Four Stories: Prologue

Many of you will have heard of the shootings in Lakewood, WA on November 30. Maurice Clemmons, a mentally unstable man, shot and killed four police officers who were having coffee. Two days later he was himself shot and killed by Seattle police.

A week and a half before the shootings, a group of students occupied a building on the UCLA campus to protest the increase in tuition. Watching videos of the affair, I saw several instances of police brutality — mild, but real — and also a telling exchange of words between a protester and an officer.

All this fueled swirling thoughts of law enforcement, justice, and violence, and I struggled to find the right way to speak to the issue. I’ve finally worked it out.

This week, I’ll be posting one part of the response per day. It’s an experiment in serial blogging, taking one massive post and spreading it out. If it’s successful, I’ll be able to publish some of my larger pieces. So check back routinely.

While you’re waiting, you could also check out “Sodom and Gomorrah” or “What Have You Done?” They are related to “Four Stories” only by the theme of violence, but I still find they are the most important words I have ever said out loud.

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