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Across The Country, Police Brutality Cases On Many Minds


Recent deaths at the hands of police have raised lots of anguished questions about where we are as a country on issues of race and police relations. We asked locals and tourists in New York City today what they're thinking and whether this changes how they think about the country.

CHRISTIAN PARKER: It doesn't really change my viewpoint on America at all. Like, this still the country that I live in. New York is still the city I live in. Like, I'm from here. I was born here, so it's not going to change my idea about America at all. But I know it does change other people's opinions. I know some people are like, oh, let's riot, let's do this, let's do that. But, in my opinion, there's no need for it.

ALYCE ANGLER: Yeah, I feel like we're definitely on the decline and not on the upwards of being united. I feel like we're on the decline of being - we're not a country anymore. We're islands living together on one continent.

LISA NORRIS: As far as what happened in - on Staten Island, I do believe the police officer probably took it a little out of hand. But I don't think you should look at the color of the people. You should look at the event and not so much if you're black or white or - I don't think that should matter.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: So when people say, oh, there's a pattern of shooting young black men in this country, you don't really buy that.

NORRIS: Maybe the black men shouldn't be in the situation that they get shot.

CARRIE GARCIA: I remember seeing separate water fountains for blacks and for whites when I was a child. And, well, we don't have separate water fountains. Maybe we have separate systems of justice.

RICO RODRIGUEZ: A lot of stuff happens in America. So it's like - it's not in my power to change it. I can't do it by myself alone. But I got to - it's got to be a whole society of people. And then there's another story for them to actually listen to us.

BLOCK: We heard there from Christian Parker (ph), Alyce Angler (ph), Lisa Norris (ph), Carrie Garcia (ph) and Rico Rodriguez (ph). They spoke in New York to NPR's Zoe Chace. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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