Lot of good thoughts in this piece. I always thought Gawker was a tabloid thing. This piece at least is full of critical thought, history and links to move forward on the critical issue of police behaving like police. Still I wish it was a newspaper.
A discussion of police “brutality” implies that officers are breaking a social contract when they use violence as they did in the instances you both mentioned. In reality, the use of violence is simply a part of officers effectively executing their role. We treat these instances of “brutality” like the exception to the rule but if, like Mychal is saying, this is hardly the exception and is in fact the process by which we keep white as more powerful, then “brutality” is clearly a tactic.