FROM Lorie Fridell
Law Enforcement on Trial in America In Charleston, South Carolina cellphone video appears to show criminal conduct by police officer Michael Slager. He was fired and charged with murder shortly after the video went viral. It's the most damning in a series of videos that have created a crisis of public confidence in law enforcement. Such recent body-cam and bystander videos appear to confirm the worst accusations against police in some parts of America. They show what looks like racial profiling, abuse of force and tampering with evidence. They suggest that some cops believe they can get away with murder. Everybody agrees police face danger on a daily basis, but there's a growing consensus that steps are needed to counteract a loss of public confidence. Is better training what's needed to overcome deficiencies in cop culture?
Fear and Bias from the Streets to the Courtroom Since white police officers recently killed unarmed black men and boys in New York, Cleveland and Ferguson, Missouri, street protests have continued around the country and put America’s justice system on trial. There’s unequal treatment not just in the use of force but also the power of prosecutors to racially profile criminal suspects. Overt racism may be on the decline, but fear, unconscious bias and stereotyping are harder to recognize and overcome. Will sharing experiences on social media help close the gaps? Will training programs lead to reforms?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?