This British weatherman interrupted a live debate on crime with a point we all need to hear.

Alex Beresford just couldn't stay silent while listening to a Good Morning Britain debate about knife crime in the UK.

With an increase in knife attacks over the past few years, debates over how to handle knife crime in the United Kingdom are common. Similar to gang-related gun violence in the U.S., the majority of victims and perpetrators of such crimes are black youths living in urban areas. And also like gun violence debates in the U.S., such discussions are too often held without representation from the communities being debated.

That fact compelled weatherman Alex Beresford to interject from off camera during a live Good Morning Britain debate on knife crime.


Police Federation chair, John Apter, was in the middle of arguing for the need for stronger sentencing and more prisons when Beresford shouted from across the studio, "Prison doesn't work, though!" He apologized for interrupting, then made a crucial point that we all need to hear.

Beresford pointed out that prison isn't a good deterrent and won't change the environment that produces and perpetuates violence.

After his mic was turned on, Beresford said, "Listen, I've grown up in some of these communities you guys are talking about, and prison—it's not a deterrent. Some of these boys, they don't fear prison. If you don't change the environment, you won't change anything. And that's the key thing, if you don't change the environment."

"This has been happening for years, okay?" he continued. "Years. And it's not always in the media. But it won't change. It's going to take several things together, and yes, policing is one thing. But at the end of the day, if you don't change these boys' environment...All of you guys on that side, you benefitted from the environment that you've grown up in. You've benefitted from being in this work environment. I've benefitted from it. But these boys, not all of them get to benefit from the environment. If we don't show them something else, you won't change it."

Beresford went on to discuss the issue of stop and search policies targeting young black men. While not saying such searches should never be done, he said he's personally felt the frustration that builds when the innocent are frequently questioned and searched by the police.

"Listen, before I started this job, I was pulled over quite a lot and it used to frustrate me," he said. "You know, I got pulled up just because I had my hood up in the wintertime. And the officer said, 'Why are you driving with your hood up?' and I said, 'Because it's minus one outside. Why can't I have my hood up?'"

Later that day, Beresford explained in a video why he felt the need to chime in on the live segment.

"The reason I really felt that I had to interrupt in the debate around knife crime today," he said, "was because I sat there, in a way actually getting enraged, because it's quite hard for me as a mixed-race person that has grown up in some of the areas that these boys come from just to sit back and say nothing. Because it's easy to point the finger when you've not actually lived that life or had experience of what it's like to be in that environment."

Beresford pointed out that we know the statistics, and the black community knows this is a problem, but stop and search is the wrong thing to focus on. "We need to intervene much earlier down the line," he said. "Let's try and stop this before it gets too far down the road. I think what we see in the media is the end result. You don't see that person, that young boy, that young black boy as a child, you know? We just see the end result."

He added that the media has a responsibility to portray these stories accurately, to share positive stories of black male role models, and to make sure the voices of the communities affected by these issues are represented.

"Whenever we have these debates on television, you often find that the people that are being debated aren't always represented on the program," he said. "For instance, today we were debating a subject about knife crime, but in hindsight it would be lovely to have someone from the community come on and balance the argument and actually talk from experience."

"Don't put these boys into prison if you can help it, that's what I say," he continued. "Teach them something else, show them a different way, because often that's when you you lose young boys into the system forever. They go into prison often for doing something quite petty and then they join up with other like-minded people that give them other ways in which they can commit crime...Prison, for me, I don't think is always the answer."

See Beresford's interjection here:

And his full explanation of why he felt he needed to speak up here:

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less