I normally find sports-writers’ forays into matters other than sports to be depressing and annoying – as depressing and annoying as I imagine it would be for a knowledgeable beat reporter for the Montreal Canadiens to encounter anything that I might write about the subtleties of ice hockey, a sport about which I know next to nothing. Every now and then, however, a sports writer venturing outside of sports hits a home run, as the Washington Post‘s Sally Jenkins does today in her justified criticism of Missouri officials who object to some St. Louis Rams football players peacefully showing signs of opposition to police brutality.
It’s about the fact that neighbourhood beat cops have been replaced by men in riot gear driving tanks. It’s about the fact that dogs might be killed by American police officers as often as one every 98 minutes. It’s about the fact that a twelve year old playing with a toy gun is shot dead in a state where carrying a gun is legal. It’s about mentally ill men being shot by the police, firing squad-style while armed with only a pen.
It’s about stop-and-frisk programs. It’s about the fact that more people are killed by police in Utah than by gangs. It’s about grandmothers and veterans being shot more than fifty times in their own homes. It’s about babies having holes blown in their sides by grenades thrown by police.
It’s about police departments that get as much as 89% of their funding from assets that can be seized without charging anyone with a crime. It’s about states that react to death row exonerations by shutting down reviews of other cases. It’s about judges feeding kids into the criminal justice system for cash. It’s about not being able to walk down the street with your hands in your pockets because your skin is the wrong colour.
Conservatives should learn that government is no more trustworthy, knowledgeable, and noble when doing things conservatives like than when doing things “progressives” like.
My Mercatus Center colleague Adam Thierer and GMU student Ryan Hagemann explain that smart cars can save lives. And, in another venue, these authors wisely warn against excessive regulation of smart cars.