Officers at the funeral for NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu.
Damon Winter/The New York Times

from 1984 by George Orwell:

But always—do not forget this Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.

from Why the NYPD Turned Its Back on the City by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Until some critical mass of Americans decides that police cannot, all at once, wield the lethal power of gods and the meager responsibilities of mortals, change is unlikely.

And it always was. If the public appetite for police reform can be soured by the mad acts of a man living on the edge of society, then the appetite was probably never really there to begin with.