"I am continuously motivated when I see my work positively affecting members of the fire and police departments, and seeing them become excited about it. When they "get it" and continue to roll out their mats week to week, it adds to my passion to teach them."
Some of these very public deaths in our community could have been prevented had men like Mike Brown and Eric Garner promptly complied with police instructions. Shouldn't we include it in our goals to school our sons to follow police instructions, if it can save lives?
McLay's words were intended mainly for the officers under his command. But they could just as well have been addressed to educators in our nation's schools.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, America needs to recognize and acknowledge just how critical the police is to our safety and national security, and how urgent it is to restore the relationship between society and the police before it deteriorates further.
In a democracy, the people choose their leaders, and those leaders write laws and set policies. Right now in New York City, unelected, unaccountable individuals are making those policies and ignoring the authority of those whom we, the people, elected.
In 1990, 20 percent of all children in the US lived in poverty. What percent of the children in the US live in poverty today?
Buddhism, one of the world's great religions, teaches respect for life and affirms the dignity of each human being. This core teaching can help daily police-community encounters, even when police must do the difficult job of apprehending criminals.
These are not goofy little news items dealing with such inconsequential matters as health care, the midterm elections and various conflicts around the world. Rather, they are the kind of important, socially significant and absolutely true stories that are the lifeblood of this column.
In the wake of the murder of two New York City police officers, the National Fraternal Order of Police sent a letter to the White House and Congress asking that "bias attacks" against police be prosecuted more harshly through hate crime laws.
It would be helpful if the federal government could take an ongoing leadership role that would bring together criminal justice agencies, mental health providers and consumers and family members for continuing discussions that might suggest new directions.
Black children are not afforded the privilege of engaging in normal child-like behavior because black bodies are characterized with unwarranted threat.
So it's time to end the noise and hostility, and initiate change. A good place to start would be for police departments and community leaders to start speaking with each other instead of at each other, and to do it in a meeting room instead of on the streets.
In 2015 one of my primary wishes is that all of us will concentrate on treating other people with respect. I have just scratched the surface; I encourage you to give this entire matter some very deep consideration.
The year was marked by historic changes on issues from marriage equality to solitary confinement reform, and it ended with Colorado students taking to the streets, forcing a dialogue about race and police practices.
While media coverage has focused on the growing discontent over race/police relations in this country, the decisions also shed an important light on the prejudice inherent in this country's grand jury proceedings. I'm speaking from a procedural perspective.
Why have we come to a time where the police are often seen as intimidating, authoritative figures separate from the communities where they serve and live? Rather than a division of people against police, in which both police and the citizens are on guard, can we rebuild trust? Aggression begets aggression.