It's human nature to want to believe in the rightness of our own actions and intentions. But it's precisely human nature that is the problem; the fact that human evil is predictable does not make it excusable. We must be willing to consider ourselves culpable, and to put ourselves at risk.
NYPD Commissioner William Bratton has stated his guiding source of inspiration is Sir Robert Peel's Nine Principles of Policing, a preventative philosophy used by members of the first police force in London in 1829.
We must let go of the labels that artificially divide us if we are to move out from under the cloud of suspicion and fear that hovers over us all these days.
Racism -- the insidious disease, the implicit bias, the unwritten rules that govern our lives -- won't be fixed by a grand jury alone. We have to take responsibility for the cultural practices that let racism thrive.
Driving down Martin Luther King Way towards downtown Oakland today I passed a mile of fresh graffiti under the highway. One pillar had been tagged wit...
One question we had at Youth Radio was how the training of law enforcement officers factors into the tragic incidents we've seen over the past year. To help us gain insight, we turned to Sergeant Keith Gums, a retired 23-year veteran of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. Gums has trained fellow officers in the tactics of modern policing.
That constant, bone-deep, existential fear of harm or death at the hands of law enforcement is shared by so many mothers and fathers in this country -- men and women of color who have never had a positive interaction with a person wearing a police officer's uniform.
Who is serving on these grand juries? Can it be just a bizarre coincidence that every grand jury decides that no police officer ever did anything wrong? Or is something more insidious going on here?
Can we as a society cut through the vail and begin to know and understand those different from ourselves, to have the ability to walk in the shoes of another, to break down these "us" versus "them" notions that separate?
As companies race to chase the federal money flowing into new police body-worn camera systems, predictive analytics should be a major consideration. Both police and communities should welcome smarter cameras that will ultimately lead to smarter policing.
Reports from the North Pole indicate that Santa Claus, his elves and his reindeer will begin to wear body cameras in the remaining days leading up to Christmas.
Yet if I am willing to accept my inheritance of all the good they did, all the success they had, then I need to recognize the flip-side of that coin. No one succeeds on his own. No one gains privilege without it costing someone else.
The tragedy of Ferguson has certainly generated a national conversation about race, about the over-militarization of local police departments, about the excessive use of force and about the prosecutor's abuse of the notoriously unfair Grand Jury system.
As the police adviser to the United Nations, I believe that every serious discussion about the relationship between the society and the policing model that a society chooses for itself needs to be informed by these guiding principles.
For an inside perspective, I turned to Rick Smith, the CEO and co-founder of Taser International - the leading provider of Tasers, cameras and evidence archival software for police departments.