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House on ‘Gunsmoke’ and Police Reform: The Hill

In his latest column for The Hill, Journalism Associate Professor Roger House suggests that reruns of the Western TV series Gunsmoke demonstrate why America mythologizes law enforcement officers, and argues that the way toward reform lies in “narrowing the scope” of police unions at the state and local levels.

The demands to “defund the police” or to strip away “qualified immunity” are a weak hand against the cult of the lawman. However, there may be an opportunity to build bipartisan support for better police accountability. It would involve a push to enact local and state laws that narrow the scope of authority of the police unions.

Read the column.

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