Justice Department to Track Use of Force by Police Across U.S. – as published by The New York Times on Oct. 13, 2016
The U.S. Justice Department announced that it will be developing an initiative to track the use of force by police due to the lack of government data and the series of protests that have ensued since 2014. The department will begin collecting nationwide data early next year. The article explains that law enforcement and government officials have yet to have an educated conversation about the issue of the use of force by police because of a lack of data. In the past two years, the news media has done a better job of tracking police shootings than the government. The Justice Department is authorizing $750,000 towards this initiative that is “designed to help local departments collect and publicly release information on a wider range of actions, including stops of citizens, searches, the use of force, shootings and other encounters.” Since the initiative depends on local departments voluntarily giving up this kind of information, the main concern is how the department will impose penalties on states that do not cooperate.
This is an important article because it puts the past years of protests against police brutality into perspective. Citizen unrest as boiled over in this nation due to the violent and visible injustices that have occurred involving police officers. Data is important to this conversation because it acknowledges a problem and gives way for further action and change to occur. However, it is troubling how long the federal government took to implement this.
This story consists of conflict and human interest. It was well-written and contained some good direct and partial quotes.
Immigrants Eager to Vote Obeyed All the Rules. It Didn’t Pay. – as published on The New York Times on Sep. 30, 2016
This article reports that there has been an extraordinary increase of legal immigrants applying to become American citizens in the last year. This increase can be linked to the election year and presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is highly unpopular among immigrants. According to the article, last year, almost a million legal immigrants applied for naturalization and half a million applications are still waiting to be examined. The article featured a few people who applied as early as January who do not think they will be able to become citizens in time to register to vote. What is supposed to usually be a 6-month process, has been dragged out because the immigration agency is taking its time to avoid any oversight instead of speeding up the process for these people’s voices to be heard.
This is an important story because it tells the other side of the story about legal immigrants. We usually hear about immigrants as if they are criminals or just as a community. We don’t hear their stories or how they are marginalized individuals. It is also an important story because of the voting aspect. Our history has shown us that the government creates obstacles and hoops for people, especially minorities, to vote or register to vote. As of right now, the Black community is fighting to restore the Voting Rights Act that helped to eliminate these kind of obstacles. These stories are important because it sheds light on the other side of our “democracy.”
This story is newsworthy because it is of human interest and contains conflict. It shows a bit of bias against Trump through the quotes. However, the quotes and the stories of these individuals helps to evoke emotion and adds interest to the story. Overall, this is a well-written article.