One of the most powerful voices among these has been radio personality Peter Rosenberg, a DJ for New York’s Hot 97 station. In a clip that’s been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, Rosenberg unleashed a cathartic on-air rant about the police’s code of silence.
In a June 6 segment of Ebro in the Morning, normally dedicated to hip-hop news, Rosenberg and co-host Laura Stylez discussed the previous night’s killing of Sterling.
Rosenberg then takes an on-air phone call from a police officer. After going back and forth with the officer, with the cop urging people not to rush to judge, Rosenberg finally says, “Tell me this: On the surface, as an officer yourself, it looks bad, no?”
As the officer starts to stammer a response, Rosenberg snaps.
“Can you say the words ‘It looks bad’? You can’t ever say that? This is the problem I have with cops. I have to say this. This is the problem I have with police officers—and no disrespect to you. Y’all don’t ever wanna point at someone else and say, ‘You can’t do your job well!’”
“Police officers never wanna say when y’all do a bad job,” he continues. “So that’s the reason the public thinks all of you are bad. Because you won’t ever call someone out and say, ‘They murdered someone in cold blood. It happened again.’ And until you guys start taking responsibility for your own, people in the street are going to be upset instead.”
“How about instead of people rioting, police officers get out in front of it themselves? And you guys are the first ones on the front lines. That’s what should happen. Instead of you struggling to say, ‘Well, I don’t know, it could be.’ They murdered that man.”
You can watch the full video on YouTube here.