How to Prevent the Next Ferguson

Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson addresses the crowd of protesters on Aug. 14 in Ferguson. Photograph by David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP PhotoThe clash between police and citizens in Ferguson, Mo., highlights an American dilemma about law enforcement. After the Missouri State Highway Patrol took over policing on Thursday night, the streets of Ferguson became considerably more peaceful than they had been under the watch of St. Louis County police.

As the crisis has starkly illustrated, we?ve been increasing the power of every police force in terms of weapons, authority, impact, and indemnity. But the quality of policing hasn?t always kept up with the elevated power?nor has our ability to test and improve that quality. The U.S. should look to other countries for techniques of measuring police probity and foster reforms to strengthen the caliber of the nation?s law enforcement system.

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