BLACK VOICES

Lynn Whitfield: We Must Realize That We Are Dependent On Each Other

The actress talked about the "American dilemma" of police brutality during a recent AOL Build.

Lynn Whitfield wants to remind us all that “African-American people aren’t going anywhere.”

The actress, currently starring in “Greenleaf” spoke with AOL Build on Wednesday about the recent police shootings in Baton Rouge and Saint Paul, and how we can move forward. 

 “What I’m really praying is that we as a people understand that we are interdependent upon each other,” Whitfield told interviewer Ricky Camilleri.

“We don’t want police to leave, we want policing in our world. But I think that people aren’t comfortable with each other.”

Whitfield said that the distance between police officers and the communities they police is part of the problem, citing the fact that had police known the owner of the shop Alton Sterling was selling CDs in front of was OK with Sterling’s presence, he might be alive today.  

“It’s a dilemma that is an American dilemma,” Whitfield added.

“We’re not going to be able to run away from it... Policing is not easy: I would not have the nerve to go out there every day, and I understand that. But I have to have the nerve to have black nephews and be a black person.”

As far as real solutions to this national problem, the actress suggested that we need to vet potential police officers in the same way that we vet juries. 

 “Law enforcement agents need to be vetted more thoroughly and psychologically and emotionally to see who they are, if they’re really built for fairness in all communities.”

Watch the full video above. 

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