"This is how police treat black kids after midnight!"
[WARNING: THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS EPISODE CONTAINS SCENES OF GRAPHIC VIOLENCE]
It's a dangerous time to be black in America.
Every year, unarmed black Americans are being killed by white cops at an alarming rate.
The deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and most recently, Tulsa Community College student Terence Crutcher are sparking massive outrage and protests around the world. Not only are communities being ripped apart, everyone is being forced to put their race at the forefront of an emotional conversation.
Alex Landau came dangerously close to joining that list and becoming another dead black American killed by the police. The 19-year-old college student never expected a routine traffic stop would turn into the most horrific night of his life — simply because of the colour of his skin.
Before that night, Alex was never truly comfortable in his own skin. He was adopted by white parents when he was just two days old. His parents raised him in a colourblind household, where love would always conquer over skin colour. But regardless, he refused to accept his blackness as a kid growing up in a predominantly white town. As Alex got older, his struggle to make sense of his own racial identity only got more complicated. His peers started to box him in with stereotypes of how he was supposed to look, act, and talk.
But that near fatal night changed everything. Alex was hit with a brutal awakening of what it's like to be black in America.
WEB EXTRA | So what's it like to be a police officer who has to go to work amidst all this anger and frustration? And what's it like if you're an officer who also happens to be black?
For the past 24 years, Sonia Pruitt has worked as a cop in Maryland, in a county just outside of Baltimore. Five years ago she was promoted to lieutenant. And she's currently the Vice-Chairperson of the National Black Police Association.
Pruitt gives her take on what cops are doing wrong, and right, when it comes to addressing police brutality and speaking honestly about racism within the force.
Warning: videos below contain graphic content