Without question, the trust between police and their communities, especially those based in low-income areas, has broken down, bringing about a call for comprehensive reform. However, the unfortunate truth is that many of the reform proposals as they currently read will not heal decades of immediate pain, trauma, and violence, not to mention centuries of social, economic, and educational failures in governmental policy. Since there are approximately 12,000 local police departments in this country, each tasked with enforcing a different slate of local and state laws, thousands of community-specific variations on the theme of reform will be necessary for impactful and lasting change.

We want to inspire our communities to move forward and revisit ways to exist as interdependent networks of social actors. The recognition of and appreciation for human dignity is crucial, as is a mutual social covenant that affirms the rule of law while practicing reciprocal neighborly care. Transitional justice in communities emerging from egregious and tragic social conflict, police misconduct, or systemic violations of human dignity must replace today’s insufficient vision of justice. Rather than seeking to deconstruct or dismantle the rule of law, transitional justice aims to restore it to support robust social growth, development, and prosperity.

Read the rest: When police get it wrong (repeatedly): The rule of law and police reform – Acton Institute PowerBlog