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"Left behind were hundreds of burned-out buildings, whole blocks that looked as though they had been bombed into oblivion." These words, written by the Washington Post's Leonard Downie Jr., do not describe a war zone but rather the nation's capital reeling in the wake of the riots of April 1968. In the devastating aftermath of Martin Luther King's assassination, a community already plagued by poor living conditions, unfair policing, and segregation broke into chaos. These riots brought well-documented tragedy and heartbreak--not only among the families of those who lost their lives but also among those who lost their homes, possessions, jobs, and businesses. There was anger, fear, and anxiety throughout the city of Washington, DC, from the White House to the residential neighborhoods of the capital. There was an excruciating dilemma for President Lyndon Johnson. He was outraged by the violence in the streets, but he also keenly aware that African American citizens who joined the riots had legitimate grievances that his civil rights initiatives did little to address. J. Samuel Walker's Most of 14th Street is Gone takes an in-depth look at the causes and consequences of the Washington, DC riots of 1968. It shows the conditions that existed in Washington, DC's low-income neighborhoods, setting the stage for the disorders that began after King's murder. It also traces the growing fears produced by the outbreaks of serious riots in many cities during the mid-1960s. The centerpiece of the book is a detailed account of the riots that raged in Washington, DC from the perspectives of rioters, victims, law enforcement officials, soldiers, and government leaders. The destruction was so extensive that parts of the city were described as "smoldering ruins block after block." Walker analyzes the reasons for the riots and the lessons that authorities drew from them. He also provides an overview of the struggle that the city of Washington, DC faced in recovering from the effects of the 1968 disorders. Finally, he considers why serious riots have been so rare in Washington, DC and other cities since 1968. Walker's timely and sensitive examination of a community, a city, and a country rocked by racial tension, violence, and frustration speaks not only to this nation's past but to its present.
The most dramatic change in American society in the last forty years has been the explosive growth of personal rights, a veritable "rights revolution" that is perceived by both conservatives and liberals as a threat to traditional values and our sense of community. Is it possible that our pursuit of personal rights is driving our country toward moral collapse? In The Rights Revolution, Samuel Walker answers this question with an emphatic no. The "rights revolution," says Walker, is the embodiment of the American ideals of morality and community. He argues that the critics of personal rights--from conservatives such as Robert Bork to liberals such as Michael Sandel--often forget the blatant injustices perpetrated against minorities such as women, homosexuals, African-Americans, and mentally handicapped citizens before the civil ights movement. They attack "identity politics" policies such as affirmative action, but fail to offer any reasonable solution to the dilemma of how to overcome exclusion in a society with such a powerful legacy of discrimination. Communitarians, who offer the most comprehensive alternative to a rights-oriented society, rarely define what they mean by community. What happens when conflicts arise between different notions of community? Walker concedes that the expansion of individual rights does present problems, but insists that the gains far outweigh the losses. And he reminds us that the absolute protection of our individual rights is our best defense against discrimination and injustice. The Rights Revolution is an impassioned call to honor the personal rights of all American citizens, and to embrace an enriched sense of democracy, tolerance, and community in our nation.
"Left behind were hundreds of burned-out buildings, whole blocks that looked as though they had been bombed into oblivion." These words, written by the Washington Post's Leonard Downie Jr., do not describe a war zone but rather the nation's capital reeling in the wake of the riots of April 1968. In the devastating aftermath of Martin Luther King's assassination, a community already plagued by poor living conditions, unfair policing, and segregation broke into chaos. These riots brought well-documented tragedy and heartbreak--not only among the families of those who lost their lives but also among those who lost their homes, possessions, jobs, and businesses. There was anger, fear, and anxiety throughout the city of Washington, DC, from the White House to the residential neighborhoods of the capital. There was an excruciating dilemma for President Lyndon Johnson. He was outraged by the violence in the streets, but he also keenly aware that African American citizens who joined the riots had legitimate grievances that his civil rights initiatives did little to address. J. Samuel Walker's Most of 14th Street is Gone takes an in-depth look at the causes and consequences of the Washington, DC riots of 1968. It shows the conditions that existed in Washington, DC's low-income neighborhoods, setting the stage for the disorders that began after King's murder. It also traces the growing fears produced by the outbreaks of serious riots in many cities during the mid-1960s. The centerpiece of the book is a detailed account of the riots that raged in Washington, DC from the perspectives of rioters, victims, law enforcement officials, soldiers, and government leaders. The destruction was so extensive that parts of the city were described as "smoldering ruins block after block." Walker analyzes the reasons for the riots and the lessons that authorities drew from them. He also provides an overview of the struggle that the city of Washington, DC faced in recovering from the effects of the 1968 disorders. Finally, he considers why serious riots have been so rare in Washington, DC and other cities since 1968. Walker's timely and sensitive examination of a community, a city, and a country rocked by racial tension, violence, and frustration speaks not only to this nation's past but to its present.
This report provides guidance in helping police and community leaders develop successful mediation programs for addressing citizen complaints against police officers. The first chapter defines mediation as "the informal resolution of a complaint or dispute between two parties through a face-to-face meeting in which a professional mediator serves as a neutral facilitator and where both parties ultimately agree that an acceptable resolution has been reached." The goals of mediation are to achieve understanding of the issues involved in the complaint, solve any problems associated with the complaint, and achieve reconciliation between the parties. The second chapter outlines the potential benefits of mediation for police officers, citizen complainants, police accountability, community policing, the complaint process, and the criminal justice system. The third chapter discusses the key issues in developing a mediation program for citizen complaints against police. Among the issues addressed are voluntary participation, case eligibility, the mediation of racial and ethnic-related complaints, the mediation of complaints by women, potential language and cultural barriers, case screening, police discipline and accountability, and getting both sides to the table. Other issues addressed pertain to the mediation session itself and the enforcement of agreements. Chapter four presents results from a survey of existing citizen complaint mediation programs. The concluding chapter describes a model for a successful mediation program for citizen complaints against police. 100 references.
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