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murder, policing, and justice

October 11th, 2018 | 1 min read

By Matthew Loftus

This well-reported story about TJ Smith, the Baltimore Police Department’s former spokesman who lost his half-brother to violence in the city (and just resigned!), is well worth reading and reflecting on:

As for Smith, his failed struggle to lead Dionay off the streets exposed for him the boundaries of any individual’s influence against the awesome power of poverty and social dysfunction. And he knows that the influence of the police department is limited, too. The problem is simply bigger than that. “In order to change the city,” Smith says, “you have to change the city.”

Here’s an essay I wrote previously about violence, policing, and trust in places like Baltimore.

Matthew Loftus

Matthew Loftus teaches and practices Family Medicine in Baltimore and East Africa. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, Comment, & First Things and he is a regular contributor for Christ and Pop Culture. You can learn more about his work and writing at