Free ↠ The End of Policing By Alex S. Vitale – Andy-palmer.co.uk

The End of Policing the ebook is free on the pub s site rn the ebook is free on the pub s site rn This is a book that genuinely opened up my mind to a new way of imagining what is possible Vitale s book is a compelling argument from history, sociological data, and lived experience that the police at least as it is currently understood cannot be reformed enough to overcome the abuses that they continue to perpetuate As Vitale s argument turns from one area of life to the next, I was struck by how law enforcement officers with weapons are to address the problems they are called in to fix a This is a book that genuinely opened up my mind to a new way of imagining what is possible Vitale s book is a compelling argument from history, sociological data, and lived experience that the police at least as it is currently understood cannot be reformed enough to overcome the abuses that they continue to perpetuate As Vitale s argument turns from one area of life to the next, I was struck by how law enforcement officers with weapons are to address the problems they are called in to fix and I appreciated how Vitale structured his arguments overall to show how even the police themselves recognize how ill equipped they are to serve as actual solutions to our social problems I think I would have liked this even better if it had slightlyelevated prose as it stands, it is clear but not especially engaging and hadprognostication in it Still, I always appreciate a book that is able to actually expand my thought patterns on an issue, and this certainly does that I look forward to thinking through reading about this argument 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 SolveIn Contrast, There Are Places Where The Robust Implementation Of Policing Alternatives Such As Legalization, Restorative Justice, And Harm Reduction Has Led To A Decrease In Crime, Spending, And Injustice The Best Solution To Bad Policing May Be An End To Policing A kinder, gentler, anddiverse war on the poor is still a war on the poor Like many white Americans, I was complacent about the problem of police violence for many years I figured that there would always be tragic accidents, always a few bad officers, and that we must make allowances for people doing what is, no doubt, a very difficult job My attitude started to change when I left the country, and realized that the levels of police violence and incarceration in America are exceptional A kinder, gentler, anddiverse war on the poor is still a war on the poor Like many white Americans, I was complacent about the problem of police violence for many years I figured that there would always be tragic accidents, always a few bad officers, and that we must make allowances for people doing what is, no doubt, a very difficult job My attitude started to change when I left the country, and realized that the levels of police violence and incarceration in America are exceptionally high Still, I figured that the United States was always going to be a uniquely violent country, and that an over aggressive police force was simply one aspect of this.The killing of George Floyd and the recent protests have been a turning point for me, as they have been for many people in the country The death of yet another unarmed black man in police custody yet another citizen choked to death by government workers, as he repeated that he could not breathe was gruesome enough But the seemingly infinite videos of flagrant police abuse that surfaced during the protests pushed me from complacent, to skeptical, to indignant Peaceful protesters and journalists were shoved, beaten, sprayed, gassed, shot with less lethal ammunition, and arrested.Few people, I hope, can see the video of Martin Gugino a 75 year old man pushed to the ground by Buffalo police, bleeding from his head as police march past him indifferently without a sense of outrage The only way to rationalize such an obviously unnecessary use of force is to embrace ridiculous conspiracy theories, as the president recently has Meanwhile, the police response to this incident is entirely typical after the two offending officers were suspended, the rest of the 57 members of the emergency response team resigned in protest.It is in this context that the rallying cry Defund the Police has begun to circulate In other circumstances, such a statement would strike me as absurdly Utopian but once I learned that its proponents were not proposing to eliminate policing entirely, but to reduce it and divert resources to other social services, it began to sound all thereasonable I do I fear the slogan is poorly chosen, however, since it gives many people the mistaken idea that nobody will be around to solve murders or investigate thefts If a slogan requires a lengthy clarification, then it is not an effective slogan and it risks alienating people by making the idea seemradical than it really is Personally, I think something like Reimagine Policing may capture the idea much better, even if it sounds a bit twee This book is an excellent resource for those who wish to reimagine the role of police in America It is now available for free download on Verso Alex Vitale, a professor at Brooklyn College, examines the many ways that police are asked to do a job they are ill suited for, and proposals to replace them His first essential point is that the problem goes far beyond the conventional discourse about police reform Body cameras, implicit bias training, and diversifying police forces do not reliably reduce police violence Certainly, there are reforms that can and should be made such as stopping the 1033 program which transfers military equipment to police departments, or changing the training regimes that instill a warrior mentality into police officers but even the best of these reforms miss the point.As with the issues of healthcare and higher education financing, there is a tendency in America to frame the issue of policing in terms of technocratic fixes, as if value neutral reforms could be instituted that would make the police a perfect institution But this ignores the greater moral and philosophical question What do we have police for The police are distinguished from other public servants in being armed and authorized to use violence Their presence is warranted if somebody poses a violent threat as in the case of an assault, a sexual predator, or someone on a shooting spree and even then, it is their responsibility to use a minimum of force The problem, however, is that the vast bulk of police work does not consist in dealing with violent threats it consists of traffic stops, border patrol, noise complaints, drug busts, school fights, or prostitution What connects so many of these situations is not the threat of violence, but poverty which in America is inevitably racialized The life of George Floyd exemplifies the problem with policing Born into difficult circumstances, he had many run ins with the police during his life, none of which helped him He served ten months in a state prison for a 10 drug deal, and then fiveyears after a plea deal for armed robbery In the incident that led to his death, he was allegedly trying to pay for cigarettes with a fake 20 bill What ties these together is that they are crimes of poverty and that the only government intervention available came in the form of a punitive criminal justice system.Nobody is in favor of robbery or counterfeit money but I think that such crimes are inevitable if people are forced to endure a low standard of living with few legitimate economic opportunities to improve their situations The question we need to ask, then, is whether locking people away, or saddling them with police records or, in the case of Floyd, outright murder is the right way to improve our country Put another way, the essential question is whether a criminal justice mentality which treats crime as an individual choice, subject to moral sanctions is appropriate for the many social problems besetting our communities The case of police in schools is illustrative of how this mentality is applied to social problems In the United States, we have apparently come to accept the constant possibility of school shootings and partly as a response to this, armed police officers have been stationed in tens of thousands of schools across the country In fact, two thirds of American high school students attend a school with at least one police officer present many schools have officers but lack counselors or nurses.In too many cases, the police are not present merely to prevent violence, but actively take part in disciplining students In this way, schools become a microcosm of American society Inequality of opportunity since schools are funded by property taxes and an increasingly narrow metric of success in this case, standardized tests lead to undesirable behavior, which is dealt with through increasingly punitive measures Who benefits from this system Another clear illustration of the criminal justice approach is the war on prostitution and drugs One does not need to be in favor of either of these activities to see that criminalizing them has not worked Anyone who wants to buy drugs or sex can do so, just as anyone under 21 the legal drinking age in America can find a way to buy alcohol Meanwhile, this approach has resulted in millions of people most of whom are non violent being thrown into prison Not only does our approach fail to address the problem, then, but we multiply the social harm into the bargain.Any visitor to Amsterdam can see that the legalization of prostitution and marijuana has not caused the social order to descend into chaos On the contrary, the condition of sex workers in places where sex work is legal and regulated, such as New Zealand, is far better than in the United States even though we justify our approach as preventing human rights abuses The case of Portugal s drug policy is even stronger evidence of the failure of our approach After decriminalizing drug use in 2001, and treating it as a public health issue, Portugal now has the lowest drug mortality rate in Europe, fifty times lower than the United States and this is on top of the huge reduction in drug related arrests.As a final point, we also must remember that America s War on Drugs has not only had devastating consequences domestically, but has contributed to drug related violence around the world Indeed, the destabilizing effects of these policies have, in part, driven unauthorized immigration, a problem that we have chosen to address using of coursepolicing.Prostitution, drug use, and policing in schools are just three of the examples that Vitale examines In these as in so many other cases such as homelessness and mental illness we must ask Should a police officer be handling this problem That is to say, should we have armed personnel, authorized to use violent force, treating these problems as matters of individual choice that deserve punishment In so many cases, I believe the answer is no I am sure that many police officers try to do these jobs conscientiously and diligently, but a gun, a baton, and handcuffs are simply not the proper tools, and imprisonment is not the proper approach.If we are to learn from the current pandemic, I think it should be that a public health approach to social problems is bothrational andhumane We would, of course, never throw somebody in jail for testing positive for COVID 19, even if having the disease can put other people s lives at risk When it comes to disease, we do not think of it as a problem of individual choice, personal responsibility, and deserved punishment Just so, I think that we should see drug use, prostitution, school misbehavior, petty theft, and unauthorized immigration as processes that are driven by factors that go far beyond individual choice, and which merit coordinated social support rather than criminal prosecution Imagine if the thousands of dollars that were spent sending George Floyd to jail for a 10 drug deal were instead spent on improving his situation.As one final point, I think there is a significant factor of police violence that is not addressed in this book gun ownership If we choose to live in a society where, at any moment, somebody can open fire into a crowd, then I think this puts serious constraints on the degree to which we can disarm or reduce police forces So many stories of police killings involve somebody being killed for reaching into their pocket, holding a shiny object, or even for a car backfiring In places where gun ownership is rare, this almost never happens This is another issue that could benefit from a public health approach But even if we eliminated all civilian guns in the country, we would still be left with policing practices that exacerbate, rather than alleviate, the immense social divides in America With a little bit of imagination, I think we can find a better way Like most people, I ve been watching the protests in the states and hearing the calls to abolish the police At first, I felt like it was merely a rhetoric device meant to get the point across I mean, I didn t even spend much time considering someone would think about just getting rid of the police, especially in America where the crime rate is so high That s where this book comes in and that s exactly why it s so important Systematically and carefully, Vitale analyzes the role of the police, Like most people, I ve been watching the protests in the states and hearing the calls to abolish the police At first, I felt like it was merely a rhetoric device meant to get the point across I mean, I didn t even spend much time considering someone would think about just getting rid of the police, especially in America where the crime rate is so high That s where this book comes in and that s exactly why it s so important Systematically and carefully, Vitale analyzes the role of the police, explains why they re not doing their job right, shows why reforms will fail and suggests new alternatives From gang violence to traffic laws, Vitale leaves no stone unturned in his journey to prove that the police are failing at their job And wow, he makes a compelling case Between this book and this incredibly recommended article, it s really clear that something big needs to change I very much want to believe that America is going to be able to lead this change, to create a shift in the narrative and find a way to fix their communities without violence Many people have written fantastic reviews so I only really have three points of criticism Firstly, this book is not nearly as international as it should be Police exist in apparently almost every country If these problems are in the system of policing, I would imagine they exist in every country If not, what are other countries doing differently This book does do a bit of that while discussing sex work laws and drug laws Those parts were fascinating but I feel there s so muchto ask Racism is obviously a big problem in the states man, can you all believe it s been exactly one year since I went to the states and freaked out about the racism However according to this book, police brutality is broader than racism, it has to do with the mindset, the breadth of responsibility and the laws So should the police be defunded everywhere Secondly, on my walk home yesterday, I nearly got run over twice Both of the drivers were on their phones, which is illegal My neighborhood is small so I m sure they knew that they wouldn t get in trouble for it Now, I m also sure that they know that it s illegal but they just felt like they can, precisely because they won t get in trouble In these cases, I wonder what could possibly change this behavior other than the police People sometimes break the law while still knowing better and without any fancy excuse Sure, maybe I almost died twice because they had an emergency but maybe I also almost died because they felt the urge to check their phone Now obviously, I m very much against an omnipresent police force that will constantly watch us and hand out fines especially if such fines aren t regulated according to wages which means they impact poor people instead of everyone equally But I think people need to be held accountable sometimes and this book didn t really manage to convince me there s a better way to do that, other than making sure policemen are part of their communities and see themselves as such.Thirdly, gun control is notably missing here I imagine it might come from wanting to avoid a liberal slant but right now, I can t stop thinking about the St Louis couple and how insane it is that they were brandishing guns this way I mean, my gun training is the most basic you can get and I still remember that the first thing you learn is to never ever aim your gun at something you don t intend to shoot, never put your hand on the trigger unless you re shooting and never load the gun before you actually begin shooting Without guns, Americans won t be involved in so much gun violence That feels like such a simple thing and yet, it doesn t seem like gun control is anywhere close to happening In fact, I ve seen people applaud the St Louis couple without realizing that it s not unlikely that they would have accidentally murdered someone And sure, you shouldn t be on someone s private property but if someone is on your property, are you allowed to execute them In conclusion, this is an interesting book I m very intrigued to see what impact the protests in America will have on this system and yeah, here s to seeing changes and new ideas What I m Taking With Me We genuinely expect police to deal with everything from a mentally ill person to a drug raid to a violent family without realizing each one of these requires very different skills The fact that American police have actual military equipment is terrifying I feel sick every time I think about all of the people that died due to police brutality.I m going to switch the topic smoothly and write down here my predictions for this exam season so I ll have a place to look afterwards and see how right I was As of now, my university hasn t entirely explained how the exams will work, although my exams start in about a week So this semester has an air of mystery to it.Statistics I ve been working a lot for this test and I m starting to get the hang of things so I m hoping for an 85 but will honestly settle for a passing grade and a promise never to do statistics again The last chapter of the course material is just so so weird, if by the end of my studying time I ll understand it, I ll be happy Marcoeconomics If I don t get a good grade here, I will be furious Like, I did not suffer all of this semester for nothing, did I And in all honesty, if I get a decent grade in this course, I ll probably choose to do Marco 2 as an elective because I did enjoy learning stuff I know that the first year of Economics is meant to be harsh and that this course is proud of the fact that the class average is two points above the passing grade but yeah, I m really hoping my work this semester paid off and if not, it might kill all future motivation to do economics Government in Israel I adored this course so much and I don t care much about my grade because the knowledge I got from this course feels like enough I haven t gotten my paper from this course back yet so I imagine once I get it back I ll understandwhat my grade in the exam will be, I imagine my grade in the paper and the exam will be similar Identitypolitics in Europe I m about to hand the test in tomorrow and I m nervous because I ended up throwing around a lot of original ideas of mine I tried to balance it out by saying that I understand that they re just ideas but at the same time, I m scared that I was entirely off If it s less than an 85, I ll be a little shocked but also, I have no idea what s the expected standard so we ll see Political Philosophy Meta ethics is my philosophical arch nemesis, I really think meta ethics is one of the reasons why no one takes philosophers seriously So ugh, I m not going to enjoy writing half of this exam The other half is about political philosophy which I love so at least we have that Hopefully, I won t make any dumb mistakes and it ll be fine My class notes are really decent so I m hoping I won t have to study much for this Logics I have no time to study for this test which is somewhat terrifying I m just hoping Political Philosophy will balance out my grades here and yeah, I ll probably need to redo this exam which will mean studying Logics all through August That s a pretty decent alternative, in the hopes that I won t need to re do Statistics or Macro But yeah, I m hoping I ll have an enlightenment and manage to get a better grade than my midterm State, Morality, Market I loved this course so much and feel it contributed to my worldview but at the same time, I don t feel like I ve managed to learn how to get this type of thinking So I suppose we ll see if it actually managed to sink in Above an 85 is a must but I would be thrilled to get above a 90 Uncompromising Institutional Analysis There came a point, about halfway through this book, where the full gravity of the situation of American policing hit me like a frieght train The truth is, the police are used to solve everything in American society They are used as a bludgeon a hammer to smash back into place those who have found themselves on the flipside of society its underbelly Another term one might use for this phenomena is a militaristic society Vitales work here is so imp Uncompromising Institutional Analysis There came a point, about halfway through this book, where the full gravity of the situation of American policing hit me like a frieght train The truth is, the police are used to solve everything in American society They are used as a bludgeon a hammer to smash back into place those who have found themselves on the flipside of society its underbelly Another term one might use for this phenomena is a militaristic society Vitales work here is so important as he chooses to take a holistic approach to this subject by looking at the Police as an institution If society is overwhelmingly made up of the push and pull of various environmental pressures different groups governments insitutions work on one another, then where do the Police fit into this What function do they serve These are the most important questions that need answering.So while Vitales may bring up certain issues and points of example acts of police brutality , ultimately they are only used to explain what the end result looks like when the Police are set up in a particular environmental context Not only this, but he shows quite early into the book the ideas that influence the police see broken window policing and the trickle down affect on society these ideas have Not surprisingly, most of these ideas have come from individuals who flirt with eugenic concepts and see society, and the peoples who inhabit it, as inately a certain way The proof provided being the physical acts conditions the people under scrutiny are doing in A cyclical and irrational view it has been very effective nonetheless.The reader will find each chapter discusses a basic principle a failing area of society which should be being dealt with through a plethora of means, which is instead being solved by the use of police synonym force The author discusses history, tactics, results, and, finally, alternatives I should warn readers that some of the alternatives are laughable Not because the author is stupid in suggesting them, but because when viewed alongside other countries they don t even approach radical Which in itself shows the problems American society faces today, and for the coming future I must add I even discovered how some ideas travelled across the Atlantic from my country in the UK Vitales opened some interesting history about the London Met I never knew about Worth a read unto itself This is a timely book that discusses policing in an accessible way in its variable forms border policing, policing of communities of colour, policing of sex workers, drugs, schools and so on I found the book interesting in the sense that it specifically points out problems with policing in the US, problems with the existing frameworks of reform, and alternative ways of thinking to counter them However, the book starts out with explaining how reforming the police is in itself a problem because This is a timely book that discusses policing in an accessible way in its variable forms border policing, policing of communities of colour, policing of sex workers, drugs, schools and so on I found the book interesting in the sense that it specifically points out problems with policing in the US, problems with the existing frameworks of reform, and alternative ways of thinking to counter them However, the book starts out with explaining how reforming the police is in itself a problem because of its nature and its essence in perpetuating an us versus them perception of economically and socially marginalised communities However, as the book progresses, we find two contradictory arguments In the first one, policing is itself a problem as issues that should be solved within the community are handed to the police state and its agenda In the second argument, policing doesn t have to fully disappear as long as the goals of the police change and funding is put into healthcare, education, and job training programmes instead of police operations Another critique of the arguments in this book is that it veers towards viewing policing as a US problem rather than a global problem, through focusing on juxtapositions that run the risk of undermining the equally dangerous nature of borders in other advanced capitalist countries, or countries in the Global South Algeria and Morocco stand out as prime examples regarding Syrian refugees, sub Saharan migrants, and the Western Sahara conflict For instance, in the chapter of Border Policing, he makes the argument that in the US, anti migrant sentiment is the embodiment of a fear of migrants leading up to the collapse of American economy and culture He states that this is unfounded and takes the European Union as an example of good migration, in which opening up the border between different parts of Europe still kept the local cultures intact and contributed to the development of poorer European countries This argument is Euro American centric and problematic as it contributes to the erasure of various migrant experiences and the inherent violence of borders specifically towards non European people, who are ironically both viewed as lazy and threatening This argument also does not recognise the varying levels of whiteness and the impact they have on the ways in which white, European migrants within Europe experience borders Secondly, viewing the entirety of Europe as evenly developed is delusional at best, and viewing development in an economistic, GDP centric point of view, and applying it to European borders, overlooks the multi dimensional aspects of development, such as equal access to healthcare, free education, human rights as an umbrella terms for the rights of all marginalised peoples, and workers rights European borders or any borders for that matter are hardly an example of success as the Greek saga of capitalism unfolds further, when refugees are left to die, and asylum seekers and migrants deported I would still recommend this book despite its failings, as it makes several good arguments and offers interesting historical accounts As a sociological study, this book succeeds spectacularly As a political manifesto, not so much The value of this book derives primarily from its extensive research, data, and statistics Vitale presents astonishing facts figures about policing that I had never heard before The book successfully proves that policing in the United States fails at both its stated purposes as well as generally maintaining a safe and functioning society What the police instead excel at is institutional racism, As a sociological study, this book succeeds spectacularly As a political manifesto, not so much The value of this book derives primarily from its extensive research, data, and statistics Vitale presents astonishing facts figures about policing that I had never heard before The book successfully proves that policing in the United States fails at both its stated purposes as well as generally maintaining a safe and functioning society What the police instead excel at is institutional racism, repression, and social control.Where the book falls short is that Vitale normalizes certain social categories that he studies in relation to policing This stands out most in his discussion of homeless people, people with mental illnesses, and sex workers the latter he sadly frequently refers to as prostitutes He takes as a given that these three groups are social pariahs that must be dealt with, thus reifying the very logic that justifies their oppression at the hands of the police state A choice quote Even the best behaved people become an eyesore when living outside Urinating and sleeping in public are both unavoidable and criminalized, creating a terrible dynamic It is also true that not all homeless people are well behaved Mental illness and substance abuse contribute to disorderly and illegal behaviors that disrupt communities in ways that can make public spaces inhospitable and, in rare cases, dangerous pg 93 The second flaw, not unrelated to the first, is that Vitale seems to take both capitalism and the state as a given when proposing alternatives This may be advantageous in dealing with liberal interlocutors, but it leaves much to be desired if one wants to really imagine what it means for society to move beyond policing as a social institution, something difficult to imagine under a capitalist regime Vitale proposes that budgets be redirected from policing to schooling, community resources, and other social programming Hardly a bad idea, but illustrates definite illusions about the function of the state in capitalist society.File under useful analysis steeped in capitalist realism PSA The ebook version of this is currently FREE on the publisher s website and can be delivered in multiple formats A kinder, gentler, anddiverse war on the poor is still a war on the poor.this is a really great primer on criticisms of the police as well as alternatives the book has 10 parts and covers topics such as the school to prison pipeline, race, homelessness, sex work, and the war on drugs it was really helpful to see such a breadth of topics laid out, as it is clear that the cu PSA The ebook version of this is currently FREE on the publisher s website and can be delivered in multiple formats A kinder, gentler, anddiverse war on the poor is still a war on the poor.this is a really great primer on criticisms of the police as well as alternatives the book has 10 parts and covers topics such as the school to prison pipeline, race, homelessness, sex work, and the war on drugs it was really helpful to see such a breadth of topics laid out, as it is clear that the current policing system fails many people within our society and in a plethora of ways it s certainlyof an introduction and i was left wanting further information, but i think in that way the book accomplishes what it s set out to do i definitely recommend it to those who are interested in the current discussion of police reform abolition and are not sure where to start Demilitarize the police Reduce policing Buildhumane societies End war on drugs and on terror Heck, just do away with the fucking police.

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