Tuesday, June 09, 2015

McKinney, TX use of force case

As you probably know by now, the small north Texas town of McKinney (N of Dallas) made national headlines and got national TV coverage because of a use of a police use of force case.  A few years ago, without video this would not have been deemed newsworthy.  The publicity generated shows how much interest and concern there is about police use of force. Remember, no deadly force was used, no one was seriously injured, and it some respects the incident was arguably fairly routine for police when it gets hot and teenagers are involved. Yet, this case got great coverage.  There hasn't been this much attention to a police use of force case that didn't result in a death since the release of the videotape of the Rodney King beating in L.A. on Mar. 3, 1991
Increased media and public interest and transparency are positive signs that these long-standing issues may finally be addressed in an effective manner.  Keep your fingers crossed. 

You may be interested in today's coverage of this incident by the Dallas Morning News:
"Duelling Views:" and
"Officer was no rookie:"

Although people have a right to be upset and to want appropriate punishment for officers, ultimately, things are not going to change if we obsess about the individual officers.  Real solutions require looking at organizational, legal, systemic and subcultural factors.


  1. Funny how nobody is asking why the cops were called, to begin with.




    Wasn't there a book entitled "Rush To Judgement"?


  2. Art: Thanks for the comment. Media coverage tends to be 30 second soundbites and very superficial. Although they lean left, the New York Times generally provides more detail than most papers. Threats and violence are never an acceptable response to allegations of police excesses. It seems that ,sadly, there are always death threats against the officers involved. Unfortunately it is not available in much of rural and small-town American except online. Yes, there was a critique of the Warren Commission report on the Kennedy Assassination called 'Rush to Judgment.' by Mark Lane.
    The officer has resigned and charges have been dropped against the teen arrested at the incident.