#163 | Dismantling The Blue Wall Of Silence: Examining The Modern Police State w/ Michael Wood Jr.

In this episode, I speak with retired Baltimore police officer, police management scholar, and whistleblower Michael Wood Jr. Michael has become well known for his scholarly, as well as personal, criticism of modern policing in the United States. We examine the roots of the modern police state, including the enormous blindspots police and citizens alike have regarding the primary functions police are commonly perceived to serve — versus the more disturbing reality of what law enforcement actually serves, and preserves, in our society. 

In the beginning of this discussion, Michael expounds on his years of experience as a police officer, and the subsequent journey he has embarked on to make sense of what he witnessed during his time with the Baltimore Police Department. After several high-profile incidents of police brutality rose to national attention (the murder of Tamir Rice in 2014 and Freddie Gray in 2015), Michael began to speak up, detailing numerous incidents of police brutality and internal corruption during his time served. Along with expounding on his personal experiences, Michael provides a historical and systematic analysis of the underlying issues with policing in general, including a thorough examination of the roots of systemic racism within policing specifically, and the faulty philosophical and ethical foundations the criminal justice system rests on more broadly. In exploring this topic, we examine alternatives to this arrangement, by discussing Michael’s promotion of civilian-led policing as a viable means to reducing much of the issues we see with policing today. This is a wide-ranging discussion, in which Michael eloquently and precisely unpacks the myths and commonly misunderstood premises on which the modern police state rests, from the not-to-distant past to the present day.

Michael Wood Jr. is a police management scholar, who after spending a career in the USMC and Baltimore Police Department, took to dismantling the blue wall of silence and creating the pathway to reform; a model called Civilian-Led Policing. His fight for justice has included leading the historic Veterans for Standing Rock action in December of 2016, standing on the front lines of civil rights protests, opposing money in politics, and weaponizing privileges to elevate the voices of others. You can find Michael in hundreds of media appearances, from HBO’s Fixing the System documentary with President Obama, to The Joe Rogan Experience, to published opinion pieces in The Guardian and Baltimore Sun, and everything in-between, where he furthers the discussion on criminal justice systems and institutions, and the needs of society.☼

☼ Source: http://bit.ly/MWoodBio

Episode Notes:

- Watch Michael's video production of this interview: https://youtu.be/VT62Rl6WCVw

- Learn more about Michael and his work: https://imembermedia.com

- Learn more about Civilian-Led Policing: http://bit.ly/CivilianLedPolicing

- Purchase Michael’s book ‘Crimes & Punishments: In the 21st Century’: https://amzn.to/2T0GAuO

- Follow Michael on Instagram (http://bit.ly/MWoodInsta) and Facebook (http://bit.ly/MWoodFB)

- The songs featured in this episode are “All Nite (Instrumental” and “Back To You (Instrumental)” by Clams Casino from the album 32 Levels (Deluxe Edition).