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POLICE BRUTALITY : UNITED STATES: CITIES: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: Police Brutality is a Problem for Everyone


David P. Dillard
 

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POLICE BRUTALITY :

UNITED STATES: CITIES: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND:

Police Brutality is a Problem for Everyone

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Police Brutality is a Problem for Everyone

By Leonard Pitts Jr.

July 30, 2015

Baltimore Sun

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/
bal-police-brutality-is-a-problem-for-everyone-20150729-story.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/owuwx4n

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This will not be a column about Sandra Bland, although it could be.

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Certainly there is cause for outrage over the way a Texas state trooper escalated the routine traffic stop of an indignant African-American woman into a violent arrest; she died of an apparent jail cell suicide three days later. But Chuck would say that in habitually defining police violence as a black problem, we make it smaller than it is.

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Chuck is a reader who responded to a question I passed on in this space a few months back from another reader, a white woman named Tracy. "What can I do?" she asked, as a private citizen, to fight police brutality against African Americans?

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"My suggestion may seem counter-intuitive," wrote Chuck, "but here goes: Stop focusing on the racial component and focus on the larger problem. ... Of course, the disparity in how people are treated by the police -- based on their race -- is real. It is shameful. It is deadly. Still, though, it remains a subset (however horrible and painful) of the bigger problem."

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Chuck goes on to say, "No country on earth is policed as we are. We have too many law enforcement agencies and individuals. They are too heavily armed. They are too militarized. They are too quick to violence. They are rarely held accountable. The false narrative that exists regarding the dangers of police work creates an inordinate sense of fear. Mix that with guns and too much authority and you have a problem. We -- all of us --
have this problem.

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"The hyper-violent policing that is practiced in this country is a disgrace. Yes, African Americans face it at higher rates, but that is all it is ... a higher rate of the larger problem."

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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