Body cameras aren’t a quick fix for police violence, writes Jennifer Dawn Carlson in her post for LA Times. The failure of juries to indict Darren Wilson or Daniel Pantaleo in the wrongful death cases of two unarmed citizens has left many pointing to body camera technology as an obvious solution for ending police-citizen violence. Carlson closes her piece with a powerful question: if citizens equipped with cameras aren’t enough, will officers equipped with cameras prove to be?
Speaking of the police-citizen rift, we shared NPR’s Renee Montagne’s interview with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Laurie Robinson of George Mason University. Ramsey and Robinson were selected by President Obama to serve on the White House’s newly created Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Obama hopes the task force will come up with solutions for improving police-citizen interactions by mid-February.
Others have suggested a large portion of the police-citizen problem is arguably caused by a lack of knowledge about who polices the police (and how thoroughly). Alex Vitale’s post for The Nation highlights a selection of relevant literature about the subject to get the conversation going.
What on earth would a police department with an enforcement population under 29,000 people need “two bomb disposal robots, 10 tactical trucks and 35 assault rifles” for? We shared Shawn Musgrave, Tom Meagher and Gabriel Dance’s post from the Marshall Project, entitled “The Pentagon Finally Details its Weapons-for-Cops Giveaway” earlier this month. They detail which military grade equipment many local departments have received from military surpluses.
What’s on Anthropoliteia’s Blog Menu for 2015, you ask? Find out here– where you’ll also find a listing of our most popular posts of 2014. Top blogs included Jennie Simpson’s “Do Police Departments Need Anthropologists?” and “Little Green Men: Russia, Ukraine and post-Soviet Sovereignty” by Alexi Yurchak.
Lastly but importantly, Anthropoliteia will be launching a new forum in light of the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks. In the meantime, you can peruse our list of useful commentaries below:
- Medium.com – This attack was nothing to do with free speech: It was about war
- Politics of Religious Freedom Berkeley – Is critique secular blasphemy injury and free speech?
- Aljazeera.com – It’s going to get worse for French Muslims
- Mic.com – One tweet perfectly sums up the big problem with how we talk about terrorism
- Vice.com – This is why normal Muslims shouldn’t have to apologize for extremists
- Telegraph.co.uk – Paris shootings lead to firebomb attacks on French mosques
- Kafila.org – Beware bigotry-free speech and the Zapiro cartoons Mahmood
- Jacobinmag.com – Charlie Hebdo: Islamophobia
- Theguardian.com- Charlie Hebdo murderers cannot define Islam
Did I miss something? No worries- it does happen on occasion. If you have any suggestions for DragNet, or if you want to call attention to a specific blog or article, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “DragNet” in the subject header and I’ll get on it!