Out In The Open

How a good cop turned bad

A former police chief makes his case for how American policing needs to change.

This story originally aired on October 22, 2016

Former Seattle Chief of Police Norm Stamper got into policing to be a so-called "good cop", but he says he quickly became an officer who easily dehumanised and abused the people he was supposed to serve.

I have to confess I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the power.- Norm Stamper

Stamper says because of the way he was raised, he was easily susceptible to be molded by a system of policing that rewards bad behaviour and teaches cops to always be in control, no matter what.

They get sucked into the culture. And that culture rewards some positive values but it also rewards some very negative values.- Norm Stamper

Now retired after 34 years of policing, Stamper has become an advocate for police reform in the United States and has written several books, including To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America's Police. He argues that in order to stop the shooting of black civilians in his country, we need a fundamental change to the system of American policing.