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policing



  • The Origins of Policing in America

    Historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Media Studies scholar Chenjerai Kumanyika explain how American policing grew out of efforts to control the labor of poor and enslaved people.



  • Against State Capture

    by Austin McCoy

    Austin McCoy warns that the energy of today's protest movements, which demand deep changes to the organization of society, is at risk of being captured and contained by small-scale reforms. The challenge for "abolition democracy" is to involve people in deciding how to dismantle and replace repressive institutions.


  • Gassed: A Personal History

    by Ron Steinman

    I first experienced the horror of CS gas more than 50 years ago. Today when I think of CS gas I remember how badly I felt when tear gassed on the streets of Saigon, and in Northern Ireland.



  • Let Us Drink in Public

    Many modern open container laws derive from previous “public drunkenness” and “vagrancy” ordinances that criminalized not just alcoholism, but also poverty and homelessness.



  • The Police Lie. All the Time. Can Anything Stop Them?

    A 1961 Supreme Court ruling establishing the Exclusionary Rule--that evidence obtained illegally is inadmissible in trial--spurred a host of police practices to circumvent the rule, most involving lying in reports about the circumstances of a search or arrest.



  • The Hidden Faces of Apartheid (Review)

    A new book documents the way that the South African security forces targeted percevied opponents of apartheid for extrajudicial killing. 



  • Homeland Security Was Destined to Become a Secret Police Force

    by Masha Gessen

    On behalf of the D.H.S. and its uniformed services, Director Chad Wolf claimed responsibility for the armed presence in Portland. He asserted that his agency was doing exactly what it was created to do. He was right.



  • Federal Agents in Portland Set a Dangerous Precedent

    by Tom Mockaitis

    The sight of armed men in combat fatigues without name tags driving around in unmarked vehicles to detain protestors might have been expected in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, or the Latin American dictatorships of the 1970s. Such tactics have no place on the streets of an American city in 2020.



  • Trump Has Brought America’s Dirty Wars Home

    by Stuart Schrader

    The history of the Office of Public Safety, created to support counterinsurgency around the globe during the Cold War, demonstrates that Trump’s ardor for authoritarian force has long-standing, homegrown roots.



  • The Best Histories of U.S. Policing, According to Experts

    A panel of experts including historians Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Simon Balto, Max Felker-Kantor, Carl Suddler, Stuart Schrader and Melanie Newport assemble a reading list for understanding policing and its relationship to racism and social class in the US.