Alliance for a Better Utah’s selective silence on violence

Alliance for a Better Utah has no shortage of selective outrage or hypocrisy on our state’s political stage. The recent silence on Rep Justin Miller’s “alleged but everyone is pretty darn sure he did it because HOLY CRAP HE SAID THAT ON TAPE” embezzlement of upwards of $34K from Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams’ campaign is a pretty shining example, especially considering the, er, “enthusiastic” participation in calling for former Attorney General John Swallow to suffer every possible consequence but stoning in a public square. There’s also their rather glaring…

Join the Hub Debate: Is Racism in America Dead?

Is racism in America dead? Utah Politico Hub Readers and Contributors: We invite you–because you have contributed thoughts and posts on the Hub in the past–to consider the following topic. Is racism in America dead? As protests about police killings, Eric Garner’s death, and Michael Brown’s shooting continue across the nation, more people are asking whether racism is alive and well in the United States. A headline in Esquire offers “IF YOU NEEDED FURTHER PROOF RACISM IS NOT DEAD,” sharing anecdotes about discrimination at drinking fountains and microwaves. Meanwhile, Forbes…

Will Eric Garner Be a Bipartisan Rallying Cry?

Body cameras are an encouraging step in helping police officers back up their own statements and keep the general public safe. If Darren Wilson had a body camera on when he confronted Michael Brown, we’d have more evidence upfront how truthful he was being. Later the forensics back up his story, and different witnesses have different stories, but Ferguson is what it is. There have been other unarmed blacks killed by white officers this year, but they didn’t get the reaction that Brown’s death did. One reason? It’s Ferguson, a…

Photos of Protest Against Police Brutality and Darren Wilson Verdict in Downtown Salt Lake City

Protesters gathered outside the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building to rally against police brutality and the recent grand jury’s declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Estimated at over 200 protesters, the group marched down State Street to the state courthouse, the police station, and then back to the federal building. Protesters blocked streets and causing congested traffic during their protest.                                    

The Balanced Response [Hub Debate]

Several commentaries have been offered on the internet about Ferguson, Missouri. Mora particularly, those comments have been made regarding the arming of police forces with “combat gear.” A more balanced response is necessary. One such post was right here on the Utah Politico Hub; “Ferguson and the Rise of the Police State.” It was written by David Rogers, whom I admit I do not know. In his post Rogers asserts “Many agencies now have the tools and equipment to impose substantial power and control on their communities if necessary. And…

How to Create a Downward Spiral of Fear and Paranoia [Hub Debate]

If you spent your entire day hearing about how murderers are lurking behind every corner, you’d probably never even leave your house. If you had to, you’d probably be heavily armed and ready to shoot almost anything that moves. Of course, it would be silly to live like that. Violent crime in the US is at historic lows, even better than the time period we associate with the Mayberry ideal. Unfortunately, we all still seem to still think of life as a “Detroit in Robocop” kind of hellscape and the “it bleeds,…

Ferguson and the Rise of the Police State [Hub Debate]

The local news and internet sites have been rife with images that taken independently seem a matter of course. However, looked at cumulatively a different story might emerge. The images are of men and material of an increasingly military nature being acquired by law enforcement agencies across the country. The events in Ferguson, Missouri over the last week might be illustration number one of a shifting future of law enforcement in America Traditionally, the policeman has been an admirable position in American society. The baby boom generation of the fifties…

The False Choice of Mayberry or Militarization [Hub Debate]

I saw this meme in a couple of social media places this week and it struck a chord with me. Look, I enjoyed The Andy Griffith Show as much as the next bored-on-summer-break elementary school kid, but if you want to know why we don’t have more Sheriff Taylors it’s because Mayberry doesn’t actually exist. There are bad people in the world, and sometimes police officers need guns.

Time to Reverse the Trend of Police Militarization [Hub Debate]

The facts around the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson are almost beside the point by now. The news that has trickled out has yet to tell the whole story, but that incident is just the catalyst for the illustration of another problem that we’ve known has been growing for years, but maybe Ferguson, MO, is the tipping point that will reverse the trend of the militarization of police.