One Family Man's Harrowing Tale of Police Brutality

Aired on 12/11/1991 | CC tv-pg
Over many years, several police departments in the United States have been accused of corruption and systemic racism. In 1991, the year the brutal police beating of Rodney King shook the nation to its core, Oprah devoted an episode to an in-depth discussion of Americans' distrustful relationship with law enforcement, and explored cases of misconduct and excessive force.

One frustrated citizen in the audience described how, after calling the police for protection against a belligerent neighbor, the officer not only failed to help him and his family but also proceeded to throw him to the ground and beat him.

"Most people think ... all black young men are some kind of criminal," he said. "But I'm a family man. I have a home, and I'm trying to persevere and be positive. And I don't think that I was treated right nor my constitutional rights were protected."

After sharing his story, he revealed that he was pursuing legal action against the police department in hopes of receiving justice.

Original airdate: December 11, 1991