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Busted

Before Ferguson, it seemed a puzzle. Since the early 1990s, crime in the United States had fallen sharply. Yet public opinions of the police had not improved. Minorities in particular continued to take a critical view of police trustworthiness and fairness, despite the fact that minority communities benefited most from the crime decline. What, asked the small number of police officers and academics who puzzled over such things, was going on? Post-Ferguson, minority skepticism seems a lot less puzzling. Increased […]

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Police Reform In U.S.: Some Progress, A Long Way To Go

Policing in the U.S. is showing some signs of improvement, thanks to the attention paid to it by the public and by government officials—and despite the well-publicized misdeeds of a few law enforcement officers in the past year. That’s the conclusion of members of President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, who addressed a conference at George Mason University in northern Virginia yesterday. “Much of this is about culture change,” said task force co-chair Laurie Robinson. “That doesn’t […]

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[Updated] Why Police (and Communities) Need 'Broken Windows'

The merger of “broken windows” policing with the widespread use of Stop, Question, Frisk (SQF) by the New York Police Department (NYPD) over the last 20 years has produced serious consequences—and for many critics, these tactics have become “dirty words.” Two years ago, in Floyd v. City of New York, a federal court concluded that the combined strategy had violated the constitutional rights of thousands of mostly minority New York City residents; resulting in significant physical, emotional and psychological harm […]

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Dealing with Police-Community Conflict

Bernard Melekian was police chief of Pasadena, CA when he was chosen by President Barack Obama in 2009 to become director of the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS). COPS was created during the administration of President Bill Clinton to oversee the hiring of 100,000 community policing officers around the U.S. under the 1994 federal anticrime law. Before he left office last week to return to his home in California, he spoke to The Crime Report's Washington Bureau […]