MORRISTOWN - A top official with the NAACP took part in several police training simulations that put her in a position about whether or not to use deadly force.
NAACP National Board of Directors Chairwoman Roslyn Brock and NAACP New Jersey member George Gore participated in several shooting scenarios at the Morris County Law and Public Safety Training Academy. The training opportunity and meet-up was held in the wake of several high-profile cases of police officers shooting unarmed African-Americans.
"We want the public to have an understanding of what it is that the officer is experiencing during that moment and how difficult it is to make that decision,” says Morris County Law and Public Safety instructor Sgt. Paul Carifi.
Chairwoman Brock requested that she not be filmed by the media during her simulations. However, according to reporters on scene during both scenarios Brock fired her gun and even hit the suspect in one occasion.
"When the gentleman [in the simulation] was pulling out an object that I could not see, it very well could have been a cellphone. I thought it was a knife and responded accordingly,” Brock says.
She says that just like NAACP members are putting themselves in police shoes, police need to do the same.
State Association of Chiefs of Police President Christopher Wagner agrees that both sides need to learn from each other.
“We want to hear what they have to say so that we can have an understanding of what they need and desire,” he says.
The training the Brock and Gore participated in is usually done at the end of a police officer’s training. Brock and Gore did not have any prior training.