A political science professor, a civil rights lawyer and a police chief walk into a classroom . . .

I haven’t figured out the punch line to this joke. It was my opening line for a traffic stops session taught last month in the special topics seminar, Race Issues in the Courts, by UNC Professor Frank Baumgartner, Southern Coalition for Social Justice Staff Attorney Ian Mance, and Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock. One reason that it is hard to finish the joke is that these three were on the same page, which is somewhat surprising given the roles they occupy.

I immediately thought of that talk yesterday when I saw this News and Observer photograph of United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch standing next to Chief Medlock. Lynch traveled to Fayetteville as part of her nationwide community policing tour. She chose Fayetteville in part because of the work the presenters discussed at our April conference.

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