*Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy shot by police officers in Cleveland in 2014 while carrying a toy gun, joined filmmaker John Singleton and others Thursday to promote their appearance in PBS’ upcoming documentary “The Talk,” which explores the conversations that happen in African-American families about the threat of police violence.
Singleton, one of the subjects interviewed in the film, sees the practice of imploring children to adopt a submissive attitude toward law enforcement as rooted in slavery.
“I’m not saying being confrontational,” Singleton said Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour. “I’m just saying just asking questions of the people who are supposed to be protecting you and serving the community. But you can’t even ask them questions. That’s inherent, systemic racism to me. Because it goes all the way back to slavery for me, of a whole system trying to control black men. If a white man says something, he’s always right. Never question a white man.”
Trevena Garel, a retired African American NYPD sergeant who said that she has had the talk with her own children, responded to Singleton, saying, “It’s wrong, but I want them to come home.”
Rice added: “The conversation that needs to be held in America is about racism. It can be uncomfortable.” She added, “It needs to happen or America is just going to crumble right in front of your eyes.”
Sam Pollard, who directed the film, added that simply employing body cameras is not enough.
“After we see these horrible images from theses body cams, justice has to be done to these officers who are committing crimes,” he said.
“The Talk” is slated to premiere on PBS in 2017.