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Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America (Third Edition)
     

Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America (Third Edition)

by Kristian Williams
 

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“Should become mandatory reading for all police academy students.”—Damon Woodcock (Ret.), Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau

“A well-researched, historically grounded, and mordant critique of American policing past and present.”—Christian Parenti

Even critics have a difficult time imagining a world without police. But just what

Overview

“Should become mandatory reading for all police academy students.”—Damon Woodcock (Ret.), Portland, Oregon, Police Bureau

“A well-researched, historically grounded, and mordant critique of American policing past and present.”—Christian Parenti

Even critics have a difficult time imagining a world without police. But just what is the role of police in a democracy: to serve the public or to protect the powerful? Tracing the evolution of the modern police force back to the slave patrols, this controversial study observes the police as the armed defender of a violent status quo.

Kristian Williams is the author of American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sweeping generalizations and little nuance make self-described anarchist Williams's first book likely to appeal only to a preselected readership who will not be put off by the title and the oversimplified theme that police officers are inherently aggressive, racist and brutal tools of the powers that be. Williams, who has written for Dissent and the Progressive, traces the development of the American police from colonial times and Southern efforts to keep slaves in check. He's strongest in delineating the unintended consequences of well-intentioned efforts to reduce police corruption and brutality, but barely a page goes by without the voicing of extremist views (e.g., a New York PBA rally that became a riot against then-mayor David Dinkins, followed by the election of the police-friendly Rudolph Giuliani, is called a "municipal-level coup"). While the litany of police misdeeds-ranging from collusion with the Klan to the shooting of unarmed Amadou Diallo-makes plain that there has always been unjustified behavior by police, it doesn't prove his argument that nothing can be done to reform the force. His alternate proposal-replacing a government force with a voluntary community patrol-will strike many as na ve in a post-9/11 world, and too rigid when he dismisses, as a form of co-optation, community policing, which has enabled officers to rely less on force. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780896087712
Publisher:
South End Press
Publication date:
08/01/2007
Edition description:
Revised Edition
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Kristian Williams's writings have appeared in CounterPunch, Columbia Journalism Review, and We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism. A member of Rose City Copwatch in Portland, Oregon, Williams also authored Our Enemies in Blue (2004).

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