Drone Cop. Part I: Destroying Citizenship by Dehumanizing Police

Remember “RoboCop,” Paul Verhoeven’s landmark sci-fi thriller movie? A future monolithic corporation controls a crime-infested Detroit. It transforms a dead police officer into a cybernetic law-enforcement “unit” called RoboCop. The cyborg hero devastates urban criminality, and soon the streets are safe.[1] RoboCop is little more than an cybernetic enforcement drone; the remains of his humanity … More Drone Cop. Part I: Destroying Citizenship by Dehumanizing Police

A Teachable Moment: Criminalizing Everyone

A recent “dust-up” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, between the school district and the police department ought to be an important “teachable moment.” But the opportunity to resolve institutional overreach and get back to basics is likely being ignored. It all started when a highly respected middle-school teacher Marcy Slaughter allegedly threw a paperback book … More A Teachable Moment: Criminalizing Everyone

Adolescent Cop Mentality

The flow of video evidence of police tendencies to use violence as the primary tool of their trade steadily increases. Some write this off as an artifact of technology or as individual incidents not representing the whole of law enforcement. But as I look at all those citizens’ smart-phone videos taken largely because they happened … More Adolescent Cop Mentality

Ending Police Brutality: It’s Not That Simple

The smart phone videos of cops harassing or beating unarmed Black males have exploded on social media. Newspaper articles discuss the various difficulties involved in prosecuting police for excessive force, murder, etc. Video pundits left and right proclaim or admit that something is just not right. They acknowledge that Black parents have to train their … More Ending Police Brutality: It’s Not That Simple

Images of American Violence: What Sense Do They Make?

I watched the entire dash-cam video over and over again. The South Carolina State Trooper shot a young black man when he reached for his drivers license as directed. Many major news outlets played it. Maybe that is because it wasn’t a gruesome bloody scene and the victim fell beyond the dash-cam range upon being … More Images of American Violence: What Sense Do They Make?

Incarceration Nation

The U.S. imprisons a greater portion of its citizens than any other nation in the world. We also incarcerate a larger absolute number of prisoners than any other nation, even China! What does this tell us about our culture and about how “social control” is exercised in America? One thing is certain: more and more … More Incarceration Nation

The Incredible Darkness of Being…a Cop: Warrior or Peacemaker in a Dangerous World. Part III

Note: A condensed version of Part III of this series was published in the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sunday, April 13, 2014. It is hard to imagine, after watching the police video footage of the shooting to death of a mentally ill homeless man, James Boyd, by Albuquerque police on March 16, 2014, how that … More The Incredible Darkness of Being…a Cop: Warrior or Peacemaker in a Dangerous World. Part III

The Incredible Darkness of Being…a Cop: Warrior or Peacemaker in a Dangerous World. Part II

We Americans have a strange schizoid view of public service. A dedicated Santa Fe school teacher finally quit recently, because he had a family to support and he could make much more clerking at Trader Joe’s with better and cheaper health insurance, working much fewer hours and not having to take his work home every … More The Incredible Darkness of Being…a Cop: Warrior or Peacemaker in a Dangerous World. Part II

The Incredible Darkness of Being…a Cop: Warrior or Peacemaker in a Dangerous World. Part I

Almost everyone would agree that the world is a dangerous place these days. Technically, the U.S. has never fought a war on its own soil. Nevertheless, expanding the West and the capture of parts of Mexico were executed on the lands of others, as was the original establishment of the thirteen colonies of New England, … More The Incredible Darkness of Being…a Cop: Warrior or Peacemaker in a Dangerous World. Part I