A former St. Louis Police officer is opening up about his experiences after spending five years on the force and says that he has personally witnessed just how “racist and violent the police” really are.
Many stories have hit the media about Black residents and even celebrities who have had their own run-ins with racist police officers, but now a former officer is ready to break his silence about what he witnessed while serving on the force.
The former officer, NAACP Ethnic Project head Reddit Hudson, said that he joined the St. Louis department back in 1994 but his dreams of making a difference in the community were quickly crushed.
“I grew up in an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis,” Hudson said, according to Raw Story. “It was the kind of place where officers routinely roughed up my friends and family for no good reason. I hated the way cops treated me.”
He hoped to join the force and make a difference but he says that he soon realized how “naïve” he had been.
“I was floored by the dysfunctional culture I encountered,” he continued. “I won’t say all, but many, of my peers were deeply racist.”
The type of allegations that local residents in Black communities have exposed to the world through social media or interviews with the media were supported by the former officer’s claims.
He said innocent bystanders were often referred to as “thugs” and that at one point he witnessed another officer attack a young boy who refused to consent to a search of his home.
“My colleagues would laughingly refer to [administrative leave] as a free vacation,” he said. “It isn’t a punishment.”
Another major issue was the fact that prosecutors were indeed very close to the officers and shared “the same values and ideas.”
After years of witnessing practices, procedures and behaviors that were particularly troubling to him, Hudson left the force.
“I could not, in good conscience, participate in a system that was so intentionally unfair,” he said. “So after five years on the job, I quit.”
Much like many advocates for political reform have said, Hudson believes that one major step to getting a fair justice system is to make sure a special prosecutor is used in cases that involve claims of excessive force by police.
Until then, Hudson said he agrees with all the protesters chanting across the nation that the “whole damn system is guilty as hell.”