4 Must Read Books about Police Brutality

Published On November 20, 2011 | By CopBlock | Articles

Guest post submitted via our submit tab

While we hear about police brutality on the news frequently, and we read blogs like Cop Block, which help us understand that excessive police force is not an isolated phenomenon, sometimes more context is required to get the bigger picture. Pick up a few of these books and arm yourself with the knowledge that police brutality has been deeply entrenched in our system longer and more pervasively than you may have thought.

1. Police Brutality: An Anthology, ed. Jill Nelson

If you want to place police brutality in a historical context, and get several different views on police violence from different people, then look no further than this book. Comprised of twelve different essays, Police Brutality offers readers a multiplicity of perspectives, outlining the circumstances under which police brutality in America began, explaining its ties to racism, and offering potential solutions to stem the rising tide of police violence.

2. Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America by Kristian Williams

Published in 2007, Our Enemies in Blue is hailed as a very well-researched account of police brutality in America, dating police-led abuse from as far back as colonial times. Although many critics find Williams’ conclusion—that the police system should be abolished altogether, replacing the existing setup with volunteer, community-led law enforcement—controversial and naïve, the author still gives readers an interesting insight into possible alternatives.

3. Brotherhood of Corruption by Juan Antonio Juarez

Subtitled “A Cop Breaks the Silence on Police Abuse, Brutality, and Racial Profiling,” this narrative is one of the few books out there that gives an insider’s perspective on police brutality. Juarez, who served seven years as a narcotics office for the Chicago Police Department, tells in shocking detail the extent to which corruption exists within police departments. Most importantly, Juarez explains how a strict interdepartmental code of silence enables police corruption to continue undetected among the general public.

4. Beat the Heat: How to Handle Encounters with Law Enforcement by Katya Komisaruk

Although not specifically about police brutality, Beat the Heat is an informative, jargon-free guide that educates readers about their rights when dealing with law enforcement. Considering that police corruption is so firmly entrenched, many of us average citizens will unwittingly forgo our rights when dealing with forceful, corrupt police. This book lucidly explains what we should know and say when faced with common situations that involved police.

By-line: Jane Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. She writes about free background checks for Backgroundcheck.org. Questions and comments can be sent to: janesmth161 @ gmail.com

Jane Smith

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  • http://www.americaiswatching.org(JoshuaRobinson) Cynthia Robinson

    I learned about the blue code of silence, asking questions about my son’s death!

  • PSOSGT

    If you want real context look at what police do in other countries compared to the US. Willing to bet we are still going to be at the top of the list of countries your going to want to live in.

  • bhoodlum

    Yea and most Jews still preferred to live in Germany after Hitler took power. Look how that worked out for them. So because the US might top many people’s places-to-live list, we should just ignore police brutality, government corruption, media pandering, etc? Oh and by the way, many of those other countries are like that because of the US. They armed and trained all the Latin American death squads, Al Quaeda, the Taliban, just to name a few. I’m from Canada, but if you ever need a US history lesson, feel free to ask.

  • Amigajoe

    -I’m sure that’s what people are thinking as they lay, beaten and bloody on the floor of a holding cell: ‘Wow, at least this isn’t some 3rd world hell-hole! I’d probably REALLY be suffering then!”

    Fighting back against corruption is the only way to prevent us from getting there…