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Comments on police and community interaction often follow an incident resulting in a protest march, demands for the removal of a public office holder, for police to be arrested and other proposed actions. The focus is singularly on police and not the similar behavior of individuals who initiated the confrontation in the opening minutes of interaction. The hue and cry are not about finding sustainable solutions to long-standing problems; it is seeking some quick fix, the sustainability of which is elusive. There is always a larger story than what the media fixates on, and in ignoring it, a disservice is a result. For every encounter with adverse outcomes, the police have confronted someone or a group from the community with whom they are seeking interaction. The behavior of individuals also contributes to the results of the encounter and they must be included in the overall examination. Hindsight, including a variety of agendas, emotions, the inevitable “what it?” questions and many other variables fail to bring clarity to the event before the investigation is complete. The resolution is not possible. The combination of many contributing factors often directs what happens during the call for service.


From the author's book, “Issues in Policing and Requisite Challenges” (2016), ISBN-13: 978-1540375841.