Nightly news highlights that we have an enormous problem in America's cities, but that problem is not "police culture." The problem is, however, a combination of destructive cultures: a drug culture, a gang culture, a culture of violence, dependence and entitlement.
Those cultures reject the rule of law, basic civility, reformed public education and personal responsibility. Failed political leaders substitute excuses and blame police and others. Widespread criminal behavior results in the violation of civil rights -- not the civil rights of thugs and criminals, but the civil rights of law-abiding citizens in the neighborhoods.
There are many good people in our cities who are working to improve facilities and the environment. Without an end to the destructive cultures, good citizens recognize that jobs, modern services and improved schools, as well as basic civility and neighborhood security, will never be restored.
Change requires new political leadership that does not excuse or ignore the destructive cultures but confronts them. The drug dealers, gangs, thugs and criminals are the problem -- not the police.
In fact, without active involvement and support for the police, the civil rights of law-abiding citizens are not protected and cities collapse into criminal chaos.
To bring opportunity and peace back to our cities, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and political leaders at all levels need to work on the real threats to civil rights and the rule of law and support local law enforcement, not undermine it.
William T. Pendley