I must strive to move beyond my fears, and experience life with open eyes, an open heart and an open mind. I am limited by my unwillingness to embrace the people who have intimate knowledge of the parts of me I have yet to discover; I have yet to embrace.
Why does Chief J. Scott Dennis believe it to be good policy and practice to further target (literally and figuratively) people who have paid for their past mistakes? Does he think his policy has no real impact on the loved ones of those whose pictures his officers blast away?
The wrongful convictions data coming from the Innocence Project provide all the proof we need that all things are not equal in the application of American justice. Justice is color coded, and truly a matter of black and white. Now is the time to change that.
As a dispatcher, there is a script that you follow, and while I am talking to a caller, I'm typing (I type as fast as you can talk), I'm keying my mike and sending units and I'm connecting you to the paramedics if you need them.
In this catalytic moment driven by cataclysmic circumstances, what we have witnessed across America since the non-indictments of officers in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner may be new to a generation, but it is not new to a nation.
As a father, a son, an uncle, a nephew, a brother, and a college president, I must ask myself, "How do I protect my son in a society where there is something structurally wrong with how young black men are treated by the criminal justice system?
We cannot wait months for the legislature to act. We can, and must, act now. Existing state law authorizes the governor to supersede any local district attorney on any criminal matter by appointing the attorney general to investigate and prosecute the case.
It is becoming evident that police agencies are implicitly prioritizing their own safety over that of the public. This reorganization of priorities is implied by a passive but evident willingness to increase their protection and firepower at the cost of civil liberty and comfort.
If we do study officer-involved shootings and find probable causes for them, we are going to, in my opinion, discover that training and the cultural perception of constant threat is the major factor -- it won't be bad will by the officers.
What has happened in Ferguson can either move us forward or push us back. Most of its residents are reasonable, peaceful people who want change. But right now, the fact is whatever happens in Ferguson affects black people everywhere as it relates to this singular issue of deadly police force.
The Ferguson grand jury decision not to criminally prosecute a police officer in the shooting of an unarmed young black man has reached the Geneva HQ of the UN Office of Human Rights Chief Prince Zeid, but the consequences will be felt globally and probably with indefinite impact.
Many of our Native communities have likewise been peppered with many incidents of police forces -- primarily consisting of outsiders -- that commit bad acts and abuse their powers. You are not alone. We're praying, thinking and focused on the situation in Ferguson and elsewhere.
Imagine a situation where you are accused of a crime -- perhaps a crime you did not commit, or maybe even a crime you were the victim of. The arresting officers use a different language; you're unable to communicate what happened before you get brought to jail.