Police chiefs: Law enforcement must learn from Ferguson
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Current and former police chiefs of the nation’s major metropolitan areas say law enforcement agencies around the nation must not repeat the mistakes that led to riots in Ferguson, Mo.

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Former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik and deputy Dallas police chief Malik Aziz on Sunday criticized the police response to social unrest in Ferguson and said it failed to anticipate a volatile situation.

“There was actually a peaceful protest and they came out, I think, aggressively, too aggressively,” Kerik said on CNN's "State of the Union" of the police response to the first night of social protests after Michael Brown, a black teenager, was shot in killed in Ferguson.

“In the aftermath, when it wasn’t a protest and it was an outright riot, I think they could have been more aggressive,” he said.

They said Ferguson and other police departments around the nation need to embrace community policing strategies to build better relationships and tamp down tensions.

“You have to either step up to the plate and believe in a real and true community policing philosophy or you get left behind,” Aziz, who is also chairman of the National Black Police Association, said.

“That’s what you see in Ferguson,” he added. “The inability to get out front. Failing to get out front. Failing to build community relations. Failing to let the public know at hand what actually occurred.”

He said the failure of local police to anticipate that a candlelight vigil in Ferguson could turn violent hampered their response.

Kerik said one of the major lessons from Ferguson is the importance of smooth communication between police forces and communities.

“The key is a dialogue with the community, the real community leaders,” he said, noting that many of the incidents of shootings, arson and burglary in Ferguson were committed by people who were not local residents.