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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Anna, Ava, and Brian Cardall. Courtesy of the Cardall family.
Western Opinion Sampler - Who polices the police?

Above: The family of Brian Cardall, who died in 2009 after a Hurricane police officer shocked him with a Taser, has settled its wrongful death lawsuit against the officer, police chief and the city.

More Jedi, fewer stormtroopers — George Pyle | The Salt Lake Tribune

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A sheriff I used to know preferred talking to shooting.

And it was a good thing, too, because one of the few times he was face-to-face with an armed fugitive, he held out his left hand in a "halt" gesture and reached his right hand around to grab the pistol he carried in a holster attached to his belt, way at the back, under his sport jacket.

Except the sheriff’s weapon wasn’t there. It was at home on his dresser.

The way the sheriff told this story over the years — and he told it so well that he had many requests to repeat it — was that he kept his right hand behind his back, as if the pistol really were there, kept his gaze fixed on the panicky young man and softly but firmly instructed his quarry to just relax and nobody would get hurt.

Nobody did.Back-up arrived shortly and took the fugitive into custody without further ado. And we were reminded, as Master Obi-Wan teaches, that the Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.

Looking over The Salt Lake Tribune for the past few days, examples that follow the mold of my friend’s clear-eyed thinking are few, and instances where other cops might have been better off if they weren’t carrying guns, either, are more common. ...

Salt Lake City has new plan for investigating prostitution, gambling — Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 8

Salt Lake City police Chief Chris Burbank on Tuesday announced a new plan for combating prostitution, human trafficking and gambling that places an emphasis on helping people quit the vices.

The city’s new Organized Crime Unit will generate fewer arrests and citations, Burbank said, and instead try to determine why someone is involved in crimes like prostitution and gambling. If the person has an addiction or is being forced into crime through trafficking, detectives will then try to "divert" the person into social services or another form of help, the chief said. ...

Ogden public safety building renamed for fallen officer — Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 4

Ogden family distraught after police mistake husband for wanted man — Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 29

Vernal police sued for alleged deathbed intrusion — Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 4

Family gets $2M settlement from Hurricane in Taser death — Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 8

Cardall case recalls bad police work — Paul Rolly | The Salt Lake Tribune

Council protest appropriate — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

Citizens who gathered at an Ogden City Council meeting on Tuesday night to protest the police department’s handling of a botched arrest warrant deserve both appreciation for their public spirit and their efforts to call attention to the need to review law enforcement procedures. ...

Modern-day slavery — Las Vegas Sun Editorial

State Legislature should strengthen law to fight human trafficking ...

Tragedy highlights need for police department consolidation — St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial

A warrant to draw blood? — Los Angeles Times Editorial

The Supreme Court should reject the claim that police never need to obtain a search warrant before drawing blood from a motorist stopped for drunk driving.

Time to declare state of emergency in Oakland? — Tammerlin Drummond | The Oakland Tribune

... At what point do we say that we have crossed a threshold, the violence in our city is so out of control that we cannot expect our police department on its own to stop it? ...



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