How Ferguson and now Baltimore are altering our perception of law enforcement (COMMENTARY)

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A child waves at law enforcement officers on Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore April 27, 2015. Hundreds of rioters looted businesses and set buildings on fire in Baltimore on Monday in widespread violence that injured at least 15 police officers following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after he was injured in police custody. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-EHRICH-COLUMN, originally transmitted on April 2, 2015.

A child waves at law enforcement officers on Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore April 27, 2015. Hundreds of rioters looted businesses and set buildings on fire in Baltimore on Monday in widespread violence that injured at least 15 police officers following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after he was injured in police custody. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-EHRICH-COLUMN, originally transmitted on April 2, 2015.

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(RNS) A nation grounded in laws and justice requires a trained cadre whose work is to enforce laws fairly. We thought we had that cadre.

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  • wally

    “The difference is that we viewed law enforcement as our protection against the bullies, not as one more source of danger. ”

    Unlike parents, bosses, banks and bishops… we expect them to be bullies not our protection or partners.

    So you would have me consider the in-human behavior of Monday an anomaly and refocus me on the peaceful protesters, yet, I should look upon the “brutality and power-madness” of American law enforcement as my focal point – (despite your “this isn’t a screed”)?

    We are asked to walk in the shoes of the other… why don’t we ask others to walk in the shoes of law enforcement?