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…]
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…]
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…]
Ray Rice Turned This Weapon on a Woman
The statistics are easy to find. One in every 3 women in the United States will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
It is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. Every single day in America women are murdered by their “loving” husbands or boyfriends. And, studies report that up to 10 million children are eye-witnesses to the brutality every year.
Anyone with half a brain knows domestic violence is a big, under-reported problem in the United States. So, why didn’t it dawn on executives at the NFL or the Baltimore Ravens that running back Ray Rice could be a domestic abuser? [click to continue…]
Loggerheads – And All Americans Lose
Labor Day is in the rear view mirror and the summer season has been officially declared as over, even though the calendar says autumn is still weeks away. With vacations behind us and the kids back in school this is the time we traditionally return full attention to our work.
That’s what we regular citizens do anyway. Then, there are the members of the U.S. Congress.
Now, keep in mind I’m talking about people we chose to be our leaders. We voted for these folks because they convinced us they could go to Washington and truly represent our interests. [click to continue…]
Taking A Tactical Cue From Rosa Parks
A notion struck me as I studied the continuing stream of news about the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri. After his funeral I wondered, could we be witnessing the birth of another historic civil rights movement.
If you are white you may think that’s a ridiculous notion. A recent Pew Research Center Poll reveals that 80% of blacks believe the shooting in Ferguson raises important issues about race that need to be discussed. But, only 37% of whites agreed. Even more troubling: 47% of white Americans think the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.
This signals a disturbing disconnect. When 80% of one group of people says there is a basic human rights problem in America the rest of us ought to be willing to listen and discuss. [click to continue…]
U.S. Satellites See What’s Happening on Earth
Global Positioning Satellite systems can pinpoint our location no matter where we are in the world and precisely tell us where to turn to get to our destination. U.S. satellites monitor just about anything on earth — from the path of a forest fire to the route of a convoy of trucks. We know for a fact that the National Security Agency has had eyes and ears on just about every phone call and e-mail sent or received, worldwide.
So can someone please explain to me how we apparently missed the substantial exodus of migrants from Central America headed for our southern border? By all reports this mass migration — which has now resulted in a major humanitarian crisis – began last October. Yet the public is only just hearing about it now, after it has reached catastrophic proportions. [click to continue…]
Time to Remember the Victims
As the coroner’s van took away one of the bodies, I walked toward the bloodied sidewalk outside Nicole Brown Simpson’s condo. I’ll never forget what I saw that day. Law enforcement had come and gone and left behind only some strips of yellow police tape.
It might have been 20 years ago, but I can still see the rivulets of blood between the pavers at the condo’s entryway. Later I would learn that the paw prints and feathery marks punctuating the bloodbath were made by Nicole’s dog. In his confused state, the Akita had obviously circled the bloody scene, its leash traversing through the red and leaving a swoosh of stain all the way down to the corner stop sign.
With the evidence gathering clearly over, I remember thinking, “Why didn’t someone wash away all this blood?” [click to continue…]
Bad News … And More Bad News
News Announcer: “There’s been another school shooting. This time at the Troutdale High School in Oregon, about 16 miles east of Portland….”
I don’t want to write about this. It feels like screaming into the wilderness with no one listening. And I feel silly now admitting that I really thought things would change after the December 2012 mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
I honestly believed the senseless deaths of 26 little children and teachers (as well as one horribly misguided mother) in Connecticut was going to be a watershed event that would spur a host of new ideas to curb violence. [click to continue…]