The End of Policing

The End of Policing

by Alex S. Vitale


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How the police endanger us and why we need to find an alternative

Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression—most dramatically in Ferguson, Missouri, where longheld grievances erupted in violent demonstrations following the police killing of Michael Brown. Among activists, journalists, and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself. “Broken windows” practices, the militarization of law enforcement, and the dramatic expansion of the police’s role over the last forty years have created a mandate for officers that must be rolled back.

This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.

In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781784782924
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 08/28/2018
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 196,781
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alex S. Vitale is Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College and coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project there. He has spent the last 25 years writing about policing and consults both police departments and human rights organizations internationally. He is also a frequent essayist, whose writings have appeared in the New York Daily News, New York Times, Nation, Gotham Gazette, and New Inquiry.

Table of Contents

1 The Limits of Police Reform 1

2 The Police Are Not Here to Protect You 31

3 The School-to-Prison Pipeline 55

4 "We Called for Help, and They Killed My Son" 76

5 Criminalizing Homelessness 90

6 The Failures of Policing Sex Work 108

7 The War on Drugs 129

8 Gang Suppression 156

9 Border Policing 176

10 Political Policing 197

Conclusion 221

Notes 229

Further Reading 258

Index 260

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The End of Policing 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone interested in a career in law enforcement, I found this book to be both unsettling and enlightening.