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HOW TO USE POLICING THE USA
The names are all too familiar to most Americans, and for tragic reasons: Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin. Sandra Bland. Their stories have become symbols of racial injustice, police brutality, lack of progress. But do their experiences tell the entire story? Are things much worse, or much better, than the news media have portrayed? Is the #blacklivesmatter movement, an outgrowth of recent cases of police mistreatment, doing enough in your view to make a difference? Or are police being unfairly criticized?
This site is a portal for you to share your views and tell your stories about broader issues of race, justice, the role of journalists and the American experience. Talk about what’s happening in your community, or on your campus, in photos, videos and words. Engage in a dialogue with others. Share what you think is working, what the news media could do better, what you would like to see change.
We, as a news organization, want to take a close look at ourselves and our communities. We’re telling stories and giving our views on three major aspects — race, news media and politics — through podcasts, videos, photos and voice, all captured on this page. We’re also providing data on the latest police conflicts and interactions.
And we’re inviting you to do the same. Respond using several platforms: social media, videos, photos and voice.
Call 540-739-2928 to leave your views or talk about what’s happening:
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Have a great example of the police working with members of your community? Or is the opposite happening? Are there movements and protests happening in your neighborhood? Show us what’s happening in your community through our Your Take call.
The college voice
The data on police use of force
Nearly 70% of Americans arrested are white, yet black men have a higher likelihood of going to prison (1 in 3) compared with white men (1 in 17). While a handful of cases involving young black males and police use of force make the headlines, many more black men say they confront police bias on a daily basis. Learn more in the data behind the headlines.
We wanted to take a look at our role in reporting, discussing and covering race. How can the news media be better? What does success — when it comes to covering race, police use of force and progress — look like? A podcast includes the story of one Baltimore man who was brutalized and a roundtable discussion with USA TODAY reporters and editors.
Since the Michael Brown shooting, President Obama has given a series of speeches about race relations. He has referred to the deep-rooted tensions between minority communities and law enforcement, but said there is never an excuse for lawlessness. What have the president’s speeches meant to you? We put some of your opinions up against the speeches in this video. Take a look.