Tom Zebra and Kelly Patterson Interview with Pete Eyre for Nevada Cop Block

Q&A with Community-Building Activists Tom Zebra & Kelly Patterson

Tom Zebra and Kelly Patterson have a combined 25+ years of filming the police. Last week I had the pleasure of sitting down with them. What resulted was the hour-long video below, in which the duo share insight about their experiences and their work to strengthen their community.

Just what have they learned? And what advice do they have for others? Get comfortable, hit that play button, and listen to the freewheeling and informative conversation. Or, if you prefer to go to a specific question, click the associated timestamp to jump ahead in the video.

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 1:21 Why did you become involved with filming the police?
  • 6:22 What systems or strategies have you found effective?
  • 13:02 How did we get here?
  • 16:59 What’s your message to a police supporter watching this video?
  • 21:07 What kind of gear do you use?
  • 21:56 Are police body cameras the solution?
  • 25:02 What advice do you have for someone just starting to film the police?
  • 36:35 How do we bridge the divide with police employees?
  • 37:31 Since you’ve started filming the police, what has changed?
  • 44:27 What are your thoughts on streaming apps?
  • 51:17 You both ride a bicycle. Why?
  • 56:32 Any final thoughts? Where folks can find you?

 

 

 

Tom Zebra

Though Tom is based in Southern California he has been known to spend time in Vegas. And it was on The Strip at the Justice for Tashii Brown Mother’s Day Vigil that I met him for my first time. I had long been aware of Tom and his work — indeed he reminded me of his entry into CopBlock.org’s Accountability Through Transparency Video Contest that was narrowly edged out for first place almost four years ago. But Tom has been filming the police much longer than that — over 15 years! In that time he’s interacted with thousands of police employees and helped support innumerable people being a relentless advocate of transparency, all the while being a genuine and thoughtful guy.

 

Connect with Kelly Patterson

Kelly is well-known and super-connected in and around Las Vegas, having not just grown up in town, but been active for years with a number of projects aimed at lessening the reach and negative impact of institutionalized violence while working to create better, sustainable systems to improve the lives and opportunities of his neighbors. I first crossed-paths with Kelly in person in 2009 when he and his crew involved with (A) Cafe welcomed me and my colleagues as we passed through town. Despite the conversations that have transpired between us since that time, I learned many things about Kelly during this interview.

 

Related Links From The Video

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