The Great Debate

Another reason to question whether black lives matter in Mississippi

By Alan Chin
July 28, 2015

Almost a thousand people attended the open-casket funeral of Jonathan Sanders at the Family Life Center Church. ALAN CHIN

Scenes from Baltimore, the day – and night – after (Photos)

By Alan Chin
April 29, 2015

Volunteer medics bandage protester hit by police rubber bullet. ALAN CHIN

The fires, vandalism and hundreds of arrests in Baltimore on Monday night played dramatically on television screens across the nation as a major American city seemed out of control. But the day after, as thousands of people returned to protest at the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North Avenues in West Baltimore, peace and calm had returned — and not only because thousands of National Guard soldiers were deployed to the streets.

Never an excuse for shooting unarmed suspects, former police chief says

By Joseph D. McNamara
August 19, 2014

A police officer points a spotlight at a more vocal and confrontational group of demonstrators during further protests in reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown, near FergusonI was the police chief in Kansas City, Missouri, when an unarmed African-American teenager was shot by a cop for a non-violent issue. The result was a peaceful and constructive public dialogue — the opposite of what is happening now in Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.

New York’s election suggests the waning of identity politics

September 11, 2013

To most Americans, the results of New York City’s local elections don’t matter much and often shouldn’t. Yes, there are City Hall occupants who manage to command a national stage, notably incumbent Mike Bloomberg, but in the 2013 race there have been no candidates even approaching his stature (or his wealth). The candidate who received the most votes in Tuesday’s primary, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, is unknown outside New York City and until recently not well known inside it.

Can federal charges be brought against Zimmerman?

By William Yeomans
July 23, 2013

Now that a Florida jury has found George Zimmerman not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter, people across the nation are demanding federal prosecution. But this public debate has been clouded by misinformation about the possibility and scope of federal charges.