Interview With Colson Smith
Talk us through, from Craig’s point of view, what happened when James and Michael were pulled over.
Craig has been called to a job as back-up, not knowing what it is or who is involved. He turns the corner, he sees Michael and James, his two neighbours with one of his colleagues. When he arrives at the scene, not quite knowing what has gone on, all he sees is James on the floor and clearly injured so he tries to calm the situation down and work out what has happened. He speaks to Michael and he speaks to PC Brody and he feels like he is bombarded with information, the story from his neighbour and the conflicting story from his colleague. His main priority is making sure that James is okay and getting him an ambulance.
What is Craig’s relationship with PC Brody?
It’s the first time the viewers have ever met PC Brody but he is Craig’s work colleague. He is obviously a lot older than Craig and he is quite direct and upfront with Craig. Craig respects him just like he respects most of his work colleagues but he doesn’t know PC Brody too well. When James and Michael are pulled over, Craig can’t really grasp what has gone on so he doesn’t really know who is right and who is wrong so he is taking everyone’s word for it. However, PC Brody is his work colleague and Craig is at work so he is trying to assess the situation as best he can.
What are Craig's first thoughts when he is approached by James in Victoria Garden’s and asked about whether he has reported the fact that James wasn’t driving erratically?
Craig is completely caught in the middle of a situation that he does not want to be in, he doesn’t quite know what the right thing to do. His colleague, PC Brody, is putting pressure on him and making sure that Craig is saying one thing when James and Michael are saying that is not the truth so Craig has to decide what is his truth and he really doesn’t know how to get there. Craig knows what he has seen but can’t articulate it properly so he is trying to fill in the gaps which is something that he shouldn’t be doing. He should be true to himself. James asks him, “Are you a good person or are you just going to take your mate’s word for it?” It is at this point that he realises that he may have made a mistake trusting PC Brody and it is obvious that something more has gone on because Craig has seen them driving the car completely fine.
What is the turning point that makes Craig realise that there is a bigger issue involving race?
In the police station, when PC Brody is explaining to Craig that he is not a racist, it is the first time that it comes into Craig’s head that there may have been unconscious bias towards James and Michael. Craig then realises that this situation is a much bigger thing than he thought because he realises what PC Brody’s influence was. James then hits home to him that if he is not careful, he will be part of the problem and not the solution. Craig knows he doesn’t want to be part of the problem and he wants to do the right thing, he is trying to work out how he does this.
What does Craig know about unconscious bias before this incident?
Craig knows that James and Michael were not driving erratically like PC Brody has stated and he also knows that James and Michael are good people because they are his neighbours so something in the situation is obviously wrong. When PC Brody continues to mention James and Michael’s race back at the station, Craig realises that there is more to this situation than a misunderstanding and an altercation. It's at this moment that he realises that this is what unconscious bias is and he is not comfortable in this situation. In work he is feeling pressured by PC Brody and in the street, James and Michael are asking him questions so he doesn’t know how to do the right thing.
What would be the best situation for Craig?
Craig needs to tell his truth without being influenced by anyone, especially a more senior colleague who is older than him. Craig’s natural reaction when he feels overwhelmed is to do nothing and ignore the situation and hope it all goes away. But he needs to trust himself and assess the situation from his own point of view because Craig has always known right from wrong so it wouldn’t take him long to come to the right conclusion.