Our Enemies in Blue
Police and Power in America (Revised Edition)
Kristian WilliamsPages: 350
Release Date: 2007-08-01
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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 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.
Written for both the lay reader and for scholars, Our Enemies in Blue demonstrates that police misconduct isn’t just a matter of “bad apples,” but a function of the very nature of policing in the US. Williams examines the populations most often subjected to police abuse and the forms that abuse takes, delving into the role of police brutality in repressing political dissent and in preserving existing structures of inequality.
Kristian Williams is also the author of American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination (South End Press, 2006).
Table of Contents
Introduction: by Joy James
Author's Preface, 2007
Chapter 1: Police Brutality in Theory and in Practice
Chapter 2: The Origins of American Policing
Chapter 3: The Genesis of a Policed Society
Chapter 4: Cops and Klan, Hand in Hand
Chapter 5: The Natural Enemy of the Working Class
Chapter 6: Police Autonomy and Blue Power
Chapter 7: Secret Police, Red Squads, and the Strategy of Permanent Repression
Chapter 8: Riot Police or Police Riots?
Chapter 9: Your Friendly Neighborhood Police State
Afterword: Making Police Obsolete