The Catholic University of America

CUA Law Professor Robert Destro was quoted in an October 18 Catholic News Agency article entitled "The role of Catholics in fighting police aggression". See below. 

The role of Catholics in fighting police aggression

Catholic News Agency 
October 18, 2016
By Adelaide Mena


“My father was a policeman, so I have a certain degree of sympathy for the police, but his view always was: Show me these incidents and what I’ll show you back is either ‘poor or lack of training’,” said Robert Destro, law professor at The Catholic University of America and the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion.

Destro suggested that most examples of police aggression can be traced back to poor training or poor oversight and management of police departments. He pointed to the issue of racial profiling, noting that a profile is a valuable tool for police officers trying to solve a crime, but when a profile is based on race alone, it is inadequate and problematic.

These issues, he said, are often “the fault of upper echelons,” who don’t successfully manage police training and community relations, allowing tensions between the community and the department to grow and fester.

“When you’re looking at this from a Catholic Social Teaching perspective it’s a question of solidarity and subsidiarity,” he added, noting that churches have a role to play in getting communities together. “It’s only in the local community that you can break down the ‘us and them’ into an ‘us’.”

He also commented that while there may be nationwide trends involved, each of the departments and communities involved has a distinct, unique character.  Lasting solutions will reflect that local character.   “The police are not an monolithic entity – there is a local police force where you live,” he said.

Destro urged Catholics as well to take action on this issue in their communities. “We shouldn’t be waiting until there’s a crisis,” he stated. “These problems have been around for a long time”


Click here to read the full article. 

Robert Destro  

Professor Robert A. Destro's
Areas of Expertise

International Human Rights

Freedom of Religion, Speech,
and Association


For additional information about our professors' areas of speciality, see the Catholic University Experts page.