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Police



  • Police Sexual Violence Is Hidden in Plain Sight

    by Anne Gray Fischer

    How did we get to the point where sexual assault is considered valid, necessary police work? The answer lies in the origin story of modern police, and specifically in the history of the discretionary enforcement of public order laws.



  • How Police Unions Fight Reform

    Activists insist that police departments must change. For half a century, New York City’s P.B.A. has successfully resisted such demands.



  • The Death of Hannah Fizer

    by Adam Rothman and Barbara J. Fields

    Those seeking genuine democracy must fight like hell to convince white Americans that what is good for black people is also good for them: Reining in murderous police, investing in schools rather than prisons, and providing universal healthcare.



  • Black Women are the Victims of Police Violence, Too

    by Mary-Elizabeth Murphy

    One lesson of black Washingtonians in the 1930s is that change can come if activists call attention and politicize the over-policing and violence against black women, recognizing how gendered violence upholds white supremacy. 



  • When Conservatives Called To Freeze Police Budgets

    by David Helps

    Activists calling for defunding the police and increasing social services can ironically learn lessons from conservative Southern Californians who demanded "law and order secured on someone else’s dime."


  • A Historian's Reflections on American Dissent

    by Ralph Young

    At a time like this one longs for a Gandhi or a King to come along and show us the way. Or a Lincoln or a Roosevelt who took up the challenge of leading the United States through existential crises. But I don't see that happening. Not in 2020. Not on the federal level.


  • Thinking About Racism Beyond Statues and Symbols

    by Dolores Janiewski

    In his life and his death Floyd experienced the coercive structures that constrain, punish and eventually kill altogether too many Americans. More than Confederate statues, these need to be torn down.



  • The Scars of Being Policed While Black (video)

    by Laurence Ralph

    Anthropologist and police violence researcher Laurence Ralph made the film above to explain exactly what it means to be policed in America today. It moves from my own experiences with racial profiling as a teenager to the horrific history of police torture in Chicago.



  • Policing the World (Review)

    by Andrew Lanham

    Since World War II, the United States has spread its style of policing—and police technology—around the world as a way to exert control. This link between modern policing and the national security state means they will have to be democratized together.



  • Building The Chicago Police State: A Review Of Occupied Territory

    by Davarian L. Baldwin

    "With scrupulous archival detail and sharp analytic focus, Occupied Territory shows how Chicago’s “powerful carceral machinery,” which present-day Black communities condemns for its under-protection and over-policing, was built in the early twentieth century." 



  • We Can End Qualified Immunity Tomorrow

    We need not wait for Congress or the Supreme Court to deny police officers qualified immunity when they violate constitutional rights. State attorneys general and city law departments can—and should—lead the charge themselves.