A few months ago I complained that Radley Balko's book on U.S. police militarization and the drug war had a gaping hole in its center: it did not set these evils in the context of our historic structural racism.
That's not where Balko stands today. In fact he devoted a long recent Washington Post column to correcting the omission. After a lot of words responding to a couple of rightwing hack columnists and Hillary Clinton, he tells the story of Antonio Morgan. Morgan's life is a testimony to the accuracy of the Justice Department report on how Ferguson (and other small St. Louis suburbs) have turned their police departments into extortion rackets preying on their Black citizens. Balko puts a face on what for most of us might be an abstraction. The dreadlocked Morgan has been arrested some 20 times, mostly on traffic nuisance tickets, many of those after racial profiling stops. Twice he's been collared for more significant charges, both times the outcome of hostile interactions with police officers who felt empowered to tell him his business.
Do read it all.