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Stephen L. Carter

For Effective Police Reform, Start Small

The killing of Tyre Nichols has revived calls for sweeping overhauls of city police departments. But micro-reforms might work faster.

Killed by Memphis police.

Killed by Memphis police.

Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images North America

In the wake of the beating death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of the Memphis police, I’m like most people: clamoring for change. We all want to reduce the killing of unarmed civilians. The trouble is, it’s hard to know what might work.

Although sweeping changes are tempting, I’ve reason to believe that smaller-scale reforms would be more effective.