Former NYPD Chief Bernard Kerik Weighs in on Ferguson and Police Militarization


Originally published on August 20, 2014. Initial text below:

"Any time a police department can get [military] equipment for the department, they're going to try and do that," says Bernard Kerik, the former New York Police Department Commissioner and one-time nominee to be secretary of Homeland Security.

Speaking about events in Ferguson, Missouri and the general militarization of police over the past several decades, he continues: "When you create this militarization of all these smaller agencies and they don't have the ability to communicate with each other, that's going to create a problem."

In 2009, Kerik pled guilty to making false tax statements and eventually served time in federal prison. Released in 2013, Kerik now runs a crisis-management consulting group and advocates for criminal justice reform. 

He recently sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie to discuss the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, the militarization of police, the effect of the drug war on law enforcement, and what it's like to be prosecuted in today's America.

"Every high school student in America, before they graduate high school," says Kerik, "should be forced to read [Reason Contributor Harvey] Silverglate's book [Three Felonies a Day]. No one in America knows that if you give me a stack of subpoenas and give me the power to scrutinize you like they did me, I promise you that you're going to prison."

About 25 minutes. Edited by Amanda Winkler. Shot by Joshua Swain and Todd Krainin. 

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