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In recent days, Rodney King—the victim of an infamous police beating 20 years ago that led to Los Angeles riots—was found dead at home. The riots led to some police reforms but also hardened attitudes by the public. The 9/11 attacks and continued pushing of the envelope by police unions pushed the pendulum further in the law-and-order direction. Maybe now it will swing back a bit in the other direction.
When even the union-dominated California Senate says enough is enough, there may indeed be reason for optimism.
Steven Greenhut is vice president of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.