TCR’s West Coast Bureau Chief Joe Domanick was working on a book about the Los Angeles Police Department when riots broke out following the exoneration of the officers responsible for beating Rodney King. He shares his memories of that painful episode in American history.
Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute says that Attorney General Jeff Sessions or President Trump himself should publicly address the question of what we expect from police officers. “Do we want them to be proactive and to try to stop crime before it happens? Or do we want them to be purely reactive, responding to crime only after someone has been victimized?”
Maryland adopts the FBI’s policy, allowing officers who smoked pot more than three years ago. Fraternal Order of Police objects, saying the policy means breaking the law 20 times is “OK as long as you haven’t done it lately.”
Gray’s death in a Baltimore police van led to riots. The Justice Department immediately announced a civil rights investigation, but there has been no result announced. No local police officers were convicted, but a review of their actions also is not resolved.
Reforms passed by state legislators include banning the use of chokeholds, mandating data collection on traffic stops and officer-involved shootings, and developing guidelines for body cams. The Police Foundation’s Jim Bueermann calls states “the sweet spot” between federal consent decrees and local ordinances.