This is always a tricky situation, and just something you have to work out with both pragmatism and diplomacy.
In December I participated in a forum at Uniondale High School in Uniondale, New York on "Policing in America: Should Uniondale Care about Ferguson?" It was organized by social studies teacher Adeola Tella-Williams and students in her Participation in Government class.
For all that we want police officers to do in our communities, we need to pay our police accordingly. It is a dangerous job and no amount of money can truly compensate for the risks police officers like Kerrie Orozco take.
While I'm encouraged that my recommendations are a part of President Obama's recent executive order on this issue, including banning the free transfer of certain military-grade equipment and imposing strict oversight and transparency measures, we cannot stop advocating for comprehensive reform.
This is a complicated piece of data, but it reveals something relatively simple. An unarmed black or brown person in America is much more likely to be killed by a police officer than an unarmed white person.
We are far and away the world leader in putting our own people in jail. Most of the people inside are poor and Black. Here are 40 reasons why.
Until thia mentality is addressed, too many civilians only suspected of a crime, or simply in the way, will continue to be bullied, beaten, or worse. America's current focus on this issue will likely limit the instances of brutality and misconduct in the near future.
While the Task Force's final report, released this week, does include some smart recommendations that could improve the criminal justice system, they missed two key opportunities to reform police practices.
Now, both are awful -- I wouldn't recommend either for a leisurely afternoon. However, the difference is in how they're bad.
-- Illustration by Eliane Gerrits "You have the right to remain silent," says the judge, sitting at a high podium in front of a monume...
For the last quarter of a century, NAN and I have advocated on behalf of many victims of racial violence at the hands of police. But in all those years, I've never seen a situation that will force a national election to deal with policing as I do now. Translation: GOP candidates will actually have to deal with policing as an issue.
The culture of police departments in America today is far too often one that encourages aggressive responses to quell discontent. That culture may be allowed or encouraged because of the militarization of police forces, which the Obama administration is now trying to correct.
Growing political unity on the Left and Right on the need for criminal justice reform is an important development. But if bipartisanship fails to incorporate the experiences and voices of those previously ignored, it won't lead to the breakthrough we need.
I recently interviewed Robert Spitzer, a professor at SUNY Cortland who has researched and written extensively about so-called "Stand Your Ground" laws, which eliminate the duty to retreat when safe and feasible within self-defense doctrine.
Around 11:30 on Tuesday night I witnessed something incredible. A man was out of his mind screaming nonsense along the Seawall that extends from Vancouver, BC's West End neighborhood around the 4 sq. km. region known as Stanley Park.
There is no one solution to the horrors presented in the Callous and Cruel report, but the prescription includes getting people living with mental illness the right help in their communities before the criminal justice system ever gets involved. It includes providing the right kind of treatment and supports in jails or prisons.