Friday, February 24, 2017
doing society a favor
"A Small Ohio Town Clamors to Curb Aggressive Policing"
By John Eligon
YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio --
The scene was an all-too-familiar one on the streets of America's cities: a black suspect on the ground, roughed up by white police officers as an angry crowd looked on.
But Yellow Springs is a tiny, predominantly white village, and the arrest at the annual New Year's street celebration was an awakening to many who live here.
Dozens of residents criticized the police force on Facebook, accusing officers of carrying an "us versus them" attitude. Hundreds packed a gym for a special Village Council meeting to denounce the episode for, among other things, the psychological damage it had on their children.
When the police chief, unused to such fury, offered his resignation, the audience cheered.
Issa Walker, 28, a Yellow Springs native who is black, wrote the hashtag #WhiteFolksHereAintHavinIt beneath a picture of the meeting he posted to Facebook.
But in the consensus over the need for less aggressive policing, there were subtle differences in perspective: White residents were complaining largely about the officers' violation of social norms in a laid-back town,