Law Enforcement on Notice
Note to Sheriffs and Police Chiefs: If you aren’t actively seeking ideas to foster better relations between your community and your officers you probably should resign.
If you are still operating under the illusion that social unrest could never come to your town you better think again.
If you don’t realize that a new day has dawned in law enforcement – a day where a growing number of citizens automatically mistrust cops – you might want to get back out on the street and walk a beat for a day or two.
There is now a nationwide, colorblind call demanding a change in the way law enforcement interacts with the people they have sworn to protect. [click to continue…]
Founding Father, Franklin
Following my recent column about racial tensions in America I got an e-mail from Gary L. Hoe, of Albuquerque, which made me re-think what our founding fathers had in mind when they established this country.
Hoe reminded me of a quote from Benjamin Franklin, attributed to the statesman as he left the secret confab which hammered out the U.S. Constitution. Asked by a woman what kind of government had been decided upon – a republic or a monarchy – Franklin replied, “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”
Somewhere in the 227 years since then many Americans have adopted the idea that we are a democracy not a republic. Nothing could be further from the intent expressed at that Constitutional Convention in 1787. [click to continue…]
Why Are Black Arrest Rates in Some Places So High?
As the nation continued to watch for the grand jury announcement out of Ferguson, Missouri this week, USA Today released a disturbing analysis of arrest records from across the country.
After pouring over FBI records from more than 3,500 police departments the newspaper finds that blacks are far more likely to be arrested than people of other races – and for all sorts of crimes – from murder to marijuana possession.
USA Today called the racial divide in America’s 2011-2012 arrest rates a, “staggering disparity” with at least 70 police departments from Connecticut to California arresting blacks at a rate 10 times higher than people of other races.
But before you jump to any conclusions, the paper also quoted experts who said the lopsided nature of arrests didn’t necessary prove racism or racial profiling.
Read that sentence again, please. [click to continue…]
Microscopic Swirls of Death
We have got to get smarter about controlling the ever-widening Ebola epidemic – and quickly. Ebola is not just a problem for the West African hotspots of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. And, the Department of Homeland Security’s new system of simply questioning and taking the temperature of incoming air travelers from West Africa isn’t enough to control this potential pandemic.
This is a modern day Pandora’s Box with deadly, worldwide consequences and our Government’s response, via the Centers of Disease Control? The CDC now admits it dropped the ball from the get-go.
At this writing there are two known cases of American nurses contracting Ebola from a Liberian patient who traveled to the U.S. in late September and died in a Dallas hospital October 8th. [click to continue…]
AG Holder Resigns, Suspicious Timing?
When someone decides to retire they tell the boss and within a few weeks there’s a party, maybe a gold watch, and they’re gone.
Not so if you are Attorney General Eric Holder.
Holder recently announced his retirement as the nation’s top cop but promised to stay on until a replacement is confirmed by Congress.
Here’s a double barrel prediction: Holder isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and there could be big political fireworks ahead. [click to continue…]
Cops Cameras Capture Their Point of View
In a rare convergence of opinion both dedicated cops and community activists, as well as prosecutors and defense attorneys, agree: To help keep the peace and restore community confidence in law enforcement more cops should wear cameras.
Police believe video evidence would help curb those who falsely cry, “Police brutality!” And, civil rights advocates believe if cameras are rolling officers will behave better and harass them less.
There’s a recent Justice Department study to back that up and dramatic statistics from ongoing police camera programs that show when video is introduced into the equation the use of force goes way down and so do the number of citizen complaints. [click to continue…]
U.S. Airstrike Against ISIS at Mosul Dam
Let’s not kid ourselves. We are back in the business of war again.
Oh, the politicians can call it whatever they want — like a counter-terrorism campaign — but when U.S. fighter plans are dropping bombs on ISIS forces in both Iraq and Syria we are at war.
When we send Navy vessels out to sea to facilitate the fight we are at war.
When we are simultaneously attacking a secondary group of Muslim extremists calling themselves Khorasan we are, in fact, engaging in a multi-level war.
Washington might cling to the belief that absent battalions of boots-on-the-ground it isn’t really a war. But the fact is, we already have plenty of troops on ground in that region (left over from past conflicts) and what are called “advisers.” [click to continue…]
What We’ve Done So Far Hasn’t Worked
Here’s a riddle: How many knowledgeable people does it take to suggest a policy change before society adopts their sage advice?
Buried in all the recent news about ISIS, horrific weather lashing the United States, the violence of NFL players, and the like, came a hardly noticed news item about the idea of legalizing drugs.
Now, stay with me on this. It’s important.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy, an illustrious panel including former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former US Secretary of State George Shultz, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, former presidents and prime ministers of nearly a dozen countries and others issued a detailed study about why it’s smart – for reasons both humanitarian and financial — to legalize marijuana and other drugs. [click to continue…]