police training

Getting Rid of the “Bad Apples” Won’t Fix Things

I understand why so many people are angry. I am angry. Over the years, I have had numerous explicitly racist encounters with police from the Bay Area cities of Oakland, Berkeley and Piedmont. I know my black son has had many more, and his are dangerous. I have worried about him every day of his life since he was old enough to walk down the street by himself. It’s all so painful and personal, it’s hard to even think about it.

And yet, I believe police officers should not be the main target of our anger. That’s because they are not the main cause of America’s police brutality problem. If we were to hold every police officer accountable for every act of racism and unjustified violence — and we should —  we would still have racist policing and police brutality. That’s because the problem is not “bad apples.” Circumstances and government policy have converged to create a policing culture that promotes racism and violence.

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