HOUSTON, Texas -If there's anything that should make you happy to be in Houston today, some 900 miles away from Ferguson, Missouri, it's images of violence, fires, and looting in reaction to a St. Louis County Grand Jury's decision not to indict a white police officer for shooting and killing a black teen back in August. But just because we're far away, doesn't mean we're not affected. In fact, it's some of our own policies, leaders say, that could help stem the tide.
"We need to follow some of the modes and the new approaches that we in the city of Houston have used for almost two decades" Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said of the tension between police and citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, "community-oriented policing goes a long way to bring communities together."
Having said that, like it or not, the reality is that the same thing could still happen here; as it could happen anywhere. University of Houston-Downtown College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean, Dr. DoVeanna Fulton, says the best way to prevent it isn't by focusing on the looters, but on the greater underlying problem.
Dr. Fulton says, "Training for law enforcement, having the relationships with communities so that law enforcement intimately knows the experiences of community members."
It's a lesson we should all heed. Because whether you agree with the Grand Jury's decision or not, one thig is true: we are all Ferguson.