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New today: A conversation with a former police officer who now studies police-related deaths.
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Host Anna Sale and the logos for Death, Sex & Money and WNYC Studios, all on a beige background.
My four-year-old is still getting the hang of time. About every other day, she says, "Is tomorrow the weekend?" Sometimes she's right, more often she's not. But I can't blame her for feeling a little lost. There was Election Day, which was supposed to feel like a clear before and after, and then, hasn't been that. And we're resuming the kind of hunkering down we got to know in spring 2020, except now it's cold and dark at 5 pm. All the while, I'm trying to plan for the holidays that are coming up, while also managing expectations that they won't feel like the holidays we're used to. It's all a little disorienting!

I'm also noticing that as I move out of my manic news consumption habits that took over during the election, I'm reading and watching and listening to things that are all out of order. My husband and I are binging Borgen, the Danish political drama on Netflix that premiered in 2012. My daughter's preschool class has been talking a lot about midcentury jazz and blues, so I'm not listening to any music recorded after 1972. And even when I'm consuming podcasts at the top of my feeds, they manage to be a little old, like on Sunday, when I listened to the podcast version of the great New York Times piece about Gillian Welch and David Rawlings that ran in the paper earlier this month.

I sent it on to a colleague, who'd read the piece weeks before, and she texted back, "The whole world is asynchronous now." That seems about right, especially when we don't have a shared experience like Steve Kornacki's khakis to gather around.

—Anna and the Death, Sex & Money team
This Week on Death, Sex & Money
A blurred image of street lights and the lights from a police car.

Tom Baker is getting his PhD in criminology, and as part of his research he's spent hours watching and studying police shootings. "The goal is to...reduce the number of officer-involved shootings and police related deaths," he told me.

This research is personal for Tom. Because in 2009, while he was working as a police officer in Phoenix, he shot and killed a man while on an off-duty security shift. The killing was determined to be legally justified, but, over the years, Tom has struggled with it more and more. "You live in a culture where taking a life is the worst thing you can do," Tom told me. "But that earns prestige within the organization. People think, oh, that person knows how to handle their business.

In today's new episode, I talk with Tom about why he chose to leave the police force, and about how he now feels like he's straddling two worlds.

Your Stories: What Has 2020 Taken From You?
As this difficult year comes to an end, we want to hear from you about what you've missed out on and lost. We've heard from quite a few of you so far, including a listener named Kelly, who wrote in about what this year has been like for her and her son:
"What 2020 has taken from me and my 9-year-old son has been our healing. In October 2018, my husband died by OxyContin overdose after a long battle with opioid addiction. It was ruled a suicide six months later. During 2019 we faced a number of hits: a wrecked car, moving, a flood in our new apartment, on top of our grief at the sudden loss of our jolly, hard working Daddy.    

Towards the end of 2019, my son saw a guy in a YouTube video fishing with a bow and arrow. With a gleaming eye, my son, Peyton, said, 'Mommy, do you think they teach archery anywhere?' Sure enough, one place does. There began weekly one-on-one archery lessons in an indoor archery range. Peyton decided that early Saturday morning was his 'best shooting time,' so coffee in hand, this new single mom drove the 35 minutes while he slept in the back for lessons. His third grade school picture from that year shows a proud glowing smile, sitting up straight, so much confidence. His dad would love that picture. 

Peyton is a clown and a ham, just like his dad. In early February, he joined a drama class and was the only boy to be cast in a musical production. So we had our new schedule: drama class Monday, archery Saturday. Our new life was full. 

Then March 14th came. Our state shut down by governor's orders. I had already decided we would shelter in place. Peyton’s got asthma and takes three daily medications. He’s high risk. No chances. And he knows it. Now, no archery. No drama class. I pulled him from public school so that we could decide when we were ready to go back. Peyton’s afraid of the outside, despite many, many conversations about how you can and cannot get COVID. 'Better safer that sorry' is what he repeats. And we miss his dad. Always."

—Kelly
What did 2020 take from you? Tell us about your year here.

Listen to This: Audio We Love

A black and white photo of Francois Clemmons, a black man with close cropped hair and wearing a policeman's uniform, sits next to Fred Rogers, a white man who's wearing a zipped cardigan, a patterned tie and a button up, and dark pants, on the set of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Their feet are soaking in a small tub, and they're sitting on the grass next to a house, some shrubs, and a picket fence.
The podcast logo for You're Wrong About, a gray square with a rainbow across it, and the words "You're Wrong About" in bold white, shadowed lettering.

If you grew up watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, you'll know François Clemmons from his long-running role as Officer Clemmons on the show. Earlier this year, he released a memoir, and joined Erica Heilman on Rumble Strip to talk—and sing—about growing up on the plantation where his great great grandmother had been a slave, coming to terms with his sexuality, and trying to get Fred Rogers to say the F-word.  

If you're also binge watching the newest season of The Crown (and maybe watching with Wikipedia open), we've got more Princess Diana content for you. The podcast You're Wrong About is a meticulously researched and very funny history podcast that examines the famous moments we think we remember or know about, but don't always have the details right. In the first episode of a five part series, hosts and journalists Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall look back at "the people's princess" (who, as a reminder, grew up very wealthy!) as a form of pandemic self-care, including Diana's childhood, how Charles met Camilla, and the early days of Diana's relationship with Prince Charles.

We're (Still) Hiring An Intern!

The deadline to apply for our spring internship is coming up fast! If you're a current student or recent graduate, apply to work with the entire DSM team to learn how to make our show, from the content in our feed, to social media and our website. Find all of the details and apply here by this Friday, 11/20. 
"I need this podcast in my life."
—Allan, Tennessee

Join Allan in supporting our work at Death, Sex & Money!
Donate now at deathsexmoney.org/donate.
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