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08/20/2014 4:54 PM

08/20/2014 4:56 PM

Regarding, “Racial unrest again has U.S. on edge”: Every major riot has evolved from a police arrest that was escalated by premature and incomplete media reporting.

Police organizations have for at least 50 years been on “notice.” They’ve tried every suggested political or over-researched policy and tactic imaginable, approved by the courts or relevant political authority. And all of it in attempt to peacefully, efficiently and effectively address crime, disorder and riot with minimal use of force.

But two core problems have remained — the people involved and the police charter.

Police departments, including the Ferguson, Mo., Police Department, have no lasting impact on the causes of crime and other social conditions said to result in lawless and rioting people. It’s not in the police charter.

It’s the lack of responsibility of individual citizens that cause riot, not blame that the police didn’t hold their hands “compassionately” enough during the time between riotous “explosions,” some by rote memory still mislabel as “community unrest.”

These ideas reflect the belief that non-proactive policing will make a peaceful community. Those arguments oppose one another and have no use in enforcing constitutional law, particularly at the time it is being broken by riotous people.

— Richard M. Holbrook,


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