As a European who lived for 27 years in the USA it seemed to me that there are two fundamental problems with policing in the States. The first is the persistent and very real threat of gun violence thanks to the USA’s insane gun ownership policies. The second problem is the type of people who become police officers. In the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries the selection process weeds out the personality types you typically find in a US force, and selects instead for empathy, intelligence, and clear-headedness. While “to protect and serve” is an amusing slogan in the USA and in no way part of the actual job description, it is meaningful for police officers in the aforementioned countries.

It’s impossible, sadly, to imagine anything changing in the USA which means the slaughter will go on and on and on.

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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