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The End of Policing reading group
September 3, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Join us for a discussion of Alex S. Vitale’s “The End of Policing”
The book is available direct from the publisher here:
If you are unable to obtain a copy of the book due to cost, please contact us.
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.
We’re discussing two chapters per meeting, as follows:
Sept 8 (Room 214): “The limits of police reform” and “The police are not here to protect you”
Sept 22 (Room 214): “The school-to-prison pipeline” and “We called for help, and they killed my son”
Oct 6 (Room 212): “Criminalizing homelessness” and “The failures of policing sex work”
Oct 20 (Room 214): “The war on drugs” and “Gang suppression”
Nov 3 (Room 214): “Border policing,” “Political policing,” and the conclusion