Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or the rights of the people to peaceably assemble or "to petition the government for a redress of grievances." These crucial First Amendment protections also limit state government action, thanks to the 14th Amendment, and embody essential values that created and have sustained this ...Read more
On Monday evening, National Guard units accompanied by other federal law enforcement detachments fired rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades and tear gas canisters into crowds demonstrating across the street from the White House against police killings of unarmed black people.
This was done evidently at the behest of the Trump administration so ...Read more
At a hastily arranged Rose Garden press conference on Monday, President Donald Trump announced his intention to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to send federal troops into the states unless governors were able to "dominate" protesters using National Guard soldiers. Then, after the Secret Service fired tear gas and rubber bullets at what ...Read more
The moment we've been dreading since that escalator ride down Trump Tower five years ago this month -- that's been slowly building brick by brick as Donald Trump tore down the rule of law, abused the presidency to enrich himself and grabbed the bully pulpit of the White House to divide America with racism, sexism and xenophobia -- finally came ...Read more
America is in peril. The days and hours ahead could define our nation, in the same way that the turmoil of 1968 did.
On Monday, President Donald Trump took another page from the authoritarian playbook, threatening to deploy active-duty troops to quell the unrest that has roiled dozens of American cities. Even by the depraved standards he has ...Read more
President Donald Trump, for better or worse, could be the most unfiltered president in the nation's history. His public comments often meander and crisscross and, within a span of seconds, contradict themselves. Then there's his Twitter feed, a sandblaster through which he spews a torrent of insults, innuendo and outright lies attacking critics ...Read more
The World Health Organization, under pressure from member countries, has agreed to an independent probe of how it handled its international response to the coronavirus, but such an investigation must be thorough and transparent if the organization hopes to repair its damaged reputation.
Despite reports in late January of an increasingly deadly ...Read more
As a nation, we must wake up to, speak out against and stop the racism that black Americans experience and fear every day.
We must acknowledge that more than six decades after the birth of the civil rights movement, we remain a grossly unequal society in which people of color -- especially black men -- face disparate treatment because of the ...Read more
George Floyd died after a police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing, and riots have now erupted in cities across our nation. We can blame those police officers who participated in Floyd's murder, and we can blame those looters who have moved well beyond peaceful demonstrations. But real solutions to these problems ...Read more
Some years ago, I interviewed Andrew Young, the civil rights leader, former mayor of Atlanta and former congressman and ambassador to the United Nations -- a wise and brave man. Something he said shocked me.
He said: Atlanta is a city more easygoing and tolerant than most, a melting pot, an incubator of pluralism. But it could turn into a ...Read more
Amid reports from across the country about escalating clashes between protesters and law enforcement, it's worth looking underneath the images for the roots of the outrage. It is the extrajudicial killings of unarmed people by police, and not the protests against them, that too often spark the cycle of violence and death in the United States. It...Read more
Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman fit the definition of "outside agitators." They were white New Yorkers in their early 20s who had driven down to Mississippi, where they successfully organized a black boycott of a variety store -- along with James Chaney, a local black man once suspended from high school for wearing an NAACP paper badge -- ...Read more
The outrage over George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis under the knee of a white police officer is justified. Nationwide demands to end police abuse are legitimate. The fury of black Americans who are tired of generations of injustice is real.
But the rioting and vandalism that overshadowed peaceful protests the past several days represent ...Read more
President Donald Trump's inability to perform his job is a tragedy for the nation. But his wide-ranging incompetence -- whether it's his flailing in the face of police brutality and violent protests or his delusions as the coronavirus approached -- is showing America that it has other leaders, many of whom are women or black (or black women), ...Read more
America's biggest week of rebellion and social unrest may have been sparked by the agonizing to watch police-custody killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but if you're one of the many folks looking to understand why so many corners of our nation are covered with charred ashes and broken glass, it also helps to roll the tape back about 12 ...Read more
Over the weekend, what began as a peaceful protest in Madison, Wis., where I served as chief of police for more than 20 years, erupted in violence. A police vehicle was torched, more than 70 businesses were damaged and in some cases looted, and police deployed tear gas and pepper spray.
Similar unrest has occurred in dozens of cities across the...Read more
Los Angeles, like so many American cities, is on edge. Protests over the police killings of unarmed black civilians have been mostly peaceful, but they were marred Friday night by unfortunate acts of vandalism and looting that damaged downtown businesses, many of them owned by immigrants and people of color. The Los Angeles Police Department has...Read more
White people don't like watching hardcore racism. Even some law-and-order conservatives are uncomfortable seeing a white cop hold his knee on a black man's neck and squeeze the life out of him.
But somehow, white people always find a way to get over it. You post your angst on social media to show which side you're on. And while the stories make...Read more
Add Baltimore to the growing list of communities in which journalists covering protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd have been attacked.
The attacks have come both from police and protesters, and they have been nationwide, ranging from a CNN reporter and crew being attacked with rubber bullets by law enforcement officers in ...Read more
If Americans are listening for a single voice of wisdom, moral authority and unity at a time of national crisis -- a big ask in a country of 328 million people suffering through a pandemic, a divisive presidency and widespread anarchy after the brutal killing of another unarmed black man by police -- they haven't heard it yet.
They certainly ...Read more