There’s a troubling gap between what senior police managers and outside reformers want law enforcement to become, and what most ordinary cops see as threatening to their livelihoods and safety. Here are some ways to bridge the gap—and restore trust and transparency.
Fundamental change in American policing can’t co-exist with the mindset that the President-elect and allies like Jeff Sessions, the attorney general-designate, are bringing to the justice portfolio, Unless local agencies take the lead, that could spell more trouble in the streets.
Representatives of NAACP and MALDEF tell a New Orleans conference they’ll fight any efforts by the next administration to turn back the clock on civil rights and justice reform —but they also hope they won’t have to.
The prospects look bleak, unless Donald Trump backtracks from the 1980s-style “tough-on-crime” rhetoric that largely ignored contemporary evidence-based research. Any surviving reform efforts will be “piecemeal and modest,” predicts a leading criminologist.
Portland, Or., officers use pepper spray, rubber projectiles against demonstrators they say caused a riot. Trump first complained about “professional protesters,” today welcomed the “passion” of “small groups of protesters.”
Whoever takes the helm of the Department of Justice next year will be overseeing a justice system profoundly transformed by the nation’s first female A-G. One of her top priorities—addressing wrongful convictions—is now a hard-to-abandon centerpiece of American justice.
Lawmakers and military experts say Trump displayed ignorance of the Pentagon’s decades-long struggle to curb such assaults, and the military justice system that is in place to prosecute them. “That’s more than victim blaming, and it misunderstands the historical role of women in the military,” said retired Col. Don Christensen, a former chief prosecutor of the Air Force.
The “patchwork” of local laws and federal actions is no way to make policy, says the co-author of a new book that applies real data to an issue that’s been clouded by polarizing rhetoric and misinformation this election campaign.