In the Spring, months before Michael Brown was shot and Ferguson erupted in reaction, whoever writes New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton's blog for him posted, "In my long police career I have often drawn inspiration from a great hero of mine, Sir Robert Peel. Peel founded the London Metropolitan Police in 1829." The post listed the nine "Peelian Principles" attributed (probably spuriously) to the founder of modern policing and formulated to combat crime in a rapidly modernizing city. The principles are remarkable both for the high ideals to which they aspire, and the minimal resemblance they bear to the actual forces over which Bratton and his counterparts around the United States actually preside.
Given the grim reality of law enforcement in today's America, writes J.D. Tuccille, it's hard to believe anything like those ideals could ever be met.