In 2014, during the tense aftermath of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Harrison decided the young fighters at the gym needed to get to know police officers, and vice versa. So he began offering free memberships to police in D.C. and Prince George’s County. Now officers often train with ex-cons and troubled youths at Old School.
Blind luck put me on this yard where the men have decided to make good use of the empty time forced upon us by the state. Yard A is downright peaceful, nothing like the prison yards where racist convicts stab and assault people.
Over the past year, more than a hundred people have worn my handcuffs. Not long ago, in a self-defense class, I wore them myself. . . . The catch of the steel teeth as the cuffs tighten is austere and final, and never so much so as when it emanates from the small of your back.
Alex S. Vitale On The Overpolicing Of America
It’s a mistake to think of each episode of police misconduct as an isolated incident that might have gone another way if different officers had been involved. It’s not about individuals. The problem is a political imperative toward overpolicing.