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Steven Greenhut

California’s Law-and-Order Culture Shows Cracks

California voters veer hard to the right on law-and-order issues, as politicians from both major parties have learned, defying stereotypes of a state of loony leftists. In recent months, attitudes have shown signs of changing.

After a video went viral of a campus police officer pepper-spraying a line of peaceful at the University of California at Davis in November, the public reaction was far from sympathetic to the police. Although the Occupy protesters did their best to provoke the police and other citizens in Tuesday’s May Day demonstrations in San Francisco and Oakland, longer-term trends deserve critical attention, too.