Divide between communities and police

By Story of America Team

As you know, Story of America aims to create greater understanding and civil engagement on divisive issues.

One of our goals for 2015 is to create better dialogue between communities and law enforcement. We were able to contribute to the dialogue in Prince William County through our critically acclaimed documentary project 9500 Liberty, the youtube series and the feature film. This is the trailer for the film. 

Please support our project to bring successful law enforcement practices into public spotlight. We plan to do profile pieces about the Police Chief of Nashville, TN and the Police Chief of Richmond, CA, two successful and compassionate law enforcement leaders who can provide a model of effective community policing without excessive force.

As imperfect humans, we have a tendency to limit our association with other persons to those persons who are most like us. … It is only when we go outside that comfort zone, and subject ourselves to the discomfort of considering thoughts we don’t agree with, that we can make an informed judgment on any matter. – Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson 

That is a quote from a remarkable Christmas letter to his employees from Chief Anderson. Under his leadership, police in Nashville have earned praise from the African American community for welcoming protesters with coffee and hot chocolate at police headquarters. 


Nashville and Richmond are two communities among others where community police is effective. There is such a thing as good training and best practices in law enforcement. It’s important that we look clearly at what they are as we seek reforms. 

In Richmond, Police Chief Chris Magnus made headlines by joining the protests after Ferguson. Earlier in the year, the police department made headlines for having the lowest homicide rates in 33 years. 

Here is a popular Story of America video profiling the former police chief of Montgomery, AL, Kevin Murphy, and his famous apology to Rep. John Lewis about how the freedom riders were mistreated by the Montgomery Police in 1961 when they were under siege at the First Baptist Church on Ripley St

Please make a tax deductible donation to Story of America to support our efforts to bridge the divide between communities and law enforcement.