ABOVE: Watch Hill Harper on Global’s The Morning Show.
TORONTO — Actor Hill Harper said Tuesday he was saddened by what he saw during a visit to Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown by a police office on Aug. 9.
“The community is torn apart,” said Hill, who spent time with Brown’s family last Sunday. “It’s really, almost, a community that’s suffering [post traumatic stress disorder]. There’s so much trauma and there’s so much anger, hurt, frustration, lack of economic development.
“There are all of these issues that surround this tragedy and the tragedy is the catalyst for all of these things coming out.”
During an appearance on Global’s The Morning Show to promote the new season of Covert Affairs, the 48-year-old former CSI: NY star said he is hopeful Brown’s death will lead to positive change for Ferguson.
“I believe that every obstacle is an opportunity. This is an opportunity to make a change,” Harper said, adding job creation needs to be a priority.
“If we can actually get people working, some of these problems fall away. The root cause of all of this is poverty … all these other problems come out of that.”
Harper is also critical of police tactics in Ferguson.
“Siege-style militarized policing doesn’t work. Community policing works,” he said. “We have to have communities where the police goal is in line with the individual goals of the community.
“The biggest problem is institutionalized racism. It’s not the individual police officer that’s the problem, it’s the institutionalized mandate.”
Harper returns as Calder Michaels on another season of the made-in-Toronto series Covert Affairs, which airs Tuesday nights on Showcase.
Showcase is owned by Shaw Media, parent company of Global News.
© Shaw Media, 2014