Police departments around the U.S. are racing to develop new training rules on the use of force, a move that has gained urgency amid scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department and an emerging consensus that law-enforcement practices need to be revamped, the Wall Street Journal reports. Many departments are grappling with how to prevent encounters between police and citizens from escalating into deadly ones, especially with minorities, as was the case in two deaths that have prompted nationwide civil-rights protests.
Those protests continued yesterday with demonstrators gathering and chanting for change in New York, Washington, and elsewhere. A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers said Congress should examine police tactics and the criminal-justice system, a position that unites Democrats with the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, which has emerged as critical of law enforcement. Referring to the Michael Brown and Eric Garner deaths, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, “Clearly both of these are serious tragedies that we've seen in our society and I think the American people want to understand more of what the facts were,” who raised the possibility of congressional hearings. “There are a lot of unanswered questions that Americans have and frankly I have.”