The police provide essential service, often at great danger to themselves. But violence by police officers whose job is to protect is corrosive, affect police culture, change both the officers who act violently and those who remain passive as they witness it. They affect communities, and community police elations.
Approximately a third of the residents we serve in the residential treatment program are African American. Every time an incident like that of the death of Freddie Gray occurs, I am reminded that the African-American residents we serve are as much at risk because of the color of their skin as for any of their behaviors.