I’m still shaking from watching the recently released video of a white, uniformed police officer violently body-slamming a 12-year-old Latina girl face-first into a brick walkway. You can hear a “crack” when her face slams into the brick.
The child was reportedly talking with another student when other kids gathered to see if there was an argument brewing. Officer Joshua Kehm apparently didn’t want to wait to see if the middle schoolers would indeed start arguing.
Kehm was fired after the video was released, but it’s the school-to-prison pipeline he represents that most deserves to be indicted. Officers like Kehm send thousands of children into the legal system each year for petty misbehavior at school — or, often, for no misbehavior at all.
Schools with embedded police officers — often euphemistically referred to as “School Resource Officers,” or SROs — see five times the number of arrests for “disorderly conduct” than schools without them. According to the Justice Policy Institute, in schools where SROs are allowed to arrest or refer children to the juvenile justice system, kids are getting criminal records for low-level status offenses — that is, offenses that are only illegal because of their status as a juvenile, including wildly subjective charges like “disruptive behavior.”
SRO policing happens primarily in low-income schools attended by children of color. While kids from financially stable families in predominantly white schools go to the principal’s office, kids from these poorer schools go to lock-up. (...)
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Inside the Police-Industrial Complex At the 2015 convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, a view of the public-private partnerships that have come to shape modern policing—and to complicate questions of reform.
• From Fox News to Breitbart, you’ll be hard pressed to find a conservative outlet without breathless coverage of the “war on cops.” These days, it’s former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Black Lives Matter protesters who are blamed for the alleged uptick in cop killings—even though 2015 has so far proven to be one of the safest years on record for the profession. Reason takes down the long-standing mythology of the tired trope, noting that the “war on cops” is less a description of reality and more of a prefabricated narrative some conservatives look to connect to current events.
• It’s 7:30 p.m., and you’re enjoying dinner with your family after a long day at work. The phone rings, and a recording screams into your ear: “Wake up, Idaho. Europe, America, and all white countries are fast becoming overwhelmingly non-white because you are afraid to take a stand!” That’s right: even white supremacists conduct robocalls now. (...)