By David Brooks | The Atlantic
Published in June of 2020

SUMMARY: With the advent of smartphones and immediate access to record events there have been a plethora of videos showing police brutality. As the evidence grows public support for protestors and police reform has increased. Writer David Brooks says much of the public debate centers around two theories: an individual issue (a few bad apples) or a systemic issue (the tree is rotten).

Brooks says that while both theories offer some truths the real issue is the dehumanization of everyday citizens and an us-versus-them attitude that is embedded within police departments. While this article is not specifically from a Christian point of view what Brooks is getting at is treating everybody in the image of God – with dignity and respect. The image of God mindset would revolutionize policing in America not only for citizens, but for police as well.

KEY QUOTE: “The problem lies in the organizational cultures of some police forces. In the forces with an us-versus-the-world siege mentality. In the ones with the we-strap-on-the-armor-and-fight culture, the ones who depersonalize the human beings out on the street. All cruelty begins with dehumanization—not seeing the face of the other, not seeing the whole humanity of the other. A cultural regime of dehumanization has been constructed in many police departments. In that fertile ground, racial biases can spread and become entrenched.”

DID YOU KNOW? We have curated numerous articles on policing.


Read the full article at The Atlantic


More curated articles on policing:

ARTICLE: What is Policing and How Do We Reform It?

Although on the long side this article has it all. It is a fantastic starting point to learn about policing history, what police reforms to advocate for along with a personal story that ties it all together. Ultimately it is up to us citizens to decide whether we want a police force that “enforce(s) every law on the books by identifying and punishing any infraction” or one that “help(s) to maintain community standards of public safety and order.”

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ARTICLE: When Will America Take What We Know About Racist Policing Seriously?

From the report issued by President Harry Truman in 1947 to the Kerner Commission ordered by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 Americans have known for decades that racism has been embedded in police departments across the 50 states. Police brutality along with a culture of racial bias has put us in the current situation in the 2020’s. Relevant Magazine’s Tyler Huckabee says enough is enough. We don’t need anymore commissions or studies, what we need is meaningful police reform.

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ARTICLE: How Can We Enhance Police Accountability in the United States?

Every forty hours a Black man is killed in America by police. The seemingly endless onslaught of violence against Black bodies makes it readily apparent that there must be changes to the policing culture. Author Rashawn Ray says there are two reforms we should make to change police accountability. One, officers fired for police misconduct should not be allowed to work in law enforcement again and two, we should restructure civilian payouts by moving them from taxpayer money to police department insurance policies.

Read more

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