There is a long and difficult road ahead of us. We know what it is because we have heard it before for so many years. The 1968 Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence (Kerner Commission) identified the problem: we are becoming two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal. It’s the same today.
David C. Couper, The Progressive
Image by Junior Libby
July 8, 2016 | I keep thinking since the horrific police assassinations in Dallas that we’ve been here before. It’s not that so many police officers have been summarily executed. It’s that a palpable tension still exists between police and black people in our country, despite the efforts of police departments like Dallas to implement community-oriented policing and reduce their use of deadly force.
What were these Dallas officers doing at the time of their deaths? They were protecting the rights of citizens to assemble and protest the bad conduct of other police officers. That is what police in our society do, even knowing that other police are behaving so poorly in cities like Baton Rouge and St. Anthony Village, Minnesota, and too many other cities—bad apples who spoil the police barrel.
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David C. Couper was Madison’s chief of police from 1972 to 1993. Since his retirement, he has attended seminary and was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. He now lives west of Madison and serves a small church in North Lake, Wisconsin. He is the author of Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police (2012) and How to Rate Your Local Police (2015).
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'It's Not Us vs. Them' James Hamblin, Atlantic
One police chief's humble solution to violence.