The debate on policing and use of force has reignited after a rapid succession of shootings that left the country in a state of anger and shock.
The deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castille in Minnesota at the hands of police this week caused a national outrage when videos of the incidents circulated online. Then, on Thursday night, five Dallas police officers were killed and several others injured during a protest for police reform.
This week has left many Americans wondering: Where do we go from here, and how do we prevent these tragedies from occurring again?
After the deaths of Sterling and Castile, President Obama called for “communities to address the underlying fissures that lead to these incidents, and to implement those ideas that can make a difference.”
But Obama also reminded Americans to support law enforcement. Just hours later, in the wake of the Dallas shootings, he called the attack on the officers “despicable” and reasserted his call for gun control. “We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic, and in the days ahead we’re going to have to consider those realities as well,” he said.
We want to hear from you: What do you think needs to happen next to bridge the divide between police and communities? Submit your comments, and we’ll share some of the responses below.
“All public protests should be temporarily banned for a short while, until everyone calms down.”
I think all public protests should be temporarily banned for a short while, until everyone calms down. With this much anger these crowded heated situations serve no purpose other than boosting tv ratings and increasing the likelihood of violence.
– Tom Gray from Santa Cruz, California
“The most important thing is for the right and the left to find something they can agree on…”
The most important thing is for the right and the left to find something they can agree on, as a starting point. Maybe this: People should stop killing each other.
– Bill Gray from Kansas City, Missouri
“Police training in America is broken.”
Congress needs to mandate federal police standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training that reduces the use of deadly force by all police departments. England and Germany police SOPs and training stress how to avoid the use of deadly force. Police training in America is broken.
– Clark Goodrich from Upstate New York
“We start by building community, breaking bread, engaging those we know…”
While there’s no easy answer, and no fast solution, we need to engage. We need to recognize the humanity in all of us. We start by building community, breaking bread, engaging those we know and getting to know those we don’t. Face to face, person to person, change happens
– George Neighbors from Silver Spring, Maryland
“Serious, independent police accountability boards with prosecutorial powers…”
Serious, independent police accountability boards with prosecutorial powers separate from the police departments they oversee.
– Richard Mertens from West Lafayette, Indiana