The story, and the reporter, and the national mood, all might induce a writer to polemical fits. They Can't Kill Us All does anything but that: we begin with straightforward reporting: the analysis, if that's even the right word, doesn't begin until the reader is a hundred pages in. And that, ultimately, is straightforward. From page 190: "For most of the year after Michael Brown's death, my reporting focused on policing policy -- tactics, training, best practices, and reform -- with race serving as an ever-present subplot. My goal was and is to pull back the veil over a profession that had become among the least accessible and least transparent corners of government." The protests after the police shootings? Might it simply be people pushed too far, for too long? Page 195: "Who is a perfect victim? Michael Brown? Kajeme Powell? Eric Garner? Sandra Bland? Freddie Gray? Young activists reframed the question: Does it matter?"
The social science? Left to others. Police behaving as an occupying army? That's one perception. It's also an opportunity for further research. Financially strapped suburbs shaking poor people down with all sorts of niggling fines (a Strong Towns theme)? Hinted at, not of immediate relevance to the story. Maryland, particularly Baltimore, being ruined by Democrats? See page 141, but don't read too much into it.
Understand this much, dear reader: what began with abolition and continued with voting rights is not yet done.
(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)