Ferguson: A Little Perspective

Ferguson Police NYT

With all the talk about our freedoms and after all the trillions we have spent (and continue to spend) on national defense and anti-terrorism since 9/11, you might be surprised to learn that more Americans are killed per year by their own police than by terrorist attack. In fact, if you are American you are nine times more likely to be killed by the police than by a terrorist. If you live in New York City, you are at a greater risk of being shot and killed by the NYPD than an Israeli is at risk of being killed by Hamas rock fire.

My brother, who is a public interest attorney in the Bronx, tells me that the teenagers in his neighborhood get stopped almost every day by the police. Stop and Frisk is in effect a daily police check point. Before you judge, listen. Listen to people’s stories. For example, here and here and here and here.

Ferguson Police NYT 2

And I definitely recommend this or anything else by Mr. Coates. You don’t have to agree with him, but you should definitely listen. Americans have different realities. If all you hear is your own, then yours just isn’t real.

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