cannot easily be discounted. Because the police like to say, 'Well, man, you don't know what I have to deal with. You don't know what my training is. You don't know what I've faced in a given moment,'" Hudson said. "I've been shot at enforcing laws in this state. I sat next to you in the academy class. I know that you don't police in this community the same way you can police in other communities.
"In Ferguson, when you talk about righteous rage, what I think many Americans are finally coming to understand is something that we've known for generations," Hudson said.
Hudson referenced the case of Henry Davis, who in 2009 was stopped by police for a routine traffic stop that ended with Henry being severely beaten and subsequently charged for bleeding on the officers' uniforms. Michael Brown's death is not the first time police in Ferguson have out of line, Hudson said.
"So when you see our communities erupt across the country, it is based on the reality that there are officers who will knowingly and willingly and maliciously violate your human rights, your civil liberties and your civil rights," Hudson said. "There has to be meaningful accountability for them. Punishment is the word I'm looking for. And I think that is created from inside the department."