Walk the Walk by Neil Gross

Walk the Walk by Neil Gross

Author:Neil Gross
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

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VIJAY, THE INDIAN COWBOY, WENT home that night and cried—for Eddie and his siblings and the cruel hand they’d been dealt in life.

You could say that Eddie’s case revealed the flaws in the child welfare system, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But the caseworkers did have reason to investigate. You could say that it shows why the police shouldn’t be involved in noncriminal matters, especially situations involving kids and mental health. Yet if Vijay and his colleagues hadn’t been there, there’s a real possibility that Eddie would have assaulted the caseworkers, resulting in injury to them and more serious criminal charges. (Since no one had been injured, a judge decided to send Eddie into a diversion program, which in Boulder County often means community service rather than jail time.) You could say that Eddie’s case proves that police reform doesn’t work—because, despite the positive changes Mike had made to Longmont PD, the cops’ attempts at de-escalation failed. But perhaps they could have succeeded, if Eddie’s emotional state had been different that day. As bad as the outcome was, the same circumstance—a teenager threatening to kill social workers and police—handled by a different department and different officers, accustomed to a different culture of policing, could have ended in tragedy.


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