The people and police officers of Ferguson can ill afford to allow the difficult but necessary reform process that's now underway to be subsumed by petty politics. To plunge headlong into a dialogue defined by the same narrow, reductive, zero-sum talking points that frame so much of our national debate would be an inexcusable mistake.
Members of a campaign called Safety Beyond Policing, at City Hall on Thursday denounced City Council's plan to put $97 million towards increasing the NYPD headcount by 1000 officers.
Ultimately, safety for black communities requires a move away from mass criminalization, and not simply nicer but fewer police.
Was the creation of a domestic Guantanamo-style "black site" made inevitable by the Pentagon's practice of unloading military surplus weapons on local police departments? Maybe -- but it's remarkable how many inevitable things can be avoided if the people in charge just refuse to misbehave.
Why did being "skinny," "black" or walking in a neighborhood become perceived as the sign of a perpetrator or criminal? Why did a communication barrier give an officer the prerogative to throw a fragile grandfather to the ground?
When I spoke to Nicholas Heyward Sr. the morning that the news of Akai Gurley's fatal shooting broke, neither of us could believe it. Gurley, like Heyward's son, Nicholas Jr., was shot by a cop in a Brooklyn housing staircase.
It is about race. And wariness of bad police officers stretches throughout the entire African American community whether we talk about lawyers or stone cold thugs. We are united in knowing that we are targeted by some law enforcement because of race.
Nothing's changed at the local level. Look at this past week's story from Pasco, Washington. A troubled man was gunned down for throwing rocks at police. Rocks. When will it end?
The point should not be whether neighbors conflated Sureshbhai with a black man, a Middle Eastern man, or a foreigner to evoke a perverse suspicion, but that in Patel's plight, South Asians saw how easily and brutally their turn could come.
Am I black in a cop's hands when he is pushing, pressing hard for dope or a gun or a rope or a knife or a fist? I am not a black body, yet my body is somehow, somewhere, theirs -- Trayvon's, Emmett's, thousands more at the end of a rope's tight murderous swing.
The video is horrific. Madison, Alabama police officer Eric Parker slammed Sureshbhai Patel into t...
In view of these difficult realties, we want to use Black History Month as a time to remember all struggles for black and Latino civil rights, so it serves as a moment not only to reflect but also to mobilize by demanding justice for Jessica, Aiyana and Orta and all black and Latino lives.
He was left without justice. All his demands for an apology and an acknowledgment that he was detained unjustly were left without answer. And no one seems to notice his blight. No one seems to understand his psychological wounds, not to mention the physical ones.
Yes, unpacking the war against privilege in our country is almost as dangerous and convoluted as unpacking privilege itself. For one reason or another, our nation as a whole is wired to socially excommunicate and extradite those who are born into superior circumstances.
Police have a lot of power. What they don't have is a lot of accountability. That needs to change.
News in America these past few months has been troubling at best. Men raping women on college campuses, the CIA torturing prisoners, police officers k...