Tag Archives: police

Chauvin and our division-of-labor problem

What was Officer Chauvin thinking ( feeling, experiencing) for those 9 plus minutes kneeling on George Floyd’s neck? Was he really more afraid than he looked? Was he feeling racist rage? Or maybe a sense of duty to set a good example for the less experienced cops standing around? A few minutes of google search […]

The end of the idea of police as peace-keepers

Whether or not policing is abolished, as has been seriously proposed, a cherished concept of policing has probably taken a mortal hit. The weeks since the nine minutes of a cop’s knee on George Floyd’s neck have made it much harder for anyone to seriously entertain the idea of policing as neutral peace-keeping. That’s the […]


The recent uproar over the Dave Granlund cartoon and the paper’s decision to run it reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live skit featuring Miss Emily Litella (played by Gilda Radner) as a commentator on TV news. She rants on: “What is all this fuss I hear about the Supreme Court decision on a […]

New Citizen life being born in Wellfleet?

Something new, an unprecedented form of citizenship, may be taking shape in Wellfleet, the Little Town That Could. It’s not clear even to those who are part of its emergence (including this writer) what this new thing is, or might be. At this point it could go in any of several directions, become this or […]

Community Policing: problem concept?

On June 16th (7 pm, Senior Center) Wellfleet will hold a forum on “community policing.” It’s a well-intentioned effort to address current concerns about our town’s policing, “worrisome incidents” as one citizens put it. But the very concept is a problem. According to Wikipedia, “Community policing, or community-oriented policing, is a strategy of policing that […]

Cops and community: what style of policing do we want?

It’s not a rumor that there are rumors going around town that our police are getting tougher, more zealous. Overly zealous. I have no personal experience of this myself, but the rumors probably don’t come from nowhere. What is being alleged is conceivable. And if true, it raises issues that should be addressed at the […]

Cops and community: where should the buck stop?

What was the story of the arrest of two Wellfleet locals in front of the Wicked Oyster restaurant on the evening of May 3? Actually, there are currently two very different stories. The story told in the police report mentions some serious-sounding crimes such as DUI, assaulting an officer, endangerment of the two kids in […]

Tasers and the conscience of a community [op-ed, CCT,19 February 2013]

Wellfleet, the Taser issue, take two. In 2007 Wellfleet’s police chief, since retired, proposed to the board of selectmen the adoption of Tasers. He explained how this in theory nonlethal weapon was a win/win, reducing harm to both police and possible perps. Although the chief says that in his opinion he would have been within […]

[ op-ed ] Police and community need to share the responsibility

Over the years I have written a number of times about troubling police behavior even here on the more rural end of the Cape. The controversial roughing up of 4th of July celebrants, the proposed use of tasers, DNA swabbing of the inner cheeks of whole male population of one town, the use of surveillance […]