Our enemies in blue - Infoshop.org


"American Methods cogently gives the reader evidence of how the u.s. uses torture to control society and to protect U.S. hegemony, compelling us to re­ think power and to question the terror enacted in the name of democracy." -


"Kristian Williams peels away the mythic veneer of American Innocence with an eloquence, power, and precision that stands largely unrivaled. The result is a book which not only deserves, but quite literally demands inclusion among the handful of works essential to understanding where it is we find ourselves at this awful moment in history. Read it if you dare, and especially if you don't."

-Ward Churchill, author of A Little Matter of Genocide and On the Justice ofRoosting Chickens '�merican Methods shines an unmediated light on this country's use of torture as an essential component of social control, both at home and abroad.Williams's exhaustive analysis tracks the use of torture in American police, military, and prison interrogation practices, illuminating the history of torture as a routine tool of the trade.... An important, thoroughly well-researched, and superbly written critique."

-Tara Herivel,

Seattle-based prisoners' attorney and editor of Prison Nation "Kristian Williams has done it again. Williams deftly demonstrates the links between torture abroad and torture at home, and the American way of sensa­ tionalizing separate events, to blind us to the ubiquity of this practice, every day, all across the nation."

-Mumia Abu-Jamal, author of We Want Freedom and Death Blossoms







S o u th


E n d


P r e s s





·· C a m b r idg e ,


Ma s

our enemzes



police and power in AMERICA

WILLIAMS s a c h u s e t t s

·· R e a d .

W r it e .

R e v o lt .

(e) 2007 by Kristian Williams Introduction © 2007 by Joy James

Published by South End Press

7 Brookline Street, Suite 1, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 www.southendpress.org [email protected]

All rights reserved. Any properly footnoted quotation of up to 500 sequential words may be used without permission, as long as the total number of words quoted does not exceed 2,000. For longer quotations or for a greater number of total words, please write for permission to South End Press.

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cover design by Benjamin Shaykin [www.benjaminshaykin.coml page design and production by Jocelyn Burrell, South End Press collective cover photo provided courtesy of Uppercut/Punchstock

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Williams, Kristian. Our enemies in blue: police and power in America / Kristian Williams; with a new introduction by Joy James. -[Rev. ed.l. p. cm. First ed. published: Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press, 2004. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-89608-771-2 (South End Press edition: alk. paper) 1. Police-United States. 2. Police brutality-United States. 3. Police misconduct-United States. 4. Police-United States-History. 1. Title.

HV8138.w615 2007 363.2'32--dc22


Printed by union workers in Canada on recycled, acid-free paper.

12 11 10 09 08 07

1 2 3 456

contents Acknowledgments ix

Introduction by Joy James xi

Author's Preface,



Foreword Police and Power in America 1

One Police Brutality in Theory and Practice 3

Two The Origins of American Policing 27

Three Thc Genesis of a Policed Society 55

Four Cops and Klan, Hand in Hand 77

Five The Natural Enemy of the Working Class


Six Police Autonomy and Blue Power


Seven Secret Police, Red Squads, and the Strategy of Permanent Repression


Eight Riot Police or Police Riots':,


Nine lOur Friendly Neighborhood Police State


Afterword 11aking Police Obsolete


Notes 237

Selected Bibliography 303

Index 321

acknowledgments BOOKS


manage without an enormous amount of help. I know I have benefited from the advice, encouragement, and direct practi­ cal assistance of a great many people-nearly all of my friends, a large number of acquaintances, and not a few actual strangers. Thank you all, ver y much. Particular thanks are due to Jocelyn Burrell and South End Press; Robert

A Weppner, my attorney; and the National Writers Union (UAW local 1 98 1) for their assistance clearing the way for this second edition. Thanks, again, to Daniel Ruck, Carl Caputo, Jamie Dawson, Laura Grant, Missy Rohs, Clayton Szczech, Robert Williams, and Shira Zucker-all of whom read and corrected earlier drafts. And as always, lowe special thanks to Emily-Jane Dawson. I was fortu­ nate to receive her advice in the course of my research, her help in locating obscure sources, her criticism concerning early drafts of the manuscript, and her technical assistance in the production of the graphics in this volume. But above all else, I am grateful for her friendship.


introduction BY JOY JAMES


-SUN Tzu, THE ART OF WA R OUR ENEMIES IN BLUE HOLDS UP THE MIRROR WITHIN WHICH WE may see our deepest fault lines, our cracks and fissures. We've the land­ scaped visage of a war zone. State violence can disfigure the countenance of a democracy-desta­ bilize its bearing, its moral standing and mental composure. The most visceral and physical manifestation of state violence is police or militar y violence. W ith the current foreign wars and occupations-as with most American wars and occupations largely fueled by racially-driven terrors­ technologies of repression and force migrate back home. Ironically, tragi­ cally, or just stupidly, we rarely recognize and acknowledge that armed police are both the antecedents and harbingers of war in the American homeland. Most wars are fought for territory and property, waged to protect or expand the accumulation of material wealth. It is startling and sober­ ing how those with relatively little material wealth (in comparison to the conglomerates dominating consumer culture through our social, political, and economic lives) still manage a loyalty or obedience, either willingly or unwillingly, to a state run by elites and regulated by police. Vast resources are necessary for a healthy life, decent housing and health care, clean food, water and air, a vibrant educational culture, and xi




freedom from freelance, entrepreneurial, or officially sanctioned predators. Those who unjustly control those resources unjustly command our obedience through intimidation and force. Or perhaps we do not yet fully

g �

know ourselves and how our civic mind (edness) reflects the greed and

of the impoverished global majority, we at times gr udgingly tolerate that


insecurity of those who dominate us. Perhaps, given that our fractional material possessions and (in) security overshadow the material resources "enemy in blue?" Who can tell how much of ourselves we will see in the enemy? It is helpful to remember that it is not mere numbness to the white supremacist and c1assist aspects of American policing that renders many of us indifferent to and passive before police violence, but the recognition that acquiescence is the price for our unsustainable consumption: This empire permits us to share in the wealth of American excess as long as we permit its policing apparatuses to exist. If we, as independent thinkers, peace-lovers, or maroons, confuse our­ selves with the empire, its consumption and obesities, the obscene levels of violence it employs with "the excessive use of force" or "excessive force," then we know neither ourselves nor the "other"-this state which increas­ ingly distorts our very appearance as a democratic society with "post 9-11" decrees such as the USA Patriot Act. To know neither what we have become as critical thinkers and ethical beings nor what others have fashioned themselves to be through coercive technology and violence is to be blind, to be in peril with both eyes shut. To leave one eye open suggests some possibility of survival, although likely with­ out real freedom as we reactively respond to the encroachments of the state: Lose one battle to curb police malfeasance, win another for civil liberties, then begin again. If we recognize structural violence as Kristian Williams outlines

it wilh cUllsitlerable oetail in Our Enemies in Blue, then we might see, with both eyes, that analysis and reflection, judgment and action require us to wit­ ness not only police/state violence but our relationships to tragic, traumatic,

and stupid practices that shape our everyday
the bete noire that requires the blue beast (or camouflaged troops or tailored homeland security agent) as its counterbalance and counterpart. Su Tzu's ancient text in opposition to war advocates for (self)knowledge that safeguards us in dangerous battles. Those who work to create and sustain programs to end violent practices and addictions should read Our

Enemies in Blue as part of a long tradition in resistance. xii

Author's Preface, 2007


I find myself pacing through the text almost holding my breath, dreading embar­ rassment but still scrutinizing every detail, examining every word-hunting out the small errors and subtle missteps. It is not possible for me merely to re-read my work; I constantly re-write it as well, if only in my mind. The text is haunted, or I am haunted, by the side-shadowing questions of what I might have done dif ferently. Surely, were I writing it today, Our Enemies in Blue would be a somewhat dif­ ferent book. It's not that there is anything in the book that I specifically regret or am tempted to recant And it is not, unfortunately, because broad social changes have created a new context and thus demand a radical reassessment. It is just that Enemies was my first book, and I hope that I have become a better writer in the

three years since it was completed. So I have resisted the temptation to substantially rewrite the text. Those who

have read the original 2004 edition will recognize this as very much the same book. I've corrected some typos and similar mistakes, and made a few stylistic changes, but the arguments and the evidence are the same as in the original. This is not an "updated" edition. Not that there isn't more that I could have added. I could have, for instance, included new sections on the police infiltration of the anti-war movement, on the recent use of agents provocateurs against anarchists, on the "Miami Model" of crowd control, or on the shifting politics of immigration enforcement. likewise, I could have brought in new material on the aftermath of the Greensboro massacre and on the Schwerner-Goodman-Chaney murders. And I could have updated the statistics on the use of force, workplace deaths, racial profiling, the prison popu­ lation, and so on. But all of that-important though it is--really remains at the level of detail. In a couple of cases, I have added notes explaining that unforeseen developments complicate some point in the text. But overall, recent events fit neatly within the narrative I was building, and do not demand any serious re­ working of the original argument. It's disappointing, really, that so little has changed.



WHAT ARE POllCE FOR? Everybody thinks they know. But to assume that the police exist to enforce the law or fight crime is akin to beginning an analysis of militar y policy with the premise that armies exist to repel invasions. The ends an institution pursues are not always the same as those it claims to pursue. I begin, then, with a call for skepticism, especially about official slogans and publicly traded justifications. Let us focus less on what the police say they are doing and instead assess the institution based on what it actually does. We should ask, always, who benefits and who suffers? Whose inter­ ests are advanced, and who pays the costs? Who is protected and ser ved? Who is bullied and brutalized? The answers will tell us something of the forces directing the police, both in specific circumstances and in the larger historical sense. They will also reveal the interests the institution serves and the ends it promotes. This book discusses much of what is worst about the police. It describes their actions largely in terms of intolerance, corruption, political repression, and violence. Tile first chapter, "Police Brutality in Theory and Practice," offers an overview of police violence, its prevalence, causes, and conse­ quences. It is followed by a histor y of the modern police institution, beginning with 'The Origins of American Policing" in chapter 2. That section traces the lineage of our modern police back to the slave patrols and other earlier forms, while chapter 3, 'The Genesis of a Policed Society," weighs the significance of the new institution and the changing role of the state. Chapters 4 and 5-"Cops and Klan, Hand in Hand" and 'The Natural Enemy of the Working Class"-continue this examination with a look at the use of police to stifle the social ambitions of racial minorities (especially African Americans) and work­ ers. The sixth chapter, "Police Autonomy and Blue Power," discusses efforts to reform policing, especially during the twentieth centur y, and analyzes the relationship between reform movements and the emergence of the police as a political force. Then, "Secret Police, Red Squads, and the Strategy of Permanent Repression" and "Riot Police or Police Riots?" (chapters 7 and 8) detail intelligence operations and crowd control strategies. Chapter 9, "Your 1

Q � o

Friendly Neighborhood Police State," brings the discussion up to the present,

focusing on current trends such as militarization and community policing. And the afterword, "Making Police Obsolete," considers community-based

here and abroad.

� �

alternatives to policing, especially those connected to resistance movements Throughout, the focus is on police in their modern form, particularly in urban departments in the United States. Some discussion of earlier models will be featured as background, and conditions in other countries are some­ times described by way of comparison. Likewise, the mention of other law enforcement authorities-federal agencies, county sheriffs, private guards, and the like-will be unavoidable to the degree that they influence, resem­ ble, or take on the duties of the municipal police. I As the narrative progresses, several related trends become discernible. The first is the expansion of police autonomy and the subsequent growth of their political influence. The second is the continual effort to make polic­ ing more proactive, with the aim of preventing offenses. Related to each of these is the increased penetration of police authority into the community and into the lives of individuals. These trends are related to larger social condi­ tions-slavery and segregation, the rise and fall of political machines, the creation of municipal bureaucracies, the development of capitalism, and so on. It is argued, in short, that the police exist to control troublesome popula­ tions, especially those that are likely to rebel. This task has little to do with crime, as most people think of it, and much to do with politics-especially the preservation of existing inequalities. To the degree that a social order works to the advantage of some and the disadvantage of others, its preserva­ tion will largely consist of protecting the interests of the first group from the demands of the second. And that, as we shall see, is what the police do. Robert Reiner claims that"[tv] a ldrge e.xleul,


:,uciely gels lhe pulice­

men it deserves."2 It is hard to know whether Mr. Reiner is extremely opti­ mistic about the police or extremely cynical about society. But undeniably, the history of our society is reflected in the history of its police, Much of that history clashes with our nation's patriotic self-image. TIle history of America's police is not the stor y of democracy so much as it is the story of the prevention of democracy. Yet there is another story. an ever-present subtext-the story of resistance. It, too, drives this narrative, and if there is a reason for hope any where in this book, we may find it here-amidst the slave revolts, strikes, sit-ins, protest marches, and riots.




thy Thomas, Cincinnati ser ved as the stage for a classic American drama. Thomas, an unarmed teenager wanted for several misdemeanor warrants, was the fifteenth Black man the Cincinnati police had killed in six years.! A few days later, protesters led by the victim's mother occupied City Hall for three hours. When they were forced out, the crowd marched to the police station, growing as it went. At the police station, the demonstration esca­ lated. Members of the crowd hit the cops with rocks and bottles, shattered the station's glass entryway, and removed the American flag outside. When the police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, the disorder spread.2 For three nights, hundreds of people, mostly young Black men, participated in looting and vandalism.3 The rioting mostly consisted of window-breaking and sporadic attacks on White people, though dumpster fires became so com­ mon that the fire department stopped responding to them.4 The fight was by no means one-sided. The police made 760 arrests and injured an unknown num­ ber of people.5 In what was perhaps the most disgraceful episode of the entire affair, police fired seven less-lethal "beanbags" at a crowd gathered for Thomas's funeral service. Four people were hit, including two children. One victim, Christine Jones, was hospitalized with a fractured rib, bruised lung, and injured spleen. She described the incident: "It was like a drive-by shooting. All of a sudden, out of the blue, several police cars screeched to a halt at [the] intersection, jumped out of cars and just immediately started shooting people with the shotguns. No warning. No nothing."6 It's no secret that the police come into conflict with members of the pub­ lic. The police are tasked with controlling a population that does not always respect their authority and may resist efforts to enforce the law. Hence, police are armed, trained, and authorized to use force in the course of executing their 3

duty. At times, they use the ultimate in force, killing those they are charged with controlling. Under such an arrangement, it is not surprising that officers sometimes move beyond the bounds of their authority. Nor is it surprising that the affected communities respond with anger-sometimes rage. The battles that ensue do not only concern particular injustices, but also represent deep disputes about the rights of the public and the limits of state power. On the one side, the police and the government try desperately to maintain control, to preserve their authority. And on the other, oppressed people struggle to assert their humanity. Such riots represent, among other things, the attempt of the community to define for itself what will count as police brutality and where the limit of authority falls. It is in these conflicts, not in the courts, that our rights are established. THE RODNEY KING BEATING:




On March 3, 1991, a Black motorist named Rodney King led the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles Police Department on a ten-minute chase. When he stopped and exited the car, the police ordered him to lie down; he got on all fours instead, and Sergeant Stacey Koon shot him twice with an electric taser. The other passengers in King's car were cuffed and laid prone on the street. An officer kept his gun aimed at them, and when they heard screams he ordered them not to look. One did try to look, and was clubbed on the head. ' Others were watching, however, and a few days later the entire world saw what had happened to Rodney King. A video recorded by a bystander shows three cops taking turns beating King, with several other officers look­ ing on, and Sergeant Stacey Koon shouting orders. The video shows police clubbing King fifty-six times, �nrl kirking him in the body and head.H '''Then the video was played on the local news, KCET enhanced the sound. Police can be heard ordering King to put his hands behind his back and calling him "nigger. "9 The chase began at 12:40 A.M. and ended at 12:50 A.M. At 12:56, Sgt. Koon reported via his car's computer, "You just had a big time use of force ... tased and beat the suspect of CHP pursuit, Big Time. " At 12:57, the sta­ tion responded, "Oh well . . . I'm sure the lizard didn't deserve it ... HAHA. " At 1:07, the watch commander summarized the incident (again via Mobile Data Terminal): "CHP chasing . .. failing to yield ... passed [car] A 23 ... they became primary ... then tased, then beat ... basic stuff really."lo Koon himself endorsed this assessment of the incident. In his 1 992 book on the subject, he described the altercation with Rodney King as unexceptional: "Just another night on the LAPD. That's what it had been."ll King was jailed for four days, but released without charges. He was treat­ ed at County-USC Hospital, where he received twenty stitches and treatment for a broken cheekbone and broken ankle. Nurses there reported hearing officers brag and j oke about the beating. King later listed additional injuries, including broken bones and teeth, injured kidneys, multiple skull fractures, and permanent brain damage.12 Twenty-three officers had responded to the chase, including two in a heli4

copter. Of these, ten Los Angeles Police Department officers were present on the ground during the beating, including four field training officers, who super­ vise rookies. Four cops-Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy W ind, and Theodore Briseno-were indicted for their role in the beating. Wind was a new employee, still in his probationary period, and was fired. The two California Highway Patrol officers were disciplined for not reporting the use of force, and their supervisor was suspended for ten days. But none of the other officers present were disciplined in any way, though they had done nothing to prevent the beating or to report it afterward.I3 The four indicted cops were acquitted. Social scientists have argued that the verdict was "predictable," given the location of the trial. As Oliver, Johnson, and Farrel write:

Simi Valley, the site of the trial, and Ventura County more generally, is a predominantly white community known for its strong stance on law and order, as evidenced by the fact that a significant number of LAPD officers live there. Thus, the four white police officers were truly judged by a jury of their peers. V iewed in this context, the verdict should not have been unanticipated.14 Koon, Powell, Wind, and Briseno were acquitted. They were then almost immediately charged with federal civil rights violations, but that was clearly too little, too late. L.A. was in flames. A S OCIAL C O N FLAG RAT I O N

The people of Los Angeles offered a ready response to the acquittal. Between April 30 and May 5,

1992, 600 fires were set.15 Four thousand businesses were $1 billion.Ie Fifty-two people died,

destroyed,16 and property damage neared and

2,383 people were injured seriously enough to seek medical attention.1R

Smaller disturbances also erupted around the country-in San Francisco, Atlanta, Las Vegas, New York, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.19 Despite the media's portrayal of the riot as an expression of Black rage, arrest statistics show it to have been a multicultural affair:

3,492 Latinos, 2,832 Black people, and 640 White people were arrested, as were 2,492 other

people of unidentified races.20 Likewise, despite the media focus on violence (especially attacks on White people and Korean merchants), the data tell a different story. Only

10 percent of arrests were for violent crime. The most (42 percent), closely followed by prop­

common charge was curfew violation erty crimes

(35 percent).21 Likewise, the actual death toll

definitely attributable to the rioters was under twenty. The police killed at least half that many, and probably many more . . . Moreover, although some whites and Korean Americans were killed, the vast majority of fatalities were African Americans and Hispanic Americans who died as bystanders or as rioters opposing civil authorities.22 Depending on whom you ask, you will hear that the riots constituted "a Black protest," a ''bread riot," the "breakdown of civilized society," or "interethnic con­ fliCt."23 None of these accounts is sufficient on its own, but one thing is certain: the riots speak to conditions beyond any single incident 5

In the five years preceding the Rodney King beating, 2,500 claims relat­ ing to the use of force were filed against the lAPDY To describe just one: In Apri11988, Luis Milton Murrales, a twenty-four-year-old Latino man, lost the vision in one eye because of a police beating. That incident also began with a traffic violation, followed by a brief chase. Murrales crashed his car into a police cruiser and tried to flee on foot. The police caught him, clubbed him, and kicked him when he fell. They resumed the beating at the Rampart station; the attack involved a total of twenty-eight officers. One commander described his subordinates as behaving like a "lynch mob." Though the city paid

$177,500 in a settlement with Murrales, none of the officers was disci­

plined." Such incidents, as well as the depressed economic conditions of the inner city, supplied the fuel for a major conflagration. The King beating, the video, and the verdict offered just the spark to set it Off.26 A LE S S O N TO LEAR N , AND LEARN AGAIN

Rodney King's beating was unusual only because it was videotaped. The community that revolted following the acquittal seemed to grasp this fact, even if the learned commentators and pious pundits condemning them did not. By the same token, the revolt itself also fit an established pattern. In 1968, the National Advisor y Commission on Civil Disorders (commonly called the Kerner Commission) exanlined twenty-four riots and reached some remarkable conclusions:

Our examination of the background of the surveyed disorders revealed a typical pattern of deeply-held grievances which were widely shared by many members of the Negro community. The specific content of the expressed grievances varied somewhat from city to city R11t in gpneral, grievances among Negroes in all cities related to prejudice, discrimi­ nation, severely disadvantaged living conditions and a general sense of frustration about their inability to change those conditions. Specific E'vents or incidents exemplified and reinforced the shared sense of grievance ... . With each such incident, frustration and tension grew until at some point a final incident, often similar to the incidents pre­ ceding it, occurred and was followed almost immediately by violence. As we see it, the prior incidents and the reservoir of underlying griev­ ances contributed to a cumulative process of mounting tension that spilled over into violence when the final incident occurred. In this sense the entire chain-the grievances, the series of prior tension-heightening incidents, and the final incident-was the "precipitant" of disorder. 27 The Kerner report goes on to note, "Almost invariably the incident that ignites disorder arises from police action. Harlem, Watts, Newark, and Detroit-all the major outbursts of recent yeanr-were precipitated by routine ar rests of Negroes for minor offenses by white officers."28 A few years earlier, in his essay "Fifth Avenue, Uptown: A Letter from Harlem," James Baldwin had offered a ver y similar analysis:

[Tlhe only way to police a ghetto is to be oppressive. None of the Police Commissioner's men, even with the best will in the world, have any 6

way of u nderstanding the lives led by the people they swagger about i n twos and threes controlling. Their very presence is an insult, and it would be, even if they spent their entire day feeding gumdrops to chil­ dren. They represent the force of the white world, and that world's real i ntention s are, simply, for that world's criminal profit and ease, to kee p the black man corralled up here, in h i s place .. .. One d ay, t o everyone's astonishment, someone drops a match in the powder keg and everything blows up. Before the dust has settled or the blood congeals, editorials, speeches, and civil-rights commissions are loud in the land, demand­ ing to know what happened . What happened is that Negroes want to be treated like men. 29

Baldwin wrote his essay in

1960. Between its publication and that of the

Kerner report, the U.S. witnessed civil disturbances of increasing frequency and intensity. Notable among these was the Watts riot of

1 965. The Watts rebellion

has been said to divide the sixties into its two parts-the classic period of the civil rights movement before, and the more militant Black Power movement after.30 like the riots of 1992, the Watts disturbance began with a traffic stop. Marquette Frye was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol near Watts, a Black neighborhood in Los Angeles. A crowd gathered, and the police called for backup. As the number of police and bystanders grew, the tension increased accordingly. The police assaulted a couple of bystanders and arrested Frye's family. As the cops left, the crowd stoned their cars. They then began attacking other vehicles in the area, turning them over, and setting them on fire. The next evening, the disorder arose anew, w ith looting and arson in the nearby com­ mercial areas. The riot lasted six days and caused an estimated damage. Almost

$35 million in 1,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. One thousand

people were treated for injuries, and thirty -four were killed.3! Fourteen years after Watts, and thirteen years before the Rodney King verdict, a similar drama played out on the other side of the country, in Miami. On December

17, 1979, the police chased, caught, beat, and killed a Black

insurance salesman named Arthur McDuffie. McDuffie, who was riding his cousin's motorcycle, allegedly popped a wheelie and made an obscene gesture at Police Sergeant Ira Diggs, before leading police on an eight-minute high­ speed chase. Twelve other cars joined in the pursuit, and when they caught McDuffie, between six and eight officers beat him with heavy flashlights as he lay handcuffed, face down on the pavement. Four days later, he died.32 Three officers were charged with second-degree murder, and three others agreed to testify in exchange for immunity. Judge Lenore Nesbitt called the case "a time bomb" and moved it to nearby Tampa, where an all-White jury had recently acquitted another officer accused of beating a Black motorist.33 The defense then used its peremptory challenges to remove all Black candidates from the jury. The outcome was predictable: the cops were acquitted;34 crowds then looted stores, burned buildings, and attacked White passers-by. Crowds also laid siege to the police station, breaking its windows and setting fire to the lobby.35 When calm returned, seventeen people were dead,

1,100 had been

arrested, and $80 million in property had been damaged.36 Four hundred seven­ teen people were treated in area hospitals, the majority of them White.r Here was a key difference: in Miami, the typical looting and burning of W hite7

owned property were matched with attacks against White people. In the dis­ orders of the 1960s, attacks against persons had been relatively rare. In three of the sixties' largest riots-those of Watts, Newark, and Detroit-the crowd intentionally killed only two or three White people. Bruce Porter and Marvin Dunn comment: What was shocking about Miami was the intensity of the rage directed against white people: men, women and children dragged from their cars and beaten to death, stoned to death, stabbed with screwdrivers, run over with automobiles; hundreds more attacked i n the street and seri­ ously injured . . . . In Miami, attacking and killing white people was the main object of the riot. .1H

Among those injured in the riots was an elderly White man named Martin Weinstock. Weinstock was hit in the head with a piece of concrete and suffered a fractured skull. He was hospitalized for six days. Still, he told an interviewer: They should only know that I agree with their anger. . . . If the people who threw the concrete were brought before me in handcuffs, I would insist that the handcuffs be removed, and I'd try to talk to them. I would say that I understand and that I'm on their side. I have no anger at all. But they'll never solve their problems by sending people like me to the hospital. \'J

Weinstock is right: violence directed against random representatives of some dominant group is hardly strategic, much less morally justifiable. But if such attacks are (as Porter and Dunn insist) "shocking, " it can only be because Black anger has so rarely taken this form. White violence against Black people has never been limited to the destruc­ tion of their property. Even in Miami, Black people gul lhe wursl of the violence. Of the seventeen dead, nine were Black people killed by the police, the National Guard, or White vigilantes.4o Are these deaths somehow less shocking than those of White people? Yet-how loudly White people denounce prejudice when it is directed against them, and how quietly they accept it as it continually bears down on people of color. They indignantly point out the contradiction when those who object to prejudice employ it, and all the while adroitly ignore their own complicity in the institutions of White supremacy. James Baldwin, again in his "Letter from Harlem, " imagines the pre­ dicament of a White policeman patrolling the ghetto: "He too believes in good intentions and is astounded and offended when they are not taken for the deed. He has never, himself, done anything for which to be hated. ... But, " Baldwin asks, "which of us has?"41 T H E BAS I C S

We are encouraged to think of acts of police violence more or less in isola­ tion, to consider them as unique, unrelated occurrences. We ask ourselves always, ''What went wrong?" and for answers we look to the seconds, min­ utes, or hours before the incident. Perhaps this leads us to fault the indi8

vidual officer, perhaps it leads us to excuse him. Such thinking, derived as it is from legal reasoning, does not take us far beyond the case in question. And thus, such inquiries are rarely very illuminating. Of the instances of police violence I discussed above-the shooting of Timothy Thomas, the beatings of Rodney King and Luis Milton Murrales, the arrest of Marquette Frye, the killing of Arthur McDuffie-any of these may be explained in terms of the actions and attitudes of the particular offi­ cers at the scene, the events preceding the violence (including the actions of the victims) , and the circumstances in which the officers found themselves. Indeed, juries and police administrators have frequently found it possible to excuse police violence with such explanations. The unrest that followed these incidents, however, cannot be explained in such narrow terms. To understand the rioting, one must consider a whole range of related issues, including the conditions of life in the Black commu­ nity, the role of the police in relation to that community, and the history and pattern of similar abuses. If we are to understand the phenomenon of police brutality, we must get beyond particular cases. We can better understand the actions of individual police officers if we understand the institution of which they are a part. That institution, in turn, can best be examined if we have an understanding of its origins, its social function, and its relation to larger systems like capitalism and White supremacy. Each of these topics will be addressed in later chap­ ters, while here, as a first course, I will focus on what is known about police violence per se. Let's begin with the basics: violence is an inherent part of policing. The police represent the most direct means by which the state imposes its will on the citizenry.42 When persuasion, indoctrination, moral pressure, and incentive measures all fail-there are the police. In the field of social control, police are specialists in violence. They are armed, trained, and authorized to use force. W ith varying degrees of subtlety, this colors their every action. Like the possibility of arrest, the threat of violence is implicit in every police encounter. Violence, as well as the law, is what they represent. D E FI N I NG B RU TALITY

The study of police brutality faces any number of methodological barriers, not the least of which is the problem of defining it. There is no standard definition, nor is there one way of measuring force and excessive force. As a consequence, different studies produce very different results, and these results are difficult to compare. Kenneth Adams, writing for the National Institute of Justice, notes: Because there is no standard methodology for measuring use offorce, esti­ mates can vary considerably on strictly computational grounds. Different definitions of force and different definitions of police-public interactions will yield different rates . . . . In particular, broad definitions of use of force, such as those that include grabbing or handcuffing a suspect, will produce higher rates than more conservative definitions . . . . Broad defini­ tions of police-public "interactions," such as calls for assistance, which 9

capture variegated requests for assistance, lead to low rates of use of force. Conversely, narrow definitions of police-public interactions, such as arrests, which concentrate squarely on suspects, lead to higher rates of use of force.43

Adams himself outlines multiple definitions for use-of-force violations, focusing on different aspects of the misconduct. For example, "deadly force" refers to situations in which force is likely to have lethal consequences for the victim. [The victim need not necessar­ ily die.] ... [Tlhe term "excessive force" is used to describe situations in which more force is used than allowable when judged in terms of admin­ istrative or professional guidelines or legal standards . ... "Illegal" use of force refers to situations in which use of force by police violated a law or statute . . . . "Improper," "abusive," "illegitimate," and "unnecessary" use of force are terms that describe situations in which an officer's authority to use force has been mishandled in some general way, the suggestion being that administrative procedure, societal expectations, ordinary concepts of law­ fulness, and the principle of last resort have been violated, respectively."4

Adding to the difficulty of comparing one set of figures with another, each of these concepts refers to standards that vary according to the agency, jurisdiction, and community involved. Even within a single agency, agreement on the inter­ pretation of the relevant standards may not be perfect Bobby Lee Cheatham, a Black cop in Miami, noted the different standards among the police: 'To [white officers], police brutality is going up and just hitting on someone with no rea­ son. . . . To me, it's when a policeman gets in a situation where he's too aggressive or uses force when it isn't needed. Most of the time the policeman creates the situation himself."41 Even where the facts of a case are agreed upon (which is rare) , there may yet be iIllense disagreement about the relevant standards of conduct and their application to the particular circumstances. For example, in October 1997, sheriff's deputies in Humboldt County, California, swabbed pepper-spray fluid directly into t.he eyes of non-violent anti-log!fwg demonstrators locked together in an act of civil disobedience. Amnesty International called the tac­ tic "deliberately cruel and tantamount to torture. " A federal judge refused to issue an injunction against the practice, however, claiming that it only caused "transient pain. "46 This case highlights the disparate judgments possible, even given the same facts. A great many people feel about police brutality as Justice Potter Stewart felt about pornography: they can't define it, but they know it when they see it Unfortunately, they might not know it when they see it. Many police tactics-the use of pressure points, the fastening of handcuffs too tightly, and the direct application of pepper spray, for example-really don't look anything like they feel. More to the point, in most cases, nobody sees the brutality at all, except for the cops and their victims. The rest of us have to rely on secondary information, usually taking one side or the other at their word. Things get even stickier when general patterns of violence are scruti­ nized, even where no particular encounter rises to the level of official mis­ conduct "Use of excessive force means that police applied too much force in a 10

given incident, while excessive use 0/ force means that police apply force legally in too many incidents."47 While the former is more likely to grab headlines, it is the latter that makes the largest contribution to the community's reservoir of grievances against the police. But, since the force in question is within the bounds of policy, the excessive use of force is more difficult to address from the perspective of discipline and administration. All of this controversy and confusion points to a very simple fact: police bru­ tality is a normative construction. It involves an evaluation, a judgment, and not simply a collection of facts. David Bayley and Harold Mendelsohn explain: It should also be noted that police brutality is not just a descriptive cate­ gory.Rather it is ajudgment made about the propriety of police behavior.... Since the use of the phrase implies a judgment, people may disagree pro­ foundly about whether a particular incident, even though it involves the obvious use of force, is a case of brutality. Any discussion of police brutality is therefore encumbered by confu­ sion about whether it applies to more than physical assaults and also by disagreement over what circumstances absolve the police from blame.48

In short, the technical distinctions between, say, excessive force and illegal force, while bringing some measure of precision to the discussion, lead us no nearer to a resolution of these disputes. That's because, at root, the disagree­ ment is not about whether a rule was broken, or a law violated. The ques­ tion-the real question-is one of legitimacy. The larger conflict is a conflict of values. Let's consider this problem anew: the trouble, or part of it, comes in discerning the legitimate and illegitimate uses of violence. Abuses of author­ ity may look very much like their less corrupt counterparts. Or, stated from a different perspective, the application of legitimate force often feels quite a lot like abuse. But there is no paradox here, not really. The state, claiming a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, needs to distinguish its own violence from other, allegedly less legitimate, uses of force. In non­ totalitarian societies, authority exists within carefully prescribed, if vague (one might suggest, intentionally vague) , boundaries. Action within these limits is "legitimate," similar action outside of such limits is "abuse." It's as simple as that. If the difference seems subtle, that's because it is subtle. In the case of police violence, the difference between legitimate and excessive force is one of degree rather than one of kind. (Even the term "excessive force" implies this.) Hence, where you or I see brutality, the cop sees only a day's work. The authorities-the other authorities-more often than not side with the policeman, even where he has violated some law or policy. This is, in a sense, only fair, since the police officer-unless he engages in mutiny-always sides with them. The main difference, then, between policing and police abuse is a rule or law that usually goes unenforced. The difference is the words.



1be preceding observations provide a framework for understanding police bru­ tality, but tell us almost nothing about its prevalence, its forms, its perpetrators, or its victims. Solid facts and hard numbers are very hard to come by. This dearth of information may say something about how seriously the authorities take the problem. Until very recently, nobody even bothered to keep track of how often the police use force-at least not as part of any systematic, national effort. In 1994, Congress decided to require the Justice Department to collect and publish annual statistics on the police use of force. But this effort has been fraught with difficulty. Unlike the Justice Department's other major data-collection projects-the Uniform Crime Reports provide a useful contrast-the examination of police use of force has never received adequate funding, and the reports appear at irregular intervals. Furthermore, the data on which the studies are based are surely incomplete. Many of the reports rely on local police agencies to supply their numbers, and reporting is voluntary. '" Worse, the information, once collected and analyzed, is often put to propagandistic uses; its presentation is sometimes heavily skewed to support a law enforcement perspective. But despite their many flaws, the Justice Department reports remain one of the most comprehensive sources of information about the police use of force. These reports represent various approaches to the issue. They measure the use of force as it occurs in different circumstances, such as arrests and traffic stops. They examine both the level of force used and the frequency with which it is employed. And some studies collect data from victims as well as police. Unfortunately, under-reporting handicaps every means of compiling the data. One report states franklv: "The incidrmrP. nf wrnngfid use of/cree by police is unknown . . . . Current indicators of excessive force are all critically flawed. "50 The most commonly cited indicators are civilian complaints and lawsuits. But few victims of police abuse feel comfortable complaining to the same department under which they suffered the abuse, and lawyers usually only want cases that will win-in other words, cases where the evidence is clear and the harm substantiaPl Many people fail to make a complaint of any kind, either because they would like to put the unpleasant experience behind them, because they fear retaliation, because they suspect that noth­ ing can be done, or because they feel they will not be believed. 52 Hence, measures that depend on victim reporting are likely to represent only a small fraction of the overall incidence of brutality. According to a 1 999 Justice Department survey, 'The vast majority (91. 9 percent) of the persons involved in use of force incidents said the police acted improperly. . . . Although the majority of persons with force [used against them] felt the police acted improperly, less than 20 percent of these people . . . said they took formal action such as filing a complaint or lawsuit. . . . "53 Naturally, the victim is not always the best judge as to whether force was excessive, but in some cases, he may be the only source willing to admit that force was used at all. This provides another reason to separate questions concerning the legitimacy of violence from those concerning its prevalence. 12

The difficulties in measuring excessive and illegal force with complaint and lawsuit records have led academics and practitioners to redirect their attention to all use-of-force incidents. The focus then becomes one of minimizing all instances of police use of force, without undue concern as to whether force was excessive. From this perspective, other records, such as use-of-force reports, arrest records, injury reports, and medical records, become relevant to measuring the incidence of the problem.54 Of course, these indicators also have their shortcomings. Arrest records, medical records, and the like will surely reveal uses of violence that have not resulted in lawsuits or formal complaints. But they will still underesti­ mate the overall incidence of force, since not every case will be accurately recorded. For example, attempts to assess the prevalence of force based on arrest reports leave out those cases where force was used but no arrest was made. ,5 Uke the victims (though for very different reasons) , the perpetrators of police violence are also likely to under-report its occurrence. And they are likely to understate the level of force used and the seriousness of resultant injuries when they do report it. 56 Individual medical records, meanwhile, are not generally available for examination, except when presented as evidence in a complaint hearing or civil trial. And even if emergency rooms were to main­ tain statistics on police-related injuries, many victims of violence, especially the uninsured, do not seek treatment except for the most serious of injuries. Other indicators, such as media reports and direct observation, are similarly :flawed. The media, of course, can only report on events if they know about them. Furthermore, they are unlikely to report on routine uses of force because-like the fabled "Dog Bites Man" story-it is so commonplace. 57 Direct observation is limited by the obvious fact that no one can observe everything, everywhere,


the time. And observation can lead a subject (either the officer or the suspect) to change his behavior while he is being observed. In humanitarian terms, such deterrence is

all for the good, but it doesn't do much for the systematic study of

police activity or the measurement of police violence. 1ne sad fact is that nobody knows very much about the police use of force, much less about the use of excessive force. Its prevalence, frequency, and distribution remain, for the most part, unmeasured; and there is only limited information available concerning its perpetrators, victims, forms, and causes. Nevertheless, some information is available through the sourc­ es mentioned above. And , imperfect though they are, the statistics they produce may point to a reliable baseline, an estimated minimum to which we can refer with a fair amount of certainty. With that aim in mind, and with not a little trepidation, we should turn our attention to the data that are avail­ able, and consider what they indicate. A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS

According to a 1996 Justice D epartment survey, 20 percent of the American public had direct contact with the police during the previous year. Most of these contacts took the form of traffic stops, and most were unremarkable. Only 1 in 500 residents was subject to the use of force or the threat of force. Three years later, the Justice Department repeated the study, this time with 13

a sample almost fifteen times as large. The results were nearly identical: 21 percent of the population had contact with the police in 1999, and 1 in 500 fell victim to violence or threats of violence. 58 Now, that may not sound like a lot of people, until you realize that "1 in 500 " is a polite way of saying "nearly half a million "-an estimated 471,000 people in 1996 and 422,000 in 1999.59 Four hundred thousand people, if we got them all together, would make for a fair-sized city, larger than Atlanta, Georgia, and almost as large as Fresno, California.i>O And when you orient yourself to the fact that this city could be reproduced every year, you start to get some picture of how common police violence really is. Another way of looking at the figures is that, out of every 100 people the police come into contact with, they will threaten or use force against one of them (0.96 percent) . This rate is nearly twice as high for Black people and Latinos, who experience force (or the threat thereof) in 2 percent of their interactions with the police.61 Among these 422,000 people, the most common form of violence they suffered involved being pushed or grabbed.62 Approximately 20 percent were threatened, but not subject to actual physical violence. At the other end of the curve, another 20 percent reported injuries.(d More than three­ quarters of the victims (76 percent) characterized the force as excessive,64 and the "vast majority (92 percent) of persons experiencing [thel threat or use of force said the police acted improperly. "(''; According to a Justice Department study of six police agencies/'(' police use force in 17.1 percent of all adult custody arrests (or 18.9 percent, if we include threats of force) . Suspects, in contrast, use force against the police in less than 3 percent of arrest cases. More specifically, suspects employ weaponless tactics in 1.9 percent of arrests, and use weapons in 0.7 percent. Police, meanwhile, use weaponless tactics in 15.8 percent of arrests, and use weapons in about 2 . 1 percent.('? The police, in short, use force far more often than it is used against them. W ith police using force in about one of every six arrests, it strikes me as an inescapable fact that police violence is quite routine, but most studies resist this conclusion, insisting that the use of force is exceptiona1.68 The police themselves seem untroubled by the level of violence within their depart­ ments. According to a National Institute of Justice study on "Police Attitudes Toward Abuse of Authority, " 24.5 percent of police surveyed "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that "It is sometimes acceptable to use more force than is legally allowable to control someone who physically assaults an officer" ; 3 1 . 1 percent contended that "Police are not permitted t o use as much force as is often necessary in making arrests"; and 42.2 percent felt that "Always follow­ ing the rules is not compatible with getting the job done. ""') Interestingly, 62.4 percent of police feel that officers in their department "seldom" "use more force than is necessary to make an arrest. " Sixteen percent maintained that police never do, and 21.7 percent said that police sometimes, often, or always use excessive force.7° Sociologist Rodney Stark (writing well before the study in question) explained this tendency to understate the incidence of violence: "[If] each policeman only loses his temper once or twice a year and roughs someone 14

up, a very large number of citizens will get roughed up during the year. Thus, their violence may seem occasional to individual policemen, when in fact for the force as a whole it is routine."71 Of course, the propensity for violence is not distributed evenly through­ out police departments. The Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Depar tment (also called the Christopher Commission) noted: Of nearly 6,000 officers identified as involved in a use of force . . . from January 1987 through March 1991, more than 4,000 had less than five reports each. But 63 officers had 20 or more reports each . The top 5 p ercent of officers ranked by number of reports accounted for more than 20 percent of all reports, and the top 10 percent accounted for 33 percent.72

These numbers may not be as comfor ting as they first seem. For one thing, 6,000 cops is still quite a lot, even when the occasions of their violence are spread over four years. In fact, it seems the Christopher Commission fell into precisely the trap that Rodney Stark described: by emphasizing the idea that most officers rarely use force, they demonstrate that br utality is individually rare, while obscuring the fact that it is collectively common. Four thousand officers, with fewer than five reports each, together could have nearly 20,000 such repor ts. Moreover, the unruly 5 percent, in numeri­ cal terms, would add up to about 300 officers.73 One retired LAPD sergeant told the Christopher Commission that there were at least one or two cops in ever y division who regularly use excessive force,74 This would imply that not only is brutality routine, it is widespread. But, however common police br utality may be, its victims are not a per­ fect cross-section of the American public. In 1999, for example, 86.9 percent of the victims of police violence were male, and 55.3 percent were between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four."' While most victims were White (58.9 percent) , Black people and Latinos were victimized in numbers significantly out of proportion to their representation in the general population. Latinos make up 10.2 percent of the population nationally, but accounted for 15.5 percent of those victimized by the police. Black people constitute 1 1.4 per­ cent of the population, and 22.6 percent of those facing police violence,76 Of those killed by police from 1976 to 1998, 42 percent were Black?7 These figures, which I have recited with relatively little comment, offer only a ver y limited representation of police violence. The studies producing these numbers, with their statistics and their charts, seem altogether too sanitized. They should, to do the subject justice, come smeared with blood, with numbers surrounded by chalk outlines. The real cost of police violence, the human cost, is too easily forgotten, figured away, buried under a moun­ tain of decimal points. We must not allow that to happen. We must bear in mind, always, that each of these statistics represents a tragedy. Behind each there lies real pain, humiliation, indignity, often injustice, and sometimes death. Our understanding of police brutality relies on our ability to hear the scream behind the statistic. Once we do, the rage of L.A, of Miami, of Cincinnati becomes comprehensible. Their fires may burn inside us.



In Uprooting Racism, Paul Kivel makes a useful comparison between the rheto­ ric abusive men employ to justify beating up their girlfriends, wives, or children and the publicly traded justifications for widespread racism. He writes:

During the first few years that I worked with men who are violent I was continually perplexed by their inability to see the effects of their actions and their ability to deny the violence they had done to their partners or children. I only slowly became aware of the complex set of tactics that men use to make violence against women invisible and (0 avoid tak­ ing responsibility for their actions. These tactics are listed below in the rough order that men employ them . . . .

(1) Denial.

"I didn't hit her."

(2) Min imization.

"It was only a slap."

(3) Blame.

"She asked for it."

(4) Redefinition.

"It was mutual combat."

(5) Unintentionality.

'Things got out of hand."

(6) It's over now.

"I'll never do it again."

(7) It's only a few men.

"Most men wouldn't hurt a woman."

(8) Counterattack.

"She controls everything."

(9) Competing victimization.

"Everybody is against men."7H

Kivel goes on to detail the ways these nine tactics are used to excuse (or deny) institutionalized racism. Each of these tactics also has its police anal­ ogy, both as applied to individual cases and in regard to the general issue of police brutaIity.l9 Here are a few examples: (1)


'The professionalism and restraint displayed by the police officers, supervisors, and comtnunders on the '/rani line' . . . was nothing short % utstanding. "80 "America does not have a human-rights problem. "8 J

(2) Minimization. The injuries were "of a minor nature. "82 "Police use force infrequently. "8 3

(3) Blame. "This guy isn 't Mr. Innocent Citizen, either. Not by a long shot. "8 4 "They died because they were criminals. "8 5

(4) Redefinition. It was "mutual combat. "S6 "Resisting arrest. ''87 "The use offorce is necessary to protect yourself. "88


(5) Unintentionality. "[0lfficers have no choice but to use deadly force against an assailant who is deliberately trying to kill them. . . . '�9

(6) It's over now. "We're making changes. "9 0 "We will change our training; we will do everything in our power to make sure it never happens again. "9 1

(7) It's only a few men. (� small proportion ofofficers are disproportionately involved in use-offorce incidents. ")2

"Even ifwe determine that the officers were out ofline . . . it is an aberration. ")3

(8) Counterattack. "The only thing they understand is physical force and pain. ''94 "People make complaints to get out of trouble. '-')5

(9) Competing victimization . The police are "in constant danger. ,.% "[LJibera/s are prejudiced against police, much as many white police are biased against Negroes. ") 7 The police are "the most downtrodden, oppressed, dislocated minority in America. "9B Another commonly invoked rationale for justifying police violence is: ( 1 0) The Hero Defense.

"The police routinely do what the rest of us don 't: They risk their lives to keep the peace. For that selfless bravery, they deserve glory, laud and honor. "99 "[Wlithout the police . . . anarchy would be rife in this country, and the civilization now existing on this hemisphere would perish. " 1 00 "[TJhe police create a sense of community that makes social life possible. "10 1 "fT] hey alone stand gua rd at the upstairs door of Hell. " 1 02 This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should of fer something of the tone that these excuses can take. Many of these approaches overlap, and often several are used in conjunction. For example, LAPD sergeant Stacey Koon of fers this explanation for the beating of Rodney King: From our view, and based on what he had already done, Rodney King was trying to assault an officer, maybe grab a gun. And when he was not moving, he seemed to be looking for an opportunity to hurt somebody, his eye s darting this way and that . . . .


So we'd had to use force to make him respond to our commands, to make him lie still so we could neutralize this guy's threat to other people and hi mself. The force we used was well within the guidelines of the Los Angeles Police Department; I 'd made sure of that. Anel, I was proud of the profes­ sionalism [the officers had] shown i n subduing a really monster guy, a felony evader seen committing numerous traffic violations, I II1

In three paragraphs, Koon employs minimization, blame, redefinition, unin­ tentionality, counterattacks, competing victimization, and the Hero Defense, As is usual, his little story stresses the possible danger of the situation, and else­ where Koon emphasizes the generalizable sense of danger that officers experi­ ence: " [Wl e'd all thought that maybe we were getting lured into something. It's happened before. How many times have you read about a cop getting killed after stopping somebody for a speeding violation?"I IH The danger of the job is a constant theme in the defense of police vio­ lence. It is implicit (or sometimes explicit) in about half of the excuses listed above. By pointing to the dangers of the job, the excuse-makers don't only defend police actions in particular circumstances (which might actually have been dangerous) , but as often as not take the opportunity to mount a general defense of the police. This is a clever bit of sophistry, as cynical as a Memorial Day speech during wartime. It's one thing to make a banner of the bloody uniform when discussing a case where the cops actually were in danger, but quite another to do so when they might have been in danger, or only thought that they were. rIll e fact that policing is risky, by this view, seems to justify in advance whatever measures the police feel necessary to employ. This point lies at the center of the Hero Defense. Its genius is that it is so hard to answer. Few people are: indifft':feul lv the dealh of a police officer, espeCially when they feel (though only in some vague, patriotic kind of way) that it occurred because the officer was selflessly working-as former Philadelphia city solicitor Sheldon Albert pu t it-"so that you and I and our families and our children can walk on the streets. " 1 0 5 The flaw of the Hero Defense, however, is both simple and (if you'll pardon the term) fatal: policing is not so danger­ ous as we are led to believe. T H E DANGERS OF THE JOB

In 200 1 , 140 cops were murdered on the job. Most of these (7 1) were killed in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The remaining 69 deaths represent 65 separate incidents, most commonly domestic disturbances and traffic stops. Additionally, 77 officers died in on-duty accidents. 1 06 The 2001 figures are exceptional, skewed by the fact that more cops died in one day than in the entire rest of the year combined. Outside of the World Trade Center attack, only three officers were intentionally killed in the entire northeastern United States. If we bracket the anomaly of September 1 1 , we get a more representative picture of the dangers police face: more offi­ cers died in accidents (77) than were murdered (69) . 1 07 This is not unusual. 18

Between 1995 and 2000, 360 cops were murdered and 403 died in accidents. To take just one year's figures, 135 cops died in 2000; this number represents 51 murders and 84 accidents. lo8 Naturally it is not to be lost sight of that these numbers represent human lives, not widgets or sacks of potatoes. But let's remember th at there were 5,915 fatal work injuries in 2000. 1 09 Policing may be dangerous, but it i s not the most dangerous job available. I n terms o f total fatalities, more truck drivers are killed than any other kind of worker (852 in the year 2000) . 1 1 0 A better measure of occupational risk, however, is the rate of work-related deaths per 100,000 workers. In 2000, for example, it was 27.6 for truck drivers. At 12. 1 deaths per 100,000, policing is slightly less dangerous than mowing lawns, cutting hedges, and running a wood-chipper: groundskeepers suffer 14.9 deaths per 100,000. By occupation, the highest rate of fatalities is among timber cutters, at 122.1 per 100,000. 1 l l By industry, mining and farming are the most dangerous. '''The mining industry recorded a rate of 30.0 fatal work injuries per 100,000 workers in 2000, the highest of any industry and about 7 times the rate for all workers. Agriculture recorded the second highest rate in 2000 (20.9 fatalities per 100,000 workers) ." 1 1 2 The rate for all occupations, taken together, is 4.3 per 100,000 workers. I 1 3 Where are the headlines, the memorials, the honor guards, and the sor­ rowful renderings of taps for these workers? Where are the mayoral speech­ es, the newspaper editorials, the sober reflections that these brave men and women died, and that others risk their lives daily, so that we might continue to enjoy the benefits of modern society? Policing, it seems, is the only industry that both exaggerates and adver­ tises its dangers. It has done so at a high cost, and to great advantage, though (as is so often the case) the costs are not borne by the same people who reap the benefits. The overblown image of police heroism, and the "obsession" with officer safety (Rodney Stark's term) , do not only serve to justify police violence after the fact; by providing such justification, they legitimize vio­ lence, and thus make it more likely. I 1 4 The exaggerated sense of danger has helped to re-order police priorities, to the detriment of the public interest. Stark argues that the police ought to understand clearly that they are being paid to take a certain degree of risk and that their safety does not come before public safety or the common good. Unfortunately, the police typically place their safety first and in recent years we have come to accept this priority. I 1 5

By way of counterpoint, Stark describes the performance of the U.S. Marshals deployed to protect James Meredith during his September 1962 entrance into the University of Mississippi. Two hundred Marshals faced off with a crowd of 2,000 White people determined to prevent the school's integration. The Marshals stood for hours, while the crowd attacked them with bricks and sporadic sniper fire. Twenty-nine Marshals were injured, but they never broke ranks or fired their weapons. "Recalling this episode, consider how little we have come to expect of the police and how greatly we have come to share their obsession with their own safety." I 1 6 The police exaggerate the dangers they face, both in a general sense 19

and in particular cases, where bloodied victims are charged with assault or resisting arrest, and the officer is left unharmed. l l l The fact is the police pro­ duce more casualties than they suffer. "Since 1976, an average of 79 police officers have been murdered each year in the line of duty. . . . " 1 1 8 All together, 1 ,820 law enforcement officers were murdered during the twenty-two-year period between 1976 and 1998. 1 1 9 In the same time, the police killed 8,578 people, averaging 373 annually-more than one a day. 1 20 If we do the math, we see that the police kill almost five times as often as they are killed. I will surely be accused of ghoulishly keeping score, of measuring the differences where I should be emphasizing the shared tragedy, of subtract­ ing when I ought to be adding. It isn't my purpose here to disregard the deaths of the police, only to put them in perspective. The disparity between the violence police face and the violence they use is striking, especially if we

Fig. A. Deaths per

122 . 1

Timber Cutters Mine Workers (by industry)

Truck Drivers

1 00,000 Workers (2000)

Agricultural Groundskeepers Workers (by industry)


All Workers

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Natio1U1l Census of Fatal Occl1patio1U1l Injuries in 20


remember that the available statistics reflect the officers' tendency to overstate the dangers they face and understate their own use of force, both in terms of degree and frequency. The fact that police use more force than they face is incontrovertible; it is left for us to wonder how often the police use violence-in some cases, deadly force-that is out of all proportion to the danger they face. The available studies tell us very little about the prevalence of excessive force, but they do indicate that the police use violence more often, at higher levels, and with deadlier effects, than they actually encounter it. 12 1 This disparity should not be surprising, considering the nature of policing-the imperative to maintain control at all times, in every situation (hardly a real­ istic goal) , the training to use escalating levels of force to gain compliance, and authority unhindered by genuine oversight. Policing, as 1 said earlier, is inherently violent; this violence, generally speaking, seems to be of an offensive-rather than defensive-character. In essence, the police are professional bullies. And like all bullies, the thing they most fear is an even fight. As Kenneth Bradley, a Miami-Dade Metro officer sees it: "I don't get paid to get hurt, and I don't get paid to fight fair. . . . "122 No wonder, then, that the violence used by the police far outstrips anything used against them. I N STITUTIONALIZED B RUTALITY

Given such pervasive violence, it is astonishing that discussions of police brutality so frequently focus on the behavior of individual officers. Commonly called the "Rotten Apple" theory, the explanation of police mis­ conduct favored by police commanders and their ideological allies holds that police abuse is exceptional, that the officers who misuse their power are a tiny minority, and that it is unfair to judge other cops (or the depart­ ment as a whole) by the misbehavior of the few. 1 23 This is a handy tool for diverting attention away from the institution, its structure, practices, and social role, pushing the blame, instead, onto some few of its agents. 1 24 It is, in other words, a means of protecting the organization from scrutiny, and of avoiding change. Despite the official insistence to the contrary, it is clear that police organizations, as well as individual officers, hold a large share of the respon­ sibility for the prevalence of police brutality. 1 2> Police agencies are organiza­ tionally complex, and brutality may be promoted or accommodated within any (or all) of its various dimensions. Both formal and informal aspects of an organization can help create a climate in which unnecessary violence is tolerated, or even encouraged . Among the formal aspects contributing to violence are the organization's official policies, its identified priorities, the training it offers its personnel, 1 26 its allocation of resources, and its system of promotions, awards, and other incentives. I27 When these aspects of an organization encourage violence-whether or not they do so intention­ ally, or even consciously-we can speak of brutality being promoted "from above." This understanding has been well applied to the regimes of certain openly thuggish leaders-Bull Connor, Richard Daley, Frank Rizzo, 1 28 D aryl Gates, Rudolph Giuliani (to name just a few) -but it needn't be so overt to have the same effect. 21

On the other hand, when police culture and occupational norms sup­ port the use of unnecessary violence, we can describe brutality as being supported "from below." Such informal conditions are a bit harder to pin down, but they certainly have their consequences. We may count among their elements insularity, I HJ indifference to the problem of brutality, uo gen­ eralized suspicion, U I and the intense demand for personal respect. \ l 2 One of the first sociologists to study the problem of police violence, William Westley, described these as "basic occupational values," more important than any other determinant of police behavior: [The policeman] regards the public as his enemy, feels his occupation to be in conflict with the community and regards himself as a pariah. The experience and the feeling give rise to a collective emphasis on secrecy, an attempt to coerce respect from the public, and a belief that almost any means are legitimate in completing an important arrest. These are for the policeman basic occupational values. They arise from his experi­ ence, take precedence over his legal responsibilities, are central to an understanding of his conduct, and form the occupational contexts with which violence gains its meaning. 1 '1

Police violence is very frequently over-determined-promoted from above and supported from below. But where it is not actually encouraged, sometimes even where individuals (officers or administrators) disapprove of it, excessive and illegal force are nevertheless nearly always condoned. Among police administrators there is the persistent and well-documented refusal to discipline violent officers; and among the cops themselves, there is the "code of silence." In its 1998 report, Human Rights Watch noted the inaction of police commanders: Most high-ranking police officials, whether at the level of commissioner, chief, superintendent, or direct superiors, seem uninterested in vigor­ ously pursuing high standards for treatment of persons in custody. When reasonably high standards are set, superior officers are often unwilling to require that their subordinates consistently meet them. 1 54

Even where officers are found guilty of misconduct, discipline rarely follows. For example, in 1998 New York's Civilian Complaint Review Board issued 300 findings against officers; fewer than half of these resulted in disciplinary action. 135 LAPD assistant chief Jesse Brewer told the Christopher Commission: We know who the bad guys are. Reputations become well known, espe­ cially to the sergeants and then of course to lieutenants and captains in the areas. But, I don't see anyone bringing these people up and say­ ing, "Look, you are not conforming, you are not measuring up. You need to take a look at yourself and your conduct and the way you're treat­ ing people" and so forth. I don't see that occurring. . . . The sergeants don't, they're not held accountable so why should they be that much concerned !?] I have a feeling that they don't think that much is going to happen to them anyway if they tried to take action and perhaps not . . .


even be supported by the lieutenant or the captain all the way up the line when they do take action against some individual. l 36

Rank-and-file cops, likewise, are extremely reluctant to report the abuses they witness. Some of this reluctance, surely, is a reflection of their superi­ ors' indifference. (After all, if nothing's going to come of it, why report it?) But their peers also enforce this silence. A N ational Institute of Justice study on police integrity discovered a large gap between attitudes and behavior. That is, even though officers do not believe in protecting wrongdoers, they often do not turn them in. More than 80 percent of police surveyed reported that they do not accept the "code of silence" (i.e., keeping quiet in the face of misconduct by others) as an essential part of the mutual trust necessary to good policing. . . . However, about one-quarter (24.9 percent) of the sample agreed or strongly agree d that whistle blowing is not worth it, more than two thirds (67.4 percent) reported that police officers who report incidents of misconduct are likely to be given a "cold shoulder" by fellow officers, and a majority (52 .4 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that it is not unusual for police officers to "turn a blind eye" to other officers' improper conduct.. . A surprising 6 in 10 (61 percent) indicated that police officers do not always report even serious criminal violations that involve the abuse of authority by fellow officers. 1 3? .

We should remember that these numbers reflect the reluctance of police to report misconduct when they recognize it as such. Given police attitudes about the use of force (when nearly a quarter of officers-24.5 per­ cent-think it acceptable to use illegal force against a suspect who assaults an officer) , l l S we can reasonably conclude that the police report their col­ leagues' excessive force only in the rarest of circumstances. I have, to this point, concentrated on the means by which violence (and excessive force in particular) is institutionalized by police agencies. That is, I have discussed the ways police organizations produce and sanction violence, even outside the bounds of their own rules and the law. This examination has provided a brief sketch of the way the institution shapes violence, but has not thus far considered the implications of this violence for the institu­ tion. It seems paradoxical that an institution responsible for enforcing the law would frequently rely on illegal practices. The police resolve this tension between nominally lawful ends and illegal means by substituting their own occupational and organizational norms for the legal duties assigned to them. Westley suggests: This process then results in a transfer in property from the state to the colleague group. The means of violence which were originally a prop­ erty of the state, in loan to its law-enforcement agent, the police, are i n a psychological sense confiscated b y the police, to b e conceived o f as a personal property to be used at their discretion. 1.3 9

From the officers' perspective, the center of authority is shifted and the relationship between the state and its agents is reversed. The police become a law unto themselves. This account reflects the attitudes of the officers, and explains many of 23

the institutional features already discussed. It also identifies an important principle of police ideology, one that (as we shall see in later chapters) has guided the development of the institution, especially in the last half-century. But Westley's theory also raises some important questions. Chief among these: why would the state allow such a coup? T H E P OL I C E , T H E STAT E , AN D S O C IAL C O N F L I C T

We might also ask: To what degree is violence the "property" of the state to begin with?At what point does the police co-optation of violence challenge the state's monopoly on it? When do the police, in themselves, become a genuine rival of the state? Are they a rival to be used (as in a system of indirect rule) or a rival to be suppressed? Is there a genuine danger of the police becoming the dominant force in society, displacing the civilian authorities? Is this a problem for the ruling class? Might such a development, under certain conditions, be to their favor? These are good questions, and we will get to them. For now, let us concentrate on the question of why the state (meaning, here. the civil authorities) would let the police claim the means of violence as their own. Police brutality does not just happen; it is allowed to happen. It is tolerated by the police themselves, those on the street and those in command. It is tolerated by prosecutors, who seldom bring charges against violent cops, and by juries. who rarely convict. It is tolerated by the civil authorities, the mayors, and the city councils, who do not use their influence to challenge police abuses. But why? The answer is simple: police brutality is tolerated because it is what people with power want. This surely sounds conspiratorial, as though orders issued from a smoke­ fillerl room £Ire cirru!ated at roll call to the various bcat cops and result ill d cel ­ tain number of arrests and a certain number of gratuitous beatings on a given evening. But this isn't what I mean, or not quite. Instead, the apparent conflict between the law and police practices may not be so important as we tenrl to assume. The two may, at times, be at odds, but this is of little concern so long as the interests they serve are essentially the same. The police may violate the law, as long as they do so in the pursuit of ends that people with power generally endorse, and from which such people profit. This idea may become clearer if we consider police brutality and other illegal tactics in relation to lawful polic­ ing: when the police enforce the law, they do so unevenly, in ways that give disproportionate attention to the activities of poor people, people of color, and others near the bottom of the social pyramid.11, 0 And when the police violate the law, these same people are their most frequent victims. This is a coincidence too large to overlook. If we put aside, for the moment, all questions of legality, it must become quite clear that the object of police attention, and the target of police violence, is overwhelmingly that portion of the population that lacks real power. And this is precisely the point: police activities, legal or illegal, violent or nonviolent, tend to keep the people who currently stand at the bottom of the social hierarchy in their "place, " where they "belong"-at the bottom. This is why James Baldwin said that policing was "oppressive" and "an insult." Put differently, we might say that the police act to defend the interests and 24

standing of those with power-those at the top. So long as they serve in this role, they are likely to be given a free hand in pursuing these ends and a great deal of leeway in pursuing other ends that they identify for themselves . Th e laws may say otherwise, but laws can b e ignored. In theory, police authority is restricted by state and federal law, as well as by the policies of individual departments. In reality, the police often exceed the bounds of their lawful authority, and rarely pay any price for doing so. Th e rules are only a s good a s their enforcement, and they are seldom enforced. The real limits to police power are established not by statutes and regula­ tions-since no rule is self-enforcing-but by their leadership and, indirectly, by the balance of power in society. So long as the police defend the status quo, so long as their actions promote the stability of the existing system, their misbehavior is likely to be overlooked. It is when their excesses threaten this stability that they begin to face meaningful restraints. Laws and policies can be ignored and still provide a cover of plausible deniability for those in authority. But when misconduct reaches such a level as to prove embarrassing, or so as to provoke unrest, the authorities may have to tighten the reins-for a while. 141 Token prosecutions, minimal reforms, and other half-measures may give the appearance of change, and may even serve as some check against the worst abuses of authority, but they carefully fail to affect the underlying causes of brutality. It would be wrong to conclude that the police never change. But it is important to notice the limits of these changes, to understand the influences that direct them, and to recognize the interest'> that they serve. Police brutality is pervasive, systemic, and inherent to the institution. It is also, as we shall see, anything but new.





New York's third district, was suspended-but later reinstated-after a con­ viction for assault and battery. l This incident was not especially unusual at the time. Even now, it would only stand out because cops are so rarely convicted, regardless of the evidence against them. Yet if the licensed use of violence is not new, the system employing it today looks very different than that of the 1820s. And if the abuse of authority is itself a constant feature of government, the nature of that authority has undergone substantial changes. C HARACT E RI STI C S O F M O D E RN P O LI C E

Policing itself is not a distinctly modern activity.2 It has existed in some form, under numerous political systems, in disparate locations, for centuries. Yet most of the institutions historically responsible for law enforcement would not be recognizable to us as police. Colonial America, for example, had nothing like our modern police departments. The earliest specialized police were watchmen . . . . However, although their function was certainly specialized, it is not always clear that it was policing. Very often they acted only as sentinels, responsible for sum­ moning others to apprehend criminals, repel attack, or put out fires. 3

It was not until the middle of the nineteenth century that most American cit­ ies had police organizations with roughly the same form and function as our contemporary departments. Though most historians agree it was in the mid-1800s that police forces throughout the United States converged into a single type, it has been surpris­ ingly difficult to enumerate the major features of a modern police operation. David Bayley defines the modern police in terms of their public auspices, 27

specialized function, and professionalism,4 though he does also mention their non-military character' and their authority to use force." Richard Lundman offers four criteria: full-time service, continuity in office, continuity in proce­ dure, and control by a central governmental authority.? Selden Bacon, mean­ while. suggests six characteristics: (a) citywide jurisdiction. (b) twenty-four-hour responsibility, (c) a single organization responsible for the greater part of formal enforcement, (d) paid personnel on a salary basis, (e) a personnel occupied solely with police duties, (0 general rather than specific functions. H

Raymond Fosdick argues that the defining mark of modern police depart­ ments is their organization under a single commander.9 And Eric Monkkonen takes as his sole requirement the presence of uniforms.1 0 Three of these criteria are easily done away with. The use of uniforms is neither a necessary nor a unique feature of modern policing. Some police officers, especially detectives, do not wear uniforms, and are no less mod­ ern for that fact. Furthermore, even within the history of law enforcement, uniforms predate the modern institution. The London Watch, for example, was uniformed in 1791. 1 1 likewise, though most police agencies are headed by a single police chief, this is not always the case, and has not always been the case, even in departments that are distinctly modern. Police boards of various kinds have moved in and out of fashion throughout the modern period, especially at the cusp of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The civilian character of the police is more problematic, and, precisely because it is problematic I will put it aside as a suggested criterion for moo­ ern police. The relationship between policing and the military has always been complex and controversial, and if current trends are any indication, it will remain so for some time. Given the ambiguous and shifting character of the police, it seems unwise to generalize about its essentially civilian (or military) nature, and I do not wish to define away the problem at the expense of a more nuanced analysis.12 Those characteristics remaining may be divided into two groups. The first are the defining characteristics of police: (1) the authority to use force, (2) a public character and accountability (at least in principle) to some cen­ tral governmental authority, and

(3) general law enforcement duties (as opposed to limited, specified duties such as parking enforcement or animal control) .

These traits, I think, are essential to any organization that claims to be engaged in policing. The second set comprises those criteria distinguishing modern policing from earlier forms. These include: (1) the investment of responsibility for law enforcement in a single organization,


(2) citywide jurisdiction and centralization, (3) an intended continuity in office and procedure, 15 (4) a specialized policing function (meaning that the organization is only or mainly responsible for policing, not for keeping the streets clean, put­ ting out fires, or other extraneous duties) , (5) twenty-four-hour service, and

(6) personnel paid on a salary basis rather than by fee.

There is one final characteristic that deserves consideration. The devel­ opment of policing has been guided in large part by an emerging orienta­ tion toward preventive rather than responsive activity. Though this idea was firmly established by the time modern departments took the stage, it was not until quite some time later that specific techniques of prevention entered into use, and the degree to which the police do, or can, or should, act to prevent crime remains even now a matter of intense debate. Fig. B. Characteristics of Modern Policing



authority to use force

single organization

public: accountable to central

citywide jurisdiction:

government authority

centralized control

general law

continuity in office and

enforcement duties

procedure specialized function 24-hour service salaried personnel preventive orientation

Rather than use these factors to draw a sharp line demarcating a clearly identifiable set of modern police (a line most police departments will have crossed and re-crossed) , I propose we use these criteria to place various orga­ nizations on a continuum as being more or less modern depending on the degree to which they display these characteristics. 14 (1 have listed the traits here in order of what 1 take to be their relative significance.) This approach may seem a bit impressionistic, but I think the picture it offers is helpful in understanding the evolution of police systems. For the most part, the creators of the new police did not see themselves as marching inexorably toward an ideal of modern policing. Instead, they adapted preexisting institutions to the demands of new circumstances, evolving their systems slowly through a pro­ cess of invention and imitation, improvisation and experimentation, promise and compromise, trial and error. The rate of progress was unsteady, its path wavering, its advances frequently reversed, and its direction determined by a variety of factors including political pressure, scandals, wars, riots, econom­ ics, immigration, budget constraints, the law, and sometimes crime. 29

TIlere is a further advantage to this approach: it acknowledges the fact of continuing development and leaves open the possibility of further mod­ ernization. Hence, rather than a revolution of modernity, occurring between 1829 and about 1860, we are faced with a much more protracted process. We find police departments approaching their modern form quite a while earlier; and yet, we can recognize that these same departments may not be fully modernized, even now. l l In short, this view avoids the tendency to treat our contemporary institution as the final product of earlier progress, as an end-point marking completion, and instead situates it as one stage in an ongoing process. ENGLI S H P REDECE S S O R S

Many people find it astonishing that the police have predecessors. They seem to imagine that the cop has always been there, in something like his present capacity, subject only to the periodic change of uniform or the occasional tech­ nological advance. Quite to the contrary, the police have a rich and complex history, if an ugly one. Our contemporary institution owes much of its charac­ ter to those that came before it, including those offices imported or imposed during the colonial period. These in turn have their own stories, closely linked to the creation of modern states. It is worth considering this lineage and the forces that propelled change, from one form of control to another. During the time between the fall of Rome and the rise of modern states, policing-like political authority-became quite decentralized. "Gradually, new superordinate kingdoms were formed, delegating the power to create police but holding on to the power to make law.''J(, Within such arrangements, policing initially took an informal mode, such as that of the frankpledge sys­ tf'm in England. ' 7 Under this systcm, families grouped theillselves together in sets of ten (called "tythings") and collections of ten tythings (called "hun­ dreds") . The heads of these families pledged to one another to obey the law. Together they were responsible for enforcing that pledge, apprehending any of their own who violated it, and combining for mutual protection. If they failed in these duties, they were fined by the sovereign. ' k Under the frankpledge system, the responsibility for enforcing the law and maintaining order fell to everyone in the community. Our extremely modern concept of a specialized police force did not then exist. Neither was there any public means for repressing or prevent­ ing crime, as distinguished from its detection and the apprehension of offenders . The members of each tything were simply bound to a mutual undertaking to apprehend, and present for trial, any of their number who might commit an offense . ] "

This arrangement relied on the social conditions present in small communi­ ties, especially the sense of interpersonal connection and interdependence. But we should be careful of romanticizing this idyllic scenario. The frank­ pledge system was imposed by the Norman conquerors as a means of main­ taining colonial rule. Essentially, they forced the conquered communities to enforce the Norman law. 2 0 30

Still, the system was rather limited in its authoritarian uses, as it depended on a common acceptance of the law. Hence, English sovereigns later found it necessary to supplement the frankpledge with the appointment of a shire reeve, or sheriff, to act in local affairs as a general representative of the crown. The sheriff was responsible for enforcing the monarch's will in military, fiscal, and judicial matters, and for maintaining the domestic peace.21 Sheriffs were appointed by and directly accountable to the sovereign. 'Ibey were responsible for organizing the tythings and the hundreds, inspecting their weapons, and, when necessary, calling together a group of men to serve as a posse comitatus, pursuing and apprehending fugitives. The sheriffs were paid a portion of the taxes they collected, which led to abuses and made them rather unpopular figures.22 Eventually, following a series of scandals and complaints, the sheriff's powers were eroded and some of his responsibilities were assigned to new offices, including the coroner, the justice of the peace, and the constable.23 According to the

1285 Statute of Winchester, the constable was respon­

sible for acting as the sheriff's agent. Two constables were appointed for every hundred, thu s providing more immediate supervision of the tythings and hundreds. 24

[The constable's] early history is closely intertwined with military affairs and with martial law; for after the Conquest the Norman marshals, pre­ decessors of the modern constable, held positions of great dignity and were drawn for the most part from the baronage. As leaders of the king's army they seem to have exercised a certain jurisdiction over military offenders, particularly when the army was engaged on foreign soil, and therefore beyond the reach of the usual institutions of justice. The dis­ turbed conditions attending the Wars of the Roses brought the constables further powers of summary justice, as in cases of treason and similar state crimes. They therefore came to be a convenient means by which the English kings from time to time overrode the ordinary safeguards of English law. These special powers, originating in the "law marshal," were expanded until they came to represent what we know as "martial law."2' Beyond his original military function, and the additional job of serving the sheriff, the constable was also responsible for a host of other duties, including the collection of taxes, the inspection of highways, and serving as the local magistrate. Ironically, as the posse comitatus came increasingly to act as a militia, the constable was without assistance in policing.2G By the end of the thirteenth century, the constable was no longer connected to the tything; he acted instead as an agent of the manor and the crownY By the beginning of the sixteenth century, the constable's function was quite limited; constables only made arrests in cases where the justice of the peace issued a warrant.28 Around the middle of the thirteenth century, towns of notable size were directed by royal edict to institute a night watch.29 This was u sually an unpaid, compulsory service borne by every adult male. Carrying only a staff and lan­ tern, the watch would walk the streets from late evening until dawn, keeping an eye out for fire, crime, or other threats, sounding an alarm in the event of emergency. "Charlies" -so called because they were created during the reign of Charles Ipo-were unarmed, untrained, under-supervised, often unwilling,


and frequently drunk. In 1727, Joseph Cotton, the Deputy Steward ofWestminster, visited St Margaret's Watchhouse and complained that there was "neither Constable, Beadle, Watchman, or other person (save one who was so Drunk that he was not capable of giving any Answer) Present in, or near the said Watchhouse." A few years later, in 1735, John Goland of Bond Street complained to the Burgesses that he had been robbed three times in five years, noting that he "generally finds the Watchmen drunk, and wandering about with lewd Women . . . "1 1 The watch thus represented neither a significant bulwark against crime nor a major source of power for the state. Yet the watch continued in various forms for 600 years. During the eighteenth century, the London Watch underwent a long series of reforms. ll While neglect of duty and drunkenness remained major complaints, most of the characteristics of modern police were introduced to the watch in this period, first in one locale and then in the others. 'The goal was a system of street policing that was honest, accountable, and impartial in its administration and operation . . . . "ll Toward this end, the West End parishes of St James, Piccadilly, and Saint George, Hanover Square began paying watchmen in 1735; most other parishes adopted the practice within the next: fifty years.l4 During this same time, more men were hired, hours of operation were expanded, command hierarchies and plans of supervision were drafted, minimum qua1ifications established, record-keeping introduced, and pensions offered.I' .

By 1775, Westminster and several neighboring parishes had a night watch system that was both professional and h ierarchical in structure, charged with preventing crime and apprehending night walkers and vagabonds. While police authority did remain divided between several local bod­ ies and officials, decentrali zation was not necessarily synonymous with defectiveness. These parochial dutllUr ilies pUl increasing numbers of constables, beadles [church officials] , watch men, and [militia] patrols o n the street, paid and equipped them . They spent increased amounts of time disciplining them when they were delinquent and i ncreasing amounts of money on wages.5(,

Thus, during the eighteenth century the London Watch came very nearly to resemble the modern police department that replaced it. The watch was also supplemented by various private efforts, including a "river police" created by local merchants and taken over by the government in 1800.37 "By 1829 London had become a patchwork of public and private police forces ' " supported by vestries, church wardens, boards of trustees, commissioners, parishes, magistrates, and courts-Ieet."38 Among this mix, we find one group worthy of special notice-the thieftakers, forerunners of the modern detective. Despite their name, thieftakers were less interested in catching thieves than in retrieving stolen property and collecting rewards. And the easiest way to do that was to act as a fence for the thieves, returning the goods and splitting the fee. Until his execution in 1725, Jonathan Wild was England's most prominent thieftaker, controlling an international operation that included warehouses in two countries and a ship for transport.59 Such was the state of policing when Robert Peel, the home secretary, 32

proposed a plan for a citywide police force. This body, the Metropolitan Police Department-now nicknamed "Bobbies" after their creator, but commonly called "crushers" by the public of the time4°-adopted many of the innovations previously introduced in the local watch, adding to these a new element of cen­ tralization."' It thus fulfilled most of the criteria defining modern policing. Peel based this effort on his experiences in Ireland, where he had intro­ duced the Royal Irish Constabulary in

1818.42 Hence both the traditional

watch and the police system that came to replace it were informed by the experience of colonial rule. They were each created by foreign conquerors to control rebellious populations. Peel had seen the difficulties of military occupation and understood the need to establish some sort of legitimacy. He crafted his police accordingly-first in Ireland, and then, with revisions, in England.43 In London the police uniforms and equipment were selected with an eye toward avoiding a military appearance, though critics of the police idea still drew such comparisons.44 In

1829, citing a rise in crime (especially property crime) , Parliament

accepted Peel's proposal with only a few adjustments.45 The most important of these compromises excluded the old City of London from the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police. The old City of London (about one square mile, geographically) retained its own police force, which in

1839 was

reorganized on the Metropolitan mode1.46 Meanwhile, the watch and river police were preserved and proved for some time more effective than the new MetropolitansY Still, though they lacked citywide jurisdiction and sole policing authority, the London Metropolitan Police are generally credited as the first modern police department. Some historians treat the modern American police as a straightforward application of Peel's model. As we shall see, however, policing in the United States followed a separate course, motivated by different concerns and pro­ ducing unique institutional arrangements. In fact, I shall argue that American policing systems, especially those designed for slave control, neared the modern type well before Peel's reforms. COLON IAL F O R E RUN N E R S

The American colonies mostly imported the British system of sheriffs, con­ stables, and watches, though with some important differences. Sheriffs at first were appointed by governors, and made responsible for apprehending suspects, guarding prisoners, executing civil processes, overseeing elections, collecting taxes, and performing various fiscal func­ tions.4 8 Corruption in all of these duties was quite common, with sheriffs accepting bribes from suspects and prisoners, neglecting their civil duties, tampering with elections, and embezzling public funds.49 The sheriff was empowered to make arrests when issued a warrant, or without one in cer­ tain circumstances, and was given additional duties during emergencies, but during the colonial period the office was only tangentially concerned with criminal law. 50 The constable's duties were similarly varied. He was charged with sum­ moning citizens to town meetings, collecting taxes, settling claims against 33

the town , preparing elections, impressing workers for road repair, serving warrants, summoning juries, delivering fugitives to other jurisd ictions, and overseeing the night watch . In addition, he was, in theory, expected to enforce all laws and maintain the Crown's peace . ' 1 I n practice, however, constables were paid by a system of fees, and tended to concentrate on the better-paying tasks. ,2 In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, both the sheriff and the constable were elected positions . ' J Still, they were not popular jobs; many people refused to serve when elected, " 1 and the authority of each office was commonly challenged, sometimes by violence. In 1 756, for example, Sheriff John Christie was killed when trying to make an arrest. James Wilkes was convicted, but was soon pardoned by Governor Sir Charles Hardy, who reasoned that Wilkes

had imbibed and strongly believed a common Error generally prevailing among the Lower Class of Mankind in this part of the world that after warning the Officer to desist and bidding him to stand off at his Peril, it was lawful to oppose him by any means to prevent the arrest." The fact that such a view would be respected, despite its legal inaccuracy, says a great deal about the weakness of the sheriff's position. ,r, Neither of these offices was designed for what we now consider police work, and neither ever fully adapted itself to that function.'� Constables survived into the twentieth century, though only as a kind of rural relic." Sheriffs, meanwhile, retained many of their original duties-especially those concerning jails-and in some places still patrol the unincorporated areas of counties, though even in this respect state police forces sometimes supersede them. Rather than invest much auth ority in th p<:1" offices, the colonial govern­ ment relied primarily on informal means of policing. As public nuisances arose concerning the behavior of slaves, the delivery of goods, sanitation, street use, gambling, and the like, the local government responded by instituting reguiations. These would generally be ignored. To remedy this deficiency, the civil authorities called on the family and church to use their influence to bring about compliance. Where that failed, they would institute a system of fines (for violators) and rewards (for informers) . They might then direct the constable to enforce the laws, or else appoint special inform­ ers concerned only with that particular law. Eventually towns began consoli­ dating these positions and appointing general officers called marshals. 59 Citizens were further expected to participate in law enforcement through the night watch.

The character of the nightwatch varied from time to time. Sometimes it was composed entirely of civilians forced to take their regular turn as watchmen or pay for a substitute to replace them. At other times, espe­ cially during the intercolonial wars, the militia took over the watch. At still other times, a paid constable's watch was used, or citizens them­ selves were paid to guard the city.6 0 As in England , the watch was charged with keeping order, reporting fires, 34

sounding an alarm when crimes were discovered, detaining suspicious per­ sons, and sometimes suppressing riots and lighting street lamps.Gl The Boston Watch was in many respects typical. All men over

18 years

old were required to serve in person or provide a substitute (though minis­ ters and certain public officials were exempted from duty) . The state legis­ lature ordered the watchmen to "see that all disturbances and disorders in the night shall be prevented and suppressed" and gave them the

authority to examine all persons, whom they have reason to suspect of any unlawful design, and to demand of them their business abroad at such time, and whither they are going; to enter any house of ill-fame for the purpose of suppressing any riot or disturbance.62 They were further instructed to

walk in rounds in and about the streets, wharves, lanes, and principal inhabited parts, within each town, to prevent any danger by fire, and to see that good order is kept, taking particular observation and inspection of all houses and families of evil fame,c" New York provided similar instruction in

1698. The watchmen were told

to go

round the Citty Each Hour in the Night with a Bell and there to pro­ claime the season of the weather and the Hour of the night and if they Meet in their Rounds Any people disturbing the peace or lurking about Any persons house or committing any theft they take the most prudent way they Can to Secure the said persons.64 Like the modern police, the colonial watch was public in character and accountable to a central authority, usually either a town council or state legislature. Unlike the modern police, however, the watch had only limited authority to use force, with no training and usually no equipment for doing so. As far as "modern" characteristics go, the watch shared responsibility for enforcement with the constables, sheriffs, and sometimes other inspectors. Thus it was not the major body responsible for law enforcement. Its person­ nel rotated with deliberate frequency, and many places it only patrolled part of the year. Hence, it lacked continuity in office and procedure. While the watch was concerned with crime, it was often more concerned with other dangers, especially fire and military attack; thus it lacked the specialized policing function. Except in times of emergency, the watch only patrolled at night (offering no twenty-four-hour service) . And for the most part, its personnel were not paid at all. In sum, by our criteria, the colonial watch may be counted as a policing effort, but in no way did it constitute a modern police agency. The standard story in the history of policing, if we may speak of such a thing, presents the modern American police force as a direct adaptation of the night watch, following the English pattern.65 But this story leaves out significant stages in the development of American policing. Or, put differ­ ently, it omits an entire branch of the American police family tree.


I n fact, the first major reform of the traditional system did not occur in any of the big northwestern cities in the mid-1800s but in the cities of the Deep South in a much earlier period . As early as the 1780s Charleston introduced a paramilitary municipal police force primarily to control the city's large population of slaves. In later years, Savannah, New O rleans, and Mobile did the same.66 These police forces, which I will refer to as City Guards, were distinct from both the militia and the watch . They were armed, uniformed, and salaried; they patrolled at night but kept a reserve force for daytime emergencies. In most respects, they resembled modern American police departments to the same degree as did the London Metropolitan Police of 1829. Of course, these City Guards did not arise out of nothing. To under­ stand their origin, we should consider the peculiar institutions of Southern society, its social and economic systems and the police measures that arose to preserve them. S LAVE PATROLS

Relying on a slave economy, the American South faced unique problems of social control, especially in areas where White people were in the minority. Regardless of their own economic class or ethnic background, White people were haunted by the prospect of a slave revolt They became utterly obsessed with controlling the lives of Black people, free and slave, and developed a deep and terrible fear of any unsupervised activity in which Black people might engageY As a result, the South developed distinctive policing practices. Called "slave patrols," "alarm men," or "searchers," by the authorities who appointed them, they were known as "paddyrollers," "padaroles," "padaroes," and "patterolers" by the populations they policed.68 Michael Hindus cites three related reasons why the criminal justice system in the South developed along different lines than it did in the North:

1) tradition, 2) social and economic development, and 3) slavery.69 Of these three, slavery exerted the most powerful influence. It held a central place in Southern society, in the social and political as well as the economic life of the region. For many Southerners, a future without slavery was literally inconceivable.7° Thus the whole of Southern society was, at times, directed to the defense of the "peculiar institution. " Where the demands of slavery conflicted with the region's traditions and social development-and to a lesser extent when it interfered with economic development-the mainte­ nance of the slave system was nearly always preferred.71 Faced with the difficulties ofkeeping a major portion of the population enslaved to a small elite, Southern society borrowed from the practices ofthe Caribbean, especially Barbados. There, slaveowners used professional slave catchers and militias to capture runaways, while overseers were responsible for main­ taining order on the plantations. The weaknesses of this system led to the creation of slave codes, laws directed specifically to the governing of slaves. Beginning in 1661, the slave code shifted the responsibilities of enforcement from the overseers to the entire White population. Shortly thereafter, in the 1680s, the militia began making regular patrols to catch runaways, prevent 36

slave gatherings, search slave quarters, keep order at markets, funerals, and festivals, and generally intimidate the Black population.72

The final move in policing Barbadian slaves in the seventeenth century came with the importation of two thousand professional English sol­ diers, who were installed on plantations as intimidating "militia tenants." Arriving between 1696 and 1702, they did not perform manual labor but instead functioned exclusively as slave control forces. Their presence served the White colonists' purposes well: throughout the eighteenth century only one slave rebellion attempt was reported in Barbados.l 3 During the same period, South Carolina passed laws restricting the slaves' ability to travel and trade, and created the Charleston Town Watch . Beginning i n

1671, thi s watch consisted o f the regular constables and a rota­

tion of six citizens. It looked for any sign of trouble-fires, Indian attacks, or slave gatherings. The laws also established a militia system, with every White man between sixteen and sixty years old required to serve.74 In

1686, South Carolina passed a law enabling any White person to 1690 Act for

apprehend and punish runaway slaves." A few years later, the

the Better Ordering of Slaves required "all persons under penalty of for ty shillings t o arrest and chastise any slave out o f his home plantation without a proper pass. ""(' Those who captured runaways would receive a reward.?" In

1704, fears of a Spanish invasion, combined with the ever-present

threat of a slave revolt, led South Carolina to form its first official slave patrols. The colony faced two types of danger and divided its military capac­ ity accordingly. Henceforth , the militia would guard against outside attack, and the patrol would be left behind to protect against insurrection.78 Patrollers would gather from time to time and, as instructed by the law,

ride from plantation to plantation, and into any plantation , within the limits or precincts, as the General shall think fitt, and take up all slaves which they shall meet without their master's plantation which have not a permit or ticket from their masters, and the same punish.l9 In

1721, the law was revised to shift its focus from runaways to revolts. Th e

new law ordered the patrols t o "prevent all caballings amongst negros, by dispersing of them when drumming or playing, and to search all negro houses for arms or other offensive weapons."80 The patrollers seized other goods as well, alleging them to be stolen, and were permitted to keep for their own whatever they took.S 1 The patrol was essentially a n institutionalized extension o f the more informal system described by the

1686 law. The law's intention was, fore­

most, to divide the means of protecting the city so that b oth internal and external threats could be met simultaneously. It did not represent an effort to specialize slave control, or to reduce the obligations of each White citizen, or to interfere with the personal authority of the slave owner. But whatever the intention behind it, the law did, or threatened to do, all three.

Reform required increasing the amount of time each man devoted to protecting the safety and property of others, which was repugnant to Southern White ideas of individual freedom and, indirectly, their sense 37

of personal honor. No White man should h ave to cower before slaves, it was thought, and patrols were an unequivocal manifestation of White fear. Southern honor required the i ndividual to protect his name and family without the assistance of courts or the c ommunity; patrols, by their very nature, were commu nal, intrusive in the master-slave relation­ ship, and implied that the individual alone could not adequately c ontrol his bondsmen .H2

Slave patrols were both a product of White racism, vital to the survival of slavery, and a manifest contradiction of the ideology and culture it was meant to protect. 'To admit that danger existed was to concede the possibil­ ity of fear; to admit that slaves posed a threat could undermine confidence in an entire way of Iife."H5 Of course, to ignore the threat of insurrection could prove equally as dangerous. The patrols were created to defend slavery, but their effectiveness was limited by the same ideology that justified the slave system. For White people in the South, slavery was valued, in part, as a means of maintaining the entire social order and a deeply cherished way of life. It would not be an exaggeration to say that they imagined that the slave system upheld civili­ zation itself, in part by controlling the group that most threatened it-the slaves. This racist ideology was self-reinforcing, and provided for its own defense. As long as Charlestonians believed that blacks were the sole threat to order, White supremacy served in lieu of a police force. In such a racially strati­ fied society, with few legal rights accorded to the black man, every White person , by virtue of his skin, had sufficient authority over blacks. 84

So, rather than develop more formal means of control, Southern ideology encouraged a reliance on informal systems rooted in racism. This was not only true of the police function, but of all authority. While th p rpst of the coun­ try developed systems of authority that were formal, legalistic, and centered on the state, the South maintained a unique commitment to a system that was informal, personalistic (characterized by deference and paternalism) , diffused, and in which the slate was kept deliberately weak. When compared to Northern cities of the nineteenth century, plantation life seems positively feudal. "In other words, the plantation was a sort of governmental unit as to the police control of the slave, and to its head, the slaveowner, was given in large measure the sovereign management of its affairs under certain restric­ tions." 8 \ The arrangement was, in the fullest, traditional sense of the word, patriarchal; not only slaves, but also White women and children were subject to the personal authority of male heads of households. 86 Any intercession in these relationships was apt to be viewed negatively. Slaveowners felt that any outside intervention-especially that of the state-represented not only a usurpation of their authority but also a personal slight, implying that the master was not up to the task of controlling his slaves.A? This sentiment, an important aspect of Southern "honor," created a major impediment to the effective control of the Black population. It discouraged White elites from enhancing the means of social control.


[Ol nly the state (through the agency of the courts, councils, and mili­ tia) could force whites to act in concerted fashion to protect their own self-interest. And some state legislatures, like South Carolina's , simply refused to reform patrol practices in order to coerce more public service from their constituents. 8 8

Progress, here, came n o t as the result o f continual efforts a t critique and improvement, but in a rush during times of crisis, typically following real or rumored revolts. Aside from minor alterations in 1737 and 1 740, the patrol system established in 1704 survived, virtually unaltered , until

1819. The 1737 and 1 740 acts limited the personnel of the patrols, first to landowners of 50 acres or more, and then to slaveowners and overseers.89 But in 1819, the state legislature-spurred by two separate slave revolts shortly before-again made all "free white males" aged 18 to 45 liable for patrol duty, without compensation. Substitutes could be sent, for a fee , and discipline came in the form of fines.YO After this revision, the structure and activities of the patrols remained relatively unchanged until the Civil War.� l While " [the patrol system in] South Carolina seems to have been the oldest, most elaborate, and best documented," other colonies followed suit.91 Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi all had similar arrangements, with varia­ tions. In Georgia, slave patrols were also responsible for disciplining disorderly White people, especially vagrants.93 In Tennessee, the law required slaveowners to provide patrols on the plantations themselves, in addition to those that rode between plantations. In Kentucky, after a series of revolts, some cities estab­ lished round-the-clock patrols. And in Mississippi, the first patrols were federal troops; these were gradually replaced by the militia, and then by groups appointed by county boards.94 Until 1660, Virginia relied more on indentured European servants than on Mrican slaves, though b oth groups sought to escape their bonds. Initially, the colonists used the hue and cry to mobilize the community and recap­ ture runaways. In 1 669, the colonial legislature began offering a reward (paid in tobacco) to anyone who returned a runaway. And in 1680, as the slave population grew, slaves were required to carry passes, as debtors and Native Americans already had been. Slaves were singled out for special enforcement measures beginning in 169 1 , when the legislature required sheriffs to raise posses for their recapture. In 1727, this responsibility was transferred to the militia, creating the colony's first slave patrol. At first the militia only patrolled as needed, but after a failed rebellion in 1730, it began regular patrols two or three times each week. In 1754, county courts began paying patrollers and requiring reports from their captains. After that point, Virginia's patrols remained essentially the same until the Civil War.95 North Carolina's system developed along similar lines, driven by the same concerns. The colony required passes for slaves, debtors, and Native Americans beginning in 1669. In 1753, patrols were instituted. Called "searchers," the patrols were initially responsible for searching the slaves' homes, but couldn't stop them between plantations. This function reflected the motives behind their creation: the lawmakers were more afraid of revolts than escapes. In 1779, paid patrols were established, with expanded powers for searching the homes of White people and 39

stopping slaves whenever they were off the plantation.')(' With this they came to closely resemble the patrols already in place elsewhere, and after 1802 they were placed under the auspices of the county court, rather than the militia.''" Whether supervised by the militia or the courts, whether chiefly concerned with escapes or revolts, whether paid or conscripted, whether slave-owners or poor White people, the rural patrols all engaged in roughly the same activities and served the same function. 'Throughout all of the [Southern] states during the antebellum period, roving armed police patrols scoured the countryside day and night, intimidating, terrorizing, and brutalizing slaves into submission and meekness."9H They patrolled together in "beat companies," on horseback and usually at night.'J'J Along the roads they would stop any Black person they encountered, demand his pass, beat him if he was without one, and return him to the plantation or hold him in the jail. For this, they carried guns, whips, and binding ropes. I 00 They would search slaves' homes, and sometimes the homes of disreputa­ ble White people, looking for illegal visitors, weapons, and stolen goods. Guns and horses were confiscated as a matter of course, as were linen and china; l o l slaves weren't allowed to have anything too valuable. Books and paper were often confiscated as well; education itself was deemed subversive. I 02 The patrols would break up any unsupervised gathering of slaves, espe­ cially meetings of religious groups the patrollers themselves disliked. Baptist and Methodist services were specifically targeted. IO.l One former slave, Ida Henry, recalled an assault against her mother: De patrollers wouldn't allow de slaves to hold night services, and one night dey caught me mother out praying. D ey stripped her naked and tied her hands together and wid a rope tied to de handcuffs and threw one end of de rope over a limb and tied de other end to de pummel of a "addle

on a

horse. As me

mother weighet1 'uuul 200, dey pulied her up so

dat her toes could barely touch de ground and whipped her. 1 0 '1

Patrollers couldn't legally interfere with a slave carrying a pass. 10) But patrol­ lers would often harass Black people whom they felt to be traveling too far, or too

often.106 Moses Grandy, a former slave, verified that the law did little to restrain the patrollers: I f a negro has given offense to the patrol, even by so innocent a matter as dressing tidily to go to a place of worship, he will be seized by one of them, and another will tear up h i s pass; while one is flogging him, the others will look another way; s o when he or his master makes complaint of his h aving been beaten without cause, and he points out the person who did it, the others will swear they s aw no one beat him . 1 1l7

Other abuses were also common. Black women faced sexual abuse at the hands of patrollers, both when they were found on the road and during searches of their homes. l os Patrollers sometimes kidnapped free Black people and sold them as slaves. 1 09 They also frequently threatened Black people with mutila­ tion, sometimes with a basis in law: between 1712 and 1740, South Carolina law required escalating tortures for captured runaways, from slitting the nose to severing one foot. l 1 O 40

Masters sometimes complained about the abuses directed against the slaves, but courts were generally reluctant to award damages or discipline the patrollers, for fear of undermining the patrol system. I I I The main restraint on the actions of patrollers was the economic value of the slave's life; slaves were rarely killed, since the local government would then have to compensate the owner. l l 2 In general, however, the patrols were invested with vast authority and wide discretion, as a North Carolina court explained in 1845: [ Patrolsl partake of a judicial or quasHudicial and executive character. Judicial, so far as deciding upon each case of a slave taken up by them; whether the law has been violated by him or not, and adjudging the pun­ ishment to be inflicted. I s he off his master's plantation without a proper permit or pass? Of this the patrol must judge and decide. If punishment is to be inflicted, they must adjudge, decide, as to the question: five stripe s may i n some cases b e sufficient, while others may demand the ful l pen­ alty of the law. 1 1 3

To summarize, the state control o f slave behavior advanced through three stages. First, legislation was passed restricting the activities of slaves. Second, this legislation was supplemented with requirements that every White man enforce its demands. Third, over time this system of enforcement gradually came to be regulated, either by the militia or by the courts. The transition between these second and third steps was a slow one. Each colony tried to cope with the unreliable nature of private enforcement, first by applying rewards and penalties, and later by appointing particular individuals to take on the duty. Volunteerism was eventually replaced with community-sanctioned authority in the form of the slave patrols. Among the factors determining the rate of this transition, and the eventual shape of the patrols, were the date of settlement, the size of the slave population, the size of the White population, threats of revolt, geography, and population density. I J4 As this suggests, slave patrols developed differently in the cities than in the countryside. CITY GUARD S

Slave control was no less a priority for White urbanites than for their country kin. The growing numbers of Black people in cities were of obvious concern to the White population, and their concentration in distinct neighborhoods presented an unnerving reminder of the possibility of revolt. In many respects, the cities followed the lead of the plantations. There, too, Black people-slaves especially, but free Black people as well-were singled out by the law, and specialized enforcement mechanisms arose to ensure compliance. These agencies "went by a variety of names, including town guard, city patrol, or night police, although their duties were the same: to prevent slave gatherings and cut down on urban crime ." 1 1 1

In the initial stage, enforcement would be entrusted to private individuals and the existing watch, but after some period the town might petition the leg­ islature for the funds to form a permanent patrol, with the same group on duty each night. I IG The urban patrols, then, did not evolve from the watch system; rather, adapted from the rural slave patrols, they came to supplant the watchmen. 41

� �



Charleston formed a City Guard in 1783. It wore uniforms, carried muskets and swords, and maintained a substantial mounted division. Unlike the watchmen, who walked their beats individually, the City Guard patrolled as a company. I I " Louis Tasistro, who traveled through Charleston in the 1840s, described the patrol: "the city suddenly assumes the appearance of a great military gar­ rison, and all the principal streets become forthwith alive with patrolling par­ ties of twenties and thirties, headed by fife and drum, conveying the idea of a general siege." I I H A few years later, in the early 1850s, J. Benwell, an English visitor to Charleston, described the reaction of Black people to the mount­ ing of the guard: "It was a stirring scene, when the drums beat at the Guard house in the public square . . . to witness the negroes scouring the streets in all directions, to get to their places of abode, many of them in great trepida­ tion, uttering ejaculations of terror as they ran."I I ') Throughout the first part of the nineteenth century, similar urban patrols were created in Savannah, Mobile, and Richmond. The Savannah guard car­ ried muskets and wore uniforms as early as 1796. It was later equipped with horses and pistols. l 2O Richmond's Public Guard was formed in 1800, after the discovery of a planned rebellion. It was assigned to protect public buildings from insurrections, and was made responsible for punishing any slaves it found out after curfew. 1 2 1 Th e urban patrols, and the laws they enforced, were modeled on th e system developed for the plantations. But cities with developing industries had different needs than did the surrounding rural areas, with their plantation economies. For one thing, the large numbers of Black people present in the city often lived in one part of town, away from their masters, making it impossible to maintain the sort of intimate knowledge of the slave's comings and goings essential to the plantation system. Furthermore, rigid restrictions on daily travel were not even desirable. proving inconw>nient for the budding industries. 1 n As burgeoning industries sought out cheap sources of labor, the practice of "hiring out" slaves became increasingly common. Under this arrangement, slaves paid the master a stipulated fee, and were then free to take other jobs at wages. 1 2l The regulations on travel, then, had to be more flexible for slaves to do their work l 24

As the masters "capitalize [d] their slaves,"125 the bondsmen became, literally, wage slaves. Industrialization in Southern cities thus not only created new demands for social control, but threatened to alter the entire institution of slavery. The slavery system was based essentially on the agricultural regime and no other. Its system of control was fixed on the basis of the slave's forever remaining a "field hand" or at best remaining attached to the plantation. But the city had other work for the slave to do which rendered the original plan of regulation cumbersome and unsuitable. 1 26

Given the White population's preoccupation with controlling Black people, the prac­ tice of hiring out slaves was quite controversial. As late as 1858 it was denounced in a grand jury ''Report of Colored Population." Spelling out the concerns of the White commlll1ity, the report states: The evil lies in the breaking down of the relation between master and slave-the removal of the slave from the master's d iscipline and con­ trol and the assumption of freedom and independence on the part of the 42

slave, the idleness, disorder and crime which are consequential. and the necessity thereby created for additional police regulations to keep them in subjection and order, and the trouble and expense they involve. 1 27

In other words, economic changes related to industrialization and urban life relaxed the master's personal control over the slave but did not reduce the racist obsession with slave control. Additional responsibilities thus fell to the state. Between 1 7 1 2 and 1822 South Carolina banned the practice of hiring out slaves, but these laws went almost entirely unenforced, and other means of control emerged. 1 2 8 Beginning in 1804, Charleston established a nightly curfew for the Black population-free and slave alike. 1 29 A few years later a statewide nine o'clock curfew was established. Free Black people were required to carry a pass from their employers, and patrols beat those who didn't have their "free papers. " 1 30 A stricter law was passed in Pendleton in 1 835, instructing the patrol to "apprehend and correct all slaves and free persons of color" on the streets after nine at night, "whether such slave or free person of color have a pass or not. " 1 3 1 In Charleston the law requiring passes gradually gave way t o a system of badges for slaves being hired out. This procedure allowed the state the opportunity to regulate the practice of hiring out slaves , and entitled it to a share of the master's fee (that is, really, of the slave' s wages) , 1 32 Slowly, Charleston began to pre.:figure the segregated South of the twentieth cen­ tury: in 1848, the city limited the right of Black people to use the public parks; in 1850, Black people were banned from bars altogether. 1 33 Meanwhile, throughout South Carolina, town after town asked the state legislature to transfer control of the slave patrols from the county courts or state militia to the local government. Camden won that power in 1818. Columbia followed in 1823. U4 Georgetown requested it in 1810, but was not granted it until 1829. 135 Ten years later, the legislature granted all incorpo­ rated South Carolina towns the power to regulate patrol duty. 1 3 6 The patrols' work was not always popular. Peter Cutting, the head of the Georgetown Guards, soon found his house burned to the ground . 1 37 Around the same time "A Citizen" wrote in to the Charleston paper: "I think it is dan­ gerous for a person to send out his slave even with a pass . . . . " 1 3 8 But the most common complaint was that the guards did not do their jobs. Grand juries frequently cited them for "shameful neglect of patrol duty," a term covering absenteeism, drinking on duty, and patrolling in a slipshod fashion. 1 39 Whatever the faults of these patrols, the White citizens of the American South relied on them to alleviate their anxieties about slave rebellions. These anxieties changed with the growth of the urban population, and the patrols changed with them, eventually approaching the model of a modern police force. Still, though they provided a transition between the militia and the police, and despite their resemblance to other functionaries responsible for slave control, the patrols represented a distinct mode of policing. While originally bound up with the militia system, the patrols served in a specialized capacity distinguishing them from the rest of the militia. Furthermore, the authority over the patrols came more and more to shift from the militia to the courts, and then to the city government, implying that patrolling was regarded as a 43

civil rather than military activity. 1 40 The patrols also, in certain respects, resembled the watch. The watch, even in Northern cities. was issued specific instructions concerning the policing of the Black population. Boston, for example, instituted a curfew for Black people and Native Americans, beginning in 1703; 1 4 1 in

1736 the watch was specifically ordered

to "take up all Negro and Molatto [sic 1 servants, that shall be unseasonably Absent from their Masters [sic] Families, without giving sufficient reason therefore."142 But while the watch was told to keep an eye on Black people along with numerous other potential sources for trouble, the slave patrols (and later, the City Guards) were more speciali7�d, focusing almost exclusively on Black people. In fact, it is this racist specialization that-more than anything else-distinguished the slave patrols from other police types and accelerated their rate of development.

The reliance upon race as a defining feature of this new colonial creation reveals the singular difference that set slave patrols apart from their European antecedents. Although slave patrols also supervised the activ­ ities of free African Americans and suspicious whites who associated with slaves, the main focus of their attention fell upon slaves. Bonds­ men could easily be distinguished by their race and thus became easy and immediate targets of racial brutality. As a result, the new American innovation in law enforcement during the eighteenth and early nine­ teenth centuries was the creation of racially focused law enforcement groups in the American south . 1 4 \ With this specialization came expanded powers-to search th e homes o f Black people, to mete out summary punishment, and to confiscate a broad range of valuables without need to demonstrate further suspicion. Moreover, their relationship to the militia meant that patrols generally carried firearms, whereas the watch did not. 144 While the slave patrols did dllticipate the creation ot modern police, it must still be remembered that they were not themselves modern police. Of the two sets of criteria listed earlier, the slave patrols satisfy those of a police endeavor: they were public, auth orized (indeed, instructed) to use forCe, and had general enforcement powers (if only over certain segments of the population) . They do not, however, seem very modern, by the second set of criteria. They were certainly not the main law enforcement b ody, and they usually only operated at night. Arrangements for pay and continuity of ser­ vice varied by location, but they were generally no more advanced than was typical of the watch. The patrols did have citywide (and sometimes broader) jurisdiction, and they were accountable to either the militias or the courts (or later, to special committees) . 1 4s And perhaps more than any police force before them, the patrols had a preventive orientation. Rather than respond to slave revolts (as the militia had d one) , or take off after runaways (like the professional slave catchers) , the patrol aimed to prevent rebellions and sometimes operated to keep the slaves from even leaving the plantation. The slave patrol, which began as an offshoot of the militia, and came to resemble modern police, thus provides a transitional model in the development of policing. As the militia adapted to the needs of a rural, agrarian, slave society, it evolved into a new form that surpassed the original. The slave patrols, when 44

confronted with the conditions of a proto-industrialized city (where slavery itself was facing obsolescence) underwent a similar metamorphosis. C HARL E STON :




In 1671, the South Carolina's Grand Council created a watch for Charles Town, consisting of the regular constables and a rotation of six citizens. They guarded the city against fire, Indians, slave gatherings, and other signs of trouble, and detained lawbreakers until the next day.146 The law creating the watch was renewed in 1698, with an addendum citing the increase in the Black population:

And whereas, negroes frequently absent themselves from their mas­ ters or owners [sic] houses, caballing, pilfering, stealing, and playing the rogue, at unseasonable hours of the night Bee it therefore enacted, That any Constable or his deputy, meeting with any negro or negros, belonging to Charles Town, at such unseasonable times as aforesaid, and cannot give good and satisfactory account of his business, the said constable or his deputy, is required to keep the said negro or negros in safe custody till next morning. 147 For this work, the constable was to receive a fee from the owner of the detained slaves. In 1701, the exact language of this law was repeated, though the fee was increased and the constable was further instructed to administer a severe beating. 148 In 1703, as a wartime measure, the governor established a paid watch, and added special duties related to sailors and bars. This experiment was short-lived, however, and seventeen months after its creation it was replaced with a volunteer patrol organized by the militia. 149 This organization was essen­ tially the slave patrol. In 1 72 1 , it again merged with the militia. Its function was broadened, giving patrollers authority over a large part of the working class besides the slaves. The new law instructed patrollers

to use their utmost endeavor to prevent all caballings amongst negroes, by dispersing of them when drumming or playing, and to search all negro houses for arms or other offensive weapons; and farther. are hereby empowered to examine all White servants they shall meet with, out of their master's business, and the same (if they suspect to be runaway, or upon any ill design) to carry such servant immediately to be whipped, or punished as he shall think fit, and then send him home to his master; and also, if they meet with any idle, loose or vagrant fellow that cannot give good account of his business, shall also be hereby empowered to carry such vagrant fellow to a magistrate.1 5 0 By 1734, this body was again removed from the militia, and was explic­ itly referred to as a slave police. By this time the patrollers were all armed and mounted, and were ordered to search the homes of all Black people, pursue and capture escaped slaves, and kill any slave who used a weapon against them. Until the end of the colonial period, the Parish of Saint Philip (which includes Charleston) had two separate patrols-the two largest in

the state. 1 j 1

By 1785, these patrols were incorporated into the Charleston Guard 45

and Watch. This body was responsible for arresting vagrants and other suspicious persons, preventing felonies and disturbances, and warning of fires. I , 2 But one guard described his job succinctly as "keeping down the niggers. " " , Indeed, slave control was the aspect of their work most empha­ sized by the public officials, and given highest priority by the guard itself. "With very minor differences, their orders here were a summation of those given the rural patrols in the preceding hundred years, with the major and natural exception that they did not inspect plantations." I ):' The organization of the Charleston Guard and Watch represented a significant advance in the development of policing. I )) The force contained a developed hierarchy and chain of command , consisting of a captain, a lieu­ tenant, three corporals, fifty-eight privates, and a drummer. Each was given a gun, bayonet, rattle (for use as a signal) , and uniform coat. Some acted as a standing guard; the rest were divided into two patrols-one for st. Philip's Parish , and the other for St. Michael's. The captain issued daily reports, and all the men were paid. I '(. The same group patrolled every night, and disci­ pline and morale received a level of attention unique at the time. "7 By our earlier criteria, there can be no question that the Charleston Guard and Watch were involved in policing. They were authorized to use force. had general enforcement responsibilities, and were publicly controlled. They were also exceptionally modern. The guard was the principal law enforcement agency in Charleston, enjoyed a jurisdiction covering the entire city (and some of the surrounding countryside) , served a specialized police function, and had a preventive orientation. It also established organizational continuity and paid its personnel by salary. In fact, lacking only twenty-four-hour service, the Charleston Guard and Watch may count as the first modern police department, predating the London Metropolitan Police by more than thirty years. Ch arleston , heing subject to the pressures of maintail1iug a slave sys­ tem in an urban area with an industrializing economy, underwent an intense period of innovation, just around the time of the American Revolution. Its efforts to control the Black population put it in the lead in the develop­ ment of modern policing. But once policing mechanisms were in place, the authorities felt little need to tamper with them. When change again appeared on the agenda-following the discovery of a plan for insurrection in 1822-the authorities instituted reforms that had been developed previ­ ously in other cities. I '8 During the intervening years, Charle ston's advances were surpassed by those of another Southern city, facing similar but distinct social pressures. NEW ORLEAN S:





Occupying a strategic position for both economic and military uses, the city of New Orleans has changed hands numerous times. But, until the Civil War, each subsequent regime agreed on one basic principle: the utter suppression of the Black race. In succession, the French, Spanish, and American governments enacted very nearly the same set of laws for this purpose, controlling the social, economic, and political life of the Black community and regulating the work, travel, education, and living arrangements of Black people in the city. Louis XIV 46

instituted a "Code Noir" in 1685, which Sieur de Bienvill e , the founder of the French colony of Louisiana, copied; the Spanish retained it as their own while they controlled the city; and the Americans re-enacted it as the "Black Code."159 In 1804, as the B lack p opulation nearly equaled that of the White, 1 60 New Orleans sought out special mechanisms for enforcing these laws. At the time, two separate night patrols were in effect-a militia guard, to protect against outside attack, and a watch, called the "seranos," whose primary duty was lighting the street lamps. But in 1804 the militia organized a m ounted patrol specifically to enforce the Black Codes. 1 6 1 This unit only survived a few months, h owever. After repeated conflicts between the English-speaking militia guard and the French-speaking army, the patrol was disbanded in 1 805, replaced with the Gendarmerie. The Gendarmerie, while nominally a military unit, functioned more as a slave patrol than anything else. The law establishing it made this clear:

They will make rounds in suspected places where slaves can congregate, particularly on Sundays. They will break up these assemblies, foresee and prevent uproars and gambling, and declare confiscated all moneys found for their own profit. . . . The officers accompanied by all or part of their troop, and equipped with orders from the mayor, shaIl search negro huts on plantations, but only after looking for and then notifying the over­ seer or owner of their actions, as well as inviting them to be present at the search. And all fi re -arms, lances, swords, etc. that shall be found in the said cabins will be confiscated and deposited in the City arsenal. 1 62 The Gendarmerie also arrested slaves traveling without passes and maintained a reserve of officers for daytime emergencies. 1 63 While drawn from the military, this group was directed by the mayor, magistrates, and other civil officials, and was paid through a combination of salaries, fees, and rewards. Half mounted, half on foot, and all wearing blue uniforms, the same men patrolled every night. 1 64 In many respects, then, the New Orleans patrol closely resembled the Charleston Guard of the same period, but it survived only briefly. In February 1 806 the city council abolished the Gendarmerie, citing the cost of horses and the poor quality of the men . 1 65 That same year, the council created a City Guard, modeled after and performing the same functions as the Gendarmerie, though less mili­ taristic in demeanor and lacking the horses. 166 Aside from two years when there was no patrol, this b o dy survived unti1 1 836. 167 In the 1830s the City Guard came under attack in the newspapers, court­ rooms, and among p oliticians . In 1834, the Louisiana Advertiser accused the police of "barbarism" and "despotism." It urged the city council to

dispense with the sword and pistol, the musket and bayonet, in our civil administration of republican laws, and adopt or create a system more con­ genial to our feelings, to the opinions and interests of a free and prosperous people, and more in accordance with the spirit of the age we live in. 1 68 That same year a committee of the city council decried the Guard's violent treatment of suspects, saying that "the moment they lay hands on a prisoner they at once commence a system of violence towards him . " 1 69 It was police


violence, the committee argued, that caused the forceful resistance of both

prisoners and passers-by acting from "just indignation."17o In 1830, the death of the:first person killed by a New Orleans cop prompted


much of the criticism,171 but an underlying xenophobia was also at work, and


the native-born population openly expressed distaste for the immigrant-domi­ nated Guard. Another important demographic shift may also help explain this backlash against the Guard: during the 1830s and 1840s the White population increased by 180 percent, while the Black population increased at a much slower rate (41 percent).172 Hence, with White people in the overwhelming majority, fears of a slave revolt were less present, while ethnic tensions among White groups were increasingly pronounced. "A militar y-style police to protect against the danger of slave rebellion no longer compensated for the day-to-day irritation of respectable citizens who found their increasingly alien policemen too menacing and too lacking in deference."171 In short, both the initial militari­ zation, and eventual de-militarization of New Orleans' police were the product of the ethnic fears of the city's ruling class. In 1836, the city council did away with the military model of policing. In its place they put a system of twenty-four-hour patrolling along distinct beats. The blue uniforms were replaced with numbered leather caps like those worn by watchmen in other cities. A Committee of Vigilance was elected to supervise them. This revision brought New Orleans into line with the watch system as it existed in Nor thern cities, and represented a substantial break from the Charleston model.174 Still, the new organization retained the most modern features of the City Guard, and added to them 24hour service. Hence, in 1836, the New Orleans city government approved the adoption of a public body, accountable to a central authority, authorized to use force, and assigned general law enforcement duties. This body would be the main agency of law enforcement, with citywide jurisdiction, organizational continuity, a specialized policing function, and twenty-four­ hour operations. And, as its inheritance from the slave patrol, it would be oriented toward the prevention of various disorders. In short, it would have aU the major features of a modern p olice department. 175 As luck would have it, however, this organization never materialized. As the city government was busy redesigning the police services, the state government was redesigning the entire municipal administration. In March 1836, the Louisiana state legislature divided New Orleans along the borders of its ethnic neighborhoods, creating three distinct municipalities, and preventing the just-settled police reforms from taking ef fect. Motivated by ethnic and economic rivalries, the plan maintained a common mayor and Grand Council, but divided the administration of ser vices-including the police-into three districts. The city stayed so divided until 1852.176 Each department adopted a new, non-military approach, and retained some features of the old City Guard-namely, its public character, its authority to use force, its generallaw-enforcement duties, twenty-four-hour patrols, the goal of organizational continuity, its specialized police function, and its preventive ori­ entation. However, none of the three could be counted as the chief law enforce­ ment agency in the city because none had citywide jurisdiction. Furthermore,


while in theor y each police force was accountable to the General Council, in practice they were solely controlled by the district government and little effort was made to coordinate among them.177 The General Council met only once each year, leaving the practical man­ agement of the city's affairs to municipal councils.178 This arrangement actually exacerbated the ethnic tensions that led to the city's division in the first place, and neighborhood rivalries now found official expression in the structure of government.179 In ef fect, the two sets of changes-fragmentation of the city government and re-structuring of the police-laid the groundwork for the development of neighborhood-based and ethnocentric political machines, with the police taking a central role. During the 1840s and early 1850s control of the police force had become an increasingly important issue in municipal politics because of its value as a source of patronage and its influence in elections. After the restora­ tion of unitary government in the city in 1852, the police played an even larger role in the manipulation of elections and resorted more frequently to intimidation and violence. ISO

Even after formal consolidation in 1852, the police functioned as separate, district­ based organizations, controlled more by local political bosses than the general city government.181 The machines' influence was palpable. For example, when the American Party (the "Know-Nothings") gained control of the city in March 1855, they immediately removed all immigrants from the police force, reducing it from 450 to 265 mem­ bers.182 After that, the police stood aside while Know-Nothings prevented immi­

grants from voting, and sometimes aided in the effort183 Opposition parties likewise fought for control of the poils. In the election of June 1858, a Vigilance Committee seized the state arsenal and police headquarters, with the stated purpose of ensur­ ing a fair election.184 Similar actions were taken in 1888 by the Young Men's Democratic Club, who-armed with rifles-surrounded the polls to prevent Know­ Nothings and police from interfering with Democratic partyvoters.185 Corruption didn't end at the polls. Less politically driven misconduct was also common. Naturally, vice laws created opportunities for corruption at all levels, and throughout the nineteenth century scandals were common. In 1854, a new chief, William James, began a vigorous campaign to enforce the laws against gambling, liquor, and other vice crimes. As his reward, the Board of Police fired

him and eliminated his office.186 Meanwhile, though state law forbade carrying concealed weapons and made no exception for police, many cops did begin carr ying guns, especially revolvers, illicitly. This practice was condoned and sometimes advocated by super visors, and eventually gained the mayor's approval as well. Predictably, a lack of training led to numerous accidents, often with police casualties.187 Br utality and violence were also common, and during the 1850s several New Orleans cops were tried for murder. Most of these cases involved per­ sonal disputes, and the victims were frequently cops themselves.188 Less severe episodes of violence were legion. In a sample of cases covering a twenty-one-month period during 1854-1856, the Board of Police adjudicated forty-three cases of assault, assault and battery, or brutal49

ity by policemen, dismissing thirteen of the accused from the force and penalizing nine others with fines or loss of rank. I WJ

Of course it is still worth noting that, of the 672 cases adjudicated by the Board of Police during this same period, the majority of them-59.2 per­ cent-dealt with the dereliction of duty. Abuses of authority came at a dis­ tant second, comprising 17.4 percent of the cases. I 'J!) Ironically, both sorts of complaints may have resulted from the same features of the job. Lack of discipline was certainly a factor of each. But the complaints may also reflect public disagreement about what it was the police were supposed to be doing. Respectable middle-class Protestants and temperance crusaders were eager to have the police enforce laws regulating gambling, prostitution, drinking, and other vice and public order offenses. The lower-class and immigrant communities, who often enjoyed these activi­ ties, were apt to feel that the police were intruding where they weren't wanted or needed. The poor complained that they were treated unfairly or with unnecessary force; the respectable classes felt that the police weren't doing their jobs so long as such vice persisted. This dispute directly reflects the struggle for control over the municipal government, and in a different sense, the debate about the nature of democracy-neither of which was resolved in the nineteenth century. New Orleans, in a sense, made the transition from Southern plantation politics to Northern machine politics, with the police occupying a central role in the process. Indeed, this transition was in many respects aided by the simultaneous shift from a distinctly Southern model of policing (based on the slave patrol) to a Northern style (resembling the watch) . The most distinctive features of early southern police forces were uni­ forms, formidable weapons. and walles (rathpr th;m fpp,< ()r compulsory unpaid service) ; around-the-clock patrolling and unification of d ay and night forces came later. In the 1 840s and 1850s northern cities adopted the twenty-four-hour patrol, organizational unity, and wages for patrol­ men; uniforms and fire-arms follOWed l ater (often northern policemen armed themselves with guns without official authorization or even against the law) . New Orleans participated in both types of reform, adopting the southern model in the period 1805-1836 and shifting to the northern model in the years 1836-1854. 1 9 1

This shift was significant, but not absolute; as a result, New Orleans fore­ shadowed many of the qualities of the modern police-qualities that finally crystallized in New York in 1848. " " N EW YORK: ALM O S T EVERY CONCEIVABLE C R I M E

In New York, as in New Orleans, the moVe toward modern policing was closely tied to the reconstitution of city government. In 1830 the state leg­ islature divided the city's common council into a board of aldermen and a board of assistant aldermen, each elected annually by ward. Distinct execu­ tive departments were formed, and the mayor was assigned the responsi­ bility to see that the laws were enforced. A year later, the council gave him 50

some of the authority he needed to meet that demand, putting him at the head of the watch. In In the spring of 1843, Mayor Richard H. Morris proposed another round of reforms designed to reorganize the city government and consolidate the police. The state legislature authorized the city to create and manage a sin­ gle, centralized police department-specifically a "Day and Night Police" consisting of 800 officers. Under this plan, each ward would have its own patrol, and the officers had to live in the wards where they worked. The councilors would nominate officers from their ward, and the mayor would appoint them. This plan was finally accepted in May 1845. 1 93 The new police ranked as extremely modern by the criteria listed ear­ lier: a single organization was entrusted with the exclusive responsibility for law enforcement, served a specialized police function, patrolled twenty-four hours a day, and employed salaried personnel. 1 94 In fact, New York City is often credited with having the first modern department in the United States. As we've seen, its claim to this title is debatable. The Day and Night Police marked a step forward in a nationwide progression, drawing from and solidifying ideas already in circulation elsewhere. But if New York's police did not invent the model, they set the standard for the rest of the country. At the same time, they also set a new standard for political interference. The mayor's power to appoint officers of all ranks made it clear that the new police force would be politically driven. An officer's job came as a reward for his political loyalty, and to keep the job he needed to support the officials who appointed him. 195 Even if the politicians themselves did not demand such support, it was nevertheless built into the system. Since any incoming councilman would be likely to replace the present police with those of his own choosing, the cops understood that to keep their jobs they had to keep their patrons in power. Thus the police came to represent not only a means of securing political support through patronage, but also of ensuring influence through more direct means. In 1894, the Lexow Commission concluded that in a very large number of the election districts in the city of New York, almost every conceivable crime against the elective franchise was either committed or permitted by the police, invariably in the interest of the dominant D emocratic organization of the city of New York, commonly called Tammany Hall.

The Committee's report goes on to document police involvement in the Arrest and brutal treatment of Republican voters, watchers, and work­ ers; open violations of the election laws; canvassing for Tammany Hall candidates; invasion of election booths; forcing of Tam many Hall pasters upon Republican voters; general intimidation of the voters by the police directly and by Tammany Hall election district captains in the presence and with the concurrence of the police; colonization of voters; illegal registration and repeating, aided and knowingly permitted by the police; denial of Republican voters and election district officers of their legal rights and privileges . . . and on and on. 19 6


Political corruption was not new to the city, and law enforcement had always had a role in it. But the political use of the Day and Night Police extended the established pattern and reached a new level of malfeasance. The watch had previously been used as a source of patronage, as political parties filled its ranks with their supporters. 1 97 But the watch offered only a hint of the political uses to which the police could be put; a more developed example was provided by the marshals. Marshals, who operated more or less like constables, were created in the early nineteenth century to enforce laws that had previously been left to the attention of civilian informants. I 'm While the watch was a resource for rewarding supporters with jobs, the marshals were becoming an active force in local politics-a force that Tammany Hall would harness and direct for its own ends. Placed under the mayor's command, the marshals provided one means of controlling the city council. There were only one hundred marshals, but this force could exert great influence upon the primary meetings at wh ich candidate s for the general election were chosen. The marshals often had enough political influence i n the wards to block the nomination of a candidate for alderman or assis­ tant alderman , and sometimes they had sufficient power to ensure the nomination of their favorites. I "')

The new Day and Night Police replaced the watch and the marshals, concentrating police power (and its political potential) in a single agency.200 Predictably, the police expanded their political role in new directions, becoming a tool for ambitious politicians to increase their influence. The career of Fernando Wood gives some idea of the uses to which police could be put. Wood, a Democrat, ran for mayor on a reform platform and was elected in 1854. He began his term by launching an ambitious campaign against vice crimes, but quickly turned the effort to his own advantage. Saloons. gam­ bling houses, and brothels were shut d own-unless their owners supported the mayor's political machine.lo l While declaring, "I know no party and rec­ ognize no political obligation,"20 2 Wood disciplined police along strictly parti­ san lines and was willing to impose all sorts of political obligations on the officers under his command. Police were required to make financial contri­ butions to the mayor's re-election campaign, and many were ordered to canvass for him as well.203 Those on duty ignored irregularities in polling, and two officers-Petty and Hanley-inspected all the ballots in the first ward, beating anyone who voted against the mayor. When Wood was re­ elected , the Tribune estimated the police had been worth 10,000 votes. 2 01 But while the Democrats retained the mayoralty and controlled both boards of the council, the Republicans held the governor's mansion and the state assembly, sharing the senate with the Know-Nothings. In 1857 the state legislature passed the Metropolitan Police Bill, creating a new police force with jurisdiction over Kings (Brooklyn) , Westchester, Richmond, and New York (Manhattan) counties, and dissolving the existing municipal police. A five-member board was established to oversee the n ew department, and no Democrats were appointed to it.2J)j Harpers Weekly noted: "Of this change the practical effect will be to transfer the patronage of our city police to Albany." 2o(, 52

Wood refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Metropolitan Police Law and ordered the police to obey only his authority. Eight hundred offi­ cers and fifteen captains sided with Wood, and about half as many joined the Metropolitans. For two months the city had two competing police forces, resulting in occasional street fights and brawls in the station houses. The conflict reached its peak when fifty Metropolitans tried to arrest Wood; 500 municipal police came to his defense, attacking the Metropolitans with their clubs and forcing a retreat. Finally, in July, after an appeals court ruled in favor of the Metropolitans, Wood dissolved the municipal police.207 The Metropolitan Police D epartment lasted until 1 870, when another series of power struggles led to its reorganization. In the 1869 election the Democrats won control of the mayor's office, the governorship, and the majority of the legislature. William M. Tweed proposed a new city charter and invested $ 600,000 in its passage. Under the new charter, the mayor appointed the police board, and the police controlled the board of elections, selected all inspectors and clerks, guarded the polls, and supervised the counting of the ballots.2oH In this, too, New York set the standard for the rest of the country. Political machines arose throughout the East, and in a more subdued fashion, in the West as well. In every case, the police department served as the strong arm of the machine-regardless of which party held power, or whether the department answered to the city or state government. The police, as we know them, came into maturity at about the same time as the urban political machine. And while the machine's growth depended crucially on the police, their relationship was not that of equals. The cops were the tools of the machine. As tools they were used, as tools they were refined, and as very important tools they were fought over. Neither the political machines nor any part of them invented the police for this purpose, but they were well adapted to it, and-without submitting to teleological reasoning-we should consider the implications of this fact for policing, and for political authority.




IN THE CONTEXT OF NINETEENTH-CENTURY MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT, New York's Tammany Hall was exceptional only in the level of its success. Similar machines emerged in nearly every American city. Powerful neighborhood bosses arose and affiliated, gaining control through a system of patronage and protection, keeping it through increased applications of the sanle means, and administering civil affairs along lines which were not merely partisan, but per­ sonalistic as well. Favoritism became the central principle of local government. The machine was urban America's outstanding contribution to the art of municipal government. Exemplified by Tammany Hall, it emerged in New York, Philadelphia, and other eastern cities in the early and middle nineteenth century and in Chicago, Kansas City, San Francisco, and other western cities not long after. A highly decentralized outfit, the machine was an association of loosely affiliated and largely autonomous ward organizations whose power depended on their ability to get out the vote on election day. Whether allied with the Democrats, as in New York, the Republicans, as in Philadelphia, or neither party, as for a while in San Fran­ cisco, the ward bosses operated in much the same way in most American cities. They gave out contracts to local businessmen, found and if need be created jobs for recent immigrants, provided opportunities for aspiring politicians, and otherwise exchanged material inducements for political loyalty. In return for delivering the vote, the ward bosses demanded a good deal to say not only about the policies of the mayor's offices and city councils but also about the operations of the police departments and other municipal agencies. 1

Under the machines, the resources of the government were the spoils of victory, belonging le&<; to the public than to the reigning faction. Thus, quite removed from the ideal of deliberative democracy, elections were neither contests of principle nor gauges of the public will, but battles between rival cliques-battles fought as 55

often in the streets as at the polls. And these battles determined the distribution of jobs, services, and graft. Elections decided who made the law, supplied public services, and controlled the city treasury. And more importantly, they decided whose friends would fill public jobs, which neighborhoods would receive atten­ tion or suffer neglect, which illicit businesses would continue operation, and whose palm would be greased in the process. P O L I T I CAL MAC H I N E S : T H E GAN G AN D T H E GOVERN M E N T

T h e g a n g a n d t h e govern ment a re n o d i fferent . -Jane's Addiction2

Corruption was the foundation and the defining characteristic of the politi­ cal machine. Edward C. Banfield and James Q. Wilson offer a more formal definition: "A political 'machine' is a party organization that depends crucial­ ly upon inducements that are both specific and materiaL . ".\ Put more sim­ ply, "Machine government is, essentially, a system of organized bribery."" But perhaps even this puts too pleasant a face on it, for machines did not use only bribery to get what they wanted; they used whatever means were available to them, including threats, fraud, blackmail, and actual violence. Machines were concerned about power and resources, not principles-and certainly not democracy.' Principles were espoused, of course, as justifica­ tion for their actions, to differentiate one party from another, and to gain and maintain the allegiance of a constituency committed to such values. But it was typical of machine politics that principles were always secondary to the demands of power. The privileging of power over principle meant tlldl ever y aspec l of the government's activity was directed towards maintaining the ruling clique's control. By the same token, every resource at the city's disposal was avail­ able as a reward for the machine's supporters. The police served in both capacities. Hiring, discipline. transfers, and promotions were all governed by the convenience of the machine organization. Hence, whenever control of the city government changed hands, turnover in the police department was sure to follow. Without regard for the qualifications of the individual officer, each party dispensed with the supporters of the other and replaced them with their own. Very nearly full turnover of police personnel followed the Los Angeles election of 1889, the Kansas City election of 1895, and the Chicago and Baltimore elections of 1897.6 In the 1907 Louisville election, when a Republican was unexpectedly elected mayor, every captain was reduced to a patrolman, and Republicans (many lacking in police experience) were appointed in their place. When the Democrats won in the following election, the process was reversed. Again in 1917, the Republicans gained control and fired 300 from a department of 429. Everyone above the rank of sergeant was replaced.? In New York, positions were so sought after that appointments relied on political sponsorship or outright bribery, or sometimes both. Hence, from the . .


first moment, the importance of political influence and bribes was made clear to new recruits.8 A patrolman's position typically sold for $ 300 and required the approval of the district leader.9 Higher positions cost more. In 1893, Timothy Creeden paid a commissioner $ 15,000 to be promoted from sergeant to captain. As a captain's salary was only $3,000 each year, it is obvious that he would need to rely on graft even to pay for his job. 1 0 Even when civil service tests were instituted in the 1880s, conditions remained largely the same. Politicians circumvented civil service requirements by appointing partisan boards, administering the exams in essay style, or requiring the civil ser­ vice commission to provide three qualified candidates for every open position and allowing police officials to choose among them. ! 1 Experiments with state-level police boards proved equally unhelpful. The creation of state boards, a partisan maneuver by design, only transferred the control of patronage from one group to another-as indeed it was intended to do. Likewise, bipartisan boards, rather than eliminating political spoils, merely divided them between the two strongest parties, to mutual advantage. ! 2 Nor did political interference end once an officer was hired. Police with power­ ful friends proved nearly impossible to discipline, no matter how corrupt, brutal, or negligent they might be. Even such routine matters as going on patrol and wearing uniforms were difficult to enforceY Since each officer's career was politically controlled from beginning to end, the police became ardent supporters of their patrons. Police support was central to the survival of the machines: for much of the nineteenth century New York's Board of Elections was under the supervision of the police board. The commis­ sioners chose the polling places, drew up the voting districts, had the ballots and voter registration lists printed, and appointed the polling inspectors and clerks. The police department itself verified the registration lists, guarded the polls, and counted the votes. 11 Mayor William R Grace described this system as "a stand­ ing menace to the safety and purity of the ballot box, and tend ling] to render the police of the city its masters rather than its servants."! S Tammany police commis­ sioner John Sheehan once bluntly stated that control of the police was more important than how the votes were cast.!6 This power tended to magnify the significance of the administrative branch, and bolstered the influence of the mayor especially. 17 The career of Boston's Josiah Quincy anticipated the trend. Beginning in 1823, Quincy was elected mayor six times. In 1829, he was dubbed 'The Great Mayor," a title which prob­ ably reflected the extent of his power more than the quality of his performance. During his term, Quincy chaired every important committee, allowing him to build an efficient administration and, as importantly, consolidate power under his personal leadership. At the same time, Quincy maintained his influence in the wards with the assistance of the nascent police apparatus. Central to this effort was the creation of a new office-marshal of the city-which, lacking precedent and statutory limits, could be made to fit whatever demands the mayor placed on it. The marshal served as head constable, commanded the night watch, acted as the city's chief health officer, prosecuted minor cases-and took on additional responsibilities after the creation of a day police in 1838.18 The power of the marshal reached its peak during the term of Marshal 57

Francis Tukey, who took office in 1846. Within the first year of Tukey's com­ mand the number of officers on the force was doubled, a detective division added, and a special night force created. 1 9 But there were limits to how far this power would be allowed to develop. In 185 1 , the police voted as a bloc for Benjamin Seaver in the mayoral election, acting under the assumption that he would bar Irish immigrants from joining the force. Seaver won, but did not ban Irish police. Apparently the night police had crossed a line when they marched to the polls en masse. Seaver responded by firing all the night duty officers, dissolving that branch of the force, and leaving its patrols entirely in the hands of the barely existent night watch. O ver the course of the next year, power was systematically moved away from the marshal and toward the mayor and the aldermen. In April 1852, the aldermen limited the marshal's tenure to one year. Two months later, they replaced the position with that of chief of police. While Tukey was not fired outright, neither was he named the new chief.2° The Boston Semi-Weekly Atlas drew a comparison: "The Great Caesar fell for his ambition."2 1 The lesson was clear: the police were a tool for the political machine; they would not be allowed to develop as a political force in their own right. This balance could be difficult to maintain, though, since police were so central to the functioning of the machines. The police served the interests of political machines in three key ways: police jobs served as rewards for sup­ porters; police controlled the elections; and police regulated illicit businesses, deciding which would be allowed to operate and under what conditions.22 Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the police did not suppress vice; they licensed it . From New York's Tenderloin to San Francisco's Barbary Coast and from Chicago's Levee to New Orleans' French Quarter, they permit­ ted gamblers, prostitutes, and saloon keepers to do business under certain well understood conditions.

The:::.e eutrejJJ eHem:::. were re quire d to make

regular payoffs, which ranged, according to the enterprise and the com­ munity from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars per month , and to stay inside the lower- and lower-middle-class neighborhoods .. . 2 .1 .

In this way vice laws, and liquor laws especially, proved a useful tool for politi­ cal machines to enhance their power. Protection money provided a source of funding, and selective enforcement allowed political bosses to discipline their supporters and put their competitors out of business.24 In New York, precinct captains used detectives to collect protection money.25 In other places, the landlord would collect it as a part of the rent, then pass it on to the police. He would say to the proprietor of the saloon or brothel: ''You can have this house for two hundred dollars, with police protection, or one hundred dollars if you take care of yourself."26 Police detectives, like the thieftakers before them, were more interested in retrieving stolen property and collecting rewards than in catching crooks. Of course, the easiest way to get hold of stolen goods was to work with the thieves. In exchange for immunity and a portion of the reward, thieves would supply detectives with their loot. The detectives would return the stolen items to the rightful owners-minus whatever sum they claimed as a reward. Many professional criminals would not work outside of such a framework, and these 58

deals could be quite profitable for the cops. Between Januar y 1, 1855, and April

30, 1857, Robert Bowyer of the New York Police Department earned $4,700 in rewards-more than twice his salar y for the same periodY Sometimes, no ef fort would be made to retrieve the stolen property, or to return it to the victim. Pickpockets and con artists were generally allowed to go about their business unmolested so long as they cut the cops in on the action.

The profits then worked their way up the political food chain. The cops were required to give a portion of their take to their commanders, the local politi­ cians, and their affiliates, thus avoiding any punishment.28 Shakedowns weren't restricted to illicit enterprises, either. Legitimate busi­ nesses could also be inconvenienced by strict enforcement of the law and were vulnerable to the disruption caused by routine harassment. Builders, bootblacks, produce merchants, and other peddlers had to pay off the beat cop, or else they might be taken in for blocking the sidewalks.29 The system of briber y and extortion that was nineteenth-century polic­ ing far surpassed anything that could be termed individual misconduct, or even organizational deviance; it resembled nothing so much as institutional­ ized corruption, state-sponsored crime. Graft and the abuse of power were not merely allowed, they were expected, required, and enforced-within the police depar tment and throughout the city administration. The political machine may best be understood as an exercise in government of, by, and for corr uption. This fusion of government and criminality follows a certain kind of logic. In ''War Making and State Making as Organized Crime," Charles Tilly argues that Banditry, piracy, gangland rivalry, policing, and war making all belong on the same continuum . . . . [C) onsider the definition of a racketeer as someone who creates a threat and then charges for its reduction. Governments' provision of protection, by this standard, often qualifies as racketeering. To the extent that the threats against which a given government protects its citizens are imaginary or are the consequences of its own activities, the government has organized a protection racket.30

The histor y of American cities gives concrete expression to T illy's theo­ retical claimY In the classic political machines, govern ment agencies and organized criminal enterprises were not only moral equivalents, they often comprised the same people. Nineteenth-century policing did not just resem­ ble racketeering, it was racketeering, unmistakably. The police were a central component of this system. Both the protection schemes that ensured the cooperation of the underworld and the brawling gangs that controlled the polls on election day relied on-at the very least-the acquies­ cence of the police. In many respects the development of the political machines depended upon the simultaneous development of the modern police. At the same time, the modernization of policing made possible important advances in munici­ pal government. In particular, the police provided the means by which the power of local government could be consolidated into a single coherent system. In this respect, the rise of political machines resembled the earlier rise of the state itself. A brief comparison of these processes may tell us something about the engineer­ ing of power and the uses of policing in establishing its claims. 59


In general terms, we can discern a common principle underlying the creation of local political machines and that of national states: "A tendency to monopolize the means of violence makes a government's claim to provide protection, in either the comforting or ominous sense of the word, more credible and more difficult to resist" 12 Tilly further identifies four activities characteristic of states: (1) making war (defeating external rivals) ; (2) making states (destroying internal rivals) ; (3) protection (defending clients from their enemies) ; and, (4) extraction (acquiring the resources to do the other three) . '1

Cities have not, since the colonial period, usually been forced to contend with exter­ nal rivals, and thus have not been concerned with making war. But the other three activities find clear analogies in the activities of city governments, espe­ cially during the machine period. And at both the national and the Ill unicipal levels "all [these activities] depend on the state's tendency to monopolize the concentrated means of coercion." ';' Philadelphia's history illustrates some more specific parallels. In the first half of the nineteenth century, urban growth had spread beyond the city's jurisdiction , practically uniting it with nearby townships over which it had no authority. The urban area was divided between several municipalities, and these were divided geographically into neighborhoods, politically into wards, and socially along religious and ethnic lines-with a strong correla­ tion between these sets of divisions. It was nearly impossible to keep order. Catholics and Protestants fought in the streets, White mobs attacked Black people and abolitionist speal\.ers, and the city government could do practical­ ly nothing, even within thc limited arta \Jf ib duLllUliLy. ;: Tne localized, ward­ based system of city politics inhibited the government's ability to enforce its will within the neighborhoods. Yet, in the course of a few years, Philadelphia was transformed from a fragmented megalopoli s with only a nominal c entral authority to a modern city with a unified city government, a citywide political machine, and a police system to enforce the will of each. Much of the disorder in nineteenth-century Philadelphia was perpetrated, oddly, by the city's volunteer fire departments. Neighborhood-based fire com­ panies adopted the ethnic and religious identities of their members, and often saw themselves as the champions of their neighborhood's traditional culture and honor. Firefighting became a source of neighborhood pride, and offered an opportunity to settle scores against rival groups. Demographic shifts and overlapping jurisdictions led to frequent turf wars; firemen would often fight one another while a blaze continued unabated. When opportunities for battle did not present themselves, they were sometimes created: fire companies would set fires in other precincts and then ambush their rivals.56 These brawls became neighborhood affairs, involving large sections of the community. Many of the fire companies affiliated with youth gangs, some with names like "Killers," "Rats," and "Bouncers.",7 As the police at the time were also organized into separate ward organizations, they were ill-suited for 60

suppressing such riots. Not that they were eager to, either; the cops gener­ ally felt little inclination to interfere with these battles, except in support of their neighborhood company. This situation put conflicting pressures on the political system. On the one hand, it created demands for more centralization-for government-run fire departments and a single police force capable of suppressing disor­ der. On the other hand, ward leaders saw the political potential of the fire companies and were quick to avail themselves of this additional source of election-day muscle.38 The balkanized state of the city therefore left local political bosses in a bit of a bind. Their personal fiefdoms were inextricably tied to the ward-based structure of government; it allowed them a distinct realm of influence and a base of support for pursuing their agenda in the citywide political arena. But the exercise of this authority relied on a certain minimum degree of public order-which this same ward structure, with its rivalries and fragmentation, constantly threatened. The outcome of this dilemma is revealing. In 1850, a "marshal's" police force was created for the entire city of Philadelphia. Police in the suburbs and the four city districts continued to act independently, but were also called on to cooperate with the marshal's force.39 The first marshal, John Keyser, recruited the new police directly from the youth gangs associated with Nativist fire departments, reasoning that he could form a "strong-armed force prepared to slug it out with fire gangs."40 By co-opting the most militant element of the fire companies and consolidating them into a single, citywide force, the marshal's police organization afforded the new cops the opportu­ nity to defeat their traditional rivals and greatly enhanced the power of the city government-as well as, for a time, that of the Nativist party machine. Catholic gangs and fire companies, while overpowered, were not especially impressed with their rivals' new authority. One gang, the Bleeders, told in a song of being attacked by "a band of ruffians . . . they calle d themselves Police."41 And when the Nativists lost control of the city government, Keyser's replacement-a Democrat-filled the force with Democrats, also recruited from fire company gangs.42 In 1854, the legislature revised the city's charter to cover the entire contiguous urban area, incorporating outlying districts into the city.43 The new charter required a centralized police department and allowed for a city-controlled fire department as well. The mayor was given the power to appoint police officers and set the department's rules, and the city council was responsible for determining the size and organi7-
In one way or another, every European government before the French Revo­ lution relied on indirect rule via local magnates. The magnates collaborated with the government without becoming officials in any strong sense of the term, had some access to government-backed force. and exercised wide dis­ cretion within their own territories . . . . Yet the same magnates were potential rivals, possible allies of a rebellious people. Eventually, European governments reduced their reliance on indirect rule by means of two expensive but effective strategies: (a) extending their officialdom to the local community and (b) encouraging the creation of police forces that were subordinate to the government rather than to indi­ vidual patrons, distinct from war-making forces, and therefore less useful as the tools of dissident magnates.'"

Likewise, in Philadelphia, so long as the central government was dependent upon the cooperation of the ward bosses, the government's influence was quite limited and no one faction could be assured of permanent dominance. Faced with difficulties resembling those of the early European states, Philadelphia's local government followed a similar course. [ I n England.l Tudor demilitarization of the great lords entailed four comple­ mentary campaigns: eliminating their personal bands of armed retainers, razing their fortresses, taming their habitual resort to violence for the set­ tlement of disputes, and discouraging the cooperation of their dependents and tenants. I;

In Philadelphia, all four aims were accomplished with one masterstroke: the creation of a citywide police force allowed the limited consolidation of the city government. The ward-based militants were either co-opted into the police or defeated by them. While no fortresses existed to be pulled down, the ward leaders were made increasingly vulnerable politically; their position came to depend as much on their swius withiu the machine, CItywide, as on their influence in their own ward. Inter-ward battles were either avoided by the new system or forcibly resolved by the new police. And the cooperation and loyalty of ward residents, once owed to their local boss, became at+t.ached to the new citywide machine. Philadelphia did not become a nation-state, of course, or even a city-state. But the authority of the city government was produced by very similar means, and in this process the creation of modern policing played a central role. The new police were not simply one aspect of a modernizing city government; they also represented a means of consolidating power within the modernizing gov­ ernment. But as the city consolidated power, it embarked on the first of a series of adaptations that would strengthen the government itself at the expense of the local leaders, eventually leading to the decline of the machine system.48 Centralization, even in meager form, not only changed the distribution of power, but also tended to transform the institutions that shared power. The modernization of the police allowed for a major advance in the organization and efficiency of the political machine, and with it the power of the municipal government. With a single police force in place, power could be, if not quite centralized, at least somewhat solidified. This step proved a major boon to the reigning machine, and provided one means for the machine to exert 62

influence in wards where popular support was weak. As it did, however, it began the process by which control was shifted both upward and toward the center.49 Inadvertently, the creation of a citywide police force both drew up the blueprint and laid the groundwork for the creation of other municipal bureaucracies, and the eventual destruction of the ward-based machine system.50 While somewhat ironic, this turn of events represents a continu­ ation of the trends that had shaped the development of law enforcement as it approached the modern period-specifically, the growing emphasis on prevention, the tendency to expand police duties, and the move toward specialized agencies. Each of these three factors contributed to the process of modernization, but the ideal of prevention occupied a special place as a guiding principle of police development. THE PREVENTIVE IDEAL, GENERALIZED POWERS, AND S P ECIALIZATION

The idea of preventing crime has long been the avowed aim of policing, but it has undergone significant revision over time. In the London Night Watch Acts of 1737 and 1738, crime prevention was explicitly cited as the goal of the watch, though it is unclear how the body was supposed to contribute to this aim.51 The instructions offered the Philadelphia Watch in 1791 were only slightly more explicit:

[T]he said constable and watchmen, in their respective turns and courses of watching, shall use their best endeavors to prevent murders, burglar­ ies, robberies and other outrages and disorders within the city, and to that end shall, and they are hereby empowered and required to arrest and apprehend all persons whom they shall find disturbing the peace, or shall have cause to suspect of any unlawful and evil design . . . 52 .

By 1800, the preventive rationale had been refined. The watch's role was to ensure that criminals would be punishedY To this end, in 1 794, the St. Marylebone Watch Committee resolved unanimously "that in case any Robbery b e committed within the Parish, the Watchmen in whose Walk the same shall happen be absolutely discharged." Several other London districts adopted a similar standard, though eventually the limits of the system had to be admitted. A few month s later, St. Marylebone's committee relented, acknowledging that "many Robberies are committed within this Parish without the possible knowledge of the Watchmen . . . . "54 Watchmen were thought to deter crime by their mere presence and they could detain people they suspected of criminal acts, but the watch was not a detective force and had no means for discovering the culprits after a crime was committed. 55 The odds, then, were against apprehension. While the idea behind the watch was preventive, the watch's methods were essentially reac­ tive, and even their reactive capabilities were quite limited. When Robert Peel created the London Metropolitan Police in 1829, the prevention of crime was singled out as the new body's chief concern:

It should be understood, at the outset, that the principal object to be attained is 'the Prevention of Crime. '


To this great end every effort of the Police is to be directed.The security of person and property, the preservation of the public tranquiIIity, and all the other objects of a Police Establishment, will thus be better effected than by the detection and punishment of the offender, after he has succeeded in committing the crime.\{, Nevertheless, the Metropolitans remained unsure of how to prevent crime. In the decades that followed, they essentially replicated the patrols of the watch, with even less success. \7 In the U.S. "the term 'preventive police' was used frequently and loosely. Preventive seemed to mean that by their presence the police would inhibit the commission of crime and that they would deal with potentially serious crimes before they reached the crisis stage. "'" This crude notion of preven­ tion developed into a more serious and ambitiou s program as time passed, and came to inform the expansion of police powers. In Boston, for example, in 1850 the police were authorized to order any group of three or more people to "move on" or suffer arrest. j� Of course, most of what the police did was still responsive, and most actual crime-fighting still took place after the crimes had been committed. But the preventive ideal was clearly gaining an articulation, and slowly techniques were developed to bring the practice closer to the principle. The preventive ideal both prompted the expansion of police power and helped shape the specialized focus on crime. It is worth noting the tension between these two trends: if police pow­ ers expand over too large a range of duties , policing loses its character. The police come to resemble generalized inspectors, and enforcement of the criminal law becomes a secondary matter. But, if enforcement is overly specialized , the police are in effect replaced by a series of guards , traffic wardens , thieftakers, bounty hunters, and whaluul. Constables, sheriffs, and marshals, as servants of the court or sover­ eign, were assigned general responsibilities. The slave patrols developed from the other end of the spectrum, beginning with a few select duties and accumulating responsibilities and power over time. This second path was the more straightforward route toward modernization because, rather than serving primarily as officers to the crown or the court, the slave patrols existed solely as a means of preserving the status quo through the enforce­ ment of the slave codes. As soon as they separated from the militia, they became law enforcement bodies, and new duties were added accordingly. The tension between specialization and generalization did not vanish with the creation of the modern police. The police retained many duties that were quite remote from their alleged purpose of preventing crime and enforcing the criminal law. Robert Fogelson explains:

In the absence of other specialized public bureaucracies, the authorities found the temptation almost irresistible to transform the police depart­ ments i nto catchall health, welfare, and law enforcement agencies. Hence the police cleaned streets and inspected boilers in New York, distributed supplies to the poor in Baltimore, accommodated the homeless in Phila-


delphia, investigated vegetable markets in St. Louis, operated emergency ambulances in B oston, and attempted to curb crime in all these cities.GO In fact, even today, the police continue to hold duties quite removed from the enforcement of the law and the prevention of crime. In many cities cops still direct traffic, license parades, escort funerals, remove panhandlers, quiet loud parties, find lost children, advise urban planners, make presentations to civic groups and school children , operate Boys and Girls Clubs, and perform other tasks quite outside their stated purview.

As Fogelson implies, this tendency developed in part because the police offered a means for the local government to enforce its will, regulate the behavior of the citizens, and generally keep an eye on things with unprecedented effi­ ciency and regularity. It thus b ecame a constant temptation to use this power in new and expanding ways, often to the detriment of the specialized law enforcement function. Further specialization then relied on the development of additional bureaucracies to take on these extraneous duties.

The police were valued especially for the flexibility which made them adaptable to new demands. But when better machinery was developed the government did not hesitate to transfer their responsibilities . The creation of the sewer, health, street, and building departments all dimin­ ished the role of the police in local administration.61 Policing is thus tied to a more general trend in government administration, the rise of bureaucracies. 1be development of modern police both depended on and promoted the creation of other municipal bureaucracies. In the first place, the creation of other bureaucracies allowed the police to specialize. Second, the consolidation of police forces facilitated a more general move toward bureaucra­ tization by providing a model for these same bureaucracies to adopt For both of these reasons, the modernization of the police was a key component in the modernization of city government 62 But the impact of the new police was not restricted to its effect on municipal administration. Policing was also closely con­ nected to the economic conditions attending widespread industrialization, and the consequent expansion of the cities themselves. URBAN I Z AT I O N AND I N D U ST R IALIZATION

When the modern police first appeared, Eastern cities were experiencing a wave of expansion, fueled by industrialization. It is no accident that industrial society produced new means of social control, since it also created new risks for disorder. Put simply, in an increasingly complex society, there was more that could go wrong. While the sheer numbers and diversity of the population contributed to this complexity, specialization (especially in the production and distribution of goods) and increased social stratification were probably more important These factors acted together to depress or reduce the standard of living for the greatest portion of the cities' residents, creating conflict b etween economic classes and increasing friction between ethnic and religious groupS.!,3 Seldon Bacon suggests:


These three factors of social change, the rise in specialization, the stratifi­ cation of classes, and the lowering of standards and consequent limitatioIl of activities brought about by increasing numbers, all created problems in the maintenance of a harmonious and secure society; the techniques of enforcement present in the 16th , 17th, and 18th centuries were unable to meet these problems. The family, the local church, the neighborhood, and the existing governmental agencies could not cope with the situation. In fact, there is a good deal of evidence to show that the changes were weakening all these institutions, especially as they helped bring about the mobility and individualism so characteristic of American society. (" Cyril D. Robinson and Richard Scaglion argue along similar lines, placing the advent of modern policing in the context of the emerging capitalist system. They present four interdependent propositions:

(1) the origin of a specialized police function depends upon the division of society into dominant and subordinate classes with antagonistic interests: (2) specialized police agencies are generally characteristic only of societies politically organized as states;

(3) in a period of transition, the crucial factor in delineating the modern specialized police function is an ongoing attempt at conversion (lf the social control (policing) mechanism from an integral part of the community structure to an agent of an emerging dominant class; and (4) the police institution is created by the emerging dominant class as an instrument for the preservation of its control over restricted access to basic resources, over the political apparatus governing this access, and over the labor force necessary to provide the surplus upon which the dominant class lives.6' There is much to recommend this as a general scheme, though it seems to

exaggerale lhe role of elite foresight and planning at the expense of after-the-fact opportunism. It does more to characterize the result than the process, assum­ ing that the outcome corresponds with some original intention. Robinson and

Scaglion's accoun.t offers a useful outline of the preconditions necessary for the creation of the modern police, but the long and complex process of transition from pre-modern to modern policing suggests a more complicated picture than their theory would indicate, especially in regard to the relationship between eco­ nomic elites and the state. While it is certainly true that the ruling class came to use the police as an instrument for the expansion and preservation of their power, it seems like a stretch to say that they created the institution for that end.

As we have seen, the first significant advances toward modern police appeared in the South, where elite attitudes about the state were characteristically ambivalent. The maintenance of slave laws originally relied upon informal, universal enforcement requirements reminiscent of the frankpledge; every White member of the community had the responsibility to uphold the law. The Southern system of slave control underwent a full transition from this informal policing system, through various stages of specialization, to its apex in the creation of the quite modern Charleston police force.6(, Clearly this transformation relied on social stratification, the existence of a political state, and the use of the policing function to maintain the racial and economic status 66

quo (that is, to protect the interests of the slaveowners) . However, while police powers were intentionally divorced from the community and invested in a specialized group, this change was not-as Robinson and Scaglion's model might imply-instigated at the behest of the slaveowners, but to some degree accomplished over their objections and despite their resistance. It was instead political elites who created slave patrols as a guard against the (political) threat of revolt more than against the (economic) dangers of escape. While the state functioned in the interests of the ruling class, it was not yet an agent of the ruling class-but a competing nexus of power, and a challenge to the aristocratic pretensions of the slave owners. In cities, industrialization and its accompanying entourage of social changes led to the breakdown of the informal means of social control that had proved (mostly) sufficient to that point.67 Cities thus produced advances in social con­ trol that the plantation system hadn't needed and likely would have eschewed. In Southern cities like Charleston, the City Guards picked up where the patrols had fallen short, in the control of slaves (and free Black people) on hire. In Northern cities, industrialization produced similar needs to control the work­ force. Rather than rely on personal authority and social deference (as on the plantation) , or on the influence of the family and church (as in smaller New England towns) , industrial cities of the North created governmental systems that were universalistic and routinized.68 Faced with similar challenges relating to urbanization, industrialization, and the rise of capitalism, elites in different cities responded in markedly similar ways-sometimes consciously borrowing from each other and some­ times unwittingly reproducing models and techniques that were in use else­ where, keeping what succeeded and discarding that which failed to suit their purposes. And as this process advanced, they transformed the mechanisms of law enforcement and created a new, distinctive institution. The New York Municipal Police came to define the type. But it would be wrong to think of the New York police as simply a modern watch, or as a Northern slave patrol, or as a set of American Bobbies69-though it was some­ what analogous to all three. In New York, as elsewhere, the police appeared when broad social trends intersected with local crises and the particular needs of the city. Of course, the authorities only responded to the crises on a rather shallow level, never acknowledging the underlying causes that produced them. Instead, local elites preferred to blame the crises of urbanization on the moral shortcomings of the poor, and the idea of the "dangerous classes" was born. I n the years preceding the rise of police departments in London and in the United States , middle· class and elite members of society attributed crime, riot, and public drunkenness to the members of the "dangerous classes." The image was that of a convulsively and possibly biologically criminal, riotous, and i ntemperate group of persons located at the base of society. Their actions were seen as destroying the very fabric of society?O

The particular population identified with the dangerous classes varied by locale. In England, the dangerous classes consisted of the urban poor, vagrants, and prostitutes in particular. In the northern United States, it was the immigrant lower class; in Boston, the term was especially applied to Irish Catholics?! The 67

term was not used much in the South, but the dangerous classes found an anal­ ogy in the Black population, and especially the slaves. In addition to their asso­ ciation with crime and disorder, the dangerous classes also represented an alien presence, a group with different values whose behavior was therefore suspi­ cious as if by definition.72 The Boston Council reported: In former times the Night Watch with a small constabulary force , were quite sufficient to keep the peace in a city proverbial for its love of order and attachment to the laws and remarkable for the homogenous charac­ ter of its population. But the rapid development of the system of railroads and of the means of communication, with all parts of Europe, together with other causes have brought among us great numbers who have not had the benefit of a New England trai ning and wh o have heretofore been held i n restraint rather by fear of the lawgiver than respect for the law. 71

Moreover, criminal behavior was understood as a threat to the social order, not merely to its real or potential victims. Theft: obviously challenged the sanctity of private property, but more to the point, drunkenness and vagrancy seemed to threaten the standards of diligence and self-control central to Protestant morality and crucial to an economic system dependent on regularity, predictability, and a disciplined workforce."" Crime and criminality were thus constructed to reflect the ideological needs of elites. Criminality was less a matter of what people did than of what they rep­ resented. 7, 'Ine idea of the dangerous classes was intimately tied to the prevailing economic order in each place, and had profound implications for the systems of social control they adopted. Slavery was not primarily a penal institution, though that was one of its results. In addition to its role in the southern labor and social system, the plantation kept under confinement and control th p onp d�.,!,: th:tt W:l� 1r.Cst threatening to the social order. Similarly, the prison was not primarily a labor system, but it mandated labor for rehabilitation, profit, and i nternal order. The prison adopted many features ofthe factory system and justified

forced labor of convicts becausc of the moral uplin it provided . 76

Both systems supplied large-scale, unpaid labor for the propertied classes, deprived the workers of their most basic civil liberties and political rights, and relied on corporal punishment and shaming for discipline?7 Furthermore, in both cases the economic systems created the class of people they were then at such pains to control-the slaves in the plantation system, and the immigrant working class in industrialized cities. While elite anxieties about the dangerous classes supplied the impetus for new forms of social control, other concerns also helped to shape the emerging institutions. The modern police system, unlike less formal means of control, actu­ ally required very little of ordinary citizens in the way of enforcement, and exposed the respectable classes to almost no personal danger. And, though supplying an organized force under control of the government, it avoided the unseemly image of a military occupation, since police (in the north, at least) patrolled alone or in pairs, and were sparingly armed. Furthermore, an impersonal system was to be preferred over either a military model or a more informal arrangement because-ironically-it was less obviously a tool of the ruling classes,?B 68

To the degree that industrialization and urbanization created changes related to the diversity of the urban population, economic specialization, and social stratifi­ cation, they certainly produced new challenges of social control. But the question remains, what did those difficulties have to do with crime? Put differently, it might be asked: Were the dangerous classes criminal? Or were they criminalized? T H E D EMAN D F O R ORDER

It is generally assumed that the police were created to deal with rising levels of crime caused by urbanization and the increasing numbers of immigrants. John Schneider describes the typical accounts: The first studies were legal and administrative in their focus, confined mostly to narrative descriptions of the step-by-step demise of the old constabulary and the steady, but often controversial evolution of the professionals. Schol­ ars seemed preoccupied with the politics of police reform. Its causes, on the other hand, were considered only in cursory fashion, more often assumed than proved. Cities, it would seem, moved inevitably toward modern policing as a consequence of soaring levels of crime and disorder in an era of phenom­ enal growth and profound social change?9

I will refer to this as the "crime and disorder" theory. Despite its initial plausibility, the idea that the police were invented in response to an epidemic of crime is, to be blunt, exactly wrong. Furthermore, it is not much of an explanation. It assumes that "when crime reaches a certain level, the 'natu­ ral' social response is to create a uniformed police force. This, of course, is not an explanation but an assertion of a natural law for which there is little evidence."8o It may be that slave revolts, riots, and other instances of collective violence precipitated the creation of modern police, but we should remember that nei­ ther crime nor disorder were unique to nineteenth-century cities, and therefore cannot on their own account for a change such as the rise of a new institution. Riotous mobs controlled much of London during the summer of 1780, but the Metropolitan Police did not appear until 1829. Public drunkenness was a seri­ ous problem in Boston as early as 1775, but a modern police force was not created there until 1838.81 So the crime-and-disorder theory fails to explain why earlier crime waves didn't produce modern police. It also fails to explain why crime in the nineteenth century led to policing, and not to some other arrangement82 Furthermore, it is not at all clear that crime was on the rise prior to the creation of the modern police. In Boston, for example, crime went down between 1820 and 1830,83 and continued to drop for the rest of the nineteenth century.84 In fact, crime was such a minor concern that it was not even mentioned in the marshal's report of 1824.85 And the city suffered only a single murder between 1822 and 1834.86 Whether or not crime was on the rise, after the introduction of modern policing the number of arrests increased.S? The majority of these arrests were for misde­ meanors, and most were related to victimless crimes, or crimes against the public order. They did not generally involve violence or the loss of property, but instead concerned public drunkenness, vagrancy, loitering, disorderly conduct, or being a "suspicious person."88 In other words, the greatest portion of the actual business of law enforcement did not concern the protection of life and property, but the control69

ling of poor people, their habits and their maIUlers.8') The suppression of such dis­ orderly conduct was only made possible by the introduction of modern police. For the first time, more arrests were made on the initiative of the officer than in response to specific complaints.90 Though the charges were generally minor, the implications were not the change from privately initiated to police-initiated prosecutions greatly shifted the balance of power between the citizenry and the state. A critic of this view might suggest that the rise in public order arrests reflected an increase in public order offenses, rather than a shift in official priorities. Unfortunately, there is no way to verify this claim. (The increase in arrests does not provide very good evidence, since it is precisely this increase the hypothe­ sis seeks to explain.) However, if the tolerance for disorder was in decline, this fact, coupled with the existence of the new police, would be sufficient to explain the increase in arrests of this typeYI The Cleveland police offered a limited test of this hypothesis. In December 1907, they adopted a "Golden Rule" policy Rather than arrest drunks and other public order offenders, the police walked them home or issued a warning. In the year before the policy was established, Cleveland police made 30,418 arrests, only 938 of which were for felonies. In the year after the Golden Rule was instituted, the police made 10,095 arrests, 1,000 of which were for fela­ nies." 2 Other cities implemented similar policies-in some cases, reducing the number of arrests by 75 percent.') 1 Cleveland's example demonstrates that official tolerance can reduce arrest rates. This suggests an explanation for the sudden rise in misdemeanor arrests during the previous century: if official tolerance can reduce arrest rates, it makes sense that official intolerance could increase the number of arrests. In other words, during the nineteenth century crime was down, but the demand for order was up-at least among those people who could influence the admin­ istration of thp law94 New York City's campaign against prostitution certainly followed this pat­ tern. During the first half of the nineteenth century, the official view on prosti­ tution transformed from one of complacency to one of moral panic. Beginning in the 1830s, when reform societies took an interest in the issue, it was widely claimed that prostitution was approaching epidemic proportions. Probably the number of prostitutes did increase: the watch estimated that there were 600 prostitutes working in 1806, and 1,200 in 1818. In 1856, Police Chief George Matsell set the figure at 5,000. But given that the population of the city increased by more than six times between 1820 and 1860, the official estimates actually showed a decrease in the number of prostitutes relative to the population.9s Enforcement activities, however, increased markedly during the same period. In 1 860, ninety people were committed to the First District Prison for keeping a "disorderly house." This figure was five times that of 1849, when seventeen people were imprisoned for the offense. Likewise, prison sentences for vagrancy rose from 3, 173 for the entire period covering 1820-1830, to 3,552 in 1850 and 6,552 in 1860. As prostitutes were generally cited for vagrancy (since prostitution itself was not a statutory offense) , the proportion of female "vagrants" steadily rose: women comprised 62 percent of those imprisoned for vagrancy in 1850 and 72 percent in 1860.96 70

This analysis does not solve the problem, but merely relocates it. If it was not crime but the standards of order that were rising, what caused the higher standards of public order? For one thing, the relative absence of serious crime may have facilitated the rise in social standards and the demand for order. A fall in the real crime rate allows officially accepted standards of conduct to rise; as standards rise, the penal machinery is extende d and refin e d ; t h e result i s that a n increase in t h e total number of c a s e s brought i n accompanies a decrease i n their relative severity.9?

Once established, the police themselves may have helped to raise expectations. In New York, Chief Matsell actively promoted the panic over public disorder, in part to quiet criticism of the new police.9H More subtly, the very existence of the police may have suggested the possibility of urban peace and made it seem feasible that most laws would be enforced-not indirectly by the citizenry, but directly by the state.'!'! And the new emphasis on public order corresponded with the morality of the dominant Protestant class and the demands of the new industrialized economy, ensuring elite support for policing. This intersection of class bias and rigid moralism was particularly clear concerning, and had special implications for, the status of women. In many ways, the sudden furor over prostitution was typical. As the social mores of the Protestant ruling class came to define legal notions of "public order" and "vice," the role of women was re-defined and increasingly restricted. "Fond paternalistic indulgence of women who conformed to domestic ideals was intimately con­ nected with extreme condemnation of those who were outside the bonds of patronage and dependence on which the relations of men and women were based." l Oo As a result, women were held to higher standards and subject to harsher treatment when they stepped outside the bounds of their role. Women were arrested less frequently than men, but were more likely to be jailed and served longer sentences than men convicted of the same crimes. l UI Enforcement practices surrounding the demand for order thus weighed dou­ bly on working-class women, who faced gender-based as well as class-based restrictions on their public behavior. At the same time, the increased demand for order came to shape not only the enforcement of the law, but the law itself. In the early nineteenth century, Boston's laws only prohibited habitual drunkenness, but in 1835 public drunk­ enness was also banned. Alcohol-related arrests increased from a few hundred each year to several thousand. 102 In 1878, police powers were extended even further, as they were authorized to arrest people for loitering or using profan­ ity. 103 In Philadelphia, meanwhile, "after the new police law took effect, the doc­ trine of arrest on suspicion was tacitly extended to the arrest and surveillance of people in advance of a crime."1lI4 Police scrutiny of the dangerous classes was at least partly an outgrowth of the preventive orientation of the new police. Built into the idea that the cops could prevent crime is the notion that they can predict criminal behav­ ior. This preventive focus shifted their attention from actual to potential crimes, and then from the crime to the criminal, and finally to the potential criminal. l O> Profiling became an inherent element of modern policing. So, contrary to the crime-and-disorder explanation, the new police system 71

was not created in response to escalating crime rates, but developed as a means of social control by which an emerging dominant class could impose their val­ ues on the larger population. This shilt can only be understood against a backdrop of much broader social changes. Industrialization and urbanization produced a new class of workers and , with it, new challenges for social control. They also produced opportuni­ ties for social control at a level previously unknown. 'The police represented one aspect of this growing apparatus, as did the prison, and sometime later, the public school. Furthermore, the police, by forming a major source of power for emerging city governments (and for those who would control them) , also contributed to the development of other bureaucracies and increased the possibilities for rational administration. The reasons for these developments have been made fairly clear, but the means by which the police idea evolved and spread deserves further explication. I M I TATION , EXP ERI M ENTAT I O N , EVOLU T I O N

Studies of police history that focus on the experience of a particular city often inadvertently imply that the police in New York, for example, (or Philadelphia, or Boston) developed independently based on the unique needs and spe­ cific circumstances of that city. \0(, This perspective obscures a very important aspect of police development, namely the degree to which city administrators consciously watched the innovations of other cities, drawing from them as suited their needs. l o7 This system of communication and imitation explains the sudden appearance of very similar police organizations in cities all across the country, in a relatively short period of time. For though it took a very long time for the characteristics of modern policing to develop, once they crystal­ lized into a cohpfpnt form, the idea spread vcr-y quickly. "'" Of course, the practice of borrowing police models from elsewhere was not itself new. American cities borrowed their earliest law enforcement mechanisms from European cities, especially London and Paris. ]I),! Georgia modeled its slave patrols on those already established in South Carolina, which were themselves copied from similar systems in Barbados; later it became cornmon for towns to copy the patrolling techniques of others nearby. l l o Thus it is not especially sur­ prising that New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and Washington, D.C.,

all took inspiration from the Metropolitan Police of London. I I I But. the English influence on American policing should not be over-stated. Imitation occurred, but it was not total. Instead, "America's borrowing from England was selective. The general form of innovation came from England, although Americans modified and transformed English patterns to fit their particular culture."1 1 2 Hence, the two countries prescribed very different relationships between the officers and the communities they patrolled. In England , the Bobbies were recruited from the countryside and from the lower ranks of the army. They were housed in barracks, denied the vote, and made accountable to Parliament rather than to the local authorities. In the United States, the police were expected to be a part of the communities they served. They were to act not only as police, but as citizens and neighbors as


well. 1 I 3 A more telling difference lay in the extent-and nature-of local political influence in policing. In America "Political parties contested vigor­ ously to control police patronage and power, which . . . precluded American departments from following exactly their supposed model, the London Metropolitan Police. " 1 1 4 American cities also looked to each other for ideas. When Boston resolved "to imitate, as far as may be, the system of London," it also mentioned the reforms of New York and Philadelphia, and noted that Baltimore, Brooklyn, and other cities were moving in the same direction. 1 1 5 And in 1 843, the legis­ lative committee investigating better means of policing riots in Philadelphia spent two months collecting ideas from other cities. 1 J6 While less well documented, innovations originating in particular districts, or in the countryside, came to be incorporated into the practices of city police. This certainly occurred in Charleston, where the police had a direct lineage from the slave patrols. A similar process took place in London, where the use of full-time officers, the system of beat patrols, the focus on crime prevention, and even a bureaucratic structure were all developed in the parishes under the watch system, and then consolidated in 1829. 1 1 7 If the practice of imitation shows how cities came to create police d epart­ ments that closely resembled one another's, the process of experimentation helps to explain why they settled on the particular model they did. B ecause each city adjusted its organization in a number of ways, either in response to local pressures or based on innovations of its own, variations emerged that could then be tested by experience. Those judged to be successful were retained, and those that failed were abandoned. A kind of natural selection took place. Only the ideas deemed successful in one city survived to be repro­ duced elsewhere. In principle, this process could result in a diversity of polic­ ing mechanisms, and at times has done so (witness the contrast between the seventeenth-century plantation system and that of New York during the same period) . But as cities faced similar pressures related to population growth, industrialization, increased stratification, and the like, they came to adopt shared measures of success. As a result, older models, which had survived in some places for a very long time, were suddenly outmoded and replaced. As Bacon outlines it, when social changes caused the traditional means of control to fail, variations of enforcement were adopted. Generally these were aimed at particular populations (slaves, the poor, immigrants) or trouble spots (ghettos, plantations, saloons, etc.) . Specialists in enforcement arose, and then unified into general enforcement bodies. I I S The move from informal systems of racial dominance to slave patrol, to police, may be understood as following this pattern. In New York, policing developed along similar lines: the watch was expanded, the constable's duties extended, the marshal's office created, and eventually a modern police force replaced them all . The new agencies drew heavily from their predecessors in matters related to organizational structure, methods, and purpose. By incorporating the best of the recent innovations, the new types out-competed the disparate organizations they first imitated and then replaced. But it would be wrong to think of such changes as only ever representing real progress. In fact the nature of experimen73

tation practically guarantees otherwise. Innumerable innovations were intro­ duced, only to be abandoned a short time later. Reforms were implemented, and quickly reversed. I I ') It would be tedious to trace out every dead branch on this family tree, but to only consider the successes would run the risk of distorting the picture of development, presenting a circuitous route as a straight-away for the sake of preserving the neatness of our map. To make the point briefly, I will borrow Bacon's taxonomy of the failed types: Some of the variations in enforcement brought about by the failure of the primary groups, particularly the failure of the family, to maintain order and secu rity may be noted: the use of religious officers, such as the tythingman and warden; the use of the military; the attempt to secure order by having legislators and justices act as police; the trial of policing by posse, by citizen watch, by citizen informer; the practice of employing special men paid by fee; the experiments with private police and substi­ tutes . . . for the most part, these all failed . 1 2()

Experimentation moved cities from one type of law enforcement to the next, but we should not exaggerate the empiricist nature of the process. Far from following a carefully controlled program and employing the scientific method, progress occurred on an improvisational basis in response to short­ term political considerations. Many adaptations were accepted, or abandoned, not on their practical merits but for strictly partisan reasons. Americans have rarely if ever agree d on the proper scope and function of the police and . . . such conflicts h ave molded police performance in a variety of ways. Most police administrators have responded to wh ichever group was making the most noise at the moment rather than following a consistent and thought-out line of policY, l l l

The�e pulitical conflicts helped to shape the institution, just a s th e practice of imitation and the process of constant revision did. But behind it all is the simple fact that institutions, like organism species, must adapt to their environ­ ment or ri ie, Policing, as an institution, did a great deal beUer than just survive. As it adapted to the social conditions of the early and mid-nineteenth century, it became not only the product, but also the producer of social change. T H E P O LICED SOCI ETY

As policing changed, it grew in importance, and in turn changed the society that had created it The development of modern police facilitated further indus­ trialization, it consolidated the influence of political machines, it led to the creation of new bureaucracies and advances in municipal government, and it made possible the imposition of Protestant moral values on the urban popula­ tion. Also, and more basically, it allowed the state to impose on the lives of individuals in an unprecedented manner. Sovereignty-and even states-are older than the police. "European king­ doms in the Middle Ages became 'law states' before they b ecame 'police states,"'1l2 meaning that they made laws and adjudicated claims before they established an independent mechanism for enforcing them. Organized police forces only emerged when traditional, informal, or community-maintained means of social control broke 74

down. TIlls breakdown was in each case prompted by a larger social change, often a change that some part of the community resisted with violence, such as the cre­ ation of a national state, colonization, or the enslavement of a subject people. J 23 It is at the point where authority is met with resistance that the organized application of force becomes necessary.124Each development detailed here has conformed to this general pattern-the creation of the offices of the sheriff and the constable, the establishment of the watch, the deployment of slave patrols, the transition to City Guards, and finally the rise of the modern police. The aims and means of social control always approximately reflect the anxi­ eties of elites. In times of crisis or pronounced social change, as the concerns of elites shift, the mechanisms of social control are adapted accordingly. In the South, the institution of the slave patrol developed in stages following real or rumored insurrections. Later, complex factors conspired to produce the mod­ ern police force. Industrialization changed the system of social stratification and added a new threat, or set of threats, subsumed under the title of the "danger­ ous classes." Moreover, while serious crime was on the decline, the demand for order was on the rise owing to the needs of the new economic regime and the Protestant morality that supported it. In response to these conditions, American cities created a distinctive brand of police. They borrowed heavily from the English model already in place, but also took ideas from the existing night watch, the office of the constable, the militia, and the slave patrols. At the same time, the drift toward modern policing fit nicely with the larger movement toward modern municipal government-best understood in terms of the emerging political machines, and later tied to the rise of bureaucracies. The extensive interrelation between these various factors-industrializa­ tion, increasing demands for order, fear of the dangerous classes, pre-existing models of policing, and the development of citywide political machines­ makes it obvious that no single item can be identified as the sole cause for the move toward policing. History is not propelled by a single engine, though historical accounts often are. Scholars have generally relied on one or one set of these factors in crafting their explanations, with most emphasizing those surrounding the sudden and rapid expansion of the urban population, espe­ cially immigrant communities. Urbanization certainly had a role, but not the role it is usually assumed to have had. Rather than producing widespread criminality, cities actually produced widespread civility; as the population rose, the rate of serious crimes dropped.1 25 The crisis of the time was not one of law, but of order-specifically the order required by the new industrial economy and the Protestant moralism that sup­ plied, in large part, its ideological expression. The police provided a mechanism by which the power of the state, and eventually that of the emerging ruling class, could be brought to bear on the lives and habits of individual members of society.

The new organization of police made it possible for the first time in gen­ erations to attempt a wide enforcement of the criminal code, especially the vice laws. But while the earlier lack of execution was largely the result of weakness, it had served a useful function also, as part of the system of compromise which made the law tolerable. 1 26


In other words, the much-decried inefficiency and inadequacy of the night watch in fact corresponded with the practical limitations on the power of the state. 1 27 With these limits removed or overcome, the state at once cast itself in a more active role. Public safety was no longer in the hands of amateur nightwatchmen, but had been transferred to a full-time professional body, directed by and account­ able to the city authorities. The enforcement of the law no longer relied on the complaints of aggrieved citizens, but on the initiative of officers whose mission was to prevent offenses. Hence, crimes without victims needn't be ignored, and potential offenders needn't be given the opportunity to act. In both instances the new police were doing what would have been nearly inconceivable just a few years before. It was in this way that the United States became what Allan Silver calls "a policed society." A policed society is unique in that central power exercises potentially vio­ lent supervision over the population by bureaucratic means widely diffused throughout civil society in small and discretionary operations that are capa­

ble of rapid concentration. 1 2S

The police organization allowed the state to establish a constant presence in a wide geographic area and exercise routinized control by the use of patrols and other surveillance. Through the same organization, the state retained the ability to concentrate its power in the event of a riot or other emergency, without having to resort to the use of troops or the maintenance of a military presence. Silver argues that the significance of this advance "lay not only in its narrow applica­ tion to crime and violence. In a broader sense, it represented the penetration and continual presence of central political authority throughout daily life."129 The populace as a whole, even if not every individual person, was to be put under constant surveillance. The police represent the point of contact between the coercive apparatus of the state and the lives of its citizens. Put this way, the characteristics of modern policing may come to sound more ominous-the specialized func­ tion, the concentration of power in a centralized organization, the constant application of that power over the entire city, the separation of the police from the community, and a preventive aim. While in some ways a more ratio­ nal application of traditional means, the organizations that developed in this direction were fundamentally different from the ones they replaced. With the birth of modern policing, the state acquired a new means of controlling the citizenry-one based on its experiences, not only with crime and domestic disorder, but with colonialism and slavery as well. If policing was not in its inception a totalitarian pursuit, the modern development of the institution has at least been a major step in that direction.






industrialization, and the new police reshaped urban society, politics in the South faced additional complexities in the aftermath of the Civil War. There, many of the trappings of machine politics were present-corruption, abuses of power, favoritism, and street brawls-but with a difference. The status of the newly freed Black population became the political question of the day. The Republican Party, dominant following the war, developed a constituency among Black voters eager to assert themselves, and relied on the occupying Union army to suppress opposition. The Democratic Party aligned itself with disenfranchised Confederate veterans, deposed planters, former slave­ owners, and the other reactionary remnants of Southern society, including many poor White people ideologically attached to the old order. 1 The coercive force of the Democratic Party was embodied in secret terrorist societies and vigilante groups including the Black Cavalry, the Men of Justice, the Young Men's Democratic Clubs, the Knights of the White Camellia, and the Ku Klux Klan.2 As the Klan gained a prominence in 1868, it concentrated on discouraging Black voters, intimidating Republican candidates, and defeating proposed radical constitutions.3 But the Klan's defense of White supremacy quickly expanded beyond such narrow political goals.



During the Reconstruction period, vigilante actions and policing were often indistin­ guishable. The Klan-which saw itself as a force for order, especially against Black criminality'-took up night-riding, at times in regular patrols. Its members stopped Black people on the roads, searched their homes, seized weapons and valuables, interrogated them about their voting plans, and often brutalized them. Bands of a dozen or more disguised men rode about regularly after dark, calling or dragging Negroes from their homes and threatening, robbing, beating, and occasionally killing them. Some white Republicans received the same treatment. Most of this activity followed a common pattern. Klansmen nearly always searched for and confi scated any guns they found; in a few locations they made a blanket requ irement that Negroes deposit their guns at a certain place by an assigned date or face a whip­ ping. Generally they quizzed their victims about their voting intentions at the forthcoming election. If a freedman answered that he planned to vote for Grant he was likely to be whipped; if he said he planned to vote for Seymour or else stay home he was more likely to get off with a warn­ ing and the loss of his gun. In some cases, blacks were robbed of money, watches, and other possessions.'

In many places, the Klan totally re!-"ulated the social 1ives of the Black population, breaking up worship services, opposing the creation of Black schools (often with suc­ cess), and establishing and enforcing a system of passes for Black workers." In less routine actions, White mobs sometimes attacked individual Black people, Black political assemblies, and White Republicans. These attacks often involved the police as participants, or even leaders. For example, in April 1866, after a crowd of Black veterans prevented the police from arresting two of their comrades. the police led Whitp mnhs through the streets of Memphis attacking Black people at random. Mounted squads headed by police rode through Black neighborhoods, beating anyone they found on the streets and setting fire to schools, churches, and homes. The attack lasted four days, until martial law was declared. Forty-six Black and two White people died; ninety-one houses, twelve schools, and four churches were burned? That July in New Orleans, the police led a military-style attack against a con­ vention of Union loyalists composed mostly of Black people. On July 30, as the delegates gathered at the Mechanics Institute, crowds of White men collected on the streets, many cops and firefighters among them. As a procession of a hundred or so Black delegates approached the Mechanics Institute, a fight broke out. It is disputed what, precisely, led to the fight, but it is generally agreed that a White policeman fired the first shot. The Black people returned fire and hurried into the building. Between 1,000 and 1,500 White people surged in after them, breaking down doors, firing into the assembly hall, and clubbing the delegates.B A New Orleans Times reporter described the scene following the massacre: Out of the Senate Chamber, once more in the cross passage, pass through the hall, here is the last step of the main stairway. Blood is on it. The white wall is smeared with blood in the track of what had been a live man's shoul­ der leaning up against it. Blood on the next step. Blood marks higher up on the walls, blood and marks of sanguinary struggle from the top to the bot78

tom . . . . A door opens outward on the stairway leading down into the vaults. The first thing noticed is a bloody handmark, blood-spots line the white walls on the side, and blood spots the steps . . . . It is with a sensation of sick­ ening horror that you leave all the scenes and respectfully picking your way through cast off hats and shoes that are all over every floor of the buildi ng, find yourself in the open street, the sidewalk of which ran with blood.')

With the convention in ruins, the police led bands of White vigilantes around the city, beating any Black people they encountered and shooting at those who fled. The majority of the victims had no connection to the convention. At least thirty-eight people were killed, and many times that number wounded. Overwhelmingly, the victims were Black. lO That afternoon, bodies were piled into baggage cars. Many of the wounded were loaded in with the dead, and witnesses later swore to seeing police system­ atically shooting those who stirred. 1 I No one was prosecuted for the massacre, though a Congressional committee concluded that it had been planned by a group of police-mostly Confederate veterans. 1 2 They were assisted by a Know­ Nothing group called (appropriately) "the Thugs" and a vigilante regiment named "Hays' Brigade," acting under the leadership of police Sergeant Lucien Adams and Sheriff Harry T. Hays, respectively. I.' 1bese two examples, especially the Mechanics Institute massacre, illustrate the character of such attacks. As Melinda Hennessey explains, The actions of whites i n many of the Reconstruction riots, however, had less in common with mob rule than with the organized character of para­ military u n its . . . . Antebellum militias and slave patrols gave southern whites experience i n local military organization , and thi s trend contin­ ued i n the locally based Confederate military units . ' 4

White people adhered not only to th e values o f th e slave system, but to its meth­ ods as well. The central role of the police in these two disturbances was unfortunately typical of the period. In her comprehensive study of Reconstruction-era unrest, Hennessey finds, "In only three riots, including Mobile in 1867, Vicksburg in 1875, and Charleston in 1867, did the police or sheriff try to quell the distur­ bance, and in a third of the riots, the police or sheriffs posse led the violence."15 Examples of police-led violence include the election riots in Savannah in 1868, Baton Rouge in 1870, and Barbour County, Alabama, in 1874.'6 Perhaps the starkest case occurred in Camilla, Georgia, where in 1868 Sheriff Munford J. Poore deputized the town's entire White male population to prevent a Black political procession;17 a military investigation found that the sheriff made no effort to control the posse and "was a party to the wanton and unnecessary destruction of life which subsequently ensued."'R Where legal authorities were not themselves complicit with the terrorists, they found themselves among the terrorized; they were powerless to stop Klan activity, prosecute offenders, protect their own constituencies, or, in some cases, defend themselves. For officers sincere in their duties, the situation was desper­ ate. In Warren County, Georgia, Sheriff John C. Norris faced constant harass­ ment for his efforts to enforce the law; eventually he was crippled in a Klan ambush. The weakness of his position might be indicated by the fact that, though 79

� w



he could ideniliY his attackers, he did not press charges. I ') 'the impotence of local authorities was particularly felt in areas where they were dependent on the federal government for their power. As the federal government became increasingly reluctant to insert itself-especially militarily-into local affairs, city and county officials were left vulnerable. Sheriff] oseph P. Doyle of Madison County, Alabama, worried, "I have nobody to protect me."20 When Klan-type violence occurred, arrests were unusual, prosec'Utions rare, and convictions almost unknown. The attitudes (and sometimes, involvement) of police officers and sheriffs certainly impeded the enforcement of the law, but this was only one of many obstacles standing in the way of convictions. Prosecutors were unwilling to press such cases, and magistrates were often glad to dismiss them. Klansmen frequently dominated juries-including grand juries and coroner's juries. Witnesses and victims, like Sheriff Norris, were intimi­ dated and refused to testify, while Klan members were eager to swear false alibis on one another's behalf.21 The law, when it did oppose Klan activity, did so in times and places where the Klan was politically weak. Wherever Union men were numerous and sufficiently well organi zed to sus­ tain the local authorities . . . [Arkansas Governor Powell] Clayton encouraged sheriffs to mobilize them as posses, and they were used to good effect. Thus the sheriff of Carroll County managed to quell the small-scale terror there, even if he failed to catch the criminals. In Fulton County, where the governor had to send in reinforcements from other counties and make use of Monk's Missouri volunteers, the policy contributed to a mutual escalation but was

ultimately successful. 22

Even then, the usual form of conflict was not open warfare or even vigorous enforcement of the law, but a kind of rivalry or dual power. The police ano thp Klan became counterbalancing forces rather than outright antagonists. Under such conditions, police may have limited the Klan's worst atrocities, but they did little to protect Black people from routine abuse and intimidation. ,j likewise, the Klem, while not usually driving L1.e shedff out of town or making good on their threats against him, limited the scope of his authority and greatly restricted his agenda (especially where the sheriff was a Republican) . In Homer, Louisiana, the sheriff gave up policing whole areas of the parish where the Klan was stron­ gest. 24 One Texan sheriff found it impossible to raise a posse against Klan activ­ ity; White citizens told him derisively to "Call on your nigger friends."'s But usually, law enforcement agents were unwilling to move against the Klan, even when they were backed by federal military force.26 And they were almost never willing to avail themselves of the one source of power that may have been most readily mobilized against Klan activity-the Black population. Even when faced with widespread lawlessness, White officials proved unwilling to arm and rally their Black constituency. 27 It may be that they worried such a move would create a panic among White people and provoke further violence, or it may be that they feared creating a Black resistance that they could not then control.2K Whatever the reasons, the result was disastrous for American Black people. As renegade states were reincorporated into the Union and the federal com­ mitment to Reconstruction waned, Black people were returned to something 80

very much like their previous statuS.29 When Democrats attained control of state legislatures and local governments, they passed a series of "Black Codes" designed to regulate the former slaves and restore a system of White suprem­ acy-based not on the private institution of slavery, but on publicly established segregation.�o Black people were, whether by law, custom, or Klan intimidation, commonly forbidden to own land, run businesses, work on railroads, change employers, travel, or voteY This was termed, in the parlance of Southern Whites, "Redemption." For Black people, it was more like damnation. S LAVE PAT R O L S R EVI S I T ED

During the Reconstruction period, the line between legal and extra-legal author­ ity became extremely hazy. The Klan took on criminal violence in the defense of an archaic view of law and order, and the local authorities-especially the police-were either incapable or unwilling to challenge them. In many cases, the police were actually complicit with Klan violence, and it seemed that the two organizations pursued the same ends, sometimes using the same means. These common features were not arrived at by chance. Both the police and the Klan were adaptations of an earlier and deeply entrenched Southern institution-the slave patrols.32 In the new regime of Reconstruction, Southern whites were forced to adopt laws and policing methods that appeared racially unbiased , but they relied upon practices derived from slave patrols and their old laws that had tradi­ tionally targeted blacks for violence. To resolve this apparent contradiction, the more random and ruthless aspects of slave patrolling passed into the hands of vigilante groups like the Klan . . . . Meanwhile, policemen in South­ ern towns continued to carry out those aspects of urban slave patrolling that seemed race-neutral but that in reality were applied selectively. Police saw that nightly curfews and vagrancy laws kept blacks off city streets, just as patrollers had done in the colonial and antebellum eras . 33

The slave patrols helped form the character of both the police and the Klan. like the slave patrols, the Klan was organized locally, operated mostly at night, drew its members from every class of White society, enforced a pass system and curfew, broke up Black social gatherings and meetings, searched homes, seized weapons, and enforced its demands through violence and intimidation.34 A for­ mer slave, J. T. Tims, remarked, 'There wasn't no difference between the patrols and the Ku Klux that I know of. If th'd ketch you, they all would whip you."') As a part of this same tradition, minorities (especially Black people) became the objects of police control,36 the targets of brutality, and the victims of neglect37 Perhaps the clearest inheritance from this tradition is the racial characterization of criminality-the criminalizing of people of color, and Black people especially. Presently understood in terms of "profiling," the practice is much older than the current controversy. Under slavery, "Bondsmen could easily be distinguished by their race and thus became easy and immediate targets of racial brutality."38 The only thing new about racial profiling is the term, which makes prejudicial harassment seem procedural, technical, even scientific.



One critic of racial profiling, David Harris, defines the concept in terms of more general police techniques. He writes: Racial profiling grew out of a law enforcement tactic called criminal profil­ ing. Criminal profiling has come i nto i ncreasing use over the last twenty years, not just as a way to solve particular crimes police know about but also as


way to predict who may be involved in as-yet-undiscovered crimes,

especially drug offenses.


profiling is designed to help police spot

criminals by developing sets of personal and behavioral characteristics associated with particular offenses. By comparing individuals they observe with profiles, officers should have a better basis for deciding which people to treat as suspects. Officers may see no direct evidence of crime, but they can rely on noncriminal but observable characteristics associated with crime to decide whether someone seems suspicious and therefore deserving of greater police scrutiny. When these characteristics include race or ethnicity as a factor in predict­ ing crimes,

criminal profiling can


racial profiling. Racial profiling is

a crime-fighting strategy-a government policy that treats African Ameri­ cans, Latinos, and members of other minority groups as criminal suspects on the assumption that doing so will increase the odds of catching criminals.'"

Harris is right that racial profiling is a sub-set of criminal profiling, but he has the genealogy reversed. As we saw in previous chapters, long before the police used high-discretion tactics and vice laws to regulate the lives of the immigrant working class, their predecessors in law enforcement were using race as the factor directing their activities. Harris overlooks a crucial feature of this history: both the slave patrols and the laws they enforced existed for the express purpose of controlling the Black population. 'There was no pre­ tense of racial neutrahty, and so there was less concern with the abstract aim of controlling "crime" than with the very concrete task of controlling Black people. Black people were, in a sense, criminalized-but more importantly, they were permanently deemed objects for control. As cities industrialized, White workers formed another troublesome group. Efforts to control these new "dangerous classes" were more legalistic and impartial (in form, if not in application) than those directed against the slaves. Laws against vagrancy, gambling, prostitution, loitering, cursing, and drinking (the nineteenth-cen­ tury equivalent of our current war on drugs) brought the habits of the poor into the jurisdiction of the police, and the police directed their suspicions accordingly. Thus, contrary to Harris' account, racial profiling gave birth to the broader category of "criminal profiling"-not the other way around. What may distinguish our contemporary notion of "profiling" from simple prejudice is the idea that suspicious characteristics can somehow be scientifi­ cally identified and formulated into a general type in order to rationally direct police suspicions. It is the war on drugs that has most recently popularized profiling, initially because of the work of Florida Highway Patrol officer, and later Volusia County sheriff, Bob Vogel. Vogel formulated a list of "cumulative similarities" that he used in deciding whether to search a vehicle. These includ­ ed factors like demeanor, discrepancies in the vehicle's paperwork, overcau82

tious driving, the model of the car, and the time of the trip. In the mid- 1980s, after Vogel made several particularly impressive arrests, the DEA adopted similar techniques in its training of local law enforcement.40 The scientific basis of Vogel's system is questionable-his "cumulative simi­ larities" were based on a sample of thirty cases41-and its application even more worrisome. While Vogel claims that race was never a factor in his approach,42 his deputies' behavior tells a different story. Black people and Latinos represented 5 percent of the drivers on the roads his department patrolled. But according to a review of 148 hours of videotape from cameras mounted in squad cars, minori­ ties made up 70 percent of the people stopped and 80 percent of those searched. Of the 1, 100 drivers appearing on the tapes, only nine were issued tickets.43 Likewise, under "Operation Pipeline" the DEA told the police not to consider race as a factor, while continuously emphasizing the race of suspected drug deal­ ers.44 The results were predictable. According to a 1999 report by the California legislature's Task Force on Government Oversight, two-thirds of those stopped as part of Operation Pipeline were Latinos. The report noted the systematic nature of this bias:

It should be emphasized that this program has been conducted with the sup­ port of CHP [California Highway Patrol] management. Individual officers involved in these operations and training programs have been carrying out what they perceived to be the policy of the CHP, the Department of Justice, and the Deukmejian and Wilson Administrations. Thus we are not faced with "rogue" officers or individual, isolated instances of wrongdoing. The officers involved in these operations have been told repeatedly by their supervisors that they were doing their jobs exactly right. 45


The theoretical groundwork for racial profiling was in place long before the DEA popularized its current form. Writing in the middle of the twentieth century, lAPD Chief of Police William H. Parker defended the police satura­ tion of minority neighborhoods. His views anticipate those supporting the use of other race-based police tactics. They are worth quoting at length:

Deployment is often heaviest in so-called minority sections of the city. The reason is statistical-it is a fact that certain racial groups, at the present time, commit a disproportionate share of the total crime. Let me make one point clear in that regard-a competent police administrator is fully aware of the multiple conditions which create this problem. There is no inher­ ent physical or mental weakness in any racial stock which tends its [sic] toward crime. But-and this is a "but" which must be borne constantly in mind-police field deployment is not social agency activity. In deploying to suppress crime, we are not interested in why a certain group tends toward crime, we are interested in maintaining order. The fact that the group would not be a crime problem under different socio-economic conditions and might not be a crime problem tomorrow, does not alter today's tactical necessities. Police deployment is concerned with effect, not cause . . . . At the present time, race, color, and creed are useful statistical and tactical devices. So are age groupings, sex, and employment. If persons 83

of one occupation, for some reason, commit more theft than average, then increased police attention is given to persons of that occupation. Discrimi­ nation is not a factor there. If persons of Mexican, Negro, or Anglo-Saxon ancestry, for some reason, contribute heavily to other forms of crime, police deployment must take that into account. From an ethnological point of view, Negro, Mexican, and Anglo-Saxon are unscientific breakdowns; they are a fiction. From a police point of view, they are a useful fiction and should be used as long as they remain useful. The demand that the police cease to consider race, color, and creed is an unrealistic demand. Identification is a police tool, not a police attitude. If traffic violations run heavily in favor of lavender colored automobiles, you may be certain, whatever the sociological reasons for that condition, we would give lavender automobiles more than average attention. And if these vehicles were predominantly found in one area of the city, we would give that area more than average attention. 46 These remarks clearly outline the logic of racial profiling, and reflect the flaws of such logic. Parker tries to deny police bias by relocating it from the individual to the institutional level; he then defends institutional bias by denying indi­ vidual prejudice. He also attempts to justify institutionalized racism by casting it in "statistical" terms. Hence, we're reassured that race-based police tactics are not based on "a police attitude" or on a belief in the inherent criminality of people of color, while at the same time we are urged to accept practices designed to target specific populations. Parker explains unequal police attention with reference to variations in crime rates among different groups. No evidence is offered concerning these variations, but they are said to be the product of unidentified "multiple conditions," which we are assured are not the business of the police. The possibility that policing may preserve or contribute to these "socio-economic conditions" is not discussed, though the function oi poliCIng IS Identified as "maintaining order." Put differently, Parker tries to justify the police department's discrimination with reference to other discrimination. If this line of reasoning is accepted, then so long as a..'1 overJ1 system of White supremacy exists, no particular aspect of it carl be faulted. Landlords could justify discrimination in housing, or bankers in lending, just by noting that "the reason is statistical," that ''for some reason" unemployment is higher among "certain racial groups." Employers could justify discrimination in hiring by explaining that, statistically speaking, certain groups tend to be less qualified. And so on. The moral and political faults of such reason­ ing are obvious, but there is a logical fallacy as well. An individual's ability to pay the rent, to perform a job, or to obey the law, cannot be judged on the basis of the statistical performance of a group to which she belongsY

In the end, Parker's argument is circular; the premises assume the conclu­ sion. It calls for intensive scrutiny of people of color based on a "disproportionate share of the total crime" committed by them. And how do we know they commit more crimes? Because of their contact with the criminal justice system, obvi­ ously!48 David Harris explains the problem simply:

In the case of consensual crimes such as drug activity and weapons offenses, arrest and incarceration rates are particularly poor measures of criminal activity. They are much better measures of law enforcement activity. . Arrest . .


statistics tell us that police arrest disproportionate numbers of African Ameri­ can males for drug crimes. This reflects decisions made by someone in the police department-the chief, lieutenants, street-level supervisors, or even individual officers themselves-to concentrate enforcement activity on these individuals.49

While admitting that the very categories of race are "unscientific" and "a fic­ tion," Parker argues that race is a "useful fiction" and so should be maintained. But we should ask, useful for what? Presumably for identifying criminals , or rather-for identifying suspects. That is, race is a "useful fiction" for delineating groups of people to be treated as suspects by the police. The analogy to the color of the car implies that the use of race as an indi­ cator is fortuitous-that it is something of an accident. Of course, it is noth­ ing of the sort. 50 It is more paradigmatic than fortuitous, a matter of design rather than happenstance. Race-unlike car color-is used as a profiling tool because society as a whole uses race as a marker of privilege or privation. And according to Parker's theory, race-based tactics are useful in crime control for just that reason. Today's law enforcement administrators still seek to justify police practices by appealing to racist conceptions of crime and criminality. In 1999, the New Jersey Attorney General's office issued a report showing that during the two previous years (1997 and 1998) , 40 percent of motorists stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike and 80 percent of those searched were minorities.5 1 According to Carl Williams, the superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, that's because 'The drug problem is mostly cocaine and marijuana. It is most likely a minority group that's involved with that."52 Studies in other states reveal a common pattern. Following a 1995 lawsuit, the Maryland State Police were required to keep data on every traffic stop that led to a search. Temple University's John Lamberth analyzed the data from 1995 and 1996. He found that while Black people represent 17 percent of Maryland's driving population and can be observed to drive no differently than White motorists, 72 percent of those stopped and searched were Black. :Fully one-half of the Maryland State Police traffic officers stopped Black people in at least 80 percent of their stops. One officer stopped Black people in 95 percent of his stops, and two only stopped Black people. 53 Likewise, a 1999 Ohio state legislator's review of 1996 and 1997 court records revealed that Black drivers in Akron were 2.04 times as likely as all other drivers to receive tickets. In Toledo, they were 2.02 times as likely; and in Columbus and Dayton, 1.8 times. 54 Researchers with North Carolina State University found that in 1998, Black people were 68 percent more likely than White people to be searched by the North Carolina Highway Patrol." And a 2002 Justice Department report concluded that, nationwide, "Police were more likely to conduct a search of the vehicle and/or driver in traffic stops involving black male drivers (15.9 percent) or Hispanic male drivers (14.2 percent) , compared to white male drivers (7.9 percent) . "5 6 The Boston Globe analyzed 764.065 traffic tickets from the period April 2001 to November 2002 and found that Black people and Latinos are ticketed at a rate twice that of their portion of the Massachusetts population. And once 85

ticketed, Black people are 50 percent more likely than White people to have their cars searched.'; Likewise, the LAPD's statistics from July to November 2002 show that Black motorists were stopped at rates far outstripping their portion of the local population: 18 percent of the drivers pulled over were Black, while Black people make up only 10.9 percent of the city's populace. Of those pulled over, Black people and Latinos were significantly more likely to be removed from the car than were White drivers: 22 percent of Black peo­ ple and 22 percent of Latinos were removed from the vehicle, as opposed to 7 percent of White people. And once out of their cars, Black people and Latinos were more likely to be searched: 85 percent of Black people and 84 percent of Latinos were searched, as compared to 71 percent of White people.'s The studies show another thing as well: race is useless as an indicator of criminality. In Maryland, where 70 percent of those searched were Black, the rate at which searches produced evidence of a crime was about the same for Black people as for White people-28.4 percent and 28.8 percent, respec­ tively.59 While Black people and Latinos accounted for 78 percent of those searched at the south end of the New Jersey Turnpike during the year 2000, evidence was more reliably found by searching White people: 25 percent of White people searched had contraband, as compared to 13 percent of Black people and 5 percent of Latinos.('(} According the 1998 North Carolina study, 26 percent of those Black people searched, and 33 percent of the White people searched, were found to possess contraband.'" In Massachusetts, 16 percent of White people searched were found to possess drugs, as compared to 12 percent of Black people and 10 percent of Latinos.62 The evidence absolutely contradicts the idea that racial profiling is use­ ful in getting drugs, or guns, or criminals, off the streets. If we insist on viewing the police as crime-fighters, profiling can only be seen as a mistake, a persistent Jisaslel. Bul if we suspend or surrender thIS noble view of police work, and look instead at the actual consequences of what the cops do, profil­ ing makes a certain kind of sense; it follows a sinister logic. Racial profiling is not about crime at all; it's about controlling people of color. CON S EQUENC E S OF PROFILING

On February 4, 1999, Amadou Diallo, a twenty-two-year-old West African immi­ grant, was killed by New York City police officers while standing in front of his own home. The four cops-Sean Carrol, Edward McMellon, Kenneth Boss, and Richard Murphy-fired a total of forty-one shots. Nineteen hit him. Diallo was unarmed, and had committed no crime.('] He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Black. Stephen Worth, a lawyer for the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, explained the shooting: "He is acting strange, he fits the rapist's description in a generic way . . . The reason they are shooting him is they think he has a gun."64 Worth refused to elaborate on Diallo's "strange" behavior, the "description" he matched, or why the police would think he was armed. But witnesses later helped to fit the shooting into a broader pattern; they told the Village Voice that earlier in the evening the same officers--members of the elite Street Crimes Unit-were stop­ ping and searching numerous Black men, seemingly at random. Such behavior .


fits the unit's established modus operandi. In

1997 and 1998 the Street Crimes

Unit stopped and searched 45,000 men, mostly Black people and Latinos; it made

9,000 arrests.65 Eric Adams, a police lieutenant and the head of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, remarked: '''This is the unit that's been given carte blanche to do as it will to the people of the City of New York, especially the African American community."G6 Amadou Diallo was not a criminal. He was not, in any real sense, a suspect. He matched a "generic" description. He fit the profile. He was a young Black man, and that was enough. He became, quite literally, a target. The police

... . ;l

gunned him down as he stood in his doorway. They fired forty-one shots. Diallo's shooting represents only one cost of racial profiling-the losses calculated in terms of bodies, bulletholes, scars, and stitches. But there are other victims, other costs, counted in years, marked off in cell blocks, ringed with razor wire. Race-based policing contributes to the overrepresentation of minorities (especially Black people) in the criminal justice system. According

1997 Justice Department report, "lifetime Likelihood of Going to State or 16.2 percent of Black people and 9.4 percent of Latinos will be imprisoned during their lifetime, as compared to 5.1 percent of the total population and 2.5 percent of White people. The figures focusing exclusively

to a

Federal Prison,"

on men are even more startling: an individual Black man has a greater than

(28.5 percent) , as (16 percent) , and one-in-twenty-three for

one-in-four chance of being imprisoned during his lifetime compared to one-in-six for Latino men

Fig. C. Percentage of U. S. males likely to ever go to prison, based on constant 1 9 9 1 rates of first incarceration, b y age, race, and Hispanic origin Cumulative percentage of males incarcerated �_---- 2 8 .5%



----- 1 6 . 0%

_ �_


--------- 9 .0%

_ _ �

--------- 4.4% ------

__ �

0% I 13

I 20

I 30

I 40

I 50

I 60

I 70

I 80

Age atfirst admission S01lrce: Bon::.car and Beck. "Lifetime Likelihood. "

White men (4.4 percent) .67 When the statistics reflect recidivism rates, the disparity grows: "Among non-Hispanic men, blacks are 6.5 times more likely than whites to serve some time in prison during their life, but

8.7 times more 87

likely to be in prison OIl any one day. . . . "6H These numbers may give some indication as to why racial profiling per­ sists despite its demonstrable failure as a tool for stopping crime: police and prisons have replaced patrols and plantations as the means by which White society maintains its control over Black people.60 C R I M E AND CONTROL

The racial politics of police suspicion are well illustrated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation's "Operation Ready-Rock." In November 1990, forty-five state cops, including canine units and the paramilitary Special Response Team, laid siege to the 100 block of Graham Street, in a Black neighhorhood of Chapel Hill. Searching for crack cocaine, the cops sealed off the streets, patrolled with dogs, and ransacked a neighborhood pool hall. In terms of crime control, the mission was a flop. Although nearly 100 people were detained and searched, only thirteen were arrested, and none ofthose convicted. Nevertheless, and despite a successful class action lawsuit. the cops defended their perfor­ mance and no officers were disciplined for their role. " When applying for a warrant to search every person and vehicle on the block, the police had assured the judge, "there are no 'innocent' people at this place . . . . Only drug sellers and drug buyers are on the described prem­ ises."?l But once the clamp-down was underway, they became more discrimi­ nating: Black people were detained and searched, sometimes at gunpoint, while White people were permitted to leave the cordoned area.-2 The Chapel Hill episode followed a pattern familiar from the Los Angeles Police Department's racially coded anti-gang efforts, which were at their peak just a couple of years before. In February and March 1988, the LAPD targeted so-called drug- areas for SWf'f'pS involving hetween '200 and 300 officers. During the nine raids carried out in these eight weeks, they arrested 1,500 people, impounded 500 cars, and interrogated hundreds of suspected gang members.73 The next month, in April 1988, LA Police Chief Daryl Gates announced the beginning of "Operation Hammer," concentrating similar actions in ten square miles of the South Central area. Over the next several weeks, the police made 1,453 arrests, mostly for violations of curfew, disorderly conduct, and other minor offenses. Of those arrested, only thirty-two were charged with felonies and 1 ,350 (90 percent) were released without any charges at all. Hundreds of other Black youths were not arrested, but were stopped, identified, and had their names entered into a computerized gang register. About half of those with gang files were later shown not to be gang members. Sociologist Randall Sheldon concluded, 'The overall purpose was merely social control (of African American youth) rather than a serious attempt at reducing crime."74 Around the time Operation Hamme r reached its zenith, in August 1988, the IAPD raided a number of apartments at 39th Street and Dalton Avenue. In the process, they assaulted residents and used sledgehammers and axes to destroy walls, furniture, and appliances?' Southwest Division Captain Thomas Elfont ordered officers to "level" the targeted building and "make [it] uninhabit­ able." Sergeant Charles Spicer underscored these orders at the scene, telling the officers, 'This is a Class-A search-that means carpets up, drywall down."76 88

Police investigators later documented 127 separate acts of police ''vandalism,'' and the city paid over $ 3.4 million in subsequent lawsuits. Three cops, including a captain, were charged with vandalism and acquitted; another pled no contest. Of the eighty-eight cops involved, twenty-four were promoted to supervisory positions within three years.-7 The Christopher Commission faulted this approach for creating a schism between the police and the community: Because of the concentration and visibility of gangs and street drug activi­ ties and higher rates of violent and property crime in Los Angeles' minority communities, the Department's aggressive style-its self-described "war on crime"-in some cases seems to become an attack on these communi­ ties at large. The communities , and all within them, become painted with the brush of latent criminality.78

The Christopher Commission assumed that it is the war on crime that moti­ vates the police to target minority communities. But this relationship might well be reversed: racism propels the war on crime, with race-neutral rhetoric as a fig-leaf of justification. Imagine for a moment that certain crimes were demonstrated to be committed by White people far out of proportion with their percentage of the population. No one in the White community would stand for the generalized suspicion and heightened levels of police contact that should follow from this fact according to the logic of profiling. In fact, we needn't invent hypothetical scenarios to test this claim: Although whites are a disproportionate percentage of all drunk drivers, for example, and although drunk driving contributes to the deaths of more than 10,000 people each year, none of the defendants of anti-black or brown profiling suggests that drunk driving roadblocks be set up in white suburbs where the "hit rates" for catching violators would be highestJ9

This simple observation is masked by the fact that White people are both the dominant group and, in the country as a whole, the current numerical major­ ity. One might suggest that there are just too many White people for a useful pro­ file to be based on such a broad category. But note that this objection assumes a level of individualization among White people that the practice of profiling denies in regard to people of color.8o The rationale behind profiling relies on the racist judgment that White skin is the "norm" and that a profile must-to be effective, or justifiable-be based on some "deviance."81 I argued in the preceding chapter that profiling is a central aspect of mod­ ern policing. Bayley and Mendelsohn reason along similar lines, noting that police work largely consists of looking for things that seem out of place. The fact that policemen are alert for incongruity probably does militate against minority persons . . . . Living in a middle-class society dominated by whites , Negroes especially, and the poor as well, are likely to appear "out of place" more often than others. They not only are more "visible" to policemen by virtue of their expected association with crime, but they have more opportunity to be "visible."s2

This approach to policing not only identifies certain groups as the objects of official 89

control, but also lirllits the mobility of people of color, and thus limits their access to many resources and opportunities otherwise widely available. That is, racial profiling reinforces existing patterns of segregation.83 Harris notes:

Racial profiling has behavioral as well as emotional costs. It may cause many people of color to plan their driving and travel routes in certain ways, to take (or not take) particular jobs, even to wear clothing and behave in ways that minimize their potential to attract police attention. They may simply stay out of places and neighborhoods where they will "stand out"-where police may feel they don't "belong". . . . Some even feel compelled to change the details of their personal behavior or appearance. They wear their suits, ties, and clerical collars as a kind of sartorial armor, or remove things they would normally wear.84 Where the demands of the economy conflict with those of segregation, the enforcement of White supremacy may take a different, but familiar, form. In the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel, for example, a communications company relies largely on Black workers from outside the immediate area. After an embar­ rassing lawsuit, the police department issued the workers special tags for their vehicles. These would signal to the police that they should be allowed to travel through the area. Harris compares this with the pass system in apartheid-era South Africa.H' But closer analogies are available: passes, as we've seen, were a major feature of the slave system, were then applied to free Black people, and survived Emancipation as a means of limiting the mobility of Black people. Race-based policing, and especially the fear of B1ack criminality, has a more subtle function as well-maintaining the ideological basis of White unity and indirectly controlling the political allegiances of White people. While people of color are the targets of racial profiling, there are actually two audiences for such pollce activity. Profiling serves to humiliate and threaten those who are targeted; even when it does not lead to criminal

sanctioning, it serves as a not-ver y-subtle reminder of their "place." And it helps to align White people "vith thc power structure by convincing them that the state protects them from purportedly criminal people of color.86 I have argued that racial profiling has more to do with maintaining White supremacy than with fighting crime. On the one hand, profiling is over­ inclusive; a great many innocent people are treated with suspicion for no reason besides their race. On the other hand, White people are, somehow, exempt from the statistical reasoning used to justify profiling. With this in mind, it is worth considering the status of crimes associated with dominant groups. Rather than producing profiles and leading to concentrated enforce­ ment, these crimes are downplayed , legitimized , treated leniently, or even decriminalized.s7 Thus, the possession of crack cocaine is punished much more harshly than that of powder cocaine.

People convicted of possessing five grams of crack get a minimum prison term of five years. It takes 500 grams of powder to draw the same sentence. Those serving time for crack tend to be disproportionately black. . . . Powder is more in use among whites. RR


And let's not forget the enormous range of corporate crimes that are e ssen­ tially handled as violations of administrative rules or as civil matters rather than as criminal conspiracies.89 If the social control function operates as this argument suggests, it follows the same pattern as nineteenth-century public order arrests, and may be pre­ sumed to fulfill a similar function.9o WHITE LAWS, WHITE P OWER

Laws have been passed, and interpreted, and enforced in ways designed to maxi­ mize the control White people exercise over people of color. But they have also been broken, and ignored, and underenforced with the same aim in mind. When the demands of White supremacy and the requirements of the law have conflicted, the maintenance of White supremacy has almost always appeared higher on the police agenda. Police illegality and complicity in White terror continue in an unbroken sequence from Reconstruction to today. In the early twentieth century, police re-established their ties to the newly reconstituted Klan. During the 1920s, Klansmen were enlisted to aid the authorities in their fight against the evils of alcohol and Communism. In 1930, John G. Murphy, a member of the Alabama Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, testi­ fied before the House Special Committee to Investigate Communist Activities (also called the Fish Committee) that the Klan helped the Birmingham police and the FBI keep track of Communists by following Communist Party orga­ nizers, identifying people at their meetings, and so on.91 In other places, whole Klaverns were deputized for Prohibition raids, and many cops signed up in the "Invisible Empire."92 The extent ofjoint membership was often startling. In 1922, when Los Angeles District Attorney Thomas Lee Woolwine raided area Klan headquarters and seized their records, he discovered that Los Angeles Chief of Police Louis D. Oaks, Sheriff William 1. Trager, and U.S. Attorney Joseph Burke were all con­ nected to the Klan. The police chief and police judge in nearby Bakersfield were both members, as were seven Fresno officers, twenty-five cops in San Francisco, and about a tenth of the public officials and police in the rest of California's cities.93 Further north, in Portland, Oregon, the connection between the police and the Klan was public knowledge. In 1923, the Portland Telegram reported that the police bureau was "full to the brink with Klansmen." )! At times, this relation­ ship was officially sanctioned, as when the police bureau deputized one hundred Klansmen specially selected by Grand Dragon Fred Gifford, designating them "Portland Police Vigilantes." Of course, Klan membership was not limited to policemen. The Portland-based Klan No. 1 boasted 15,000 members. and on March 3, 1923, it hosted a banquet featuring Governor Walter Pierce and Mayor George L. Baker.95 When the Klan was at the peak of its power in Colorado, it counted among its members many prominent businessmen, state representatives and senators, the Colorado secretary of state, four judges, two federal narcotics agents, and scores of police. In Denver, the mayor, city attorney, manager of public safety, two deputy sheriffs, the chief of police, and a police inspector were all Klan 91

members.')(' Fortner mayor George D . Begole claimed that the Klan controlled the civil service commission, fire department, and police.')l During the 1930s, about 100 Michigan cops-including the chief of police in Pontiac-joined either the Klan or its successor organization, the Black Legion. The Black Legion, in addition to attacking racial minorities, embarked on a delib­ erate campaign targeting the left; they beat and sometimes murdered suspected radicals, bombed their offices, and burned their homes.'JH An investigation in New York found 407 cops belonging to the pro-fascist Christian FronC)') In his memoirs, Atlanta Police Chief Herbert Jenkins described the Klan's influence in Southern police departments: In the thirties in Atlanta and throughout the South it was helpful to join the Ku Klux Klan to be an accepted member of the force. This was your ID card, the badge of honor with the in group, and it was unfortunately often an allegiance stronger than the policeman's oath to society. Not every member of the Atlanta force belonged to the Klan but those who did not had very little authority or influence. The Klan was powerful in that it worked behind the scenes with certain members of the Police Committee and the City Council. A well-liked and respected member of the department who was not a Klan member could still get promoted through the ranks if supported by the Klan. But as he owed his rank to the Klan he could never defy them for fear of his job-and his life . The Klan was like a kind of Mafia in dirty sheets. IOU

Also during the early part of the twentieth century, the police again played a significant role in the nation's numerous race riots. Starting the century out badly, on August 15, 1900, a fight between Black people and New York City police escalated into a riot, with Irish mobs in the streets attacking Black passers-by. Police refused to protect Black citizens, and in many cases joined in on the attacks. Despite cullsiuerable eviuence, the police commISSIOners refused to discipline their officers, noting that Black witnesses "displayed a strong and bitter feeling while under examination."IOI The police took a more activp role !.n t.he Detroit riot of 1913. The disorder began on June 20, with a short-lived skirmish between Black and White patrons at the Belle Isle amusement park. More of a brawl than a riot (really, more of a fight than a brawl) , the initial conflict was over nearly as soon as it began. The police interposed, arresting several Black people and sending the rest away. But a rumor spread that a Black man had raped a White woman during the encoun­ ter, and soon White mobs were attacking Black patrons at the Roxy theater. The disorder soon spread throughout the (White) Woodward neighborhood, and crowds beat, stabbed, and shot Black people, and stoned their cars. Around the same time, a rumor spread through the Black neighborhoods of Hastings and Adams that White sailors had thrown a Black woman and her baby into a lake at Bell Isle. Black people began attacking White people in the area and breaking the windows in White-owned businesses. 102 The police attacked Black crowds with clubs and, where looting was most prevalent, shot at anyone inside the stores. Black bystanders were ordered to "run and not look back;" many were shot as they did. Police also used hit-and­ run tactics against small groups of Black people quite removed from the riot 92

area: they would pull up in a squad car near a group of Black people; several offi­ cers would then jump out, beat them, get back in the car, and drive away. 1 03 That night, a cop was shot in a vacant lot near Vernor Highway; he returned fire and the assailant was killed. Nevertheless, the police retaliated against the entire neighborhood. They laid siege to an apartment building at

290 East Vernor,

shining searchlights on the building and firing into it with revolvers, rifles, and machine guns. They eventually forced the residents out with tear gas and beat them as they fled. Then the apartments were ransacked, doors kicked in, locks broken, furniture overturned. Money, jewelry, and liquor were stolen. l 04 In an article titled '''The Gestapo in Detroit," NAACP attorney and later Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall reported, 'They used 'persuasion' rather than firm action with white rioters, while against Negroes they used the ultimate in force: night sticks, revolvers, riot guns, sub-machine guns, and deer guns." 1 05 He concluded: This record of the Detroit police demonstrates once more what all Negroes know only too well: that nearly all police departments limit their conception of checking racial disorders to surrounding, arresting, maltreating, and shooting Negroes. Little attempt is made to check the activities of whites. l OG

Of the thirty-four people killed, twenty-five were Black and nine were White; the police killed seventeen Black people and none who were White. I 0 7 Judge George Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, described the riot as "open warfare between the Detroit Negroes and the Detroit Police Department. " 1 08 B I R M I N G HA M : BULL C O N N O R AND T H E LAW

Shortly after World War II, resistance to White supremacy began to accumulate a critical mass. Nearly a century after the Civil War, Black people had had enough­ more than enough�f empty promises and the thin simulacrum of freedom that had been their lot since the end of slavery. Tired of being excluded and exploit­ ed, sick of segregation and second-class citizenship, they determined to-as James Forman put it-either "sit at the table," or "knock the fuckin' legs off' of it. 109 First in the South, but soon throughout the country, Black people were demanding their due of White society. And White people, as ever, were serious about not giving it to them. The police occupied their traditional place, standing :firmly in the way of African Americans' efforts to win their rights. The situation demanded nothing new of the police, though in times of crisis their function may have been a bit clearer than usual, as the rhetoric of legal impartiality slipped further and further away from them. Birmingham's police chief, Bull Connor, put it plainly: 'We don't give a damn about the law. Down here we make our own law." I 1 0 It was a startling

admission from a man sworn to uphold the law, but undoubtedly true. I I I

Connor and his police department epitomized a type of law enforcement char­ acteristic of the time, though sadly persisting to the present day. Most famously, in

1963, Birmingham became the shame of the nation when television footage

showed demonstrators with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference being beaten by Connor's officers, attacked with police dogs, and sprayed with fire hoses. 93



Reverend Fred ShuttleworUl had to be taken away in an ambulance. Connor expressed his disappointment "It should have been a hearse."1 1 2 Connor's disdain for Shuttleworth had a long history. In 1958, when the reverend's home had been bombed, Connor publicly accused Shuttleworth of doing it himself. I I .' The accusation, made without evidence, came in the midst of a bomb­ ing campaign commonly known to be the work of the Klan. Black homes and Jewish synagogues were attacked so often that one part of the city was nick­ named "Dynamite Hill." The fire department (which was also under Connor's control) generally let the buildings burn down entirely, and the police made no serious efforts to investigate the attacks. I " Connor preferred to blame civil rights workers for stirring up trouble. Connor expressed special animosity for "out-of-town meddlers" like the Freedom Riders-Black and White people traveling together to desegregate interstate bus lines. I I > In 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Freedom Rides canle through Birminghanl. Connor had the Riders arrested, drove them to the Tennessee line, and left them stranded on fue highway. I I (, When they returned, 011 Mother's Day 1961, fuey were beaten by a group of Klansmen while Connor watched from a nearby office building. I I � A" we shall see, fue Mother's Day incident illustrates not only the extent to which the police shared the aims of organi7..ed racist groups (I am tempted to say other organized racist groups) , but also actively cooperated with them. This con­ nection was not incidental. Nor was it an isolated occurrence. To understand saInt..... iliing of its depth, we should turn briefly to exanline the career of Gary Rowe. T H E STRANGE CAREER OF GARY ROWE

Gary Rowe was an FBI infiltrator in the Ku Klux Klan. working in that capac­ ity from 1959 to 1965 . 1 1 � Though n ot pPfson:llly "ympMhptic to the Klan, he had, by his own admission, "beaten people severely, had boarded buses and kicked people, had [gone] into restaurants and beaten them with blackjacks, chains, pistols." 1 l9 All this he did while on the FBI payroll. Rowe reported, sometimes in advance, about attacks on Black people at a county fair, at sit­ ins, and on Freedom Rides-including advanced warning about the Mother's Day attack of 1961 . When he asked why nothing was done to stop the assault, his FBI handler told him, ''Who the hell are we going to report to? . . 'The police department helped set [it] Up." 1 20 And indeed they had. In April 1961, Detective Sergeant Tom Cook, the com­ mander of the Birmingham Police Department red squad, provided the Klan with a list of civil rights groups, the locations of their meetings, and the names of their members; he went on to offer them full access to the red squad's files. As it happened, the man Cook passed the information to was Gary Rowe. Ironically, Cook told Rowe that the Eastview Klavern had been infiltrated by the feds, and promised to help them learn the identity of the snitch. 1 21 (Further irony: Rowe was actually a triple agent, assigned by the Klan to attend civil rights meetings and report back. He also gave these reports to the FBI.) 1 22 Together, Cook and Rowe organized a series of meetings between Birmingham Klan leader Hubert Pape, Imperial Wi7Ard Robert Shelton, Bull Connor, and them­ selves. At these meetings, they planned a response to the Freedom Rides. 94

The Klan would meet the bus at the terminal, and the police would wait at least fifteen minutes before arriving. 1 23 Connor recommended beating and stripping any Black people who entered the restroom. " [Make] them look like a bull­ dog got hold of them," he said. Cook added: "I don't give a damn if you beat them, bomb them, murder or kill them. I don't give a shit. 1 don't want them in Alabama when you're through with them. " 1 24 The plan went through as agreed. By the time the police showed up, the Freedom Riders had been beaten with iron bars, and most of the Klansmen had gone. Those remaining were sent away rather than being arrested. 125 Rowe had informed the FBI of the plan, and the FBI dutifully put it in their files, while allowing the Klan to move ahead. Rowe's handler claimed that there was nothing they could do, because of the involvement of the local police. But the FBI also played a further role in the Mother's Day attack: government docu­ ments released dUling a 1978 lawsuit revealed that the FBI had provided the Birmingham police with the details of the Freedom Riders' plan, knowing that the information would reach the Ku Klux Klan. 1 26 Thus the Birmingham police provided a conduit for information to pass between the FBI and the KKK, while maintaining the federal government's shield of plausible deniability. And Rowe, by monitoring Klan activity and reporting to the feds, served to confirm that the information they provided reached its intended audience. The FBI finally used Rowe against the Klan in 1965, after the murder of Viola Uuzzo. Rowe and three others shot Uuzzo as she drove demonstrators back to Selma after a march to Montgomery. 1 27 Leroy Moton, who was travel­ ing with Uuzzo, described the shooting: I looked at my watch. It was like eight o'clock, and 1 reached over for the radio and that's when I felt this glass and everything hit me in the face , and the car goin' off the road. Mrs. Liuzzo, last thing she said was, " I was just thinkin' o f this song, 'Before I'll be a slave, I'll be buried in my grave.'" By the time she got "grave" out, that's when she was shot. That's when the glass started hittin' me in the face. We ran into an embankment, a ditch, came out of it, and ran into a fence. And I reached over and called her, shook her. She didn't say anything. That's when I turned the motor off and the lights. This other car came back, stopped, and I looked over my left shoulder and I seen it, and I saw the door open and I passed out for about a half hour. I understand they thought I was dead, too. Because the blood was on my face from the glass hittin' me. They figured I was dead . Only the good Lord saved me. m

The FBI had seventy agents in the area at the time of the attack, but made no move to prevent the violence. 1 29 Worse, the police may have had a role in mark­ ing Uuzzo as a target: at a press conference after the murder, a Klan spokesman cited details of her life drawn from the files of the Detroit Police Department's Special Investigations Bureau. 1 30 The Klansmen were eventually arrested for murder, and acquitted. The Justice Department then prosecuted them for civil rights violations. Based on Rowe's testi­ mony, they were convicted and sentenced to the maximum of ten years. 1 3 1 A Senate Committee later summed up his career:


Rowe provided the FBI with a great deal of information on planned and actual violence by the Klan throughout his years as an informant. . . . Only rarely, however, did Rowe's information lead to the prevention of violence or arrests of Klan members. There were several reasons for this, includ­ ing the difficulty of relying on local police to enforce the law against the Klan in the early 1960s, the failure of the Federal Government to initially mobilize its own resources, and the role of the FBI as an investigative rather than police organization. 1. l 2

1be "investigative" rather than "police" mission of the FBI was a political fiction popu­ lar at the time, providing a technical excuse for federal inaction. Actually, Section 3052, Title 18 of the U.S. Administrative Code empowered the FBI to make arrests without warrants ''for any offense against the

Unitffi States committed in their presence."u,

The availability of Federal Marshals for law enforcement purposes also remained conveniently forgotten. U4 Whatever Rowe's own intentions, the inaction of his supe­ riors was certainly culpable, and their explanations disingenuous. " " MISSISSIPPI: FOR UNDERNEATH HER BORDERS THE DEVIL DRAWS NO LINE m

Even where White violence was at its most extreme, even where Black people were most oppressed, the federal government was loath to act Its position, for most of a century, had been that Black people were on their own; or, put differently, that local officials were free to treat them in whatever way they saw fit When the federal government was moved to act, it was usually because some particular atrocity created a national uproar. One such event was the

1964 disappearance of

three civil rights workers in the Mississippi back country. On June 21, 1964, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman traveled to Philadelphia, Mississippi, to investigate a fire at a Black church. They never returned. This was just one of many instances of violence and intimirl
During the time they were looking for the bodies of Chaney, Schwerner, and Goodman, they found other bodies throughout the state. They found torsos in the Mississippi River, they found people who were burned, they even found a few bodies of people on the side of the roads. As soon as it was determined that these bodies were not the three missing workers, or one of the three, these deaths were forgotten. That's what we were talking about 96

in terms of what the Freedom Summer was all about, in terms of why it was necessary to bring that attention there. Because people forget, and if it had just been blacks there, they would have forgotten again. It would just have been three black people missing. J37

Following the disappearances, COFO collected 257 affidavits for use in a law­ suit against Neshoba County Sheriff Lawrence Rainey, among others. Fifty-seven of these were selected as typical and printed as the Mississippi Black Paper. 1 38 The lawsuit, Council ofFederated Organizations et at. v. LA. Rainey et al. , was filed on July 19, 1964. It alleged: Murders, bombings, burnings, beatings, terrorization and intimidation con­ tinue throughout the state at a steadily increasing tempo without any attempts by state or local authorities to prevent them. In many instances, the police themselves were-and are-directly involved or [have] tacitly or openly encouraged-and encourage-the form of brutalization being employed.

As documentation, COFO provided: Approximately 90 affidavits as to illegal acts of Mississippi law enforcement officers against civil rights workers and the Negro citizens of Mississippi, including physical violence, intimidation, harassments, unprovoked arrests, and prolonged unjustified incarceration which are daily continuing. . . . Approximately 35 affidavits as to the failure of Mississippi law enforcement officers to take any or adequate steps to safeguard civil rights workers and Negro citizens against physical violence and property destruction although fully warned in advance of the possibility of their occurrence, all of which is daily continuing.. . . Approximately 35 affidavits as to the failure of the law enforcement officers of Mississippi to prosecute known perpetrators of vio­ lence, destruction and terrorism against the persons and property of civil rights workers and Negro citizens, all of which is daily continuing.B9

The Black Paper makes for disturbing reading. At times, it is distinctly reminis­ cent of the statements former slaves made about the patrols. One young woman testifies: On February 6, 1962, when I was 19, I was walking with a young man down a Clarksdale street when Clarksdale police officers and stopped us and accused me of having been involved in a theft. I was taken to jail by the officers and they forced me to unclothe and lie on my back. One of the officers beat me between my legs with a belt. A few min­ utes later, the other officer began to beat me across my naked breasts.14 0 _____

The range of abuses described is astonishing, sometimes within even a sin­ gle deposition. Douglas MacArthur Cotton, for example, tells of being followed by the McComb police as he canvassed for a mock election: "Police followed me wherever I went, stood beside me on the front porch of people, photographing them and taking their names while I was talking to them." 1 4 1 More terrifying, he also attests to the abuse of prisoners: "On approximately July 20, Willie Carnell was hung by his hands to the cell bars for 30 hours. Guards accused him of 'sing­ ing."' 1 42 These documents help to situate Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney's disappearance-their murder-within a broader pattern of ongoing violence. In her deposition Rita Schwerner, the wife of one of the missing men, tells 97

of the numerous threats Uley received, and the constant harassment by police officers. She remembers one occasion, when her husband went to bail out picketers who had been arrested. The desk sergeant told him: "If you get any more of these damn kids arrested, Schwerner, I'm going to get you, and that's a promise."I" 1 Such threats were not made, or taken, lightly. Someone did "get" Michael Schwerner. And Andrew Goodman. And James Chaney. After a long investigation, the FBI found an informant who was willing to talk. He led them to an earthen dam where the three men were buried and told investigators what happened on the night they disappeared: Deputy Cecil Price arrested Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney. He released them in the middle of the night, and then pulled them over again. This time, Price put them in his car and drove them to a deserted area, where Klansmen shot and killed them. l1i Nineteen men were charged with conspiracy to deplive the activists of their civil rights. Among them were Sheriff Rainey, Deputy Price, and a Philadelphia, Mississippi, police officer. I '" The participation o f a law officer was evidently considered vital t o the conspiracy. Not only would the civil rights workers be more likely to stop for a marked police car, southern lynch mobs had traditionally had their victims handed over to them by the police. a convenience that lent the proceeding a shade of social legitimacy. 14(.

In October 1967, a jury of White Mississippians convicted Price and six Klansmen. 1 ;' 7 Price was sentenced to six years, and served four. 1 4H Rainey, who was not part of the original conspiracy but aided in the cover­ up. was acquitted. But he was removed from his position as sheriff, and never regained the office. 149 Though Rainey retained his freedom and racist violence continued, the trial ended a terrible reign in Neshoba County. During his time in law enforcement, Rainev-who voiced open support for thp Klan1 SO-had bee!! involved in a great many beatings, arbitrary arrests, and incidents of harassment directed against Black people and civil rights workers. He had also been a party to at least two suspicious shootings, in addition to those of Chaney, Schwerner, and Goodman. In one case, he had-gun drawn-approached a Black couple sitting in a parked car, and ordered them out. When the man complied, Rainey shot and killed him. That was in October 1959; Rainey had been a Philadelphia, Mississippi, police officer. Shortly thereafter he became a Neshoba County sheriff's deputy, and was party to a second shooting. He and Sheriff Hop Barnett were transporting a handcuffed Black man to the state mental hospital when, they say, he reached for one of their guns. Barnett shot him, fatally. l 5l A torch had been passed, Barnett to Rainey, Rainey to Price. With Price in prison and Rainey disgraced, history granted us a moment of hope. But hope is not the same thing as justice. Three good men lay in their graves, needlessly, and others-unnamed, uncounted-continued to rot in riverbeds, ditches, and swamps. There would be more. Other, larger torches had been passed a cen­ tury before: from slave patrol to police, from slave patrol to Klan. These fires still burned, an unholy, fiery cross.



Violence continued elsewhere in the South, with police in the vanguard and the Klan in the wings. Unfortunately, Birmingham was only the most notorious example of police repression. Throughout the South, cops followed Bull Connor's example. Albert Truner described a march in Marion, Alabama, near Selma: As we went out of the church to begin the actual march-we got about half a block from the door-the sheriff and several troopers halted us. We were told that we was an unlawful assembly and that we had to disband the demonstration and go back to the church . We had planned already to have a prayer at that point. We had Reverend (James] Dobynes who got down to pray. And they took Reverend Dobynes, who was on h i s knees immediately behind me, and they just started beating him right there on the ground. That was probably the viciousest thing I have ever seen. They beat him, and they took him by his heels and drug him to jail. At that point, they had state troopers all over the city, and plain­ clothes people, a lot of citizens really was involved. They beat black people wherever they found them.\02

One man, Jimmy Lee Jackson, was severely beaten by state troopers and then shot at close range. He died, as a result, on February 26, 1965. 1 53 Jackson's death served to mobilize increasing numbers of people and inspired civil rights groups to escalate their actions. A march was planned in response to Jackson's murder-from Selma to Montgomery, on Sunday, March

7. Governor George Wallace prohibited the march, saying that it

would be impossible to protect the demonstrators. Ignoring or defying him, 600 people gathered in Brown's Chapel in Selma. As the crowd moved out of the church building and through the town, they were attacked by state police under the command of John Cloud, and by the deputies of Sheriff Jim Clark. The police used clubs, tear gas, cattle prods, horses, and dogs. Seventeen people were hospitalized as a result, including an eight-year-old. Forty oth­ ers were treated at Good Samaritan Hospital and released. 1 54 March 7, 1965, became known as "Bloody Sunday." The violence in Selma forced President ] ohnson's hand on the civil rights issue. On March 15, in a televised address to Congress, he announced that he would introduce voter registration legislation, underscoring his inten­ tions with the movement's slogan, ''We shall overcome." 1 55 Historian H oward Zinn explains the change in policy: "Selma became a national scandal, and an international embarrassment for the Johnson administration. " l % B u t the nation's sheriffs were not embarrassed by the violence; even less were they moved by Johnson's speech. Barely a year after he led the attack at Selma, they elected Sheriff Jim Clark to head their national association . 1 57 PAN T H E R S A N D P O L I C E

The country's sheriffs weren't the only ones unimpressed by LBJ's gesture. While the White establishment was wringing its hands over integration, voter registra­ tion, and the free speech rights of Black people, the civil rights movement was 99

transforming itself, redefining its goals to keep pace with its successes, rethink­ ing its tactics in light of its defeats. A new militancy emerged. The sweet tune of ''We shall overcome" gradu ally faded into the background, replaced by the more forceful cries of "Black Power!"-and, in Watts, "Burn, baby, burn!" I ," Emblematic of the new militancy, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense appeared in Oakland in 1966. Formed by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the Panthers offered a comprehensive ten-point program for addressing the injus­ tices facing the Black community. I " ) In keeping with the principles of their program, the Panthers provided free breakfasts for school children, ran free medical clinics, gave away shoes and clothing, and, most famously, organized armed patrols against police brutality. 1 60 The Panthers' politics were surely enough to raise the ire of White elites, and the sight of Black people with guns created something of a panic among government officials. The Panthers posed a challenge to White society and, in the form of the patrols, to the police in particular. Of course some response was expected, but the viciousness of the government attack was remarkable, even by the standards of the time. Harassment, arrests, and violence were constant threats. I (,J In 1969 alone, police raided Panther offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles (twice) , Chicago (three times) , Denver, Sacramento, and San Diego. In nearly every case, several Panthers were arrested. In at least two of the raids, office equipment and food (for distribution in the community) were destroyed . One Panther was killed in L.A., two in Chicago. By the end of the year, thirty Panthers were charged with capital offenses, forty faced life imprisonment, fifty-five faced sentences of up to thirty years, and another 155 were either in jail or in hiding. 1 62 Not all the attacks on Panthers involved raids, arrests, or gun battles. Driver" with Black PaIlther bumper stickers complained vf 1 uuLiue harass­ ment by the police. In 1969, a professor at California State College in Los Angeles decided to test their claims. He assembled a group of fifteen student volunteers-five Black, five White, five Mexican; three men and two women in each group-all with perfect driving records. They affixed to their vehicles orange and black bumper stickers featuring a picture of a panther and the words "Black Panthers." Within two hours one of the students had received a ticket for an "incorrect lane change. " On the fourth day of the experiment, one student was forced to quit because he had received three tickets and was in danger of losing his license. Three others reached the three-ticket limit within a week. After seventeen days, the $500 fund to pay for tickets hit zero, and the experiment officially ended. All the participants removed the stick­ ers from their cars. A total of thirty-three citations had been issued, with no variation according to race, sex, style of dress, or type of vehicle. Some of the cars were searched, and a White woman was questioned at length about her reasons for supporting "criminal activi ty. " 163 Police tactics were not limited to raids, arrests, and petty harassment. Disinformation, the use of informants to create rifts within the Party, and the promotion of violent rivalries between the Black Panthers and similar orga­ nizations also hampered the Panthers' efforts. This was, of course, precisely the 100

point. The Panthers personified everything that White society most feared­ Black people, armed and smart, militant, radical, and organized. In attacks on the Panthers, the racist undertones of police actions often came to the surface. In 1968, members of a New York police organization, the Law Enforcement Group, packed a courtroom where Panthers were being tried and beat Panther support­ ers with blackjacks in the hallway outside. I 64 1bey shouted slogans such as 'Win with Wallace!" and ''White Power!"I!,s SINCE THE S IXT I E S

While it's uncommon these days to hear police chiefs publicly sounding like Bull Connor, and while police departments have added increasing numbers of minorities to their ranks, the use of the police to control people of color and guard White supremacy continues in a refined form. Race-based tactics remain in prominent use, racist ideology still exercises a strong pull on individual offi­ cers, and racist organizing within law enforcement has entered a new phase. Michael Novick of People Against Racist Terror lists more than fifty incidents of police involvement in racist organizing between 1976 and 1994. His chronology represents occurrences across the country and describes the involvement of police, prison guards, and federal agents in building racist organizations, attack­ ing minorities, and ignoring (or engaging in) Klan-style terrorism.1(x; To give just a brief sample, from Novick's list and elsewhere: In 1978, the Klan publicly revealed its penetration ofpolice agencies in northern Mississippi. 1 67 In 1980, the San Diego Police Department assigned a reserve officer to infiltrate the Klan. Through him, the department provided funding, equipment, and other assistance to a petition drive to place noted White supremacist Tom Metzger on the ballot for Congress. 1 G8 In Chicago's 1983 mayoral race, members of "Police for Epton" sided with a White Republican against Black candidate Harold Washington. Police decorated their uniforms with plain white buttons, or buttons with a circle and slash around a picture of a watermelon. The media also uncov­ ered a plot to target Black neighborhoods for mass arrests on the eve of the election; the idea was subsequently abandoned.1 G9 A couple of years later, in 1985, Alex Young was fired from the Jefferson County, Kentucky, police force after passing data from police files to the KKK. Young had earlier founded the department's chapter of Confederate Officers Patriot Squad (COPS) . 170 In 1988, former Youngstown, Pennsylvania, police chief David Gardner was indicted for providing armed guards to pro­ tect a counterfeiting operation run by the White supremacist group Posse Comitatus. 171 Two White IAPD homicide detectives were reprimanded in 1989 for displaying the flag of apartheid South Africa on their squad car. I n Around the same time, two Black cops complained that Nazi and Klan lit­ erature was being circulated in the stationhouses. Soon thereafter, one of the whistle-blowers, Donald Jackson, was attacked by White Long Beach officers. They threw him through a plate-glass window. 173 In June 1991, Indianapolis police officer Wayne Sharpe shot and killed Edmund Powell, a Black man suspected of shoplifting. Sharpe claimed Powell attacked him with a nail-studded board, but witnesses said that Powell was lying on the ground when Sharpe shot him. It was soon learned that Sharpe had killed a 101




Black burglary suspect ten years before and had briefly been involved with the National Socialist White People's Party. Ajury awarded Powell's fanlily $456,000, but Sharpe was never disciplinedY4 In September of that same year, a class action suit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office cited 130 abuses occurring within 104 days, mostly against Black people and Latinos. The lawsuit covered 69 warrantless search­ es, 31 uses of excessive force, and 16 incidents described by attorney James Foster as "outright torture, meaning interrogations with stun guns, beating victims into unconsciousness, holding a gun in a victim's mouth and pulling the trigger on an empty chamber. . . . " Foster attributed much of the violence to a racist gang of deputies called the Vikings. 1 7) A simultaneous scandal affected the LAPD when a Klan group was found to be operating in the Foothill Division-home of the officers who beat Rodney King. 1 7(, The next year, as the Rodney King case went to trial, the Klan organized rallies in Simi Valley with the slogan "Support the Police." Neither the Simi Valley police chief nor the Ventura County sheriff ever repudiated this support, though they were called on to do so by members of the local community. 1 77 Also in the wake of the Rodney King beating, police officers-especially Black officers-who agreed to testify before the Christopher Commission found themselves ostracized and sometimes threatened by their colleagues. One Black cop, Garland Hardeman, discovered a chalk outline in front of his locker, marked to indicate two bullet wounds in the head . 1 78 After testifying before the Commission, another officer found a hangman's noose tied to his telephone. I ?<) Most recently, in March 2003, FBI Special AgentJoseph Thompson acknowl­ edged ties between police, the Klan, and-probably the largest Nazi organization in the country-the National Alliance. When Chester James Doles, the Georgia organizer for ilie National Alliance and a longtinle Klan member, was arrested on gun ('harges, Agent Thompson testified at his bail hearing: "Ml . Dules has a sup­ port network including law enforcement." Thompson explained that ilie involve­ ment of police ''vastly increase [s] the capacity of the network" because cops "can look the other way." 180 G R E E N S B O R O : DEATH AND T H E KLAN

Throughout ilie twentieth century, as overt racism grew ever less respectable, the long-established partnership between police and racist extremists was inten­ tionally obscured. When it was no longer possible to deputize entire Klaverns, or to brag of Klan support in political campaigns, the two types of organizations returned to something like their Reconstruction-era roles-the police defend­ ing White supremacy through overt and legalistic means, ilie Klan (and similar groups) pursuing the same ends through agitation and terrorism. The cop-Klan consensus persisted, but more quietly; joint action continued, but secretly. It was-and is-no less deadly. The events of November

3, 1979, proved that.

In Greensboro, North Carolina, on November 3, 1979, Klansmen and mem­ bers of the American Nazi Party (acting together as the United Racist Front) gunned down demonstrators assembled for a "Death to the Klan" rally organized by the Communist Workers Party. Five labor leaders and community organiz­ ers-Jim Waller, Sandi Smith, Bill Sampson, Cesar Cauce, and Mike Nathan102

were killed, and ten other people were wounded.181 At the time of the attack, the Greensboro Police Department tactical squad was, literally, outto lunch, and routine patrols were mysteriously absent 182 Afterward,

while slow to move against the Nazis, the police were quick to arrest eight anti­ Klan demonstrators, charging them with planning a riOt. 183 One of the Klansmen, Eddie Dawson, was a paid informant for the Greensboro FBI) .184 Dawson later stated that he

Police Department (and, previously, for the

was "in charge" of the attack. He recruited the Klansmen and arranged the meet­ ing with the Nazis. l s> But he had a great deal of assistance in planning the mas­ sacre. The police supplied him with a copy of the parade permit, which noted the starting place and route of the march. 1 8G And a BATF agent, Bernard Butkovich, also infiltrated the United Racist Front and provided them with guns.IS? Let me say that again dearly: an agent of the Greensboro Police Department assembled this band of assassins, drew up the plan, and saw the mission through to completion. Meanwhile, an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms provided them weapons. And both agencies stood aside while a blood­ bath ensued.lss The killers were tried twice-first for murder, then for civil rights violations. Both times they were acquitted by all-White juries, despite video evidence provid­ ed by local television stations . 18 9 Finally, in 1985, a lawsuit awarded three plaintiffs

$390,000. The jury found three Nazis, two Klansmen, a police informant, and two cops liable for the wrongful death of Michael Nathan, but-strangely-insisted that there had been no conspiracy. 1 90 W H I T E S H EE T S , BLUE UN I F O R M S

The police did not create the racism in American society. If anything, it's the other way around. But the police have, since their inception, enforced and defended the racist status quo-by controlling slaves, maintaining segregation, resisting civil rights efforts, and generally terrorizing the Black community and other people of color. This function has remained constant even when the laws have changed. That is, even when it has conflicted with their official duties, the police have acted as a repressive force against the interests of people of color. It will surely be objected that I have singled out the police unfairly. It will be pointed out-by critics at both ends of the political spectrum-that all of Southern society (perhaps, all of American society) has been implicated in racist violence. It is hardly surprising that policemen were also involved. Were my point simply that individual police officers were complicit, this complaint would be well grounded. But it overlooks two major features of my argument: first, that the involvement of the police is different than the involve­ ment of, say, dentists or auto mechanics; second, and more importantly, the cop-Klan connection is institutional, not merely individual. The participation of police officers in White supremacist organizations and racist violence is different than the involvement of other people because the police are often professionally as well as personally involved. They use their professional position to advance the aims of the group, they use their standing in the community to legitimize vigilante violence, and they are often considered 103

� �



attractive recruits for just these reasons. The same may be true of certain other occupational groups as well-journalists, clergy, politicians-but cops engage in these crimes when they have sworn to stop them. To underst£md this contradiction we must view it, not only in terms of personal prejudice and individual action, but as a sustained institutional relationship. Historically, the police and the Klan have operated as parallel and, in general, mutually reinforcing types of organizations. Cops (like other officials) have some­ times drawn on the political support of the Klan to buttress their own authority. Conversely, the police can offer some degree of validation to Klan activity by lend­ ing it their support, or less directly, by refusing to treat racist violence as crime. At times the police have supplied the institutional nucleus around which vigilante activity could orbit. The police, as an institution, have shared many of the aims, methods, "md val­ ues of Klan-type groups. During the Reconstruction period, for example, police authority and vigilante activity neatly paralleled one another. In part, the simi­ larities may be understood in terms of a family resemblance: both the police and their young cousins, the night-riders, were still chronologically very near to their common ancestor, the slave patrols. But more importantly, in the South during this period, the very basis and constitution of authority, and the nature of legality itself (as well as the particular laws) , were hotly contested. Local elites remained loyal to the vanquished Confederacy, mourned their lost cause, and held dear the values that had so long supported the racial and economic system of slavery, while the new status quo, amorphous and exhilarating, often relied for its pres­ ervation on the presence of federal troops. Under such conditions, it could be expected that the categories of legality and illegality, legitimate authority and illegitimate force, and order and disorder, would become confused. What is remarkable is the degree to which the resemblance between the police and the Kldll lIa::, ver:si:sLeu. It may LeD us a great deal about the real 1unc­ tion and fundamental character of the police that, after more than a century of institutional development, legalism, bureaucratization, professionalization-and more than one hundred yf'ars since the death of the Confederacy-they v,'Quld continue to behave like racist terrorists. The police have persisted in denying Black people the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution, have actively sought to frustrate their efforts to exercise such rights or become in a real sense full citizens, and have resorted to the most vicious, brutal, and often patently unlawful means to do so. These facts can leave no doubt as to the institution's priorities when the demands of White supremacy clash with those of the law. The police cannot be considered simply the custodians of the legal order, but must be seen as the guardians of the social order as well.191 That they defend it wearing blue uniforms rather than white sheets is a matter of only minor importance.





TI-IE GREENSBORO MASSACRE OF 1 979 REPRESENTED A RACIST ATTACK AGAINST people of color, but it also marked an attack on the rights of working people. The "Death to the Klan" rally was organized as part of an effort to end the harassment of poultry workers as they fought to form a union, and most of those kille d were union organizers.2 Such pairings of racist oppression and class exploitation have been the historical norm; slavery, for example, was a system of production as well as a system of race control. Though there are divergences between race and class, the means for control in each area have always been very closely linked. TIlls connection is perhaps never clearer than when racist means are used to suppress the resistance workers mount against capitalism-as in Greensboro, or, to take an earlier example, as in 1885, when Mayor Joseph Guillote of New Orleans responded to a levee workers' strike by ordering the police to arrest any Black man who "did not want to work"3 Control of the lower classes has been a function of policing at every point since the institution's birth, and has served as one of the major determinants of its development. In the South, the police first approached their modern form after a long process of experimentation and development in the official means of con­ trolling the slave population. This mandate was over-determined, required both by the demands of White supremacy and by the economic needs of the plantation system. The mechanisms developed to control slaves eventually expanded in 105

each direction, as slave patrols were charged additionally with regulating the behavior of free Black people and that of poor White people, especially indentured servants. As modern capitalism took shape, the new industrial working class posed new challenges to the social order, and the police institution evolved to meet them. like the slaves, these "dangerous classes" were marked as perma­ nent objects for police control, and their lives became increasingly regulated by specially designed laws, selective enforcement, and heightened scrutiny. T H E MAJE STIC EQUALITY OF T H E LAW

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets or steal bread . -Anatole France4

In 1876, the Report of the General Superintendent of Police in Chicago warned: 'There is in every large city, a dangerous class of idle, vicious persons, eager to band themselves together, for purposes subversive to the public peace and good government . . . " 1 The police, in Chicago and elsewhere, took as their main task the control of this dangerous class, especially when the poor "banded themselves together," but also (and more routinely) in the course of daily life. The police con­ centrated their enforcement activities in poor neighborhoods, armed with the tools of physical violence and a variety of laws prohibiting public order offenses, vice crimes, and a great deal of other activities associated with the working c1ass.6

It was a short step from selective enforcement to the criminalization of pov­ erty itself and of poor people as a group. While the wealthy were treated leniently by the courts, the poor were sometimes convicted where no crime was even alleged. (In 1839, Sarah Hays and Thomas Firth were jailed for the non-offense of kissing in public. The mayor admitted that there was no law prohibiting such behavior, but based on the reputation of the neighborhood where they were arrested, he ordered them jailed just the same.?) In short, the laws themselves targeted the poor, the courts issued harsher judgments against poor defendants, and tlle police treated puur people with intense suspicion. The instructions to the Philadelphia police explained: "As a general thing, any idle, able-bodied poor man has no right to complain if the eye of the police follows him wherever he roams or rests. His very idleness is an offense against all social laws."8 This tradition of class control continues today, in many forms, including urban "quality-of-life" and "zer�tolerance" policies, the war on drugs, and "gang suppression" efforts that seem aimed at disrupting the normal course of neigh­ borhood life.9 One of the clearest examples of class bias in law enforcement, in the nineteenth century and today, is the persecution of the homeless. Beginning in the 1870s, cities around the country began vigorously enforcing laws against "vagrancy," and mounted special efforts to limit the mobility of migrant workers (in the parlance of the day, "tramps'') . For nothing other than the crime of being poor, vagrants and tramps were forced out of town, subjected to violence, and

oftentimes imprisoned for as long as six months. 1 0 While contemporary laws are

careful to proscribe certain behavior (rather than poverty per se) , statutes pr� hibiting trespassing under bridges, sleeping on sidewalks, and panhandling clearly have the same effect as the vagrancy laws of the earlier period. 106

The practices surrounding the enforcement of these laws are often simply cruel, involving intimidation, violence, seizing (and never returning) identifica­ tion, and the destruction of personal possessions. In the fall of 1993, I was wit­ ness to an incident in which numerous police officers, all wearing latex gloves, moved methodically through Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., seizing the belongings of the people who lived in the park-sleeping bags, backpacks, piec­ es of tarpaulin. With the White House in the background, the police carried the items to a nearby garbage truck, where they were unceremoniously crushed. Similar incidents have been reported in Miami, where a court ruled the practice illegal, II and in Detroit, where social service providers blamed the crackdown on pressure from area businesses.1 2 I n these cases the police put their energies toward attacking, rather than protecting, some of society's most vulnerable members. This use of resources only makes sense when viewed in the context of vast disparities in wealth. The continual harassment of the destitute reinforces their low social standing, stigma­ tizes poverty, keeps the poor under the supervision and control of the criminal justice system, and-in all these ways-serves to preserve existing inequalities. Given this perspective, routine attacks against the poor seem ruthlessly rational, and the suppression of organized labor becomes altogether too predictable. STRI KEBREAKERS, PINKERTONS , AND POLI CE

The role of the police as union-busters and strikebreakers was an outgrowth of their position in the class structure and their function regulating the behavior of workers for the convenience of the new capitalist economy. After about 1880, whenever strikes were anticipated, the police made special preparations to con­ trol, and thereby defeat, the workers' efforts. Police were sometimes housed on company property for the duration of the conflict In addition to attacking picket­ lines and rallies, they increased patrols in working-class neighborhoods, stepped up enforcement of public order laws, and took pains to close the meeting halls and bars where strikers gathered. 1 3 Arbitrary arrests were common, and strik­ ers were sometimes held on minor charges (or without charges) until the strike was over. The police also intercepted union organizers and radicals traveling to areas affected by strikes; the unionists and "reds" were usually interrogated, sometimes with third-degree methods, and released at the town line with a stern warning to stay away.1 4 Writing i n 1 920, Raymond Fosdick described something o f the range of police tactics, and the uses to which they were put: The police are often used on behalf of employers as against employees in circumstances which do not justify their interference at all. This has been especially true in the handling of strikes. Lawful picketing has been bro­ ken up, the peaceful meetings of strikers have been brutally dispersed, their publicity has been suppressed, and infractions of ordinances which would have gone unnoticed had the violators been engaged in another cause, have been ruthlessly punished. Sometimes, too, arrests have been made on charges whose baselessness the police confidentially admit. "We lock them up for disorderly conduct," a chief of police told me when I asked him about his policy in regard to strikes and strikers. "Obstructing 107

the streets" is another elastic charge often used on such occasions. Some­ times the arbitrary conduct of the police passes belief. Newspapers favoring the strikers' cause have been confiscated and printing establishments closed on the supposition that they would "incite to riot." Meetings of workingmen have been prohibited or broken up on the theory that the men were planning a strike, and specific individuals have been denied the right to speak for the reason that they were "labor organizers." " I have this strike broken and I mean to keep it broken," a director of public safety told me, as if breaking strikes were one of the regular functions of the police. IS

Such coercive activity is now generally considered the exclusive domain of governments. but the use of violence to break strikes was at first the right and responsibility of private employers. In the period immediately following the Civil War, company guards were sometimes relied on to perform this function, while in other cases the company reimbursed the city government for expenses incurred during strikes. 1 (, Either way, capitalists facing unruly workers were caught between the desire to directly control strikebreaking activity, and the expense and difficulty of maintaining security forces at the necessary level. It was under these conditions that the Pinkerton Detective Agency grew to nation­ al prominence, achieving special notoriety for its use of an agent provocateur against the radical miner's organization, the Molly Maguires. 1 7 By the mid-1880s, the Pinkertons had become part of the standard response to labor trouble, and their dual roles as spies and leg-breakers were often sanctified by deputization into local police departments. l s In th e coal fields of Pennsylvania, recurring unrest led the coal companies to dispense with the Pinkerton middle-men and maintain an industry police of their own, the "Coal and Iron Police." For a fee of $1 per officer, the state conferred polkt> powpr" upon these company-controlled guards. 1 9 In 1915, the COllunission on Industrial Relations noted with disapproval that one of the greatest functions of the State, that of policing, [was] virtually turned over to the employers or arrogantly assumed by them . . [and by] .

criminals employed by detective agencies clothed, by the process of deputi­ zation, with arbitrary power and relieved of criminal liability for their acts.20

During the early-twentieth-century Progressive Era, such civic-minded concerns, matched with the employers' unwillingness to bear the full cost of strikebreaking, shifted responsibility for these duties to the public police. The creation of the state police illustrates this process clearly. After the 1902 Great Anthracite Strike, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed a body to investi­ gate the conflict and make recommendations concerning the unresolved disputes. The Anthracite Coal Strike Commission, as it was called, took this task a step further, recommending thoroughgoing changes in the policing of strikes. After quite a few damning words about the strikers,21 the commission concluded: "Peace and order . . . should be maintained at any cost, but should be maintained by regularly appointed and responsible officers . . . at the expense of the public."22 In May 1905, Pennsylvania governor Samuel Pennypacker signed into law an act creating a state police force?3 The Pennsylvania State Constabulary proved an effective force against strikes, since it recruited from across the state, thus minimizing the influence of any particu108

lar officer's ties to the local community.24 The Pennsylvania State Federation of Labor called for the organization's elimination and published a volume of evidence against the state police. Titled The American Cossack, the book collects witness statements,

newspaper accounts, legislative debate, and other materiaL A typical story


from S. P. Bridge of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, dated February 21, 1911:

Gentlemen: State Police came to New Alexandria July 3 1 , 1910, Sunday. The State Constabulary are of no use in this country to farmers or workingmen . They make all efforts t o oppress labor. Six of them were stationed at this town for a period of two months for the benefit of the coal company. Their duty was in and around the works. At the time they were here there was trouble between them and the miners. There was a camp located within two hundred feet of my house. There were three State Constabulary and two deputy sheriffs went into camp. They rode their horses over men, women, and children. They used their riot clubs freely on the miners without cause or provocatio n . O n e of t h e men had t o be sent t o the hospital, o n e received a bro­ ken arm, one woman was clubbed until she was laid up for two weeks . . . . They used their clubs on everyone that protested against their conduct and I was an eye-witness to the affair. There were no lives lost and no one hurt before their arrival. The majority of citizens are not in favor of the Constabulary. I cannot see that anyone but the coal company is benefited by the Constabulary. Yours truly, S. P. Bridge .2' Another statement is unusual only for its source. Hugh Kelley, the chief of police in South Bethlehem, wrote:

When the constabulary arrived here, February 26, 1910, neither the bur­ gess nor myself, as chief of police, were informed of their arrival. They were in charge of the sheriff. . . . They beat people standing peaceably on the street; men were arrested and taken to the plant of the Steel Com­ pany and there confined. They started out on our streets, beat down our people without any reason, whatever, and they shot down an innocent man, Joseph Zambo, who was not on the street, but was in the Majestic Hotel. One of the troop­ ers rode up on the pavement at the hotel door and fired two shots into the room, shooting one man in the mouth and another (Zambo) through the head . . . . There was no disturbance of any kind at this hotel, the Majestic was the headquarters of the leaders who were conducting the strike . . . . Troopers went into the houses of people without warrant and searched the inmates , drove people from their own doorsteps. They beat an old man, at least, sixty years of age. Struck him with a riot stick and left him in a very bad condition. This is only one of a dozen similar cases. 2 6 The law creating the Pennsylvania State Constabulary intended the new body "as far as possible, to take the place of the police now appointed at the request of various companies."27 It is hard to think of a more literal description of their role. Whereas strikers had previously had their heads cracked by guards in 109

private employ (or police leased to the company, which comes to the same thing) , they increasingly had the honor of having their heads cracked by impartial public servants, authorized by the government and funded by the tax. By investing this responsibility in the state itself, the ruling class made provision for the more regular and predictable service of its needs, with the costs shared-in a sense, socialized-and, for that matter, at least some portion of the costs borne by the workers themselves. lR Though Pennsylvania did not boast the first state police force, it did pioneer the current type. Earlier state forces were either military organizations, vice squads, or short-lived civil rights agencies"" But following the success of the Pennsylvania State Constabulary, the idea of a state police force took hold across the country. By 1919, of the six existing state police departments, all but one were modeled after Pennsylvania's. Ten years later, there were twenty-five such departments. And by 1940, every state had one.IO However, with or without a state police force, the independence of the police in relation to the larger companies was somewhat illusory. And in the 1920s, fol­ lowing the federally directed Red Scare, distinctions between union-busting and law enforcement practically dissolved. In Philadelphia, the police issued a proc­ lamation on March 21, 1921, that they would not interfere with union meetings "so long as the meeting is orderly and not of radical character, but all meetings of radical character will be prohibited or broken Up."ll The policy offered the police license to attack any union meeting, since it was assumed all labor organizing was Communist in nature. At times, anti-union campaigns drew on a practice familiar from the efforts to control African Anlelicans; police formed alliances with, actively cooperated with, and provided official cover for the activities of right-wing vigilante groups. In Los Angeles, for example, the police joined in a partnership with the American Legion, Jeput.izing lllembers uf its "law and order committee.·' The American Legton then commenced a series of raids against meetings of the Industrial Workers of the World (the IWW, or the "Wobblies") . In the first such raid, four Wobblies were hospitalized ,md five were arrested for "inciting a riot" A fev,' months later, in April 1921, the IWWs offices and meeting halls were again raided, its supporters arrested, and men, women, and children beaten with ax handles. 1nose identi­ fied as leaders were driven to the desert, beaten unconscious, and abandoned. Though many of the victims could identify their attackers, no charges were ever filed. The pattern continued for years. In June 1924, a vigilante mob, organized in part by the police, attacked the IWW hall with clubs and guns. '!bey destroyed the furniture in the building, beat many of the men and women present, tarred and feathered the leaders, and deliberately scalded several children with hot cof. fee.32 While the police ignored these offenses, and sometimes actively protected the perpetrators, they simultaneously engaged in aggressive enforcement prac­ tices against the unionists. Between 1919 and 1925 the lAPD arrested 504 union organizers; 124 were convicted for "criminal syndicalism," a charge designed to stifle union activity and specifically targeting the IWW33 So while actual union-busting activity remained a joint venture between pub­ lic and private forces, during the Progressive Era the authority to use or license violence slowly moved out of private hands, solidifying the state's theoretical 1 10

monopoly on it. Despite the continual re-configuration of the public/private split in terms of funding and control, the police mission during strikes remained basi­ cally the same: to defend the company's interests, to preserve the status quo. Where conflicts arise between workers and bosses, between the rights of one class and the interests of the other, the machinery of the law is typically used as a weapon against the poor. And where the law is contrary to the demands of powerful corporations, the police act not from principle or legal obligation, but according to the needs of the ruling class. This tendency shouldn't surprise us, if we remember the lengths to which the cops have gone in the defense of White supremacy, even as laws and policies have changed.34 With class, as with race, it is the status quo that the police act to preserve and the interests of the powerful that they seek to defend, not the rule of law or public safety. The law, in fact, has been a rather weak guide for those who are meant to enforce it. For example, the Interchurch World Movement's Commission of Inquiry reported that: During the [1919 Steel Strike] violations of personal rights and personal liberty were wholesale; men were arrested without warrants, imprisoned without charges, their homes invaded without legal process, magistrates' verdicts were rendered frankly on the basis of whether the striker would go back to work or not. 35

Thus, in a time of crisis, the pretense of law enforcement was given up in favor of naked repression and class warfare. 'Ibe police, the jails, and the courts acted to serve, not the law, but the interests of business. This tendency was occasionally tempered by the attitudes of other elites, or by those of the officers themselves. James Richardson notes that counter­ vailing forces within the community, or especially within the city government, did sometimes neutralize the police: In grappling with the dilemmas posed by community polarization , the police tended to follow the lines of power and influence . . . . If the authori­ ties favored the workers or were at least neutral, the police remained neutral. If on the other hand, political leaders and newspapers viewed the strikers as un-American radicals or a threat to the town's prosperity by making industry reluctant to locate there, then the police acted as agents of employers in their strikebreaking activities.36

Richardson's point is well taken, but it must be remembered that such neu­ trality must, in a class-based society, remain suspect. Bruce Smith, an early scholar of policing, makes the point clearly: The substitution of non-union labor for union labor is perfectly legal, and the police are bound to give protection against any and all interference with the right to work. The effective performance of this duty . . . frequently "breaks the strike," and the police, whether local or state, are charged with conduct­ ing a strike-breaking operation. At such times, evenhanded justice almost necessarily operates to the ultimate advantage of vested property rights.3?

Even where police do not deliberately side with the employers, class bias is nevertheless built into their role. An exhaustive recounting of labor battles, 111

police attacks on picket lines, and unlawful arrests cannot be supplied here, but two case studies may offer some sense of the usual police role. THE LAWRENCE TEXTILE STRlKE: BREAD AND ROSES, BAYONETS AND CLOTH

In 1912, Massachusetts law reduced the workweek for women and children, from fifty-six hours to fifty-four. The American Woolen Company complied with the letter of the law, if not the spirit; it reduced the workweek, but also made corresponding cuts in pay. In lawrence, Massachusetts, where depended on the earnings of the wage was

60,000 people 25,000 textile workers, and where the average

$8.76 per week, 25 cents more or less made an enormous difference 11, when the

in the workers' ability to feed their families:IH Thus, on January

workers received their paychecks and discovered the reduction, they walked out-fIrst at the Everett cotton mill, and the following day at the Washington mill. The Washington workers marched to the Wood mill, shut off the power, and called out the workers there. By that evening, 10,000 were on strike.l'> By the end of the month, the strike had spread to other industries, and

50,000 people (in a

town of 86,000) were striking. ill One picket sign expressed the workers' position clearly, capturing both the desperation of the moment and the hope for a better future: 'We want bread and roses too."' ! The repression of the strike was immediate and intense. Arbitrary arrests and summary judgments became the order of the day, and many strikers were sentenced to one-year prison terms without ever having the opportunity to put forth a defense.42 Leaders were marked for more serious charges, and extreme measures were taken to discredit the union. When dynamite was discovered in a cobbler's shop, police and press alike were quick to blame the strikers, though there was no evidence to support such a conclusion. The tactic backfired. First, a school board member. John C. Rrppn , W�� �rrp"tprl , tril"ct, cO!l.victed, a.'1 d fi.!1ed

$500 for planting the dynamite.43 Then, Ernest W Pitman, president of Pitman Construction Company, implicated himself and several other business leaders in a confession to the district attorney. Pitman revealed that the incident had been planned by one of the textile companies, leading to conspiracy charges against Fred E. Atteaux, the president of the Atteaux Supply Company, and William M. Wood, the president of the American Woolen Company.44 Regardless of the scandal, union leaders were generally blamed for any vio­ len�not only the violence of the strikers, but that used against them as well. On January 29, when striking workers attempted to block the mill gates, the police and the militia attacked, and a riot ensued. An Italian striker, Anna Lo Pizzo, was shot and killed. Witnesses identified the culprit as officer Oscar Bemoit, but two IWW leaders were arrested instead. Neither of the two men-Joseph Ettor and Arturo Giovannitti-had been present when the shooting occurred, but the complaint alleged that ''before said murder was committed, as aforesaid, Joseph ]. Ettor and Antonio [sic] Giovannitti did incite, procure, and counsel or command the said per­ son whose name is not known, as aforesaid, to commit the said murder. . . . "45 The police later named Joseph Caruso as an accomplice and "Salvatore Scuito" as the gunman, though no one of that name was ever located.46 Martial law was declared on January 30, the day after the shooting. Colonel E. leRoy Sweetser was given charge of twelve companies of infantry, two cavalry 112

troops, fifty cops from the Metropolitan Park Force, and twenty-two companies of militia. Citizens were forbidden to meet or talk in the streets, and Lo Pizzo's funeral was broken up by a cavalry charge. Mass arrests became common, and strikers were rousted from their homes and taken to jail. A Syrian striker, John Ramy, was stabbed with a bayonet and subsequently died. But the strike grew. The textile companies kept the looms running, but only as a kind of propaganda; they had no workers to operate them, and thus no product. Joseph Ettor com­ mented from jail: "Bayonets cannot weave cloth."48 On February 5, the Italian Socialist Federation proposed evacuating the strikers' children. Supplies could thus be saved and the children decently cared for by sympathetic families. In the three days following, they received 400 offers to take in the children. The Socialist Women's Committee and a committee of the IWW took applications and inspected the homes. On February 10, 1 19 chil­ dren were sent to New York under the supervision of four women, two of them nurses. A week later, 103 more were sent to New York, and thirty-five others to Barre, Vermont. This exodus was embarrassing for both the government and the mill owners, and on February 17, Colonel Sweetser announced that no more children would be allowed to leave.49 But if the socialist foster--care sys­ tem was embarrassing, the attempt to disrupt it was absolutely scandalous. On February 24, when forty children tried to leave for Philadelphia, they found the train station full of police. A member of the Women's Committee of Philadelphia later testified before a House committee about what happened next: When the time approached to depart, the children arranged in a long line, two by two, in orderly procession, with their parents near to hand, were about to make their way to the train when the police closed in on us with their clubs, beating right and left, with no thought of children , who were in the most desperate danger of being trampled to death. The mothers and children were thus hurled in a mass and bodily dragged to a mili­ tary truck, and even then clubbed, irrespective of the cries of the panic stricken women and children.50

No further effor t was made to interfere with the children, and on March 12, the American Woolen Company agreed to a new pay rate.l 1 The workers

voted to end the strike, but the struggle was not over. New slogans appeared: "Open the jail doors or we will close the mill gates."52 As the September 30 trial date for Ettor, Giovannitti, and Caruso approached, textile workers in Lawrence, Haverhill, Lowell, Lynn, and elsewhere threatened to strike if they were convicted. As a demonstration of their seriousness, 15,000 staged a one-day strike a few days before the trial was set to start. The police attacked the strikers, arresting fourteen, and almost 2,000 were fired and blacklisted. But the strikers had already seen worse, and knew something of their own strength. Amid threats of fur ther strikes, the mill owners were forced to back down, and after fifty-eight days of tria l all three defendants were acquitted. 53 THE


In 1934, the West Coast witnessed an extended, and at times bloody, conflict between dockworkers represented by the International Longshore Association

(IIA) and the 1 13

business interests represented by the Waterfront Employers Union and the Industtial Association. Principally, the conilict concerned the control of the longshore hiring hall and related issues of scheduling, seniority, and, of course, wages. The bosses pre­ ferred to arbitrate the dispute, and the union leadership was willing to compromise, but the workers had other ideas. A strike began on May 9 among longshore workers in San Francisco, and quickly spread to maritime and related industries, reaching up and down the coast. ,4

It stalled the economy of the entire country, but the center

of conilict remained in San Francisco, where it escalated through a series of bloody battles to become a general strike." Violence was a major feature of the San Francisco strike, a tool used by both sides. Strikers commonly beat up scabs, and sent "sanitary" or "clean-up" crews to patrol the waterfront with bats.'(' The bosses, however, mostly relied on the violence of the state, especially the police. This was a convenient relationship, as it legitimized anti-strike violence and shifted the target of public outrage away from the employers and onto the police. David Selvin emphasizes the point: [Tl he police even more than the strikebreakers became the strikers' chid antagonist. The role of the strikebreaker was soon stabilized and con­ tained, while police came to serve, day by day, as the employers' virt ual private assault force. When the clashes came, as they did, the police-not the strikebreakers-were pitted against the strikers.'�

The violence started early, and escalated throughout the strike. On the first day, the police dispersed 500 picketers with relative ease. By the end of the month, however, the pickets were fighting back, hurling bricks at the police. The cops then used clubs, gas, and eventually shotguns to break up groups of strikers.'H The most serious violence accompanied efforts to operate the docks, especially attempts to move goods to or from the ports.'') On July 3, 1934, the police created a conidor dovv11 King Street tv rier 3S, gucU JeJ uy


VUlice lille UII uue siJe anJ a row

of box cars on the other. As trucks approached, the police sought to break up the crowd of strike supporters. They attacked with clubs, tear gas, and gunfire, injuring many in the crowd as well as numerous hystanrlers.

(A stray bullet wounded a teller

in the nearby American Trust Company.) Soikers retaliated by throwing rocks, bricks, and tear gas containers back at the police. At least two strikers were shot, one killed, and eleven hospitalized; and nine cops were injured.',(1 The IIA issued a statement on the encounter: "Striking pickets were clubbed down and rode over by the police who a short time ago were supposed to be the friends of these same workers. The strike cannot and will not be settled by force."GI But force seemed to be the authorities' preferred means of convincing the work­ ers to return to their jobs. On July 5, the entire San Francisco Police Department was put on strike duty.(o2 The fighting was concentrated in the area surrounding Pier 38 and Rincon Hill. But the police also moved in on a crowd at Steuart and Mission, near the IIA hall. Suddenly a car carrying two police inspectors appeared in the intersection. The inspectors stepped out of the car, fired their pistols into the crowd, and then tIed as the crowd hurled rocks and bricks at them.63 Two men died in the attack-Howard S. Sperry, a longshoreman, and Nick Counderakis (aka, Nick Bordoise) , a Communist. A third man, Charles Olsen, was also shot, but survived.64 When the injured were taken to the IlA's clinic, the police fired into the building

1 14

and filled it with tear gas. As the unionists barricaded themselves in the hall, the telephone rang: "Are you willing to arbitrate now?""5 That evening 1,700 National Guard troops were deployed, armored cars patrolled the streets, and the Embarcadero, the street nearest the waterfront, was enclosed in barbed wire and guarded with machine guns. But the military fortifications fell short of their objective: the work remained undone. Two hundred :fifty ships sat idle along the coast Even when a military guard made it possible for scabs to unload and move cargo, it just sat in the warehouses, where Teamster truckers refused to touch it 66 As in Lawrence, the state was reminded of the practical limits of its reliance on force. By the end of the day, in addition to Sperry and Bordoise, one other worker had been killed, and at least 115 hospitalized.67 Thus July 5 came to be termed "Bloody Thursday." Strike leader Harry Bridges called it a "reign of terror." He said: "It was an attack by armed men against unarmed peaceful pickets. It was a massacre of workers by the shipowners through the police."68 The next day, the corner of Steuart and Mission was covered with flowers. Chalked on the street were the words: "'Iwo men killed here, murdered by police."69 One week later,

4,000 truck drivers walked out, marking the move toward a

general strike. 'Ibey were quickly joined by butchers, machinists, welders, laun­ dry workers, culinary workers, cleaners and dyers, and boilermakers: thirteen unions, representing

32,000 workers, joined the strike.7° The Teamsters picketed

the city's southern limits, guarding the only vehicular route to the city. There they turned back-and sometimes turned over-non-union trucks. A strike commit­ tee issued permits for hospital supplies, food, and other necessary services, but the city could not function as usual.71 Signs began appearing in shop windows: "Closed, Out of Supplies," "No Gas, Due to the Strike," "Closed for the duration," and "Closed till the boys win.''72 The next day the authorities declared an emergency. The police began stockpiling weapons, swore in 500 special officers, and created an "anti-radical and crime preven­ tion bureau."73 Eighteen hundred cops and 4,500 National Guard troops were now on strike duty, reinforced with machine guns, tanks, and artillery.74 Meanwhile, across the bay, 15,(XX) building-trades workers laid down their tools and walked offtheirjobs. They were joined by 'Z1,(J..JJ workers affiliated with the Central Labor Council."'

On July 17, the second day of the general strike, the police launched a

coordinated attack. That morning a group of uniformed officers and plainclothes detectives raided the Maritime Workers Industrial Union office, breaking down the door, destroying office equipment and furniture, smashing windows, seiz­ ing records, and arresting everyone present, often delivering a beating in the process. 'Ibis was the first of a daylong series of similar raids, not only in San Francisco, but throughout the state. Police, National Guard troops, and vigilantes attacked radical hangouts, strike kitchens, newspapers offices, and even a school. About 300 people were arrested.?(' Shortly thereafter, on July 20, the strike committee voted to end the General Strike, though the longshore and maritime workers continued striking on their own.'? The announcement was met with another wave of police raids and vigi­ lante attacks.78 Eleven days later, the last strikers returned to work. The strike had lasted eighty-two days and involved 30,000 dock workers. Seven were kille d,

1 15

hundreds were hospitalized, and thousands were treated at the ILA clinic. There were 938 arrests in San Francisco alone. ') In arbitration, the workers won a raise and a thirty-hour week, but were only granted partial control of the hiring hall-falling short of their most important demand.Ho The strike delivered real gains, but not the decisive victory the work­ ers wanted. In this case, they proved unwilling to accept even a partial defeat, and the class war shifted from a campaign of massive, often deadly, battles to one of quick, bloodless, guerrilla actions. Both the longshore and the ship workers immediately instigated a series of on-the-job actions against unfair and danger­ ous conditions.sl And, perhaps as importantly, they changed the face of their unions and the labor movement overall. Looking back on the strike a few years later, Thomas G. Plant told a conference of longshore employers: Most of us heaved a big sigh of relief, and felt that the old peace and order would soon be restored. But the old order had changed. The old union had said to us, "We believe our interests are common with yours; we will cooperate with you in every way. . . . " The new union was to say to us, "We believe in the class struggle, that there is nothing in common between our interests and yours, therefore, we will hamper you at every turn, and we will do everything we can to destroy your interests, believing that by doing so we can advance our own." K2


The role of the police in suppressing organized labor during the period before World War II is well documented and relatively uncontroversial. What is often overlooked, however, is their continuation in this role since that time. The police have undergone a great many changes in the half-century since World War II, but their vu::.iliuJl ill the class slructure and their roie in the class war have remamed very much the same. For example, sixty-five years after the San Francisco General Strike, on the oppo­ site side of the country, dockworkers were again facing a threat to their union-a recalcitrant company backed by the armed might of the state. In October 1999, Nordana line, a Danish shipping company, announced that it would end its contract with the ILA and started using non-union workers to unload its ships. Union members began picketing the port in Charleston, South Carolina, some­ times damaging equipment, blocking access to machinery, and intimidating non-union workers.Hl On January 20, 2000, the police intervened with a massive display of force. Six hundred officers from the State Law Enforcement Division, the State Highway Patrol, the Charleston County Sheriffs Office, and the police departments of Charleston, North Charleston, and Mount Pleasant assembled in riot gear at the port's gates, a helicopter buzzing overhead.s4 Just after mid­ night, about 200 workers marched from the union hall to the docks, chanting "ILA, ILA, IIA" As the workers tried to break through the police lines, the cops pushed them back with their shields. 'The fight escalated from there, with work­ ers throwing rocks and bottles, and the police using clubs, tear gas, and rubber bullets to drive the crowd back toward the union hall. At least ten workers-and probably many more--were injured, most of them African Americans.S5 1 16

Nine workers were arrested, charged with misdemeanor trespassing. Those charges were dismissed when the accused agreed to perform community ser­ vice, but South Carolina attorney general (and gubernatorial candidate) Charlie Condon filed felony riot charges against five of the workers-Kenneth Jefferson, Elijah Ford, Jr., Peter Edgerton, Ricky Simmons, and Peter Washington, Jr. Condon explained the importance of prosecution: "In South Carolina, a citizen's right not to join a union is absolute and will be fully protected." At the same time he announced "a comprehensive plan for dealing with union violence and attacks on police which involves jail, jail, and more jail."86 The state of South Carolina placed the Charleston Five under house arrest for more than a year while they awaited trial; if found guilty, the men faced five years in prison. But after a massive, international solidarity campaign-ranging from "Free the Charleston Five" posters in windows around town, to rallies at the statehouse, to threats to close ports around the world on the first day of the trial-Condon removed himself from the case.8? The new prosecutor down­ graded the charges to misdemeanors in exchange for "no contest" pleas; each of the five was sentenced to thirty days, or a fine (ranging from $ 100 to $309) . Nordana, in the meantime, returned to its agreement with the IIA8R This sort of intersection between race politics and class conflict is not unique to the South. On June 15, 1990, the Los Angeles police trapped and beat striking janitors as they marched through the Century City business district. The janitors, who were mostly Latino, were organized as part of the Service Employees national Union's "Justice for Janitors" campaign; they were demand­ ing that International Service Systems (ISS) recognize their union. As the march entered Century City, the 300 demonstrators found themselves surrounded by nearly 100 police. The cops blocked the exits and proceeded to arrest and beat them. Ninety people were injured, nineteen of them seriously. Workers reported broken bones, a concussion, and a miscarriage as a result Ironically, the vio­ lence brought more attention to the workers' cause than the march itself ever would have, and nine days later ISS recognized the union.89 Perhaps the clearest recent case of police-managed strikebreaking is that of the Detroit Newspaper Strike (and later, lockout) . In July 1995, when 2,600 employees of the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press went on strike, the newspapers (together, the Detroit News Agency) responded by hiring 2,000 private security guards supplied by Vance International, and by giving money to police in the suburb of Sterling Heights, where the papers' production plants are located. Police initially confiscated clubs and other weapons from Vance guards, but after the Detroit News Agency's first donation-a sum of $1 15,921-the cops' attitudes changed.90 Police ignored harassment and violence on the part of the guard8-€ven when several Vance agents beat a striker so severely they split his skull.91 But strike sympathizers were arrested for even minor infractions, such as blowing the horns of their cars to show support for the strike.92 The cops also perpetrated their own violence against the workers. Most noto­ riously, on August 19, 1995, a picketer named Frank Brabenec was beaten by the Sterling Heights police. A widely published photograph showed a uniformed officer dragging Brabenec along the ground while a plainclothes cop-later identified as Lieutenant Jack Severance-kicked him.'!l A couple 1 17

weeks later, on Saturday, September 2, the police attacked picketlines with pep­ per spray. The unions happened to be holding a rally nearby, and 4,000 sup­ porters rushed to the site of the conflict. The cops called for reinforcements from twenty-two police agencies, and a sixteen-hour stand-off ensued, during which time trucks could not enter or leave the plant. Two days later, on Labor Day, a smaller crowd fought with the security guards.94 Those first few weeks set the tone for the next five-and-a-half years, until December

2001, when the

unions finally gave in. Only a third of the striking workers were rehired-at lower wages, of course.9\ It is hard to know how much of the blame for this defeat really falls to the police, especially given the poor planning of the unions, media hostility, and court orders limiting the number of strikers on picketlines.'''> But it is easy to see what the cooperation of the police was worth to the Detroit News Agency. During the course of the strike, the company donated nearly a million dollars to the Sterling Heights police. Police violence escalated accordingly, and crowds took to chanting "Bought and paid for!" when the cops arrived.')7 Mayor Dennis Archer explained that riot police helped to preserve "a good business climate."9H


These recent events indicate how little has changed over th e course o f a cen­ tury. Naturally, strikes and other labor actions still focus on many of the same issues, since there is a permanent conflict of interest between workers and their employers when it comes to matters of pay, hours, and control. And in the clashes between workers and capital, the police continue to line up on the side of capital. But the differences between these later disputes and those of the early twentieth century are also clear enough. Violence persists, but at lower levels. Battles between police and workers, while sometimes bluuuy,


rdfely deadly."

These reduced levels of violence are the result of a shift in the form of class conflict unionization, collective bargaining, and even strikes have been formalized, institutionalized, and subject to legal regulation . Increasingly, this development has taken the struggles of workers out of the factories and the streets and placed them instead in courthouses and government offices.lOo Companies, then, have come to rely less on police or Pinkerton thuggery to keep the workers in line. At the same time, the militancy of the labor movement overall has suffered a sustained decline, and the power within unions has shifted away from the rank and file and toward the official leadership, the paid staff, and their legal advisors.lOl 'This process was already taking hold at the time of the San Francisco General Strike of 1934. In fact, the strike may be seen as the workers' direct resistance to the institutionalization of class conflict on two fronts: first, in their refusal to submit substantive issues to arbitration; and second, in following the leadership of rank-and-file members like Harry Bridges, rather than obeying the orders of union officials. 102 rThe depth of this resistance-the degree to which workers refused to play by the prescribed rules, and rejected the given definitions of vic­ tory and defeat-is evident in the continuation of the struggle even after they had returned to work. The strike ended, but the workers did not surrender. They, in effect, moved the conflict to an arena where the influence of the union officials,

l IS

the courts, and the police could be minimized, and where the strength of the workers was greatest-on the shop floor. The institutionalization of class conflict has changed unions and strikes, cer­ tainly; it has also changed the means of controlling the working class, and th e role o f th e police i n particular. Police tactics, strategies, an d organization have

all changed as the forms of conflict have changed. All the while, the basic aims of policing-control of the powerless, defense of the powerful-have remained essentially the same. The relationship between these changes and continuities

will be examined in the chapters that follow.

1 19




the growth of militant police unions in the latter part of the twentieth century.l Nevertheless, the police have organized unions, and in many cases their unions occupy a central place in the constellations of local political power. In addition to advocating improved wages and working conditions, prosecuting grievances, and forestalling (or sometimes preventing) discipline against individual officers, the unions also have a strong hand in the creation of public policy, inside and outside their respective departments. Few changes in public safety or security policies can be made without the tacit approval of the police unions, and the officers' associations are routinely consulted on changes in the criminal code, or in city policies that might indirectly affect police work. When controversies arise concerning the police, their actions, or their role in society, it often falls to the unions to detail the "law and order" perspective. The organization's agenda may then dominate the debate, or even define its terms. lbis influence has been hard-won and always controversial. The police union's development, between the end of the nineteenth century and today, has been tightly braided with changes concerning standards of public morality, the shape of municipal government, race relations, and, of course, class conflict. Embedded within every strand of this cord, exposed with every tangle and snare, lies a ques­ tion about the nature of democracy, and about the role of police power in a dem

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, police in many cities belonged to social organizations, called either "Patrolmen's Benevolent Associations" (PBAs) or "Fraternal Orders of Police" (FOPs) . The two types of organizations functioned along similar lines, providing their members insurance and promoting their over121

all health and well-being. The main differences were that, whereas th e PBAs were only open to patrolmen and were strictly independent, the FOPs were open to any officer and were affiliated nationally. 2 Both groups petitioned for better work­ ing conditions, an effort that the authorities tolerated so long as there was no move toward unionization.' The rank and file crossed that line during World War I, when a steep rise in the cost of living pushed several organizations to apply for charters from the American Federation of Labor. In a break with its previous position, the AFL granted the charters, and the police unionized in several cities, induding Cincinnati, Washington, Los Angeles, St. Paul, Fort Worth, and, most famously, Boston." Unhappy with long hours, low pay, favoritism, and the sorry condition of their stationhouses, on August

15, 1919, members of the existing police association, the

Boston Social Club, voted to affiliate with the AFL. ' They thus created the Boston

16 of the American Federation of Labor.l' Less than a month 8, Police Commissioner Edwin Upton Curtis responded by

Police Union Number later, on September

suspending nineteen union supporters. The strike began the next day.' Approximately three-quarters of the Boston Police Department joined the strike, creating a politically uncomfortable situation made worse by rampant crime and widespread disorder. H Almost immediately, small crowds gathered around craps games on the Boston Common. By the evening of September 9, the disorder had escalated to the point of looting. Rioters overturned parked cars, and numerous gang rapes were reported." Some rowdies took the opportunity to settle scores with striking police. Crowds gathered at stationhouses and pelted the strikers with mud, rocks, bottles, and rotten fruit as they left the building. 1 O A South Boston Vigilance Committee was formed and tried to keep order, but its volunteers were savagely

beaten. I I

The rioting ended when 3,000 State Guard troops, scab police, and a provost navy guard unit broke up the

Lruwd�. !2 111e Stale Guard killed three people in

the process-induding one bystander and one person who was fleeing. A fourth was killed as the soldiers broke up the craps games on the Common, and two more died when the militia attacked a group of boys tryi..'1g to steal a ma...'1ho1c

11, eight were dead and more than seventy injured­ $300,000 in property had been damaged or stolen. 1 3 On September 12, the striking patrolmen voted cover. By September

twenty-one seriously, several of them children. More than

unanimously to end the strike if only their suspended colleagues would be rein­ stated. Instead, Curtis fired all the striking police.14 The State Guard patrolle d until December 12.1 ) Following the strike's defeat, many states passed laws forbidding police unions, and the AFL revoked the charters of all its police locals.](' Isolated from the rest of the labor movement and lacking political support, the new unions were crushed in city after city. Local governments then raised wages so as to remove any incen­ tive for re-forming the unions. Immediately after the strike, the starting salary for

$ 1,400 per year. (Only a few months before it had 1919 and 1929, police wages increased by 30 per­ cent in Detroit, 50 percent in Chicago, 70 percent in Los Angeles, and 100 percent in Oakland. By 1929, patrolmen earned between $ 1,500 (in Cincinnati) and $2,500 Boston police was increased to

been as low as $730) . 1 7 Between

(m New York) , which put them on par with most skilled laborers.lb 122

This strategy worked to neutralize rank-and-file organizing throughout the 1930s, restricting their activity to the lobbying tactics of the early PBAs.1 9 But in the 1940s, unionization was again on the agenda, and by 1944 the AFL had police unions in 168 cities.20 In the name of preserving their neutrality, police departments generally responded to this new wave of organizing in the same way they had before--barring the organizations and firing union supporters. 21

In the 1950s, after the NYPD defeated a Transport Worker's Union drive by offering the officers concessions,22 Commissioner George Monaghan established Rule 225: "No member of the police force of the city of New York shall become a member of any labor union." He reasoned that the rule was necessary to protect the policemen from influences or commitments which might impair their ability to perform their duties impartially and without fear or favor, or might tend to weaken or undermine the discipline and authority to which they must necessarily be subjected.23

Appeals to the "neutrality" of the police are questionable, given their historical use against strikes and unions. Monaghan's second reason probably comes closer to the truth: unionization was seen as a threat to the authority of police commanders. Whatever the justification, restrictions against unionization proved ineffec­

tual, and some commanders were forced to try other approaches in order to pre­ serve their control. In 1941, the AFL supported an FOP organizing drive in the 1 )etroit Police Department. The department harassed officers who supported the drive, fired its leaders, and procured court orders barring unionization, but half of the patrolmen joined the organization anyway. The next year, however, the FOP lost ground when the Detroit Police Officers Association (DPOA) was formed with the backing of police commanders?4 Carl Parsell, who served as the DPOA president in the late sixties, explained: "It started out basically a company union under their guidance, under their control. They gave you the rights at their pleasure."25 1bings took a different turn in New York, though a similar strategy was in evidence. The PBA sued to protect itself from Rule 225, and won. The court found that the department could bar "organizations of policemen affiliated with nonpolice labor associations or officered by non-policemen," but could not interfere with the PBA's activities.26 The distinction became relevant in 1une 1958, when the Teamsters publicly announced an effort to unionize the police. The announcement put pressure on the PBA leadership to produce results,27 and it also gave police managers an incentive to cooperate with the PBA rather than face the stronger muscle of the Teamsters. AJournal-American editorial suggested: The surest way of slapping down Hoffa would be for Mayor Wagner, Com­ missioner Kennedy, and the representatives of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association to begin exploring methods by which such grievance machin­ ery would be set up with proper safeguards all around.28

1IDs is, more or less, what occurred. After the Teamsters' drive was defeated, PBA president lohn Cassese set about winning gains for his organization's members. By 1961, lobbying, lawsuits, and job actions (including ticket speed-ups and slow-downs) had won the PBA a dues check-off, protections against manage123

ment retaliation, and a formal grievance system.2') Two years later, Mayor Robert Wagner (whose father had authored the National Labor Relations Act) extended collective bargaining rights to police officers, and the PBA won better wages and retirement benefits as a result. 10 In exchange, the PBA agreed to a no-strike clause and a bar from affiliating with other unions. I I The leaders of the police associations (PBA and FOP alike) were only too glad to protect their positions from the competition of the Teamsters or American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) , but no-strike provisions proved more difficult to enforce. The authorities learned this the hard way in 1967 when the Detroit police staged a sick-out (nicknamed the "Blue Flu") . A year later, the Newark police did the same, and the Chicago cops threatened their own Blue Flu epidemic. " In 1969, the Atlanta FOP organized "Operation No Case," in which the police issued fewer tickets and overlooked minor offenses.'l The next year, Atlanta officers repeat­ ed the tactic without union approval, initiating a ten-week slowdown.l• The trend continued throughout the seventies, with strikes in Baltimore, Cleveland, Memphis, and New Orleans.i) When faced with a walkout or slowdown, the authorities usually decided that the pragmatic need to get the cops back to work trumped the city government's long-term interest in diminishing the rank and file's power. '6 The Detroit sick-out provides an interesting illustration of the forces at work in these conflicts. The action began on May 16, 1967, with a ticket slow-down. The police continued to pull over speeding motorists, thus technically enforc­ ing the law. But they issued warnings rather than citations.v Overnight the number of traffic tickets dropped to one-half its previous level. Between May 16 and June 14, the number of tickets was down 66.9 percent compared to the previous thirty days, and 71.5 percent relative to the same period a year before. It's estimated that the effort cost the city abuut $ 15,000 each day.;" On June 6, the DPOA escalated the conflict when its members voted to stop volun­ teering for overtime. The following week, police commanders responded to the disruption by suspending 61 officers. Then, on June 15, 323 cops called in sick.39 DPOA president Carl Parsell denied that the action constituted a strike, but said: "Policemen for the first time are j oining the labor movement. They are beginning to think and act like a trade union."40 "The city filed a lawsuit against the DPOA, instituted emergency twelve-hour shifts, and alerted the National Guard. The strike not only continued, but grew. On June 17, 800 of the city's 2,700 officers were absent. Of these, 170 had been suspended, 459 were "sick," and fifteen cited family emergencies. As the conflict escalated, each side grew increasingly eager to find a resolution, and on June 20, a ten­ tative agreement was reached. The next day, the police returned to work.41 The proposed agreement granted the DPOA changes in policy and disci­ pline, and established a grievance procedure, but it was not at all clear that the fight was over, or which side would prevail. All "non-economic" issues were set­ tled, but there was still the matter of wages, and the deal had to be approved by the city counci1.42 The tension persisted. Commanders had only a tenuous grasp on the loyalties of their subordinates. But then a funny thing happened-the Detroit riot of 1967. With the Black community in open revolt, the cops, the city .


government, and local elites very quickly rediscovered their previous affinity. In bringing the labor dispute to a close, the specially appointed Detroit Police Dispute Panel noted: "Far more than the interests of the police officers them­ selves is involved. As has become obvious in recent months . . . the police force is the first line of defense against civil disorder."43 The cops got their raises.44 In contrast to the defeated strike of 1919, the labor skirmishes of the 1960s and 1970s solidified the positions of the police associations and had the some­ what paradoxical effect of buttressing the top-to-bottom unity of the depart­ ments. The unions asserted increasing levels of influence over departmental policy, and the police management used the unions to win rank-and-file coop­ eration.45 Such management-union partnerships reinforced the institution's cohesion, allowed disparate parts of the organization to develop a community of interests, and provided a means for settling disputes and resolving grievances. But they retained traditional taboos against autonomous rank-and-file action and meaningful expressions of solidarity with other labor organizations.46 Whereas the Boston strike had been ignominiously defeated, the Detroit strike was resolved in a way that strengthened both the department and the union. Clearly, a lot had changed during the intervening half-century. The relevant differences were not limited to shifts in policing and labor organizing, but also concerned the overall character and function of municipal government T H E D EAT H O F T H E MAC H I N E S

During the early-twentieth-century Progressive Era, police departments were subject to a battery of reforms, changing the institution's structure, aims, and personnel. These reforms were not motivated by concerns about racism or brutality so much as they constituted one part of a general effort to re-invent urban government. It is not hard to see why reform was needed. Under political machines, there was little to distinguish an official's personal attachments, interests, loy­ alties, and obligations from the duties, responsibilities, powers, and benefits of his office. Authority rested as much in the informal and decentralized ward networks as in the government itself or the offices of the various municipal departments. Positions were filled strictly along partisan lines or as personal favors; there was no pretense of professionalism or impartiality. Discipline was lax, corruption was sanctified, and bribery was a major source of income at every level of the hierarchy. In this context, it was the job of the police to protect illicit businesses, extort money from honest citizens, rig elections, and otherwise enforce the will of neighborhood bosses. So long as they were suc­ cessful in these central tasks, it made little difference to the machine bosses whether the cops engaged in petty crime, neglected their legal duties, were rude in their encounters with the public, or used violence unnecessarily.47 As a result, police legitimacy was sorely lacking. This problem was aggra­ vated by a long series of scandals implicating departments around the country in organized crime and other types of corruption. For example, at the turn of the century, Los Angeles mayor Arthur Harper, police chief Charles Sebastian, and a local pimp formed a syndicate in order to monopolize prostitution in the city; the police were used to suppress competition and protect the syndicate's operations. 125

I n 1912, Herman Rosenthal, a professional gambler, accused th e New York City Police of protecting gambling houses; he was murdered on his way to meet with the district attorney. The next year, San Francisco papers revealed that a group of detectives had recruited a gang of con-men, offering protection in return for 15 percent of the total take (an estimated gross of $300,000 annually) . And dur­ ing Prohibition, dozens of Cincinnati cops sold confiscated liquor and offered protection to bootleggers in return for a share of the profits.4H Such scandals largely discredited the police departments and the machines to which they were attached.4'! But the Progressive agenda offered a map toward legitimacy. Seeking to replace the machine system, Progressive reformers looked to business and the military for organizational models. Schools, for instance, were reorganized on a corporate model, whereas the police were structured according to a wlitary design. '<, This wlitary analogy provided a positive ideal of what the police could be-a disciplined, hierarchically organized force, with the chief holding nearly absolute power. More specifically, the reformers offered three recommendations for change: departments should be centralized; the quality of personnel should be improved; and police operations should be narrowly focused on crune control, with an emphasis on prevention." Toward these ends, police departments were divided, as far as possible, into specialized units with a streamlined chain of command and an articulated hier­ archy. Chiefs were given more control and discipline was moved from external boards, which were deemed "political," to internal "professional" mechanisms. Civil service procedures were instituted, age and education requirements were established, and character checks and psychological exams were introduced.'2 But the success of the Progressive movement was uneven overal1. Despite the trend toward centralization and rationalized management, little changed in the areas of policy or procedure, and neighborhood precinct stations retained much of their autonomy:" Police ch.ief� Jid IIOt., 011 the whole, receive the litetime tenure Progressives proposed.'4 And the police still had a broad range of duties, even after specialization. In fact, contrary to the rhetoric of the time, the police function did not so much narrow, as it shifted to meet new demands for social order." Yet modest successes had a profound impact on the character of govern­ ment. Around the country, political machines were beginning to decay. The localized, personalistic, and unabashedly corrupt machine system was giving way to a new kind of public administration. In theory, the new system was very nearly the opposite of the old-it operated legalistically, acting according to general principles and enforcing rules impersonally. City government was becoming bureaucratized. ,6 BUREAU C RAT I ZATION AND B O URGEOI S CONTROL

Police reforms contributed in several ways to the rise of bureaucracy. The narrowing of the police funLiion promoted bureaucratic development, not only within police departments, but throughout the city government As elections, health regulations, licensing, and welfare duties were removed from the list of police responsibilities, other municipal departments-other bureaucracies-were created to take over these tasks. A similar process occurred within departments, as civilians began per­ forming clerical, technical, and related work 57 126

The efforts to improve personnel also resulted in increased bureaucratization. Cops were assigned civil service status or military rank, barred from accepting rewards. paid higher salaries, received better training, and hired and promoted on the basis of exanl s.5B By rationalizing the selection of personnel and the delivery of services, the new procedures reduced the opportunities for personal favors and patronage, thus cutting machine bosses offfrom their means of securing support.59 Centralization, likewise, reduced the importance of the local precincts and undercut an important base for the ward organizations.6o It also made it possible for such specialized functions as vice control, record-keeping, internal inves­ tigations, and detective work to be removed from the precincts and assigned to squads controlled by headquarters. (By 1930, such squads abounded-riot squads, prohibition squads, narcotics squads, gan1bling squads, homicide squads, robbery units, auto theft tean1S, missing persons bureaus, bomb squads, bicycle squads, motorcycle squads, juvenile divisions, red squads, units to han­ dle particular ethnic groups, records divisions, and internal affairs.) 61 This reor­ ganization limited the opportunities for corruption and, again, put power in the hands of the police chief rather than ward bosses or precinct commanders.G2 But despite the specialization, civil service procedures, and administrative centralization, police departments became only incomplete, imperfect bureaucra­ cies. Though governed in principle by general rules, police organizations lacked elements of managelial control implicit in the bureaucratic ideal. The concept of control adopted by modern management requires that every activity in production have its several paraIlel activities in the management center: each must be devised, recalculated, tested, laid out, assigned and ordered, checked and inspected, and recorded throughout its duration and upon completion. The result is that the process of production is replicated i n paper form before, as, and after it takes place in physical form.63

This demand was incompatible with the dispersed and highly discretionary activi­ ties that characterized police work and made policing a source of power for the state. Officers on the street never approached the ideal of the impartial bureaucrat, nor was there much effort to transform them into such. Rules were crafted, records kept, promotions and assignments somewhat rationalized-but the cop on the beat was expected and required to exercise just the sort of indi­ vidual discTetion and situational judgment denied to his counterpart on the lower rungs of proper bureaucracies. This allowed corruption, prejudice, favoritism, and political influences some an10unt of latitude on the street-where the police did their work-while limiting these factors in the offices of management, where policy was set.64 The military aspects of reform were just as limited. Some departments adopt­ ed military ranks, instituted drilling, and began requiring target practice, but disci­ pline was not established along military lines (in part because of the resistance of patrolmen's associations) .65 In short, cops becan1e neither soldiers nor bureaucrats; they did, however, cease acting as the pawns of the political machines. Reformers quickly learned that this administrative independence cut both ways: While civil service procedures reduced some of the politician's power over the policemen's working life, they also reduced policemen's receptivity to reform 127

leadership. Increasingly, the police could follow their own lead, independent both of the party organizations and the innovative administrations. (,(,

Hence, while the new system of administration diminished the influence of machine bosses, it did so by bolstering the position of municipal bureaucracies as indepen­ dent seats of power. While sometimes frustrating reform efforts, this arrangement was not wholly disadvantageous for the city administrators, mayors, and politicians,

as it let them disavow the police department's excesses without needing to do any­ thing to stop them. If authority was invested exclusively in the police chiefs, then the chiefs would also incur whatever blame was directed at the department, though they faced few consequences of public disfavor.,,7 But even the position of the chief of police was not necessarily as strong as it appeared, and discipline was generally limited by the need to maintain the loyalty of those in his co mmand. It is exceedingly rare that a ranking police officer can take positive charge of police action, and even in the cases where this is possible, h is power to determine the course of action is li mited to giving the most general kinds of directions. But like all superiors. police superiors do depend on the good will of the subordinates . . . . Thus. they are forced to resort to the only means available to insure a modicum of loyalty, namely, covering mistakes. The more blatantly an officer's transgression violates an explicit departmen­ tal regulation the less likely it is that his superior will be able to conceal it. Therefore, to be helpful, as they must try to be, superiors must confine themselves to white-washing bad practices involving relatively unregulated conduct, that is, those dealings with citizens that lead up to arrests. In other words, to gain compliance with explicit regulations, where failings could be acutely embarrassing, command must yield in unregulated or little regu­ lated areas of practice . 68

The protection that the individual officer once received from his political patron .vas thus


lo his superior otficers. In a formal sense, the police faced

more discipline, while in practice they continued to engage the public-or certain parts of it-according to their own judgment. Hence, bureaucratization increased the autonomy of the department as a whole and, ironically, preserved the discretion enjoyed by officers at the lowest ranks. Yet this gap in accountability was not particularly worrisome to reformers of the time. The Progressive movement, while often credited with improving the quality of public services and reducing corruption, was not especially concerned with protecting the rights of the poor. Reform efforts were not led by immigrant workers, who constituted the usual victims of the police abuse, but by the busi­ ness and professional classes.69 The Progressive agenda reflected the ideology and interests of this constituency.70 By promoting bureaucratic reform, these "respectable" classes sought to ensure their own control over the workings of the local governments. J W. Hill, an influential reformer in Des Moines, wrote: 'The professional politician must be ousted and in his place capable business men chosen to conduct the affairs of the city." Likewise, 1. M. Earle, the gen­ eral counsel of the Bankers Life Association and a reform advocate, explained, ''When the plan [for a commission government] was adopted, it was the inten­ tion to get businessmen to run it.''7l Put simply, the reformers hoped to break the machines and, at the same time, 128

push working-class immigrants out of politics. Because inunigrants generally lived together in distinct neighborhoods, they had been well placed to influence the ward-based machines.

So Progressive reforms replaced districted elections with

citywide contests and strengthened the mayor's office to the detriment of the ward counci1ors.n The Progressive reforms thus practically limited popular access to gov­ ernmenC3 Meanwhile, other efforts were underway to restrict suffrage, assimilate immigrant children, and regulate the numbers of new immigrants.74 Progressive efforts encouraged legalistic administration and promoted trans­ parency, but these gains were only really extended to the White, Protestant, native­ born, English-speaking middle and upper classes. The transition, then, was from a populist gangsterism to an elitist republicanism. The Progressive movement replaced machine politics with class rule. Edward C. Banfield and James Q . Wilson explain this transformation: The machine provided the politician with a base of influence deriving from its control of lower-income voters. As this base shrinks, he becomes more dependent on other sources of influence-especially newspapers, civic associates, labor u nions, business groups, and churches. " Nonpolitical" (read nonparty) lines of access to the city administration are substituted for "political" ones. Campaign funds come not from salary kickbacks and the sale of favors, but from rich men and from companies doing business with the city. D epartment heads and other administrators who are able to command the support of professional associations and civic groups become indispensable to the mayor and are therefore harder for him to control. Whereas the spoils of office formerly went to "the boys" in the delivery [voting] wards in the form of jobs and favors, they now go in the form of urban renewal projects, street cleaning, and better police protec­ tion to newspaper [public opinion] wards.7'

The poor did not control, or especially benefit from, the political machines. But the machines required their participation and offered them something in return. 'The emerging bureaucracies of the Progressive Era, in contrast, were designed to limit their participation. The poor did not control these either, and the new system offered them terribly little. Machine rule was replaced with the more subtle power of the capitalist class. Whereas before local government had been administered according to strictly material incentives, it was now guided by administrative norms and the formal rules of bureaucracy, backed with the moral standards and political ideology of the Protestant bourgeoisie. 1bis victory was ironic, in a sense, because Progressive rhetoric centered on "taking the police out of politics," and conversely, "taking the politics out of policing." Though the reforms did grant police commanders a fresh independence from the demands of politicians, the idea of taking the poli­ tics out of policing was doomed at the outset-as ridiculous a notion as taking the politics out of government Far from being mere administrative bodies that enforced the law, kept the peace, and served the public, the police departments were policy-making agencies that helped to decide which laws were enforced, whose peace was kept, and which public was served. Much like the courts, schools, and other vital institutions, the police thereby exercised a great deal of influence over the process of mobility, the distribution of power, and the 129

struggle for status in urban America. To put it bluntly, no institution which had so great an impact on the lives and livelihoods of so many citizens could have been separated from the political process. Nor, so long as the nation was committed to democracy and pluralism, should it have been. None of the reform proposals-neither the schemes to centralize the police forces, upgrade their personnel. and narrow their function nor the appeals to transform them along the lines of a military organization­ could have changed this situation. '('

In effect, the city government was wrested from the grip ofthe political machines, and the police were removed from the control of the city government, but the bourgeoisie exercised a high level of influence over both the city government and the police. l11e Progressive Era saw simultaneously an increase in stale autonomy and the full rise of capitalist class hegemony. To understand this concurrence, we must recognize that "hegemony" is not synonymous with dictatorial rule.'7 It is more subtle, more flexible, and therefore also more insidious and more resilient. It is characterized less by the direct issu­ ing of orders than by the setting of agendas, the framing of debate, the articula­ tion of standards, the valuation of alternatives, and the delineatjon of available options.'s It is through hegemony that the ruling class creates a bounded sphere of institutional autonomy. Without need of conspiracies or actual censorship, its ideological ascendancy determines in advance which issues will be raised, which debates will be aired, and ultimately, whose interests will be considered and whose rights respected. P ROFE S S I ONALI ZATION : A CON S P I RACY AGAI N ST T H E LAITY

All professions arc conspiracies against the laity.

-Bern:lrd Sh�\y79

Despite the linUtations of their actual reforms, the Progressives' ideology prevailed, and a perspective that was both Nativist and bureaucratic became the accepted vi.ew of newspapers, churches, commercial organizations, civic associations, universities, and other opinion-makers.8o It also, predictably, found an audience among police administrators. A second wave of police reform originated from within law enforcement.s1 More specifically, it was brought to policing by newcomers to the field. During the 1930s, depressed economic conditions made police work attractive to the large numbers of men seeking steady employment. Police departments became more selective,H2 and the sudden influx of middle-class officers-many of whom shared the values of the Progressive reformers-changed the character of the institution. This "new breed" of officer found their backgrounds and ideals in conflict with the lowly status of their jobs and the ideology of the departments, but thanks to the civil service procedures, they soon moved through the ranks and into command positions.Hi The new police reformers retained Progressive assumptions about the pur­ pose of the police, the need for its leaders to be autonomous, and the nature of politi­ cal legitimacy, but were motivated by their own in1mediate frustration with the low level of respect accorded the occupation.84 Despite the previous wave of reforms, 130

the police had remained ineffective and often corrupt Departments were badly managed, with little forward planning , poor supervision, and no rational division of labor. Though formal standards and bureaucratic civil service procedures did exist, the personnel were poorly trained and generally undisciplined.85 Faced with these conditions, the "new breed" sought to professionalize polic­ ing, and thereby raise their social standing. Beginning in the late 1920s and early 1930s, they developed a model of professionalism that achieved prominence in police circles by mid-century. This model emphasized strict admission standards, extensive training, a high level of technical knowledge, and a devotion to service and a commitment to the public interest. 86 By becoming a profession, the reason­ ing went, police could improve the quality of their work, raise their own status, and further insulate themselves from outside interference.S? The professional movement overlapped chronologically with the latter part of the Progressive Era, and the new reforms continued some of the efforts begun by the Progressives, finding more success in many areas. For example, they continued the project of reorganizing departments along functional lines and managed to close more precincts, extending the reliance on special squads and streamlining the hierarchy. While these changes did further diminish the influence of neighborhood bosses (whose power was already in decline) , they often just shifted corruption from the wards to the squads.8H In a textbook case of failed reform, Chicago mayor Richard Daley responded to a 1960 burglary­ ring scandal by replacing Police Commissioner Timothy ]. O'Connor with reform luminary O. W. Wilson. Wilson set about professionalizing the department, removing corrupt or incompetent commanders, instituting a system of promo­ tions based on seniority and competitive exams, and closing seventeen of the thirty-eight district stations-but corruption continued unabated.89 A 1964 Justice Department report revealed that a score of Chicago cops, including an internal affairs investigator, were running a protection racket,9° Reformers took steps to regulate the quality of the personnel, using physical examinations, education requirements, character checks, and the civil service pro­ cess to weed out undesirable applicants.'ll Whether these measures succeeded in "improving" the quality of recruits is another matter. Critics at the time denounced the professional ideology as elitist,92 and in many cities, the new requirements were used to prevent racial minorities from joining the force.93 The reform commanders seemed to want to fill departments with recruits whose backgrounds and values resembled their own, but the practical conse­ quences of these changes were not what their advocates had intended. When the economy recovered from the Depression, the "professionalized" departments had trouble attracting and keeping recruits. The pay had not kept pace with that of other occupations, prestige was still lacking, and new officers could only enter the department at the lowest leve1.94 Since the best cops did not always advance through the ranks, and the worst were seldom removed, stagnation set in. The quality of leadership suffered, and the police became increasingly isolated.95 Compared to the Progressives, the advocates of professionalization had more success in instituting their prescribed reforms, but they did no better in achieving their ultimate aims. The status of the police did not come to equal that of doctors and lawyers, and the departments were only mildly cleaner 131

than before. But the main effect of professionalization was to increase police autonomy. And professionalization, like bureaucratization, not only institu­ tionalized that autonomy, but helped to legitimize it:)!, The discourse sur­ rounding professionalization encouraged institutional problems to be thought of in technical terms, and thus referred to the "experts"-the police. Issues of accountability and oversight were thus framed as professional matters with which the uninitiated should not be trusted to interfere. In other words, pro­ fessionalization sought to take the issues of police power and accountability outside of the realm of the political. The move toward professionalization embodied both a continuation of and a reaction against the bureaucratization of policing. The advocates of professional­ ization, usually police administrators, envisioned their project as an extension of the bureaucratic reforms, with an increased emphasis on the quality of recruits and higher public esteem for the occupation. Carl Klockars argues from this basis that the term "professional" was primarily of rhetorical value: The fact is that the "professional" police officer, as conceived by the profes­ sional police model, was understoo d to b e a very special kind of professional, a kind of professional that taxes the very meaning of the idea. The distinc­ tive characteristic of the work of professionals is the range of discretion accorded them in the performance of their work. By contrast, the police view of professionalism was exactly the opposite . It emphasized central­ ized control and policy, tight command structure , extensive departmental regulation, strict discipline, and careful oversight. While the professional model wanted intelligent and educated police officers and the technological appearance of modern professionals, it did not want police officers who were granted broad, professional discretion. It wanted obedient bureaucrats.')?

The rank-and-file officer, on the other hand, had a very different notion of what professionalization in1plied. ''TIle vrofessionally-rninded patrolman wants to act according to his evaluation of the situation and not according to some bureaucratic directive."98 Professionalization very clearly promoted police auton­ omy, but it was deeply ambivalent about what this meallt for the ma.'1ageillent of departments. Did professionalization only require the autonomy of the institu­ tion relative to the civilian authorities, or did it also demand the autonomy of the patrolman relative to departmental control? In practice the second followed from the first, as commanders sought to protect themselves from criticism. Rather than exposing abuses and disciplining the officers, internal affairs investigators and unit commanders took their task as the defense of the department as a whole, and especially ofth e officers under their command.99 Most h igh-ranking officials were prone to praise the efforts of their units and, i n the face of clear evidence to the contrary, to shift the responsibility to other parts of the force or other branches of government. If this tactic failed, they were ready to deny responsibility on the grounds that . . . they had few effective sanctions over their subordinates.lOo

Professionalization, again like the earlier reform effort, continued to put supervi­ sors in the position of covering lor their subordinates. At the Sall1e time as the "professional" police were asserting a new indepen­ dence, they also adopted strategies that increased their presence in the lives of 132

the urban poor and people of color. The professional model encouraged police leaders to take seriously the elusive goal of preventing crime. Making the most of the new squad structure, the police sought to reduce the opportunity for crime, experimenting with vehicular patrols, saturation tactics, and high-discretion tech­ niques like "stoITand-search" or "field interrogation." IOI For exan1ple, in the late 1950s, the San Francisco police used each of these approaches in tandem. Chief Thomas Cahill created an "S Squad" ("S" standing for "saturation") to be deployed in high-crime areas, with instructions to stop, question, and search suspicious characters. During its first year, the S Squad stopped 20,000 people, filed 1 1,000 reports, and made 1,000 arrests. Most of those they stopped were Black people and young people. t 02 The preventive aims of the professionals led the police to intervene in situations that had previously gone unnoticed, were ignored, or were not even crin1inal. This encroachment promoted a generalized distrust on both sides, as police grew ever more suspicious of the public and the public (especially the Black community) grew increasingly resentful of the police.l O] As we have seen, this tension bore bitter fruit in the years that followed. UNIONIZATION AND B LUE P OWER

Today's police unions are the bastard children of the mid-century professionals. Though earlier union efforts had met with little success, the fissures and contradictions of the professional agenda helped create conditions that made unionization possible. While the rhetoric of professionalization lent legitin1acy to demands for higher pay and greater autonomy, the prescriptions of the reformers alienated the regular officers and produced additional strife with the public. This situation created new tensions within police departments and brought the idea of unionization back to the surface. Though coming as a direct result of the attempts to professionalize polic­ ing, union organizing efforts were of a quite different character. The move­ ment for police unions reflected a working-class labor perspective rather than a middle-class professional agenda, and found its support with the mass of patrol officers rather than with commanders. The International Association of Chiefs of Police recognized this difference as crucial, and described unioniza­ tion as sounding "the death knell of pro/essionalization." 1 04 The influence of unionization has extended far beyond such basic matters as wages, working conditions, and grievances. Unionization, like the previous two waves of reform, had the general effect of increasing the institutional autonomy of the department 1 0 5 and the autonomy of individual officers. l OG But unionization took the latter as one of its principle aims, and for that matter, sought to provide the lowest-level officers collective power over the institution as a whole. 1 0 7 As the police unions grew, they set about negotiating policy matters, includ­ ing those governing patrols, deployment, and discipline. l OS The agenda quickly broadened to include "questions of social policy, including which type of conduct should be criminal, societal attitudes toward protest, the procedural rights of defendants, and the sufficiency of resources allocated to the enforcement of the criminal law." I o'J These efforts represented "a phenomenon new to American soci­ ety: the emergence of the police as a self-conscious, organized, and militant politi­ cal constituency, bidding for far-reaching political power in their own right" I 1 0 133

The police also returned to open electioneering-like in the machine days, but with a difference. Rather than owing allegiance to their patrons and taking orders from the ward bosses, the police had developed into a constituency for the politicians to wow and woo. Police support could make or break a candidate, and once in office the politician owed his allegiance to the cops, rather than the other way around. I I I Some politicians made the most of the new balance of power. Philadelphia police commissioner, and later mayor, Frank Rizzo deftly exploited the politi­ cal potential of the department, building himself a career while at the same time amplifying the power of the police and increasing their independence. Under Rizzo's guidance. the police department became the unrivaled center and base of his power. I 1 2 It wasn't long before police unions started producing their own candidates, and served in some places as a ladder into office. In 1969, Wayne Larking, who had served as head of the Police Officer's Guild, was elected to the Seattle City Council. 1 1 3 That same year, Charles Stenvig, a former police detec­ tive and the business manager of the Minneapolis Police Officer's Federation, was elected mayor, having run solely on a law-and-order platform. l l i Stenvig convinced patrolmen to campaign for him. When an interviewer asked an officer, "Did you introduce yourself as a patrolman?" the officer responded: "Sure. That was the whole point. 'The idea was to convince people that a cop would know how to bring peace back to the community. " l l ' At times, such political efforts-especially electioneering-<:rossed lines of decorum. In 1964, many departments had to issue special orders to prevent officers from wearing Goldwater or Wallace buttons on their uniforms, or from putting campaign stickers on squad cars. Some cops even handed out campaign literature while on duty. I 1 (, In each arena, whether thcir efforts involved e1ectivl1rrriug, lubbylllg, ur suikes, the police pursued a conservative agenda-specifically one that increased the power, autonomy, and central role of law enforcement. LA's Fireman's and Policemen's Protective League ("Fi-Po") represented the rlirection of the new activism; it lobbied for counter-subversive laws, promoted light-wing rallies, sponsored conservative speakers, and sold businesses a blacklist naming union organizers and radicals. I 1 7 "



In July 1966, New York supplied the first real test of this newfound power. Mayor John Lindsay made good on one of his campaign promises, restructuring the city's police complaint board to include a civilian majority. The Police Benevolent Association immediately and vigorously attacked the plan, eventually forcing the issue to the ballot. The PBA then sponsored an extensive ad campaign and individual officers put anti-review board signs on their cars, distributed literature, and harassed those who campaigned in favor of the board-often while on duty. I IS The anti-review board propaganda openly appealed to public anxieties about civil unrest and crime-two issues, in the context of the time, with obvious racial overtones. One poster showed a young girl at the entrance to a subway; 134

its text read: 'The Civilian Review Board must be stopped. Her life, your life, may depend on it. " 1 1 9 Another poster showed a riot-torn street, cluttered with rubble and lined with damaged storefronts. The caption stated: 'This is the aftermath of a riot in a city that had a civilian review board."120 An August 18, 1966, Reporter editorial titled "Ucense to Riot" worked from the same theme: "Did you see the pictures of those Cleveland riots, of Negro thieves running wild, in and out of wrecked establishments, arms loaded? And did you see the cops standing by, idly watching the debauchery? That was the result of a Police Review Board."l2l

As the November election approached, police tactics became more bra­ zen. The PBA and their supporters packed a meeting about the review b oard, chaired by Councilman Theodore S. Weiss. Former FBI agent William Turner described the scene:

Thousands of off-duty policemen in uniform, with service revolvers strapped on and wearing PBA buttons (the buttons were later removed at the request of the police commissioner) tightly ringed City Hall and packed its corridors. Many carried signs with such slogans as "What About Civil Rights For Cops," [and] "Don't Let The Reds Frame The Police." Adding to the spectacle were dozens of American nazis and ]ohn Birch Society members toting American flags and shouting encouragement to the police.122 The New York review board was defeated by a two-to-one margin-1,313,161 to 765,468. 12.1 Elsewhere during the same period, similar battles were fought more quietly, with police associations convincing city councils or mayors to refuse pro­ posals for review boards-sometimes even dismantling existing boards. Such was the story in Los Angeles, Denver, Cincinnati, Seattle, Detroit, Newark, San Diego, Hartford, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.124 But it is worth noting that the police were not univocal in their opposition to civilian review. In many cases, associations of Black officers openly favored the review proposalsY5 In New York, when one such group, the Guardians, released a statement expressing their support of the mayor's proposal, a PBA spokesman protested, "they put their color before their duties and their oath as policemen. " 1 2G It seems that the PBA saw its own political agenda as deter­ mining the scope and content of official police duty. Ibis view was given a fuller expression in August 1968, when PBA president John Cassese issued his own orders concerning police behavior during demon­ strations. Cassese instructed PBA members, "If a superior tells a man to ignore a violation of the law, the policeman will take action notwithstanding that order."127 When the PBA finally published its full guidelines they turned out to be more bark than bite, as they mostly just paraphrased existing laws and policies, but the episode demonstrated something of the PBA's aimS.128 In particular, it suggested an emerging system of dual-power within police agencies, with commanders and union-leaders sometimes sharing and sometimes competing for control. Ibis situation was a natural outgrowth of earlier struggles for departmental autonomy, like that against the Civilian Review Board.

In the course of these conflicts, the political ambitions of police became more aggressive: they not only sought to insulate themselves from all outside control, but also wanted to exercise control over other areas of the government and public 135

policy. Henry Wise, the lawyer for the Patrohnen's Benevolent Association, was very optimistic about the organization's potential: 'We could elect governors, or at least knock 'em off. I've told them [the police] if you get out and organize, you could become one [of] the strongest political units in the commonwealth." l 2'1 By the end of the 1960s, the trajectory of these developments was clear, and elites started to worry. The New York Times opined, " [AJ city cannot be ruled by its police force, any more than a free nation can be ruled by its military establish­ ment."uo The police, both in their departments and in their unions, were coming to represent a force that could rival the civil authorities. In 1968, Boston mayor

Kevin White confessed, "Are the police governable? Yes. Do I control the police, right now? NO."15l In 1972 LA city administrative officer C. Erwin Piper said Fi­ Po had "more political clout than any other group in city government." U2 Unfortunately, the period of police militancy has outlasted many of the social conditions that produced its rise, and police activism continues to have major political consequences. In 1992, when New York mayor David Dinkins proposed a civilian review committee, the PBA mounted a protest-cum-riot, which Acting Commissioner Raymond Kelly desClibed as "unruly, mean­ spirited and perhaps criminal." l\ l According to Kelly's report, 10,000 off-duty cops took over the steps of City Hall, blocked traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge, damaged property, and assaulted passersby. The response of the on-duty officers was "lethargic at best" l I i Several officers, including one captain and two sergeants, failed to hold police lines, and a uniformed officer-Michael

P. Abitabile-waved protesters through the police barricades while shouting racial slurs. ] 1o Police Chief David W. Scott later said, "I'm disappointed in the fact that police officers would violate the law. " 1 36 The demonstration carried obvious racial overtones. Signs read, "Dinkins, we know your true color-yellow bellied," and "Dear Mayor, have you hugged a drug

dealer today?" T-shirts urged, "Dinkins


gu:" Auu uemonsrrators chanted,

'The mayor's on crack" and "No justice! No police!"U7 Kelly's report suggests that the demonstration was self-defeating, as "the inability of the on-duty personnel assigned to police the demonstration has raised serious questions about the department's willingness and ability to police itself."uB I would actually say that it

answered those questions, but the disagreement is academic; the demonstration had greater practical consequences, helping to launch the candidacy of Rudolph Giuliani. Giuliani, who spoke at the rally, was elected mayor following Dinkins and immediately set about expanding police power. 139 In retrospect, the September 16 rally has all the flavor of a municipal-level coup. Police activism, especially in the guise of union activity, remains somewhat per­ plexing. The historical development is clear enough, but politically it is trouble­ some-especially for the left. The whole issue presents a nest of paradoxes: the

police have unionized, and struck-but continue in their role as strikebreakers. l4o They have pitted themselves against their bosses and the government, but rep­ resent a threat to democrac), rather than an expression of it. TIleY have resisted authority for the sake of authoritarian aims, have broken laws in the name of law and order, and have demanded rights that they consistently deny to others. This situation is sometimes thought to create a bind for those who both sup­ port the rights of workers and demand that police be accountable to the commu-


nity. But the dilemma here is illusory. The demands of solidarity--ethical solidar­ ity-are with the oppressed, and against the police. Working people cannot afford to extend solidarity to the police, and we cannot let the reactionary goals of police unions restrain us in our attacks on injustice. Confusion in this matter represents a set of related misconceptions; these can be resolved by clearly examining the class status of the police and the nature of their organizations. WAGE SLAVES AND OvERSEERS

The class position of the police is complex, and even contradictory. Individual officers may consider themselves ''working class" for any of a variety of reasons. First, there is the fact that, even after the period of profes­ sionalization, most officers are still drawn from working-class backgrounds. There is also the persistent sense that, regardless of income, the job has little social status attached to it. And finally, there is the nature of the work itself. "After all, police work is often physical, sometimes dirty, involves shift-work, and brings officers into contact with undesirable elements of society."1 41 The police have certainly faced their share of uncomfortable and unfair working conditions. In the nineteenth century, police received low pay (unless one counts graft), worked long shifts, were given no vacations, enjoyed little job security, and had no guarantee of income if they were injured (or of support for their families if they were killed).142 Such standards are appalling, for certain, but most workers were no better off.143 In the twentieth century, the pressures of bureaucratization and professionalization were often resented by the officers at the lowest levels. Bureaucratization increased discipline, eliminated political patronage and protection, and supplied rule-bound prescriptions for police action. Professionalization represented, from the perspective of the old-school cops, an unnecessar y intrusion of elitist organizational goals at the expense of a traditional hard-nosed approach. Both reform movements created structural tensions within the police departments that later motivated the drive toward unionization. But the proletarian aspects of policing are only half the equation. Though individually they receive just a meager portion of capitalism's benefits, the police represent both the interests and the power of the ruling class. Like managers, police control those who do the work, and they actively maintain the conditions that allow for profitable exploitation.144 The police thus occupy a dual position as workers and overseers, but this is not a fatal contradiction: a worker can be made to discern "his own" interests, apart from the interests of the working class as a whole. This is the nature of the so-called "middle class," which is really a section of the working class bought off by the capitalists to manage their affairs.145 Class status, in this regard, is deter­ mined neither by income nor by ownership, but by power relations: Since the authority and expertise of the middle ranks i n the c apitalist cor­ poration represent an unavoidable delegation of responsibility, the position of such functionaries may best be judged by their relation to the power and wealth that commands them from above, and to the mass of labor beneath them wh ich they in turn help to control, command, and organize. 146

The peculiar distinction of this middle stratum is that its members share in both 137

the power and rewards of the upper classes and in the alienation of the workers they control.147 This basic fact requires elites to treat police differently than other workers, seeking through ideology and material incentives to separate them from the mass of workers (and the labor movement especially), tying the interests of the police to those of capitalism and the state.148 This trick is accomplished through peculiar means, using what is ostensibly a labor organization-the police union. ' POLICE UNIONS AREN T UNIONS

The status of police unions, and their relationship to the labor movement as a whole, has always been troublesome. When the NYPD challenged the legality of the Patrolman's Benevolent Association in 1951, the court ruled that the PBA could organize police and could negotiate contracts precisely because it was

not a union. According to the court, the police could join "associations" like the PBA and FOp, but not any organization that had either non-police leadership or affiliation with non-police unions.149 This ruling represented something of a compromise position, seeking both to preserve the "neutrality" of police action against strikes and to respect the officers' right to free association. As legal reasoning goes, that's not ver y impressive. New York City Police Commissioner Stephen P. Kennedy, who strongly resisted the PBA's demands for recognition in the late 1950s, argued that the distinction between an inde­ pendent association and a union was meaningless: "When an organization acts like a union, talks like a union, makes demands like a union and conducts itself like a union, it cannot be heard to say that it is not a union."15o But the legal status of police associations is at most a secondary matter. The practical effect of the ruling was to privilege the PBAs and FOPs over the Teamsters and AFSCME. Police managers were then quick to recognize (in some cases, to create) associations-especiallv when facing a Tf'am>;tf'1"" organizLrlg drive. The associations gave police management a means of establishing agreed-upon conditions while still discouraging autonomous rank-and-file action and solidar­

ity with other workers.1j 1

Police associations thus developed in relative isolation from the rest of the labor movement, while building close ties with the command hierarchy within the departments. This fact points to two related reasons why police unions are not legitimate labor unions. First, as is discussed above, the police are clearly part of the managerial machinery of capitalism. Their status as "workers" is therefore problematic.152 Second, the agendas of police unions mostly reflect the interests of the institution (the police department) rather than those of the working c1ass.153 When the PBA organized in New York, collective bargaining rights were traded for no-strike agreements and a bar from affiliating with other unions. During the same period, police unions around the country were defecting from AFSCME to form police-only locals.154 Almost twenty y ears later, in 1970, the NY PBA took this dissociation further than the law required, moving to break parity with other city employees, including firefighters, corrections deputies, and sanitation workers.1» This is telling, and not just because it shows the lack of solidarity between police associations and the rest of the working class. It indicates that police associations organize more along institutional rather than 138

class lines-that is, they organize police as police, not as workers. The police exhibit an institutional unity that is fundamentally different than the class consciousness underlying union activity. The chief difference is that­ despite fissures along race lines, disputes between superiors and subordinates, and intra-departmental rivalries-a sense of shared identity extends to every branch of police organizations and is felt at every level, from the highest com­ mander to the rookie on the beat. This solidarity helps the commanders main­ tain the loyalty of their troops and, as mentioned before, it also leads cops of all ranks to cover up for each other. Not only do street cops hide one another's mistakes from those above them, but superiors shield subordinates from out­ side scrutiny.'56 Such managerial complicity reinforces the sense of identity and group cohe­ sion, thus reducing the possibilities for conflict within the department. And as the rank and file have become a more vocal, and more powerful, political con­ stituency, some commanders have extended this strategy in order to share in the benefits of militancy. 157 A savvy commander can secure the loyalty of his troops by participating in their revolt, providing himself with the platform for leadership and at the same time retaining a militant force prepared to back him up in clashes with civil authorities. Police unions exercise influence over departments in ways other unions can only envy. However, apart from localized (usually individual) grievances, the offi­ cers and their managers share interests, perspectives, and a sense of identity. In the end, their institutional identification is superior to their class consciousness. To a very large extent, police departments achieve internal peace by subsuming the interests of both workers and managers to those of the institution. Even eco­ nomic issues, like wages and hours, become common ground for cops and their bosses: both want increases in department budgets. The officers, of course, enjoy a higher standard of living as a result, and police administrators can look forward to more funding, larger departments, better morale, and an easier time attracting recruits. For this reason some scholars describe police contract nego­ tiations as exercises in "collusive bargaining." Margaret Levi explains: As the literature on private labor unions so often illustrates, collective bar­ gaining often serves as a device of social control. It channels conflict and sets its terms. But collusive bargaining goes one step further: it enables manage­ ment and labor negotiators to cooperate actively with each other. (In order to convince their constituencies of their motives the bargaining teams fight pub­ licly, but privately they compromise.) By engaging in collusive bargaining, city leaders gain credibility with the public for being tough, gain some assur­ ance of relatively uninterrupted service delivery, and regain some power to make programmatic innovations. Of course, in return, they must grant some of the union's demands. iSH

Union leaders, meanwhile, put on a similar act for the benefit of their constitu­ ency. As a result, they are able to deliver gains to the union members and retain their positions of influence-all without the risks of genuine conflict.

As an exanlple of this collusive approach, Levi cites the relationship between the Fraternal Order of Police and Atlanta Police Chief John Inman: 'The chief 139

found the FOP was sympathetic enough to his policies to become a much­ needed ally, and the FOP discovered it could gain promotions and respect.. .. However, this alliance also contributed to the racism of the police labor organiza­ tion."!;" In this way, antagonisms between labor and management become sec­ ondary to their common, institutional aims. As both press to increase the power, resources, and autonomy of the institution, they form a community of interests, an alliance against the meddling of city officials or the competing demands of other government agencies. Such an alliance bears the markings of corporatism. Colin Crouch and Ronald Dore define "a corporatist arrangement" as: An institutional pattern which involves an explicit or implicit bargain (or recur­ ring bargaining) between some organ of government and private interest groups (including those promoting "ideal interests"-"causes" ), one element in the bargain being that the groups receive certain institutionalized or ad hoc benefits in return for guarantees by the groups' representatives that their mem­ bers will behave in certain ways considered to be in the public interest.'(,()

They go on to cite both historical and recent examples: The doctors and lawyers of medieval England-as well as the civil engi­ neers and all the other professional groups which got their charters in the nineteenth century-were granted monopoly privileges (the right to decide who should and who should not be allowed to sell certain kinds of services) in exchange for promises to make sure that the professional standards of those who did sell those services-their skills and their morals-were what the public had a right to expect. More modern forms-this time the granting by the state of an ad hoc concession rather than an institutional­ ized privilege-include, for instance, the bargains someti mes struck in the 1960s and 1970s in Britain between the British Rail management, the railway uniull�,

dud the government: more state tunds tor railway modern­

ization provided that the unions would agree to get their members to accept

productivity improvements and changes in the work practice. 161

They could also have pointed to, more notoriously, the economic system of Fascist ltaly.'62 Leaving aside the question of police fascism, corporatist arrangements in policing have taken both the "medieval" and the "modern" forms that Crouch and Dore describe. As the historical comparisons indicate, each phase of police reform has tended toward corporatist arrangements-bureaucratiza­ tion and professionalization under the "medieval" model, and unionization in a more "modern" guise. Currently, the "medieval" aspects find an analogy in the relations between police departments and governments (wherein bar­ gaining is implicit), and the "modern" are in evidence with the three- party relations between the union, the departments, and the government. However, with the police, the corporatist deal is not between the state and some outside group (as it is in Crouch and Dore's idealized scenario), but between various sections of the state. Specifically, it is an agreement between the elected civil authorities (the government), the police commanders (the department), and the representatives of the rank-and-file officers (the union)


1 63

This alignment between workers and management is not unique to police 140

labor relations, but a common feature of many public or semi-public institu­ tions. In the wave of public employee unionization of the 1960s, many public ser vice workers-not just cops-began to demand changes in the way their work was organized, and sometimes sought to influence the social conditions that affected their work. But whereas teachers and social workers rallied against discrimination, inequality, and the meager remedies of the Great Society, the police turned sharply to the right. For example, a major demand of the 1967 Chicago social workers' strike was the provision of additional services for clients. Teachers' unions frequently demand smaller classes and better material. The police, in contrast, advocate longer prison sentences, fewer safeguards against brutality, and new weaponr y.l64

In each case, the workers seek to make common cause with their clients­ but the clientele of the various agencies are quite different. Smaller classes benefit both teachers and students; additional social services are good for the people who receive them and for the people who provide them. But, such provi­ sions likely inconvenience taxpayers, other portions of the government (who compete for the funds) , and the business and government elites who feel they can surely find "better" uses for the money and have little sympathy for the plight of public school students and the poor. In the case of the police, these relationships are exactly reversed: the police defend the interests of elites, and it is the poor who are burdened. 16> Thus, the social function of policing provides a permanent basis for the conservative orientation of police unions.

In turn, police associations provide a stronghold for the most reactionary aspects of the profession--elements that the command hierarchy is often at pains to disavow. loG When the police command cannot, for legal or political rea­ sons, resist demands for civilian oversight, for more diversity in the department, or for redress in particular cases, the union can defend the departmental status quo. Historically, most police associations barred Black members,](,7 and police in Detroit and st. Louis threatened strikes to keep Black people off the force. The police departments accommodated the White officers in various ways, sometimes by refusing to hire Black people, in other cases by keeping Black offi­ cers out of uniform, restricting them to Black neighborhoods, or barring them from arresting White people.IG8 As recently as 1995, a group of Black IAPD offi­ cers sued the Police Protective League for its role in preserving discrimination

on the force, describing the union as a "bastion of white supremacy." 169

Police unions are also on hand to defend individual officers whose misbe­ havior becomes embarrassing to the department and who therefore cannot be protected by their supervisors. For instance, when officer Doug Erickson was fired for shooting twenty-two times at a fleeing suspect, the Portland Police Association spent over reinstated as a result. 170


taking the case to arbitration; Erickson was

The police union represents an extreme of autonomy, protecting officers of the lowest rank from authority both inside and outside the department. This has the ef fect of distributing some kinds of power toward the bottom of the formal hierarchy: Certainly if the police chief or police commissioner ignores legislative man­ dates or other directives from policy-makers, he must suffer the consequences, 141

whereas even the rookie patrolman soon learns the art of camouflaging both inefficiency and policy infractions. In this sense, not only does the individual officer, acting in an isolated instance, make a subjective judgment as to how he should intervene in a particular situation, but when these discretionary judgments are made by officers on a wholesale basis, as they frequently are, it takes on the character of administrative and policy decisions being made by officers at the lowest level of the hierarchy. 171

'The careful tension between departmental policy and officer autonomy has its benefits for both the commanders and the line officers. Though police regu­ lations do notoriously little to actually regulate officer conduct, they do provide a layer of plausible deniability between commanders and the routine activities of their troops. That is, the rules help to insulate commanders from responsibil­ ity for misconduct while at the same time police unions defend the rank and file from meaningful discipline. This arrangement allows for the formal appearance of a rigorous command and control while maintaining maximum discretion at the lowest levels of the organization. The command staff can minimize the criticism it faces through the manipulation of formal policies and bureaucratic shuffling, but concessions granted at this level need not affect much of what happens on the street. Of course, discipline does exist and can be quite stringent when it comes to certain procedural or organizational matters-scheduling, the chain of com­ mand, uniforms, budgets, and so on. But both discipline and discretion exist within carefully proscribed bounds according to the needs and aims of the institution. Discipline fails and discretion is preserved in those areas where it is most convenient for the department that it be so-that is, when the police come into contact with the public. The public cares ver y little about whether cops are issued light blue or dark blue shirts, whether they stand at attention during roll call, whether they work eight or ten-hour shifts, art w:'lJdlcl1eJ ill lJairs or alone, etc.-but these are just the sort of matters over which management exercises the most control. Those elements with which the public is especially concerned-when and how force is used, how the police deal with a noisy but peaceful drunk, the basis on which people arc treated with suspicion-these are left to the individual officer's discretion. Here is a convenient rule of thumb: police will be disciplined when their behav­ ior threatens the smooth operation of the institution. But there is a corollary to this: to the degree that officers collectively control the department, discipline will be weaker, as elites will have to bargain for access to the institution's power. This is one effect of police unionization. Police labor action reminds local governments that they have created for themselves a rival to their own power. Unlike private-sector strikes, which threaten the bosses' ability to make a profit, public worker strikes threaten the local government's ability to provide services or, in the case of the police, to rule. They work by disrupting the city government's access to the institutions by which it achieves its ends. While a sit-down strike may raise the specter of workers controlling industry-since there is a natural continuum between workers shutting down a plant, occupying it, and running it themselves-analo­ gous actions by the police would fall on a different continuum and foreshadow


less blissful social arrangements: if the police continued to patrol, make arrests, and otherwise conduct surveillance and distribute violence but do so without direction from the local government, this would amount to a transfer of power from the one institution to the other. It would portend the possibility of direct rule by the police. In 1 9 1 9 it was thought, clumsily, that this was a threat to be repressed. And such repression has occurred since then, when police excesses create the conditions for unrest or otherwise threaten the status quo. But police ambitions cannot be permanently repressed if the cops are to continue in their capacity, reliably suppressing the unruly portions of the population. And so, through a long series of reforms and negotiations, a strategy of co-optation developed, and with it emerged the instrument for balancing police loyalty with the demands of a semi-autonomous organization. These instruments are generally called unions, though that misnomer (like so many others in "police science") relies on a false analogy to other, dissimilar organizations. Police unions provide the means by which the officers can col­ lectively negotiate with the civil authorities, determine together the conditions under which loyalty may be ensured-loyalty to the police commanders, civil authorities, and the ruling class, respectively. It is not the loyalty of the individ­ ual officers that is at stake: they are not freelancers or mercenaries negotiating a fee for service. Rather, it is the loyalty of the institution that the officers col­ lectively, through their union, may not control but can disable. Interestingly, this not only increases the power and autonomy of the union, but of the entire department, relative to the rest of the city government. The officers may, under rare conditions, even use their associations to compete with the civil authorities for control. Such power struggles are generally of short duration, but their effects can be long-lasting. They demonstrate the limit of police loyalty and the threat of mutiny-really, the usurpation of the institution-and in so doing they help to set the price for that loyalty. When that price is agreed on, the police again become fully available for the uses to which the ruling class, the state authorities, and their own commanders would put them. As police organize, lobby, and strike, it seems that their negotiations have as much to do with the elites' access to, and the smooth functioning of, the police institution itself as with wages and working conditions. In this, police bargaining resembles less the struggles of exploited workers than the agreements formed between sovereigns and their intermediaries in the creation or expansion of states.172 In fact, in at least one sense, police associations are best conceived of as semi-autonomous, but constitutive, parts of the state.

THE POLICE UNION AS A SEMI-AUTONOMOUS COMPONENT OF THE STATE The independent organization of police officers has done a great deal to pro­ tect both individual cops and whole departments from meaningful oversight. Unionization has thus served to preserve patterns of abuse and discrimination, while at the same time advancing the agenda of law enforcement on the social and political fronts. This development represents, as per W illiam Westley's analysis of police brutality, the collective usurpation of governmental authority and the means of violence. 143

� "'-l t:

This process then results in a transfer in property from the state to the col-


be used at their discretion. 17.]

league group. The means of violence which were originally a property of the state, in loan to its law-enforcement agent, the police. are in a psychological sense confiscated by the police, to be conceived of as a personal property to

But whereas Westley analyzed police brutality in terms of the informal, "psycho­ logical" confiscation of authority, union negotiations formalize the officers' claim to partial control of the institution and, by implication, its capacity for violence.'74 Our earlier discussion of police brutality led us to pose a series of questions we are now primed to address.lhese were: To what degree is violence the "property" of the state? At what point does the police cooptation of violence challenge the state's monopoly on it? When do the police, in themselves, become a genuine rival of the state? Are they a rival to be used (as in a system of indirect rule) or a rival to be suppressed? Is there a genuine danger of the police becoming the dominant force in society, displacing the civilian authorities? Is this a problem for the ruling class? Might such a development, under certain conditions, be to their favor? These questions suggest another, prior, question: What is the state? Let us begin with that. It may seem odd to talk about an independent private organization, such as a police association, as a constitutive part of the state. The tendency is to think of the state as a monolithic institution claiming an exclusive right to the use of force. But this conception of state power is overly simple, both in terms of the state's actual operation and in terms of its historical development. Martin]. Smith defines the state as "a set of institutions which provide the parameters for political conflict between various interests over the use of resources and the direction of public policy."175 The state is not a unitar y organization, but rather a complex network, with components termed "the welfare state," "the police state," etc., and with exteH�iulls iUelltifieu as "the military-industrial complex," "the prison-industrial complex," and so on. As the state becomes increasingly dif ferentiated and its power ever more dif­ fuse, its precise edges become difficult to definf' and the public/private distinction grows hazy.176 What has sometimes been hailed as a post-mod­ ern end to state sovereignty is in reality the modern state reaching maturity, drawing in additional elements, incorporating new sources of influence and legitimacy, and adjusting the balance of power accordingly. Organizations and power networks win influence over the state accord­ ing to their ability to aid or impede its operation (or to contribute to the aims of other institutional actors). Sometimes this influence will be established through sharp conflict and the decisive victor y of one faction over another. More usually, however, it will be settled through a process of negotiation and bargaining. The latter is generally preferable, not only because it carries fewer costs than all-out battle, but also because by sharing power the various interests can oftentimes increase the power that is there to be shared. Within these networks, power is not simply wielded instrumentally by the autonomous state over social actors, or conversely by dominant social groups over a neutral or powerles s state. Rather, power is to some extent created within these networks .... [Ilt arises out of a relationship of depen144

dence between state and social actors. Each actor provides something that the other c annot obtain on its own, and the power (or autonomy) of each is hence increased by the relationship.l-c

In the case of police officers, police administrators, police departments, and police unions, this dynamic is at work simultaneously on several levels. Individual officers share in the authority of the department, while the depart­ ment maintains its power through the concerted efforts of its individual members. By joining together in independent associations, the member offi­ cers can effectively shape the policies and operations of the department, and can sometimes influence the policies and priorities of the government more broadly. When police unions and administrators make common cause, they can pressure the civil authorities to increase the power, resources, and inde­ pendence of the department-because, to a certain extent, the civil authori­ ties are always dependent on the cooperation of the police to defend their power and enforce their will.I-H Meanwhile, as the departments become more prominent as institutions, the share of power controlled by administrators and the unions increases proportionately-and the department finds itself well placed to form alliances with other government agencies (and sometimes private enterprises) , enhancing the bargaining power of each.17� And, in the process, departmental administrators and union leaders alike can increase their personal influence.IB(I This analysis is in keeping with the historical development of the state. Charles Tilly explains: Because no ruler or ruling coalition had absolute power and because classes outside the ruling coalition always held day-to-day control over a significant share of the resources rulers drew on for war, no state escaped the creation of some organizational burdens rulers would have preferred to avoid. A sec­ ond, parallel process also generated unintended burdens for the state: as rulers created organizations either to make war or to draw the requisites of war from the subject population-not only armies and navies but also tax offices, customs services, treasuries, regional administrations, and armed forces to forward their work among the civilian population-they discovered that the organizations themselves developed interests, rights, perquisites, needs. and demands requiring attention on their own.IBI

Within this theoretical framework, it is possible to briefly re-interpret the his­ tory of policing. The use oflegitimate violence, which was originally the "property" of individual slaveholders, heads of households, and various secular and ecclesi­ astic authorities, was slowly formalized and consolidated. On the local level, this process produced slave patrols and then police. Initially, the police were highly dependent on local patrons and served as the instruments of political machines. As the capitalist class and its middle-class supporters took control of the govern­ ment, the police were transformed to a tool of class rule. The destruction of the machines, however, required the creation of formal bureaucracies, which quickly came to develop interests of their own and started to formulate their own demands. The police were the prototypical bureaucracy, and the following wave of professionalization only further decreased their dependence on the munici­ pal administration while reinforcing the organization's loyalty to the ruling 145

class. The police rebellion came when the lowest ranking officers reacted against the demands of professionalization while taking advantage of the autonomy it granted. They organized independently and began presenting demands at every level-of administrators, of city and state officials, of legislatures, and of society. Because a strike would disrupt the city government's power and therefore also weaken the state's protection of the ruling class's interests, the rank and file held enough control over the state's coercive apparatus to credibly threaten its access to force, even if they could not fully mobilize it for their own purposes. By this telling, the coup of police unionization did not represent a sharp break from the institution's previous development, but instead signaled a new step in the pre-cxisting pattern. The emergence of the police as social and political actors marked the maturity of the institution. The police have always been thugs, but they have traditionally been thugs in the service of elites. The crises of the 1960s produced an outbreak of police hooliganism directed against the citizenry (especially Black people, students, and radicals) and a revolt against their own commanders and the civil authori­ ties. The police, in short, became self-conscious political actors seeking to defend their own interests, advance their own agenda, act under their own authority, and increase their already substantial power. Such a development is very dangerous for a wavering democracy like that of the United States. An uneasy truce has developed between the cops and the civil authori­ ties. Police departments have been granted a great deal of autonomy concern­ ing their policies, procedures, and discipline. This allows for peace between the civil authorities and the police while maintaining a degree of plausible deni­ ability concerning misconduct, as long as abuse is directed against suitable targets-racial minorities and the poor. So, to answer our earlier questions: To what degree is violence the "property" of the state? b t�e United Statcs, t.�c :;tate haS iiicrta�;J1g1.Y 1::11.1::1 ci:seu lIlUIlOPo­ listic control over legitimate violence, especially since the early nineteenth century. However, given the networked nature of power relations constituting the state, the means of violence have always been investerl in some particular institution or set of institutions that carried-to a greater or lesser degree-the potential for independent action.

At what point does the police co-optation of violence challenge the state's monopoly? When do the police, in themselves, become a genuine rival of the state? Are they a rival to be used (as in a system of indirect rule) or a rival to be suppressed? Given their unique bargaining positions (only the military can compete with the cops' potential for organized violence) , the possibility of police dominance of the government cannot be discounted. So far, they have not achieved permanent ascendancy in any city, and nationally their influence has been rather limited. On the other hand, since their inception the police have been increasingly central to any power network that succeeds in controlling local government, and there is no indication that this trend is being reversed. Of course, so long as the faction that maintains control of the apparatus of violence remains loyal to, and incorporated within, the network that is the state, the development of semi-autonomous police institutions may actually bolster the power of the state, especially in times of crisis when that power is challenged. 146

Under these conditions, though it may require shifting power and resources to the criminal justice system at the expense of other state enterprises, the police may-in part because of their high level of independent organization-be effec­ tively used by the dominant group. But if the police mutiny for either material or ideological reasons, or if they begin to make demands that the government cannot accommodate, police control of institutional resources may threaten the power of civil authorities. Under such conditions, the civil authorities will feel compelled to break the police unions for the sake of preserving their own position. Is there a genuine danger of the police becoming the dominant force in society, displacing the civilian authorities? A simple armed revolt would invite interven­

tion at the state or federal level, and would surely fail. But, it is conceivable that the police could seize control of a local government if they proceeded with a combination of electoral and bully-boy tactics, on the Rizzo and Giuliani model. For the police to seize control nationally, they would either need to be networked on that level to a greater extent than they are presently, or else gain the assistance of some other institution (e.g., the military). Is this a problem for the ruling class? Might it, under certain conditions, be to their favor? Logically speaking, it is possible that police-rule would favor the

ruling class. For example, capitalists may feel that the cops are more willing or able to defend their interests than are the civilian authorities. This may espe­ cially be the case if the authorities are so divided as to threaten regime collapse, while the police retain the unity necessary to take control and keep order. The significance of the 1 967 riots for the Detroit police strike is precisely this: the state is more tolerant of some rivals than others, more willing to accept some challenges to its power than others, and more ready to bargain with its long­ term allies than to face defeat at the hands of immediate antagonists. As rebel­ lions go, a police rebellion is particularly likely to gain the support of elites. For though police autonomy diminishes the power of the courts, civil government, and the rule of law vis-a-vis the police-it tends on the whole to preserve the inequalities extant in the status quo, including the inequalities inherent in these other institutions. Of course, a full-force police state may make economic demands that prove inconvenient for business, and would almost certainly hinder the fully autono­ mous operation of industry. But under certain conditions, especially those of social crisis, the ruling class may prefer the stability of police or military rule, with all its accompanying constraints, to the possibility of facing extinction in the course of revolution. (It was just such considerations that led the middle and upper classes to support Franco in Spain, and later, Pinochet in Chile.) 182 More likely, however, is a "soft" coup, by which the police gradually gain a dominant position within the local government, though never becoming the only voice. The police could then form the center and base for a new kind of machine, building the necessary alliances with other social actors, but keeping the power in the stationhouse rather than in the wards. Formally representa­ tive structures could remain in place while the police use their power to squash dissent, engineer campaigns, and shape policies-making the most of their practical monopoly on organized violence. This would seem the natural ideal of "Blue Power," and while it may prove compatible to the needs of capitalism, it 147

is an obvious threat to democracy. The police have been transformed from a wholly dependent tool of the political machines to an independent source of power. I noted in an earlier chapter that the development of modern police forces marked an unprecedented incursion on the part of the state into the lives of the citizenry, and signified in retrospect a clear step toward totalitarianism.IH.l As the police institution has evolved, it has become a major source of power not only for the state, but within the state. This achievement represents another step in the same direction: as the institutions of violence become more autonomous, they isolate themselves from democratic control. This is bad enough, surely-but as these same institutions gain influence over policy and social priorities, they inhibit the representative aspects of other parts of government. Blue Power reduces the possibility of democracy. While the police were undergoing their metamolJ)hosis-from instrument of the machines to bureaucratic apparatus of class rule, to independent politi­ cal force-they were simultaneously challenging democracy in other ways and expanding their social influence in some sUlJ)rising directions. The task of the police in preserving race and class hierarchies made them experts in suppressing dissent, and police departments quickly developed specializa­ tions in this regard. More recently, as we shall see, tl1ese same designs have led them to seek ever-more involvement and greater shares of influence in aspects of social life quite removed from law enforcement.





legacy, producing detailed riot control strategies and specialized units to handle political intelligence. Judging by appearances, one might not think that these two sets of activities have ver y much to do with each other. Riot cops wear full protec­ tive gear and operate in ways that are by definition ver y public. The stereotypical trenchcoat aside, police spies usually wear no uniform at all; and their activities are often covert. The targets are generally unaware of police intelligence activity; the public at large barely recognizes its existence. But historically, red squads were formed with crowd control in mind, and took on their secret police func­ tions later.! Separate divisions currently handle these duties, but their operations remain connected at the root. The riot cop and the secret policeman provide the two faces of political repression.2

HAYMARKET: ''ANARCHY IS ON TRIAL." The role of police in crushing dissent, and the place of intelligence work within that pursuit, began to take shape in


in response to the movement for

an eight-hour workday. In May of that year, the nation saw a wave of strikes demanding "Eight hours for work. Eight hours for sleep. Eight hours for what

1, 40,000 25,000 more.4

you will."5 Much of the action was centered in Chicago, where on May workers walked off the job, and were joined a few days later by On May

3, police shot and killed four workers picketing the McCormick

Har vester Works. Enraged, August Spies-an anarchist-printed a forceful handbill calling for an open-air meeting on May 4 in Haymarket Square. The flier was headed 'Workingmen, To Arms," and encouraged workers to come pre­ pared to defend themselves.5 The rally began as a typical affair. Three thousand people came to listen to 149

speeches, but as the evening wore on and storm clouds gathered, their numbers dwindled to just a few hundred. At last, when the final speaker was on stage, 180 police appeared and ordered the crowd to disperse. In response, someone from the crowd-it has never been determined who-threw a bomb into the line of police. Seventy-six cops were injured, seven later died. The police immediately opened fire, killing about a dozen of the crowd and injuring 200 more (as well as hitting some of their own).!' The Haymarket bomb cost the eight-hour movement dearly, dividing the radicals from their natural base of support-unionists-and setting off the first serious red scare in American history.7 On May 5 and

6, police under the leader­

ship of Captain Michael J. Schaack made more than fifty raids against newspa­ per offices, union halls, and other radical meeting spots,H State Attorney Julius Grinnell urged the cops, "Make the raids first and look up the law afterwards.'''' Schaack apparently decided not to bother with the law at all. His published notes detailed seventy interrogations conducted during this period; they revealed that prisoners had been denied lawyers, food, water, and medical treatment.lO Meanwhile, around the country, state legislatures hurriedly passed laws limiting the rights of labor unions, and courts began convicting strikers en masse. I I This climate of political repression lasted well into the 1890s. Of those arrested, eight anarchists were charged with murder: August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, Samuel Fielden, Michael Schwab, Louis lingg, O scar Neebe, and George Engel. While it was never learned who threw the bomb, it was certainly none of these men. Most of them weren't even at Haymarket. Those who were there were on the speaker's platform, in plain sight. Nevertheless, after a highly irregular and explicitly political trial,12 all eight were convicted and seven were sentenced to hang. (Neebe was sentenced to fifteen years.)

'The tool for mnvie-ting inno(,pnt men of a capita! offense was thc claim t�at they had urged others to violence, and were therefore responsible for the vio­ lence that occurred. The prosecutor had originally sought to prove that the defen­ dants had executed the bombing themselves. Failing that, he resorted to a theory that they had conspired together to kill policemen, crafting a plot carried out by another, unknown person. But there was no evidence for any such plot. So instead, the case came to rely on the allegation that the person who threw the bomb had been driven to do so by the defendants' anarchistic writings and fiery speeches. Over the objections of the defense, the prosecutor read aloud

the fiercest anarchist writings he could lay his hands on. 1 3 Some of these were written by the defendants, others were not. Nobody paid much attention to such details, as the purpose of this "evidence" was purely prejudicial. State Attorney Julius Grinnell put it this way, as he addressed the jury: Law is on trial. Anarchy is on trial. These men have been selected, picked out by the grand jury and indicted because they were leaders. They are no more guilty than the thousands who follow them. Gentlemen of the jury; convict these men, make examples of them and you save our institutions, our society,I4

That it was anarchy on trial, Albert Parsons agreed. He wrote to a friend:


There is no evidence . . . that I or any of us killed, or had anything to do with the killing of policemen at the Haymarket. None at all. But it was proven clearly that we were, all of us, anarchists, socialists, communists , Knights of Labor, unionists. It was proven that three of us were editors of labor papers; that five of us were labor organizers and speakers at work­ ingmen's mass meetings. They, this class court, j ury, law and verdict, have decided that we must be put to death because, as they say, we are "leaders" of men who denounce and battle against the oppression, slav­ ery, robbery and influences of the monopolists. Of these crimes against the capitalist class they found us guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and, so finding, they have sentenced US.15 Parsons, Spies, Fisher, and Engel eventually did hang. Lingg committed sui­ cide while awaiting execution. The sur vivors first had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment, and six years later were pardoned by Governor John Altgeld. Altgeld made it clear in issuing his pardon that he did so because "much of the evidence given at the trial was a pure fabrication.... "16 Unfortunately, Hay market established the pattern that anti-radical cam­ paigns would follow for the century to come. The basic elements are present: in a climate of conflict and political polarization, an incident of dubious origin provides the pretext for suppressing radical movements. Raids, arrests, and media smear campaigns lead up to a criminal trial, at which the defendants' political views and associations are presented as evidence. The authorities involved in the Haymarket affair, Captain Schaack especially, pioneered the use of radical-hunting as a means of building a career, consolidating power, and lining one's pockets at the same time. Schaack used his position for shameless self-promotion, casting himself as a first-class sleuth, bragging about conspiracies he had supposedly unearthed and plots he had foiled, and even writing a book on the matter, Anarchy and Anarchists. On top of this, Schaack gained control of a slush fund established by the conservative "Chicago Citizens' Association" and used its resources to bribe witnesses, hire informers, and pay for other related investigative expenses. In addition to this considerable sum, it was later revealed that he had, on more than one occasion, personally accepted bribes and helped himself to a great deal of the "evidence" seized in raids.17 Schaack quickly became dependent on the role he had created for himself, the great anarchist hunter. To justify continued operations, he began creating the conspiracies he was to uncover. In 1889, Police Chief Frederick Ebersold told the Chicago Times:

Captain Schaack wanted to keep things stirring. He wanted bombs to be found here, there, all around, everywhere. I thought people would lie down to sleep better if they were not afraid their homes would be blown to pieces any minute . But this man, Schaack. . .wanted none of that policy. . . . After we got the anarchist societies broken up, Schaack wanted to send out people to organize new societies right away. . . . He wanted to keep the thing boiling, keep himself prominent before the public. 18 Haymarket was not the first police excursion into the realm of political spy­ ing, but it did signify the beginning of a new trend.


The Haymarket tragedy . . . marked the emergence of a new form of polic­ ing: anarchists were indiscriminately surveilled not only as a means of crime suppression, but for ideological reasons alone . . . . This style of ideo­ logical warfare against anarchism broke ground for subsequent similar police i nitiatives against socialism and commu nism. I ') RE P R E S S ION 1 0 1

There's nothing surprising about the antagonism between anarchists and authori­ ties. Anarchists oppose the powerful and the institutions that maintain their power, especially the state. 'loey don't like bosses, bureaucrats, politicians, landlords, or cops. And, for the most part, the feeling is mutual. The state's reaction to such opposition is equally unsurprising. It is the nature of power to preserve itself, and this requires that efforts to change the struc­ tures of society be actively opposed by those who profit from the existing order. "Repression is a process by which those in power try to keep themselves in power by consciously attempting to destroy or render harmless organi7�tions and ideolo­ gies that threaten their power."20 Repression may be accomplished through pro­ paganda, indoctrination, and other ideological means, or when these fail, through more direct means like harassment, imprisonment, cmd violence. More specifically, "political repression . . . in the context of policing, may be defined as police behavior motivated or influenced in whole or in part by hostil­ ity to protest, dissent, and related activities perceived as a threat to the status quO."2 1 In addition to the means listed above, repression may involve a much broader range of both overt and covert activities, including surveillance, false arrest, media smear campaigns, the use of disinformation, burglary, blackmail, infiltration, sabotage, the promotion of factionalism, entrapment, threats, brutal­ ity, assassinations, and torture.

TIle loml repression takes and the mtensltyWlth wmch iUs applied will depend on a variety of factors, including the aims of the target group, its popularity, its strengths and weaknesses, it" methods, and the goals, popularity, and relative strength or vulnerability of the govefIl....rnent But \vhatever its shape, t�e purpose of repression remains essentially the same. Based on his experiences in Northern Ireland, Kenya, Cyprus, and elsewhere in the crumbling British empire, military strategist Frank Kitson described the task facing a government when rebellion surfaces:

Translated into normal terms, the aim of the government is to regain if nec­ essary and then retain the allegiance of the population, and for this purpose it must eliminate those involved in subversion. But in order to eliminate the subversive party and its unarmed and armed supporters, it must gain control of the population.22 Repression is a tricky business. And it is complicated by the fact that the initia­ tive seems to always rest with the subversives. Rebellions may brew, discontent spread, revolutionaties prepare their forces-all before the government even real­ izes it is facing a threat Intelligence work is intended to fill this gap. The Senate Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities (the Church Committee) outlines the three types of intelligence activities:


The first is intelligence collection-such as infiltrating groups with infor­ mants, wiretapping or opening letters. The second is dissemination of material which has been collected. The third is covert action designed to disrupt and discredit the activities of groups and individuals deemed a threat to the social order. These three types of "intelligence" activity are closely related in the practical world. Information which is disseminated by the intelligence community or used in disruptive programs has usually been obtained through surveillance .23

Furthermore, the same techniques may be used for more than one goal simul­ taneously. Surveillance has its obvious uses in collecting information, but con­ spicuous surveillance may also be used to harass the target breed paranoia and feelings of persecution, and so on. Likewise, informants can supply information, but they can also be used to disrupt a group's organizing efforts---engaging in routine sabotage, provoking rivalries and in-fighting, and encouraging illegal (especially violent) activities that can discredit the organization. The specific strategies and techniques involved have been developed over time, with the twentieth century representing a period of particular progress. The degree of actual activity has ebbed and flowed, for the most part following the level of dissident political activity (particularly dissent from the left) . At the national level, this work has been centered in the federal intelligence agencies­ the FBI, the CIA, Army Intelligence-but has also come to involve, at times, practically every federal agency and every branch of government. At the local level, the bulk of intelligence work has been shared between the police and innu­ merable private agencies, beginning with the Pinkertons. Within police depart­ ments, the branches responsible for keeping the lid on subversives have gone under a wide variety of names, including the "Radical Bureau," the "Anarchist Squad," the "Bomb Squad," the "Intelligence Division," the "Industrial Squad," the "Bureau of Special Services," the "Special Investigations Bureau," and oth­ ers. For the sake of regularity, I will refer to them here primarily under the generic term "red squad."

THE RED SQUAD S New York City's red squad got a head start o n the rest o f the country. On January 13, 1874, in what came to be termed the '1ompkins Square Riot," 7,000 people took to the streets in a demonstration against unemployment, and the police responded by ruthlessly beating them. Following that debacle, the police department began assigning detectives to spy on socialist and union meetings.24 Within just a few years, their operations expanded enormously. In 1895 and 1896 the NYPD tapped 350 phones. including those of churches.25 This pattern was repeated in cities around the United States. The police began by attacking public events, especially demonstrations. They rigorously enforced laws, forcibly dispersed crowds, and expended a great deal of energy trying to identify and nab individual agitators who, they assumed, must be responsible for any such distur­ bance. This latter pursuit quickly developed to the point where police targeted entire organizations, sending informants to their meetings. 26 The creation of special branch­ es devoted to this task took hold after 1900, prompted by labor unrest, the increased popularity of socialism, and a wave of immigration.r 153

The role of the red squads fur ther expanded during World War I, thanks in part to Attorney General A Mitchell Palmer and his curious notion of national security. Local cops aided the Justice Department first in 1917, with a series of raids against the Industrial Workers of the World. IWW headquar­ ters were raided in eleven cities and hundreds of union leaders were arrested, allegedly for interfering with the draft. 'The red squads repeated their perfor­ mance two years later, beginning in 1919, as they provided support for Justice Department raids on a wide range of leftist organizations, resulting in 4,000 arrests and almost 1,000 deportations.2H Local police agencies found support for these endeavors among the members of the American Protective League, a volunteer organization formed during the war to combat espionage and sabotage, round up draft-dodgers, and spy on immigrants. Many APL "volun­ teers" were actually off-duty cops; others were deputized to assist in raids.1,! During this same period, laws regulating demonstrations, meetings, and leafleting granted the police broad powers to determine when, where, and what speech would be allowed. It thus became the explicit function of the police to suppress the free exercise of political speech.'() As the Great Depression produced a swell of activism and unrest, police practices shifted toward a focus on intelligence operations rather than direct inter vention. Intelligence became a distinct pursuit, very nearly its own pro­ fession, increasingly removed from law enforcement. While the potential for such a division had been present as early as 1886, it became institutionalized during the 1930s as red squads paid less attention to public disorder and more to the organizations and movements behind such discord. I ! 'This change in emphasis was accompanied by a marked escalation in tac­ tics. Increasing numbers of informants were employed against an ever-wider array of organizations. The most spectacular abuses, of course, were those direch'rl from the top. During the 1930s, Los Angeles's red squad had teeH used to target the mayor's critics and political opponents-even to the point of outright blackmail. At the same time, active disruption of organizations became a higher priority, often greatly overreaching the authority granted the police, and even directly violating the law. For instance, the head of the Los Angeles red squad, Captain Earl Kynette, was convicted and imprisoned in connection with a 1938 car bomb explosion that critically injured a member of a reform group, the Citizen's Independent Investigating Committee, which had been leading a campaign against police corruption-an ef fort certain to draw the ire of the authorities.31 Kynette's zealotry led not only to a prison term, but to the dissolution of his squad as well. Shortly after his conviction, the City Council eliminated its funding. Elsewhere in the country, red squads fell victim to their own suc­ cess. In the conservative climate of the 1950s, they faced a repeat of Captain Schaack's problem-a shortage of subversives. The response to this situation was two-fold. In part, red squads focused again on their historical opponents, labor unions. At the same time, they were granted a new mission as auxiliary forces in the Cold War. But while the FBI still relied on local police for a great deal of information, the special units saw their numbers and resources dwindle.}3 As a result, red squads became increasingly isolated within local 154

departments and their activities became even more removed from regular police work. The upheavals of the sixties and the seventies made police spying a priority again, but did nothing to reverse the federalization of intelligence, the special­ ization of red squad operations, or their organizational culture and its distance from other police (not to mention the citizenry) . Instead, as police were continu­ ally called on to suppress what seemed to be ever-growing social movements, these characteristics only solidified. As the role of red squads expanded and the number of officers involved grew, the flaws, faults, and excesses of intelligence agencies-perhaps of intelligence per se-increased in magnitude and became more readily apparent. A RENA I S SANCE OF REP R E S SION

During the 1960s, in city after city, red squads suddenly swelled like an unpleas­ ant fungus. Detroit's intelligence unit had only six members at the end of the 1950s; by 1968 that number had grown to seventy. In most places, the rate of growth was most astonishing at the ver y end of the decade. Between 1968 and 1970, the New York City red squad went from sixty-eight uniformed officers to ninety (plus fifty-five others assigned to undercover work). During the same period, Los Angeles increased its squad from eighty-four officers to 167.34 The Chicago Police Department had 500 intelligence officers at the end of the decade, and illinois State Police Superintendent James T. McGuire estimated that more than 1,000 federal, state, and local operatives were work­ ing in the area undercover.55 As the popular movements developed-first the civil rights movement, then student movements, anti-war efforts, and a host of others-the police understanding of these campaigns, their objectives, and the conditions pro­ ducing them seriously lagged. The police response, as though from habit, was to blame a conspiracy and seek out the agitators creating all this turmoil. Hence identification procedures retained their central place in the strategy of repression, and photography became a sort of obsession. As with infiltration, wiretapping, and the collection of dossiers, photography was easily exploited as a means of intimidation as well as data gathering.30 At times, intimidation became the primary function of police photography ; cops would take numer­ ous pictures at close range or, alternately, show their "subject" photographs of herself when she hadn't realized she was under surveillance. Conspicuous surveillance was often accompanied by other forms of harassment as well, including slashed tires, verbal abuse, and arbitrary arrests.37 As the role of surveillance was extended, the number-and type--of subjects increased as well. By the end of the 1960s, many red squads were building straightforward enemies lists, going after people outside of any radical movement For example, after the 1968 Democratic Convention, the Chicago police maintained files on churches and members of the clergy, newspaper columnists and radio commentators, an ACLU attorney, the League of Women Voters, the Parent­ Teacher Association, the chair of Sears and Roebuck, the president of Notre Dame University, State's Attorney Bernard M. Carey, prosecuting attorney Barnabas Sears, Dan Walker (author of the Walker Report on the 1968 1 55

Democratic Convention, and later governor) , U.S. Senator Charles Percy, seven sitting or former aldermen, fifteen members of the Illinois General Assembly, the chair of the First National Bank, Chicago Bears runningback Gayle Sayers, and Congressional H.epresentative Ralph Metcalf. " A few years later, Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo created a special thirty-three-member intelligence unit, answerable directly to him. 'The unit's sole purpose was to investigatt:' two of Rizzo's political adversaries�ity councilor Peter ]. Caniel and city council president George X. Schwartz. " ) As the range of targets grew, so did the range of tactics-first to improve surveillance and then, as is the pattern, to harass leaders, cripple organiza­ tions, and interfere with their political efforts. Wiretaps and mail opening came very much into fashion during this period. '() As in the thirties, inform­

ers were employed in increasing numbers, with a key difference-whereas previously infiltration was done primarily by private detectives or civilian vol­ unteers, in the 1 960s it became the norm to use police officers themselves. I I Interestingly, the specialization of undercover work did nothing to abate the agent's development from passive observer to saboteur, and then, from saboteur to provocateur. In fact, informers often suggested the plan, sup­ plied the weapons, drove the car, and then made th e arrest. ACLU attorney Frank Donner observes, "The most common provocateur is simply a profes­ sional police agent who coldly engineers a single provocative act designed to 'set up' leaders for roundup and arrest. " I


An infiltrator's success didn't always rely on discrediting an organization or bringing legal action against them. For example , in 1 967 the New York Police Department sent Richard Lyons-a civilian-into the Veterans and Reservists Against the War (V&R) . During the two years he was a member, he advocated the V&R attack soldiers with tear gas, burn GI weapons autho­ rizatiml GIrds

(a federal offense) , Chai-gc p()lkc l�m:::-, Jut iug LleulUIlsLraLions,

and carry replica machine guns. Each suggestion was firmly rejected in favor of legal and nonviolent tactics. Nevertheless, when he was finally exposed in 1 968, the knowledge that they had been infiltrated greatly added to feelings of demoralization, and contributed to the V&R's eollapse.43 In part, the work of infiltrators represented a move away from the reactive practices and toward a proactive, anticipatory approach. Hence, red squads ju stified many of their activities with the claim that they were necessary in order to prevent violence. On the contrary, infiltrators often encouraged violence, as the V&R case shows. And the red squads' methods carried with them inherent barriers to law enforcement. For example, information gathered illegally was usually inadmissible in court, and the reluctance to identify informants greatly limited their utility in actual prosecutions.44 Add to this the fact that so much of the "information" police gathered was hopelessly off base. One Chicago cop told a Cook County Grand Jury that he listed as a "member" of an organization anyone who attended two of its public meetings. This "information" was passed on to the FBI, and disseminated from there.4' More recently, in 2002, files leaked to activist groups revealed tl1at the Denver Police Department had used the label "criminal extremist" as a default category when no other description seemed to apply. Featured under this head-


ing were political activists, members of the clergy, troubled students, and-for some reason-people who had received honors from the department itse1f. A commission appointed by the mayor determined that none of the 3,400 files could be legitimately maintained, and ordered them destroyed. But the files, and their inaccuracies, had already been passed on to other agencies.46 The harm of such exaggeration is multiplied as misinformation is spread from one agency to others. For example, in 1973 the Seattle Police Department's intelligence division opened a file on a local Chicano activist. The American Friends Service Committee described the report's transformation as it changed hands: It began: "Modus Operandi-participant in demonstrations, supporting UFW x Safeway [sic] , establishment of EI Centro." His only police record is for failure to disperse during a demonstration. By 1976, however, in describing him to the Portland Police Intelligence Division, Seattle Police stated, "M.O. Chicano activist-advocates terrorist acts." There is no information in the SPD intelli­ gence files to support such a defamatory and damaging claim.47

Inaccuracies and distortions are phenomena familiar to anyone who reads even standard police reports, but the potential for mis-reporting is amplified by the nature of undercover work (especially when informants are paid for the information) . Both the pressures and inducements, along with the sense of guilt that required the betrayer to find some justification for his betrayal, tend to produce tainted information.


too frequently it is inaccurate, highly selective, and based

on sinister and unwarranted inferences. Where a literal version of a target's utterances would seem innocent, the informer will insist on stressing the con­ notations; conversely, where the language is figurative or metaphysical [sic] the informer reports it as literally intended. Most important of all, he seizes on the transient fantasies of the powerless-rhetoric and images not intended to be acted upon-and transforms them into conspiracies whose purpose and com­ mitment are wholly alien to their volatile and ambiguous context.48

These interpretive practices underscore the symbolic value of red squad files. At first a simple administrative tool for collecting and organizing evidence, these files, like so much in the field of intelligence, quickly became a means of intimi­ dation, and eventually became an end in themselves, serving to legitimize the red squad's other activities.49 More often than not, the reported violence was only a much-exaggerated pre­ text for heavier repression. Frank Donner describes the pattern as it appeared in Philadelphia: Based on information typically supplied by a street tipster or casual infor­ mant, or "discovered" through several weeks of intensive surveillance by the CD [the Civil Disobedience Unit] , police would raid a private residence where they assertedly found explosives, guns, or inflammatory literature. A torrent of Rizzo-inspired publicity would then link the raide d premises and the seized material to a group of militants, which, it usually suggested, was part of a larger and more powerful movement. Front-page stories under banner headlines would quote Rizzo's blood-chilling description of the plot, miraculously aborted, and the closeness of the city's escape from destruc157

tion. Bail would be set at astronomical levels, but prosecution o f the culprits usually faltered. After long delays (months and even y ears) , the back pages of the newspapers whose front pages had originally blazed with reports of the sensational arrests would limply record that the prosecution had been dropped altogether or the defendants plead guilty to lesser charges (usually jJossession of weapons) or other, unrelated charges .'"

The Philadelphia branch of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was destroyed by just such a "dynamite plot," as was the Revolutionary Action Movement and-after several such raids-the Philadelphia chapter of the Black Panther Party."

COINTELPRO: THE FBI 'S GREATEST HITS '!be Black Panthers bear the uneasy distinction of being the most targeted orga­ nization of the late 1960s, perhaps the most targeted organization of all American history. The Panthers were persecuted-there is no other word-by a cam­ paign, code-named COINTELPRO (for "COunter INTELligence PROgram") . COlNTELPRO was explicitly designed, i n the words of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, "to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist, hate-type organizations and groupings, their leader­ ship, spokesmen, membership, and supporters, and to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorder."'! Tbe Church Committee of fers more detail: COINTELPRO tactics included: -Anony mously attacking the political beliefs of targets in order to induce their employ ers to fire them; -Anonymously mailing letters to the spouses of intellil!ence target s for the purpose of destroying their marriages; -Obtaining from IRS the tax returns of a target and then attempting to provoke an IRS investigation for the express purpose of deterring a pro­ test

leader from atLeIl ciing the

Democratic National Convention;

-Falsely and anonymously labeling as Government informants members of groups known to be violent, thereby exposing the falsely labeled member to expulsion or physical attack; -Pursuant to instructions to use "misinformation" to disrupt demonstra­ tions, employing such means as broadcasting false orders on the same citizens' band radio frequency used by demonstration marshals to attempt to control demonstrations, and duplicating and falsely filling out forms soliciting housing for persons coming to a demonstration, thereby causing "long and useless journeys to locate these addresses"

. . . .


The Church Committee report devotes a small section specifically to "Cooperation Between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Local Police Departments


Disrupting the Black Panther Party." It details file sharing practices involving the FBI and the police

in San Diego, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Chicago, as

well as FBI-instigated raids in San Diego and Chicago, and an FBI-directed dis­ information campaign in Oakland.o4 What the report doesn't say is that between December 1967 and December 1969, twenty-eight Panthers were killed as the 158

result of police attacks. 55 It would require another book to consider all of these cases in detail, but a couple of examples may be quite telling. In Chicago, efforts to disrupt the Black Panther Party focused on a young leader named Fred Hampton. First, the FBI tried to trigger a feud between the Panthers and a local street gang, the Blackstone Rangers. FBI operatives sent Ranger leader Jeff Fort an anonymous letter claiming that Hampton had ordered his assassination. 1bis tactic seems to have been selected in hopes of producing violence. The FBI memo describing it reads: It is believed that the [letter] may intensify the degree of animosity between the two groups and occasion Forte [sic] to take retaliatory action which could disrupt the BPP or lead to reprisals against its leadership . . . . Consideration has been given to a similar letter to the BPP alleging a Ranger plot against BPP leadership; however, it is not felt that this would be productive principally because the BPP . .. is not believed to be as violence prone as the Rangers, to whom violent type activity-shooting and the like-is second nature.56

When the letter failed to produce the desired results, the FBI moved on to more direct means of neutralizing Hampton. On the morning of December 4, 1969, at 4 A.M., fourteen police armed with submachine guns literally shot their way into Hampton's apartment. The police fired ninety-eight rounds, killing Fred Hampton and Mark Clark (head of the Peoria, lllinois, BPP) and injuring three others. Only a single round of fire was returned-by Clark, as he died. Hampton was shot five times-three times in the chest, and then twice in the head. The raid had been planned a few weeks before by COINTELPRO opera­ tive Roy Mitchell and two cops assigned to a special unit under the direction of State's Attorney Edward V. Hanrahan. Mitchell had met with Hampton's body guard, William O 'Neal, and received from him a detailed floorplan of the apartment, including the location of Hampton's bed. He also arrange d for O'Neal t o drug Hampton with a barbiturate o n the night i n question. A week after the raid, Robert Piper, the Chicago COINTELPRO section head, requested a $300 bonus for O'Neal.sIn this case we see local police, under the direction of the FBI, serving as nothing other than a death squad. Four days after the Chicago raid, forty SWAT officers and more than 100 back-ups launched a similar attack in Los Angeles. Under the leadership of red squad detective Ray Callahan, and again working from a floorplan provided by an FBI informant, the police began their offensive at 5:30 in the morning. This time, however, the target-Panther leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt-was not in his bed. The opening burst of gunfire missed him altogether. The Panthers held the police off until the media arrived and a crowd had formed; then, they sur­ rendered. Six were wounded and thirteen arrested, but no one was killed.58 The raid was a dud, but the campaign against Pratt continued, eventually resulting in his arrest for the 1968 robbery and murder of Caroline Olsen in Los Angeles. Pratt maintained that he was at a Black Panther Party meeting in Oakland when the crime was committed, a fact verified by other testimony.59 The defense sought to support the alibi with the FBI's phone tap records, but the feds wouldn't cooperate. They first denied that the telephone at the Oakland BPP office was 159

tapped, then admitted that it was but refused to tmn over the records on "national security" grounds, and finally produced the records-except for those from the period relevant to the murder case, which they claimed were lost{,/) Pratt was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. The conviction rested on the testimony of Julius Butler, a former party member who claimed that Pratt had admitted to the murder. The prosecutor failed to mention that his key witness was on the police payroll, and Butler vehemently denied it under oath, saying he'd "never been in all the world a snitch."!>! Years later, documents surfaced identifying Butler as a paid informant for the FBI, LAPD , and District Attorney's office.<,2 Furthermore, an FBI report from June 1970 frankly admitted the bureau's interest in Pratt: "constant consideration is given to the possibility of utilization of counter-intelligence measures with effort being directed toward neutralizing Pratt as an effective B.P.P. function­ ary."61 After years of legal delays, in 1997 a conservative Reagan-appointed judge, Everett W Dickey, overturned Pratt's conviction.(,4 Pratt (now going under the name Geronimo ji J aga) spent twenty-seven years as a political prisoner, nearly a third of that time in solitary confinement.l»

BEYOND COINTELPRO COINllilPRO was only one aspect of the relationship between local red squads and the federal government. Beginning in 1968, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration supplied grants to intelligence units for training and equipment/,I> At about this same time, the Justice Department's Interdivisional Information Unit (lDIU) provided the means for intelligence agencies at all levels, and from around the country, to share information. According the Church report, this established a system through which the Attorney General received the benefits of i n formation gathered by numerous agencies, without setting limits to i ntell igence reporting or p roviding clear policy guidance. Each component of the structure-FBI, Army, !DIU, local police, and many others-set its own generalized stan­ dards and priorities, resulting in excessive collection of information about law abiding citizensY

Nor was this the extent of federal involvement Throughout the late 1960s New York City's red squad gave daily briefings to Army intelligence.6R In Chicago, the U.S. Army Region I, 1 13th Military Intelligence Group not only trained and traded information with the local police, but participated in interrogations.69 Never willing to be left out of the action, the CIA offered a six-week training course for local law enforcement personnel, teaching cops the basics of surreptitious entry, photographic surveillance , electronic eavesdropping, and the manufacture and use of explosives. Members of at least forty-four state, county, and municipal police departments received this training, and in return the locals helped the Agency gather information, protect informants, and harass its critics. 7u Since the practices of local cops inevitably came to resemble those of the orga­ nizations that trained, funded, supplied, and directed them, it is worth considering the conduct of these federal agencies. The Chmch Committee summed it up:


Too many people have been spied upon by too many Gover nment agencies and to

[sic] much infor mation has been collected. The Government has

of ten undertaken the secret sur veillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when these beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operat­ i ng primarily through secret in formants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as w i retaps, microphone "bugs", surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Inves­ tigations of groups deemed potentially dangerous-and even of groups suspected of associating w ith potentially dangerous organizations-have continued for decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in unlaw f u l activity. Groups and individuals have been harassed and dis­ r upted because of their political views and their li festyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavor y and v icious tactics have been employed­ including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke target groups i nto rivalries that m ight result i n deaths. Intelligence agencies have ser ved the political and personal objectives of presidents and other h igh of ficials. While the agencies often committed excesses in response to pressure f rom high officials i n the Executive branch and Congress, they also occasionally initiated i mproper activities and then concealed them f rom officials w hom they had a duty to inform.!l

With this in view, the political operations touched on here, and the abuses that accompanied them, cannot be dismissed as the excesses of individual, over­ zealous officers, or even as the dysfunctions of particular departments. Instead, they should be understood as systematic in nature, institutional in scope, affecting the entire country, and (despite their purported aims) undermining democracy. 1bis is certainly true of the most flagrant abuses, but it may also be true of "legitimate" intelligence operations. However restrained, intelligence activities function to suppress dissent and undercut basic political liberties. Yale University law professor Thomas Emerson explains: The ver y process of i nvestigati ng political activities, involv ing the ques­ tioning of f r iends, neighbors, employers and other government agents, is intimidating. The compiling of dossiers, which may be the basis of intern­ ment i n the event of emergency or of other reprisals, is threatening. The ver y existence of agents, informers, and possible agents p rovocateurs is chilling. Opportunities for partisan abuse of intelligence powers become available and tempti ng. Freedom of expression cannot exist under these conditions.72

Secret police are always the enemies of democracy.

LOOKING AT THE LEFT At every level of government, campaigns against dissent have tended to focus disproportionately on the activities of the left. In 1975 a former detective leaked to the press a list of organizations with files maintained by the Baltimore Police


Department's Inspectional Service Division. Three of the 125 groups listed were classified as right-wing. Other categories included "subversive, extremist, civil rights, left-wing, pacifist, miscellaneous, and civic." '111e NMCE the ACLU, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference all had files, as did a tenants' group and a tutoring program .? ' A similar list was leaked to the Citizen's Commission on Police Repression, concerning IAPD surveillance activity during the year 1975. Of 200 organiza­ tions listed, twenty could be considered violent. Twenty others were crossed off, suggesting that they had been removed from the surveillance roster. (These were mostly conservative groups, beginning with the J ohn Birch Society.) Of the 160 remaining, the vast majority were liberal, leftist, or Third World solidarity groups. A numbered grading system, from one to six, classified the degree o f dan­ gerousness attributed to each organization. For example, Women's Str ike for Peace and the World Peace Council were graded number one ("Com mu­ nist or affiliated or sy mpathetic with the Communist Party") ; thf' Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Nat ional Council of Churches were rated number two ("Publ ic advocacy of social or pol itical change through violence or law-violation") ; in categories three and four (v iolence­ prone groups) , we find t he Klan and others . . . : category five (" Participat ion in or advocacy of any activity intended to create disorder") included the National Organization for WOlllen and the United Farm Workers of Amer­ ica; category six was assigned to, among others, the Black Social Workers' Union and the Pakistan-American Friendship League.74

Police in Portland, Oregon, likewise maintained secret files on elected officials, people attending political lectures, soup kitchens, a free dental clinic, day care cen­ ters, food co-ops, a bicycle repair collective, and other community groups. A report on rape crisis ccrrtcrs reads: "We can c:x�t llldl llle= ::;ale huuses and this hotline conm1Unication network will probably be used for movement of wanted fugitives in the case of future terrorist acts. . . . "75 The file "South Africa-Anti" contained the birth dates, phone numbers. class scherlules, and grades of six high school students who wrote letters against apartheid. 'The "IRA" file listed the names of hundreds of people who signed a petition against the mistreatment of political prisoners. The "Cults" file included the 1983 annual report of the First Unitarian Church.7" The file labeled "Terrorism, Misc.--Oregon" featured information on Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Portland State University Hispanic Student Union, and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.77 Police suspicion of reformers and radicals was not simply a reflection of the level of activity on the left; nor was the left more prone to violence than the right. Instead, this pattern indicates a deeply ingrained ideological bias on the part of police, especially intelligence sections. OR This bias has consis­ tently found two complementary expressions: hostility to the left, and alliance with the right. 'Y For this reason, red squad files have commonly been shared with right-wing groups. The Los Angeles police traded files with the Western Goals Foundation (an organization started by John Birch Society leader and former congressman Larry McDonald) and Research West (a private orga­ nization funded by FBI agents) . Similar arrangements existed throughout 1 62

the 1960s in most large American cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Birmingham.�o At times these relationships went further, as police made use of right-wing paramilitary and vigilante groups to carry out campaigns of violence or dirty tricks. The Legion of Justice, for example, conducted a series of burglaries, beatings, and arson attacks on behalf of the Chicago red squad. 8 1 Less spectacu­ lar but nearly as disturbing, in 1980 New Hampshire State Police worked with a private pro-nuclear group headed by Lyndon LaRouche in order to infiltrate the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance.R2 Corporate America also got in on the act. A 1974 lawsuit (Benkert v. Michigan) revealed that the Detroit Intelligence Unit had been sharing files with the Chrysler Corporation, in some cases recom­ mending Chrysler fire employees with radical political views. Chrysler, for its part, provided the police with information on its workers and helped place informants among militants on the job.s3 The left as a whole has certainly received more than its fair share of unwant­ ed police attention, but the police give particular scrutiny to those who criticize them. In March 1978, the Coalition Against Police Abuse (CAPA) received a partial list of LAPD officers. CAPA's secretary, Georgia adorn, appeared on the list CAPA and the Citizen's Commission on Police Repression quietly circulated the list, and two more infiltrators were discovered. 84 In Philadelphia, the police undertook a prolonged struggle against a com­ munity paper called the Free Press after it ran a series of articles detailing police abuses. Reporters were harassed, searched, arrested, beaten, and slandered in the police-friendly corporate media. Their apartments and cars were burglar­ ized. Their employers and schools were pressured to fire them and withdraw scholarships. The Free Press only survived by seeking-and receiving-federal court protection. 8 > Obviously the police have an institutional interest in defending themselves against criticism. But, it is worth noting the extent to which they treat dissent of any sort, absolutely any pressure toward social change, with animosity. This hos­ tility to dissent should be understood not simply in tenus of individual conser­ vatism, but as an institutional feature of the entire criminal justice system-and perhaps even of the state as a whole. Alan Wolfe explains: It is not so much that the state acts mechanistically, always moving to support one group and repress the other. as it is that a regularized bias exists in the operations of the democratic state that tends to support the interests of the power f u l against those who chal lenge them .. . . Despite some variations, when the state acts i n a liberal democratic society such as that of the United States, it acts in a biased fashion. . . . It is par tial to the dominant i nterests, hostile to those whose power is minimal. By nearly all of its actions, it reproduces a society in which some have power at the expense of others, and it moves to support the "others" only when their protests are so strong that the "some" stand to lose all they have gained. It follows that repression will similarly not be a neutral phenomenon but will have a class bias. We can predict, with good accuracy, that when the state inter venes to repress an organization or an ideology, it will be a


dissenting group, representing relatively powerless people, that will be

repressed and the interests upheld will be those of the powerful. X b

Two natural outgrowths of this bias are the criminalization of ideologies (rather than behavior) , and the judgment of guilt based on association. These, in turn, are each bound up with police efforts to prevent unrest, rather than simply responding to it. For example, Detective Sergeant John Ungvary, the head of the Cleveland red squad, told a Senate committee, " [I] f we had a law whereby we can charge all of them [Black nationalists] as participants or conspirators . . . it would be far better than waiting for an overt act."X7 As the police attempt to prevent unrest, assumptions about dissenting organizations' aims come to stand in for evidence of any individual guilt. xx This attitude, and the activity it inspires, creates a chilling effect that harms not only those groups actually under attack, but any group that fears similar treatment. T H E D EATH O"F T H E RED S QUAD S ?

Paradoxically, the silencing of dissent may itself undercut the public's faith in the government's benevolence. 'lbe 1970s were characterized by massive public distrust of governing bodies, especially the federal intelligence agen­ cies, but also their local counterparts. Along with the Watergate scandals, other startling revelations shook public confidence in the government. A researcher for the Pentagon, Daniel Ellsberg, leaked the Defense Department's secret history of the Vietnam War, revealing that the public had been deceived about the aims and methods of the war and, specifically, about American atrocities.X" Anonymous persons similarly released a series of documents stolen from the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, detailing the operations grouped under the heading COINTELPRO.'JU It is quite ironic that the best tool for proving official misconduct by federal agen�ie;" tU! Heu UUl LU be their own cherished tiles. In an effort to salvage credibility, Congressional committees and special prosecutors tried to "come clean." Even the intelligence agencies themselves tried to rehabilitate their public image; COINTELPRO arld similar programs were quickly discontinued. And on the local level, opponents of police spying took the opportunity to move against the red squads. So what kills a red squad? In Washington, D.C., it was a combination of law­ suits and pressure from city council. In Birmingham, it was the success of civil rights efforts, and the shift of power that accompanied it. Official investigations and a change in local statutes did in the Baltimore unit. A series of court rulings, a change in political climate, the election of a liberal mayor, attacks in the media, and a sudden loss of allies conspired against the red squad in Detroit. A series of scandals finally cost the Los Angeles unit the last of its credibility, leading to its break-up. In Philadelphia, it was the combination of a Federal Civil Rights Commission investigation, lawsuits, judicial rulings, and a loss of public support stemming from widespread corruption. In Seattle, a city ordinance outlawed the red squad's activities. In Memphis and Chicago, lawsuits produced consent decrees limiting political investigations. A change in political climate brought New York City a liberal mayor and police commissioner; combined with law­ suits, court rulings, and an overall loss of credibility, the change of administra164

tion spelled doom for the red squad. Of the various weapons used against the red squads, the most common was litigation.91 But the political climate may well have been more important to the success of such legal action than either the law or the facts of the case. Author Ken Lawrence describes the limits of legal victories: [ Legal reforms are] more reflective of the political climate than they are a way of creating a favorable climate. So, it's a mistake to regard a legal forum as itsel f a particularly useful way to create an improved political situation .. . . If you win an i njunction , that's more a sign that you have pre­ vailed in changing the political climate. But it doesn't for a minute mean that it's going to place any serious restraint on the actions of the police.92

Success is rarely total, or permanent. Political repression didn't end with the defeat of the red squads, any more than it ended with the termination of COINTELPRO, the death of]. Edgar Hoover, the resignation of Nixon, or the retirement of Captain Schaack decades before. Repression continues as a per­ manent feature of capitalist society and as a central function of the state. The changes necessary to remove it, then, are far deeper than anything that we can expect from the courts. Judges issued a series of favorable rulings; however, as Donner put it, "the plaintiffs won all the battles but lost the war."93 Maintaining the conditions estab­ lished by the courts was a separate fight, and a difficult one, since even judges themselves proved very reluctant to enforce the rules the courts established.94 And police actively resisted reform-sometimes through lawyerly quibbling, sometimes by dragging their feet, sometimes through dirty tricks. In 1976, Judge James Montante ordered the Detroit Police Department and the Michigan State Police to turn their files over to the people listed in them. Four years later, the state police finally complied with this order. The Detroit police never did. Instead, Mayor Coleman Young simply dissolved the red squad and transferred its files to other units in the department.95 Elsewhere, the police responded to lawsuits by destroying files, thus preempting the legal discovery process, the court's attempt to inspect them, and any possible orders to make them public. This occurred in Memphis, Seattle, Chicago, and in a case involving the Mississippi Highway Patrol.96 In Los Angeles, the police hid the files and just claimed they had been destroyed.97 Red squad detective Jay Paul rescued over 100 cartons of docu­ ments, storing them in several locations, including his own home. More than a dozen cops helped Paul with the move. Several others, including lieutenants and captains, knew this was happening, allowed it, and even approved the use of department resources and staff time to assist in the effort.98 In 1983, Portland Police Bureau intelligence officer and John Birch Society member Winfield Falk undertook a similar task, stealing files that were headed for the shredder, taking them home, and adding to them on his own for several years." ') Ranging from a 1924 Communist Party membership card to a 1986 anti­ apartheid flier, the files contained information on 576 organizations and more than 3,000 individuals. 1 00 Falk's files provide an unnerving glimpse at the tactics employed by police agents. They detail the use of informants, and a 1972 document offers explicit 165

instructions on infiltrating and disrupting dissident groups. W I COINTELPRO­ style dirty tricks are similarly discussed: when a Black activist's mother over­ heard someone offer to sell her son dynamite, she accused the police of trying to entrap the young man. Officer Mike Salmon took a report and forwarded it to the head of intelligence, lieutenant Melvin " Corky" Hulett, along with a note: "I'm sending this direct to you, bypassing records, and I'll let you decide what to do with the report. For all we know what Mrs. Anderson says is true (it sounds sneaky, but a good idea) ." HI2 Many of the files contain no allegations of criminal wrongdoing, but focus instead on personal information, including financial records, job applications,

speculation about the subject's sexual orientation, and family photos. 1 0.1 Collecting such information on people not suspected of crimes has been against Police

Bureau POliL), since 1975, and after 1981 it violated state law as well. But many of Falk's reports were addressed to senior officers, indicating that police commanders knew what he was up to. I Ot, While careful to deny knowledge of the files' existence, former Portland police chief Penny Harrington recounted an episode in 1985, when Falk called her to report on the activities of liberal city councilors, alleging they were out to "take over the city government."IOO Harrington wasn't surprised to hear that Falk had kept the files for his own use: 'That was happening all over the country at that time . . . . Files were ending up in people's garages and basements." Hl(, File rescues have occurred as recently as N ovember 1990, when San Francisco police chief Willis Casey shut down his department's red squad. Instead of destroying the squad's files, officer Tom Gerard moved them to his home. From there he distributed the documents to the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (who passed them on

to the Israeli government) , and also to

the apartheid government of South Africa. In total, Gerard maintained files on thousands of Arab Americans, thirty-six Arab gruujJ:>, tlill Ly-lllree anti-apartheid groups, 412 "pinko" organizations, 349 right-wing groups, and thirty-five skinhead gangs, as well as the ACLU, the National Lawyer's Guild, MotherJones magazine, the United Auto Workers, the board of directors of KQED (a public television station) , the Black Studies Department at San Francisco University, Democratic politicians, and journalists. When Gerard's operation was discovered, it touched off a major scandal. But Richard Hirschhaut, executive director of the Anti­ Defamation League Central Pacific Region, shrugged off the controversy: " [T] he relationship we had with him . . . was the same as with thousands of police officers around the country."!07 Indeed, when the SFPD and FBI raided B'nai B'rith offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, they discovered that the organization was keeping computerized files on nearly 10,000 people. Approximately 75 percent of the data in the files had been obtained illegally from police, federal agents, or the Department of Motor Vehicles.!08 As municipal red squads closed up shop, the burden of political repression was moved off of city police departments and onto county or state agencies. At the end of the 1970s, as city police were getting out of the spy business


least officially) , state units were formed in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Georgia. 1 09 A simultaneous charade was being played out at the federal level.


By discontinuing use of the term "COINTELPRO," the B ureau gave the

appearance of acceding to public and congressional pressure. I n reality, it protected its capacity to continue precisely the same activ ity under other names. Decentralization of covert operations vastly reduced the volume of required reporti ng. It dispersed the remaining documentation to indi­ vidual case fi les in diverse field of fices, and it purged these files of any

caption suggesting domestic covert action. I I O

From the FBI's perspective, the problem with COINTELPRO was that it created a paper trail leading to its exposure. The solution, then, lay not in discontinuing the operation, but in decentralizing it-thus making it far less vulnerable. One innovation-the Joint Terrorism Task Force (J1TF) -allowed both local and federal agencies to sidestep restrictions on their activities by work­ ing together. J1TFs are composed of agents from numerous local, state, and federal agencies, and headed by the FBI. Since local cops are ostensibly acting as federal agents, their activities are not subject to the supervision of

local authorities and the information they collect remains secret. I I I Th e FBI

meanwhile can rely on these other agencies to do the heavy lifting, thus avoid­ ing the unseemly impression of excessive federal involvement. Accountability disappears in a bureaucratic shell game. Really, this is an old story: when New York's "Anarchist Squad" was disbanded in

1914, its responsibilities were shifted to the bomb squad. Overt

harassment was replaced with clandestine operations, and within a few months the bomb squad had an undercover unit 1 1 2 A similar tale can be told about the

Detroit red squad, which was abolished in

1939 after a far-reaching scandal, only

to be revived a few months later with World War II as a justification. Its activities were then taken up in cooperation with the FBI. I I 3

At least some of those responsible for th e reforms of th e late seventies (and early eighties) knew about this history, and understood how fragile their gains really were. Richard Gutman, an attorney with the Alliance to End Repression, said in


Histor y teaches that the intensity of political sur veillance is not constant. It ebbs and flows. When the pol itical establishment feels its power or policies th reatened, political sur veillance will resume. That resumption may be marked by a cour t-ordered revision of our i njunction based upon "changed circumstances" . . .


1 14

And indeed, eighteen years later, the Chicago consent decree fell. In keeping with Gutman's prediction, the court decided that: The era in w hich the Red Squad flourished is histor y, along w ith the Red Squad itsel f. The instabil ities of that era have largely disappeared. Fear of communist subversion, s o strong a motivator of constitutional infringe­ ments in those days, has disappeared along w ith the Soviet Union and the Cold War. Legal controls over the police, legal sanctions for infringe­ ment of constitutional rights, have multiplied. The culture that created and nourished the Red Squad has evaporated. The consent decree has done its job. 1 1 5

The consent decree's fin al test began in

1996, when th e Democratic National

Convention was set in Chicago and Active Resistance, an anarchist "counter1 67

convention," was scheduled to coincide with it. Despite court-mediated limits on such activities, police-both in uniform and in civilian clothing-lurked around the anarchists' meeting halls and patrol cars frequently cruised by, slowing down when passing a conference participant on her way in or out. Police even conduct­ ed surveillance from a helicopter, hOYeling over the conference area while p,ue. ticipants ate a picnic lunch. Witnesses reported being followed, threatened, pho­ tographed, and questioned by police, and the cops repeatedly attempted to gain entry to the meeting space. A demonstration connected with Active Resistance was attacked by police using horses and nightsticks and those arrested were interrogated about their political views, their participation in protest activity, and related matters. I 1 (, Finally, on August 29, 1996, the confercnce space was raided by several officers wearing uniforms but no badges. They ordered everyone to the ground, pushing down or pepper-spraying those who refused. 'Ibey searched conference participants' belongings, and seized papers they deemed "subversive to the government of the United States."w When the Alliance to End Repression Goined by the Active Resistance orga­ nizers and others) sued to enforce the consent decree, Judge Jo
'!be eighties and nineties are commonly thought to be times of social peace and political conservatism. Yet these two decades were punctuated with surges of activism concerning nuclear disarmament, U.S. policies in Central America, gay and lesbian rights, the AIDS crisis, abortion rights, the Gulf War, police brutality, immigrants' rights, the environment, prison expansion, and economic globalization. 1 20 And, as before, these movements were met with repression and police interference. For example, in 1986 Christopher McKinney was arrested during a dem­ onstration against President Reagan's proposed missile defense system. He filed a lawsuit, and in doing so unearthed an intelligence operation involving the local police, the U.S. Marshals, the Air Force, and Lockheed. With federal direction, two Sunnyville, California, cops-Tom Piatanesi and Dave White­ had infiltrated student peace groups. Piatanesi later identified activists to be arrested at the demonstration. 1 21 In Portland, Oregon, in 1993, a scuffle broke out between youth at a punk rock show and the riot police who had surrounded the venue and refused to let them leave. Thirty-one people were arrested, among them Douglas Squirrel. Squirrel had left the show early but was arrested anyway because, as police spokesperson Derrick Foxworth explained, police files identi­ fied him as the "leader of the anarchists. " 1 22 Files released during the trial 16S

revealed an extensive pattern of political surveillance, much of it in violation of Oregon law. In particular, informants had been used against groups with no criminal history, including those lobbying for a civilian board to hear com­ plaints against the police. Squirrel was acquitted, and a subsequent lawsuit produced a ruling limiting police surveillance activities to those attached to an ongoing criminal investigation. Despite the judge's ruling, the surveillance continued. After a

1998 protest against the bombing of Iraq, another activist,

Dan Handelman, was surprised to see his name in a police report, with a brief synopsis of his political work: The Peace and Justice Works Iraq Affinity Group has held numerous p ro­ tests in the Portland area concerning U.S. involvement with Iraq. This group is headed by a subject named Dan Randleman

[sic] who has been very active

in calling for, arranging, and sponsoring these demonstrations. 1 2 3

Handehnan was not arrested at the event, and this political information-likely drawn from other files--had no bearing on any criminal case. Together these examples show that the police are loath to respect any restric­ tions placed on their operations (whether by the legislature or by the courts) , and that the agitator-subversion thesis remains alive and well. In fact, though not yet apparent on the larger scale, there are indications of COINTELPRO-style abuses and even outright atrocities during the Reagan-Bush-Clinton years. Consider, for instance, the case ofJudi Bari-bombed by persons unknown, then unsuccessfully framed by the Oakland police and the FBI. Bari was seri­ ously injured on March

24, 1990, when a pipe bomb exploded under the seat of

her car; Darryl Cherney was also in the vehicle, and was also injured, though not as badly. The two were members of the radical environmental group Earth First! and were in the midst of organizing a civil disobedience campaign against logging in Northern California. In the weeks before the attack, they had received numerous death threats, which the police declined to investigate. When the bomb exploded, the cops--under the always helpful guidance of the FBI-were quick to blame the victims: Barl and Cherney were arrested for transporting explosives and branded in the media as terrorists. But the physical evidence did not match the official theory that Bari and Cherney were knowingly transporting explosives. The damage to the car, and to Bari herself, indicated that the bomb was under the driver's seat, not in the back seat where the police said it had been. The DA declined to prosecute, the police refused to look for other suspects, and Bari and Cherney sued.1 24 The lawsuit brought forth evidence suggestive of possibilities far more sinister than simple incompetence-including details of an FBI-run bomb school held on lumber company property weeks before the explosion . In the course of the training, Special Agent Frank Doyle simulated a bombing identi­

cal to that which injured Barl and Cherney a month later. l lj The jury became convinced that Bari and Cherney'S civil rights had been violated, and in June

2002, awarded them $ 4.4 million. 1be jury explicitly recognized the political motivations behind the police misconduct: violations of the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights represented 80 percent of the damages . 1 26 One unnamed juror told the Press Democrat, 'There were too many lies and manipulation of the evidence. And way too much guilt by association. Law enforcement isn't 1 69

supposed to do that." 1 Z7 Another juror concurred, saying, "Now every time I hear anything about the FBI where they made an arrest I question it. That's what this experience taught me. " 1 2H But for Bari, justice delayed really was justice denied-she died of cancer while the case was still in litigation. During the last quarter of the twentieth century, however, no set of events are as dramatically damning of police intelligence operations as the Philadelphia Police Department's campaign against MOVE. MOVE is a radical Afrocentric, anti-technology organization inspired by the teachings of lohn Africa. After neighbors lodged noise and sanitation complaints against the group, police used eight-foot-high fences to blockade a four-block area around the home of the organization's members. From May 1 977 until March 1978, the Powelton neigh­ borhood came to resemble an armed camp. Under the COlllillcUld of red squad lieutenant George Fencl, the area was only accessible through a police check­ point. Residents were required to show JD to enter, and were escorted to their homes by police; friends and family were only permitted inside if they had been previously listed by residents, and if they received police approval. Residents could only leave their homes with permission from the police. 1 ,,, The whole opera­ tion cost $2 million, required 1,000 officers, and ended with a shoot-out. One cop was killed, and eighteen other people injured (twelve police and firefighters, six members and supporters of MOVE) . This was immediately followed by the beat­ ing of MOVE leader Delbert Africa as he tried to surrender. 1 50 A few years later, the neighborhood suffered another poorly conceived police action. Allegedly trying to serve four arrest warrants, cops fired into the MOVE house, and then used a helicopter to bomb the building. Eleven people were killed, including five children. U 1 Sixty-one homes were destroyed in the fire that followed, leaving 250 people homeless. A commission estab­ lished to study the incident found that police gunfire had prevented the resi­ dents of the hOUSE: frum t:V dCUdLillg, ami Iloled that the "tiring ot over 10,000 rounds of ammunition in under ninety minutes at a row house containing children was clearly excessive and unreasonable."u2 The courts have tended to agree with this assessment, and the City of Philadelphia has paid more than $ 33 million in damages related to the incident. Still, no government official has ever faced criminal charges for the massacre. In sharp contrast, Ramona Africa (the one adult survivor) spent the next seven years in prison. 1 33 Like so many others, this atrocity was the joint work of local and federal authorities. MOVE members cataloged the weaponry used against them: tear gas, water canons, shotguns, Uzis, M-16s, Browning Automatic Rifles, M-60 machine guns, a 20mm anti-tank gun, and a 50-caliber machine gun-plus, of course, a bomb. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms granted the police special permission for this arsenal, and the FBI provided 37.5 pounds of C-4 plastic explosives several months before the final attack. 134 Philadelphia's first Black mayor, W. Wilson Goode, justified the military approach: ''What we have out there is war." MOVE's neighbors had a different word for it. As they gathered on the streets, their homes burning, they chanted at the police, "Murder! Murder!"l35





In terms of official repression, the twenty-first century may come to surpass the twentieth. Repressive operations have only escalated, and accelerated, since the September 11, 200 1 , attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Both the domestic security forces and the military have used the cli­ mate of fear following the attacks to justify radical expansion of their activi­ ties. Around the country, police pressed for increased powers and sought relief from the limits imposed in the 1970s. 116 And the FBI took the opportu­ nity to expand its JrrF program, adding twenty-one new task forces, so that there is one attached to each of its fifty-six field offices. I 37 Just weeks after the attacks, Congress did its part to advance the domes­ tic espionage agenda, passing the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA Patriot) Act. The Washington Post described the law: Molded by wartime p olitics and passed . . . in furious haste, the new anti­ terrorism bill lays the foundation for a domestic intelligence-gathering system of unprecedented scale and technological prowess, according to both supporters and critics of the legislation.. . . The bill effectively tears down a legal fire wall erected 25 years ago during the Watergate era . . . . 1 3 8

Or, as the ACLU's Dave Fidanque put it, "this is the dawn of a new day in secret government." 1 39 lbe Patriot Act represents the Palmer Raids and Watergate-style black­ bag jobs, rolled into one and stamped with Congressional approval. J 40 Passed and signed on October 26, 2001, this law expanded the definition of "terror­ ism," reduced the legal rights of immigrants, and granted the police greater powers to conduct surveillance, while limiting judicial oversight. I 1 J lbe Patriot Act created a new crime, that of "domestic terrorism." According to the ACLU: The new offense threatens to transform protesters into terrorists if they engage in conduct that "involves acts dangerous to human life".. . . Then, under this law, the dominos begin to fall. Those who provide lodging or other assistance to these "domestic terrorists" could have their homes wiretapped and could be prosecuted. 1<12

The effect is to formalize guilt by association, allowing the secretary of state to designate any group that has ever engaged in violence as a "terrorist organiza­ tion." Those who have lent assistance to such groups-whether or not their assistance was connected to terrorism-are subject to scrutiny, including searches and wiretaps. Worse still, the secretary can secretly designate a group as terrorist, and the decision to detain an individual lies with the attorney gen­ eral, not the courts.H3 The ACLU elaborates: Non-citizens could also be detained o r deported for providing assistance to groups that are not designated as terrorist organizations at all, a s long as activity of the group satisfies an extraordinarily broad definition of


terrorism that covers virtually all violent activity . . . Such groups as the World Trade Organization protesters, the Vieque s protesters and even People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ( PETA), would, on the basis of mi nor acts of violence or vandalism, meet this overbroad definition . 144

The law also damages privacy rights by encouraging secret searches, increas­ ing eavesdropping, and removing many protections for confidential information. Section 213 allows police to search a person's property without notifying her that a warrant has been issued. Likewise, Section 216 allows for increased sur­ veillance of electronic communication, removes most restrictions on the use of wiretaps, and substantially limits the role of judicial review, essentially giving law enforcement a free hand to monitor telecommunications. As the ACLU points out, "Most of the changes apply not just to surveillance of terrorists, but instead to all surveillance in the United States."14S By authorizing such practices while preventing any effective oversight, the law opens the door for more and greater abuses of power. By legitimizing many tactics previously used in secret, it makes it easier for police to play more dirty tricks behind the scenes. The Patriot Act also restructured the American security forces and shifted their priorities. The law increased information-sharing between the FBI, CIA, NSA, INS, and Secret Service, and granted them access to previously off-limits grand jury information. HI, Section 203 allows the CIA to share information with whomever they chose, including foreign governments. l l? While the CIA is still barred from performing domestic police or intelligence functions, it is allowed to cooperate with the agencies that do this work. 1 4R 'The FBI, meanwhile, "must shift its primary focus from investigating and prosecuting past crimes to identifying threats of future terrorist attacks . . . . " 149 As if the Patriot Act weren't enough, a year later Congress again bolstered the power of the security forces, this time ordering the largest bureaucratic re-orga­ nizatioii �itlce Ute creation of the Defense Department. ' 1 he Homeland Security Act, passed in November 2002, incorporated 170,000 employees from twenty-two agencies into an integrated domestic anti-terrorism apparatus, the Department of Homeland Security I '0 The Homela.'1d Security Department will centrally man­ age tasks related to sharing information, monitoring electronic communications, regulating the borders, responding to emergencies, and coordinating local anti­ terrorism efforts. I S I It includes 74,300 armed federal agents and takes on many of the tasks formerly performed by the INS, Customs, the Coast Guard, and the Border Patrol. 152 Additionally, under Title II of the Homeland Security Act, the Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection is charged with creating a database on individuals' credit card purchases, telephone calls, banking transactions, and travel. This information is to be used to create profiles with which to identify future suspects. I S3 The Bush administration has extended its reach even further. Through a series of executive orders, administrative rules, and memoranda, President George W Bush and former Attorney General John Ashcroft have openly ignored even the meager restrictions established by the Patriot and Homeland Security laws, not to mention the limits spelled out in the Bill of Rights. A September 20, 2001, executive order allows the INS to hold a person, without charges, for an unspecified "reasonable period of time."lj4 According to an October 31, 2001, 172

interim regulation, detainees who have been ordered released by a court may still be held until the order can be appealed. Another interim regulation issued on the same date allows federal authorities to monitor privileged attorney-client com­ munications. I " And new Department of Justice rules allow local an d state police to be deputized for immigration control. 1 56 Perhaps most chilling, a November 2001 executive order authorized the use of military tribunals to try "enemy combatants," including U.S. citizens.1 57 As th e Center for Constitutional Rights points out, this order gives the President the power to decide who will be tried under the new system, to create the rules by which trial will proceed, to appoint those who will serve as judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney, to set penalties once guilt is determined (induding death) and to decide all appeals. 1 5 8

These unilateral extensions of executive power have prompted predictable court battles, the final outcomes of which have yet to be determined. 1 59 While legal maneuvering and bureaucratic in-fighting leave a great many details in flux, the overall direction of events is clear enough: toward govern­ ment secrecy, away from individual privacy; expanding state power, diminish­ ing individual rights. 1 60 Former Attorney General John Ashcroft sounded eerily like ]. Edgar Hoover as he explained the administration's intentions: 'We are doing everything we can to identify those who would hurt us, to disrupt them, to delay them, to defeat them."161 As with the Palmer Raids and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the rights of immigrants have been hardest hit, though the level of actual impact has been difficult to measure. Wh ile the govern­ ment proved quite enthusiastic about locking up the tired, the poor, the huddled masses, it was less eager to say exactly how many people have been detained. The official total placed the number at rights advocates suspect is deceptively low. 16 2

1, 147, a figure human

Many detainees were held incommunicado. They were commonly denied legal representation and their families were not told where-or in some cases, whether-they were in custody. 1 63 While Ashcroft called the detainees "suspected terrorists," none were charged with a crime related to terrorist activity. 1 64 In fact, the Justice Department estimated that only ten or twelve of those held were connected to AI Qaeda, and documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that, of the first

725 arrested, 300 were

of no interest to any investigation of terrorism. 1 65 Yet in a clear inversion of the presumption of innocence, the detainees were held under the pretext of minor immigration violations until the authorities could be convinced of their innocence; they were then either released or deported. 1 66 Georgetown University law professor David Cole pointed out the obvious: The real reason for their i ncarceration is not that they worked w ithout authorization or took too few academic credits, for example. Rather, the government used these excuses to detain them because it thinks they just might have valuable i nformation, because it suspects them but lacks evidence to make a charge, or simply because the FBI is not yet con­ vinced that they are innocent. 1 67

1 73

In a typical case, Hady Hassan Omar, an Egyptian national, fell under sus­ picion because he made plane reservations from a Kinko's computer. On the basis of this questionable conduct, he was arrested, held for two months, and then released without charges. I (,k Or, to take another case: Shahin Hajizadeh , a legal resident awaiting his permanent status, appeared at the INS office in Los Angeles to comply with regulations requiring the registration and finger­ printing of all Middle Eastern men over sixteen years of age. He was detained, kicked in the ribs by a guard, and placed in an overcrowded cell without adequate food, water, or bathroom facilities. He was then transferred to a cold cell in the desert town of Lancaster, allowed to sleep for about an hour, moved back to L.A. . and released. 1 (,<) Hajizacleh was just one of hundreds of Middle Eastern men detained while attempting to comply with the new rules. As usual. the government refused to cite exact figures. but put the number arrested somewhere "in the low two hundreds." I -o Civil rights activists, attorneys representing the detain­ ees. and anonymous immigration officials put the number between 500 and

700. 1 7 1 Most of those detained were in the country legally. lbe registration requirements thus present immigrants with a classic catch-22: either comply with the law and risk detention, or violate the law and risk arrest. Abdallah Higazy's experience was less typical, but just as revealing. O n September 1 1 , 200 1 , Higazy had been staying a t the Millennium Hilton Hotel, with a view of the World Trade Center. Like everyone else in the building, he abandoned his room when hijacked airliners collided with the twin tow­ ers. Later. as Hilton employees cataloged the property left behind, a security guard reported finding an aviation radio in Higazy's room. Higazy initially denied that the radio was his. but was arrested and spent a month in solitary confinement; then, during an FBI interrogation, he confessed to aiding the

attacks. But somethillg Ullt")\vedeu

happened: an Amencan pilot contacted

the hotel to claim his aviation radio, and the case against Higazy disintegrat­ ed. The security guard-a former Newark cop named Ronald Ferry-admit­ ted that he had lied to invpstigators about where he found the radio. He was

sentenced leniently, receiving six months of weekend detention . I '2

It would be a mistake, however, to put all the blame on Ferry. The FBI's role in this near-disaster also deserves some scrutiny. Our first question should be: how exactly did they convince an innocent man to confess? And our second: why did the investigators take Ferry at his word? Even a cursory check would have drawn his credibility into question, since he had been fired from the Newark Police Department for drug-related misconduct. But, as the U.S. attorney in the case explained: Given what the Government knew . . , the information [ Ferry provided] seemed more than merely plausible. . . . [The government) knew that, on September 11. Mr. Higazy was staying at the hotel next to the WTC , on the 51st floor. in a room with a view of the WTC . . . . It knew that one o[ his duties in the Egyptian Air Corps was to repair aviation radios . . . . [ I l t knew that a number of the September 11 hijackers were Egyptian nationals; and it knew that Mr. Higazy is an Egyptian national. 1 73

In other words, as federal authorities saw it, they had no reason to doubt the 1 74

word of a dirty cop and every reason to suspect a foreign student. Despite its happy ending (at least when compared to the alternative: imag­ ine if the pilot had never come back for his radio) , this case remains deeply trou­ bling and does not bode well for the nationwide terrorist dragnet. In the context of official panic and diminished rights, Higazy was accused by an unreliable informant, arrested, held in solitary confinement, and repeatedly interrogated; he was ultimately induced to confess to a crime of which he was innocent. That's the danger of witchhunts: an eager inquisitor will always find someone to burn. RE T HIN KING UNREST

We've come a long way since Haymarket. Originally, police repression focused on the behavior of crowds; surveil­ lance allowed the cops to respond quickly to any disturbance. But as the police began to view their role more in terms of preventing trouble, the use of surveillance increased, and intelligence operations became specialized . 1 74 Police attention fell, not only on demonstrations and individual leaders, but on meetings, organizations, and entire movements. By the 1970s it was clear that something was lacking in the theory behind domestic intelligence work, and that the actual practice had reached far beyond whatever strategy there may once have been. The cops clung to a conspiracy model for understanding subversion, but their targets included individuals quite removed from any radical tendency whatever. TIle police became obsessed with ideology, but continually misread the intentions of peaceful groups and even pressed them toward violent action. Police aggressively sought to pre­ empt subversion and prevent unrest, yet remained essentially reactive in their stance toward existing social movements. When theory advanced to address this confusion, it was the work of neither an American nor, strictly speaking, a policeman. Instead, the person who realigned the theory and practice of repression was the aforementioned British military com­ mander Frank Kitson. Kitson based his doctrine on an analysis of rebellions, outlining three stages of a subversive campaign: preparation, nonviolence, and insurgency. The security forces need to be ready at every stage, beginning with the preparatory stage when everything seems calm. Despite its aims, the old model remained essentially reac­ tive; it only responded at the second stage, when political activity became visible. Kit<;on's hope was to prevent the "enemy" from ever reaching the second stage.175 He wrote: Looking in retrospect at any counter-subversion or counter-insurgency cam­ paign, it is easy to see that the first step should have been to prevent the enemy from gaining an ascendancy over the civil population, and in particular to disrupt his efforts at establishing his political organization. In practice this is difficult to achieve because for a long time the government may be unaware that a significant threat exists, and in any case in a so-called free country it is regarded as the opposite of freedom to restrict the spread of a political idea. 1 76

Kitson saw that previous efforts at preventing unrest had begun too late, after 175

a threat had already developed. The task at hand was to prevent subversive ideas from finding a popular audience. Clearly, intelligence must play a central role in thi s pursuit. Kitson's analysis reflected an important break from assumptions fundamen­

tal to the police ideology. The earlier obsession with conspiracies and agitators reflected a conservative view of society: the political order was fundamentally stable, unrest was anomalous and irrational, dissent was not prompted by social conditions but by Communist plots. As Frank Donner notes: To equate dissent with subversion, as intelligence officials do, is to deny that the demand for change is based on real social, economic, or political concli­ tions. A familiar example of this is the almost paranoid obsession with the "agitator." Intelligence proceeds on the assumption that most people are reasonably contented but are incited or misled by an "agitator," a figure who typically comes from "outside" to stir up trouble. The task is to track down this sinister individual and bring him to account: all will then be well again. 177

Working from these premises, the police were incapable of understanding social movements when they arose, and could do practically nothing to prevent them. Eventually, the shortcomings ofthis approach necessitated the shiftto COINTELPRO tactics and the covert disruption of radical movements. But COINTELPRO, too, was essentially reactive: it sought to dis-organize existing movements and isolate them from their constituencies, but could not prevent them from arising in the first place. Kitson corrected for these problems by abandoning the conservative stance. His analysis suggests that society exists in a state of permanent conflict; this would require a strdtegy of permanent repression, generdlly termed counter-insurgency. , ·s Rather than focusing solely on activists, political repression must be understood in terms of controlling whole populations. The shift from anti-Communism to anti-terrorism is minor compared to thf' move trom conspiracy theories to counter-insurgency. The latter has broadened the scope of intelligence operations and, at the same time, informed the direc­ tion of other police work. In crowd control actions and community policing programs, as Well as in the work of the red squads, the emphasis is increasingly placed on preemptive and proactive efforts. In each case, police seek to enlist the support of reliable portions of the population when conditions are stable, and to neutralize disruptive elements before they present a threat. The broader implications of this strategy, and the practical efforts to imple­ ment it, will be considered in the chapters that follow.

1 76




ments continue to arise, occasionally developing to the point of unrest. Naturally, when uprisings occur, the authorities must put them down. Governments nec­ essarily have a stake in controlling political protest, especially when it becomes forceful enough to disrupt the usual course of things--that is, when it becomes an effective threat to the status quo. No one with an interest in retaining power can allow things to go so far as to actually jeopardize their ability to rule. But this presents a problem for the rulers of an alleged democracy, with its prom­ ises of civil rights, free speech, popular assembly, and the pretense that the people are actually in the driver's seat. Open repression may exacerbate a crisis and undercut the state's claim to legitimacy, while acquiescence may make the government seem weak and will surely carry with it unfavorable policy implica­ tions. There can be no question of whether to control political protest, but there is a clear question as to S EAT T L E ,

1 999:

how this may best be accomplished. I


Th e 1999 Seattle demonstrations against th e World Trade Organization (Wf0) precipitated a sharp controversy in the theory of crowd control, calling into question police strategies of the previous twenty-five years. On the morning of November 30, 1999, tens of thousands of people filled downtown Seattle in protest against the World Trade Organization. Protesters surrounded the venue for the WID's ministerial conference, blocking the delegates' access to the meeting and shutting down a large portion of the city. The protests were overwhelmingly peaceful; many took the form of dance parties in the street. On the demonstrators' side, the much-decried ''violence'' and "rioting" amounted to only a few broken windows and some tear gas thrown back in the direction of the police. 177

For most of that day, the police were helpless to restore order. 1bey stood in small groups, blocking random streets, accomplishing nothing. Occasionally tear gas was used, and the police would advance a block, but that was all. For one day, the streets belonged to jubilant crowds. Shops were not open, cars could not pass, the WTO meeting was stalled at the outset. By nightfall, a curfew was in place and the National Guard was on patrol. It was announced that no more demonstrations would be allowed in the area of the conference. Police chased a crowd from downtown to the nearby Capitol Hill neighborhood, attacking every­ one in the street along the way. The residents of Capitol Hill fought back, and a pitched battle ensued. The fighting continued late into the night. On December 1, the streets belonged to the cops. Early that morning, the police arrested more than 600 people just outside the "No-Protest Zont'." Police were shown on national television indiscriminately firing tear gas, rubber bullets, and other "less-lethal" munitions. Beatings were common-not only protesters, but bystanders and reporters were attacked. Still the demonstrations continued. On December 2, several hundred people surrounded the jail, demanding their comrades be released; a compromise was reached when the authorities allowed lawyers in to see the prisoners-the first legal access since the arrests began. In the end, the protesters won. The WTO meeting started late and ended in failure; no new trade agreements were reached. Most of those arrested were released, with charges dropped. And Norm Stamper, Seattle Chief of Police, resigned in disgrace. People-workers, students, environmentalists. human rights activists-stood together against the WTO, the city government, the police, the National Guard, and the corporate powers they all represent. And the people won. Before the smoke had even cleared, authorities around the country were asking what had gone wrong and, more importantly, how they could prevent it from happening again.2 ASSESSING THE P O LICE RES P ONSE :




Everyone agrees that the police action at the wro was an unmitigated disaster. A city councH committee charged with reviewing the events noted, "this city became the laboratory for how American cities will address mass protests. In many ways, it became a vivid demonstration of what not to dO."3 From a civil rights perspective, the 1999 WTO ministerial was marked by a virtual prohibition on free speech, a plague of arbitrary arrests, and wide­ spread police brutality. 'The ACLU described the situation this way: Realizing it had lost control of the scene, the City then over-reacted. It vio­ lated free speech rights in a large part of downtown. Under the direction of the Seattle Police Department, police from Seattle and nearby juris­ dictions used chemical weapons on peaceful crowds and people walking by. Losing discipline, police officers committed individual acts of brutal­ ity. Protesters were improperly arrested and m istreated in custody.4

The city council's description of the events bears the standard characteristics of a police riot: Our i nquiry found troubling examples of seemingly grat uitous assaults on citizens, including use of less-lethal weapons like tear gas, pepper gas, 178

rubber bullets, and "beanbag guns," by officers who seemed motivated more by anger or fear than professional law enforcement.5

And police commanders admit that they lost control, not only of the streets, but of their troops as well: An essential element for the successful execution of any plan is the ability to control operations once officers are deployed. Unfortunately, in several respects the command and control arrangements for WTO broke down early in the operation . 6

Nevertheless, from the law-and-order side, th e protests represented a vast sea of lawlessness, complete with attacks against police and property. The Seattle Police Department After Action Report describes the protests from the police perspective: Numerous acts of property damage, looting, and assaults on police were committed . O fficers were pelted with sticks , bottles, traffic cones, empty chemical irritant canisters, and other debris . Some protesters used their own chemical irritants against police, and a large fire was set in the inter­ section at 4th and Pike . 7

What's remarkable is not so much the dispute between the police and civil rights advocates (not to mention the protesters) , but the level of conflict between the city council and the police. Some of this was surely opportunis­ tic posturing, a typical political game, with politicians scrambling to cover their asses, point accusing fingers, and associate themselves with the win­ ners. But the dispute also represents a sharp split between the perspective of the city council (as presented in its Accountability C ommittee Report) and that of the police (argued mostly by proxy, in a report prepared by an independent consulting firm-R. M. McCarthy and Associates) . Not only are their analyses in conflict-in places, even the facts they cite are at odds-but their suggested remedies are in direct opposition. Funded by the mayor's office, th e McCarthy and Associates report was written primarily by three retired law enforcement officers from New York and Los Angeles. 'They describe every step of the SPD's WTO operation and urge a more forceful response when dealing with future civil disobedience. They recommend establishing the siege-like atmosphere of December 1 well before any demonstrations begin, arguing that had a restrictive safety zone been established, protest areas designated outside of the zone, and additional personnel from other agencies been planned for and deployed i n a pre-emptive manner on November 26, the results would likely have been different. 8

The report also suggests that the police response didn't g o far enough in the suppression of civil rights. 'The review team believes the decision to allow any previously scheduled marches or demonstrations to proceed after violence had erupted was unwise."9 Furthermore, it recommends amending police pol­ icy by removing instructions that crowds be moved or dispersed "peacefully," and adding explicit orders to make as many arrests as possible.lO Luckily, elected officials are likely to balk at such draconian measures. Describing 179

the McCartby reportas a "crude and unsatisfying" document, the City CounciYs Review Committee reached almost entirely opposing conclusions. I I Rather than pressing for a more forceful response, the city council's committee suggested that in many cases the police would have done better to have done nothing at all. "Members of the public, including demonstrators, were victims of ill-conceived and sometimes pointless police actions to 'clear the streets."'12 Aside from its brutality, such an approach is often self-defeating. For example, 'The unintended consequence of police actions on Capitol Hill was to bring sleepy residents out of their homes and mobilize them as 'resistors."'13 Despite the objections to the McCarthy report, its recommended tactics are by now familiar in the setting of any large anti-globalization event. We've seen this pattern repeated time and again in Washington, D . C . , Philadelphia, and Los Angeles (as well as in Prague , Quebec City, Gothenburg, and Genoa) 1 4-and, with variations, in more recent anti-war protests. I ) E ARLY S T RATEGIES

There is more at stake in this debate than the blame for the wro debacle. Each of these reports represents one side in an ongoing dispute over the principles of crowd control. Spanning slightly more than 100 years, this controversy has been shaped by a series of similar crises-instances in which the police ortho­ doxy proved disastrous. Prior to the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, civil disturbances were essentially handled like any other military engagement, with the possible exception that crowds would be ordered to disperse before the police or militia charged with clubs or opened fire. During the Draft Riots of 1863, for example, New York Police Commissioner Thomas Acton ordered those under his command to

"Take no prisoners." George Walling, the commander of the twelfth prp("in("t, was even more specific in his instructions: "Kill every man who has a club."1" I will term this the strategy of "Maximum Force." Such an approach may have had a certain efficacy against localized revolts, unplaImed riots, or drunken mobs, but it met with greater difficulty in 1877 when more than 100,000 railroad workers, enraged by cuts to their already meager wages, went on strike and prevented the companies from moving their freightY The turmoil was too vast for local police to control, and the militia proved unreliable. "In Pittsburgh, the city where strike-related violence climaxed, militia displayed opposite extremes of indiscipline: fraternization and panic."1S The commander of the Pittsburgh militia later testified: Meeting on the field of battle you go there to kill . . . but here you had men with fathers and mothers and brothers and relatives m ingled in the crowd of rioters. The sympathy was with the strikers. We all felt that these men were not receiving enough wages. 19

The Philadelphia militia, which was also sent to Pittsburgh, displayed no such sympathy. The New York Times reported that they "fired indiscriminately into the crowd, among whom were many women and children."2o Rather than fleeing, the crowd was enraged; the militia was forced to retreat. Ukewise, in 180

Reading, when troops killed eleven strikers, the general population only grew more furious. Strike supporters looted freight, tore up tracks, and armed them­ selves with rifles from the militia's own armory. When reinforcements arrived, they sided with the crowds and threatened their colleagues, "If you fire at the mob, we'll fire at yoU."2! These same problems arose in every city facing strikes. In Newark, Ohio, and Hornellsville, New York, militia men openly fraternized with strikers, much to the dismay of their commanders. In Martinsburg, West Virginia, the com­ mander of the Beverly light Guards telegraphed the governor, worried by his troops' sympathy with the strikers. In Harrisburg, Morristown, and Altoona, Pennsylvania, the militias surrendered. Half of the soldiers in the Maryland Sixth Regiment broke into an undisciplined retreat during a Baltimore street fight. And in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a company of militia mutinied.22 In the end, a combination of attrition , fatigue, and military force won out over the striking workers.23 But still , the authorities were very disappointed. They immediately set about building the militias into well-disciplined machines, capable of quelling riots or, more to the point, breaking up strikes. During this period, the state militias were reconstituted into the modern National Guard.25 Military training was imposed and matters of discipline rigidly enforced, including inspections by regular Army officers. In addition, more emphasis was placed on recruitment, and armories were built throughout the North.26 These changes in the organization, training, discipline, and culture of the Guard were accompanied by new articulations of crowd control strategies. A number of manuals suddenly appeared spelling out the strategy for stifling unrest. These books were generally unconcerned with the social causes of disorder, content 10 blame them on agitators of various sorts. Most continued to advocate the principle of Maximum Force: they predicted increased mili­ tancy among workers, and offered increased state violence as the remedy,27 E. L. Molineux, the commander of the New York National Guard, wrote: "In its incipient stage a riot can be readily quelled . . . if met bodily and resisted at once with energy and determination. Danger lurks in delay."28 A milder version of the doctrine did emerge, and gained popularity among local commanders. According to this "Show of Force" (my term) theory:


o· ,.,

"0 o .... . n (t o ..,


8.­ ;:;. (t .., .... . o ,., en 'V

Strikes and riots were outbursts that could be controlled-perhaps even prevented-by shows of authority which even rowdy workers were pre­ sumed to respect, or by shows of force which workers would fear. From these premises it followed that the f unction of the militia on riot duty was as much demonstrative, even theatrical, as it was coercive . The goal was to disperse rioters, not-as General Vodges would have it-to corner them and wipe them out.29

And if this could be accomplished without firing a shot, so much the better. One manual stated, " [AJ strong display of a well-disciplined and skillfully han­ dled force will in most instances be sufficient in itself to suppress a riot."30 This presumption was later shown to be false: a large police presence is not so much preventive as it is provocative. Such errors were at least partly a product of the theory's underlying premise that rioters are psychologically deranged rather than politically or economically motivated. In any case, the 181

practical consequence of the Show of Force theory was a new demand for dress uniforms, public drilling, and parades.l l It was not shown to reduce the likelihood of class conflict or to prevent strikes. In the 1880s, a wave of immigration made the authorities less reluctant to use force against striking workers.ll And after the Haymarket incident of 1886, the Show of Force approach was almost entirely abandoned in favor of more direct responses: " [TJ acticians [ came] to favor the use of force over shows of force. " ll Tellingly, racist comparisons between workers and Native Americans became more common. In 1892 the Army and Navy Register opined, 'The red savage is pretty well subdued . . . but there are white savages growing more numerous and dangerous as our great cities become greater."14 This analogy was not merely rhetorical; many of the same units were used against strikers as against indigenous peoples. 'The Maximum Force approach did have its disadvantages. "Fire tactics appro­ priate for conventional warfare . . . jeopardized innocent lives, invited public condemnation, and . . . simply did not work in the urban terrain where most riots took place. ".\j As the National Guard's reputation for brutality grew, so did sympathy for those who opposed them-especially striking workers. At the same time, Maximum Force was out of step with the authorities' overall strategy in handling strikes, as the government and businesses came to rely more and more on the pacifying effects of concessions.Y' Nevertheless, and despite atrocities like the Ludlow Massacre,17 Maximum Force remained the dominant approach well into the twentieth century. RATI O N ALIZING F O R CE

It was not until World War I and its accompanying Red Scare that the Maximum Force doctrine was revised. State violence was thf'n ratinnali7ed-broken into discrete, ordered stages. lbis change represented one component in an early effort to take some of the conflict out of class conflict "In short, repealing bel­ licose post-Haymarket formulas for riot control was part of a multifaceted drive to wreck the Left, strip the working class of radical leaders, and put progressive managers in their place."18 Of the new crowd-control strategists, the most influential was Henry A Bellows, an officer in the Minnesota Home Guard and the author of A Manual

for Local Defense (1919) and A Treatise on Riot Duty for the National Guard (1920) . In these works, he drew a distinction between crowds and mobs, and argued that the key was to keep a crowd from becoming a mob. Ideally this could be accomplished by preventing crowds from forming in the first place­ or, failing that, by breaking up any crowd that did form and doing so before it had the chance to transform into a mob. The crowd should be dispersed with as little actual violence as possible, but without hesitating to use whatever force was necessary.39 Bellows wrote, "Practically every riot can be prevented without bloodshed . . if sufficient force can be brought to bear on it in time."40 .

Army Major Richard Stockton and New Jersey National Guard Captain Saskett Dickson expressed a similar view in their Troops on Riot Duty: A Manual for the Use of the Armed Forces of the United States. They wrote:


Troops on riot duty should keep in mind the fact that they are called upon to put down disorder, absolutely and promptly, with as little force as pos­ sible, but it should be remembered, also, that in the majority of cases the way to accomplish these ends i s to use at once every particle of force necessary to stop all disorder.41

The new theorists sought a doctrine by which force would be prescribed in proportion to the difficulty of dispersing the crowd. They thus advocated using tactics suited to the particular situation. In terms of tactics, giving priority to prevention demanded what later military

.., ... . o ....

'"I:) o ... . n (D

o .., '"I:) o ... . n (D ..,

o· ...

[I) 'V

thinkers would call doctrines of "sequence of force" or "flexible response." Simply put, the idea was to adapt levels of forces


to levels of perceived

menace, escalating to fire-power only as a last resort .. . . All of the writers of 1918-1920 endorsed the initial use of verbal warnings, bayonets, rifle butts, or

hoses, as alternatives to firepower. 42

By 1940, the Show of Force doctrine had been reinserted as the first step of this progression.43 In this way, the doctrine of Maximum Force was transfonned into that of

Escalated Force, which remained the standard approach to crowd control until the 1970s. As its name indicates , the escalated force style of protest policing was characterized by the use of force as a standard way of dealing with demon­ strations . Police confronted demonstrators with a dramatic show of force and followed with a progressively escalated use of force if demonstrators failed to abide by police instructions to limit or stop their activities.44 Fig. D. Escalated Force

o o o


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6. LESS·LuIIAL "fl 'NlTlO"�

5. B."\TO.'\S


3. CO,\j ,\L'''IlS







Such force took different forms. Sometimes, arrests immediately followed even minor violations of the law, or were used to target and remove "agitators," whether or not a law had been broken. Other times, police used force instead of making arrests, either to break up the crowd or to punish those who disobeyed them."' T H E APP LICAT I O N S AN D I M P LICAT I O N S OF E S C ALAT E D F O R C E

According to the Escalated Force theory, violence is only used in proportion to the threat posed by the crowd. The reality is often quite different. The police response to protests is determined by something more than the behavior of protesters. In fact, the actions of the crowd may not even be the most important factor. Others may include police preparedness and discipline, the presence of counter-demonstrators, the number of participants, media coverage, and the political calculus surrounding the event-that is, what people with power, and the police leaders in particular, stand to gain or lose by attacking the event or letting it alone. These factors can be classed into six groups:

(1) the organizational features of the police; (2) the configuration of political power; (3) public opinion: (4) the occupational culture of the police; (5) the interaction between police and protesters; and, (6) police knowledge.'" Even when the police do respond in proportion to the threat, their vic­ tims often include peaceable demonstrators and innocent bystanders, along with the hooligans. Widespread violence is by its nature imprecise. And questions of "guilt" or "innocence," like those pertaining to constitutional l iglib, are of secondary concern, if indeed they are considered relevant at all. Dispersal operations are not designed to uphold the law or to protect public safety; often the police action itself will represent the most serious violation of the 1m'! and constitute the greatest threat to the safety of the community. Instead of the law or public safety, the police are concerned with establishing control, maintaining power.47

Well-known demonstrations in which police used the escalated force approach include those in the Birmingham civil rights campaign (May 1963) , the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention, and the con­ frontation between student protesters and National Guard soldiers at Kent State University (May 1970) . During each of these demonstrations, police or soldiers used force in an attempt to disperse demonstrators, even demonstrators who were peacefully attempting to exercise their First Amendment rights-as the vast majority of them were.4e These events, while large in scope and attracting a great deal of media atten­ tion, were not uncharacteristic of Escalated Force operations. In many ways, they were sadly typical. While Kent State-where the victims were White-has come to symbolize the murder of student protesters, it was not the first or last time that students were shot in the name of keeping order. In May 1967-three years before Kent State-a Black student was killed at Jackson State College 184

in Mississippi. In February 1968, three students were killed at South Carolina State College. One was killed in Berkeley in May 1969, and another at North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College that same month. One was killed in Santa Barbara in February 1970. In March 1970, twelve were shot:, but no one killed, at State University of New York, Buffalo. Most famously, in May 1970, four were murdered at Kent State. That same month, twenty were shot just down the road at Ohio State (all survived) , and fourteen were shot (again) at Jackson State, two of whom died. In July 1970, one was killed at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and another at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Two years later, in November 1972, two more students were killed at the University of New Orleans."9 Predictably, urban Black people received even worse treatment In the Detroit uprising of 1967, forty-three people were killed, thirty-six of whom were Black. Twenty-nine of these deaths were definitely attributable to police, National Guard troops, or the Army. The remaining thirteen died from any of a variety of causes: some were shot by store owners, some died in fires, two were electrocuted by fallen power lines. No deaths were directly attributable to the violence of the crowds. Despite the rhetoric surrounding them, Black uprisings in the sixties "were marked by a relative absence of violence committed by rioters against people. Careful examination of the casualty lists shows that police and military inflicted the vast majority of fatalities and injuries on blacks in the riot area."oo A G L I M P S E AT

1 968

These facts speak t o the level o f police violence, but they say very little about its prevalence in crowd control situations. For that, we should consider a sample of police actions during a specific time frame-for example, during the year 1968, a banner year remembered for producing rebellions around the world. While in this respect 1968 is exceptional, it may also (for the same reasons) be seen to typify the official response to unrest. It certainly provided numerous, widely varied examples for comparison. In January 1968, San Francisco police broke ranks and charged into the crowd at an anti-war demonstration, beating protesters. San Francisco also saw numerous rampages by the police department's Tactical Squad through­ out the year, e specially in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. During one such attack, a Black plainclothes officer was beaten by his White colleagues. During another, off-duty Tactical Squad officers moved through the Mission district, clearing sidewalks and assaulting pedestrians. Two officers went to trial for that stunt. 5 1 Three Black people were killed and almost fifty others injured when police and National Guard troops opened fire at a February demonstration against a White-only bowling alley in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Most of the wounded were shot in the back. 52 In March, New York City police attacked a Yippie demonstration at Grand

Central Station. Offering no opportunity for the crowd to disperse, they indis­ criminately beat members of the crowd that had gathered. 1be same tactic was repeated at another Yippie march in April, this time in Washington Square.o3 Later that same month, Students for a Democratic Society held a demonstration 185

at Rockefeller Center. Jeff Jones, an SDS organizer, described the event as "very militant, it turned into a street fight. I think there were eight felony and fourteen misdemeanour [sic] arrests. 1nere were beatings on both sides."o4 A week later, on April 29, 1968, New York City police used clubs to clear some of the same students from occupied buildings at Columbia University. Police emptied the occupied buildings and then moved through the campus, beating any stu­ dents they could find, whether or not they had been involved in the occupation.os One hundred thirty-two students and four faculty were injured.O(, Also in New York, that fall, 150 off-duty cops filled a Brooklyn courthouse and beat several Black Panthers who were there to observe a trial. 57 A week before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King, Jr., led 15,000 peo­ ple on a march through Memphis, expressing solidarity with the city's striking garbage collectors. The police and National Guard used clubs and tear gas to break up the march, killing one person in the process. oS In April, following King's murder, 202 riots occurred in 175 cities across the country, with 3,500 people injured and forty-three killed, mostly at the hands of police. 19 Also in April, a peace march of 8,000 moved slowly through downtown Chicago. Having been refused a parade permit marchers stayed on sidewalks and obeyed the traffic signals. Nevertheless, in an incident foreshadowing the Democratic National Convention later that year, a line of police pushed the crowd into the streets; almost at once, another line of cops pushed them back to the sidewalks. The situation quickly degenerated. Ignoring the orders of their superiors, police broke ranks, chasing and beating members of the crowd. A panel convened to study the incident lay the blame with Mayor Richard Daley and other city officials, who set the tone for the action by denying the required permits.60 In June, cops attacked a crowd of Berkeley students listening to speeches about the Paris uprising, setting off several days of fighting/" In July, police responded forcefully to racial unrest in Patpfsnn , New Jersey. A grand jury later condemned the police for engaging in "terrorism" and "goon squad" tactics. The jury reported that teams of cops intentionally vandalized Black-owned businesses and severely beat individual Black and Puerto Rican people as an example io others.62 In August, Los Angeles exploded after police attacked a

crowd at the Watts Festival. 1llree people were killed and thirty-five injured.63 That winter, when students at San Francisco State College went on strike to demand a Black Studies program, college president S. I. Hayakawa declared a state of emergency, ordered classes to resume, and called in police to make sure that they did.64 (Hayakawa is perhaps best remembered for his assertion, 'There are no innocent bystanders.") 6S Skirmishes followed throughout December, during which individual officers broke from their units and charged into crowds of students. News photos showed police holding protesters while other cops maced them.66 The strike was finally defeated in January when police started making mass arrests, resulting in several felony convictions.67 This chronology is undoubtedly incomplete, but it makes the point police vio­ lence against crowds, sometimes perfectly innocuous gatherings, was utterly com­ mon.68 It was as frequent as it was extreme. Nevertheless, one event stands out as the paradigmatic police riot-the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.



Televised footage ofthe 1968 Democratic National Convention shocked the nation.69 Mobs of police were filmed beating protesters, bystanders, and reporters­ viciously and indiscriminately. Over 100 people were hospitalized as the result of police violence.7o Senator Abraham Ribicoff spoke on the floor of the conven­ tion against the "Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago.''?! George McGovern described the scene as a ''blood bath," also making comparison to "Nazi Germany."72 Norman Mailer commented:

What staggered the delegates who witnessed the attack-more accurate to call it the massacre , since it was sudden, unprovoked , and total-o n M ichigan Avenue, was that i t opened the specter o fwhat i t m ight mean for the police to take over society. They might comport themselves in such a case not as a force of law and order, not even as a force of repression upon civil disorder, but as a true criminal force; chaotic, i mprovisational, undisciplined, and finally-sufficiently aroused-uncontrollable .73 Mailer's characterization of police behavior closely matches that produced by more systematic studies. Daniel Walker, in his authoritative report on the DNC, notes, "Fundamental police training was ignored; and officers, when on the scene, were often unable to control their men.''!'; Walker's report offers this example:

A high-ranking Chicago police commander admits that on [at least one] occasion the police "got out of control." This same commander appears in one of the most vivid scenes of the entire week, trying desperately to keep individual policemen from beating demonstrators as he screams, "For Christ's sake , stop it! " 75 Such a breakdown in command, when paired with the widespread and exces­ sive use of force, is perhaps the defining mark of the classic police riot 76 In his book, Police Riots: Collective Violence and Law En/arcement, sociologist Rodney Stark offers a six-step outline as to how these riots unfold:

(1) "Convergence"-There must be substantial numbers on both sides.

(2) "Confrontation"-Either police actions attract hostile crowds, or police deem some gathering illegal and move in to break it up. (3) "Dispersal"-Police attempt to break up the crowd. (4) "The Utilization of Force"-Police use force against the crowd. (5) "The Limited RioC-Excessive or punitive force ends once the crowd is dispersed. The limited police riot is often signified by the disintegration of police formations into small autonomous groups, charging into crowds, chasing fleeing individuals, and beating people up. (6) 'The Extended Police Riot"-Attacks continue even after the crowd has dispersed. Extended riots are most common in densely populated areas, like college campuses or urban ghettos. Then, police attacks often attract new crowds, thus renewing confrontations.?7 There are a number of factors that, in the right circumstances, give police actions this trajectory. Among them are specific crowd control tactics, operational deficiencies, the machismo inherent to cop culture, and a paranoid ideology that leads police to overestimate the threat crowds pose,79 187

On the tactical level, Stark notes:

The incapacities and misconceptions of the police contribute to the occur­ rence of police riots in a number of ways. First, simply massing the police together, given their lack of discipline and tactical competence, provides an opportunity for them to attack crowds. Second, massive displays of police power provoke demonstrators and tend to produce confrontations and deeper conflicts. Third, police tactics mislead policemen about what is expected of them and increases [sic] their anxiety and hostility. The obsession with officer safety leads to overpreparedness, overreaction, and a disregard for the general safety. HO Add to this an habitual reliance on violence, and the production of a riot seems quite predictable.HI These difficulties are exacerbated by organizational weaknesses common to police departments, namely the lack of internal discipline. The tactics of riot control are generally derived from the military, but the police proved to be a very different type of organization than the Army. 'To put it bluntly: the American police cannot perform at the minimum levels of teamwork, impersonality, and discipline which these military tactics take for granted."K2 For example, in the Detroit riot of 1967, the police and National Guard were responsible for estab­ lishing order on one side of town; U.S. Army paratroopers were assigned to the other side. Within a few hours, the Army had restored order in their area, having fired 201 rounds of ammunition and having killed one person. The police and Guard, in contrast, fired thousands of rounds and killed twenty-eight people, while the disorder continued.

These dramatic and critical differences seem to have stemmed from dis­ cipline. The paratroopers had it, the police and guardsmen did not. The Army ordered the lights back on and troopers to show themselVf's a s conspicuously as possible; the police and the guardsmen continued shoot­ ing out all lights and crouched fearfully in the darkness. The troopers were ordered to hold their fire, and did so. The police and guardsmen shot wildly and often at one another. The troopers were ordered to unload their weapons, and did so. The guardsmen were so ordered, but did not comply. 83 The Guard, whose training approximates that of the Army, may have lost discipline in part because of how they were deployed. The police effectively disorganized the National Guard by converting it into a police force. One National Guard commander complained:

They sliced us like baloney. The police wanted bodies. They grabed [sic] Guardsmen as soon as they reached the armories, before their units were made up, and sent them out-two on a fi retruck, this one in a police car, that one to guard some installation . . . . The Guard simply became lost boys in the big town carrying guns. 84 In the caSe of the 1968 Democratic Convention, other factors also came into play, in particular the attitudes of civil authorities. Walker mentions, "Chicago police [had been led] to expect that violence against demonstrators, as against rioters, would be condoned by city officials. "8) In fact, this expectation was 188

validated; Mayor Daley continued to defend his officers long after his excuses could be considered in any way credible.86 One further fact complicates the picture: much of the convention-week violence was planned. Some reporters received warnings from cops with whom they were friendly; they were told the police intended to target members of the media.87 With these facts in mind, the police riot seems to take on a different air. The cops did not simply panic; they knew what they meant to do. While internal discipline broke down, the police action as a whole filled its intended role. Indeed, the cops had been encour­ aged, and then protected, by the mayor. Certain commanders may have been appalled by what they saw-or may simply have been afflicted by the manage­


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rial need to assert their authority in a crisis-but this did nothing to affect the behavior of the institution as a whole. Finally, it should be noted that the Escalated Force strategy itself contrib­ utes to the likelihood of a police riot. The police riot, by Stark's analysis, moves along exactly the same lines as the Escalated Force model. (In fact, Stark refers to his six-stage articulation as an "Escalation Model.',) 88 The crowd control operation ends and the riot begins at the point where discipline breaks down. The implementation of the Escalated Force strategy tends to race toward this point. In practice, police commanders "tend to maximize rather than minimize the use of force in order to maximize officer safety and to maximize dispersal" even though "command control and tactical integrity tend to collapse in contact with crowds and as greater force is applied." 89 In other words, as the amount of force is increased, the likelihood that discipline will be lost and that exces­ sive force will be used also increases. This lapse, as we've seen, was generally either tolerated or actively encouraged by local authorities; in any case, it was a predictable consequence of placing large numbers of police in tense circum­ stances, with neither the training nor the organization (not to mention to incli­ nation) to respond with restraint. While the Escalated Force model did not always produce police riots, it also did practically nothing to reduce the odds that they would occur. In one sense, the police riot can be understood as the last step in the Escalated Force sequence. During the sixties, three additional problems with Escalated Force became clear. First, the deployment of large numbers of cops often created a confronta­ tion that could have otherwise been avoided. Second, the rigid enforcement of the law and the quick recourse to force provoked crowds and sometimes led to violence. And third, as a strategy for restoring order, Escalated Force failed.90 REVI S I N G T H E THEORY

Following the disasters of the late sixties, some people started to question the wisdom of a police strategy designed to "escalate" violence. Several commis­ sions were set up to study the disturbances of the sixties, their causes, and the police response to them. Most prominent among these were the Kerner, Eisenhower, and Scranton commissions. All three bodies concluded that police actions against crowds often intensified, and in some cases provoked, civil disor­ der. They also recognized that the dangers of the Escalated Force model were not only tactical, but political. The Scranton Commission wrote, " [Tj o respond to peaceful protest with repres1 89

sion and brutal tactics is dangerously unwise. I t makes extremists o f moderates, deepens the divisions in the nation and increases the chances that future pro­ tests will be violent."91 Consequently, these boards recommended a number of changes in police handling of demonstrations. The Kerner Commission, for instance, advocated a strategy emphasizing manpower over firepower, prevention over reaction, and increased management and regimentation of the police. A new strategy, "Negotiated Management," was born. Negotiated Management was designed to correct for the excesses of the Escalated Force model. Under the Negotiated Management approach, Police do not try to prevent demonstrations, but attempt to limit the amount of disruption they cause . . . . Police attempt to steer demonstrations to times and places where disruption will be minimized . . . . Even civil disobedience, by definition illegal, is not usually problematic for police; they often cooperate with protesters when their civil disobedience is intentionally symbolic. <)2

Under Negotiated Management, arrests are used only as a last resort, and force is kept to a strict minimum. Rather than trying to disperse the crowd, the police plan so as to contain it. Rather than responding to disorder with force, the police calculate their tactics so as to defuse potentially explosive situations. The innova­ tion of this approach lies in the understanding that de-escalation is sometimes possible. [T] he three most significant tactical tendencies characterizing protest policing in the 1990s appear to be (a) underenforcement of the law; (b) the search to negotiate; (c) large scale collection of information. [Beginning in the 1980s, police strategy was] dominated by the attempt to avoid coercive interaction as much as possible. Lawbreaking, which is implicit in several forms of protest, tends to be tolerated by the police. Law enforcement is usually considered as less important than peacekeeping. This implies a considerable departure from protest policing in the 1960s and 1970s, when attempts to stop unauthorized demonstrations and a law-and-order attitude in the face of the "limited rule-breaking" tactic used by the neVl movements maneuvered the police repeatedly into "no-win" situations.93

Under the new model, police focus on preventing a disturbance, rather than responding to one, seeking to control demonstrations through a system of per­ mits and a series of negotiations with protest organizers.94 Elements such as the time of the event and the route of the march are agreed upon, and organizers are encouraged (or sometimes required) to provide their own marshals to exercise discipline over the group as a whole. A model application of Negotiated Management is described by John Brothers

in his article "Communication Is the Key to Small Demonstration Control." Brothers documents a series of anti-apartheid actions on the University of Kansas campus and details the Kansas University Police Department's response. Between April 29 and May 9, 1985, the campus was the site of three "moderate-sized" demonstrations and several small ones, including some accompanied by civil dis­ obedience. Sixty-five arrests were made, but there were no injuries, no property damage, and no violence on either side. This small miracle was accomplished by establishing friendly relations with the demonstrators and being patient enough to 190

let crowds dwindle on their own. Police kept their presence to a minirmun and car� fully crafted a non-aggressive demeanor (in part by not donning riot gear) . They also provided refreshments on hot days, and waited to receive complaints before issuing citations. By these means, police won the cooperation of organizers, who met with them regularly to outline their plans.95 Clearly this approach is better suited to a political system that espouses ideals of freedom and popular sovereignty, but the ultimate aim of Negotiated Management remains the same as that of Escalated Force (or even Maximum Force, before that)-to control dissent, to render protest ineffective. Looking now at the Scranton, Eisenhower, and Kerner reports, what strikes the reader is the apparent schizophrenia of them all . They decry social injustice with criticisms of racial discrimination, prison conditions, and the plight of the urban poor. They push for greater inc1usivity at all levels of society. But they also denounce the activities by which attention was successfully brought to these problems, and change effected. The Eisenhower report explicitly denounces civil disobedience; and, the Scranton report insists that those responsible for campus unrest be disci­ plined.')(; These reports push for rigorous adherence to Constitutional guarantees of free speech and the like, while at the same time offering precise instruction on the means of limiting, containing, and controlling protests. It is tempting to read such documents as well-intentioned but politically naive defenses of the rule of law. But, rather more appropriately, one might also understand them as handbooks for social managers and others respon­ sible for controlling dissent.97 Taken as such, the reports' advocacy of civil liberties and the principle of minimal force reflect the sophistication of the liberal approach to repression. Negotiated Management was an innovation in the means of crowd control, but the basic aim remains unchanged. Both Negotiated Management and Escalated Force represent a defense of the sta­ tus quo. Brothers' article, for example, emphasizes again and again the "neu­ trality" of the police, but notes that their plans were designed to "minimize the impact of the event upon the media.''')8 Presumably, had the demonstrations aimed at goals besides media attention, the police would have sought to mini­ mize their impact in those areas as well. The Eisenhower Commission offers the Peace Moratorium March of November 15, 1969, as an example of the success of Negotiated Management The bulk of the actual work of maintaining the peacefulness of the pro ­ cee dings was performed by the demonstrators themselves. An estimated five thousand "marshals," recruited from among the demonstrators, flanked the crowds throughout. Their effectiveness was shown when they succeeded in stopping an attempt by the fringe radicals to leave the line of the march in an effort to reach the White House

. . .



rThe nature of such an arrangement is not lost on those who study law enforcement The academic literature describes marshals who '''police' other demonstrators,"loo and who have a "collaborative relationship" with the authori­ ties. I O! This is essentially a strategy of co-optation. The police enlist the protest organizations to control the demonstrators, putting the organization at least partly in the service of the state and intensifying the function of control.



The Negotiated Management model has its weaknesses as well. Its success requires a certain kind of cop and a certain kind of protest. If either is unavailable, Negotiated Management becomes impossible. The Philadelphia police department made a very early attempt at this softer approach, and failed for lack of the right cop. In

1964, Police Commissioner Howard

Leary created a "Civil Disobedience" unit charged with both keeping order and protecting the civil rights of demonstrators. This unit was to be headed by an offi­ cer proven to be calm, patient, and friendly. His job was to build a relationship with protest leaders and work with them to keep the peace. The unit never functioned as it was intended to. Instead, it quickly degenerated into a domineering red squad. 101 This quick return to the antagonistic approach was the result of several deeply rooted features of the police as a group, including the rejection of compromise and conciliatory tactics, an obsession with agitators and conspiracies, and the system of political sponsorship that guided promotion into the unit 101

Police/protester cooperation requires a fundamental adjustment in the atti­ tude of the authorities. The Negotiated Management approach demands the institutionalization of protest. Demonstrations must be granted some degree of legitimacy so they can be carefully managed rather than simply shoved about. 'This approach has, until recently, de-emphasized the radical or antagonistic aspects of protest in favor of a routinized and collaborative approach. Naturally such a relationship brings with it some fairly tight constraints as to the kinds of protest activity available. Rallie s, marches, polite picketing, sym­ bolic civil disobedience actions, and even legal direct action-such as strikes or boycotts-are likely to be acceptable, within certain limits. Violence, obviously, would not be tolerated. Neither would property destruction. Nor would any of the variety of tactics that have been developed to close bl lsinpssp"" pn'vt:'nt logging, disrupt government meetings, or otherwise interfere with the opera­ tion of some part of society. That is to say, picketing may be fine, barricades are not. Rallies are in, riots are out. Taking to the streets-under certain cir­ cumstances-may be acceptable; taking over the factories is not. The danger, for activists, is that they might permanently limit themselves to tactics that are predictable, non-disruptive, and ultimately ineffective.104 On the other side, Negotiated Management opens a pitfall for police where­ in they may come to rely on this cooperative arrangement. If the police assume that activists will conduct themselves within the bounds set by this approach, they leave themselves open for some nasty surprises. Essentially, this is what happened to the Seattle police in 1999. According to the SPD's After Action Report, police planners adopted a Negotiated Management strategy early on and failed to consider contingencies that would make other options necessary. Despite well-publicized plans to disrupt the WTO confer­ ence, the police decided to ''Trust that Seattle's strong historical precedents of peaceful protest and our on-going negotiations with protest groups would govern the actions of demonstrators."105 On November 30, their mistake must have been only too obvious. When the institutional framework of protest was challenged, the cooperative relationship proved fragile and the basis of the Negotiated Management model was undermined. Not only did radicals refuse 192

to play the game by its usual rules, even respectable protest groups were unable to keep their members in line. For example, when police changed the route of the officially sanctioned union march, hoping to keep union members away from the center of the disturbance, they were surprised when several thousand of the marchers ignored the marshals, left the route, and joined the fray. l OG The SPD offered this analysis of their mistake: ''While we needed to think about a new paradigm of disruptive protest, we relied on our knowledge of past demonstrations, concluding that the 'worst case' would not occur here."107 Such blindness is a typical fault of police agencies. Equally typical is the panic that fol­ lows a defeat-a panic felt not only in Seattle, but around the country, resulting in the sudden shift in police tactics at demonstrations nationwide. Changes and learning processes of the police are initiated by an analysis of problematic public order interventions, that is, the police learn from their failures.. . . The importance of the body of past experience, however, seems such that it prevents the police from anticipating change. Tactical and stra­ tegic errors in confrontations with new movements and protest forms may trigger off a relapse into an antagonistic protest policing style. l O S

In the wake of Seattle, the use of force has received a new emphasis. Riot gear, tear gas, mass arrests, and widespread violence have again become com­ mon features of demonstrations. While police violence has always been a possibil­ ity, it has lately come to resemble an open threat. Some of this is surely deliberate. The threat of violence is an effective tool for suppressing the attendance at a gathering, especially among portions of the population who are more routinely subject to police attack. It also serves to criminalize dissent. When members of the public see the police in riot gear, it is easy to assume that the crowd they are monitoring is dangerous, or even criminal. 109 But some of the police reliance on force is the product of desperation. They simply don't know what to do, and while they figure it out, the old-fashioned, straightforward head-knocking approach seems like a safe bet.

A T ERRORI ST STRATEGY The police ;md other authorities are frantically trying to find new footing in their handling of protests. Naturally, their mistakes in Seattle figure prominently in the developing analysis. While everyone acknowledges that the police needed to be better prepared

if they wanted to maintain control in Seattle, it is hotly disputed what, precisely, they should have been prepared for. The McCarthy report implies that the police should have been trained, armed, and organized as though to repel an invasion. i 1 0 Th e city council's committee notes that the cops weren't even ready to implement the plan that they had and condemns the subsequent civil rights abuses and police violence. Essentially, the city council's committee thinks the problem was not with the Negotiated Management strategy, but with its imple­ mentation. They urged, not more force, but increased accommodation: It is clear to the committee that demonstrators who sought arrest-in order to underline their statements of principle-should have been accommo193

� f-; Cl.


dated by police. Tear gas is a cruel implement to use against persons trying to make deeply-felt statements against what they view as injustice.


But the city council's perspective on this situation may rely on a misconception about what the protesters hoped to accomplish. Rather than seek sym­ bolic arrests to "underline their statements of principle," protesters intended to directly interfere with the WID's work by blockading the conference and disrupting its proceedings. The police didn't understand this until the disruption was underway; the city council seems never to have figured it out. The McCarthy andA",<;Ociates report implies thatwhere Negotiated Management failed on November 30, Escalated Force succeeded on December 1. If this is true, then the lesson the police should take from Seattle is that the Negotiated Management model is one strategy of control, but that to rely on it exclusively is to court disorder. 'Ibe use of force must always be prepared for, if only as a backup. 'The IAPD has adopted just such a two-track approach, alternating between Negotiated Management and Escalated Force strategies according to the circum­ stances. Two incidents from the 2000 Democratic National Convention suffice to make the case: On August 14, after a concert in one of the designated protest areas, 1 1 2 police cut power to the stage, declared the event an unlawful assembly, and gave approx­ imately 10,000 people twenty minutes to leave through a single exit. A short time later, the cops attacked, charging with horses and firing rubber bullets. The Los Angeles Times reported, "In addition to rubber bullets, police also used pepper spray and projectile beanbags, striking many of the protesters and some bystand­ ers as they fired indiscriminately for more than an hour."1 L l Jesse Jackson termed the police action "urmecessary brutality"; Commander David Kalish called it "a measured, strategic response."I I" They may both be right The ACLU described the event precisely. referrinl! to it as "an orchpsfnltprl polirp not " 1 1 5 A few days later, the cops showed a different face when thirty-seven people sat down in front of the notorious Rampart Division police station and refused to leave. The civil disobedience action . . . attempted to focus on the brutality, cor­ ruption, and violence of the LAPD . . . . However, some of the organizers had collaborated closely with the Rampart police prior to the action to work out the details of the arrests, and had followed some suggestions of the police in order to avoid what they feared would be the cops going berserk if taken by surprise. After presenting the police chief with a list of demands, one of the arrestees shook hands amicably with him as the cameras flashed. Ironically, the result was a PR/media opportunity to showcase the civility and non-violent behavior of the COpS . 1 1 6

This incident shows the effective co-optation of protest when it proceeds through collaborative channels. It also shows the disciplining effect of police violence: the threat of violence motivates protesters to negotiate ahead of time, and allows the cops to set the rules. As per the McCarthy team recommen­ dations, a hybrid approach may incorporate Escalated Force as the primary strategy of control, with Negotiated Management serving as a tool for police to establish boundaries. This approach works as a modification of the Good Cop/Bad Cop routine: if the Bad Cop is bad enough, he may only need to 194

act in minor or symbolic ways to keep the crowd in line. Negotiation with the Good Cop starts to look more attractive, as does playing by the rules. This, in essence, is the strategy of political terrorism. The threat of violence is made clear at every turn, and a politically useful climate of fear is carefully developed in order to control the population. l l7 Terrorism and co-optation are thus sub­ sumed under a single system. This is something we should learn to expect: the strategic use of both the Good Cop and the Bad Cop to control and, ultimately, to neutralize dissent.


If the 2000 Democratic Convention is any indication, it would seem that the biggest change since 1968 is the broadened range of tactics available to police. Police com­ manders have gained the ability to restrain officers when a Good Cop approach is in order. This is made possible by organizational changes connected, both historically and conceptually, to the process of militarization. Historically, the federal government prompted the development of Negotiated Management: the approach was shaped by the various commission reports, Supreme Court rulings, the development of the National Park Service permit system, and the availability of crowd control training at the U.S. Army Military Police School. l lS (In this respect, local police have followed a course similar to that of the National Guard, which was militarized after the 1877 strike wave.) This new training was specifically designed according to the recommendations of the Kerner and Eisenhower reports. I 19 The Negotiated Management model arose at the same time and from the same sources as the militarization of the police. To make sense of this, it is important to understand that militarization does not only refer to police tactics and weaponry, but also to their mode of organization. 1 20 The Kerner report argued for it explicitly: The control of civil disturbances . . . requires large numbers of disciplined personnel, comparable to soldiers in a military unit, organized and trained to work as a team under a highly unified command and control system . Thus when a civil disturbance occurs, a police department must suddenly shift into a new type of organization with different operational proce­ dures. The individual officer must stop acting independently and begin to perform as a member of a closely supervised, disciplined team . 121

In short, it is military discipline that makes Negotiated Management a pos­ sibility, restraining the individual officers while maintaining the potential for a coordinated attack. This requires careful planning for the operation itself, and a high level of discipline among the officers so that each one acts according to the established plan.122 Hence, militarization may increase the organization's overall capacity for violence, but may decrease individual acts of brutality, owing to a higher level of discipline. 1 23 Previously, individual acts of brutality were tolerated or encouraged as a means of controlling the population through terror. But this approach can be limiting, as it renders negotiation and co-optation unlikely. Militarization 195

formalizes the strategy of violence at the i nstitutional level. It thus maintains di scipline and employs force more selectively, with direction from above . Ironically, while the conventional wisdom associates militarization with the Escalated Force approach, in point of fact militarization is essential to Negotiated Management. 1 24 Moreover, as we shall see, militarization is a key component of community policing.





t o balance their reliance on force against the possibility of containment, negotia­ tion, and the co-optation of leadership. Over-reliance on either approach is likely to lead to disaster: naked repression can create or escalate resistance and discred­ it the authorities, while resting on the framework of institutionalized dissent can leave the state's forces unprepared for tactical innovations or renewed militancy among protesters. The challenge for police is to chart a middle course between the wro protests in Seattle and the massacre at Kent State. Though drawn from their experiences with protests and riots, these lessons have come to shape the development of police strategy overall. They have thus given rise to the seemingly incongruous-but, in fact, complementary-trends of militarization and community policing. B R I N G I N G THE WAR HOME

"Militarization" is a buzz-word, popular chiefly among critics of the police. The term is in some sense pejorative, as military incursions into the domestic sphere are taboo in liberal democracies. But militarization is rarely defined, and the use of the word is often superficial. 1his is true in two senses: first, the teml is sometimes chosen more for its sinister connotations than for any literal meaning; second, it is used to describe the most obvious aspects of policing-the equipment, uniforms, and weaponry. By implication, armored cars, riot gear, and assault rifles evidence militarization; the friendly cop on the beat does not This dichotomy is false, and dangerous. It misconstrues the nature of mili­ tarization and underestimates its impact. Militarization affects, not only police paraphernalia, but the police mission, the roles of violence and intelligence, police ideology, rhetoric, training, and organization. A leading scholar of milita­ rization, Peter Kraska, offers this definition: 197

Militarization . . . can be defined in its broadest terms as the social pro­ cess in which society organizes itself for the production of violence or the threat thereof. I He goes on to list the following "tangible indices of this sort of high-modern militarization": 1. A blurring of external and internal security functions leading to a targeting of civil­ ian populations, internal "security" threats,

and a focus on aggregate populations as

potential internal "insurgents" 2. An avoidance ofovert or lethal violence, with a greater emphasis placed on infOITillt­ tion gathering and processing, surveillance work. and less-than-lethal technologies

3. An ideology and theoretical fi'amewoIk of miIitarism that streB.'S that effective prob­ lem rolvingrequires state forre, technology, annament, intelligence gathering, aggresesiv

suppression efforts, and other assorted activities commensurate with modem military thinking and operations 4. Ctiminaljustice practices guided by the ideologicalframewoIk of militarism, such as the

use of speciak>perations JXlI
6. A rapidly developing collaboration, at the highest level of the governmental and corporate worlds, between the defense industry and the crime control industry 7. The use of military language within political and popular culture, to characterize the social problems of drugs, crime, and social disorder.2

By these standards, the contemporary American police department is highly militari zf'rl , in way� th at it" nim ·teenth-century counterpart was not.l Developments in crowd control and intelligence have each placed the police on this course, as have police ideology and the institution's rapidly advancing mode of organization. Of course, the rhetoric of policing (and of police reform) has long made use of a military analogy, though in practice this amounted to little more than instituting ranks and requiring firearms training.4 But following the crises of the 1960s, this analogy was suddenly taken far more seriously. The rhetoric, of course, never really went out of style,5 but it gained a more literal reading than had been possible before. Radicals were calling on America to "Bring the war home," and policy-mak­ ers very quietly decided to do just that. FROM O C CASIONAL S HOOT-OUTS TO ROUTI N E PATROL

The authorities responded to the disorder of the 1960s by increasing the cops' funding, upgrading their equipment, and re-organizing departments along more military lines.6 To this end, the National Institute of Justice (ND) was founded in 1968, and it immediately set about transferring Defense Department technology to the police. Over the next ten years, the NU outfitted police with military wonders like night vision goggles, soft body armor, forensic and computer equipment, sur­ veillance devices, and retired Army helicopters.7 198

Police planning also quickly turned in a more martial direction. In 1969, the NYPD began planning construction of its Command and Control Center. For models, it visited military installations like the Pentagon and the Strategic Air Command Headquarters. Mayor John Undsay described the new center, aptly, as a "war room."8 Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Daryl Gates was re-inventing the Metro Division of the LAPD : Breaking from LAPD tradition , we formed sixteen military-type squads with a sergeant i n charge of each ten-man squad, and then we meshed them into two platoons, each headed by a lieutenant. They were g iven missions for which they were responsible . They developed the approach and the tactics without d i rection from above. Their only admonishment was to maintain departmental policy and rules.9

Gates' adaptation of military organization to law enforcement was remarkable, and it did not end with the squad and platoon structures. Military tactics were soon adopted as well, most famously with the creation of the SWAT team. The Los Angeles Police Department's Special Weapons And Tactics team became the first of many similar units, generically termed "Police Paramilitary Units," or PPUS. IO SWAT was developed in secret during the late sixties, train­ ing with marines at Camp Pendleton. I I Though ostensibly designed to handle snipers, the team's first mission was a 1969 raid on the headquarters of the Black Panther Party. A shoot-out ensued, follow by a long stand-off. Growing impatient, the SWAT team requested-and received-a Marine Corps gre­ nade launcher, but the Panthers surrendered before it could be put to use. I 2 Shortly thereafter, SWAT raided a house where members of the Symbionese liberation Army (SIA) were hiding out. Again, a shoot-out ensued, followed by a long standoff. This time SWAT asked for fragmentation grenades, and Gates refused. But no matter: when police fired tear gas into the house it caught fire and burned to the ground. Six SIA members died in the blaze . I 3 Gates later expressed his concern: "At the moment my main concern was whether Patty Hearst had been inside. I didn't give a shit about the others."14 Apparently, his regard for the neighbors was no higher. No effort had been made to evacuate the neighborhood before the raid, or during the stand-off. Nearby homes were damaged in the fire, and several houses were riddled with bullets. I s The IAPD SWAT team was deployed 200 times i n its first two years. I G Since then, paramilitary police units have become a nationwide phenom­ enon, and their rate of use has sharply increased. In 1980, PPUs were deployed 2,884 times across the country. Fifteen years later, in 1995, that number had risen to 29,962Y In part, PPUs are deployed more often simply because there are more of them to deploy. Many small departments have formed their own paramili­ tary units, whereas before they relied on those of larger cities or the state police in the (rare) event of an emergency. After all, how often do the cam­ pus police at the University of Central Florida face sniper fire, a b arricaded suspect, or a hostage situation? Yet they have their own SWAT team. I S Many factors promoted the spread of paramilitary units, including the existence of a ready-to-use model, the availability of equipmentI9 and train­ ing,za and the professional prestige attached to the highly specialized teams. 199

The nationwide craze for SWAT teams marks an advance in the militarization of the police, but as importantly, the factors sustaining this trend also indicate militarization. Perhaps more troubling than the replication of the SWAT model is the expansioIl of the SWAT mission. Since 1 994, Fresno, California has u sed its PPU, the Violent Crime Suppression Unit (VCSU) , to patrol its southwest ghettos. Wearing black fatigues, combat boots, and body armor, the officers routinely patrol with MP-54 sub machine gun s , helicopters, and dogs. First deployed after a wave of gang violence (including attacks on police officers) , the VCSU quickly went from raiding houses to stopping cars, interrogating " suspicious persons," and clearing people off of street corners. These street corner sweeps represent an impressive display of force, begin­ ning with a pyrotechnic flash-bang grenade. Police then move in with their guns drawn, sometimes supported by a canine unit. Everyone in the area is forced to the ground, and civilian dogs are shot on sight. The "suspects" in the area are photographed. interrogated, checked for warrants, ,md entered into a computer­ ized database. ' : Olle Fresno cop explains the intended scope of these files: "If you're twenty-onc, male, living in one of these neighborhoods, been in Fresno for ten years and you're not in our computer-then there's defmitely a problem."22 The VeSt produces impressive figures marking its aLiivity. Since it started patrol­ ling Fresno's streets, misdemeanor arrests have increased 48.3 percent. Meanwhile, the unit averages one shooting every three months. ' I Fresno is not alone in its use of paramilitary police for routine patrol. By

1999, there were ninety-four departments across the country similarly deploying their SWAT teams.24 One commander described his department's approach: We're i nto saturation patrols in hot spots. We do a lot of work With

[sic] the

SWAT u nit because we have bigger guns. We send out two, two-to -four­ mell



luok lor lIIinor vioialiuns ami. do jump-oms, eirnE'r on peopie

on thE' streE't or automobiles. After we jump-out the second car provides periphery cover with an ostentatious display of weaponry. We're sending a clear l11E'ssage: if the shootings don't stop, we 'll shoot someone . . . . 2,

1ne application of p aranlilitary techniques in routine (i. e. , non-emergency) law enforcement situations has been termed the "normalization" of paramilitary units.2G This process works in two complementary directions. First, the scope of activity considered appropriate for specialized units becomes ever wider. In military jargon, this is referred to as "mission creep"-a suitably unpleasant­ sounding term.27 Second, the increased use of the specialized team promotes the view that their military organization, skills, and equipment are well suited to general police work; the regular police then come to resemble the paramilitary units.28 Both tendencies advance the militarization of the police. and both have been encouraged by the current efforts at drug prohibition. T H E DRUG WAR AND O T H E R DAN G E R O U S HAB I T S

The tendency for mission creep, the temptation to use specialized forces for a wid­ ening range of activities, is surely understandable. The reasoning, from a manage­ rial perspective, is pretty clear. Where such units exist, commanders are loath to 200

''waste'' their capabilities. To justify their continued existence, in particular their continued funding, they must be used. Inactivity is bureaucratic suicide. So the mis­ sion of these units expands. As it expands, their operations become normalized. Because riots and hostage-takings are relatively rare, SSU [ Denver's Special Service Unit] has had a lot of time on its hands, notwithstanding its demand­ ing training requirements. So in its spare time, which has amounted to 90 percent, it has been doing saturation patrolling. 29

Saturation patrolling offers one solution for the need to keep the paramilitary teams busy between emergencies. Likewise, mundane police duties can be framed as "emergencies"-or alternately, the cops may actually create emer­ gencies. This, in essence, is what the police do when they use paramilitary units to perform "warrant work." "Warrant work" is actually something of a misnomer, since many depart­ ments claim that they don't need a warrant when they fear that evidence would be destroyed during the time it takes to contact a judge.30 The searche s at issue are usually drug-related. One commander describes the procedure: " [ O l ur unit storms the residence with a full display of weaponry so we can

get the drugs before they're flushed." i l Paramilitary units usually specialize in

"no-knock" or "dynamic" entries, meaning they avoid announcing their pres­ ence until they've knocked down the door and are charging into the house. The LAPD , in its characteristic style, gave its SWAT team an armored car with a battering ram attached; rather than breaking down the door, the cops drive the vehicle straight through the wallY No-knock entries are dangerous for everyone involved-cops, suspects, bystanders. The raids usually occur before dawn; the residents are usually asleep, and then disoriented by the sudden intrusion. There is no warning, and sleepy residents may not always understand that the men breaking down their door are police. At the same time, police procedures allow terribly little room for error. Stan Goff, a retired Special Forces sergeant and SWAT train­ er, says that he teaches cops to "Look at hands. If there's a weapon in their hands during a dynamic entry, it does not matter what that weapon is doing. If there's a weapon in their hands, that person dies. It's automatic."33 Predictably, these raids sometimes end in disaster. When the Visalia, California, SWAT team raided Alfonso Hernandez's apartment in 1998, the teen­ ager opened fire, injuring one officer. The police fired back without restraint, hit­ ting Hernandez thirty-nine times and killing him on the spot. Some of their bullets traveled through walls into neighboring apartments. In addition to Hernandez, another man in the apartment, Emiliano Trevino, was killed. Trevino was seeking refuge in a corner when he was shot five times.34 No-knock raids are inherently dangerous but, in most cases, altogether avoidable. That is because there is usually no emergency before the raid begins.35 Even if we take current drug laws for granted, it is clear that this approach places citizens and police alike at unnecessary risk. The fact that such risks are considered normal, and thought to represent an acceptable price for maintaining current policy, says a great deal about the prevalence of militarized thinking. As Peter Kraska remarks:



� t


O nly an intensive ideology of militarism could drive much of the police institution into believing that forced invasions of people's private residences using police units designed around the Navy Seals model for the purpose of conducting a crude investigation i nto minor d rug law i nfractions are


reasonable and beneficial crime control tactic .36

For their part, police sometimes complain that the ''war'' metaphor (against crime, or against drugs) is not taken literally enough. Never one for understatement, former IAPD Chief Daryl Gates once told the Senate Judiciary Committee: 'The casual drug user should be taken out and shot. . . . " When Los Angeles Times reporter Ron Ostrow asked him if he meant that, the chief was glad to explain: Yeah, Ron , I did . . . . if we have people who smoke a l ittle pot or snort a little coke, who simply want to go out and party and use d rugs, I think they ought to be taken out and shot, because if this is a war on drugs, they are giving aid and comfort to the enemy. 37

Self-righteousness and self-interest often lean on each other suspiciously. Behind their moral platitudes and somber denunciations, the police have always been major beneficiaries of vice--drugs, gambling, prostitution. In the nineteenth century, selective enforcement of vice laws stood to profit the individual cops, their commanders, and their political masters. The police stood at the center of a multi-faceted protection racket. The threat of raids kept the owners of illegal saloons, gambling houses, brothels, and opium dens obedient and willing to pay the going rate. Or, the promise of protection might be with­ held for either political or commercial reasons (that is, to eliminate a source of income for a rival political faction, or to give the competitive edge to a loyal client) . And the thing that made all this corruption possible was the puritanical obsession with other people's free time.38 At the end of the twentieth century. things l ooked


little different. At th e

lowest levels of the law enforcement ladder, the police still sometimes sold protection to street-level drug dealers, pimps, and prostitutes; or, conversely, they offered them the opposite of protection-robbing them of guns, drugs, and money, assaulting them, and making no arrest.39 As bad as this was, it was only a small-time, illegal version of official policy. On a much wider scale, and with much lower risk, entire departments were involved in exactly the same sort of extortion, under the guise of asset forfeiture. First introduced by a 1970 anti-racketeering law (the irony here is sicken­ ing) , the practice of seizing drug money and other property has been expanded repeatedly, most notably by the 1984 Comprehensive Crime Control Act. The 1984 law allowed local and state authorities to seize the assets of suspected

drug dealers, try the cases in federal court, and keep up to 90 percent of the loot for departmental use. Forfeiture cases are not considered criminal pro­ ceedings-in fact, no one need be charged with a crime at all-and so the hearings carry a lower standard of proof. Cases involving assets under $100,000 are handled in administrative hearings, not reaching even civil court. More questionable still, prosecutors sometimes reduce charges when defendants agree to surrender their assets without a fight.40 Racial profiling innovator and Volusia (Florida) County Sheriff Bob Vogel used these laws quite adeptly. Between 1989 and 1992, he confiscated $8 million 202

in property based on searches conducted during motor vehicle stops. Of those who "forfeited" their property, 85 percent were Black and 75 percent were never charged with a crime.41 The forfeiture law provided the local cops with a major incentive for pri­ oritizing drug busts. As the money came in, many departments re-invested it in the drug war, upgrading their arsenals with military hardware.42 But in addition to the financial gains , drug raids promised political and bureaucratic benefits as well. Asset forfeiture opened another major source of funding for local departments, making the police less reliant on their local governments' budget processes, and therefore also less subject to the control of mayors and city councils.

It is hard to overstate the impact drug policy has had on policing. The nation­ al obsession with controlling drug use has provided a rationale for racial profiling, legitimized prison expansion and draconian sentencing laws, eroded constitu­ tional protections against warrantless searches, promoted federal intervention and military involvement in local law enforcement, and helped enormously to militarize the police.4.l It has also provided a convenient justification for widening the scope of police activity. COMMUNITY P O L I C I N G : T H E RETURN OF OFFICER F R I E N D Ly44

If the aggressive, armored paramilitary unit represents one face of contempo­ rary policing, the other is that of the smiling, chatty cop on the beat. One is the image of militarization; the other is that of community policing. "Community policing," like "militarization," is a jargon term. It is loosely defined and sometimes used to mean only "something desirable." "Community policing" is thrown around quite a lot by both critics of the police and by the cops' policy­ level allies, but the term is mostly used by those who advocate its programs. What, precisely, they advocate is the matter of quite some controversy.45 Community policing largely grew out of innovations developed dming the 1970s. The seventies and eighties were periods of extreme experimentation in law enforcement, as departments across the country struggled to recover from the defeats of the 1960s. As the years progressed, the new ideas were either refined or abandoned, and those remaining gradually coalesced under the rubric of community policing. This legacy, plus the community policing premise that law enforcement strategies should be adapted to local conditions and local needs, has resulted in a baffling variety of programs operating under the same label, and has made generalizing about them ver y difficult. Community policing largely evolved from the earlier notion of ''team polic­ ing," under which a group of officers shared responsibility for a particular area.46 From this base, community policing slowly came to incorporate novelties like decentralized command, storefront mini-stations, directed (rather than random) patrol, neighborhood watch groups, permanent assignments, neighborhood liaisons, door-to-door surveys, public forums, crime prevention trainings, citizen advisory boards, meetings with religious and civic leaders, foot patrols, bike patrols, police-sponsored community activities and social functions, a focus on minor offenses, educational and recreational programs for young people, citizen volunteer opportunities, and community organizing projects.47 203



Common features seemed to connect many of the more successful programs, and these slowly formed the basis for the community policing perspective. Sociolo.b>ist Gary Cordner .l,'TOUPS the elements of community policing into philosophical, strategic, tactical, and organizational dimensions. Philosophically, community policing is charactetized by the solicitation of citizen input, the broadening of the police function, and the attempt to find solutions based on the values of the local community. Organizationally, community policing requires that departments be restructured such as to de-centralize command, flatten hierarchies, reduce spe­ cialization, civilianize staff positions, and encourage teamwork. Strategically, com­ munity policing efforLq reorient operations away from nmcIom patrols and respond­ ing to 9 1 1 calls, towards more directed, proactive, ,md preventive activities. 'nlis reorientation requires a geographic focus, and encourages cops to pay attention to sources of disorder as well as to the crimes themselves. Tactics that sustain community policing efforts are those that encourage positive citizen interactions, partnerships. and problem solving. 'K A 1 994 report written by the Community Policing Consortium (representing the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriff's Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, and the Police Foundation) . and published by the D epartment of Justice. identifies the two "core components" of community policing as "community partnership and problem solving." " Sociologists J erome Skolnick and David Bayley conduded, based on a study of six police depart­ ments renowned as innovators and trend-setters, that the governing premise of community policing was "that the police and the public are co-producers of crinw prevention. ")!) By the early 1990s "Community Policing" was the official religion of police nation­ wide, even if nobody knew exactly what it meant' I Even Daryl Gates, the embattled and abrasive former chief of police in Los Angeles, explicitly advocated commu­

nity po1ic!r�g in his 1992 n1cn10ir, C) .) -'vvhich only ulldcr:;�vrc3 yuC;tivu3 about the term's use. If the notorious LAPD has, as Gates insists. been practicing commu­ nity policing since the 1 970s, then what doesn 't count as community policing? If the term covers everything, then does it mean anything? Perhaps I'm being unfair. After all, the LAPD did invent some of the paradig­ matic community policing programs, including DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and the neighborhood watch.s, But the clash between the LAPD's uncivil image and that of the personable neighborhood beat cop gets to the heart of the confusion about what is and is not community policing. There is a differ­ ence between adopting stand-alone progrmns and taking on community policing as an overall organizational strategy. 'lbe Los Angeles Police Department may have recognized early on the need for community partnerships, but it-like most departments-has pursued these partnerships unevenly, haphazardly, and without changing the basic orientation of the police force. On the other hand. community policing is not at all incompatible with the hard­ nosed, militarized tactics for which Gates's department became famous, or infamous. Of the two major strands of community policing programs-"peace corps policing" and "order maintenance policing" -the latter seems to actually promote just the sort of excess that Gates favored. Peace corps policing "emphasized community empowerment, cultivating constructive relationships with disenfranchised minor-


ity groups, and establishing partnerships between the public and the police."54 The "order-maintenance" model "seeks to 'clean up' a community proactively, thereby reducing the potential for crime and diminishing citizens' fears. . . . "55 linking the two is an emphasis on problem solving and a sense that police business extends beyond the most basic matters of law enforcement56 Hence, both approaches are proactive, prevention-oriented, concerned with the fear of crime as well as with crime


and generally fit within the framework of community policing as it

is laid out above. Where differences exist, they tend to be matters of emphasis rather than principle. In

fact, peace

corps and order maintenance approaches are

sometimes employed in tandem, and-together or separately-they dovetail with militarization to form a coherent, strategic whole. To resolve this seeming paradox, we should consider what the police hope to accomplish with community policing, and what advantages they take from their community partnerships. COMMUNITY P O L I C I N G AN D P OLICY COMMUN I T I E S

The first thing to notice about community policing is the degree to which it seeks to undo the reforms of the Progressive and professional eras. These earlier reform­ ers sought to centralize command, introduce bureaucratic management practices, close neighborhood precincts, do away with foot patrols, narrowly focus on crime control, increase specialization within the departments, and generally sever the connections between the police and the public. 57 These efforts were never fully successful, but that is hardly the point. 1be point is that they move in exactly the opposite direction from many of the recommendations made by community polic­ ing advocates. To make sense of this reversal, we need to recognize that community policing seeks to address a different set of problems than those faced by the Progressives or the professionals. There is no longer any need for capitalists to wrest city gov­ ernments away from Tan1lllany-style political machines, and police unionization has done more to improve the typical patrol officer's standard of living than the move toward professionalization ever did. More subtly, the police have largely established their institutional autonomy, and have developed extensive means to defend it. In


since the late sixties, they have moved beyond their quest for

independence and have begun to pursue political power. Here, perhaps, we can discern a pattern. Historically, the means of social control have adapted in response to crises, to challenges faced by the existing authorities. Slave patrols evolved gradually in response to slave revolts. The rise of capitalism pro­ duced new class tensions and higher demands for order; one result was the modern police.58 Is it a coincidence, then, that the three most pronounced trends in contem­ porary policing-unionization, militarization, and community policing-gained their momentum during a period of profound social tension and overt political conflict? This puts it dramatically, but it's no secret that community policing arose as a response to the crises of the 1960s. Society was in a state of upheaval and elites were wracked with panic, at One Police Plaza and Parker Center no less than in the White House and the Pentagon. 59 The immediate clash was resolved through a combination of concessions and repression, but before the fight was even over, the authorities were in training for a rematch. The shortcomings of social control in the civil rights and anti-war periods 205

� r...l t:


are not difficult to discern. Misplaced intelligence efforts meant that the security forces were often caught unawares by rebellions, and heavy-handed crowd control tactics exacerbated disorder where it arose.t'o Meanwhile, government lawlessness-both domestically and in the field of foreign policy-eroded citizens' faith in the system. The continuation of such conditions threatened to render the country ungovernable.(' ] The authorities had to reassess their approach to social control.(,2 The resulting police experiments, which eventually blended into the com­ munity policing approach, were born of the desire to correct for the shortcom­ ings of the earlier bureaucratic-professional model. They sought to build a bond between the police and the public in hopes that this would increase police legiti­ macy, give them better access to information, intensify their penetration of com­ munity life, and expand the police mission." \ All of this, in theory, should make the populace easier to police and heighten the level of police control. The first task of any community policing strategist is to make police author­ ity legitimate in the eyes of the community. Herman Goldstein, a community policing advocate, identifies "the ultimate potential in community policing" as the development of a reservoir of respect and support that could greatly increase the capacity of police officers to deal with problems with less need to resort to the criminal process or to the coercive force that officers derive from their uniform, their weapon, their badge, or the knowledge that they can summon reinforcements.1>4

The means by which this legitimacy is established are sometimes subtle. Even the mechanisms through which the community is supposed to voice its concerns often become forums for the police to promote their own agenda. The most com­ mon of these is the citizen survey. Under the guise of collecting information about neighborhood problems and community attitudes, the surveys carefully frame questions to reinforce the fear of crime and present the police as problem solvers. They also suggest a conservative view concerning the causes of crime (drugs, a tolerance for disorder) , the people who commit crimes (young people, gang mem­ bers, strangers) , and the solutions to the crime problem (law enforcement) .6'i The surveys function twice in this regard-first, in the collection of the data, and then, in the presentation of the results.66 Community meetings work the same way, turning an atmosphere of inclusiveness and participation to propagandistic ends: Although the meetings are supposedly held to deal with the community's concerns, these concerns are defined b y police with i n the framework of how b e st to reduce crime. The "communication" is frequently a one-way lobby for the police and their concerns. 67

Other features of community policing, like foot patrols and storefront offices, serve to increase friendly contact between police and the residents in the neighborhoods they patrol. All of these practices, it is hoped, can reduce the friction between the cops and the community, encourage communication, build trust, and humanize the individual officers in the eyes of the neighborhood residents. When legitimacy is established, the police can rely more on the cooperation of the citizenry, rather than resorting to coercive force. Citizen participation


can run the gamut from watching neighbors' homes, to reporting drug dealers, to patrolling the streets. It can involve participation in problem identification and problem solving efforts, in crime prevention programs, in neighborhood revitalization, and in youth-oriented educational and recreational programs. Citizens may act individually or in groups, they may collaborate with the police and they may even join the police department by donating their time as police department volunteers, reserves, or auxiliaries.68 Moreover, the police are not just encouraged to mobilize individuals, but to draw existing civic groups into their efforts and, where necessary, to set up new organizations to provide the support they need. Hence, the new-found trust would give the police access to, and influence over, community resources that may have otherwise had their law enforcement potential overlooked-or that may have served as centers for resistance. It also provides the police depart­ ment with additional leverage with which to further its agenda with the rest of the government Goldstein, for one, specifically encourages police to act as organizers and advocates in the community. He writes:

After analyzing the problem, officers involved in these projects conduct an uninh ibited search for alternative responses. They may settle on one of the responses identified above as commonly used in community policing, or they may go a step further, perhaps pressuring municipal agencies to carry out existing responsibilities or to invest new resources in an area. They may push for changes in the policies of other government agencies or advocate legislation that would enable police to deal more effectively with a problem that clearly warrants arrest and prosecution.69 Hence, community policing advances the autonomy of the institution and encour­ ages police interference with the functions of the rest of the government. It provides an incentive to political action, and threatens to blur the separation of powers and invert the principles of civilian control. The aim is to turn an ever-widening range of institutions into tools for law enforcement -This goal is made explicit in the tactics of "third-party policing." 'Third-party policing occurs when the authorities convince or require an un­ involved individual or organization to take actions designed to minimize disorder or prevent crime.71l Popularized by the "problem-oriented" perspective, third-party policing often involves the use or threat of civil or administrative sanctions to force bar owners, landlords, social service agencies, and others in contact with criminal suspects or disorderly persons to apply pressure such as to control their behavior. A bar owner, under threat of losing his liquor license, may agree to hire bouncers or eschew certain types of entertainment (e.g., nude dancers or hip-hop music) . Landlords may be urged to install better lighting, report suspicious activity, and evict tenants whom the police deem to be problems.71 Social service agencies may be asked to exercise additional control over their clients. The police may also move further up the social ladder. If a social service agency proves uncooperative, its landlord or funding sources may also be asked to bring their influence to bear. 'Third-party policing, like many of the tactics that fall within the scope of community policing, operates by co-opting community resources and existing sources of power,72 The Community Policing Consortium report puts it politely: 207

Community policing does not imply that police are no longer in authority or that the primary duty of preserving law and order is subordinated. However, tapping into the expertise and resources that exist within communities will relieve police of some of their burdens. Local government officials, social agencies, schools, church groups, business people-all those who work and live in the community and have a stake in its development-will share responsibility for finding workable solutions to problems that detract from the safety and security of the community?3 In other words, conmmnity policing is a strategy for making the community's total "expertise and resources" available to the police. The ultimate goals of policing ("the primary duty of preserving law and order'') are unchanged, and police authority is not diminished. But community policing does allow some parts of the community to share in police power, acting as adjuncts to the police institution. Police power is extended further into the community, but the balance of power between the police and the community remains heavily weighted, always, in favor of the police. Former IAPD chief William Parker complained, "I'm a policeman, not a social worker."74 Under community-police cooperation schemes, social workers-as well as teachers, public health officials, bus drivers, bartenders, landlords--could reg­ ister the corresponding complaint '1'm not a cop. " Community policing, especially in the form of third-party policing, is less a matter of policing-as-sociaJ.work than social­ work-as-policing, without the need for any Foucauldian camouflage. The overall result of these efforts is to increase the police role in the community, meaning that the coercive apparatus of the state will be more involved with daily life. The state, and the police in particular, will have more opportunities for surveil­ lance, and can exercise control in a variety of ways besides arrests, citations, or physical force. This shift can be made to sound like demilitarization, liberalization, or democratization,?' but it is instead just a smarter approach to repression. The goal of ('ommunity policing is to reduce resistance before force is required. What we've traced out here is the path from legitimacy to hegemony. The ultimate goal of community policing is to increase the power of police, and this represents the most stable limit on the community's role as "co-producers" of crime control. The police and the community may form a "partnership," but the police always remain the senior partner.76 The demands of community policing may sound contradictory: the police are to rely on community's support, but remain in controt community input should shape police priorities, but without granting the community power. The corporatist model again becomes useful in understanding the policerommunity partnership?7 Santa Ana (California) police lieutenant Hugh Mooney tells of his role in the neighborhood:

This is my area.. . . I am their spokesman . . . . I support them 100 percent. If I have to argue with them, I do it here, and we work things out. Then, when I do go before my peers and superiors I tell them exactly what my people feeL . . I represent them.7R Of course, this is only half the equation. The other half is that Ueutenant Mooney also represents the Santa Ana Police Department to the residents of the neigh­ borhood where he serves; he presents the organization's perspective, promotes its agenda, and couches its demands in acceptable terms. Where the police succeed in establishing such relationships, and in using 20H

them to increase their power, they create what Martin ]. Smith calls a "policy community." Policy communities increase state autonomy by establishing the means through which state actors can intervene in society without using force. By integrat­ ing state and society actors, they increase the capabilities of the state to make and implement policy. They create state powers that would not otherwise exist and, more importantly, they increase the autonomy of actors in a policy area by excluding other actors from the policy process . . It is state actors who determine the rules of the games, the parameters of policy and the actors who will have access to the policy community.l9 .


Hence, what may be presented in terms of democratic engagement and greater inclusion tends overall to favor the state's interests and reinforce state power. Negotiation and co-optation provide the means for the state to extend its influ­ ence. Thus potential sources of resistance can be neutralized�r even turned to the state's advantage-by their incorporation into a policy community, in this case one centered around and dominated by the police department.Bo In some sense, the client groups become incorporated into the state itself. It makes little difference whether the client organization is a police union,S! a social service agency, a church, a school, another governmental body, or a neighborhood watch group. By organizing on a sufficient scale the police can greatly enhance their own power-not only over these agencies, but through them-while acquiring relatively few additional burdens for themselves. So long as the police maintain control over the network as a whole, no one component of it is likely to make demands that cannot be easily accommodated (or safely ignored) . This is the secret to a friendly police state: as the police more fully penetrate civil society, and as they gain the cooperation of the citizenry and its various organizations, they become less reliant on their own access to violence. Or do they? Do they instead, perhaps, become ever less tolerant of resis­ tance and disorder, ever more forceful in their own demands? THE HARD EDGE OF COMMUNITY POLICING

In the wake of the Rodney King beating, the Christopher Commission noted with alarm that distrust of the police was commonplace, especially among Black people and Latinos. As a remedy, the commission issued a broad slate of recommendations, many centering on the full adoption of a community policing perspective as the guiding philosophy of the IAPD. Giving credit where it was due, the Commission's report listed already-existing LArD programs that made use of community policing strategies. 1be report specifically mentioned DARE, the short-lived Community Mobilization Project (m which police attended block meetings and arranged for Boy Scout troops to remove graffiti) , and Operation Cul-de-Sac. In "Operation Cul-de-Sac," police erect barriers on streets in high crime areas so that motorists cannot drive through a neighborhood. The most ambitious use of this program occurred in a 3D-block area of the Newton district of South-Central Los Angeles. The LAPD set up two cul-de-sacs in the section and erected small barriers on other streets. The zone was satu­ rated with officers on foot, horse, and bicycle. "Open to Residents Only" and 209

.. Narcotics En forcement Area" signs were posted. The ai 111 was to discourage drug dealers and gang members from driving through the area. At the same time, debris was removed from alleys and graffiti scrubbed off walls. X2 Thc Christopher Conmlission report went on to voice concerns about the intensivc deployment of officers, the specific targeting of high-ctimc areas, the "illusory" nature of the reduction in crline, and citizen complaitlts that the area had been converted into an "armed camp."H I But despite its reservations, the cOimnission saw value in the program-and more importantly, saw its place within the overall framework of community policing. 1bis combination of militaristic tactics and community policing ideology is less mystelious than it might initially appear. 'nle community policing focus on problem solving can easily tend towards a zero-tolerance approach with a strong emphasis on public order, rather than on crime per se. "

Zero-tolerance polici ng refers to the strict enforcement of all criminal and civil violations withi n certain geographical hot spots (a code word for lower-income, minority areas) using an array of aggressive tactics such as street sweeps, proactive enforcement of not just the law but "community order," and a proli feration of drug raids on private residences." 'I1le effect is to crimillalize an ever-wider range of public order offenses ;mel minor nuisances-some of which might not even, really, be illegal. Hence, standard features of urban life that may previously have been considered mere irritations, inconveniences, annoyances, or eccentricities, suddenly become matters for police attention. Worst of all, the new intolerance sometimes makes crimes out of tlle most humcU1, humanizing, and humane parl<; of city life, the aspects that make it tolerdble----or for some people, possible. Skateboarding, graffiti, loud parties, and other signs of "disor­

der" mak� citie5 !110re interesti..rtg thJ...1'} L.�cy -'yvould ot.�cr,visc bc. �\l1vrc TIJ.lpurta.i1t1y, though, the focus on public order can shut down soup kitchens and make the streets altogether uninhabitable for those who have nowhere else to live. In 1993, San Francisco mayor (and former police chief) Frank Jordan intro­ duced the Matrix program, which deliberately targeted the homeless for aggres­ sive enforcement of quality-of-life laws. For two years, pre-dawn police raids broke up homeless camps in Golden Gate Park. Elsewhere in the city, shanty towns were leveled with bulldozers, and activists with Food Not Bombs were repeatedly arrested for the crin1e of serving free food.H6 Such efforts can push those already at the margins of society-the young, the poor, people of color-out of public spaces altogether, making room (it is hoped) for posh restaurants and trendy boutiques. Community policing is intimately connected with urban renewal, neighbor­ hood revitalization. and, ultimately, gentrificationP Consider the response of two academic advocates of community policing, Jerome Skolnick and David Bayley, to Santa Ana Police Chief Raymond Davis's efforts to make the destitute unwel­ come in the downtown area. Davis formed an alliance with local business own­ ers. who pressured judges to issue stiffer sentences for public order violations.RR Skolnick and Bayley don't pause to worry about the separation of powers, or about private businesses interfering with tlle judiciary, or about the human rights implications of targeting one class of people [or prosecution to benefit another 2 10

class-always targeting the poor, for the benefit of the rich. Instead, our astute academicians consider removal of poor people as part and parcel of restoring order. And rather than addressing the social and economic causes of poverty, they go so far as to blame the poor for causing economic decline: D runks loiter and sleep in front of stores, urinate in alleys, panhandle, and otherwise annoy the sort of person who might be interested i n purchasing a meal, a pair of shoes, or a floor lamp in downtown Santa Ana. The more the downtown area became a haven for habitual drunks and transient street criminals, the more precipitous its decline.89

Despite all the happy talk about "community involvement" and "shared prob­ lem solving," in practice certain populations generally get counted among the prob­ lems to be solved rather than the community to be involved. Priorities identified by the "community" may suspiciously coincide with the interests of business owners and real estate developers.

FIXATING ON BROKEN WIN D OWS The theoretical justification for the sudden focus on minor offenses is what is known as the "Broken Windows" doctrine. Though actually quite old,')O th e Broken Windows idea owes its name and current popularity to an article b y James Q. Wilson and George Kelling.91 They argue that if minor disorder i s allowed to persist, it leads t o both public fear and to serious crime, because it establishes the sense that the area is uncared for. We suggest that "untended" behavior also leads to the breakdown of com­ munity controls. A stable neighborhood of families who care for their homes, mind each other's children, and confidently frown on unwanted intruders can change, in a few years or even a few months to an inhospitable and fright­ ening jungle. A piece of property is abandoned, weeds grow up, a window is smashed. Adults stop scolding rowdy children; the children, emboldened, become more rowdy. Families move out, unattached adults move in. Teenag­ ers gather in front ofthe corner store. The merchant asks them to move; they refuse. Fights occur. Litter accumulates. People start drinking in front of the grocery; in time, an inebriate slumps to the sidewalk and is allowed to sleep it off. Pedestrians are approached by panhandlers.. . . Such an area is vulnerable to criminal invasion. Though it is not inevi­ table, it is more likely that here, rather than in places where people are confident they can regulate public behavior by informal controls, drugs will change hands, prostitutes will solicit, and cars will be stripped . . . . muggings will occur.92

By this reasoning, it is not just crime and the fear of crime that demand police attention but the entire range of factors affecting the "quality of life. "93 Aside from its implicit class-bias,94 the Broken Windows theory seems to assign inordinate importance to keeping one's lawn tidy. It seems frankly implau­ sible that litter and abandoned cars lead to rape and murder in the vague but direct way Wilson and Kelling suggest95 Moreover, the zero-tolerance conclu­ sion does not necessarily follow from the Broken Windows premise. If panhan­ dlers and dilapidated buildings serve as indicators of disorder, and thus promote 211

� t: �


crime, then public safety should be better advanced by the state's welfare functions rather than its policing functions (and there is no reason to subordinate the one to the other) . l�ther than investing resources in law enforcement, government funds would be better used to reduce poverty, provide housing, and help lower-income families to keep up their homes--efforts that do not require any involvement on the part of the police.% B u t even if we accept the Broken Windows theory a s Wilson and Kelling present it, there are still good reasons not to make the police responsible for the maintenance of order. For one thing, many aspects of "order" are not reflected in the law. Charging the police with maintaining order, without the pretense of law, comes uncomfortably close to outright bullying. Second, where "order" is distinct from "law," it would seem to invest in the police the power to determine for themselves what counts as proper behavior. This is a dan­ gerous enough precept to be avoided in its own right. Both of these worries can be somewhat alleviated if laws are changed to reflect the prevailing stan­ dards and to invest the police with order maintenance duties de jure as well as

de /acto.

But this also should be resisted. First, it may raise troubling questions about the separation of powers-especially where the police themselves lobby for such laws. And more importantly, we should always hesitate to rely on the police to solve problems that can be addressed in other ways--or that we can stand to leave unresolved. There are political reasons for this position: in the interest of individual liberty, it is better not to expand police power or turn community problems into a source of police legitimacy. But there is also an unde rlying ethical principle, that violence should be always and only a last resort. When we mark something-a behavior, a person, a " hot spot" location-as an object for police control, we also authorize an unknown level of violence to be applied to en sure complh."1ce. Thc policc represent, irt Carl l(1" ,kcu ;:,';:, v1u d:se, lhe slale's " llonnegotiably coercive force."97 That is, ultimately, why they are there. A noisy drunk may be bothersome, to be sure. It is possible that (as so many business owners seem to believe) panhandlers keep patrons away. And a group of teenag­ ers sulking on the street corner can make for an unnerving walk home. But few of us would feel justified using violence to address these difficulties. And neither should the police. But violence-o r its threat--i s implicit in every police interac­ tion and manifests at times when it is undeniably inappropriate. To authorize police action is to authorize violence; to direct the police to act against such minor offenses (or non-offenses) as loitering or public drunkenness is to authorize violence in circumstances where very few people would consider it justified. 98

THE FUTURE (AND PAST ) OF PUBLIC ORDER One precursor of the Broken Windows doctrine was Oakland's ''Beat Health" pro­ gram. Under the auspices of Beat Health, police were encouraged to take an inter­ est in the social environment where they patrolled, arranging for abandoned cars to be towed, litter picked up, graffiti scrubbed away. As in Santa Ana, the Oakland program had a close connection to the city's downtown renewal program. Local businesses funded the Oakland Police Department's ""Fourth Platoon," which 212

used foot patrols, bike patrols, horse patrols, motorcycle patrols, canine units, helicopters, and two Special Duty Task Forces to enforce public order laws in the downtown corridor. Police made use of a wide range of tactics, from gentle admonishments to open harassment, warrant checks, arrests, and violence.99 The NAACP reported a rise in police brutality as a result 100 Denver provides another early example of this philosophy in action. In 1980 the Denver Police began deploying directed foot patrols, focusing on minor offenses in areas where young people gathered. The plan was quickly deemed a success, and expanded to deal with homeless campers and panhan­ dlers, especially in commercial areas. The foot patrols were supplemented with motorcycle patrols and dubbed "ESCORT" (Eliminate Street Crime On Residential Thoroughfares) . 1 01 Skolnick and Bayley enthusiastically report: ESCORT officers are specialized in the enforcement of laws dealing w ith behavior in public places. One m ight call this skilled harassment. Working the streets' b usy hours, 10


to 2


divided into two shifts, ESCORT

officers are told to "find a rock and kick it." That means combing the streets for minor violations by people who live persistently in the narrow space between respectability and criminality.. . . These people are hit for any infraction that can be found, from rowdyism to the use of dr ugs, from propo­

sitioning to illegal parki ng, from procuring to causing a disturbance. 102

The zero-tolerance perspective came to inform not only the enforcement of the law, but the law itself: on July 1, 1983, the Denver city government made loiter­ ing illegal.IIH Much of this pattern is familiar from the nineteenth century, when the newly formed police were immediately set to the job of keeping the urban poor in line. The bulk of police attention was not directed toward serious crime, but to vice and public order-which is a nice way of saying that they tried to control the morality, habits, and social life of the urban working classes. 104 A similar task is implied by Wilson and Kelling's nostalgic reminiscences about the cop on the beat: [T] he police in this earlier period assisted in that reassertion of authority by acting, sometimes violently, on behalf of the community. Young toughs were roughed up, people were arrested "on suspicion" or for vagrancy, and prostitutes and petty thieves were routed. "Rights" were something enjoyed by decent folk . . . . 10 5

Historian Samuel Walker argues that "the tradition of policing cited by Wilson and Kelling . . . never existed," but that's not quite true. l OG While unrecognizably distorted by Wilson and Kelling's rosy description, the nineteenth century did witness a very real increase in the demand for order-a demand met with police action. Pleasantries and circumlocutions aside, the tradition Wilson and Kelling seek to revive is not that of the station-house soup kitchen, but that of the vagrancy law and the saloon raid. This is why Walker's protestation misses the point: the reactionary idealization of the past is a rhetorical device, not an his­ torical hypothesis. It does not seek the truth about the past in order to learn the truth about the present; it tells lies about the past to support lies about the pres­ ent. Thus, it makes little difference whether the nineteenth-century cop was on 213



better terms with the community or did a better job of maintaining order, so long as that faded Norman Rockwell image of the neighborhood cop can be used to justify repressive police tactics now. If the trick works, policing in the twenty-first century may resemble, very closely, that of the nineteenth. I N O CULAT E D C I T y : H'7 T H E N EW N EW YO RK

Always proud to crystallize an emerging model, the New York Police Department provides the paradigm case of zero-tolerance policing. After Rudolph Giuliani's police-backed rise to the mayor's office, the former prosecutor immediately set about transforming the city according to his own view of public order. Within months, the crackdown had been directed against-not only petty criminals, vagrants, and drunks-but peep shows, street vendors, and cabbies. I OB The mastermind behind Giuliani's police state strategy was NYPD commis­ sioner William Bratton. Bratton, inspired by Wilson and Kelling's "Broken Windows" article, had previously dabbled with zero-tolerance and quality-of-life measures in the subway system, as the head of the Transit Police. The subway cops started using plainclothes officers to catch turnstile-jumpers, put uniformed cops on the trains, and used the loudspeaker to announce periodic sweeps. These sweeps, code-named "Operation Glazier,"lO'J were ostensibly to remove drunks, though the later use of police dogs indicates another purpose. 1 1 0 Christian Parenti comments, "Such sweeps, still in effect from time to time, are

simple political semaphore from

the state to the people: We have the guns, we have the dogs, you will obey.ml l l Other symbolism reinforced the message: Bratton issued the subway cops 9mm semiautomatic handguns and uniforms chosen for their military character ("com­ mando sweaters with epaulets, very

military") .112

Meanwhile, an extensive ad

campaign reassured the public: 'We're Taking the Subway Back-for YoU. "l 1 3

As head of the NYPD. Bratton was able



on R

much broader

scale. Seeing an intolerable array of disorder everywhere he looked, Bratton took his subway strategy to New York City's streets: "Quality of Life. Boom boxes, squeegee people, street prostitutes, reckless bicyclists, illegal after-hours joints, graffiti-New York was being overrun. We called Police Strategy Number 5 'Reclaiming the Public Spheres of New York: It was the linchpin strategy. " 1 1 4 The first casualties of Bratton's obsession with order were, as elsewhere, the homeless. Squeegee workers in particular suddenly found their efforts to eke out a living by washing windshields at intersections treated as the first

priority of New York's finest. 1 1 5 Police cleared "squeegee corners" every two

hours, and started making arrests rather than issuing citations. l l G Soon, the police were hard at work breaking up the homeless encampments under the

city's bridges. I I I Then they moved on to other sections of the population: tru­ ants, and then students; 1 l 8 prostitutes and their clients; then, the workers and customers in the legal branch of the sex industry; squatters; bus drivers and cabbies; and, eventually, jay-walkers. 1 1 9 Almost immediately, complaints against the police began to rise. In

1994, 37

percent more complaints were filed than in the year before; by 1996 the police were receiving 56 percent more complaints than in 1993 .120 Nevertheless, once New York was making headlines with its aggressive police tactics, Bratton's methods spread. Philadelphia cops started pursuing kids cutting class, hand214

cuffing them like criminals. Boston police started cracking down on street mer­ chants and beggars. l 2 l A Washlngton, D.C., Metro Police officer explained his departmenfs zero-tolerance efforts: " [The administrators] want to see numbers, so we're arresting people and locking them up for almost nothing. " 122 Indianapolis instituted "quality of life enforcemenf' in 1997 with funds from the federal Community Oriented Policing program. 123 The Miami police department's focus on safe shopping led a half dozen Miami cops to kick, pepper spray, and shackle Lewis Rivera, a homeless man eating at a shopping mall; an hour later Rivera was deadY" Even Portland, Oregon, has tried to become the new New York, with a law against sitting on the sidewalk, and neighborhood campaigns targeting churches that feed the homeless. 12 s Bratton himself has recently taken his con­ siderable skills to the Los Angles Police Department, where he began his term as police chief with promises to target graffiti, begging, and gangs. 1 26 M I L I TARIZAT I O N I N T H E C O MMUNITY P O L I C I N G C O N T EXT

Given the popularity of the Broken Windows theory and the world-wide rush to imitate the New York police, we can begin to understand the use of paramilitary teams to conduct routine patrols. As a zero-tolerance tool, SWAT teams have a lot going for them. One officer explains: We conduct a lot of saturation patrol.. . . We focus on "quality of life" issues like illegal parki ng, loud music, bums, neighbor troubles. We have the freedom to stay in a hot area and clean it up-particularly gangs. O u r tactical enforcement team works nicely with our department's emphasis

7 on community policing . 1 2 ..


While not exactly building community partnerships, these saturation patrols do represent an extreme form of the kind of proactive, preventative, geographi­ cally focused operations at the center of the community policing approach. Such uses of SWAT teams provide a clear instance of the intersection between com­ munity policing and militarized tactics, equipment, ideology, and organizational structures. The connection is empirically indisputable: many police depart­ ments esteemed for their community policing efforts use paramilitary units for patrols and other routine operations. I 28 Commanders have been known to move between community policing posts and paramilitary assignments, sometimes occupying both positions simultaneously. 1 29 And funds designated for commu­ nity policing programs are frequently used to pay for SWAT operations. 1 30 The use of SWAT teams for neighborhood patrols is striking, but it is not by any means the only point of contact between militarization and community policing. Beginning in

2001, the D.C. Metropolitan police established links to

hundreds of video cameras strategically positioned around the city. Adapted from military technology, the cameras continuously survey federal buildings and national monuments, public streets, subway and train stations, schools, and-thanks to the business association-stores in Georgetown. Heading the project is Stephen J Gaffison, the former Justice Department director of community policing programs. He describes the system: The video technology is state-of-the-art, fully computerized switching equipment that is very similar to what you would find in a NASA or defense command 215

center. . I don't think there's really a limit on the feeds it can take . . . . We're . .

trying to build . . . the capacity to tap into not only video but databases and sy stems across the region. l .l l

D.C.'s high-tech surveillance network, currently the most advanced in the coun­ try, is not intended to guard against normal street crime, but for use in emergen­ cies, to help route traffic, and-tellingly-to monitor political demonstrations. II , Here military technology and community policing leadership are combined for a project seemingly removed from crime control. Again, as witll PPU patrols, the question is not whether there is a connection between community policing and militarization, but how to interpret this connection. Kraska and Kappeler suggest that the demands of reformers help to link community policing and militaIization: Contemporary police rdormers have asked the police to join together in problem-solving teams, to design ways to take control of the st reets, to take ownership of neighborhoods, to actively and visibly create a climate of order, and to improve communities' quality of Ii fco o . 1.\.\ .

If we accept the idea of "quality of life" implicit in zero-tolerance police practices, then militarized policing does all of these things. What is more, efforts to do all of these may actually tend to promote militarization. Community policing is not a specific progran1, but a strategy; militarization is as much about organization as it is about high-tech weaponry. It is possible that community policing and militarization can exist independently, but the two have a definite affinity. Strategies create demands on the organizations respon­ sible for implementing them. I I', Community policing is no exception. It requires, as we have seen, a decentralized command, officers working in teams, and highly discretionary police action. Decentralization �nd discretion way 110t 50iiilJ like ledlul e� uf a Iuilltary organization, but it is a mistake to contrast them with strict hierarchy and active discipline. Military discipline is not bureaucratic control; it is not meant to elimi­ nate discretion, but to shape or guide it. Bureaucrats apply pre-scripted rules to a given situation, with a minimum of personal latitude. Soldiers are expected to fol­ low orders, adhere to regulations, and act in accordance to military doctrine, but the application of these various codes must be determined to a very large extent "on the ground" by widely dispersed units acting with a minimum of direct supervision. 1 l1 Military discipline therefore builds in a degree of discretion. [S] ophisticated military managers increasingly prefer the initiative of the self-starter to the blind obedience of the automaton. Suspicious of exces­ sive bureaucratic rigidity, they seek to cultivate in professional soldiers the disposition to act in conformity with the spirit of a command rather than formalistically with its lett er. A felicitous way to d o this is to formulate orders to junior officers (and where possible, to the troops themselves) in terms of mission objectives.13G

Discipline is the internalized voice of authority. It is distinguished from rote obe­ dience by the adoption of the values, aims, and methods of the institution. 1 37 It requires obedience, at a bare minimum, and may be established and maintained in part through punishment. But a well-disciplined soldier, like a well-trained 2 16

dog,) 38 will behave properly even when direct orders are unavailable and no punish­ ment is threatened. Orders from superiors still supersede individual judgment, but fewer orders are necessary. By the same means, an organization can decen­ tralize its command and maintain a rigid hierarchy with overall direction coming always from above. The NYPD command structure shows how these various organizational ele­ ments----decentralization, discretion, teamwork, discipline-can be meaningfully combined, while at the same time demonstrating how a militarized organizatio n can pursue community policing strategies. As commissioner, Bratton streamlined the departmental bureaucracy and introduced a new management style. This worked in two directions. It returned much of the day-to-day control to the pre­ cinct level, but it also established performance evaluations and required precinct commanders to track weekly crime statistics. At the crux of the new system was a computerized method of analyzing crime statistics, called "Compstat." Twice a week, all the commanders would meet and review the situation in one precinct. m This left each commander with enormous freedom to determine the day-to-day operations of his area. But every few weeks the entire precinct's performance would be brought under close scrutiny, and the commander would have to answer some hard questions: I want to know why these shootings are still happening in that housing proj­ ect! What have we done to stop it? Did we put Crime Stoppers tips in every rec room and every apartment? Did we run a warrant check on every address at every project, and did we relentlessly pursue those individuals? What is our uniform deployment there? What are the hours of the day, the days of the week that we are deployed? Are we deployed in a radio car, on foot, on bicycle? Are they doing interior searches? Are they checking the rooftops? How do we know we're doing it? What level of supervision is there? When they're work­ ing together in a team with a sergeant and four cops, do they all go to a meal together? When they make an arrest, does everyone go back to the precinct or does one person go back? Are we giving desk-appearance tickets to people who shouldn't be getting them? What are we doing with parole violators? D o we have the parole photos there to show? Do we know everybody o n parole? Parolees are not allowed to hang out with other parolees, they're not allowed in bars. Of the 964 people on parole in the Seventy-fifth Precinct, do we know the different administrative restrictions on each one, so when we interview them we can hold it over their heads? And if not, why not?140

The grilling could be intense, and it put pressure on the precinct commanders to get results. 1his pressure then moved down the chain of command, affecting every level and every branch of the New York Police Department Bratton describes the effect We created a system in which the police commissioner, with his executive core, first empowers and then interrogates the precinct commander, forc­ ing him or her to come up with a plan to attack crime. But it should not stop there. At the next level down. it should be the precinct commander, empower­ ing and interrogating the platoon commander. Then, at the third level. the platoon commander should be asking his sergeants. "What are we doing to deploy on this tour to address these conditions?" And finally. you have the sergeant at roll call-"Mitchell, tell me about the last five robberies on your post"; "Carlyle. you think that's funny, it's a joke? Tell me about the last five 2 17

burglaries"; "Biber, tell m e about those stolen cars o n your post"-all the way down until everYOllE' in the entire organizatioll is empowert'd and motivated, active and assessed and successful. ' '"

'This organizational structure demonsirdtes the possibility of combining tight command and control with individual discretion. Compstat allows the higher-level administrators

to establish the org'dtlization's values and goals; precmct-lcvel conunanders set strategy for their areas; and street-level officers have the discretion to adopt the particular tactics they think suitable. Infonnation moves up and down the chain of command, decision making is consistently deferred to lower levels, and power is concentrated at the top. In this sense, Compstat has as much to do with militarization as docs SWAf. TIlls analysis goes some way toward resolving the apparent tensions between community policing and militarization, but a puzzle remains. Remember that theo­ rist-advocates commonly claim that community policing requires, or at least pro­ motes, "civilianization."'42 If anything undermines the coherence of militarized community policing, surely this does. But what does "civilianization" mean? "Civilianization" refers to the use of civilians to perform police department functions that don't require the author­ ity of sworn officers. rlbese tasks can nmge from clerical work and commu­ nications, to training and forensic analysis, to equipment maintenance, and in extreme cases taking reports and performing minor investigations. ' 4 1 "An assumption behind all this, of course, is that civilians do not supplant sworn offi­ cers. Civilianization in Houston, for example, was designed in part to put more uniforms on the street. . . . " ' 4 1 I n other words, when a department i s "civilianized," the actual number of armed. uniformed officers available for duty increases. Thus, civilianization is not in any sense incompatible with militarization. To sum up: community policing, as a strategy of social control, stresses proac­ tive efforts to create order and focuses on problem solving, broadlv construed . 1bis emphaSIS can come to justify zero-tolerance policing efforts, and specifi­ cally the use of paramilitary units for routine police work. Ibe degree to which

SWAT teams and community policing campaigns have come to share personnel and funding demonstrates the close iinkage between the two. Furthermore, the type of organization, discipline, team-work, officer discretion, and even civilian­ ization suggested by community policing all tend toward a military model. All of this indicates that community policing is not only compatible with, but may actually promote, militarization. On the broader view, when we look at police action both in terms of its strategic and organizational aspects, the picture emerging is that of a Kitsonian counter-insurgency program. COMMUN I TY P O LICING + M I L I TARI ZATION



The ability to concentrate power in the event of an emergency (e.g. , a riot) has been shown to require a shift toward military operations.14) But the ability to penetrate communities is enhanced if the police have the consent (or acquies­ cence) of those communities. This requires legitimacy, and a softer service-ori­ ented, or "peace corps" approach. Complicating things further, military organi­ zation requires strict, almost automatic, discipline and tight command and control; community policing requires discretion, localized decision-making, and 218

a great deal of organizational flexibility. But the two aspects achieve strategic coherence when viewed in the framework of counter-insurgency. 1 46 Drawing from the work of British military strategist Frank Kitson, modern counter-insurgency stresses the need to prevent disorder, rather than simply repressing it where it occurs.].\7 This aim requires that the authorities make nice with the local populace, creating in the community a sense that their rule is stable and legitimate. But it also requires heavy intelligence about the condition of the community, the sources of conflict, grievances, prevalent attitudes, and the efforts of troublemakers. To both these ends, counter-insurgency theorists encourage the authorities to actively penetrate the local community. Community penetration allows for ready access to intelligence, lets the state present itself as a benevolent problem-solver, and more subtly gives it the means to co-opt community institutions that might otherwise provide a base for resistance. All of this can be recognized in the community policing agenda. 1be neighborhood watch structure specifically mirrors counter-insurgency efforts. Kitson writes: Following the procedure used by the French Army in Algiers, the policeman or soldier in charge of each strong point [strategic areal might then appoint one local illhabitant to be responsible for each street who would be instructed to appoint an individual to be responsible for each block and so on down to one individual responsible for each family. The avowed reason for doing this would be to facilitate requests by the people themselves for help. .

. .

11, 8

A December 2002 article in the Portland Tribune demonstrates the utility of such a system. A front-page photograph shows ten cops in helmets, bulletproof vests, combat boots and blue fatigues aiming pistols and assault rifles at a suspect's house. The cops in the picture were members of the Northeast Precinct senior neighborhood officer unit, a team that focuses on quality of life issues. The raid was authorized by a warrant based on six months of intensive surveillance-sur­ veillance conducted, not by police, but by neighbors who kept logs recording the traffic in and out of the house, disputes among the tenants, and any suspicious behavior. Police Chief Mark Kroeker identified the effort as a central aspect of Portland's community policing strategy: 'We have a police bureau that is understaffed, underfunded and overwhelmed. But we have a community that is willing to work, willing to help."14� Community policing turns the citizenry into the eyes and ears of the state and by the same means creates a demand for more aggressive tactics. This is where street sweeps, roadblocks, saturation patrols, zero-tolerance campaigns, and paramilitary units come into the picture. SWAT, in particular, was created as part of a counter-insurgency plan-a fact of which Daryl Gates is quite proud: [ Wel began reading everything we could get our hands on concerning guerrilla warfare. We watched with interest what was happening in Viet­ nam. We looked at military training, and in particular we studied what a group of marines, based at the Naval Armory in Chavez Ravine, were doing. They shared with us their knowledge of counter-insurgency and guerrilla warfare. 1 5 0

2 19

O f course, many community policing advocates fail to recognize the symbiotic relationship between the soft and the tough approaches. Goldstein, for example, cautions that a department could not long tolerate a situation in which officers in a residential area go out of their way to demonstrate that they are caring, service-oriented individuals, while other officers assigned to a roving task force make whole­ sale sweeps of loitering juveniles in that community. ! ) !

Goldstein i s simply wrong. Recent studies o f SWAT activity show that departments

can tolerate the juxtaposition between outreach and smack-down. In fact, some departments deliberately choose this Good Cop/Bad Cop strategy. ! 51 Community policing operations can legitimate such sweeps by mobilizing conservative ele­ ments of the community, especially businesses and property owners. ! '.1 One IAPD officer describes the role of community support When the community cooperates and tells you who has been doing things, why they have been doing them, and how long they have been doing them, you jump at the chance to get the sons-of-bitches. The community don't help that much, so you got to take what you can get while you can get it! Because the community may change its mind, so you got to act quickly and decisively, or else you'll lose the opportunity. That's why when we know the community is behind us, we're going to be aggressive, break their asses and put their butts in jail. ! )4

Or-beginning at the other pole, an initial crackdown can repress active opposi­ tion, opening the political space for Peace Corps-type efforts and outreach to "responsible" community leaders. ! )' In military terms, the sweeps work to secure territory., and community organizing efforts constitute a battle for the hearts and minds of the populace. 1\6 If this description sounds exaggerated, We :;lluulJ cunsider New York Pohce Department Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple's plans for "Operation Juggernaut": We'll take the city back borough by borough . . . . You go into Queens . . . . You stay there for six months with eight hundred officers. There are some bad areas: the 103, the 1 10, the 113, the 114 pre­ cincts. You do everything that works: buy-and-bust operations, quality-of-life enforcement, warrants, guns, the whole thing. It works, we know it works. We do ourjob and take out the drug organizations and clean up Queens. Now we have it under control. After six months, you downgrade by about twenty percent, you leave six hundred officers in Queens as a standing army and slide two hundred over to Brooklyn North, plus another seven hundred. We give Brooklyn North the same treatment for four months, leave several hundred there and slide the rest to Brooklyn South and then Staten Island. When we've cleaned up there, we leave some and move to the Bronx. We finish with Manhattan. Within a year we kill crime in New York.157

Ukewise, the chief of police in one unidentified city described the role of para­ military units in his community policing strategy: It's going to come to the point that the only people that are going to be able to deal with these problems are highly trained tactical teams with proper


equipment to go into a neighborhood and clear the neighborhood and hold it; allowing community policing officers to come in and start turning the neighborhood around. JS8

This is a direct adaptation of military thinking, intended to address the shortcom­ ings of the traditional law enforcement approach. Former Army intelligence officer Thomas Marks explains: Police are relatively i neffective in dealing with hard-hit areas, of course, because they violate the most elementary rules of counter-insurgency. They do not systematically seize and clear areas, leaving behind "militia." Rather, they chase the guerrilla "main forces" over hill and dale.l59

Since the early 1990s the police have been actively trying to correct for this ten­ dency. What we are seeing, as a result, is neighborhood safety transformed in the image of national security. Understood in terms of counter-insurgency, community policing represents an approach to establishing and maintaining police control over the community-an approach enhanced by the insights of military experiences in restless colonies. Organizationally, militarization provides the model by which the police can work in teams, enhance officer discretion, and maintain tight command and control; community policing efforts, meanwhile, create the infrastructure for intelligence gathering and c(}{)ptation. Strategically, community policing strives toward directed, proactive action, with a geographic focus and attention to the causes of disorder; military planning gives a central role to intelligence work and takes an aggressive approach to confronting the enemy. Hence, military tactics are used to clear and hold contested areas, while community policing programs seek to create partnerships that bring the police legitimacy, information, and access to community resources. Ideologically, community policing serves to legitimize military-type efforts, while the rhetoric of a "war on crime" can be used to mobilize the community to aid the police. And of course, the threats of a militarized "Bad Cop" encourage cooperation with the "Good Cop's" community policing projects. MEE T T HE NEW C O P, SAME AS T HE OLD C O P

Modern policing has a dual nature-going back to its origins. The twin develop­ ments of community policing and militarization are an extension of the initial advantages of policing identified by Allan Silver: 1) widespread surveillance and discretionary action penetrating the community; and, 2) the capacity for rapid concentration and swift, forceful action. 160 The state has sought to develop its potential in each of these directions while maintaining a single organization responsible for enforcement The form of discretionary action has changed-from foot patrols to vehicle patrols, to a combination of the two. And thanks to technological advances and organi­ zational innovations, the rapid concentration of police once reserved for emergencies is becoming a standard response to crime and disorder. The discrete and discretion­ ary aspects are likewise available for increasing coordination. All the while, the pen­ etration of the community increases-o -n t only through patrol and surveillance, but also by the c(}{)ptation of community institutions. These developments are, in one sense, quite new. But they come as the latest 221

i n a long series o f institutional shifts and political re-alignments, the most signifi­ cant of which I have traced out in the chapters preceding. Our story so far has followed two related threads. The first is the institutional development of the police-ii'om informal system to formal, IT-om the militia­ based slave patrols, to prototype City Guards, to modern municipal departments. -The modern departments themselves began as the strong arms of corrupt politi­ cal machines, then developed through the processes of bureaucratization and professionalization, only to be reshaped by the internal crisis surrounding union­ ization and its "collusive" (if uneasy) resolution. The second narrative concerns the relationship of this institution to the rest of society-roughly divided between "elites" (capitalists, landlords, politicians, bureallcrats) and the "masses" (the rest of us) . 'The first story is characterized by a continually increasing measure of autonomy; the second by the instituti o n's service to elites at the expense of the masses. I have suggested that the increased autonomy has been traded for loyalty to the elites, and is consistently used to further their interests. The current era of policing began in response to the social conflict of the 1960s. As a result of that period's turmoil, policing underwent a change that drew together the two historical currents-the police became, fully, a politi­ cal power unto themselves. They could not govern independently-no single body in our society can-but they suddenly came into their own as a center of power. -Ibis was the logical result of the long progression toward institutional autonomy, but it emerged as an unexpected con sequence of the internal conflict between rank-and-file officers and their commanders. When the rank and file rebelled and began exerting influence of their own, this naturally shifted the bal­ ance of power within the institution. As it happened, the change was beneficial to both parties: by re-distributing power downward the institution was able to seize for itself an additional measure of autonomy and the police achieved a sense of

h::lVing political (as ,,yell as ()CLUvdtiullctl) illleresls in common. 1ne emergence of the police as a political force changed the institution's relationship to social and political elites. No longer simply the servants of the ruling class, the cops became an i ntprest group for whose loyalty the cliteS had to bargain. Rather than merely aeting as agents of the most powerful fac­ tion, police leaders (both administrators and union representatives) became power brokers themselves, capable of entering into or withdrawing from alli­ ances with other powerful social actors. In a related way, the relationship with the masses also changed. Rather than simply appealing to the "silent majority" or relying on the John Birch Society to organize "Support Your Local Police" campaigns, police began organizing their own political efforts and developing their own constituency. Part of this happened through the police union, political action committees, and grassroots support for "tough on crime" or "victims' rights" lobbying. Part of it happened through the departments themselves, under the rubric of community policing. At the same time, police departments were taking on the organizational form, tactics, weap­ onry, and ideology of the military, and modeling their operations after counter­ insurgencY' programs. This complex set of developments sometimes creates paradoxes and strategic ambiguities, but each aspect of it moves along the same trajectory: police power is increased, and democracy suffers a proportional loss.


afterword MAKI N G P O LI C E O B S O LETE

IT IS TRADITIONAL, IN A BOOK SUCH AS THIS, TO END WITH RECOMME N ­ dations a s t o how the police can b e made more efficient, more effective, less corrupt, less brutal, and so on. Those recommendations are almost always addressed to policy-makers and police administrators. Usually the recommendations are more technical than political, meaning that they offer detached advice on what, in the broadest sense, may be considered the means of policing-strategies of patrol, crowd control, interrogation techniques, use­ of-force policies, organizational schemes, accountability mechanisms, morale boosters, affirmative action-while taking for granted (but rarely identifying) the ends of policing. They do not, usually, raise substantive questions about the police role in society, the need for police, or alternatives to policing. I am going at things from quite the opposite angle. My recommendation s are not addressed t o those with power, but to the public. They are decidedly political, and avoid the technical. I have, throughout this book, scrutinized the police role, examined its implications for democracy and social justice, and questioned the ends the cops serve. I turn now to briefly consider whether we can do without police. CHALLEN G I N G T H E C O N V E N T I O NAL WI S D OM

In his essay 'The Manufacture of Consent," Noam Chomsky advises, "If you want to learn something about the propaganda system, have a close look at the critics and their tacit assumptions. 1bese typically constitute the doctrines of the state religion."] With this in mind, it is interesting to note the things that scholars will not admit, the possibilities that they leave unexamined. In the "serious" literature, it is a nearly universal assumption that the police are a necessary feature of modern society. 2 223

Rodney Stark writes, "It i s vulgar nonsense t o be anti-police. O u r society could not exist without them."'> Carl Klockars echoes the point: " [N ] o one whom it would be safe to have home to dinner argues that modern society could be without police . . . . "4 Dozens of similar quotations are available for anyone who wishes to find them. Yet in one sense these particular remarks are unusual. I present them here because they come from authors whose critical insights have been invaluable to my work on this book, and because they clearly state what oth­ ers quietly take as given. Most authors do not even bother to assert that the police are necessary, much less argue the point. rThey feel no requirement to identify social needs that the police meet, because the role of the police, as they see it. is simply beyond dispute. It is outside the boundaries of debate. It is unquestionable; the alternative, unthinkable. In this context, the defensive comments of Stark and Klockars read less like arguments in favor of police and more like evasive maneuvers against the accusation that the authors might somehow oppose the cops. Their statements serve as a kind of loyalty oath, a promise to remain within the borders of acceptable opinion. But the assumption that the police represent a social inevitability ignores the rules of logic: if we accept that police forces arose at a particular point in history, to address specific social conditions, then it follows that social change could also eliminate the institution. TI1e first half of this syllogism is readily admitted, the second half is heresy. Almost no scholarly work takes the pos­ sibility seriously. \ It is a bad habit of mind, a form of power-worship, to assume that things must be as they are, that they will continue to be as they have been.1> It soothes the conscience of the privileged, dulls the will of the oppressed. The first step toward change is the understanding that things can be different. This is my principal rec­ ommf'nn
There i s a question that haunts every critic of police-namely, the question of crime , and what to do about it. This is a real concern, and it deserves to be taken seriously. The fact is, the police do provide an important com­ munity service-offering protection against crime. They do not do this job well, or fairly, and it is not their chief function, but they do it, and thi s brings them legitimacy. ? Even people who dislike a n d fear them often feel that they need the cops. Maybe we can do without omnipresent surveil­ lance, racial profiling, and institutionalized violence , but most people have been willing to accept these features of policing, if somewhat grudgingly, because they have been packaged together with things we cannot do with­ out-crime control, security, and public safety. It is not enough, then, to relate to police power only in term s of repression; we must also remember the promise of protection, since this legitimates the institution. Because the state uses this protective function to justifY its own violence, the replacement of the police institution is not only a goal of social change, but also a means of achieving it. The challenge is to create another system that can protect us from crime, and can do so better, more justly, with a respect for human rights, 224

and with a minimum of bullying. What is needed, in short, is a shift in the respon­ sibility for public safety-away from the state and toward the community. T H E T H R EAT OF C O MMUNITY

In the earlier discussion of community policing, I argued that community polic­ ing constituted, in part, an effort to co-opt community resources and put them in the service of police objectives.s I did not, at the time, dwell on the reasons underlying this, but the attempt at co-optation points to a fact that ought not be overlooked: community is a source of power. Community is not simply the territory within which crime is to be controlled , it is itself a means of government: its detailed knowledge about itself and the activities of its inhabitants are to be utilized, its ties, bonds, forces and affil­ iations are to be celebrated , its centres of authority and methods of dispute resolution are to be encouraged, nurtured, shaped and instrumentalized to enhance the security of each and all.9

Where possible, the state seeks to draw on this power and direct it to its own ends. Community policing is one such attempt. In exchange for protection, the police negotiate for access to this power network, insinuate themselves deeply within it, and try to shape its activities to suit their interests. One major difficulty facing the state in its efforts to harness community power is the fact that this power is generally underdeveloped. Community is defined by two characteristics: first, a web of affect-laden rela­ tionships among a group of individuals, relationships that often crisscros s and reinforce o n e another . . . , and second, a measure o f commitment t o a set of shared values, norms, and meanings, and a shared history and iden­ tity-in short, to a particular culture . ]()

Such webs of affinity are often painfully lacking from modern urban life I I-and where they exist, they do not generally come in easily manageable bureau­ cratic packages awaiting official "partnerships" with police. In fact, there is inherent tension between the idea of police and the ideals of community. The modern police are, in a sense, a sign that community norms and con­ trols are unable to manage relations within or between communities, or that communities themselves have become offensive to society. The bot­ tom line of these observations is that genuine communities are probably very rare in modern cities, and, where they do exist, have little interest in cultivating relationships of any kind with police. 1 2

Where genuine communities exist, they are sometimes even hostile to the police. In such cases, the authorities view community power not as an additional source of legitimacy, information, and infrastructural development, but as a rival that must be suppressed. The state has no choice but to interfere with the means of community action when the community falls into "enemy" hands-that is, when it resists state control or makes demands beyond those the state is willing to accept. This rule holds whether the enemy is described in political or criminal terms. The rationale is the same whether the authorities are interfering with grassroots political organizing, or whether they're disrupting neighborhood life in 225

th e name o f "gang suppression."I.1 Th e danger i n these cases i s not th e lack o f com­ munity, but the existence of a community that the state does not control. 1be police response is the domestic equivalent of destroying a village in order to save it. In brief, the state seeks to mobilize community power in support of gov­ ernment goals, or else to suppress the sources of power opposed to its goals. Either way, the state recognizes the potential for community power, its prom­ ise and its threat. This carrot-and-stick attitude may be unsettling, but the underlying analy­ sis suggests some hopeful possibilities: if the community is a source of power, then it could exercise this power for its own ends. rather than those of the state.

If, as community policing advocates argue, community involvement is the key to controlling crime, then this suggests that communities could develop public safety systems that do not rely on the state. The state's efforts to maintain legiti­ macy thus, ironically, point the way to its destruction. Both state-sponsored and citizen-initiated attempts at community crime pre­ vention are based on the recognition, however unsystematized, that formal, bureaucratic responses to crime which are both temporally and spatially removed from the commission of crime can never approach the efficacy of more informal, more immediate forms of community social control. Equally recognized by the state officials is that citizen-initiated and citizen-controlled forms of justice threaten the legal basis of the state itself. The essence of formal state law-the foundation of state society-is that removal from indi­ viduals and communities of their rights to directly define what constitutes correct behavior within that community and to take direct action against incorrect behavior. The substitution of state justice for popular justice is generally argued as the only viable alternative to mob rule and vigilantism. Counterposing state justice to vigilante justice, however, is a false dichotomy which obscures a third alternative. The alternative is organized, community form" vi !-'v!-'ular juslice operated and controlled by private citizens, not by employees of the state.14

The thought that such community-based measures could ultimately replace the police is intriguing. But if it is to be anything more than a theoretical abstraction or a utopian dream, it must be informed by the actual experiences of struggle. LABO R GUAR D S , DEACON S , AN D PAN T H E R S

Luckily, history does not leave us without guidance. The obvious place to look for community defense models is in places where distrust of the police, and active resistance to police power, has been most acute. There is a close con­ nection between resistance to police power and the need to develop alternative means of securing public safety. In the United States , the police have faced resistance mainly from two sources-workers and people of color (especially African Americans) . This is unsurprising, given the c1ass-control and racist functions that cops have fulfilled since their beginning. The job of controlling poor people and people of color has brought the cops into continual conflict with these parts of society. It has bred resistance, sometimes in the form of outright combat-riots, shoot-outs, sniper attacks. At other times, resistance has led to political efforts to curtail police 226

power, or direct attempts to replace policing with other means of preserving order. The role of the police in breaking strikes did not escape the attention of the workers on the picketline. l \ In the early twentieth century, labor unions worked strenuously to oppose the creation of the state police and to dissolve them where they existed. These efforts led, for a time, to restrictions on the use of state cops against strikers-but this victory has been practically forgot­ ten today. 1 6 More significant, for the purposes of this discussion, are the unions' efforts to keep order when class warfare displaced the usual authorities. The classic example is the Seattle General Strike of 1919. Coming to the aid of a shipbuilders' strike, 1 10 union locals declared a citywide sympathy strike and 100,000 workers participated. Almost at once the city's economy halted, and the strike committee found itself holding more power than the local government. The strike faced three major challenges: starvation, state repression, and the squeamishness of union leaders. Against the first, the strikers themselves set about insuring that the basic needs of the population were met, issuing passes for trucks carrying food and other necessities, set­ ting up public cafeterias, and licensing the operation of hospitals, garbage collectors, and other essential services. 1 e Recognizing that conditions could quickly degenerate into panic, and not wanting to rely on the police, they also organized to ensure the public safety. The "Labor War Veteran's Guard" was created to keep the peace and discourage disorder. Its instructions were writ­ ten on a blackboard at its headquarters:

The purpose of this organization is to preserve law and order without the use offorce. No volunteer will have any police power or be allowed to carry weapons of any sort, but to use persuasion only. I S In the end, the Seattle General Strike was defeated, caught between the threat of military intervention and the fading support of the AFI.:s international officers. 19 While the strike did not end in victory, it did demonstrate the possibil­ ity of working-class power-the power to shut down the city, and also the power to run it for the benefit of the people rather than for company profit. The strike was broken, but it did not collapse into chaos. Mayor Ole Hanson noted, while denouncing the strike as "an attempted revolution," that "there was no violence . . . there were no flashing guns, no bombs, no killing s."2o Indeed, there was not a single arrest related to the strike (though later, there were raids) , and other arrests decreased by half. 2 1 Major General John Morrison,

in charge of the federal troops, marveled at the orderliness of the city.22 Almost fifty years later, more sustained efforts at community defense grew out of the civil rights movement. As the militancy of the movement increased and its perspective shifted toward that of Black Power, African Americans pre­ pared to defend themselves-first against Klansmen and cops, later against crime in the ghetto. As early as 1957, Robert Williams armed the NAACP chap­ ter in Monroe, North Carolina, and successfully repelled attacks from the Ku Klux Klan and the police. 2 3 Soon other self-defense groups appeared in Black communities throughout the South. The largest of these was the Deacons for Defense and Justice, which claimed more than fifty chapters in the Southern states. The Deacons made it their mission to protect civil rights workers and the Black community more generally. Armed with shotguns and rifles, they escort227

ed civil rights workers through dangerous back country areas, and organized twenty-four-hour patrols when racists were harassing Black people in Bogalusa, Louisiana. They also eavesdropped on police radio calls and responded to the scene of arrests to discourage the cops from overstepping their bounds.24 Williams and the Deacons influenced what became the most developed community defense program of the period-the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. 'The Panthers, most famously, "patrolled pigs."2> Visibly carrying guns, they followed police through the Black ghetto with the explicit aim of preventing police brutality and informing citizens of their rights.2(, When police misbehaved, their names and photographs appeared in the Black Panther newspaperY The Panthers also sought to meet the community's needs in other ways­ providing medical care, giving away shoes and clothing, feeding school chil­ dren breakfast, setting up housing cooperatives, transporting the families of prisoners for visitation days, and offering classes during the summer at "Liberation Schools." These "survival programs" sought to meet needs that the state and the capitalist economy were neglecting, at the same time aligning the community with the Party and drawing both into opposition with the existing power structure.2H The strategy was applied in the area of public safety as well. The Panthers' opposition to the legal system is well known: they patrolled and sometimes fought the police, they taught people about their legal rights, and they provided bail money and arranged for legal defense when they could. But the Panthers also took seriously the threat of crime, and sought to address the fears of the community they served. With this in mind, they organized Seniors Against a Fearful Environment (SAFE) , an escort and bussing service in which young Black people escorted the elderly on their business around the city.2'J At the same time, the Panthers sought reforms to democratize and decen­ tralize the existing police. In Rprkp1py, they proposed ::t 1971 ballot initiatiVe: to divide the city into three police districts-one for the predominantly Black area, one for the campus area, and one for the affluent Berkeley Hills. Each district would elect a board to oversee policing in their area, and the officers themselves would be required to live in the neighborhoods they patrolled. eO The campaign marked a straightforward attempt to establish community control over a major source of state power, the police. Writing in the Nation, Jerome Skolnick acknowledged the strength of this approach. He predicted: "In all probability, the proposal will lose . . . . But whether it wins or loses, it will have an effect. It will demand that its critics come up with something better, and it will probably promote change, if not this year, or precisely this way."3! The measure failed at the ballot, but it succeeded in demonstrating sizable opposition to the current state of policing. Over all, one-third of Berkeley voters voted for the proposal; in the campus area, two-thirds voted in favorY Even in defeat, the plan represented a challenge to the status quo. Meanwhile, the Black Panther Party enjoyed massive support around the country. According to a 1970 Harris poll of African Americans, 43 percent of those interviewed said that the Black Panther Party represented their views; 66 percent said the Panthers' activities gave them a sense of pride; 86 percent stated that even if they disagreed with the Party's views, Black people had to 228

stand together and defend themselves; and half said they felt that sympathy for the Party was growing.33 The Panthers' support was grounded in the Black community, but it was not limited to the Black population. Other ethnic groups noted the Panthers' successes and began organizing along similar lines, creat­ ing groups like the Young Lords, the Brown Berets, and the Patriot Party.34 To radicals of the time, the Panthers represented the vanguard of a revolution; to FBI leader J. Edgar Hoover, they were "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country,"35 and accordingly they faced what is probably the most intensive political repression in American history.36 These cases are instructive, perhaps as much for their limitations as for the positive example they offer. In each historical instance, the initiative taken to defend the community was extraordinary, and the relationship between collective self-defense and conflict with the state was clear. But the efforts were abridged, cut short by external pressures and internal tensions. The 1919 Seattle Strike, however well it may prefigure a society where the work­ ers are in control, was never intended as a revolution.37 The provisions the unions offered were necessary, and remarkable, but they were only seen as short-term measures. The presumption, always, was that when the strike was won, the city would return to normal. The Panthers had more ambitious aims, but their revolution was attacked from without and disrupted from within. More developed models arise, predictably, where revolutionary movements are more advanced, more successful, and stronger. For examples, we must look beyond our own b orders, and turn our attention to the struggles of colonized people in South Africa and Northern Ireland.5K S O UT H AF RICA: P O P ULAR J U S T I C E AND STAT E P OW E R

No one said that revolution would be easy. Writing his influential how-to for repres­ sion regimes, counter-insurgency expert Frank Kitson explained that the leaders of a subversive movement have two separate but closely related jobs to do: they must gain the support of a proportion of the population, and they must impose their will on the government either by military defeat or by unendurable harassment.J9

What Kitson failed to note are the burdens that accompany success in these endeavors. As a revolutionary movement gains the support of the population, it acquires, intentionally or not, responsibilities that it must meet to maintain this support. Increasingly the population will turn to the revolutionary move­ ment-and not the government-to meet its needs. And to the degree that the harassment campaign is successful, the authorities will be likely to abdi· cate their responsibilities, adding to the legitimacy of the revolutionaries, but also obliging them to meet additional demands. If the movement can do so, while withstanding whatever repressive measures are directed against it, it may be able to transfer power to itself and away from the state. This is essentially what happened in South Africa. The apartheid government was never particularly concerned with meeting the needs of the population, so the anti-apartheid civic organizations took on many welfare functions, including services related to banking, childcare, insurance, healthcare, and assistance to 229

the elderly and unemployed.40 Meanwhile, the African National Congress (AN C) engaged in a canlpaign to, in the words of Nelson Mandela, "make government impossible."4 1 This strategy had clear implications for crime control. The South African police were famously indifferent to crime in the Black townships, and the Black population was none too eager to cooperate with the COpS.42 This cre­ ated a vacuum in the area of conflict resolution and public safety, and local com­ munities painstakingly evolved institutions to fill it.

In the 1970s, townships established community courts modeled on tradition­ al chieftain structures. These makgotla were patriarchal and conservative--domi­ nated by older men, upholding traditional hierarchies of gender and age, and participating in the local government. Slowly, over the course of two decades, the makgotla were replaced by "People's Courts"-and later, "Street Committees"­ connected to the growing resistance movement. As these forms spread, younger people gained a more prominent place, as did--eventually-women.'" These new committees were elected in public meetings and made respon­ sible for preserving order and resolving disputes in their areas. ' i Though some­ times relying on physical punishment, often at a brutal extreme, " the Street Committees tended to emphasize restorative justice rather than retributive jus­ tice. Hence they focused less on punishment than on healing, on putting things right and preserving the community.4(, Under apartlleid, the police estimated there were 400 Street Committees operating throughout the country." 7 I n many places, th e organizations have sur­ vived into the post-apartheid era. According to a 1998 survey of Guguletu, Cape Town, 95 percent of respondents reported that there was a Street Committee on their street, 58 percent said they attended the Street Committee's meetings, and 69 percent thought that the committee did a good job. When asked, "Where do you go for help if a young man in your family does not obey his parents?" 4 1 percent said that thpy w0uld go to t.� c Street C0illrriittcc. \-"lieu i:t�keu where they would go if the neighbors played their music too loud, 69 percent said they would take the complaint to the Street Committee. About two-thirds (66 percent) said they would go to the Street Committee "If a boy in the strpet stole a radio from your house . . . "48 In addition to minor criminal cases, neighborhood dis­ .

putes, and family troubles, Street Committees also handle grievances against employers, merchants, and creditorsY Though violence is still sometimes used, most cases are settled peacefully. Many Street Committees no longer employ corporal punishment at all, relying instead on public shaming, financial restitu­ tion, community service, or, at the most severe, banishment from the area. 50 The persistence of the Street Committees indicates something of the ten­ sions between the aims of the anti-apartheid movement and the means it employed. The ANC sought to avail itself of popular direct action and to establish a new state. It achieved both, and is left trying to reconcile the two. Since 1994, the new government has been willing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Street Committee s, but in exchange it has insisted that they cooperate with the police. ,1 At the same time, the police often refuse to become involved with minor dis­ putes, referring them instead to the Street Committees; cops have even been known to allow extra-legal violence to persist without interference. \2 Of course, the need for such violence is different in the new political context: in the post230

apartheid era, vigilantism is more a response to the state's inefficiency than to its oppressive nature--that is, it is a reaction to the state's weakness rather than to its overbearing might53 But the Street Committees may themselves help keep the government weak. Localized, democratic systems of justice undermine the state's monopoly on force and challenge its authority to define lawful behavior and good order. Through the experience of popular justice, communities in South Africa are able to define what type of "legality" they want in their residential area. Moreover, a community is able to define how it wants to solve conflicts within its geographic boundaries. Communities, through their elected representa­ tives, have developed their own notion of justice which differs from that of the state. In many circumstances, the community notion of justice epito­ mizes values of equality and social responsibility which are either not recognized or denied by the state. 54 POPUIAR JUSTICE IN N ORTH ERN IREIAND: THE OTHER PEACE PROCES S

In Northern Ireland, the search for popular justice has followed a similar path as in South Africa, and it continues to move in quite promising directions. There, too, the insurgents have sought out popular support while subjecting the authori­ ties to unrelenting harassment; and the authorities have again responded with a mix of repression and neglect In 1969, after Loyalist attacks on Catholic neighborhoods, Republican resi­ dents formed Citizen Defense Committees for their own protection. These com­ mittees built and supervised barricades and maintained continuous foot patrols. 55 As a consequence, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) simply gave up policing militant areas of West Belfast and Derry. With extraordinary levels of unemployment and poverty-and without state intervention-these "no-go" areas became extremely vulnerable to crime. So Catholics elected Community Councils responsible for welfare and justice in their neighborhoods and created "People's Courts" to hear minor cases. Petty criminal matters and neighborhood disputes were usually resolved through restitution or community service, but serious offenses were referred to the Irish Republican Army (the IRA) . When the People's Courts broke down after a couple of years, the IRA had little choice but to take over their crime control efforts.56 This role fell to the paramilitaries for several reasons. First, it was widely felt that the IRA had already established its responsibility for protecting the community, and many residents were demanding that something be done about crime. Second, crime posed a security risk, since the police were liable to use petty criminals as informers. 57 And third, crime had a destabilizing and corrosive effect on the very communities the Republican forces depended on for support Unwilling to cede ground to Republican forces, the RUC has since sought to reassert its authority in these areas, but its efforts have not been terribly suc­ cessful. Security concerns made it difficult to police Catholic areas. The police were slow in their response to calls, and they often brought soldiers with them when they arrived. Worse, the cops tried to recruit crime victims as informants; those unwilling to serve as snitches publicly exposed and vocally denounced 231

these clumsy efforts. All this occurred in a context of continual human rights abuses, and only increased the Catholic distrust of the authorities. In many areas, residents became entirely unwilling to cooperate with the police, refusing even to report crimes. ,H But the IRA has not had an easy time of it, either. 'lbe IRA is not a police force. It had few resources to devote to investigations or corrections, little time (or patience) for due process considerations and human rights concerns. Hence, the IRA response to crime usually took the form of threats, beatings, property destruction, knee-cappings, expulsions, shootings, and executions. ,0) This was typically unpleasant for all concerned. The accused had practically no chance of presenting a defense and faced punishment out of proportion to the crime. Innocent people were punished, sometimes killed.l,o IRA volunteers, meanwhile, were burdened with the job of beating up petty crooks when they wanted to be making things difficult for the British.co I And worst of all , from a revolutionary standpoint, the friction created by this situation threatened to isolate the revolu­ tionaries from their constituency.',2 One Republican activist explained the dilemma:

[T] he conflict has created a cycle of dependency, where the community expects the [ Republican] movement to deal with anti-social crime, the IRA feels responsible and must act but lacks the resources to deal with it other than through violence and the result is damaging the kids who are after all part of the community.l,] This dependency worked two ways: the IRA depended on the Catholic community for protection, discretion, and support; the community relied on the IRA to protect it from crime, the state , and the Loyalists.64 The difficulty arose when protecting the community from crime undercut the community's support for the paramilitaries. To resolve the dilemma, Republican activists have sought a means to "rli�pn­ gage responslblY,"b' ideally by empowering the community to address anti-social behavior directly, without relying on either the IRA or the police. Republican activists approached a group of academics--criminologists and conflict resolu­ tion experts�,md asked them to design a system that did not rely so much on breaking people's legs. The scholars obliged, publishing their recommendations in a Blue Book. The authors of the Blue Book, in extensive consultation with the local communities, set out to design a restorative justice system that met the fol­ lowing criteria: community involvement and support; nonviolence and operating within the law; proportionality of the sanctions to the offense; due process and a guarantee of human rights; consistency; engagement in the community; contact with community programs; and, adequate resources.06 With the endorsement of Sinn Fein, Community Restorative Justice (CRJ) programs based on the Blue Book have been implemented on a trial basis.67 In 1999, four pilot projects were established in Republican areas of Belfast and Derry.6R The IRA pledged its support for the process, ending punishment beatings and referring cases to the CRJ.69 In the first year, the new programs handled 200 cases, clearing 90 percent of them. By the end of 2001, 1,200 cases had been processed through the progranl, including complaints about noise, family conflicts, burglaries, property damage, and chronic offenders. Between

15 percent and 20 percent of these cases would previously have been handled 232

with violence?O Since 1999, the CR] programs have been quickly reproduced throughout Northern Ireland.?l As recommended by the Blue Book, the Community Restorative Justice programs use mediation and family group counseling, monitor the agreements they negotiate, and employ charters outlining the rights and responsibilities of community members. Also recommended in the Blue Book, but not implement­ ed by the pilot programs, were the use of professional investigators, community

hearings, and boycotts of persistent offenders.72 Tellingly, the RUC opposes the program, leading one IRA spokesman to quip, "the opposition of the RUC to the programme is the finest recommendation it could receive.'''} L O O KI N G BEYO N D T H E S TAT E

Obviously, none of the models described in this chapter are perfect, but they do suggest the possibility of crime control without police, and perhaps even without the state.74 Unfortunately, they don't follow this idea through to its most radical conclusion. Neither the ANC nor the IRA sought to do away with policing, or to replace the state with another system of social organization. They sought (or seek) not the elimination of the state, but the creation of new states. So when the ANC won the 1994 elections, it did not attempt to dismantle the state's police apparatus, but instead tried to incorporate the Street Committees into it And, despite Sinn Fein's continued refusal to cooperate with the existing police, it has made it perfectly clear that restorative justice is not intended to replace state policing?5 Likewise, the Blue Book states: "It was never an objec­ tive of this process to supplant the official criminal justice system."7G But, whether or not the organizations responsible recognize the full implica­ tions of these crime-control activities, the possibilities they suggest are extraor­ dinary. What's clear is that in neither case were the people dependent upon the state to protect them-quite the opposite! Such efforts thus present the oppor­ tunity to shift power away from the state. Based on his observations in Natal, South Africa, Daniel Nina concludes "that there could be peace when the formal sovereign is not in control . . . [but] only if the structures of popular participation are running democratically and are accountable to the immediate community in which they operate. "77

If we accept community control as a desirable end, and take seriously the pos­ sibility that it could be achieved without police, that leaves us with the hard work of :finding an alternative system suitable to a diverse and disjointed society like that of the United StateS?8 This is not the place to detail anything like a full model, but it is worth mentioning some of the features a viable proposal must include. T H E S EARCH F O R LEG I T I MACY

No universal model of popular justice is currently available. Despite their simi­ larities, the differences between Street Committees and Co mmunity Restorative Justice are quite important. Rebekah Lee and Jeremy Seekings, who studied the Street Committees, are skeptical of Blue Book-type efforts to remove violence from the process. They write:


It is tempting to try to distinguish between a non-violent and restitutive form of popular justice, rooted in and accountable to the "community," and a violent and punitive form of popular justice executed by irresponsible and "lawless" individuals. "Community courts" (organized, responsible, restrained) are often contrasted with "vigilantism," (spontaneous, reckless and brutal), and it is claimed that strengthening "community courts" will lead to less "vigilan­ tism." There is some truth in this. But the reality is not neat and tidy. Many communities will sanction the use of violence in a wide range of conditions, sometimes to an extent that seems excessive to observers. . . . In a township like Guguletu most forms of vigilantism do not entail actual physical violence: disputes within families or between neighbors or even between people on different streets are settled through compensation or undertakings to change one's behavior. But behind these settlements lies the threat of ostracism or of violence, and violence is widely used against rebellious juveniles. Vigilantism is implicit in even the most peaceful forms of community court.. . . In other words, there seems to be a tacit accep­ tance of violent forms of vigilantism if it is initiated by or has the consent of street committees or other legitimate local institutions.7') Likewise, the Blue Book authors are critical of the South African model:

[Wle are not sure that any form of "direct democracy" such as specially elected street and neighborhood committees would be workable. While this is the pattern in some South African models and has been tried in Belfast . . . we believe it would be hard to implement it in today's modern, differentiated communities. HO 'They go on to specifically criticize the reliance on violence:

After considerable discussion, it was agreed that the presence of violence as a sanction in a community justice system had a considerably de-legiti­ mizing effect. . . . This was despite the tact that several of the community justice systems examined (notably South Africa) had included the use of violent sanctions as punishment for offending. 81 Tnis disagreement points to a more fundamental concern, one that will largely determine the success or failure of any democratic or community-based sys­ tem-namely, that of legitimacy. More important than the questions of ''law'' or ''violence'' is the competition between the state and the revolutionaries to acquire and maintain political support Lee and Seekings note the popular support for some types of violence, and specifically explain that its acceptability depends on the legitimacy of the institutions authorizing it The Blue Book authors, likewise, do not denounce violence per se (remember, they hope someday to cooperate with the police) , but they strongly recommend against its use in the contempo­ rary context of Northern Ireland because it is likely to de-legitimize the restor­ ative justice efforts. This strikes me as politically wise: given the history of the conflict, the earlier involvement of the IRA in crime control, the widespread dis­ trust of the RUC, and the continued tensions in the region (cease-fire or no) , it seems highly probable that any officially sanctioned violence will be viewed in partisan terms and undercut the CRJ's efforts. In both these cases, there is a close correlation between public interpretations of violence and political legitimacy. 234

The Blue Book suggests these indicators of legitimacy: due process, non­ violence, the reintegration of offenders back into the community, proportionality between offenses and sanctions, the community-spirited motivation of partici­ pants, and effectiveness.s2 Structurally, it recommends the program be con­ nected to other community efforts, be located in identifiable neighborhoods of manageable size, coordinate operations between neighborhoods, represent the diversity of the community, and include former combatants and prisoners. 83 It also advises that volunteers be extensively trained in the principles of restorative justice, nonviolence, human rights, and the like.B4 Harry Mika and Kieran McEvoy identitY seven elements necessary for legiti­ macy:

(1) Mandate is the broadly-based license for program developmentwhich is secured through basic research (audit) in areas to ascertain needs and resources. . . .

(2) Moral authority [is] the bas[i] s upon which the community acquiesces power and authority to representative members.. . . (3) Partnership is the sense of restorative initiatives emanating from the community, empowering and building capacity in the community, parlaying local resources to the ends of antisocial crime control and prevention in the community, addressing needs of community members who are victims and offenders, and working con­ structively with other community groups, associatiosn , and organizations. . . . (4) Competence involves the purposive and long term development of appropriate skill sets among individuals and organizations in conflict resolution including training materials and courses. . . . Generally, competence involves program performance at a level sufficient to satisfy key program objectives (addres:r ing needs of victims and offenders, conununity safety, crime prevention, and the like) , thereby both demonstrating and affirming community capacity to respond to antisocial behavior and find justice for its members. (5) Practice includes establishment of standards for justice processes, protec­ tion of participants, and responsiveness to the community. . . . (6) Transparency involves mechanisms for public scrutiny, local management and control, and opportunities for public input. . . .

(7) Finally, accountability refers to ongoing program monitoring and evalua­ tion, to ascertain compliance with published standards, as well as program impact and effectiveness.8s It is no accident that many of the listed criteria represent practical limitations on the organization's power, and especially, on the possibility for abuses ofthat power.86 There are dangers to popular justice that cannot be ignored. The Blue Book identi­ fies the major weaknesses of the earlier Republican arrangement inconsistency, a lack of training, few resources, a paramilitary character, the absence of accountabil­ ity, the removal of the community from the process, and the reliance on the IRAB7 There is also the danger that informal systems could be used to settle personal grudges, attack political rivals, or give expression to the community's prejudices.88 The chief hazard, as one Irish feminist organization worried, is the "danger of groups being mirror-images of the forces they are combating in terms of tactics and attitudes, even if their objectives remain revolutionary."8 <) These dangers provide clear guidance for those who wish to fight oppres-


sion. Underlying the search for justice is a simple principle: revolutionary insti­ tutions cannot be immune to the demands we place on existing institutions­ demands for democracy, accountability, transparency, and most of all , real com­ munity control. T H E BIG PICTURE

Modest demands can be the seeds of major upheaval. The demands for human rights. for community control, for an end to harass­ ment and brutality-the basic requirements of justicEL-ultirnately pit us against the ideology, structure, interests, and ambitions of the police. The modern police institution is at its base racist, elitist, undemocratic. authoritarian. and violent These are the institution's major features, and it did not acquire them by mistake. 'The order that the police preserve is the order of the state, the order of capital­ ism, the order of White supremacy. These are the forces that require police protec­ tion. These are the forces that created the police, that support them, sustain them, and guide them. These are the ends the police serve. They are among the most powerful influences in American society, and some of the most deeply rooted. In this sense, our society cannot exist without police. But this needn't be the end of the story. A different society is possible.


no tes

Foreword : Police and Power in America For exam ple, large, b ureaucratic, and paramilitary sheriffs departments-like those i n Los Ange­ les County and Cook County-are almost indistinguishable from municipal police. In c ontrast , police in very small communities o ften have more general duties and personal t i e s t o the people

they encounter; these officers will be more "sheri ff-like." David N. Falcone and J " Edward Wells, "The County Sheriff as a Disti nctive Policing Modality," in

Policing Perspectives,

ed. Larry K.

Gaines and Gary W, Cordner (Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing, 1 999) , 48-49 and 5 2 , 2 Robert Reiner,

The Blue-Coated Worker: A Sociological Study ofPolice Unionism


Cambridge University Press. 1 9 7 8 ) , 2 6 9 ,

Chapter 1: Police Brutality in Theory and Practice "NAACP: Police 'Declared War' o n Blacks,"

Cincinnati Post,

April 9, 2 00 1 , http://www. c incy­

post.comI200 1 /aprl 9/ reay0409 0 1 ,html (accessed April 25, 2002) . 2 " Protest Spills Into the Streets,"

Cincinnati Post,

April 1 0, 200 1 , http://www. cinc.ypost,

coml200 1 /apr/ 1 0/prot04 1 00 1 . h tml (accessed April 25, 2002) .

3 Craig Garretson, "On 4th Night, All Quiet: Curfew Brings Calm (0 City Streets,"



April 1 3 , 200 1 , http://www. c incyposLCom/200 l Iaprl 1 3/curfew0 4 1 30 l . html (accessed

April 2 5 , 20(2) . 4 Andrew Conte and Barry M. Horstman, "City Declares Curfew,"

Cincinnati Post, April


200 1 , http :// www. ci ncypost.com/200 1 /apr/ 1 2/unrest04 1 2 0 1 .html (accessed April 2 5 , 2002) ,

Jennifer Edwards, " Beanbag Guns Fired at Peaceful Marchers,"

Cincinnati Post, April

1 6 , 2 00 1 ,

http : / / www.cincypost, com/2 00 1 /apr/ 1 6/bnbags04 1 6 0 1 .html (accessed April 2 5 , 2002) ,

6 Quoted in Edwards, " Beanbag Guns." A police investigation revealed that six members of the SWAT team were responsible for the attack, two of them instructors at the C i ncinnati Police

1 raining Academy. Jennifer Edwards, "No Explanation Given Yet in Beanbag Case," Cincinnati


April 1 7, 200 1 , http: //www.cincypost.com/200 l Iapr/ 1 7/shoot04 1 70 l . html (accessed April

25, 2002) . 7 I ndependent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department [The Christopher Commis­ sion] , Report of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (July 9, 1 99 1 ) , 6-7. 8 Christopher Commission,



9 Quoted in Christopher Commission,

Report, 8 , Report, 1 4 . Ellipses i n original. Presumed Guilty: The Tmgedy �rthe Rodney King Affa ir

1 0 Quoted i n Christopher Commission,

1 1 Stacey C Koo n with Robert Deitz,

(Washington, DC: Regnery Gateway, 1 99 2 ) , 2 2 . 1 2 Christopher Commission, 1 3 Christopher Commission,

Report, Report,

8 and 1 5 . 1 1 and 1 3 .

1 4 "The second development that made the outcome of the trial predictable, in retrospect, was the defense attorneys' ability to put M r. King, instead of the fo ur white police officers, o n trial. . . . It is our contention that the j u ry agreed with the defense attorneys' p ortrayals of Mr. King as dan-




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18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 2(, 27 28 29 .1 0 31 32 33 34 .35 36 j/ 38 39 40 41 42


44 45 46


gerous and uncontrollable, a n d thus rendered a verdict i n favor of t he four white police officers, notwitbstanding the seemingly irrefutable videotaped evidence." Melvin Oliver ct ai . , "A natomy or a Rebel l ion : A Pol i tical-Econornic Analysis," i n Reading RodYII)' King: Readillg Urban Uprising, e d . Robert (; ooding-Williams (New York: Routledge, 1 99 .3 ) , 1 1 9- 1 20. Cha rles F. S i m m ons, "The Los Angeles Rebel l i o n : Class, Race, a n d M isi nt(Hmation," in Why L . A . Happened: Implications of the 92 Los A ngeles Rebellion, ed. H aki R. Madhubuti (Chicago: Th i rd World Press, 1 99 3 ) , 1 50. Oliver et aI., "Anatomy of a Rebellion," 1 1 8 . David O. Sears, " Urban Rioting in Los A ngeles: A Comparison of 1 96 5 with 1 9')2," in The 1,05 A ngeles Rints: Lessons jar the Urban fiuure, ed. M a rk Baldassare (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1 99 4 ) , 2.lS. Ol iver et aI., "A natomy of a Rebellion," 1 1 8 . Robin D. C. Kellev, "' Slangin' Rocks . . . Pal estini:m Style': Dispatches fro m the Occupied Zones or North America," in f'oli" e Brutality, ed. J i l l Nelson (New York: W.\X'. Norto n , 2(00) , 50. Oliver et aL "Anatorny of a Rebellion," 1 34 . J o a n Pt'tersilia and Allan Abrahamst', " A Prof, l e "fThose A rrested ," in 1l"ldass,lfe, The I.O,f Angeli) Riots: I.essollS jar tbe Urball filtl/re, 1 4 1 . Paul A. Gilje, Hioting in America (Bloomi ngton: I nd i ana University Press , 1 996) , 1 74-7 5 . I)avid Sears uses t hese terms to characterize the various explanati ons of the distu rbance. Sears, " Urban Rioting," 248-2 5 0 . Christopher Commission, Report, � 5 . Christopher Com mission, Report, 'i7- 5 R . Ol iver et aI ., "Anatomy of a Rebellion," 1 20 . National Advisory Comrnission on Civil Disorders [The Kerner Commissi o n ] , Report of the National Ariuisory C'o mrniJJion 011 Ciuil J)isorder.1 (New York: E.I'. Dutton, 1 9( 8 ) , 1 1 7- I R . Kerner Commission, Report, 206. James Baldw i n , " Fifth AVCIl ue, Uptown: A Letter fro m l l ariem," i n Nobody KilO/US M)' Nllme: lv/ore No tes ofr/ Native SUfi (New York: The Dial Press, 1 9( 1 ) , 6 5-67. Bob BLul I1er, "Wh itewash Over Warts: The Pol i tics of the McCone Commission," in Still the Big NeuJs: Rat/al OppreHion ill A merica (Philadelphia: Te mple University Press, 2(0 1 ) , I I � . Kerner Commissio n , Report, 37-3 8 : and Sears, " Urban Rioti ng," 2 3 8 . Bruce Porter and Marvin D u n n , The Miami Riot of 1 980: Crossing the Bounds ( Lexington, MA: Lexi ngton Books, 1 984) , .03 and 56-3 8 . Po rter a n d Dunn, Miilmi Riot. 37. Porter and Dunn, Miilmi Riot, 38 and 43. Porter and Dunn, Miami Riot, 6 2-63 , Porter and Dunn, Miami Riot, xiii. I'orter and Dunn, Miami Riot, 53-54. Porter and Dunn, j\1iarni Riot, xiii. Quoted i n Porter and Dunn, Miilmi Riot, 5 5- 5 6 . These vigilantes acted not from panic, or i n selrdefense, but in plan ned drive-by attacks. Porter and Dunn, }.1iami Riot, 7 1 . Baldwin, " Fifth Avenue, Uptown ," 66. See, for example: Egon Bittner, "The Capacity to Use Force as the Core of the Police Role," in The Police and Society: Touchstone Readings, ed. Victor E. Kappeler ( Prospect Heights, IL: Wave­ land Press, 1 999). Ken neth Adams, "What We Know Abollt Police Use of Force," in Us e ofForce b)' Police: Overview of Niltional and Lomi Data (Washington, DC: U . S . Department of Justice, National Institute o f Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, October 1 99 9 ) , 3 . Adams, " Police Use of Force," 4 , Quoted i n Danny Goodgame, " Police Operate i n World o f Hostility," Mit/m i Herald, July 2 5 , 1 97 9 . F o r more on this point, see: Adams , "Police Use o f Force," 1 0 . Both quoted in Amnesty International, United States ojArnerica: Rights jor All; RilCf, Rights ilnd Police Brutality (London: Amnesty International, September 1 99 9 ) , 2 3 , The United Nations Convention Agai nst Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punish­ ment defines torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental , is intentionally inflicted on a person for such p urposes as obtaining from him or a thi rd person i n formation or a confession, punishing him for an act he o r a thi rd person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reaso n based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consem or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity." U.N. General Assembly, "Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhu­ man or Degrading Treannent or l\ll1 ishment" lCeneral Assembly Resolution 39/46: December

1 9 84J Bllsic Human Rights Instruments (Geneva: United Nations Centre for Human Rights ; and Turin: Inrernational Centre of the Internatioal Libour Organization [ILO] , 1 9 9 8 ) , 1 1 6 . T h e u s e of torture is n o t so remote from t h e practices of American policing a s m a n y people would l ike to hel ieve. According to U . S . district court Judge Milton Shadur, it was "common knowledge that in the early to mid- 1 9 80s, Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge and many o ffi cers working under him regularly engaged in the physical abuse and torture of prisoners to extract confessions." In fact, the allegations against Burge cover a twenty-year span fto m 1 97 3 to 1 9 9 3 . A Chicago Police Department Offtce o f Professional Standards investigation identified abour fifty victims, and dozens of i nmates claim that Burge extracted false confessions fto m them. Burge's tactics included electric shock, Russian Roulette, beatings, and suffocating inmates with t),pewritcr covers. Sreve Mills and Janan Hanna, " Counsel to Probe Torture by Police,"



April 2 5 , 2 0 0 2 , http://www. ch i cagotribune.com/news/chi-02042 5 02 9 9 apr2 5 . story (ac­

cessed April 2002) . 47 Tom McEwan,

National Data Collection on Police Use ofForce ( U . S .

Department o f Justice, Bu­

reau o f Justice Statistics and National Institute of Justice, April 1 996), 46. Emphasis i n o riginal. 4 8 David Bayley and Hatold Mendelsohn, 1v1inorities lind the Police: Confrontation in America (New York: The Free Press, 1 96 9 ) , 1 2 5 . 49 Amnestl' I nternational discusses these problems in greater detail. Amnestl' International,

Rights, and Police Brutality,



5 0 Adams, " Police Use o f Force," 1 0 . Empbasis i n o riginal.

National Data Collection, 63-64. Beyond the Rodnq King Story: An Investigation ofPolice Misconduct in Minority Communities (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1 99 5 ) , 52-5 3 . Patrick A. Langan e t aI. , Contacts Between Police lind the Public: Findings from the 1999 National SunNY (U.S. Department ofJustice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, February 200 1 ) , 34. This study

51 McEwan,

5 2 Charles J . Ogletree, J r. et aI . , 53

represents one promising variation on the victim-reporting approach-the victim survey. Of course, the survey still relies on the victim's willingness to discuss the abuse (with a representative of the Justice Department, no less) , but it does not rely on the victim's initiative in reporting it. 5 4 Adams, " Police Use o f Force," 1 0 . 55 Joel Garner and Chrisropher Maxwell, "Measuring the Amount of �orce Used By and Agai nst the Police in Six Jurisdictions," i n

Use of Force by Polia: Overview o/National and Local Dllta

(Washington , D C : U . S . Department o f Justice, National Institute of Justice a n d t h e Bureau o f Justice Statistics, October 1 99 9 ) , 2 7 . 5 6 McEwan, National Data Collection, 6 7 . 5 7 Sociologist (and former reporter) Rodney Stark explains that t h e American news media are not well suited fo r covering chronic social problems and bee additional hurdles when reporting o n police abuse because they rely o n police for information concerning other stories. Rodnor Stark,

Police Riots: Collective Violence and Law Enforcement (Belmont,

CA: Focus Books, 1 972) ,

2 1 7-2 l 8 . 5 8 Langan et aI . ,

Contarts Between Polire and the Public,

iii. This figure only represents the number

o f victims. It does not i n dicate how many distinct incidents o f violence occurred, their severi tl', or the number of police i nvolved. Also, because of the surveying methods used, it almost cer­ tainly llt1 der-represents the experiences of certain populations-the homeless, to cite an obvious example. 59 Langan et aI . , Contacts Between Police and the Public, iii and 2. 6 0 Atlanta had 4 1 6,474 res idents in 2000. Fresno had 427 , 6 5 2 . 'Top 5 0 Cities i n the U.S. by Population and Rank , 1 990 and 2 0 0 0 ," i n

Time Almanllc 2002,

ed. Borgna Brunner ( Boston :

Informatio n , Please, 2002) , 2 0 1 . Our hypothetical metropolis would be the thi rty-ninth largest 61

city i n the United States . Langan et aI . , Contacts Betwem

62 Langan e t a I . ,

Polire and the Public, Contacts Between Police and the Pub/ic,

2. 3 . In nearly half (49 . 7 percent) o f arrests

i nvolving force, the most severe tactic reported was classified as a "grab." Garner and Maxwell, " Measuring the Amount of Force," 4 1 . 6 3 Langan et aI . ,

Contllrts BetlUeen Police and the Public,

2 . The police themselves report that force i s

used a t a m u ch lower rate. " T h e IACP [I nternational Association of Chiefs o f Police] caleula­ tion of the use-of-force rate is based o n dispatched calls for service. For example, based o n 1 9 9 5 data reported b y 1 1 0 agencies [ i n the United States] ' the police use-of- force rate was 4 . 1 9 per 1 0 , 000 responded-to calls for service , or 0 . 04 1 9 percent." Mark A. Henriquez, " IACP National Database Project on Police Use o f Force," i n

Local Data

Use ofForce by Police: Overview ofNational and

(Washington , D C : U . S . Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and the

Bureau of Justice Statistics, October 1 999) , 2 1 . 64 Langan et aI . , 6 5 Langan et aI . ,

Contacts Between Police lind the Public, Contacts BetU/em Police and the Public,

24. 2.




..". ,..-< en

r.:.l C)

� 0 �


r.:.l f-< 0 Z

66 Charlotte-Mecklenburg (No rth Carolina) Police Department; Colorado Springs (Colorado) Po­ l ice Department; Dallas (Texas) Police Department; St. Petersburg (Florida) Police Department; San Diego County (California) Sheriff's Department ; and the San Diego (Californ ia) Po l ice Department. Garner and Maxwell, "Measuring the Amount of force." 2 5 . 67 Garner and Maxwel l , "Measuring the Amount o f Force," 30-32. C hemical weapons like pepper spray were the type most commonly used by pol ice (being employed i n 1 . 2 percent of all adult arrests) . The seco nd most common weapo n was the flashlight, bei n g used i n 0.5 percent o f arrests. Batons were used somewhat less frequently, i n 0 . 2 percent of arrests. I f w e class batons and flashlights together as clubs, we learn that such weapons were used i n 0.7 percent of arrests, an d threatened twice as often (in 1 . 5 percent o f arrests) . H a n dguns were used in 0. 1 percent of arrests, and shotguns or rifles in another 0. 1 percent. Oddly, "firearms are i n frequently used but are the most freguent weapo n displayed." Counting handgu ns, shotguns, and rifles, guns were displayed in 3. 1 percent of the arrests, and used in 0 . 2 percent. Garner and M axwe l l , "Measur­ i n g the Amount of Force," 30-3 1 . It is worth remembering that, even when they are not drawn or brandished, police firearms are always , to some extent, o n display. 68 See, I()r exam ple: Adams. " Pol ice Use of Force," 3 and 5 ; Carner a n d M" xwell, " Measuring the Amount of Force," 25, 30, .'33, and 4 1 ; and McEwan, National Datll Collection, 4 1 . It's hard to know what to say about such views. except perhaps to suggest that the researchers are not giving the num bers the weight they deserve. One exception is the NAACP's report o n police brutal ity, based o n testimony and documents from six cities around the coun try ( Houston. Indianapolis. Los Angeles, Miami, Norfolk [Virgi n ia] , and St. Louis) . They found that " Excessive Force has become a standard part of the arrest procedure." Ogletree et aI., Beyond the Rodney King Story. 29.

(,l) David Weisburd et aI . , Police A ttitudes Ioward A buse ofA u thority: Findings from II National Survey ( U . S . Department of Justicc, National I n stitute o f Justice: Mav 2(00), 2. 70 Weisburd e t a I . , Police Attitudes, 3. 71 Stark, Policc Riots. 74. 72 Christopher Co m m issio n , Report, 36. n Christopher Comm issio n , Report, 40. 74 Christopher Commissi o n , Report, 1 69. 7 5 Erica Leah Schmitt et aI . , Characteristics ofDri1'ers Stopped by Police, 1999 ( U . S . Department of Justice, OHice of Justicc Programs and Bureau o f Justice Statistics, March 20(2), 1 4. " Persons ages J 6 to 29 were 34. ') percent of the esti mated 44 m i l l i o n w h o had a pol ice contact but 6 8 . I percent of those experiencing fo rce during a contact. Persons age 32 or less accoun ted I,,, about 7 5 percent of all persons who reported experiencing police use of force. The median age of those experiencing force was 23." Langan et ,,1. , Contllcts Between Police and the Public; 29. 76 Langan, Contacts Between Police a n d the Public, 4 and 24; and Schmitt e t aI . , Dril'ers Stopped by Police, 1 4- 1 6 . Police racism will be discussed at greater len gth i n chaoter 4. I I judi M. Drown and i'atnck A. Langan, Policing lind Homicide, 1976--98: Justifiable Homicide by Police, Police Officers Murdered by Felom ( U . S . Departmenr o f Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, March 200 1 ) , iii. " From 1 976 to 1 99 8 , young black males (black males under age 25) made up about 1 percent o f the population but 1 6 percent o f felons killed by police in j ustifiable homi­ cides; young wh i te rnales made up about 8 percent of the population but 16 percent of felons killed by police. . . . " Brown and Langan, Policing lind Homicide, 8 . Police officers, for the most part, do n o t feel that these statistics reflect prej udice on the part o f their colleagues. Only 17 percent thought that " Police officers often treat whites better than they do Black people and other minorities." ( 5 7 . 8 percent of the cops s urveyed disagreed, and 2 5 . 2 percent strongly disagreed.) Likewise, even fewer ( 1 1 . 1 percent) s uspected that " Police officers are more likely to use physical force against Black people and other m i norities than against whites in similar situations." ( 5 5 . 6 percent disagreed and 3 3 . 3 percent strongly dis­ agreed . ) Weisburd et aI . , Police A ttitudes, 6. The opinions of police diverge sharply according to the race o f the officer. Among B l ack cops, 5 1 .3 percent think that the police treat White people better than Black people, but only

1 1 .9 percent of White cops agree. Concerning the use of force, the difference i s even greater: 5 7. 1 percent of Black cops and 5 . 1 percent of their White colleagues think police use force more readily against Black people. Weisburd er aI . , Police Attitudes, 9. Perhaps more surprising, " Use of force appears to be unrelated to an officer's personal characteristics, such as age, gender, and ethnicity." Adams, " Police Use of Force," 6. (This claim is, by Adams's own admission, made only "with moderate confidence," based on an analysi s of the available data. Given our current state o f knowledge about police violence, it can hardly be conclusive.)

78 Paul Kive!. Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Workfor RacialJustice (Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers, 1 996), 40 . I have added the numbers here for the reader's conveni ence.


79 This parallel was brought to my attention by the Portland Copwatch Wo m en's Caucus at a May 1 7, 200 1 , training. Unformnately, the analogy between police hrutality and domestic violence is often entirely literal . I n September 1 9 9 7 , Chief Souls by of the DC Metropolitan Police told Human Rights Watch that "domestic violence is one of [the department's] worst behavi o r prob­ lems." Quoted i n Human Rights Watch,

ill the United States (New Yo rk:

ShieldedFom justice: Po/ice Brutality and Accountability

Human Ri ghts Watch , 1 99 8 ) , 3 8 1 .

D C is not alone. Between 1 9 9 0 and 1 9 9 7 , the LAPD investigated 227 domestic violence cases involving officers as perpetrato rs . In Boston, domestic violence is the single most common

Shieldedfi'om justice, 2 1 1 and 1 4 9 . The Seattle Police Department After Action Report: World Trade Orga­ nization Ministerial Conftrence; SMttie, WtlShington; November 29-Decem ber 3, J 999 (April 4 , reason police are arrested. Human Rights Watch,

8 0 Seattle Police Department, 2000) , 2 .

8 1 Arch Puddington , "The Extent o f Police Brutal i ty is Exaggerated," in


Police Brutality: Opp osing

ed. Helen Cothran (San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc. , 200 1 ) , 2 9 .

8 2 The phrase is fro m T.APD sergeant Stacey Koon's report of Rodney King's arrest. Koon describes King's injuries: " S everal facial ems due to contact with asphalc. O f a minor nature. A split i nner lip. Suspect oblivious to pain." Quoted i n Christopher Commission,



8 3 Adams, " Police Use of Force," 3 . 8 4 Sgt. Stacey Koo n , describing Rodney King. Koo n , Presumed Guilty, 1 8 . 8 5 Cincinn" ti Police sergeant Harry Roberts, after the kill ing of Timothv Thomas: "We didn't kill fifteen black men. We killed fifteen crimi nals who resisted arrest. They didn't die because they were black. They died because they were criminals." Quoted i n Jennife r Edwards, " Police Union Defends D eaths ,"

Cincinnati Post,

April 14, 200 1 , http: //www. ci ncypost. comI200 l faprI 1 4/

union04 1 40 1 . html (3ccesscd April 2 5 , 2002) . 86 San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, describing an incident in which three otf-duty cops attacked two men to rob them of a bag of faj itas. Quoted i n Lance Williams, " S F P D Indictments; The Mayor's Reaction : H e Pro rects H i s friends, Feuds With the D.A.,"

San Frrm cisco Chronicle,

March 3 , 2003 [database: NewsBank Full-Text Newspapers, accessed March 4, 2003] . 87 " \XTel l , there are cases. For example. when you srap a fellow for rour i n e questioning. Say a wise guy, and he s tarts talking back to you and telling you you are no good and that sort of thing. You know you can take a man i n o n a disorderly conduct charge but you can practically never make it srick. So what you do i n a case like thal is to egg the guy on until he makes a remark where you can j ustifiably slap him and then if he fights back you can call it resisting arrest." Quoted i n William A. Westley,

Morality (Cambridge,

Violence and the Policl': A SOCiological Study ofLaw, Custom, and

MA: The MIT Press , 1 970) , 1 24 .

8 8 " T h e use o f force is necessary to p rotect yourself. You should always show that you are the boss. Make them respect the uniform and not the man. Suppose yo u are interrogating a guy who says to go fuck yourself. You arc not s u pposed to take that." Quoted in Westley,


Vio/mce and the

1 26 .

8 9 Portland Police Association

Rap Sheet editor

" Police Shootings . . . We're Tired o f Having

Loren Christensen . Quoted i n Dan Handelman,

To Write About This," [be Peoples Police Report J 3

(January 1 99 8 ) , 2. 90 Portlam] Police officer Ed Riddell, concern ing an incident during which police shot and killed an epileptic Latino man i nside a psychiatric hospital. Quoted i n Steve Duin, "Silver Medals fo r the G uvs with the Golden Guns," Oregonian, Novemher 2 1 . 2002. 91 LAPD chief Daryl Gates, announcing his Hnding that two cops acted within policy when they shot and killed a mentally un balanced African American woman who threw a knife at them. Quoted in Daryl F. Gates with Diane K. Shah,

Chief.' Afy Life in the LAPD

(New York: B an tam

Books, 1 992) , 1 99 . 9 2 Adams, " Police Use o f Force," 8 . 93 Daryl Gates, to the media, regarding the Rodney King beating. Quoted i n Gates,


3 1 6.

94 A Black NYP]) officer told Nicholas Alex: "There arc a lot of Negroes, the only thing they understand is a boot in the right direction. They are not different than a lot of children . The only thi ng they understand is phvsical force and pain." Quoted in Nicholas Alex,

A Study of the Negro Policeman

Black in Blue:

(New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1 969) , 1 5 5 .

9 5 Sergeant Dennis Mullen, Atlanta Police Department Office of Professional Standards. Quoted in Human Rights \X'atch ,

ShieldedFom justice,

4 1 . A similar sentiment was expressed by Detroit

Police Department chief i nvestigator Thomas Elder, who said that people who file complaints "are not part of the community i n a positive way." Quoted in Human Rights Watch, Shielded Fom justice, 1 8 1 . 9 6 Robert Coles, "A Policeman Complains,"

New York Times Magazine. June

9 7 Seymour Martin Lipset, "Why Cops Hate Liberals-And Vice Vcrsa," i n

Questfor Blue Power,

1 3 , 1 97 1 , J 1 .

The Police Rebel/ion: A

ed. William J. Bopp (Springfield, IL: Charles T. Thomas, Publisher, 1 97 1 ) , 3 8 .


9 8 T h i s grotesque overstatement origin ated w i t h fo rmer L A P D c h i e f Wil l iam Parker. Quoted i n Robert M . Fogelso n ,

Big-City I'ulice (Cambridge,

M A : H arvard U n iwr;ity Press, 1 977) , 2 3 9 .

9 9 D u i n , " S i l ver Medals." 1 00 August Vol l mer. The flli l q uotation is: "Whatever else may be said o f the American police, this fact should be more widely know n ; namely, that without the police and the police organizations, with a l l their many defects anarchy would b e rife i n this country, and the civil ization now existing o n this hemisphere would perish." Quoted i n Center fo r Research on Criminal Justice.

Fist and the Vel1let Clo1le: An Analysis of the us. Police ( B erkeley,

The Iron

CA: Center fo r Research o n

Criminal Justice, 1 97 5 ) , 2 1 .

1 0 1 " I n res ponding to the m a ndate f(H order m a i ntenance, the p o l i ce create a sense of c o m m u n i t y t h a t m akes s o c i a l l i fe possible. W h e r e pol ice a r e unw i l l i n g or u n able t o play this moral leaders h i p r o l e o r ddlne the com m u n i ty boundaries o f r i g h t conduct. the q u a l i ty o f l i fe decl ines and the existence of everv other cheris hed val u e m a v be jeopardized . Where the civil l i benarian fears repress i o n and the Jenial o f due p rocess, o t hers sec th e emancipation fro ln fl'�H and the creation o f commun ity as the res u l t of police peacekeeping activities." G a ry W. Sykes, " Street Justice: A Moral Defense of Order M a i n t e n a nce Po l i ci ng," i n I'l;e

I'lIlicc {{lid Society: 7ilLlchs/otic Readitl,'lJ.

ed. Victor E. Kappeler (Prospect Heights, I L: Waveland Press. 1 9 9 9 ) , 1 4 2 .

FB! r"u' Enj,!YCi!ment Bulletin i n 1 9 ()7. Quoted in The Blue-Coated Worker: A Sociologiud Study of I'olice UuionislII (Cambridge :

1 02 This p o e t i c exal tation fi rst appeared i n the Robert Rei ner,

1 0 .1

Camhri dge U n iversity Press, 1 978) , � . Kon n ,

Presumed Guilty,

20-2 1 . Koon was so proud of t h e j o b he had done that when he learned

o f the v i deo his fi rst thought was that it should he used fo r trai n i n g p u rposes: " T h i s is great! They got it o n tape! Now we' l l have a l ive, i n the fi eld fi l m to s h ow pol ice recruits. It can he

a real l i fe exam ple o f how to use escal a t i n g f'lrec properly. Watch what the s u s pect does. If he' moves, control h i m . I f h e does n't, c u f{ h i m . The guys are go i ng to love this one. It's t ru e stLt ff." Koo n ,

1 04 Koo n ,

I'remmed Guilty, /'remmed (�uil/y,

22. 1 9.

1 0 5 Quoted in " Response of City Officials to the Federal Charges,"

I'hihddphiil Inquirtr, AuguM

1 9, 1 979.

1 06 Ff ll National Press Office. p ress rel ease ( U . S . Department o f Justice. Federal Bureau of I n vestigat i o n , May 1 5 , 2(02) .

1 07 F B I ( M ay 1 5 , 2002) .

1 0 8 Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics,

www. albany.edu/sourcebook/ 1 99 5 / pdflt3 1 64 . pdC

328. table 3. 1 64 (viewed May 1 7 , 2 0 0 3 ) . 1 09 B u reau of Labor Statistics,

National Census olFatal Occupational Injuries in 2000 ( U . S .


m e n t of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. August 1 4 , 2 00 1 ) , 1 . I 1 0 Bureau o f Labor Statistics, I I I Bureau o f Labor Statistic�)

National Census ofFatal Occupational Injuries in 2000, 3 and 4 . National Census o(Fflta/ ()r(,1I'hr7t;nn.r/ rn;�_I_V;'?:' !."': :l�)UC, �. ;'!-.. .: l':"�'"

01 deaths is a m o re reliable i n d i cator o f dan ger than the rate o f wo :k-related injuries: deaths are m o re rel iably reported. and the severity of i n j uries varies enormously.

1 1 2 Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1 1 3 B u reau o f l.abor Statistics.

l 1 1t Stark, Palht" Riots, 1 3 5 .

National Census ofFatal Occupational Injuries in 2000, National Census ofFatal Occupdtional Injuries in 2000,

3. 4.

Police Riots, 1 3 S . Police Riots, 1 3 S . Ogletree et a l Beyond the Rodney King Story. 4 3 . Brown and Langan, Policing and Homicide, iv. B rown and Langan. Policing and Homicide, 1 9 . Brown and l.angan, Policing and Homicide, 1 .

l I S Stark,

I 1 6 Stark, 1 17 l IS 1 19 1 20


1 2 1 The police are also inj ured at a l ower rate than those they oppose. IACP data indicates that "Abour 1 0 percenr o f 2,479 officers using force susrained injuries. Less than I percenr o f the injuries were m ajor; none tesulted i n death. About 3 8 percent o f the subjects were i nj ured as the res ult of police use o f force. including approximately 1 . 5 percent w i t h major inj ures. (Data spanning the 1 9 9 '5-97 period indicate that o f 7 5 . 0 S 2 use-of-force i n c i d ents, 3 , 274. or about 4 percenr, resulted in officer injuries, all but 3 9 minor.)" Henriquez, " IACP National D atabase Pro j ect'" 2 1 . 1 2 2 Quoted i n Goodgame, "World o f Host i l i ry." 1 23 An anonymous NYPD sergeant told

New York Times Magdzine:

"Look, in any organization.

you'll find no-good people. There arc rotten apples righ t i n my own back yard; our precinct has some crazy cops who are ready to use machi n e guns o n the 'co l lege kids and niggers: that's how

they are called. B u t fo r every cop like that J can find you two that you'd j us t h ave to admire." Quoted i n Coles. "A Policeman Complains." 74.

1 24 "The effect of the totten appl e theory is to ofler scapegoats to public indignation and to evade basic questions about the organization and character o f police institutions." Stark, Police Riots. 1 0 .


1 25 Lundman llses the term "organizational deviance" to describe behavior that violates rules or norms mandated by those outside the department, but that is nevertheless supported by i nternal organizational norms. " Police misconduct is organizational deviance when actions violate external expectations for what the department should do. Simultaneously, the actions must be i n conformity w i t h i nternal operating norms, a n d supported b y socialization, peers, a n d t h e admin­ istrative personnel of the department." Richard J. Lundman, Police and Policy: An Introduction (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1 980) , 1 4 1 . One book outlines the competing expla­ nations in terms of " Rotten Apples" and " Rotten Barrels." Charles H. McCaghy et aI. , Deviant Behavior: Crime, Conflict; and Interest Groups (Boston: Allyn and Brown, 2003) , 244. 1 26 In her statement before the NAACP, one former Miami omcer described a field training exercise in which she was reprimanded for not using force against a mentally ill man who shouted at her. Ogletree et al. , Beyond the Rodney King Story, 1 9. Two of the four cops who beat Rodney King had participated i n a training exercise earlier that evening, focusing on baton techniques. Christopher Commission, Report, 1 2 . 1 27 I n 1 990, a White J ndianapol is police officer received his department's medal of valor for shoot­ ing an unarmed African American robbery suspect. Human Rights Watch, Shieldedfrom justice, 1 90. In 2002, Portland (Oregon) Pol i ce Chief Mark Kroeker stirred controversy by awardiog medals to each of the twelve officers i nvolved in fatal shootings during the two previous years. Duin, "Silver Medals." 1 2 8 Rizzo advised his officers to "break their heads before they break yours." Quoted i n James T Fyfe, " Police Use of Deadly Force: Research and Reform," in Policing Perspectives: An Anthology, cds. Larry K. Gaines and Gary W. Cordner (Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing, 1 99 9 ) , 429. Fyfe's research quantifies the results of Rino's leadership: "Overall , the [Philadelphia Police Depart­ ment's] police homicide rates were 2 . 0 9 [civilians killed annually, per 1 ,000 officers] while Rizzo was police commissioner; 2 . 2 9 while he was mayor; and 1 . 05 after he was out of office (as compared to the a nnual PPD homicide rate of 0 . 6 1 over 1 9 50- 1 960 . . . ) ." Fyfe concludes that " knowing what Frank Rizzo was doing was far more valuable for estimating the PPD homicide rate than were data on public homicides." Fyfe, "Police Use of Deadly Force," 4 1 7. 1 29 "To a considerable extent the police regard all citizens as 'outsiders'-as unsympathetic and a threat to order-because the police are a distinctive and relatively socially isolated subculture." Stark, Police Riots, 1 24. See also: Victor E. Kappeler et al. , "Breeding Deviant Conformity: Po­ lice Ideology and Culture," in The Police and Society: Touchstone Readings, ed. Victor E. Kappeler (Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 1 99 9 ) , 2 5 1 and 252. 1 30 According to one srudy, police consider excessive force to be of "intermediate seriousness." Asked to evaluate the severity of eleven misconduct cases, police ranked brutality seventh, j ust ahead of covering up an officer-involved traffic accident (number 8), and below management favoritism (number 6) , accepting kickbacks (number 4) , accepting bribes (number 2), and theft (number O. Carl B . Klockars et aI . , The Measurement ofPolice Integrity ( U . S . Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, May 2000) , 3. 1 3 1 Fogelson described the police as sutTering from "a strong sense of alienation, a sharp feeling o f persecution , a n d other severe anxieties which for want of a better term might b e called occupa­ tional paranoia." This disorder was characterized by complaints about the incompetence of the civil authorities, a "frenzied reaction to criticism from o utside," and advocacy of reactionary and draconian measures. Fogelson, Big- City Police, 1 20. See also: Stark, Police Riots, 92-93. 1 32 In 1 994, NYPD officer Bernard Cawley testified before the Mollen Commission: "We'd j ust beat people i n general . . . t o show who was i n charge." Quoted i n Human Ri ghts Watch, Shieldedfrom justice, 268. Cawley admitted to involvement in 400 beatings, using nightsticks, flashlights, and lead-lined gloves. Only one citizen ever filed a complaint against him, and no officers did. Hu­ man Ri ght, Watch, Shieldedfrom justice, 272. 1 33 William A. Westley, "Violence and the Police," i n Police Patrol Readings, ed. Samuel G . Chapman (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1 964) , 284. 1 34 Human Righrs Watch, Shieldedfrom justice, 62. 1 35 Amnesty International, Race, Rights, and Police Brutality, 28. 1 36 Quoted i n Christopher Commission, Report, 32. 1 37 Weisburd et aI. , Police Attitudes, 5 . Many supervisors share this perspective: 1 6.7 percent agreed or strongly agreed that whistle blowing is nor worth it. Al most as many ( 1 6.4 percent) felt that it was acceptable to use illegal levels of force against a suspect who assaults an officer, and 7 . 6 per­ cent (ahout one i n every thirteen supervisors) felt that the Code of Silence was an essential part of policing. Weisburd et aI . , Police A ttitudes, 1 1 . The Christopher Commission found that police commanders often enforce the code of silence by singling out whistle blowers for discipline. Christopher Commission, Report, 1 70. 1 38 Weisburd et aI. , Police Attitudes, 2. 1 39 Westley, "Violence and the Police," 2 8 9-90. 243

1 40 \X'i l l iam Cham bliss e x p l a i n s the i nstitutional b a s i s fo r this tendency: "The hureaucratic req u i re­ m e n t (hat police action he designed to Illaxinl ize rewards and rn i n i nl ize '-; [ rain fo r the organ iza­ tion leads to l o o k i n g fo r crime a m o n g the powerless and ignoring the crimes of the powerfu l . " W i l l i a m J . Chambliss,

Power, Politics. and Crime

(Houlder. CO: Wes tview Press. 1 99 9 ) . 1 00 .

This idea will be expa nded i n later chapt e rs. 1 4 1 "The [Christopherj Commission also spoke with a deputy chief who . . . stated that the disci p l i n e i m posed by the [ Los Angeles Pol i ce} Depart m e n t is m o r e severe fo r conduct that c'mbarrasses tile Department than for conduct that reflects i m proper treatment of members o f the public. By way of example, he said that an officer caugh t i n a liaison with a prostitute is likely to receive m o re severe disci p l i n e than an omen who beats an i n dividual . A former h igh ran king officer with broad experience within the Department also corroborated this view, t e l l i n g u s t h a t excessive force is treated lenitlllly because it does not violate the Department's i n ternal moral code." Ch ristopher Commissio n ,


1 66 . This pattern seems to hold at all levcls o f d iscipl i n e . For i nstance, in

June 1 ') 9 9 , there were 6 5 '1 t'l fmer cop, i n federal priso n . The majority o f them were servi ng t i m e fo r cormption, not bru tal ity. Amnesty I n ternat ional,

Race, Rights, and Palia Brutality.


Chapter 2: The Origins of Anwriean Polieing Typical ly, comparative pol ice hi stories discuss various cities i n t h e o rder by w h i c h they came to attain modern pol ice fo rces . So London would be fi rst, i f the vol u m e cons iders English cities,

and then New Yo rk. Bosto n , and so O I L M y approach breaks fro m this t(Hln uia, present i n g I h e cities i n s tead i n t h e order b y w h i c h they reached p rogress ively higher s tates o f pol ice develop­ ment. Charleston appears fi rst hecause its c o n t r i b u t i o n to [he 1110dern type came very early. T h i s approach preserves the , e n s e o f h istorical develo p m e n t lead i n g to the "ppear;tnce of m o d e r n po­ l icing: and it reta i n s the sense that the modern p o l i ce represe n t one stage i n this sequence-not the i n evitable end-poi n t . I n other words, I have trkd to app roach t h e malter o f development prospectively rath er than retrospectively, while still l i m i t i ng the exploration o f dead-ends and historical cuI -dc-sacs. Selden Daskan Baco n , "The Early Deve l o p m e n r o f the American M u n i c i pal Pol ice: A Study o f the Evo l u t i o n of cormal ConlIols i n a Changi n g Society, vol. 1 " ( P h D diss., Yale Un ivers ity, 1 9 3 9 , A n n

Arhor: U n iversity M i c rofI l ms I n ternational [facsi mi lej , 1 9 8 6 ) , 206- 2 0 8 . 2 I n general terms, " Modern i ty is d istinguished o n economic, p o l itica l . social and c u ltural grounds. For example, modern societies typically have i ndustria l , capital ist economies, democratic political organ i zation and a social structure fou nded o n a division into social c l asses. T here is less agreement on cui rural features, which are said to include a tendency to the fragmentation of experien ce, a commodification and ratio n alization of all aspects o f l i fe, and a speedi n g up of the pace o f daily

l i fe. Modernity has required new systems o f i n d ividual surve i l l a n ce. disciDline a n d conrrol It In, emphastzeci regulaflty and measurement i n everyday l i fe."

The Penguin Dictionary ofSociology,

Nicholas Abercrombie et aJ. (London: Penguin Books, 2000) , s . v. "Moder n i ty." 3 David H. Bayley, "The Development of Modern Pol ic i n g," in Policing Perspectives: An Anthology, eds . Larry K. Gaines and Gary W Cordner (Los Angeles : Roxbury Pub l ishing, 1 9 99) , 67-6 8 .

4 "Po l i c i n g i n the modern yvarld is dominated by org�lnlzalivll� rhat a r e public, specialIzed, and

professional. What is new about policing i s the combination o f these attributes rather than any of the attriblltes themselves." Bayl ey, " Development of Modern Pol ic i n g." 7 5 . 5 Bayley, " D evelopment o f Modern Pol i ci ng," 6 9 . 6 " I n policing, the defi n in g t a s k i s tbe application o f physical fo rce w i t h i n a c o m m u n i ty." Bayley, " Development of Modern Policing," 67. 7 Richard J . Lundman . stan, 1 980), 1 7 .

Polier and Policing: An Tntroduction

(New York: H o l t , Rineitarr, a n d \Vi n ­

8 Baco n , "Early Development o f the Modern Municipal Police, vol . I ," 6 . 9 Raymond H . Fosdick, 10 Eric H . Monkko n e n ,

American Police Sy"tem" (New Yo rk: T h e C e n t u r y Company, 1 92 0 ) , 67. Police in Urban America, 1 860-1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press, 1 9 8 1 ) , 5 3 . 1 1 Cl ive Emsl ey,

The English Police: A Political a n d Social History

(London: Longman, 1 9 9 1 ) , 1 9 .

1 2 The m i l itarization o f the police i s discussed i n detail in chapter 9. 13 Emergency measures such as National G uard patrols are thereby excluded. 14 This c o n t inuum bas obviously been designed with city police in mind. Some county, state, an d federal agen cies may also cou n t as modern police organizations. C l early, d i fferent standards would apply. 1 5 There are two sets of i m p l i cations to this treatment o f modernizatio n . first, current t re n ds l ike militarization may be viewed in terms of a n o ngoi n g process o f modernizat i o n . Second, this view allows for the possibility that emerg i n g characteristics might overrake the trad i t i onal pol i c­ ing characteristics, thus fun damentally alte r i n g the n a ture of the institutio n . For example, our


contemporary public, government-controlled police agencies may someday be superseded by private corporate-co ntrolled o rganizations fulfilling similar functions. Whether such organiza­ tions should be counted as "police," "company guards," o r "private armies" is very much open for debate, and probably cannot be decided without knowledge of the particulars of the instituti o n .

1 6 Bayley, "Development o f Modern PoliCing," 62. 1 7 "Informal policing refers to a system where community members a r e jointly responsible for the maintenance of o rder. Absent are persons whose sole responsibility is policing." Lundman, Police

and Policing, 1 5 . 1 8 B ruce Smith, Rura! Crime Control (New York: I nstitute of Public Administration, 1 93 3 ) , 3 6 .

19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Ibid. Monkkonen, Police in Urban America, 3 3 . Smith, Rural Crime Control, 3 8 . Bayley, "Development o f Modern Policing," 62. Smith, Rural Crime Control, 3 9-42 . Bayley, " D evelopment o f M o d e r n Policing," 62-63. S m i t h , Rural Crime Control, 7 5 . "The ancient custom o f making 'hue and cry' after criminals, with the entire countryside up i n arms a n d joining t h e h u n t , lapsed i n t o disuse. T h e civil police officer began t o emerge." Smith, Rum! Crime Control, 76.

27 " Under this system, the constable became subo rdinated first to the lord of the manor and even­ tually to the j ustice of t h e peace (who was frequen tly also the lord of the memor) . As feudalism ended, capitalism developed as an economic system, and the nation-state formed. Thus, i n gross, the origin of the English police i n its m odern form and function can be said to be consistent and coincident with the origin of the English state." Cyril D . Robinson and Richard S caglion, "The Origin and Evolurion o f the Police Function in Society: Notes Toward a Theory," Law and

Society Review 2 1 . 1 ( 1 987): 1 47. 2 8 Smith, Rural Crimr Control, 76. 29 Emsley, English Police, 9 . 30 Elaine A. Reynolds, Brfore the Bobbies: The Night Wtztch and Police Reform in Metropolitan London, 1 120-1830 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1 99 8 ) , 1 69. 31 Quoted i n Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 1 6 and 1 8 . 3 2 Emsley, English Police, 1 9-22. 33 Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 6 1 . 34 Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 4. 3 5 Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 62-68 a n d 77-78 . 36 Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 5 7 . Beadles were daytime officers responsible for enforcing liquor laws and poor laws, directing traffic, keeping order i n church, and sometimes supervising the watch. Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 1 0 and 24.

37 38 39 40

Lundman, Police and Policing, 1 7; and Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 76. Bayley, " Development of Modern Policing," 63. Philip John Stead, The Police in Britain (New York: Macmillan, 1 98 5 ) , 1 6- 1 7.

Quoted i n Wilbur R. Miller, " Police Authority i n London and New York, 1 830-1 870," The Journal a/Social History (Winter 1 97 5 ) : 92. 4 1 " Finally, when we combine our better understanding of the elements, process, personnel, and motivations that were i nvolved in police reform i n London during the whole period fro m 1 73 5 t o 1 829, it becomes clear that Robert Peel's reform i n 1 829 was not revolutionary. It ratio n alized and extended but did not alter existing practices . . . . The change was carried out with the input and cooperation o f loeal authorities, altho ugh not all were confident as to its benefits. The new police took on the functions of the old and did them i n much the same fashion, drawing o n the experience and expertise o f the p arish watch system. Many o f the people who staffed the new police had staffed the parochial system." Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 1 64. 42 "Peel's previous experience as an u n der secretary i n the War and Colonies Office had prepared him so mewhat in the management o f alien, poverty stricken, and rebellious populations. More­ over, his staunch Protestantism and unwillingness to grant political rights to Catholics made him ideologically perfect to run the affairs o f Ireland, at least from the English point of view." Monkkonen, Police in Urban America, 37.

43 44 45 46 47

Monkkonen, Police in Urban America, 38. Emsley, English Police, 26. Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 4 and 1 64 . Emsley, English Police, 3 1 . Shortly after the watch was disbanded, the vestry clerk of St. Thomas, Southwark reported ro Lord Melbourne: "The generality of the Inhabitant Ho useholders expresses much dissatisfaction at the policeman being so seldom seen and consider that they are not so well protected a s they


-.0 M I M M rn

were under the old nightly watch.And the parish is much more frequently annoyed by distur­ bances in the night." Quoted in Reynolds,Before the Bobbies. 158. 48 Smith. Rural Crime Control, 42-43.

'"-1 0

49 Smith. Rural Crime Control. 45. 50 Roger Lane.Policing the City: Boston 1822-1885 (Cambridge,MA: Harvard University Press.

I¥ 0 �

51 Smith. Rural Crime Control. 79; and Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police. vol.1." 91-92.


'"-1 E-< 0 Z


52 Douglas Greenberg, Crime and Law Enforcement in the Colony ofNew York. 1691-1776 (Ithaca. NY: Cornell University Press,1976).160-161.

53 David N.Falcone and L.Edward Wells."The County Sheriff as a Distinctive Policing Modality." in Policing Perspectives: An Anthology. cds.Larry K. Gaines and Gary W.Cordner (Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing.1999),42. 54 Greenberg. Crime and Law Enforcement. 164-165. 55 Quoted in Greenberg, Crime find Law Enforcement. 160. S6 Likewise, the fact that this presumption has been exactly reversed may serve as some measure of the increase in police authority.Nowadays.resisting arrest is unlawful even if the arrest itself is unjustified.And once a person has been warned that he is under arrest the police may generally use whatever force is necessary to restrain him.

57 Bruce Smith. Police Systems in the United States (New York: Harper & Brothers,1940),105. 58 The 1931 Report of the (V irginia) Commission on County Government described the consta­ ble's office as being "of ancient origin," "employ[ingJ ancient methods," and "having outlived its usefulness." The Commission concluded that "the proper administration of justice will be promoted by its abolition." Quoted in Smith, Rural Crime Control. 87-88. 59 Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police,vol. 1," 8-9. 60 Greenberg, Crime and Law Enforcement, 167. 61 Monkkonen. Police in Urban America. 34. 62 Quoted in l.ane, Policing the City. 10.

63 Quoted in Lane, PoliCing the c..lty. II. 64 Quoted in Greenberg, Crime and Law Enforcement. 156. 65 Marvin Dulaney complains: "Most scholars have dutifully traced the origins of the American po­ lice back to England and ignored the influences of the slave patrol and racism on the American police heritage." W.Marvin Dulaney, Black Police in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 19%),127.

66 Dennis C.Rousey,Policing the Southern City: New Orleans. 1805-1889 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press,1996),3. 67 For a thorough discussion of White fears, see: Herbert Aptheker,American Negro Slave Revolts (New York: International Publishers, 1987), 18-52. White fears of insurrection may have reached the level of paranoia,but they were in no way baseless.Aptheker cites 250 documented rebellions or conspiracies involving ten or more slaves.Aptheker,American Negro Slave Revolts. 162. See also: Harvey Wish, "American Slave Insurrections Before 1961." in Black Protest: 350

Year;' ofHistory, Documents, and Analyses, ed. Joanne Grant (New York: Fawcett Columbine,

1968),29-38; and William F. Cheek,Black Resistance Before the Civil Wtzr (Beverly Hills,CA: Glencoe Press,1970),especially chapter 4,"Slave Insurrections, North and South." 68 Sally E. Hadden,Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas (Cambridge,MA: Harvard University Press,2001),36 and 109; H. M. Henry," The Police Conttol of the Slave in South Carolina" (phD diss.,Vanderbilt University, 1914),31; and Philip L. Reichel,"Southern Slave Patrols as a Transitional Police Type," in Policing Perspectives: An Anthology. eds. Larry K. Gaines and Gary W Cordner (Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing, 1999), 85.

69 Michael Hindus clearly articulates the continuity between the new forms of control and the old: "Antebellum South Carolina had accepted three equations: slaves with crime,blacks with slaves, and imprisonment with slavery.After emancipation,the state found new modes of race control." Michael Stephen Hindus,Prison and Plantation: Crime, Justice, and Authority in j>yfassachu-

setts and South Carolina, 1768-1878 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,1980),

xxiv-xxvi. 70 "Slavery was not only an economic and industrial system,and as such felt to be a burden by the non-slaveholder; but more than that,it was a gigantic police system,which the poor man in the up-country as well as the wealthy planter in the lowlands did not know how to replace." Henry, "Police Control," 154-155. 71 The depth of this preference is astonishing,and its influence on Southern priorities proved self-defeating."Many intransigent southerners never yielded the notion that the [Civil] war itself was of no importance if the slave system was not maintained.Even in 1865,with defeat almost imminent. and the conscription of slaves being seriously considered,still the preservation of the


slave system remained a greater priority than the war effort. Some Confederate congressmen claimed that granting freedom to slaves who fought for the Confederacy would subvert their basic contention that slavery was the natural condition for blacks and make victory irrelevant. Rather than compromise in any way on the slavery issue. the South preferred to lose the war. " Mary frances Berry, Black Resistance, White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America (New York: Allen Lane, 1994),67-68.

72 73 74 75 76

Hadden, Slave Patrols, 10-11 and 13. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 14. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 15-16. Henry, "Police Control." 31. Quoted in Robert f. Wintersmith, Police and the Black Community (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books-D.C. Heath, 1974),18.

77 Hadden, Slave Patrols, 17. 78 Hadden, Slave Patrols, 19-20. In 1770, South Carolina Lieutenant Governor William Bull wrote: "The defense of the province


far as our own power can avail, is provided for by our militia

against foreign and Patrols against domestic enemies. " Quoted in Hadden, Slave Patrols, 43.

79 Quoted in Reichel, "Southern Slave Patrols," 83. 80 Quoted in Reichel, "Southern Slave Patrols," 83; and Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 1," 580. 81 Henry, "Police Control." 33. 82 Hadden, Slave Patro/"� 70. 83 Hadden, Slave Patrols, 138. 84 Hindus, Prison and Plantation, 37-38. 85 Henry, "Police Control," 78-79. 86 I am indebted to Shira Zucker for drawing my attention to this aspect of Southern culture. 87 Hadden, Slave Patrols, 130. 88 Hadden, Slave Patrols, 70. 89 Henry, "Police Control." 33-34; and Hadden, SI,lVe Patrols, 73. The 1740 act explained: "many irregularities have been committed by former patrols arising chiefly from their drinking too much liquor before or during the time of their riding on duty." Quoted in Henry, "Police Con­ trol," 33-34.

90 91 92 93

Henry, "Police Contro!'" 35-37. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 23. Reichel, "Southern Slave Patrols," 83. Reichel, "Sollthern Slave Patrols," 83-85. The 1778 law instructed the Georgia patrols to "take up all white persons who cannot give a satisfactory account of themselves and carry them before a Justice of the Peace to be dealt with as is directed by the Vagrant Act. " Quoted in Reichel, "Southern Slave Patrols," 84. In practice, the patrols exercised control over whites in other states as well. "Patrollers exercised their power not only against slaves in the area but also against White people who challenged the social order as it existed in each community. . . . Patrols not

only cemenred social bonds between whites, but also reminded transgressors-both black and white-of what was considered acceptable behavior by the masters of Southern society. " Had­ den, Slave Patrols, 90. 94 Wintersmith, Police and the Black Community, 17-19.

95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112

Hadden, Slave Patrols, 25-31. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 33-37. Wintersmith, Police and the Black Community, 19. Wintersmith, Police and the Black Community, 20. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 22. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 123. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 110. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 106. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 126. Quoted in Reichel, "Southern Slave Patrols," 86. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 111-112. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 116. Quoted in Hadden, Slave Patrols, 113. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 117. Wintersmith, Police and the Black Community, 18. Henry, "Police Control," 119-120. Henry, "Police Control," 39-40. Hadden, Slave PatroL" 123. The patrollers themselves were sworn in as agents of the state, and thus personally indemnified against lawsuits. Hadden, Slave Patrols, 77.


tr) "1" I ...... "1" rJ)

114 Hadden, Slave I'dtrols, .18-39.

118 Quoted in Rousey, PoLicing the Southern City, 20,

� 0 � 0 � rJ)

� E-< 0 Z

ILl Quoted in Hadden, Slave !'cmols, 89, 115 Hadden, Slave PatroLs, 54. 116 Hadden, Slave Patrols, 53-56. 117 Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 19-20. 119 Quoted in Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 2 L 120 Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 21-22. 121 Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 57, 122 Henry, "Police Control," 42. 123 Henry, "Police Control," 97. 124 Henry, "Police Control," 44. 125 Henry, "Police Control," 97, 126 Henry, "Police Contro\''' 97. 127 Quoted in Henry, "Police Contro\''' 102. 128 Henry, "Police Control," 99. ror more information concerning W hite fears and the difficulties

of subjugating an urhan slave population, see: Richard C. Wade, Sla/Jery in the Cities: The South,

1820-1860 (London: Oxford University Press, 1%4). 129 Henry, "Police Control," 43. 1.)0 Henry, "Police Control," 51. J}I Quoted in Henry, "Police Control," 44. 132 Henry, "Police Control," 88; and Hadden, Slave Patrols, 114. 133 Henry, "Police Control," 51, For a detailed description of nineteenth-century racial segregation

in Southern cities, see: Wade, Slavery in the Cities, 266-277. 134 Henry, "Police Control," 42. 13'5 Hadden, Slave Patrols, 54.

1.16 Hadden, Slal'e Patrols, 75. 157 Hadden, Sla1Je I'tltrols, 55. 138 Quoted in Hadden, stlll'e Pdtrols, 63. Emphasis in original. 11') Quoted in Hadden, Stlll,t· I',urols, 62.

1 40 In North Carolina, the patrols were under court authority from their beginnings. Hadden, Slave Ptltrols, 47,

141 Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 1," 359. 142 Quoted in Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 1," 357, As recently

as 1837 the mayor of Philadelphia advised, "Every colored person found in the Street after (the posting of) watch should be closely supervised by the officers of the night." Quoted in Homer Hawkins and Richard Thomas, "White Policing of Black Populations: A History of Race and Social Control in America," in Out oJOrder? Poticing Black People, eds. Ellis Cashmore and Eugene McLaughlin (London: Routledge, 1991), 71. Parentheses in original. 143 Hadden, Slt!ve Patrols, 3-4. See also: Dulaney, Black Police, 6. 144 Patrollers might also be compared to professional slave catchers. Slave catchers, however, were

private operarors, not public agenrs. They were hired by siaveowners for a single job, did not perform regular patrols, were not generally concerned with searching cabins or breaking up church services, and worked over a very large area, sometimes leaving the state. In fact, patrollers more closely resembled overseers, Both had generalized responsibilities for keeping the slaves in line, searching for weapons, preventing gatherings, recapturing run­ aways, and so on. But overseers were private employees, hired by one slaveowner and responsible chiefly for one plantation. The overseer's duty was continuous, and he was paid much more than a patroller. Furthermore, in addition to his more reptessive functions, the overseer also performed managerial tasks, like assigning the slaves their work and distributing food. Comparisons could also be made to the constable. Like patrollers, consrables regulated the movement of slaves, recaptured runaways, dispersed slave gatherings, and administered beatings. However, slave control was only one aspect of the constable's job, which also included summon­ ing juries, transporting prisoners, process-serving, and otherwise acting as an agent of the courts. Most patrols were concerned only with the activities of slaves, and rarely had reason to appear in court at all. Moreover, the patrols were interested in more than just the gathering and travels of slaves; thev also searched their homes. Hadden, Stt/ve Patrols, 80-84, Slave Patrols, 48. 146 Hadden, Slt!ve Patrols, 16-17. 147 Quoted in Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 574. Emphasis in original. 145 Hadden,

148 Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 576. 149 Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 576-578.


150 151 152 153 154 155

Quoted in Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 581. Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 585-586. Bacon. "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 601. Quoted in Hadden, SlalJe Patrols, 58. Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 602. "[Tlhere can be no doubt that this city was far ahead of all others in regard to enforcement ma­ chinery at this time." Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 606.

156 Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 598-601; and Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 19-20. 157 Bacon, "Farly Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 605. 158 These reforms reordered the city government, consolidating power under a mayoral figure called the intendent. They also created a daytime police force, which combined with the Charleston Watch and Guard in 1856. Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol.

2," 616-619, 626-628, 634-635, and 643. "[Ilt is signiflcant to note under what conditions it [the daytime police force] arose and with what problems it was chiefly concerned; as in the case of night policing it is the control of the slave population that dominates enforcement activity." Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 635.

159 Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police. vol. 2." 660-661. 160 In 1803. New Orleans had a population of 8,056 people. Of these. 2.273 were slaves, and another 1,335 were free Black people. The W hite population at the time numbered 3,948, but this group was anyth ing but unified. Differences of ethnicity, religion, language. and national origin all divided the White population, and sometimes produced fierce conflicts. Bacon. "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2." 657.

161 Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 663-665; and Rousey, PoliCing the Southern City, 14-16. 162 Quoted in Bacon, "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 669-670. 163 Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 16. 164 Bacon. "Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 668-669. 165 Rousey. Policing the Southern City, 17. 166 "Its organization was distinctly military. though a bit less so than the Gendarmerie. Unlike the gendarmes, city guardsmen did not routinely carry firearms, relying on sabers and half-pikes in­ stead. although the use of muskets was authorized in times of emergency. Corporal punishment was abolished. and terms of enlistment ran for only six months. The city guard was dramatically closer to a military model of organization than were the northern night watches and constabu­ laty of the same period. and slave control remained a very significant goal of the New Orleans police." Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 18-19.

167 168 169 170 171

Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 17-18. Quoted in Rousey. PoliCing the Southern City, 32. Emphasis in original. Quoted in Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 34. Quoted in Rousey. Policing the Southern City, 33. The cop was tried and acquitted, but reprimanded by the judge. Rousey, Policing the Southern

City. 34. 172 173 174 175

Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 29. Rousey. Policing the Southern City, 30. Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 34-37. "New Orleans initiated its military-style police in 1805 but demilitarized the police force in 1836. dropping the uniforms and weapons. At the same time a daytime police force. organiza­ tionally integrated with the night police, was formed to provide rwenty-four-hour active patrol­ ling with a unified chain of command-nine years before New York's similar reform." Rousey,

Policing the Southern City, 6. 176 177 178 179

Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 36-37. Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 37 and 41. Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 45. In 1847, for example, inter-governmental rivalry nearly reached conflict levels. After a series of gambling raids by the police of the First Municipality, the Third Municipality's police were ordered to arrest any cops from other jurisdictions caught trespassing on their turf. Faced with the prospect of a turf war featuring rival police factions. the First Municipality quickly backed down. Rousey. Policing the Southern City, 47-48.

180 181 182 183 184

Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 66. Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 69. Rousey, PoliCing the Southern City, 70-72. Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 76. Rousey. Policing the Southern City, 78-80.


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Robert M . Fogelson, Big- City Police (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Un ivers i ty Press, 1 977) , 3 3 . Rousey, Policing tI, e Soutllnll Ci ty. 6CJ-72. Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 67 and 82-84. Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 8 7-8 9 . Rousey, Policing the SoutJxrrJ City, 8 9 . Rousey, Policing the Southem City, 9 4 . Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 1 4 . Bacon, "Early Development of t h e Modern Municipal Police, vol . 1 ," 295 and 298. James F. Richardson, Urban Police in the United States ( Port Washingto n , NY: National Univer­ sity Press, 1 974) , 23-24; and Bacon , " Early Development o f the Modern Municipal Police, vol. I ," .3 1 1 -5 1 2, 3 1 6, J.nd 322. The issues of centralization and continuity are more problematic. For while the overall organiza­ tion had citywide jurisdict ion, the ward structure of city government ens ured that it would be internal ly fragmemed, with precincts functioning for the most part as autonomous units. Li kewise. though the same officers patrolled every night, the overall conti nuity of the organiza­ cion was subject to interruption with every change in m unicipal politics. James F. Richardson, The New York Police: Colonial Times to 1 90} (New York: Oxford University Press, 1 970), 49. Quo ted in Richardso n, New York Police, 2.3.3. I n 1 8 1 6, when the Democratic political network Tammany Hall took control of the general counci\ it immediately replaced all city officials with federalist leani ngs, inclliding a great many ' of the watchmen. Richardson, Neu' York Police, 2 1 . flaco n, " Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol. I ," 1 70 and 1 73; and Richard­ son, New YiJrk Poli((', 1 7 . Marshals wore no uniforms and carried no weapons. They were paid by fcc, and commonly neglected those duties which did not have fees attached to them. Li kewise, rem iniscent of the thieftakers, marshals made a priority of returning stolen goods-for a reward, of course-but not of apprehe nding the thief. The result was collusion b etween the OmetT and the crimina\, with the former serving as a lence for the latter. Richardson , New York Police, 1 9 and 3 1 ; and Bacon, " Early Development of the Modern Mun icipal Police, vol . I ," 238. Richardson , New York Police, 4 1 . Richardson , Urban Police, 24. Richardson, New York Police, 83 and 86; and Richardson, Urban Police, .3 7 . Quoted in Richardson , New York Police, 87. Richardson, New York Police, 8 8-89; and Richardson, Urban Police, 38. Richardson , New York Police, 94-9 '5 . Richardso n , New York Police, 95-1 00 Quoted in Richardson, New York Police. 99. Tn rhe 1 R(>Os th� rit)" , f. re, health , and l iquor control departments were also taken under state control. "These acts were closely modeled after the Metropolitan Police Law, setting the same boundaries for the districts i nvolved, having many of the same administrative provisions, and i n some cases having the police commissioners as members of the boards ex officio." Richardson, New York City Police, 42-4 3 . Richardson, l./e w lurk Police, 1 0 1 - 1 08 ; a n d Richardson , Urban PoLice, 3 9 . A similar «(City Hall War" occurred i n Denver i n 1 894. There the Repuhlican-controlled Board of Commissioners re­ fused to resign when the governor appointed anti-gambling commissioners to their seats. Police officers, sheriff's deputies, and assorted gangsters barricaded themselves inside City Hall, facing off against the militia. Tensions were relieved when the governor ordered the militia to Cripple Creek for more important matters-breaking a strike. For a time following this incident, Denver had two police boards and three police chiefs, but the Republicans eventually surrendered to a court order. Monkkonen, Police in Urban America, 43. Richardson, New York Police, 1 09 ; and Richardson, Urban Police, 42-4 3 .

Chapter 3 : The Genesis of a Policed Society Robert M. Fogelson , Big- City Police (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1 977) , 1 7. 2 Jane's Addiction, " 1 percent," Janes Addiaion (Triple X, 1 9 87) . .3 They continue: " [AJ specific (as opposed to general) inducement is one that can be offered to one person while being withheld from others. A material i nducement is money or some other physical 'thing' to which value attaches. Nonmaterial inducements include especially the satisfaction of having power or prestige, doing good, the 'fun of the game: the sense of enlarged participation in events and a pleasant environment. A machine, like any formal organization, offers a mixture of these varioU5 kinds of inducements i n order to get people to do what it requires. But it is distin­ guished from other types of organization by the vety heavy emphasis it places upon specific, material inducements and the consequent completeness and reliability of its control over behavior, which,


4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

46 47


of course, account for the name 'machine.' " Edward C. Banfield and James Q. Wilson, City Politics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press and the M.l.T. Press, 1 963) . 1 1 5 . Emphasis in original. Banfield and Wilson, City Politics, 1 2 5 . Banfield and Wilson, City Politics, 1 1 6 . Fogelson, Big-City Police, 30. Raymond B. Fosdick, AmeriCfln Police Systems (New York: The Century Company, 1 920) , 273-74 . James F. Richardson, The New York Police: Colonial Times to 1901 (New York: Oxford Un iversity Press, 1 970) , 1 75 - 1 76. James F. Richardson, Urban Police in the United States (Port Washingron, NY: National University Press, 1 974) , 4 8 . Richardson , Urban Police, 5 7-5 8 . Richardson, Urban I'olice, 63 . Fosdick, American Police Systems. 1 0 1 - 1 02 and 1 0 5 . Richardson, Urban Police, 58-59; Fosdick, American Police Systems, 69-70. Richardson, New York Police, 228-229. Quoted i n Richardson, New York Police, 230. Richardson, New York Police, 229. Richardson, Urban Police, 36. Roger Lane, Policing the City: Boston 1 822-1 885 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1 967) , 1 5- 1 7. Lane, Policing the City, 60, Lane, Policing the City, 77-80, Quoted i n Lane, Policing the City, 80. Fogelson, Big-City I'olice, 1 8-2 1 . Fogelson, Big-City Police, 32. Richardson , New York Police, 1 8 2 . Richardson, Urban Police, 5 6 . Quoted i n 'Xfil l ialll McAdoo, Guarding (/ Great City (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1 90 6 ) , 8 6 . Richardson, Urban Police, 32-3 3 . Fogelson, Big- City Police, 3 3-34. Richardson . New York Police, 1 89 . Charles Tilly, " War Making and State Making as Organized Crime," in Bringing the State Back, Peter B. Evans et al (Cambridge; Camhridge University Press, 1 994) , 1 70- 1 7 1 . What i s property? Proudhon asked. And his answer, somewhat paradoxically: Property is t heft. What is government? we ask ourselves now. And again a paradox comes in reply: Government is crime. For more of his Llmous argument, see Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What Is Property? (New York; H. Fertig, 1 966) . Tilly, "War Making," 1 72 . Tilly, "War Making," 1 8 1 . Ibid. Allen Steinberg, The Transformation o/Crimina/justice: Phi/adelphid, 1 800-- 1 880 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1 9 8 9 ) , 1 3 7. Steinberg, Transformation o/Criminal justice, 1 36 . Steinberg, Transformation 0/ Criminal justice, 1 36 . Steinberg, Tra nsformation o/Criminaljustice, 1 4 5- 1 46 . Steinberg, Transformation 0/ Criminal justice, 1 48- 1 49. Quoted in Steinberg. Transformation o/Crimirlill /ustice, 1 4 9 . Quoted i n Steinberg, Transformation 0/ Criminal justice, 1 5 1 . Steinberg, TransformatiDn 0/ Criminal justice, 1 5 1 . Richardso n , Urban Police, 2 5 . Steinberg, Transformation o/Criminaljustice, 1 66 . " O n the whole consolidation was , in many ways, illusory. Its success depended in large p a r t on the acquiescence of the same politicians whose activities it had been designed to controL . . . The procedures of ward politics intensified with the rise of a citywide political machine. As a result, the police hecame closely tied to both the existing structllre of primary justice and the new structure of urhan politics." Steinberg, Tiwlsformation o/Criminaljustice, 1 7 1 . Tilly, "War Making," 1 74- 1 7 5 . Tilly, "War Making," 1 74. This was not the only path to state-formation, nor does Tilly pretend that it was. See also: Charles Tilly, Coercion, Capita!, and European States, AD 990-- 1990 (Cambridge, t-..1A: Basil Blackwell, 1 990) . But neither was the Tudor experience unique. Between 1 620 and 1 68 0 the French state developed along similar lines, beginning with Richelieu. Tilly. "War Making," 1 74 . The classic political machines were withering b y t h e middle of the twentieth century, with 251



51 52

53 54 55 56 57 58 59 (,0 61 62

63 64 65 66 67

68 69

70 252

Chicago offering one of the few examples to survive i n to the 1 9 60s. But even without the ma­ c h i nes, corruption contin ued to be a pervasive feature of police depart ments across the count ry. Fogelson, Rig- Cit), Po/ice, 1 (,7- 1 68 and 1 72 . William Chambliss ,,,"scribes h is findi ngs: " I n m y resc�nch on o rgan ized criml' in Sl'�1tdc, Was h i n gto n , I discovered a symbiu[ic rebtiollship betwee n organized cri me and the pol ice that made it i m possi ble to d i fferentiate between them. Law e n forcement officers, from street patro l m e n to pol ice chi efs to members of the prosecllting attoflley" office, not only accepted payotfs fro lll peo ple who o rgan ized i l l egal gam b l i ng, prosti­ tution, and drug sales, but the police and p rosecutors were instru mental in organizing and man­ agi ng th ese activities. Scat tie is not the exception, it is the rule." Wil l iam J . Chamhliss, Power, /'u/itics, rlnr! Crime ( Bo u l de r, co: Westview Press, 1 9 9 9 ) , 1 .) 6. The mid- and Iate- 1 990s saw a wave of corrupti on scandals , most notably in Los A ngeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago , and New O r l eans-but also in smaller cities like Rochester and Cleveland. Ofll c ers were conv icted of charges rdating 1 0 hrutal ity, theft, p l a n t i n g evidence, drug traHlcki ng, extor t i o n , a n d m urder. �ec, t'H e xa m p l e : Am nesty I mcrnational U S A , Vllitcd Stllics o/Alll ait/l: Rig/w jil ( All ( New Yo rk: A m n esty I n ternational . 1 99 8 ) , 2 :l ; Hu man Rights Watch, Shielrlcdfrom Justire: Polire Bruta/ity find Acc(llItI"dJilit)' ill the Unital Stiltes ( New Yor k : Hum,lI1 Righb \Vatch, 1 ') ') R ) . 36, 1 64- 1 6 5 , 2 'i 9-260; and Chamhliss, i'll/Ocr. Po/itics, lind Crime, U6-.l7. Phi ladelphia t'lilowed the same path as London, where "in 1 8 29 . . . local ofIicials hel ped transfer power to the centre, hecoming consumers of a government service i ns tead of p roviders." Elaine A . Reynolds, Bej())'{' II,I' Bobhies: n){, Night 1X'litch fllld Po lire /?,form ill Jl1etro/,ulittlr/ Lo ndo ll , 1 720- 1 830 (Stanf(Hd , CA: Stant(lfJ University Press, 1 ') 9 8 ) , 6 . " Because the pol ice organization's st ructure cast its net over the whole ci ty, an u n i ntended con­ sequence or the adaptat ion of t he sem i - m i l itary model or cornmun icarion meant char the pol i ce ended up with access to and coordinating power over the ci ty's daily operations not achieved until the twentieth century hy other pa rts of the city gove rn ment." Eric H . Monkkonen, j'o/ice ill Urhiln /lit/trim, lR60- 1 920 (Cambridge: Camhri dge U n i versity Press, 1 ') 8 1 ) , 1 5 ')- 1 (;0. Reynolds, l!tjiirf the Bobbies, 2 1 -2 2 . Quoted i n Selden Daskan Baco n , "The Early Develo p m e n t o f rhe American M u n i c i p a l Po l ice: A Smdy of the Evol u t i o n of formal C o n t rols in a C l u n g i n g S o c i ety, vol . 2 . " ( P h D diss . , Yal e Univer­ si ty, 1 9 3<) , A n n Arhor: Uni,'ersity Micro fi l ms I nt e rnational [ facs i m ile] , 1 9H(1) , 5 1 2 . " [T l he task was increasing the certainty of detection and the d i ffi c u l ty of commi tting a crime." Reynolds, Rejore tilt' Bobbies. 77. Both quoted in Reynolds, BejiJre the Bobbies, 82. Reynolds, Bejore the Bobbies, 56. Quoted in Philip John Stead, The Police ill Britilin ( New York: Macm i l lan, 1 9 R ,) ) , 40-4 1 . Em­ phasis in original. Clive Emsley. The Pn;:ii,h Pniirr A Pn /itirnl /I n '! "n'."t'!! !-!i;!:7�;' (�,8::�� �: I'���b.ii-,a;-., � � � : ) , 2 :' a n d 2 8 ; a n d Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 1 5 8 , Richardson, Urbilll " oliee, 3 2 . Lane, Policing the City, 94. Fogelson, Big- City Police, 1 6 , Lane, Policing the Cl�V' 22 l . The slow uansfer o f power trom the wards to the cen tral administration, which began with an attempt to secure the i ntloence of the machine, was later pursued by reformers as a means of limiting the machi ne's power. This process will be described in deta i l in chapter 6. Bacon, "Farly Deyeiopment of the Modern Municipal Pol i ce, vol. 2," 757, 76 1 , and 767-777. Bacon, " Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol . 2 ," 779-780. Cyril D. Robinson :lI1d Richard Scaglion, "The Origin and Evolution of the Police Function in So­ ciety: Notes Toward a Theory," !,aw and Society Review 2 1 , 1 ( 1 987): 1 09 . Parentheses in original . This process is detailed in chapter 2 . "As long a s the community was small there were sanctions more powetful than law, and when the law was invoked, the sheriffs, constables, and courts relied in practice on the i n i tiative of the inhabitants in making complaints and swearing out warrants . . . . But as the city developed, problems arose which the community was u n able to meet i n traditional fashion. The creation of a professional, preven tive police was both a resu l t a n d a cause of t h e inability of citizens to deal with these matters themselves." Lane, Policing the City, 2 2 L Michael Stephen Hindus, Prison and Plantation: Crime, Justice, lind Authority in Massllchusem and South Carolintl, 1 768- 1 878 (Chapel Hill: University o f North Carolina Press, 1 9 80), xxv. See: Wil b u r R. Miller, "Police Authori ty i n London and New York City, 1 830-1 870," The Journal o/Social History (Winter 1 97 5 ) : 8 1 - 1 0 1 . Miller does a thorough job identifying the most significant differences between rhe New Yor k Municipal Police and the London Metropolitan Police. Richard ] . Lundman, Police and Policing: An Introduction (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Wi n-

ston, 1 9 8 0) , 2 9 . 7 1 Lundman ,

Police and Policing, 29-3 0 . Detroit and the Problem of Order, / 830-1880: A Geography of Crime, Riot, and PoliCing (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1 9 80 ) , 5 5 .

72 John C. Schneider,

73 Quoted in Baco n , " Early Development o f the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 7 8 3 . 7 4 Hindus,

Prison a n d Plantation,

5 8 ; a n d Roger Lane, " Crime and Criminal Statistics i n Nine­

teenth-Century Massachusetts,"

The Journal ofSocia! History (Winter 1 96 8 ) : 1 62- 1 63 . M ichael H indus notes: " D runkards were the refuse of society not simply hecause o f t h e i r drinking habits,

but rather due to their working habits, or lack of same." Hindus,

1 20 .

Prison and Plantation,

Moreover, some employers felt they had a legitimate business interest i n controlling the habits of the people who worked fo r them. They blamed alcohol for making workers immoral, leth argic, unhealthy, unproductive, unteliable, careless, undisciplined, and-some said-radi­ cal. One steel m agnate reasoned "today's drinker and debaucher is tomorrow's striker for higher wages." Quoted i n S idney H arring,

1 865-1915

PoliCing a Class Society: The Experience ofAmerican Cities,

(New B runswick. NJ : Rutgers University Press, 1 9 8 3 ) . 1 5 2 .

For rhe classic discussion on the relationship between Protestantism and capitalism, see: Max Weber,

The Protestant Ethic and the Sf)irit of Capitalism

(London: Allen and Unwin, 1 9 3 0 ) .

7 5 "Assembly-line j ustice, with i ts tendency n o t simply toward efficiency, b u t t o ruthlessness and railroading as well, was appropriate to the class-control function of many criminal prosecutions in Massachusetts. 'I() the extent that defendants were seen as members o f a deviant or danger­ ous class. they lost their individuality. For the offenses that characterized class-control types o f prosecutions-drunkenness, riot, petty theft-error was permissible; value inculcation was the obj ective. Defendants seemed almost interchangeable." Hindus,

Prison and Plantation, 1 24 . Meanwhile, other fo rms of social control were being experimented with , especially educa­

tion and the prohibition of alcohol. These too had the aim of imposing values on the poor. I n a sense, they represented efforts to reform them in advance. Hindus, 76 Hindus, 77 Hindus,

Prison and Plantation, Prison and Plantation,

Prison and Plantation,


1 26 . 1 27 .

78 " [TJ he newer sources of wealth turned toward a bureaucratic police system that insulated them from popular violence, drew attack and animosity upon itself, and seemed to separate the assertion of 'constitutional' authority from that of social and economic dominance." Allan Silver, "The Demand for Order in Civil Society: A Review of Some Themes in the History of Urban Crime, Police, and Riot," in

The Police: Six Sociologiml Essays,

ed. David J . Bordua (New York: John Wi ley

and Sons, 1 976) , 1 1 - 1 2 . 79 Schneider,

Detroit, 5 4 . Police in Urban America, 50. Lundman, Police and Policing, 3 1 . Monkkonen, Police in Urban Amcrica, 5 0-5 1 . [n eighteenth-century England, crime led to harsher penalties. Reynolds, Before the Bobbies, 68.

8 0 Monkkonen, SI 82

for example, rising

8 3 Bacon, " Early D evelopment o f the Modern Municipal Police, vol. 2," 4 5 5 . 8 4 Lane, "Crime and Criminal Staristics," 1 5 7. lane bases this conclusion o n an examination o f lower court cases, j ail sentences, grand j ury proceedings, and prison records. 85 Lane,

PoliCing the City, 1 9 . Urban Police, 79-8 0 .

8 6 Richardso n ,

8 7 Lane, "Crime a n d Crimi nal Statistics," 1 SH- 1 5 9 . 8 8 Lane, "Crime a n d Criminal Statistics," 1 60 ; and Monkkonen,

Police in Urban America,

1 03 .

8 9 Sidney Harring wryly notes: " T h e criminologist's definition of 'public order crimes' comes perilously close to the historian's description of 'working-class leisure-time activity. ' " Harring,

Policing a Class Socief)1 1 9 8 . Police i n Urban America,

9 0 Monkkonen,

1 03. " Private citizens may initiare the processes of j ustice

when inj ured directly, but professionals are usually required to deal with those whose merely im­ moral or distasteful behavior hurts no one in particular. It takes real cops to make drunk arrests." Lane, "Crime and Criminal Statistics," 1 GO. 91 Lane, "Crime and Criminal Statistics," 222 and 1 6 1 . 9 2 Richardson,

Urban i'olice, 79-8 0 . Policing a Class Society, 4 0 . "Although t h e problems of t h e streets-the

9 3 Harring, 94

fights, t h e crowds, t h e crime, t h e children-were

nothing new, the 'problem' itself represented altered bo urgeois perceptions and a b roadened political initiative. An area of social life that had been taken for granted, an accepted feature of city life, became visible, subject to scrutiny and intervention." Christine Stansell, 95 96

Sex and Class in New York, 1 189-1869 (Urbana: Stansell, City of Women, 1 72- 1 73 . Stansell, Ci ty of Women, 1 73-1 74 and 276-277.

City of Women :

University of Illinois Press, 1 9 87) , 1 9 7 .


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97 98 99 1 00 101 1 02 1 03 1 04 1 05 1 06

1 07 1 08 1 09 1 10 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

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126 1 27

128 129

Lane, " C rime and Criminal Statistics," 1 60 . Stansell. Ci ty rfWomen. 1 94- 1 9 5 . Silver, " Demand for O rder," 2 I ; and b n e , Poliring the City, 2 2 3 , Stepha n i e Coon tz, 71le Sociill Origins o/Private Life: A His/ory ofAmerican hlYflilies. 1 600-19(}0 ( Lo n d o n : Verso, 1 9 9 1 ) , 222. Coontz, Social Origin.r. 222, Richardso n, Urban Po/ice, .l O . Lane, PoLicing the City. 1 73 , Stei n berg, 7ransjormation o(Crimina/Justice. 1 5 2 , Monkkonfll, Police i ll Urban Amerim, 4 1 , for example: Douglas G reenberg. Crime and LIIW Enforcement in the Colony o/New York 1 691-1776 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Un iversity Press, 1 ')76); Lane, PoLicing the City; Richardson, New York Police: Dennis c: . Rousey. Policing tiJf Southern City: Ncw Orleans. 1 805- 1 889 ( Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Un iversity Press. 1 9 96): Schneider. Detroit: and Steinberg. 7i-({IiJjormfl­ tion of Criminrd Justice. Monkkonen. Polio' ill [Jr/;fll/ Amerim, 49. Monkkol1C1l, Police in Urball Amerim, 42. Richardson, Urban Po/ire, 3 , Sally E, Hadden, Slal'e Patrols: Law tlnd VioLmce in Virginitl and the Carolinas (Cambridge, MA: H arvard L:niversity Press, 2(0 1 ) . 24 and 54, Lundman, Police tlnd Policing. 2 1 . Richardson. Urban Police, 4. Lane, Po/iring the City. 1 1 9 . Richardson. Urban Police. xi, Quoted in Richardson , Urban Police. 27, Baco n . " Early Development of the 1\lodctll Municipal Police, vol . 2 ." 487 and 5 3 8 . lZcynolds, B e/iJrf ,be Hobbies. 1 62 , Baco n , " Early Development of the Modern Mun ici pal Police. vo l. 2 ," 782-7 8 3 . I ndeed. Fosd ick suggests that the process of endless adaptation proved an imped imelH to p rogress . "The history of the develo pment of American pol ice o rganization . . . presents one characteristic of outstanding prominence: the machi nery of management and control has been subjected to endless experiment and modification. Change rather than stabilitv has marked its course. \X'irh the exception of one or two cities, no carefully thought out plan of supetvision has been fixed upon and main tai ned as a type most l i kely to meet legitimate demands fo r years to come, Instead, American cities, as i f i n a panic, have rushed from one device to another, allow­ ing little or no time f(lt the experiment last installed to prove itself. . . . " Fosdick, A merican Police Systems. 1 09- 1 1 0 , Baco n , " Early Development of the Modern Municipal Police, vol . 2," 78 1 -782. Richardson. Urban Police, x. David H , Bayley. "The Development of Modern Policing," i n PoLicing Perspectives: A n Anthology. eds, Larry K. Gaines and Gary W. Cordner (Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing, 1 99 9 ) , 60. Bayley, " DevduPIIlenr of iviodern Poiicing," 66-67. This analysis should not be read to imply that all those who suffered from violence were actively resisting the authority that mobilized it, From the perspective of power. it makes little difference if the particular victims are engaged in resistance or nor. The use o r threat of force (especially at excess) sends a message to those who do oppose, or might come to oppose, the perpetrators. Violence demonstrates the power of the authorities and the danger of any potential opposition, In such cases. the lISe of violence is not only instrumental , but also communicative. Roger Lane describes the idea that cities produce crime as an "anti-urban myth," arguing instead that "the growth of cities had a literally 'civilizing' effect on the population" , , " Lane, "Crime and Criminal Statistics," 1 5 6 and 1 5 7, Lane, Po/icing the City. 84. "The enforcement of criminal law, in the early nineteenth century, was still the responsibility of aggrieved citizens, or of the sheriffs, courts, and constables created by the commonwealth, Much of it was i n fact ignored, and an attempt to apply it could be politically dis ruptive as well as physically dangerous," Lane, Policing the City, 220-22 1 , Silver, " Demand for Order," 8 , Silver, " D e mand for Order," 1 2- 1 3 ,

Chapter 4: Cops and Klan , Hand in Hand Baldwin contin ues: "They are, moreover, . , quite stunningly ignorant: and, since they know they are hated, they are always afraid, One cannot possibly arrive at a more sure-fire formula for cruelty."


James Baldwin, "A Report fro m Occupied Territory," in Collected Essays (New York: The Lib rary of America, 1 9 9 8 ) , 7 3 4 . " T h e maintenance of white supremacy, and the old order generally. was a cause in which whire men of all classes fcl t an interesr. All classes had been united in a defense of slavery before the war, occasionally joining a patrol or vigilante activity fo r that purpose, and they had j o i ntly fought a war to preserve the institution." Allen W Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan

Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction (New York: Harper and Row, 1 97 1 ) , 5 1 .

2 The Klan was the most common type of organization, rho ugh it lacked any real coherence from place to place and could hardly be considered "one" organization. Still, the differences between the Klans and the other groups were negligible. I follow Trelease here in using the term " Klan" both to refer to the specific organizations that adopted that name, and as a generic term i denti­

fYing the type o f organizatio n. "j reiease, White Terror, xlv-xlvi.

3 Trelease, White Terror, 9 5 .

4 Trelease, White Terror, 1 7 .

5 Trelease, White Ten'or, 1 22 .

6 Trelease, White Terror, 2 2 8 . 7 Mary Frances Rerry, Black Resistance, White Law:


History of Constitutional Racism i n America

(New York: The Penguin Press , 1 9 94) , 73-74.

8 ])ennis C. Rousey, Policing the Southern City: New Orleans,

1805-1889 (Baton Rouge:

Lo uisiana

State University Press. 1 99 6 ) , 1 1 6 . 9 Quoted in Melinda Meek Hennessey, ''To Live and D i e in Dixie: Reconstruction Race Riots in the

South" (PhD diss., Kent State University, 1 978, University Microfilms I n ternational ) , 4 5 .

1 0 Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 1 1 7- 1 1 8 and 4 5 . Dr. Albert Hartstuff, a n Army surgeon, coun ted thirty-four Black people and fo ur 'IX!hite people killed, along with 1 5 3 Black and thirty-one White inj ured. He considered this a low count, and it surely was , since it was later con fi rmed that five White people died, including a cop who collapsed fro m heat exhaus tion. Hennessey, "To Live and Die in Dixie," 47.

1 1 Hennesse,', " To Live and Die in Dixie," 46. 12 Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 1 1 9 ; and Hennessey, "To Live and Die in Dixie," 4 9 . "The new police force appointed by the former Confederate mayor and commanded by the former Confeder­ ate chief was dominated by Confederate veterans." Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 1 1 5 .

1 3 Hennessey, " To Live and Die i n Dixie," 49-50. 14 Hennessey, " To Live and Die in Dixie," 407. 1 5 Hennessey, "To Live and Die in Dixie," 4 1 7--4 1 8 . Judge Hansford Dade Duncan Twiggs of Sanders­ ville, Georgia, complained, "The same people who are called upon to administer & vindicate the law, are the same people who violate it." Quoted in 1release, White Terror, 232. Emphasis in original.

1 6 Hennessey, " To l.ive and Die in Dixie," 1 3 3 , 1 60 , a n d 2 6 5 , respectively. 1 7 Hennessey, " To Live and Die in Dixie," 1 2 3- 1 26. 1 8 Quoted in Hennessey, " To Live and Die in Dixie," 1 29 . 1 9 Trelease, White Terror, 2 2 8-230.

20 Quoted in Trelease, White Terror, 2 6 3 . 2 1 Trelease, White Terror, 204-2 0 5 .

22 Trelease, White Terror, 1 5 6 . 23 Near Lumberton, North Carolina, this arrangement was institutionalized. Rather a forming a Klan-type group, Confederate veterans were invited to join "police guard" units. Union army officers armed and deputized them, granting them much of the responsibility for keeping order. Within limits, the military authorities ignored abuses against Black people and Union sympa­ thizers. Sally E . Hadden, Slave Patrols." Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas (Cam­ bridge, MA: Harvard Universi ty Press, 200 1 ) , 206-7.

24 Trelease, White Terror, 9 6 . 2 5 Quoted i n Trelease, White Terror, 1 04 . 26 Trelease, White Terror, 4 0 0 . Even when t h e army made arrests, few convictions resulted. Only the worst offenders were p rosecuted, and many received pardons. In 1 876 the entire approach was undermined by the Supreme Court's ruling that the federal government could only protect civil rights against the actions of states, not those of individuals. Trelease, White Terror, 4 1 2- 1 8 .

27 Alexandria, Louisiana, provides one exception: There the sheriff armed 200 Black people and

drove back a Klan attempt to intimidate voters" Trelease, White Terror, 9 5 . For a brief while. radical governments incorporated Black people into the state militia and used them to enforce the provi­ sions of martial law, intimidate Democrats on election day, engage in street battles over contested elections, and come to the aid of law enforcement officers facing violent opposition. For example, i n Vicksburg, Mississippi, the Black sheriff, Peter Crosby, was illegally deposed by a committee of White citizens. The ensuing battle pitted an all-Black m ilitia company against 1 00 White men undet the leadership of a former Confederate officer. As a result, two White and thirty-six Black


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31 32

33 34 3 ')



38 39 40 41 42 43 44

45 46



people were killed in the batrle, federal troops were sent to Vicksburg, and Crosby wa, returned to his position. But as White opposition persisted and the federal government softened its position o n Reconstruction, t h e authorities became less and less willi n g to mobil ize armed Black people, and the militias fell into disuse. Otis A. Singletary, Negro Militia and Reco1JJtruction (Austi n : Un iversity of Texas Press, 1 9 5 7 ) . Details of the incident in Vicksburg appear o n pages 84-8 5 . Such reservations certainly limited the use o f Black militias. Mississippi governor Adelbert Ames, among ot hers, worried that arming Black people could produce "a war of races." Quoted in Si ngletary, Negro MiLitia, 1 46 . " A racist of the lowest order, [Sheriff Bryant Peden] publ icly h e l d that t h e blacks were s t i l l slaves and offered ten dollars a head for the interest of any ex-slaveholder in his former chattels. He boasted of wh ipping his own Negroes whenever they required it, just as before the war, and still l is ted them as property for tax purposes." Trel ease, White Terror, 1 0. New O rleans writer Geo rge Washington Cable put it s uccinctly: "He still served, we still ruled . . . . Emancipation had destroyed private, but had not distu rbed puhlic, subjugation." Quoted in Trelease, White Terror, xvi. Roltsey, Po/icing the Southern Gty, 1 94 ; Hadden , SLalle J',ztroLs, 1 96- 1 97 a n d 2 0 5 ; a n d lreiease, White Terror, 288 and 290. This history-and especial ly the legacy o f slavery-weighs uniquely on the position of Black people in American society. The Black experience has been different than that of Lati nos, Asians, Native A mericans, Jews, gays, and other excluded groups. The experiences of these other minorities deserve more substantial treatment than they can be given in these pages. But it is speCifically the subj ugation of Black people that has done so much to shape the institution of policing, at times defining its cen tral fu nctio n. The treatmcnt o f the subject here reflects that predom inance. H adde n , Slave Patrols, 2 1 9 . Hadden, SI(we Patrolr, 2 1 1 . Quoted in Hadden, SLave Patrols, 2 1 2-2 1 3 . For a detailed discuss ion of the connection between slave patrols and the KKK as they appear in Black folklore and o ral histories, see: Gladys-Marie Fry, NiglJt Riders in BLack Folk History (Knoxvi lle: U niversity of Ten nessee Press, 1 97 ') ) . " Postwar police forces would t ransform patrolling i n to a highly elTective but still legal means of racial o p p ression, building upon the practices that many prewar pol ice fo rces had used when acting as urban patrollers." Hadden, SLave Patrols, 202. Neglect is not so inco ngruous with brutality and heightened scrutiny as one might assume. During the ni neteenth century, " Faced with such abuse fro m the police, black New Orleanians became reluctant to call on the police when they were victimized by crime." Rousey, Policing the Southern City, 1 67. Hadden, SLave Patrols. 4 . David A. Harris, Profiles in Iniustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work (New York: The New Press, 2002), 1 0- 1 l . Emphasis in origi nal . H arris, ProfiLes in Injustice, 2 2 . Harris, Profiles i n Injustice, 2 8 . Harris, Profiles in injustice) 4 8 . Harris, Profiles i n Injustice, 62-63. Harris, ProfiLes in Injustice, 48-49. Ron Hampto n , t h e executive d i rector o f t h e National Black Police Association , complained of a similar trend i n police training videos: "In a training video , every criminal portrayed is Black." Quoted in Amnesty International USA, United States of America: Rights for ALL (New York: Amnesty International, 1 99 8 ) , 2 7 . Quoted i n Harris, ProfiLes in Injustice, 5 1 . William H . Parker, "The Police Role I n Community Rel ations," in Police Ptltrol Readings, ed. Samuel G . Chapman (Springfield, IL: Charles C . Thomas, 1 964) , 3 3 8-339. Emphasis in originaL Parker greatly exaggerated the scientific aspects of policing. In fact, the ability of the police to track crime statistically was-and is-very limited. Even with the assistance of power­ ful computers, recent efforts to base police deployment on crime statistics have been hopelessly flawed, relying on data drawn from too narrow a sample and subject to manipulation by police managers. See: Sidney L. Harring and Gerda W Ray, " Po licing a Class Society: New Yor k City in the 1 9 90s," SociaLJustice (Summer 1 99 9 ) : 68-69 and 7 l . Darrell Huff explains the problem this way: "A correlation o f course shows a tendency which is not often the ideal relationship described as one to one. Till boys weigh more than short boys o n the average, so this is a positive correlation. But you can easily find a six-footer who weighs less than some five­ footers, so the correlation is less than 1 . . . . Even if education generally i ncreases income, it may easily turn out to be the financial ruin of Joe over there. Keep in mind that a correlation may be real and based on real cause and effect-and still be almost worthless

How to Lie with Statistics (New

in determining action in any s i ngle case." Darrell Huff,

Yo rk: W.W. Norto n , 1 954) , 92-9 3 . 48 Faced w i t h statistics showing that 85 percent of Vol usia County's asset fo rfeiture cases (during the years 1 9 8 9- 1 9 9 2 ) involved Black motorists, Bob Vogel offered this analysis: "What this data tells me . . . i s that the maj o rity of money being transported fo r drug activi ties involves blacks and Hispanics." Quoted in Christian Parenti,

Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age 0/

(London: Verso, 1 9 9 9 ) , 54.


49 Harris,

Profiles in Injustice, 7 8 . Emphasis in original. 5 0 LAP D ofilcers unwittingly parody Parker's example in this exchange fro m their Mobile Digital Terminal system, made public by the Christopher Commission: " U can c the color of the i n terior . . . dig." "Ya stop cars with blk i n terior." "Bees they naugahyde ." " Negro hide. " "Self tanning n o doubt." Quoted in Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department [The Chris­ topher Commission] ,

Report 0/the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department

(July 9 , 1 9 9 1 ) , 76. 51 Harris,

Profiles in Injustice,

59. A n earlier study showed that, while Black and White people

violated traffic laws at the same rate, and only 1 3 . 5 percent of the vehicles traveling on the New Jersey turnpike had a Black occupant, B lack drivers represented 35 percent of those stopped and 73.2 precem of those arrested. Harris, 5 2 Quoted in Harris,

Profiles in Injustice,

Profiles in Injustice,

54- 5 5 .

5 8 . Drawing from the same well of excuses, Clayton

Searle, the president of the I n ternational Narcotics Interd i ction Associatio n , states: "the minori­ ties of any major city commit most of the street drug sales and then get arrested disproportion­ ately." Harris,

Profiles in Injustice, 7 3 . Profiles in Injustice, 6 1 -62. H arris, Profiles in Injustice, 6 8 . Harris, Profiles i n Injustice, 8 0-8 1 . Erica Leah Schmitt e t a! . , Characteristics o/Drivers Stopped by Police, 1999 ( U . S .

5 3 Harris, 54 55 56

Department of

Justice: March 2002) , 1 . 5 7 Black people represent 4 . 6 percent of the state's driving-age population , b u t receive 1 0 percent of all traffic citation s ; Latinos are 5 . 6 percent of the driving population but 9 . 6 percent of those ticketed. Hill Dedman and Francie Lato ur, "1raffic Citations Reveal Disparity,"

Boston Globe,

Januaty 6 , 2003 [database: News Bank Full-Text Newspapers, accessed January 26, 2003] . 58 White people were .33 percent of the drivers stopped and 2 9 . 7 percent of the population; Lati­ nos, 38 percent o f those stopped and 4 6 . 5 percent of the population. Ti na D uant and Jill Leovy, " LAPD Offers 1 st D ata on 1raffic Stops,"

Los Angeles nmes,

January 7 , 2 0 0 3 , http ://www.

latimes .com/newsllocallla-me-lapd7j an07.story (accessed January 7, 2003 ) . 5 9 H arris,

Profiles i n [njustice,


60 Ibid. 61 H arris,

Profiles in Injustice,

80-8 1 .

62 Dedman and Lato ur, "Traffic Citations." 63 Michael Cooper, " O ffi cers in Bronx Fire 41 Shots, and an Unarmed Man I s Killed,"


New York

february 5, 1 9 99; and Ro bert D. McFadden and Kit R. Roane, " U . S . Examining Killing

of Man in Police Custody,"

New York Times,

February 6 , 1 9 99.

64 Quoted in McFadden and Roane, "U.S. Examining Killing." It seems the police can mistake practically anything for a gun, when it's in the hands of a young Black man. For instance, in November 1 99 7 , a U . S . Marshal shot Andre Burgess, a seventeen-year-old Bl ack man, as he unsuspectingly walked by an unmarked car. The Marshal explained that he m istook Burgess' candy bar for a gun. Amnesty International,

United States ofAmerica: Rights for All; Race, Rights

(Londo n : Amnesty I nternational, September 1 9 9 9 ) , 2 7 . 6 5 Peter Noel , "When Clothes M ake the Suspect: Portraits in Racial Profili ng,"

and Police Brutality

Village Voice,


1 5-2 1 , 2000, http: / /www.villagevoice. com/issues/OO 1 1 /noel.php (accessed April 23, 2002) . Though comprising only I percent of NYPD officers, the Street Crimes Unit was responsible for 1 0 percent of all documented stops. H arris, Profiles in Injustice, 26. A few months after D iallo's shooti ng, officers fro m the Street Crimes Unit shot another unarmed Black man. sixteen-year-old Dante Johnson. Johnson panicked when police stopped him for questioning. He ran , and the cops fired after him. Unlike Diallo, Johnson was fortunate enough to survive. Amnesty International,

Rights for All,


6 6 Quoted i n McFadden and Roane, " U . S . Examining Killing." 67 Thomas P. Bonezar and Allen J. Beck, " Lifetime Likelihood of Goillg to State or Federal Prison,"

Bureau o/Justice Statistics Special Report ( U . S .

Department of Justice: March 1 997) , I .


o '" I 00 00 rJl

W c..?

c.:: o '""'


W f-; o z


GH Boncza r alld Beck, " li fetime' Likel ihood," 7 . A d i ffe rcnt report orkrs sl ighrly lower tigu res: " Black n o n - Hispa n i cs were 5 ti mes more likely than white n o n - Hispan ics, over 2 1 1 2 ti mes m o re l i kely than Hispallics and I I ti mes more likely than perso ns of other races to have beell in jail." Allen J. Beck ct a I . , " Prison and Jail I n mates at Midyear 200 1 ," l!urMu o/JII.,ti{·e Stali.- lics Bullctill ( U . S . Department of J ustice: April 2002 ) , 9 . ('9 M i chael Stephen H i n d us, Prison and Plantation: Crime, Justice, and Authority in MflHflChusl'tts lind SOllt!> ( .arolilltl, 1 768- 1878 (Chapel H i l l : U n iversity ,,( North Caro l i n a Press, I 'J HO)' 2 4 H . 70 Pare n t i , Lockdown AmcriCtl, 1 24- 1 2 5 . 7 1 Quo ted in Parenti, Lockdown A merica, 1 24 . 72 Pa renti ( 1 9')9) 1 2 ,) ; and Pt'lt'l B . Kraska and Victo r E. Kappeler, "J\1ilitarizing American Pol icc' : The Rise and Normalization of Paramil itary Un its," in Police Perspectives: An Anthology, ed. Larry K. C a i nes and Cary W. Cordner ( Los A n geles: Roxhury Puhl ishing, 1 999), 44(J . 75 Randall C . Sheldon " t a I . , }�JlI l h Ga1lgs ill Amaic,m SociCl), ( Bel m o n t , C A : \X/adsworrh, 20( 1 ) . 24 ,) . At t h e s a m e t i m e , on t h e other s i d e of t h e conti neI1l, the Boston Police Department W:1S conducting its "search on sight" campaign agai nst suspected drug dealers, especially young Bla ck Ill en . [':ut of the effort included taking RIack youths off of' public huses and r'Jl�, ing their pants down i n publ ic view. Charles J. Ogletree, J r. et aI., Beyond the RodlllJ King Story: All hil'i'Sligtltioli 0./ Police Misconduct in Minority Communities (Bosto n : Northeastern University Press, 1 ')9 5 ) , 1 3 7. 74 Sheldon ct a I . , }IJUth Gangs, 2 4 4 . Parentheses i n o riginal. 7 ') Mike Davis, City iif'QU(lrtz: Fvcr1lJatilig the Futllre ill Los !l ngI'll'S (London: Verso, 1 9 9 1 ) ' 277-27H. 76 Both quo ted i n Davis, City o/Quartz, 2 7 8 . 77 C h ristopher Co m m ission, Report, 5 9 . 7H Ch ristopher COlllmi;sion, He!,ort, 7 4 . Notably. t h e Christo pher C o m m ission hoth denounced and perpetuated the stereotype of Illack cri m i nal i ty. While it disapproved of tlw style of polic­ ing in m i noriLY co m nlllll i tics. it also ci ted the "co ncentration and visihility of gangs and street crilnc" as dl'scrving a large r share of police attention. T n other words, it takes it for gran ted that m i n o ri ty neighhorhoods need h igher levels o f pol ice arremi o n , jmt a diFferen t kind o f atte n t i o n . 7 9 Ti m Wise, " Racial Profiling and I ts Apologists," )'; Jvf(lgazine, March 2 0 0 2 , 4 4 . W i l l i a m Cham­ bliss argues that it is always easier fo r the police to frofites ill Injustice, 1 06 . Parentheses in original. 8 1 Most famously, police hase this perception o f deviance o n race, but they also use age, economic status, a n d national origi n . 8 2 D avid H . Bayley and Harold Mendelsoh n , Minorities a n d the Police.' Confrollt,1tion in America (New York: The Free Press, 1 %9) , 9.3. 8 3 A story from my own experience: I was driving across New Mexico with Four friends when we encountered a Border Patrol checkpoint. I produced my l icense, as requested, and when asked, explained that one of my companions was visiting from England, The bo rder guard-a Lati­ no-asked my English friend if she had her papers, She said she did, hut they were i n the trunk. Wou l d he like her to get them? "Nah ," he said, "we don't m ess with people fro m England." Here's another: I was traveling through Idaho, this time o n a Greyhound bus. The bus made a regular stop o n its route and was boarded by two Border Patrol agents. They said that they would only keep us a m i nute, and if everyone would get out their JD it would save a lot of time. T hey then moved throllgh the bus, Front to rear, examining ",'eryone's identification and asking a few people questions ahout it. Whe n they reached m y seat, I did not have out my 10. They asked lO see it. I replied with a flat, "No," a n d they m oved o n to the next person , j ust like that. But when they reached the back of the bus, a young Latino man did not respond to their questioning. He was escorted off the bus a n d placed i n a van. I don't know what happened to him, My fellow passengers were, to their credit, quite angry. But it's h ard to say whether they were o utraged by the obviously racist natute of the arrest, or by the fact that the authorities had stopped them on their travels and-like the secret police i n some old movie-demanded "papers, p lease."

I am a White person. That I should have two such anecdotes is a bit harrowing; were I not

White, I would likely have many more. ( See, for example: Ishmael Reed, "Another Day at the Front: Encounters with the Fuzz on the American Battlefront," in

Police Brutality: An Anthology,

ed. Jill Nelson [New York: WW Norton, 2000] , 1 89-205.) It is an unhappy, but inescapable,

conclusion that i n each case, it was only my unearned status as a "White" in a racist society that af­ forded me protection against the authorities. Neither of these stories involved the police per



they both featute p rofiling. Its implications are the same, whatever agency is involved. 84 Harris,

Profiles in lrzjustice,

9 8-99. He also writes, "Because profiling has s uch a strong impact on

the mobility of those subjected to it-the diminished willingness of mino rities to go where they feel they will get undesirable law enfo rcement attention-these tactics help to reinfo rce existing segregation in housing and employment." Harris, Profiles in Injustice, 1 02 . 8 5 Harris,

Profiles in Injustice,

1 05-1 06.

8 6 Wise, " Racial Profiling," 44. 87 Sally S i mpson describes the historical handling of elite crime: "I'or the most part, drug addiction (including alcohol) and violence were deemed problems for ethnics (Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Irish, and Black people) and immigrants (predominantly Catholic working class ) . The ' real'

crime problem was thought to rest with the constitutionally inferior and morally lax. Corpo rate criminals, on the other hand, were drawn from America's newly emergin g capitalist Brahmins. Although perceived to be op portunistic and ruthless i n their business p ractices, these entrepre­ neurs were part of the governing and newly emerging social elite. Consequently, popular defini­ tions of and legal responses to crime and criminals were framed within divergent i deological and social-control orbits. Conventio nal crime was dealt with punitively but corporate misbeh avior was handled through administrative agencies or relatively lenient criminal statutes . " Sally S . Simpson,

Corporate Crime, Law, a n d Soci"l Control (Cambridge:

Cambridge Un iversity Press .

2 0 0 2 ) . 2 . Parentheses i n original. 8 8 Editorial, " Sensible Sentences,"

Christian Science Monitor,

November 2, 1 99 5 , 20. To take j ust one

year's figures: In 1 9 93, 3000 people were convicted of possessing crack. Ninety percent of them were Black. Neil Websdale,

Policing the Poor: From Slallf Plantation to Public Housing (Boston: Power, Politics, and Crime, 7 5 .

Northeastern University Press, 200 t ) , 1 87. See also: Chambliss,

8 9 S i mpson does note tha � "The social control o f corporate offending increasingly is utilizing a strategy of criminalization." Simpson,

Corporate Crime,

20. In 2002, the Enron Scandal became

a corporate Watergatc-a multifaceted cluster of scandals in which questions of individual guilt overshadowed the social and i nstitutional aspects of ofll c ial malfeasance . But even now, the penalties associated with corpo rate offenses do not begin to approach the severity of the crimes. "When deaths and injuries due to unsafe products, environmental hazards, and other illegal corporate acts arc added to the equation, corporate crime is perhaps the most dangerous and conse­ quential kind of crime that occurs in our society." Simpson, See also: Chambliss,

Powa; Politics, and Crime,

Corporate Crime,


1 33 and 1 5 5 .

90 Allen Steinberg concludes that in the nineteenth century "the primary lesson of the minor police cases was that the public disorder of the lower classes was subject to the repressive activity of the state . . . . The exceptional treatment of 'respectable' miscreants proved the rule. Their indiscretions could be overlooked because the larger problem of public disorder was a problem of the lower classes." Allen Steinberg.

The Tramformation of Criminal Justice: Philadelphia 1 800-1 880 (Chapel

Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1 9 8 9 ) , 1 2 8 . 'J I Frank Donner,

Protectors ofPrilli/ege: Red Squtlds and Police Repression in Urban America

( Berke­

ley: University of California Pres s , 1 9 90) . .307. 92 Michael Novick, White Lies, White Power: The Fight Against White Violence (Monroe, M E : Common Courage Press, 1 9 9 5 ) , 6 1 .

9 3 Kenneth T. Jackson,

Supremacy and Reactionary

The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 191 5-1930 (New York:

Oxford University

Press, 1 9 (7) , 1 90 . See also : Seymour Martin Lipser, "Why Cops Hate Liberals-And Vice Versa," in

The Police Rebellion: A Questfor Blue Power,

ed. William J , Bopp (Springfield, IL:

Charles T. Thomas, Publisher, 1 9 7 1 ) . 26. 94 Quoted in Jackson. Ku Klux Klan in the City, 2 0 8 . 9 5 Jackson, Ku Klux Klan in the City, 2 0 8-20 9 . 9 6 Jackson, 97 Jackson,

Ku Klux Klan in the City, Ku Klux Klan in the City,

222. 287.

9 8 Lipset, "Why C o p s Hate Liberals," 25; and Donner, 99 Lipset. "Why Cops Hate Liberals," 2 5 . 1 00 Herbert Jenkins,

Protectors ofPrivilege,

Keeping the Peflre: A Police ChiefLooks tit His Job


(New Yo rk: Harper & Row,

1 9 70) , 4 .

1 0 1 Quoted in James F. Richardson,

The New York Police: Colonial Times to 1 901

(New York: Oxford

University Press , 1 970), 277.

1 02 Thurgoo d Marshall, "The Gesrapo in Detroit."

The Crisis'

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Marshal l , "Gestapo in Detroit," 2 3 3 . Marshall, "G estapo i n Detroit," 247. Marshal l , "Gestaro in Detroit," 232. Marshal l , "Gestapo i n Detroit," 247. Marshal l , "Cestapo i n Detroit," 232. Quoted i n Natio nal Advisory Co mmission o n Civil Disorders [The Kerner Co mmission} , Report o(the National Aril'isory Commission on Civil Dimrders ( New York: E . P. Dutton & Co., I nc . , 1 %8 ) , 8 5 . Quoted i n Seth Cagi n and Philip Drav, We Are Not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwarm; rind Chi/my and the Civil Rights Campi/ign for Mississipp i (New York: MacMilhn Publishing Company, 1 9 8 8 ) , 428. Quoted i n Don ner, Protectors of Privilege. 306. Attorney Ceneral Robert Ken nedy wrote i n a memo to Pres ident Joh n F. Ken nedy: "The u n ique di fficulty as it seems to me to be presented by the s i tu ation in Mississippi (wh ich is dllplicated in parts of Alabama and Louisiana at least) is i n gathering i n fo rmation on fu ndamen tally lawless activi ties which have the sanction of lou I law cnfClI'Cellll'll l agencies, poli tical officials, and a substan tial segment of the wh i te populat ion." Quoted i n U n i ted States, Senate Select Com m i ttee t o S t u d y Gove r n m e n ral ll pcratio n s w i t h Respect to I n telligence Activi t i es [The Church Commi ttee] Final Report of the Select Committee to ' Study Governmental Operatiom with Respect to Intf'llige1Jef Activities. 1'01. .3 (\'Vashington, D.C.: U.S. G overnment Printing Office, 1 976) , 2 4 0 . Ralph M c G i l l , t h e publisher of t h e Atiantd Constitution. concurred : " I n t h e s m a l l COIll­ munity you too often find that the sheriff is a memher [of the Klan I or that the deputies are members . And the poor white man, or more particularly the poor Negro i n a small com munity, he wel l knows that he has no protection at all. The law is n't going to help him because the law is, more often than not, in the Klan or sympatheti c with it in the small Southern collllll u n i ty." Quoted in David Lowe, Ku Klux Klall: rhf' Invisible Empire (New Yo rk: W.W. Norton and Com­ pany, I n c . , 1 %7), 1 0 3. Quoted in Cagin and Dray, Wi, Are Not Afra id, 206. Don ner, firotf'rtolJ offiriuileg!', 507. Cagin and Dray, we Are Not Afraid. 1 1 1 : a n d D o n n er, Protectors ofPrivilege, 306. Connor told reporters: "I have said fo r t he last twenty years that these our-of-town meddlers were going to cause bloodshed . . . . " QlIoted in C.gin and Dray, We Are Not Aji-aid, I l l . Henry Hampto n et al . , Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movonentfrom the 1 950s through the 1 980s (New York: Bantam Books, 1 9 90) , 8 3 . Cagin a n d Dray, We Are Not Afraid, 1 1 0 . Church Com m i ttPf'. Final Rp�hnrt, 1JI11 _�, ' 3 <;1

Quoted Church Committee, Final Report, vol. 2, 1 3 . Quoted i n Church Commi ttee, Final Report, uol 3, 2 4 3 . Don ner, Protectors ofPrivilege. 308-309. Church Committee, Final Report. vol. 3, 2 4 3 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3 0 9 . Both quoted in Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3 1 0 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3 1 0 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3 1 1 . Berry, Bli/d Resistance, 1 64 . Quoted i n Hampton e t aI., Voices ofFreedom, 2 6 8 . Berry, Black Resistance, 1 64 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 293. Berry, Black Resistance, 1 64 . Church Commit tee, Final Report, vol. 3 . 24 1 . Historian Howard Zinn notes: "The FBI m akes arrests in kidnappings, bank robberies, drug cases, espionage cases. But not in civil rights cases ? Then not only were black people second-class citizens , but civil rights law was second-class law." Howard Zinn, "Selma, Alabama," i n You Can't Be Neut1'l11 on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our 7lme (Boston: Beacon Press, 1 9 94) , 63. Unfortunately, the Justice Department's enforcement priorities have not much changed. "Not only are police misconduct cases prosecuted as the lowest rate among civil rights p rosecu­ tions, b u t civil rights offenses themselves a r e p rosecuted less than any other caregory of offense handled by the U.S. Justice Department." H u m an Rights Watch, Shieldedfrom Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1 9 9 8 ) , 94. 1 34 In 1 962, the Marshals were used to force the integration of the University of Mississippi. Rodney Stark, Police Riots: Collective Violence and Law Enforcement (Belmont, CA: Focus Books, 1 972), 1 3 5 . 1 3 5 P h i l O c h s , "Here's t o t h e State of Mississip p i ," on There But For Fortune (Elektra/Asylu m , 1 9 90) .


1 36 Mary Frances Berry notes: "The federal government's response to the Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner murders remained exceptional. Segregationist violence, arson, and murders of civil rights workers for trying to exercise constitutional rights continued unabated. . . . In fact, the FBI agreed with the Southern devotion to white supremacy. FBI agents spent more time i nvestigating the white students and black activists, who were considered a threat to national security, than worrying abour the segregationist violence." Berry, Black Resistance, 1 63. 1 37 Quoted i n Hampton et aI. , Voices ofFreedom, 1 94. 1 3 8 Misseduc Foundation, I n c . , Mississippi Black Paper (New York: Random House, 1 96 5 ) . 1 39 Quoted i n Misseduc Foundation , I n c . , "Council o f Federated Organizations et al. v LA. Rainey et a1. ," in Mississippi Black Pape,; u npaged. I have restricted the l ist here to those complain ts specifically relating to the actions (or inaction) of law enforcement officials. 140 Quoted in M isseduc Foundation, Inc., Mississippi Black Paper; 6. The names of o fficers were omitted from the published version, for fear of lawsuits. 1 4 1 Quoted i n Misseduc Foundation, Inc., Mississippi Black Paper, 25-26. 1 42 Quoted in Mi sseduc Foundation, Inc., Mississippi Black Paper. 2 5 . 1 4 3 Quoted in M isseduc Foundation , Inc., Mississippi Black Paper, 6 1 . 1 44 Cagin and Dray, We Are Not Aftaid, e n passim. 145 Cagin and Dray, We Are Not Aftaid, 436. 1 46 Cagin and Dray, Wi, Are Not Aftaid, 2 8 8 . 1 47 Cagin a n d Dray, We Are Not Aftaid, 3 8 2 . 1 4 8 Cagin a n d D ray, We Are Not Aftaid, 4 5 2 a n d 456. 1 49 Cagin and Dray, We Are Not Afraid, 30 1 and 382. 1 5 0 While awaiting trial, Sheriff Rainey appeared on the platform at a Klan rally. He said: "I've been accused by the F B I . . . [of being sympathetic to] the Klan and everything and so I came down today to see the head man and i nvestigate it and see what rhere was to it. And I found it so far to he mighty good. They j ust done a lot of lying ahout it. I 've met some of the best fellows I think there are in Alabama and Mississippi and other places. And I 've had to lay some deputies out that's been i nvestigating it and they reported to me a while ago, they'd met some fine people and thought it was a mighty good organization. Thank you." Quoted in Lowe, Invisible Empire, 1 04- 1 0 5 . 1 5 1 Cagin and Dray, We Are Not Aftaid, 2 5 3-54. 1 5 2 Quoted in Hampton et al. , Voices ofFreedom, 223. 1 5 3 Hampton et aI. , Voices ofFreedum, 2 24-226. 1 5 4 Hampton et al. , Voices ofFreedom, 2 26-2 2 9 . 1 5 5 Quoted in Darlene Clark H i n e et aI., The Aftican-American Odyssey (Upper Saddle River. NJ : Prentice Hall, 2003) , 5 3 5 . 1 56 Zinn, "Selma, Alabama," 6 5 . 1 5 7 Stark, Police Riots, 1 87 . 1 5 8 "hrst articulated in 1 96 6 by SNCC leader Stokely Carmichael an [sic] other young militants, Black Power stressed self-determination, the right of ethnic minorities to define their group identity, and to make the decisions that affected their lives." Bob B1auner, "Almost a Race War," in Still the Big News: Racial Oppression in America (Philadelphia: Temf)le University Press, 2 00 1 ) , 4. For an excellent overview of the aims and ideology of the Black Power movement, including a discussion of its relationship to the civil rights movement and urban rioting, see: Joe R. Feagin and Harlan Hahn, "The Continuing Struggle for Black Power," i n Ghetto Revolts: The Politics of Violence in American Cities (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1 973), 297-3 32. 1 5 9 The Ten Point Program, quoted i n H uey P. Newton, IVtt r Against the Panthers: A Study ofRepression in America (New York: Harlem River Press, 1 996) , 1 1 9- 1 2 1 . 1 . We want freedom . We want power t o determine the destiny of our black community. . . . 2 . We want ful l employment o f our people . . . . 3 . We want an end to the robbery hy the capitalists of our black community. . . . 4 . We wal1f decem housing fi t for shelter of h uman beings . . . . 5 . We want education for our people that exposes the true nature o f this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our rol e in the present-day sociery. . 6 . We want all black men exempt from military service . . . . 7. We want an i mmediate end to police brutality and murder of black people . . . . 8 . We wam freedom for all black men held i n federal, state, COUI1fY, and city prisons and jails . . . . 9 . We want all black people when brought to trial to be tried i n court by a j ury of their peer group or people fro m their black communities . . . . 1 0 . We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, and peace . . . . Each of these general points was expanded on in a brief paragraph. I n 1 9 72, the Ten Poi n t Program was revised. Gender-specific language was replaced with gender-neutral phraseology, 261

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and the new dowment made a clear effort to express solidari ty with other oppressed groups, and other people of color in particular. Some of the demands were re-ordered. Specifically, a demand for free health care was added, "An i mmediate end to all wars of aggression" replaced the call feu exempting Black people from the dtaft, and points 8 and 9 were consolidated, with the added provision that "all wretched, i n h uman penal institutions" be eliminated. Newton, War Against the Panthers, 1 2.1- 1 26; quotes are fro m page 1 2 ,) . Newto n , l¥1rlr Agll iwt the P'lnthers, .1 4 . F o r more on t h e Panthers, their survival programs, and t h e repression they faced, see chapter 7 and the afterword. Donner, Protectors ofPrivileg<', 1 80 . F.K. H e ussenstamm, " Bumper Stickers and t h e Cops," Trans-Action 8.4 ( February 1 97 1 ) : 32-3 3 . Stark, Police Riots, 1 84. Quoted in Stark, Police Riots, 2 1 4-2 1 5 . Novick, White Lies, 70-8 2 . For details on Wh ite supremacist organizing among prison guards, see: Parenti, lockdown AmericII, 206-207. A meriCJn Friends Service Committee (Af'Se), Program on Govern ment Surveillance and Citi­ zens' R i ghts, The Police Thrmt to Politicilf Liberty: Disco!'eries lind Actions ofthe Amerimn Frifnds Service Committee Progrllm on Government Surveillance and Citizens' Rights (Philadel phia: AFSC. 1 979), 6 1 . Novick, White Lin, 7 1 . Novick, White Lies, 7.3. Novick, White Lies, 74. Novick, White Lies. 7 5 . Novick, White Lies, 8 0 . Charles E. Simmons, "The L o s Angeles Rebellion: Class, Race, and M isinformation," in Wh.y LA Happ ened: Implhlltions of the '92 {os Angeles Rebellion, ed. Haki R. Madhllbllli (Chicago : Th i rd World Press, 1 993) , 1 44. Human Rights Watch, Shieldedfrom Justire, 1 9 1 - 1 9 2 . Quoted in Ogletree et ai . , Beyond the Rodney King Story, 40-4 1 . S e e also: Mike Davis, " LA: The hre This Ti me," CovertAction Inforrrltltion Bulletin 4 1 (Summer 1 9 9 2 ) : 2 1 . Novick, White Lies, 78. Novick, White Lies, 84-8 5 . Novick. White Lies, 80. C hristopher Commission, Report, 78. The Commission's report offers some indication of the tension within the LArD: "The Commission was told by most o f the m inorities i n terviewed that racially derogatory remarks are made on an ongoing basis at roll call and that racist j okes and cartoons ::I p ' ne: H from timp tn d "", � 0!"! d�,;, ��!!:;; '!:!!: S::: :.::-2..::; :� ::-h..: .;::.:.. :: lVli'.:lo !V ....��l l UUlU�. Latino officers r� ported they are often referred to by ethnic nicknames such as 'Chico,' 'burrito­ man, ' and ' Ch uy. ' " Christopher Commission, Report, 79. The Commission's survey revealed that a substantial percen tage of minority o fficers had heard raci al slurs used by peers or supervisors: 45 percent of Black males, 40 percent of Black females, 27 percent of Latino males, 36 percent of Latina females, 3 1 percent of Asian males. and 24 percent of Asian females. Christopher Commission, Report, 8 1 . Quoted i n Bill Torpy, "FBI Agent: H ate Group May Include Lawmen," Atlanta Journal-CrJrtstitu­ tion, March 1 3 , 2003 [database: NcwsBank Full-Text Newspapers, accessed March 1 4 , 2003] . S igne Wal ler, " Five Alive! The Legacy of the Greensboro Massacre," Z Mllgazine, September 1 999, 4 5 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 36 1 . Waller, " Five Alive'" 45-46; and Berry, Black Resistllnce, 2 0 1 . Waller, " Five Alive!" 4 5 . " I n former Testifies Police Knew of K l a n Intent," New York Times, April 1 5 , 1 98 5 . Ibid. Waller, " Five Alive!" 4 5 . D awson testified that he contacted t h e police thi rteen times i n t h e three weeks prior to the m assacre. He called them twice on the morning of Novernber 3, reporting that they were armed and headed to the site. He claims he was shocked when the police didn't stop them. "Informer Testifies Police Knew of Klan Intent," New York Times, April 1 5 , 1 9 8 5 , B 1 4 . Waller, " f'ive Alive!" 4 5 . Jack Fowler, Roland Wayne Wood, and Mark Sherer; David Wayne Mathews and Jerry Paul Smith; Edward Dawson ; and Jerry H . Cooper and Lieutenant EW. Spoon, respectively. Cooper was Dawson's poli ce handler. Spoon was in charge of the officers assigned to cover the demonstration. Fowler, Wood, Mathews, and Smith were also held liable for assaulting Paul Bermanzohn and Thomas Clark. "8 in Klan Trial Tol d to Pay Plaintiffs $390,000," New York

Times, June 9, 1 9 8 5 . 1 9 1 Some researchers have found empirical support for this view of policing. For example, based o n a review of eleven ci ties' pol ice expenditures during the 1 960s, David Jacohs concluded: " Metropolitan areas with more blacks had stronger law enforcement agencies i n 1 970 but this effect was not present i n the 1 96 0 equations. Thus, economic and racial cleavages were bener predicrors of police strength after a decade of well publicized wcial upheavals which m ay h ave been threatening to elites." David Jacobs, " Inequality and Police Strength: Conflict Theory and Coercive Control i n Metropolitan Areas," American SOciological Review 44.6 ( 1 979) : 9 2 3 . I n a similar study of public spending in the 1 970s, Pamela Irving Jackson found that "the evidence at hand does s uggest greater collective commitment to policing in urban centers most likely to be characterized by the struggle for dominance-in regions where the minority group is, for historical reasons, l ikely to be viewed as threatening, and i n cities in which the group is large enough to constitute a threat." Pamela Irving Jackson, Minority Group Threat, Crime, and Policing: Social Context and Social Control (New York: Praeger, 1 9 89), 5 2 . Chapter 5 : T h e Natural Enemy of the Working Class 1 George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia (San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, 1 980), 1 24 . 2 Pavlito Geshos, "Working Class Hetoes," Clamor, March/April 2002, 5 0 . Greensboro was not the first time the KKK took an interest i n destroying unions. To offer j ust one example, i n the autumn of 1 9 36, the Klan burned a cross near the rubber factory in Akron, hoping to intimidate striking workers who had occupied the f'lCtory. Jeremy Brecher, Strike' (Boston : South End Press. 1 972) , 1 8 5 . 3 Quoted i n Dennis C . Rousey, Policing the Southern City: New Orleans, 1 805-1 889 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Universi ty Press , 1 996) , 1 67. The majority of the strikers were Black, but not all of them. 4 Anatole France, The Red Lily (New York: The Modern Library, no date) , 7 5 . 5 Quoted in Fric H . Monkkonen , Police in Urban America, 1 860-1920 (Cambridge: Camhridge University Press, 1 9 8 1 ) , 1 2 9 . 6 See chapter 3 for more on this point. 7 Allen Steinberg, The Transformation of Criminal justice: Philadelphia, 1 800-1 880 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1 9 8 9 ) , 1 27. This combination of elass bias and Puritanical moralism was characteristic of the period, and translated into rigid standards of conduct for women especially. Its effect was evident, for example, in New York's campaign against prostitu­ tion. "In a city so concerned with defining both women's proper place and the place o f t h e work­ ing class, the alarm over prostitution stemmed i n part from general hostilities to the milieu of laboring women from which prostitutes came." Christine Stansell, City afWomen: Sex and Class in New York, 1 789-1 860 (Urbana: University of Illi nois Press, 1 987) , 1 75 . 8 Quoted i n Steinberg, Ti-ansformation ofCi-iminafjustice, 1 5 3 . 9 Gang suppression is discussed i n greater detail i n chapter 4. The drug war, quality-of-life poli­ cies, and related efforts are addressed i n chapter 9. 10 S idney Harring, Policing a Class Society: The Experience ofAmerican Cities, 1 865-1915 (New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press, 1 9 83), 20 1 . 1 1 Charles J . Ogletree, Jr. et aI. , Beyond the Rodney King Story: A n Investigation ofPolice Conduct in !flinority Communities (Boston: Northeastern University Press. 1 9 95), 22-2 3 . 1 2 A n n Mullen, " Harassing the Homeless," Metro Times (Detroit, Michigan) , N ovember 24, 1 9 9 9 , http://www. metrotimes.com/mtframes . asp?l.age�/20/23/Features/musGimme.html (accessed September '), 2002) . 1 3 Harring, Policing a Class Society, 1 1 1 . 1 4 Frank Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege: Red Squads and Police Repression i n Urban America (Berke­ ley: University of California Press, 1 99 0 ) . 37. 1 5 Raymond B . Fosdick, American Police Systems (New York: The Century Company, 1 920) , 322-323. Emphasis in original. 16 See, for example: Roger Lane, Policing the City: Boston 1822-1 885 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1 9(7) , 206-207. 17 A Pinkerton agent, James McParland, j oined the Molly Maguires, aided i n the commission of crimes, and then testified against them to gain a conviction. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the practice i n its 1 877 Campbell 1's. Commonwealth decision. Nineteen Molly Maguires were executed on the basis of such evidence. Donner, Proctectors ofPrivilege, 1 0 ; and Howard Zinn, A People's History ofthe United States. J492-Present (New York: H arperl'erennial, 1 99 5 ) , 2 3 9 . 1 8 Don ner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 24. 19 Bruce Smith, The State Police: Organization and Administration (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1 9 2 5 ) , 3 3 .


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Quoted i n Don nC1", I'rotectors ofPrivilege, 2 5 . For example, the commission remarked that "the resentment expressed by many persons conn ected with tbe strike at the presence of the armed guards and militia of the State does not argue well for the peaceable character or pu rposes of such persons" and that "a labor or other organ ization wh ose purpose can he acco mplished only by the violation o f law and order of society. has n o righ t to exist." Quoted in Katheri n e Mayo. J1I5tice To A ll: The Story ofthe Penwyl1!!l71ill Stt/fl' I'olice (New Yo rk: C P Purna m', SOIlS. 1 9 1 7) , 4 . Quoted in Mayo, justice To All, 5 . Mayo, Justice 10 All. 1 D. Diane Cecelia \X'eber, "Warrior Cops: The Ominous G rowth of Paramil itarislll in American Police Departments," Cuo Institute Briefing Papers 30 (August 26, 1 9 99): 6 . Quoted i n Pennsylvanian State Federation of Labor, The A merican Cossack ( N ew Yo rk: Arno Press & The New York Ti meso 1 9 7 1 ) , I 7 . Quoted in Pennsylvanian State Federation of Labor. Amaicrln C()s.'t"-R, 28�2<) . Quoted in Smith , Stlltt' Polia, 3 .l- .l 4 . '(CapiLlI',,> rurn to the police to haTh.lIt" :-.ll ll1e a�pt'dS of rhL' reproduction of tIlL' work i n g cl ass cannot be sepa r,[(ed from a nlOre general move by the bourgeoisie, beginning in the I S40s. with the i n d ustrial revolurion, to use public institutions in general for that purpose. This social iza­ tion of expenditures necessarv for the reproduction and expansion of capital encompasses publ ic­ expenses for educatio n , puhlic heal th, weltare, police and li re proteerion, building inspection and h o using, and puhlic works. The post�Civil War period saw a rapid expansion o f these early efforrs , with local capitalists devoting su bstantial resources in order to control and d irect the various componen ts of the st ate apparatlls to the ends o f t he capi t alist c1a,'l.'l." H a rring. Policing il Class Society, 27-2 8 . See also: James Weinste i n , "I'll e Corporate Uc"l in the Uberil! Strite: 1 900�1918 (Ilosto n : Beacon Press, 1 9 (8 ) , 9 5 . The Texas Rangers were an ",ample of the military type. Created by the Republic of Texas in 1 8 ,) ) , the Rangers, under military command, were mo.;r1y used to guard the Mexican border. Ilruce Smirh, Rural Crime Control (New York: I nstiture of Public Admin istration , 1 <) 3 3 ) , 1 2 7·-2 8 . Massach usetts provides the model of t h e state-level vice squad, In 1 8(>4 , the legislature created the Constables of tire Commonwealth "to repress and preve nt crime by the suppression of liquor shops, gambl ing places, and houses of 'ill-fame,'" Quoted in Lane, Policing the City, 1 37, In 1 8 6 8 , Sourh Carol ina's Reco nstruction legislature created a state constabulary with a Chief Co nstable in Columbia and deputies in e"ery county, It was intended to suppress Klan activity, but p roved ineffective. Alien W. Trdease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction (New York: Harper & Row, 1 (7 1 ) , 73, Bruce Smith, Policl' Systems in the United StilUS (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1 940) , 1 8 7 - 1 8 8 , Ouoreo i n non nf"r Prll tPf'tn'V'r ... 1' P,,,! ,, , � ltNT" .Ii 1 · -. 6o n ner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 4 2�43·. o _ . . Huey 1'. Newton . If;'" Agaimt the Pt1llthers: A Study of Repression in America (New York: Harlem River Press, 1 9 96) , 1 8 , See chapter 4 . Quoted I II T h e Commission o f lnquiry. The I nterchurch World Movement. Report "n the Steel Strike of 1 91 9 (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Howe, 1 920) , 2 3 8 , The brunt of repression was fel t i n Allegheny County and western Pennsylvania. There, the authorities responded by deputiz­ ing five thousand scabs and banning all public assemblies-including, i n some places, i ndoor meetings. Mass arrests and physical attacks became com m o n , with strikers facing violence from police , depury sheriffs, scabs, company guards, vigilantes, and sometimes state troops, Many were injured, twenty were killed. Under such pressure, the strike collapsed in January 1 9 20, The workers retHrlled to work, having wo n n o thing. Samuel Yellen. Americall Labor Struggles, 1 877�1 934 (New York: Pathfinder, 1 9 36) , 2 6 1 �263 and 27 1 ; Brecher, Strike! 1 2 3 ; and Zinn, People's Histo ry, 37 1 �372. James F Richardson, Urbtlrl Police ill the United States (Port Washi n gton, NY: National Uni­ versity Press and Kennikat Press, 1 974) , 1 5 9, In extreme cases the police even aided strikers, During the steel strike of 1 9 1 9 , Cleveland Mayor H arry L . Davis had the pol ice turn away scabs trying to enter the city, Poten tial strikebreakers were treated as suspiciom persons, and-until a court lorbade the ptactice-either run our of town or arrested. Richardson, Urban Police, 1 6 1 , Likewise in small, homogenous communities, where the police had familial and social ties with the workers, they were less likely to serve as effective strikebreaking forces. A most dramatic case of this phenomenon occurred in Marrewan, West Virginia, where the police chief himself was a former miner. Brecher, Strike! 1 36. Such cases are noteworthy precisely because they are exceptional. Smitb, Strite Police, 5 8�59. Yellen, Ltzbor Struggles, 1 69 . Yellen, Labor Struggles, 1 72� 1 73 .

40 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 1 79. On the Lawrence textile strike, see also: Zinn, People's History, 328-330. 41 Quoted in Peter Bollen, Great Labor Quotations: Sourcebook and Reader (Los Angeles: Red Eye Press, 2000) , 2 2 . 42 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 1 76 . By the e n d of the strike, 296 had been arrested. Yellen, Labor Struggles, 1 8 9 . 43 Yellen, labor Struggles, 1 78- 1 7 9 . 44 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 1 94 . 4 5 Quoted i n Yellen , Labor Struggles, 1 8 1 . A similar argument was used to convicr the Haymarket defendants a quarterecentury before. See chapter 7. 4 6 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 1 93 . 47 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 1 82 . 48 Quoted i n Zinn, People's History, 3 2 8 . 49 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 1 8 5 - 1 87. 5 0 Quoted i n Zinn, People's History, 329. 51 Yellen, Labo/" Struggles, 1 90-9 1 . 5 2 Quoted i n Yellen, Labor Struggles, 1 93 . 5 3 Yellen, Labor Struggle.f, 1 9 5 - 1 97. 54 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 308-3 1 3 and 3 1 6-3 1 7 . 5 5 One oft-cited example: Oregon l umber mills shut down, because there was n o way to ship the wood. Brecher, Strike! 1 5 1 ; and Yel l e n , Labor Struggles, 3 1 5 . 56 David F. Sclvin , A "[errible A nger: The 1934 Waterfront and General Strikes in San Francisco (Dee twit: Wayne State University Press , 1 99 6 ) , 9 1 -92. 5 7 Selvin, lerrible Anger, 93. 5 8 flrecher, Strike! 1 5 2 . 5 9 Violence was less common i n Portland a n d Seattle, where the persistent threat o f a general strike discouraged any attempt at opening the docks. Selvin , Terrible Anger, 1 04 . The most notable incident i n t h e northwest carne a s the San Francisco General Strike was winding down. Seattle mayor Charles Smith ordered 300 police to remove 2,000 p i cketers from the city's pier at S mith's Cove. The cops used tear gas and nausea gas against the crowds , a n d the police chief resigned i n protest. Selvin , Terrible Anger, 2 2 5 ; and Yellen, Labor Struggles, 3 3 2 . 60 Selvin, Terrible Angel; 1 44- 1 46 ; a n d Yellen, Labor Struggles, 3 1 8 . 6 1 Quoted in Selvin, Terrible Anger, 1 5 6 . 62 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 3 1 8 . 63 Selvi n , Terrible Anger, 1 49 . T h e police naturally reversed this chronology i n their official statee ments, claiming that the inspectors merely defended themselves against the hail of rocks com i ng from the crowd. Several witnesses, including Harry Bridges, testified that nothing was thrown until after the shots were fired. Seivi n , Terrible Anger, 1 4 . 64 Selvin, Terrible Anger, 1 1 - 1 2 and 1 4 . 6 5 Quoted i n Selvin , Terrible Anger, 1 5 0 . 66 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 3 1 9 ; and Brecher, Strike! 1 5 3. 6 7 Brecher, Strike! 1 5 3 ; and Yellen, Labor Struggles, 3 1 9. 68 Quoted in Selvin , Terrible Anger, 1 6 1 - 1 62 . 69 Quoted i n Yellen, Labor Strug..'?:le.<, 3 1 9 . 70 Selvi n , Terrible Anger, 1 66- 1 67; and Yelien, Labor Struggles, 3 2 3 . 7 1 Selvin, Terrible Anger, 1 66- 1 67. 72 Quoted i n Selvi n , Terrible Anger, 1 68 , 1 77, and 1 8 2 . 73 Selvi n , Terrible Anger, 1 78 . 7 4 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 3 2 5 . 7 5 Selvi n , Terrible Anger, 1 8 5 . 7 6 Selvi n , Terrible Anger, 1 92-200; and Yelien, Labor Struggln, .>28. 77 Selyin, TerribLe Anger, 22 1 and 2 2 7 . 78 Selvin , Terrible Anger, 2 2 4 . 79 Se1vi n , Terrible Anger, 2 3 3 . 8 0 Yellen, Labor Struggles, 3 34-3 3 5 . 8 1 Selvin, TerribLe Anger, 2 3 7 . Between January 1 , 1 937, a n d August 1 , 1 93 8 , 3 5 0 strikes occurred on the West Coast docks, mostly brief and l ocalized "quickies." Brecher, Strike' 1 5 8 . 82 Quoted in Selvin, lerrible Allger. 2 4 0 . 8 .3 Tony Bartelme, " Indicted Longshoremen Adopred as Union Crusade," Post and Courier (Charlese to n , SC), September 3, 200 1 . 8 4 Bartelme, " Indicted Longshoremen; " and "Analysis: South Carolina Longshoremen Accuse At­ torney General of Playing Pol itics in Riot Indictments of Union Members," Morning Edition, National Public Radio, July 1 6, 200 1 [database: Newspaper source, accessed September 2 9 , 2002] . 265

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H � Among those injured was I LA Local 1 42 2 p r�sid�nt K en Riley, who was struck in the head with a baro n , One I LA member was run over with a state police car, The cop, later admi tted that they were s urprised no one had heen killed . B artel me, " I ndicted Longshoremen ;" and Ash"ki Binta, "Solida ritv Grows ftlr Dockers Vi ctimized by 'Pol ice Rio L'" Lrlbor Notes, April 200 1 , 1 and 1 4 . 8 6 Quoted in Morning l:dition (July 1 6 , 20 0 1 ) . Condon later sponsored an ad for Geo rge W. Bush's presidential campaign , stating, "The ( :h"r1 cstoll unio11 riot reminds us why South Carolina is a right-to-work state." A year later, as the trial date approached, he publicly compared the I LA to the terrorists who attacked the Wo rld Trade C"nter. Such an tics led defense attorn eys to file motions accusing him of prosecu­ torial m isconduct. 'I(my Bartclme, "Condo n C ives Up Charleston Five Case; 1 st Circuit's Walter Hailey to Prosecute Union Members on Rioting Charges ," Post rind Courier (Charlesto n , S C ) , October I I , 200 1 . The defense was not alone in the view tiut Condon was taki ng thi ngs [00 far, Jeff Osburn, a Cha rleston Police detective assigned to the case, said: " Havi ng these guys under house arrest for this long is ridiculous . . . . These arc normal, everyday, hard worki ng citizens, the backbone of the com ll1 un ity. They had a right to be there lilal night and a right to make a statement. It's just unfortunate that it got out of hand, and it's a shame that the p tosecution has go ne as Elf as it has." Quoted in Bartelme, " I ndicted Longshoremen." Even Mayor Joseph P Riley wrote to Condon thai the case "should be resolved far shorr of these defendants proceed ing to trial on the current charges agai nst them." quoted in Bartelme, "Condon G ives Up." 87 Tony Bartelme, " Remaining 'Charleston ) ' Make Plea Bargain," Post fwd COllrier (Ch arlesto n , SC) , N ovember ') , 200 1 ; 'I() n), Bartd l1le, "Charleston ') Case Ends With No-Co ntest Pleas," Post and COl/ria (Charleston , SC). November 1 4 , 200 1 ; Bartel me, " I n dicted L.ongshoremen;" Bartelme, "Co ndon Cives Up;" Alicia Chang, "Thousands Rally at South Carolina Statehouse to Support Dockworkers Chatged in Riot," AI' \'?orldstream (June 9 , 20( 1 ) [database: Newspaper Source, accessed September 29, 2002J ; and Morning Edition (July 1 6 , 2(0 1 ) . 88 Barrel me, " Remaining ' Charleston ) ; ' " a n d Bartelme, " Charlesto n 5 Case." 8 9 Jeremy Brecher, "Organizing the New Workforce." Z Magazine, JulylAugust 1 99 8 , 7 1 . A later Justice fo r Janitors campaign in Sacramento suppl ies a brief catalog of the despicable tactics still in use against union organizing. Over the course of four yea rs, as the wo rkers fought for a con­ tract with Somers Building Main tenance, they faced flrings, a Congress ional investigatio n , and a citywide ban on union marches , as well as mass arrests and beati ngs at the hands of the police. Nevertheless, the union prevailed, and in March 1 9 9 9 , Somers signed a contract with S E J U . D a v i d Bacon, "Janitors Get Justice," '"rlbor Notrs, May 1 99 9 , 1 a n d 1 4 . 9 0 Ann Mullen, ''A Million-Dollar Question," Metro Times (Detroit, M I ) , Aptil 1 9 , 200(), http:// www. m e-trnti mf'C;: ('()m / rn tfr'1 tTH " " ��;,?P:!g�- /20.'23/P::: ;:::: ;; r,::: ,:; /�.. u.;GiilHll\.- .!luHl (dU..X: � �c:J Se fJ LeIn­ ber 9 , 2002) ; and Mia Butzbaugh, " Media Giants Take Aim at Newspaper Unions," Lrlbor Notes, Septe m be t 1 99 5 , :3 . A S terling Heights Police m e m o dated July J 8 , 1 99 5 , described a meeting between police and m a n agement. It said that the Detroit News Agency's representatives were "very impressed and very happy with the performance of our department and that they will do their best to assist us, s o as to keep things running smoothly." Quoted in Mullen , " Million-Dollar Question." 9 1 David Bacon, "Labor Slaps the Smug New Face of Unionb usting," CovertAction Quarterly (Spring 1 9 97) : 36. 9 2 B utzbaugh, "Media Giants," 3 ; and Mia B u tzbaugh, "Newspaper War in Detroit," Lflbor Notes, October 1 99 5 , 9. 9 3 Susan Zachem, "Sterling Heights Settles o n Kicking Case," GCUI, March 2000, http,lIwww. gcui . org/archives/OOmarch/det00 3 . shtml ( accessed September 9 , 20(2) . 94 B utzbaugh, "Newspaper War," J and 9 . 9 5 Jim D ulzo, "Striking Out," Metro Times (Detroit, MI), January 2 3 , 2 00 1 , http://www. metrotimcs. comleditorial/story.asp?id= 1 2 1 0 (accessed February 1 3 , 2(03 ) . S o m e strikers won court settlements related to excessive force and unlawful arrest . Mullen, "Million-Dollar Ques­ tion;" Zachem , " Kicking Case;" and "Striking Newspaper Worker Wins $ 2 . 5 Million Verdict," Terlmster lvfagrlzine. J une/J ulv 200 1 , http://www.teamster.org/comm/newslerrers/060 1 . htm#02 (accessed february 3 , 2003) . 96 B utzbaugh, "Newspaper War," 9 . 9 7 Quoted in Butzbaugh, "Newspaper War," 9. 9 8 Quoted i n Jim West, " Unions Focus on Advertiser/Circulation Boycott As Detroit Newspapers Reject Peace Offer," Labor Notes, November 1 99 5 , 5 . 9 9 Paul A . Gilje, Rioting i n AmericrI (Bloomington: Indiana Universitv Press, 1 9 96) , 1 5 1 and 1 8 0. 1 00 "In March 1 937, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality or the Wagner Act in the Jones and Laughlin case, and the machinery of the National Labor Relations Board began to work. , . .

Having accepted the N LRB as a legal body with authority over employers engaged in interstate commerce, the court then set about restricting workers' rights under the Wagner Act. In 1 93 9 , it outlawed the sit-down strike i n t h e Fansteel case, a n d decided that t h e Wagner A c t c o u l d n o t force employers to make concessions t o workers. In other decisions, the courts reinforced em­ ployers' rights and limited workers' rights by holding: ( I ) that the Act did not interfere with the employer's right to select employees or discharge them; (2) that, if the employers bargained t o 'an impasse,' they could unilaterally impose terms, b u t the workers could n o t strike while under contract; (3) that the employees' right to strike did not i nclude the license to 'seize the employ­ ers' plants' as i n sit-down strikes; (4) that unions were institutions apart from their members and that union leaders , therefore, had [0 police their unions and ensure 'responsible behavior. ' I n s u m , t h e courts allowed unions to engage i n collective bargaining over a limited range o f issues, but prohibited them from using the kind of militant, direct action that had built the CIO." James R. Green, The World of the Worker: Labor in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Hill and Wang, 1 980), 1 65 - 1 66. See also: H arring, Policing a Class Society, 257. 1 0 1 "The institutional ization o f the new unions began soon after their explosive creation i n the mass strikes of the mid-thirties. The top leaders hastened this process, especially after the employers' vicious counterattack in 1 937. Moreover, the whole structure of collective bargaining, as determined bv the courts and the NLRB , favored a more routinized. businesslike relationship between top leaders of labor and management, with the government as referee. As a result, many of the issues, such as speedup. that p recipitated the original labor revolts were shunted aside." Green, World ofthe Worker, 1 72 . 1 02 One h igh-ranking police official attributed the General Strike to j ust this change of leadership: "the rank-and-file workers became convinced that their leaders were too much hand-in-glove with the industrial interests of the city." Quoted in Brecher, Strike! 252.

Chapter 6: Police Autonomy and Blue Power


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" I f there is any group for whom unions and j ob actions seemed unlikely, i t was the police person­ nel. Their j o b is to preserve Jaw and order; they have traditionally been the strike b reakers; and they have been subject to the harshest restrictions against their unionization." Margaret Levi , Bureaucratic lnsurgency: The Case ofPolice Unions (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1 97 7 ) , 2 . Robert M . Fogelson, Big- City Police (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1 977) , 1 96 . FOPs were also organized geographically, rather than by department. And they sometimes formed auxilia­ ries including people from outside of law enforcement. William J. Bopp, " The Police Rebellinn," in The Police Rebellion, ed. William J. Bopp (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1 97 1 ) , 1 3 . Fogelson, Big- City Police, 1 96- 1 97 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 8 1 ; and Richard L . Lyons, "The Boston Police Strike of 1 9 1 9 ," The New Hngland Quarterly (June 1 947) : 1 64. In June 1 9 1 9, the AFL announced that it would begin chartering police unions. By the end of August, thirty-eight such charters had been issued. Ly­ ons, "Boston Police Strike," 1 5 1 ; and Francis Russell, A City in Terror-1 91 9- The Boston Police Strike (New York: Viking Press, 1 97 5 ) , 2 5 . Russell, City in Terror, 5 0-5 1 and 73; and Lyons, "Boston Police Strike," 1 48- 1 49 . Of the 1 , 544 patrolmen, 940 voted for tbe union; no one voted against it. Lyons, "Boston Police Strike," 1 5 5 . Russell , City i n Terror, 7 8 . Lyons, "Boston Police Strike," 1 48 . Boston was not actually the country's first police strike. That honor goes to a successful wal kout among the Ithaca police in 1 889. The city council voted to lower police pay, the police struck, and the council immediately rescinded their decision. Russell, City in Terror, 233. Of 1 , 544 officers, 1 , 1 1 7 went on strike, leaving the force at about one-quarter strength. Lyons, " Boston Police Strike," 1 60 . Russell, City in Terror, 1 3 1 , 1 33 , and 1 37- 1 38 . Russell, Ci ty in Terror, 1 22- 1 2 5 . Russell, City i n Terror, 1 5 1 - 1 5 2 . Additionally, 1 00 of the 1 83 state-controlled Metropolitan Park Police were put at Curtis's disposal. (But fifty-eight of these refused tbe duty and were suspended. ) Private companies armed their employees or hired guards, H arvard was patrolled by the un iversity police and ROTC, and federal property was protected by the army. Russel l , City in Terror, 1 1 9, 1 27, 1 50, and 1 66. Russell, City in Terror, 1 49 and 1 59 . Russell, City in TerrO/; 1 62- 1 63 and 1 67- 1 70 . Russell, Ci ty in Terror, 1 8 1 - 1 8 2 and 2 1 7; and Lyons, "Boston Police Strike," 1 6 5 . Meanwhile, G overnor Calvin Coolidge, who had initially refused Mayor Andrew Peters' request for National Guard deployment, positioned himself to take credit for breaking the strike, issuing an execu­ tive order placing himself in control of the Boston Police Department. He eventually used the


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strike to leverage h i mself i n t o t h e presidency. Russell. City in Terror, 1 73- 1 74 a n d 1 96- 1 9 8 ; and Lyons, " Boston Pol ice Strike," 1 5 9 . Lyons, " Boston Pol ice Strike," 1 66. After the strike, it rook the police department a while to re­ form itself. For one thing, it had lost most of its officers and, with the stigma of strikebreaki ng so fresh , Clced considerahle difficulty finding recruits. 'j() make matters worse, tailors rdllsed to m ake new unif')rms. Lyons, " Boston Police Strike," 1 6 5 . Russe l l , City i n Terror, 2 3 4 a n d 2 .1 9 ; a n d Fogelson, Big- City Police. 1 9 5 . Russel l , City in lerror, 4 8-49 and 1 83 . Fogelson , Big- City Police, 8 1 -82. Levi, BumlUcratic Insurgeruy, 13 and 28-29. Carl Parsell referred to this mode of operation as "collective begging." Quoted in Fogelson, Big- City Police, 200. Additionally, the FOP had 1 69 local chapters. Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 7. The mayor of Jackson, M ississif'pi, for example, fired thi rry-six officers for organ izing with an AFL affil iate. Levi, Bureaucratic inJll rgeruy, 1 32 . Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 30-3 1 . Quoted in Levi, Bureaucmtic Imurge",y, 3 1 . Levi, Bureaucrdtic IllJurgency, 9 1 -92. Quoted in Levi, Bureaucrdtic insurge",y, 9.1. Quoted in Levi, Bureducrrllic Insurge",y, ,) 1 . Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 4.1 . This dynamic was i n effect in cities th roughout the country. See: Fogelson , Big-City Police, 204. Quoted in Levi, Bureducratic Insurgency, 4 ,'\ . Levi, Bureatlcratic Insurgency, 49-5 1 . Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 54-55 . fogelson, Big- City Police, 2 1 0. Rodney Stark, Police Riots: Collective Violence and Lall! Enforcement (Bel mont, CA: focus Books , 1 972) , 202. Lev i , Bureaucratic Imurgency, 1 3 5 . I.evi. Bureaucratic Imurgency, 1 40. These strikes occurred in 1 974, 1 977, 1 97 8 , a n d 1 979. respectively. Richard J . Lundman, Police and Policing: An introduction (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1 980) , 4 1 . "The authorities sharply denounced these job actions; but they were so anxious to get the officers back on the street and so reluctant to tangle with the union that. instead of invoking the legal sanctions, they usually gave in to the demands and granted amnesty to the strikers." Fogelson, Big- City Police, 2 1 3 . William J. Bopp, "The Detroi t Police Revolt," in The Police Rebellion, ed. William J. Bopp (Springfiel d . Tl : r.h ::l ri("1.: r Thnm� <;" P!.!!:-H��e:. ! 97 ! ; , ! 6 5 . Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgemy, 1 1 2 . Levi, Bureaucrdtic Imurgency, 1 1 3; and Bopp, " Dettoit Police Revolt," 1 70 . Quoted i n Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 1 1 4. Levi, Bureaucratic Imurgency, 1 1 .3 , l i S , and 1 1 7: and Bopp, " D etroit Police Revolt," 1 72 . B o p p , "Detroit Police I{evolt," 1 72. Quoted in Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 1 20 . Levi describes the city's acquiescence: "The effect of the Detroit riot on the police labor dispute was immense . . . . Officials set about appeasing patrolmen and policewomen i n order to make them willing to carry out the work that had to be done. It became imperative to rebuild rank and file morale, ensure department unity and disci­ pline in case of emergency, and develop the means of squelchin g community discontent without engendering protest fro m either the police themselves or the subject population . The first step was to reward the patrol force for their participation in putting down the black uprising. [Police Chief Ray) Girardein rescinded the earlier suspensions and pay withholdings. Two weeks after the end of the racial conflict, the Common Council rushed through its approval of the DPOA contract." Levi, Bureaucratic Insu rgency, 1 1 9. Bopp, " Detroit Police Revolt," 1 72 . Levi describes this relationship i n N e w York: " I n t h e n ext several years, t h e PBA leaders learned to work closely with the department hierarchy and to negotiate more effectively with the city. Issues of management prerogative remained formally outside the scope of collective bargaining. Bur, as one legal advisor to the association once remarked, 'What's bargainable is determined by strength, essentially. ' Certainly new questions became available for discussion, and the PBA exerted greater direct influence on department policy. At the same time, the city and department learned to demand more for their money. They expected acquiescence to policy i nnovations in exchange for contract benefits." Levi, Bureaucratic Insu rgency, 77. See also: Nicholas Alex, Bldck in Blue: A Study o/the Negro Policeman (New York: Appleton-Cenmry-Crofts, 1 969) , 6 1 -62. For example, i n January 1 97 1 , a six-day wildcat strike b y 8 5 percent of New York's patrol officers

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ended when each striker was fined $600. Lcvi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 8 8-89. The police faced similar reprisals when they acted in solidarity with other workers during the Baltimore AFS C M E strike of 1 974. T h e strike began among garbage collectors. demanding higher pay. Soon, the strikers were joined by other public employees, including j ailers, park workers, zoo keepers, highway workers, and sewer engineers. After several days, on July 1 1 . the police joined the strike, in violation of M aryland law. Looting ensued, and one rioter was killed by an on-duty officer. The next day, G overnor Marvin Mandel sent in the state police, with an armored car and police dogs. The National G uard was placed on alert. By July 1 5 , most of the city workers were back on the job, and the strike was defeated. The police union i n particular was fined $ 2 5 ,000, and the union p resident was personally fined another $ 1 0 ,000. Russell, City in Terror, 242-244. See also: Pamela Irving Jackson, Jvfinority Group Threat. Crime, alld Poliring: Social Context and Social Control (New York: Praeger, 1 9 8 9 ) , 8 1 . For more on the political machines, see chapter 3 . Fogelson, Big- City Police. 72. The machines were not well equipped to defend themselves . " I n short. by virtue of their ex­ traordinary decentralization the machines could not as a rule compel the politicians, policemen, gangsters, and other members to ponder the organization's long-term i nterests before p ursuing their own short-run opportunities." Fogelson, Big-City Police, 73. Fogelson, Big-City Police, 5 3-54. I n areas othcr than policing, the business model was i n the forefront. This predominance was anything but accidental. While governments were undergoing a period of rationalization, corporations were engaged in a similar process. Each set of changes sought to increase the institution's legitimacy by eliminating the appearance of partial and person ­ alized control, replacing it with control according t o "impartial" and formalized laws-legislative and administrative rules in the case of the government, the dictates of the market for corporations. " For the illusion now appears that not capital but bureaucracy, not capitalists bnt managers control the large corporations . . . . ' Rewards' are distributed by 'society' according to ability, or the scarcity of the skill i nvolved and the occupation's 'function al importance. '" Maurice Zeitlin, "On Classes, Class Conflict, and the State: An Introductory Note," in Classes. Cl,1SS Conflict, and the State: Empirical Studies in Class Analysis, ed. Maurice Zeitlin (Cambridge, MA: Win throp Publishers. Inc. , 1 9 80), 9 . See also: Sidney Harri ng, Policing {/ Class Society: The Experience of American Cities. 1865-1915 (New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press, 1 9 8 3 ) , 30. Fogelson, Big-City Police, 56--5 8 . T h e crime-prevention focus was paired with a renewed enthusiasm for proactive tactics. "The reformers also thought that. so long as the police forces only responded to civilian complaints, they could not stamp ont gambling, prostitution. and other victimless crimes or keep tabs on trade unions, radical parties, and other left-wing groups. Hence they supported departments that tempted bartenders to sell liquor after hours, enticed women to engage in prostitu­ tion, tapped public telephones. infiltrated labor organizations, employed agents provocateurs, and otherwise ignored long-standing restraints on police power." Fogelson, Big-City Police, 90. Fogelson, Big-City Police, 1 78- 1 80 and 1 84 . fogelson, Big-City Police. 97. Fogelson, Big-City Police. 74-77 . One place where the chief was granted a permanent position was Los Angeles-with disastrous results. See: I ndependent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department [The Christopher Com mission] , Report of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (July 9, 1 9 9 1 ) , 1 86. "Most police departments . . . assumed the additional responsibility to control narcotics, censor motion pictures, curb j uvenile delinquen cy, and infiltrate trade unions and left-wing groups." Fogelson, Big- City Police, 1 06 . Weber describes an ideal bureaucracy: " O nly the supreme chief o f the o rganization occupies his position of dominance (Herrenstellung) by virtue of appropriation, of election, o r of having heen designated for the succession. But even his authority consists in a sphere of legal 'competence.' The whole administrative staff under the supreme anthority then consists, in the purest type , of individual officials . . . who are appointed and function according to the following criteria: ( 1 ) They are personally free and subject t o authoritv only with respect to their impersonal official obligations. (2) They are o rganized in a clearly defined hierarchy of offices. (3) Each omce has a clearly dell ned sphere of competence in the legal sense. (4) The omcc is filled by a free contractual relationship. Thus, in principle, there is free selection. (5) Candidates are selected on the basis of technical qualifications. In the most rational case, this is tested by examination or guaranteed by diplomas certifYing technical training, or both. They are appointed, not elected. (6) They are remunerated by fixed salaries in money, for the most part with a right to pensions . . . . (7) The office is treated as the sole, or at least the primary, occupation o f the incumbent.


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(8) It constitutes a career. There is a system o f 'promotion' accord i ng to seniority or achieve­ rnen(, or both, Promotion is dependent on the j udgment of superiors. (') The official works entirely separated from ownership of the means of cldm i n istration and without apptopriation of his position. ( 1 0) He is subject (0 strict clild systematic discipline and coni rol in the conduct of the office." Max Weber, Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpreti"e Soci% gy, cd. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich, vol . J (Berkeley: University of CalitclrIlia Press, 1 975) , 22()- 22 J . Emph:1sis in origillJl. Fogelson, Big- Cit), Po/iCl', 60. Fogelson, Big- Oty Police, 5 9 . Fogelson, Big- City i'olia, J 69. Though central ization undercut the foundation of the mach ine system , i t can :1lso be rC:1d as an extension of the ea rlier process of consolidating municipal power-the very process that estab­ l ished the citywide mach ines. I'ogelso n, H�(- Clty I'ofice, /H-79 and 1 77. Fogel son, Big-City I'D lice, SH-'i9. H '1f r y Braverman, Labor ,,'id MOllopoly Clpitll!: t he [)rgrddlltiol/ of Wo rk in the livemil'//! Century (New York: Monthlv Review Press, 1 974), 1 2 5 . I n J 9 2 .3 , Berkeley's ;eform-minded police chief August Vollmer was brought to L.A. ro clean up the eOlbarrassingly corrupt depannlcllt. Vollmer's plan COI1CCfll r ated on removing the depart­ ment fro m political i n fl uences, but he fai l ed to persuade the rank and file not to exploit eve ry­ day oppOl'tuni ties for corruption. Lu ndman, I'll lice IIUt! Policing. 1 78 . Fogelso n , Big- City I'olia, 80-8 1 . James F. Richardson, Urblln Police in the United Stdtl'S ( Po n Wash i ngton, N Y: National Un ivcr­ s i n' P ress and Kenni kat Press, J ')74) , 8 � . N ;w Yo rk Police Commissioner Howard Leary invited such complaints: " I f there is any criti­ cism o f the department's policies, admin istration, or operations , it should be di rected toward the Pol ice Commissioner, because he is the commander." Quoted i n Fd Cray, " The Poli tics of Blue Power," in lhc Police Rebellion, ed. William J . BopI' (Springfi eld, I L: Charles C. I'homas, Publ isher, 1 97 J ) , 'i 8 . J ames Richardson notes the poli tical advantages o f t h i s arrangement fo r mayo rs: ";\ hands· ofT policy means that the mayors can disclaim any responsibility fo r police operations . . . . Thus 'no political interference' may not alwavs be self-sacrificing. A !luyor may give lip pol ice patron ­ age or influence, but by so doin!; he also gives up any poli tical responsibility t,)r the police." Richardson, Urblln Police, 1 3 1 , Lgon Bittner, "The Quasi-Milital'l' Organization of the Pol i ce," in The /'o/ice tllif? Society, ed. Vic­ tor E. Kappeler (Prospect Heights, I L : Waveland Press, 1 99 9 ) , 1 76 . "AV:l i b h l p p\'i dF'nrf" ; n � i C"�!-=-<: !h:l! � !-: � ::; 8 �:-(:;: �f .>U.i='P":"i' L [VI n_rUl1l1 ;1I lUUlliLi p al government aId. not come from the lower or middle class, but from the upper class, The leading business groups in each city and professional men closely allied with them instituted and dominated municipal movelnents . . . . " Moreover: " These reformCl's, i t should be stressed, comprised not an old bm a new u pper ciass. Few came from earlier i ndustrial and mercantile families, Most of tbem h ad risen to social position from wealtb created after 1 87 0 in the iron, steel, electrical equipment, and other indm­ tries, and they l ived in the newer rather than the older fasbionable areas . . . . They represented not the old b usiness communi ty, but i n dustries which had developed and grown primarily with i n t h e past fifty years a n d which had come to dominate the city's economic life." Samuel I' Hays, "The Pol itics of Reform in Municipal Governmenr in the Progressive Era," i'llcific No rthwest QUllrterly (July 1 964) : 1 5 9 and 1 60 . "hom the common background a n d experience the reformers derived a common outlook, at the core o f which were three distinct yet clearly related assumptions about American society, First, tbey believed that social mobility was an economic, private, and i n d ividual process, as opposed to a political, public, and collenive one, and that succeSs was a result of i n dustry, ftugali ty, i n tegrity, and occasional good luck. Second, they held that political legitimacy was a function of the public i nterest, the commoll objectives o f the entire community, and not of the parochial i nterests of particular neighborhoods, ethnic groups, and socbl classes, And third, they thought that American moral i ty was based o n a commitment to abstinence and respectabi l ity, an abhor­ rence of self-indulgence and deviance, and a willingness to employ the criminal sanction to distinguish the one from the other." Fogelson , Big- City Police, 47. Iro n i cally, the Progressives failed to recognize the b i ases inherent i n this perspective. Reformers identifled the i nterests and objectives of their own class as those o f t h e publ i c a t l arge. The abi l i ty to sustain such a v iew, of course, relies all o ne's own position in the dominant group; i t may be that we can ascertain when a class be�ins to ach i eve dominance by the emergence of j ust such a perspective.

7 1 Both quoted in Hays, " Politics of Reform," 1 60 . See also: Fogelson, Big-City Police, 3 7 ; Sidney Harring, " The Development o f the Police Institution in the United States," Crime and Social justice: A journal o/Radical Criminology (Spring-Summer 1 9(6) : 5 8 ; a n d James Weinstein , The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State: 1900-1918 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1 96 8 ) , 1 00� 1 04 . 7 2 Fogelson, Big-City Police, 42. 73 The reformers emphasized the representative aspects of government at the expense of its partici­ patory aspects. "According to the liberal view of the Progressive Era, the maj o r political i nnova­ tions of reform involved the equalization of political power through the primary, the direct elec­ tio n of public officials, and the i nitiative, referendum, and recall. These measures played a large role in the political ideology of the time and were frequently incorporated into new m u nicipal charters. But they provided at best only an occasional and often i ncidental p rocess of decision­ making. Far more important in continuously sustained day-to-day processes of government were those innovations which centralized decision-making in the hands of fewer and fewer people." Hays, "Politics of Reform," 1 63. 74 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 4 7 and 62�6 3 . 75 Edward C . Banfield and James Q . Wilson, City Politics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univetsity Press and the MIT Press , 1 96 3 ) , 1 27. Parentheses in original. 76 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 1 1 1 - 1 1 2 . 7 7 Cramsci, hmously, distinguished between "domination" and " intellectual and moral lead ership," identifYing hegemony with the latter. He argued: "A social group dominates antagonistic groups, which it tends to 'liquidate' , or to subj ugate perhaps even by armed force; it leads kindred or allied groups. A social group can, and indeed must, already exercise ' leadership' before winning governmental power (this indeed is one of the principal conditions lor the winning of such power) ; it s ubsequently becomes dominant when it exercises power, but even if it holds it firmly in its grasp, it must continue ({) 'lead' as well." Antonio Gramsci, Selections From the Prison Note­ books ofAntol/io Gramsci, ed. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith (New York: I nterna­ tional Publishers, 1 9 7 1 ) , 5 7�5 8 . 78 Femia argues along similar lines, suggesting that hegemony operates "by mystifYing power rela­ tions, by j ustifYing forms of sacrifice and deprivation, by i ndUCing fatalism and passivity, and by narrowing mental horizons." Joseph V. Femia, Gramscis Political Thought: Hegemony, Conscious­ ness, and the Revollitionary Process (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1 9 8 1 ) , 4 5 . 79 Bernard Shaw, "The Doctor's Dilemma," in The Doctors Dilemma, Getting Jvfarried, 6- The Shew­ ing- Up ofBlanco Posnet, act 1 (London: Constable and Company, 1 9 1 1 ) . 8 0 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 1 36 and 1 3 8 . 8 1 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 1 43 ; and Seymour Martin Lipset, "Why Cops Hate Liberals-And Vice Versa," in The Police Rebellion, ed. William J . Bopp (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1 9 7 1 ) , 30. 82 Richardson, Urban Police, 1 37�1 38. By 1 940, half of the new recruits to the NYPD had bachelor's degrees. This marked a significant change since the time before the Depression, when many police­ man had never been to high school (6 percent in New York) . Richardson, Urban Police, 1 3 8 and 1 3 5 . 83 Raben F. Wintersmirh, Police and the B!dck C.ommunity (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1 9(4) , 65---66 . 84 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 1 44� 1 46. 8 5 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 1 5 0� I S 2 . 86 Fogelson, Big-City Police, 1 5 4� 1 5 5 . Sociologists identifY professions hy six characteristics: ( 1 ) skills based o n theoretical knowledge; (2) education and training; (3) competence ensured by examinations; (4) a code o f ethics; (5) provision of a service for the public good; and, (6) a professional association that organizes members. I n Nicholas Abercrombie et aI. , ihe Penguin Dictionary ofSociology (London: Penguin Books, 2000) , S.\'. " Profession." 87 Fogelson, Big-City Police, 1 5 8 ; a n d Richardson, Urban Police, 1 3 1 . 8 8 Fogelson, Big-City Police, 223�22 5 . 89 Lundman, Police and Policing, 1 8 0. 90 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 2 2 5 . 9 1 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 227. 92 Fogelson, Big-City Police, 27 1 ; and Lundrnan, Police and i'olicing, 1 8 1 , 9 3 During the 1 960s and 1 970s, African Americans and Puerto Ricans sued departments in Boston, Philadelphia, and Oakland, arguing that the entrance requirements were discriminatory. Fogelson, Big-City Police, 230. 94 Fogelso n , Big- City Police, 227. 9 5 The insistence that commanders be drawn from the tanks greatly limited the pool of applicants, reduced rhe possibil ities for in novative leadership, and institutionalized the existing police cul­ ture. The arrangement also solidified the sense of u n i ty between beat cops and their supervisors, with predictable res ults for discipline. See: Fogelson, Big-City Police, 2 2 9 . 96 Lundman, Police and PoliCing, 1 8 1 .


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97 Carl B. Klockars, "The Rhetoric of Community Policing," i n The Police and Society, ed. Victor E. Kappeler (Prospect Heights, I L: Waveland Press, 1 999), 4 3 3 . 9S Richardson, Urbtln Polia, 1 48- 1 49 . 9') Fogelson, Big-City Police, 223-22 5 . 1 00 Fogel son, Rig- City Police, 226. 1 0 1 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 1 87 and 2.1 1 . 1 02 Fogel son, Rig- City Potier, 1 8 8 . 1 03 Fogelson. [Jig-City Police, 24 1 -242. 1 04 Quoted in Fogelson, Big- City Police, 207. Emphasis in original. 1 0 5 I n April 200 I , Cincinnati vice mayor M i nette Cooper complained: " Unfortunately, over the years , City Council has made many i m po rtant concessions to the police union, creating an at­ mosphere of autonomy within the police division." Quoted i n Kevin Osbourne, "Council Wants Police More Accou ntable," Cincill//(ui 1'01/, April 1 0 , 200 I , http://www. ci neypost.eom/ 200 I I apr! I O/ change04 1 00 I . htll1 l (accessed April 2 5 , 20(2) . 1 06 At a June 1 8 , 2002, meeting of the h)l't Worth Pol ice Officers' Association, Pres ident John Kerr explained the union's relationsh i p with the d istrict a[torney and its stake in his re-election: " We' re going to support Tim Curry because Ti m Curry will not prosecute a police omcer who commits a crime." Quoted in Betty Brink, "A Pass for Rad Cops'" fort Wo rth (Texas) Wet:kly, October ,) , 2002, http://www.fwweekly.com/issuesI2002- 1 O-O.3l metropolis.html (accessed February 28, 2003 ) . 1 07 Margaret l.evi argues that this is an aspect of all puhlic service worker unions. She notts that public employees "organize, as do privately employed workers, when they perceive their pay to be low, thei r working conditions poor, and the job pressures intolerable. In addi tion, civil ser­ varus so metimes are 111 0 tivated to form lobbies and unions when the stated aim� of admin istra­ tors are di;agreeable." Levi, Bureaucratic /Ilsurgemy, 8-9 . l OS Fogels o n , Big- City ['ofice, 2 1 2-2 1 3 . 1 0<) Jerome t 1 . Skolnick, The l'nlitics 0rProtest: Violent A spec!.,· of Prolfst and Confro nttltion: A Report Submitted by lerom,' H. Skolnick [The Skolnick Report; Report of the 'hsk Force on Violent As­ pects of Protest and Confrontation to the National Commi"ion o n the Causes and Prevention of Violence] (Washington, D,C: Supt. of Doculllents, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1 969) , 2 0 5 . See also: Robert Reiner, The Blue- Coated WtJrker: A Sociologictll Study ofPolice Unionism (Cambridge: Cambridge Universitv Press , 1 97 8 ) , 4 ; and. Stark, Police Riots, 2 1 0 . For a related d iscuss ion on the influence of prison guards' unions, sec Clayton Szczech, " Beyond Autonomy or Domi nance: The Pol itical Sociology o f Prison Expansion" (bacbelor's thesis, Reed College, 2000), 7 8 . 1 1 0 Stark goes o n : " I ndeed, in their new mood the police rejecr their historic role a s t h e enforcers o f establish ed nol itic:1i :1 n � "nr i ,� l 'n ,, 1 ; r i ,:, � . T��'.T !"� 8"'."': ::,:;:: !;: ::�.: y.:::..�.�.-':i· �v .1\,... l\.l 111iHC lin::.'lt: puii<.:ies . . . . [This pursui t] causes them to challenge rad ically the authority of their own commanders, the courts, civil authorities, and constitutionality." Stark. Police Riots, 1 92- 1 93. I I I In 1 99 5 , California Common Cause observed: "If legislators vote against bills supported by police interests, they know they run the risk of being labeled as 'soft on crime,' even if the legislation has nothing to do with public safety. The last thing a legislator wants i n an election year is to lose the endorsement of police groups, o r worse yet, end up o n rheir hit l i st." Quoted in Lynne Wilson, "Cops vs. Citizen Review," CovertAction Quarterly (Winter 1 99 5-96) : 1 1 . See also: Max Gunther, "Cops in Pol i tics: A Threat to Democracy?" in The Police Rebellion, cd. William ] . Bopp (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1 9 7 1 ) , 1 1 2 Frank Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege: Red Squads and Police Repression i n Urban Americtl (Berke­ ley: University of California Press, 1 99 0 ) , 2 06-207. 1 1 3 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 208. 1 1 4 Stark, Police Riots, 2 1 2; and Fogelson , Big-City Police, 2 0 8 . 1 1 5 Quoted i n Gunther, " Cops in Pol itics," 62. 1 1 6 Stark, Police Riots, 209; and Skolnick, Report, 2 1 0. 1 1 7 Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 2 5 2 . 1 1 8 Skolnick, Politics of Protest, 209; and Algernon D . Black, The People and the Police (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1 96 8 ) , 2 1 1 . 1 1 9 Quoted i n Wil liam ] . Bopp, "The New York City Referendum on Civilian Review," i n The Police Rebellion, ed. Will iam J. Bopp (Springfield , IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1 97 1 ) , 1 29- 1 30. 1 20 Quoted i n Skolnick, Politics ofProtest, 209, Emphasis in originaL 1 2 1 Quoted in Black, People and the Police, 2 1 0-2 1 L 1 22 Quoted in Stark. Police Riots, 1 94. 1 23 Bopp, "New York City Referendum," 1 33 . 1 24 Fogelson, Big- City Police, 2 8 6 , 1 2 5 Lynne Wilson, " Enforcing Racism," CovertActioll Quarterly (Winter 1 99 5-96) : 9. The efforts of

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Black police associations demonstrate the possibility of police support for liberal causes. But these organizations, while stark critics of department policies and a sincere voice for civil rights, always embody something of a compromise. They represent the contradictory positions occupied by Black cops. A Black officer must be constantly aware of his second-class status, even (or especially) within the department. And when he takes off his uniform he merges again, almost wholly, into the mass of people whom it is the cops' job to regard suspiciously, and sometimes to attack, and always to control. These dual roles mark the boundaries of the Black officers' political activity. If, for example, Black police associations only represent the "policing" perspective, there is neither any way to differentiate them from the other (White) police associations, nor any need to. But, i f they represent only the "Black" perspective, then they exist only as social or civil rights groups-and as rather conservative ones at that. The result will always be half-measures, which seem radical only by comparison to the department as a whole, and to their White counterparts. Quoted in Alex, Black in Blue, 1 67 . See also: W. Marvin Dulaney, Black Police in America (Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1 99 6) , 7 3 . Quoted in Stark, Police Riots, 1 97. A sim ilar controversy occurred in Boston when Dick MacEachern, president o f the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, instructed members to "up­ hold the law and disregard any order not to do so." Quoted in William J . Bopp, "The Patrolmen in Boston," in The Police Rebellion, ed. William J . Bopp (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1 97 1 ) , 1 82 . The maneuver was calculated to present Cassese as a tough leader and preserve his position in the P BA. Cassese was himself facing a right-wing revolt within the organization , a revolt l e d by the Law Enforcement Group. Skolnick, Politics 0/Protest, 207. Quoted in Skolnick, Politics o/Protest, 2 1 3. Quoted in Stark, Police Riots, 1 97. Quoted in Skolnick, Politics ofProtest, 2 1 3 . Quoted in Fogelson, Big- City Police, 304. Quoted in Geo rge James, " Police Dept. Report Assails Officers in New York Rally," New York Times, September 2 9 , 1 99 2 . Elsewhere the language is stronger: "The demonstrators' actions were a clear violation of the law." Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. The New York Times noted that: "In one example, an officer encouraged misconduct. More commonly, [on-duty] officers appeared to stand by and observe without taking action." "The Police Demonstration: What the Internal Investigation Found," New York Times, September 29, 1 992. Quoted in James C. McKinley, " Officers Rally and Dinkins Is Their Target," New York Times, September 1 7, 1 992. Quoted in McKinley, J r. , "Officers Rally." Quoted in James, " Police Dept. Report." Giuliani's policies and police-state aspirations are discussed in chapter 9. Ironically, the love affair between Giuliani and the PBA went sour when, as mayor, he insisted on a wage freeze for public employees. Sidney L . Harring and Gerda W Ray, "Policing A Class Society: New York City in the 1 9905," Social Justice (Summer 1 99 9 ) : 72-73. In 1 9 59, lhe Nation gleefully reported that a unionized police force could still be effectively employed against striking workers: " Members of the Bridgeport [Connecticut] police local have also proved themselves capable of enforcing the law in cases involving their brethren in other unions. Police quelled picket-line disturbances during two bitter industrial strikes i n 1 9 5 5 , in both cases receiving expressions of thanks from the plant managers. There have been no signifi­ cant picket-line battles i n Bridgeport since." Edmund P. Murray, "Should the Police Unionize?" The Nation, June 1 3 , 1 9 5 9 , 5 3 1 . David H . Bayley and Harold Mendelsohn, Minorities and the Police: Confrontation in America (New York: The Free Press , 1 969) , 1 4. See, for example, Dennis C. Rousey, Policing the Southern City: New Orleans, 1 80 5- 1 8 8 9 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana Stare University Press, 1 996) , 5 3 . In fact, in many ways the police enjoyed more favorable conditions than other workers. "These [ police] jobs were quite attractive. Patrolmen earned from $600 in Kansas City to $ 1 ,200 in San Francisco, more than laborers, weavers, miners, and factory workers and about as much as painters , carpenters, teamsters, blacksmiths, and street railway conductors." Fogelson, Big-City Police, 1 9 . See also: Roger Lane, Policing the City: Boston 1 822-1 885 (Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press, 1 967) , 76. The use o f taw enforcement to manage the work force is nothing new. Under the rule o f Edward VI ( 1 547- 5 3 ) , English law called on constables and j ustices of the peace to force laborers to work on farms suffering labor shortages , to wake them early in the morning, and to hurry them through mealtimes and breaks. Cyril D . Robinson and Richard Scaglion, "The Origin of the Police Function in Society: Notes Toward a Theorv." Law and Society Review 2 1 : 1 ( I 987): 1 47.

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1 4 5 Braverman offers a clear description of the middk class: " [LJ ike the working class it possesses

no economic or occupational independence, is employed by capital and its o f[,hoots, possesses no access to the labor process or the means of production o utside that em ployme n t , and Ill ust renew its labors t')f capital in cessantly in order to subsist. This portion of employment emb races the engineering, tech nical, and scien tific cadre, the lower ranks nf supervision and management, the considerable numbers of special ized and 'professional' emp loyees occupied in marketi ng, financial and organ izational admin istration, and the like, :" well as, outside of capitalist industrv proper, in hospitals, schools, government adm inistration and so forth." Braverman , Labor, 403, 1 46 Braverman , Labor, 4 0 5 . 1 47 "This 'new middle class' takes its characteristics from both sides. Not only does it receive its petty share i n the prerogatives and rewards of capital, but it also bears the mark of the proletarian condition." Braverman , Labor, 407. Emphasis in original. 1 48 Harring identifies several tools for dividing the police fro m the working cia", including: strat i­ ficat ion within the lower dasses, eth nic differences , the cops ' organizational cultu re, disdpline, and the criminal ization of worki ng-class activities. H arring, Po/iring /1 CIllss So[il'ty, 1 44 . 1 4') I.evi , BurCtlucyatic Imurgl'l1CY, 5 1 . 1 ') 0 Quoted in Fogelso n , Big-City I'olice, 207. 1 5 1 These li mits arc significant, but they sadly do not distinguish police associatio ns from proper lobor un ions. The American labor movement has often [llien fa r below the ideals of i n ter-union solidarity, rank-and-flle leadersh ip, and direct action mi lita ncy. 1 ') 2 Think about it this way-if the slave patrollers had fo rmed a union, maki ng demands about wages, hours, discipline, and so on, would conscientious supporters of wo rkers' rights be obl iged to support them in those demands? No. And why not? Because the nature of their work was to rep ress and co n t rol part of the worki ng class-the slaves. This puts the slave patrollers, and now the police, clearly on the side of the bosses, in roughly the same class position as an)" other manager who does not own capital, but earns his keep by acting as the proxy fo r the ruling class. It should be noted that this is not i ntended as a legal argument abut the right of the police to organize. I would not defer to the state the authority to decide who does or does not have that right. But the demands of solidarity arc another matter entirely. It is these with which I am chiefly concerned. 1 5 3 For a contrary position, see: Bruce C. Johnson, " Taking Care o f Labor: The Police in American I.ife," Theory and Society (Spring 1 976) : 8 9- 1 1 7. Johnson argues t hat police sympathize with workers (and vice vcrsa) , but he never supports his strongest claim-that the pol ice do actually defend the interests of workers (specifically White workers) /IS workers. To the degree that White workers have an interest in racist inequalities, it is obvious that the pol ice defend their interest in that regard-which is to sa)', the police defend the privileges White workers enjoy tlI White peoplt> in ::l r::l.i"t "orif'ty pp rh:lr� �h� ::'.. !" �:�! ::: '::��!d S� ;-'l-�':';.": p;vVl,.. l ly l; l!LJ. "'l'"aKiug Care or Whitey." 1 54 Murra)", "Should the Police Unionize)," 532. I n an ironic postscript t o the infamous strike o f 1 9 1 9, the Boston Police Patrol men's Association was founded in 1 96 5 , a n d won a contract i n 1 96 8 . B u t when, that same year, the legislature l i fted the prohibition on affiliation with other unions, the BPI'A declined (0 attach itself to the AFL-CIO. Russell , City in Terror, 2.32. 1 5 5 Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 8 9 . 1 5 6 On February 27, 2003, a San Francisco grand j ury stunned the city when it issued indictments against three officers involved i n an off-duty beating and seven commanders who helped cover it up. Among those charged with conspi racy to obstruct j ustice: Police Chief Earl Sanders, Assis­ tant Chief Alex Fagan, Sr. , Deputy Chief Greg Suhr, and Deputy Chief David Robinson. Chuck Finnie, " S FPD Indictments Shock the Ci ty," Stln Francisco Chronicle, March 1 , 2003 [database: NewsBank Full-Text Newspapers, accessed March 4, 2003J . 1 5 7 Stark, Police Riots, 203-204. 1 5 8 Quoted i n Levi, Bureaucratic !nsurgency, 20-2 1 . 1 5 9 Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 1 4 5 . 1 60 Colin Crouch and Ronald Dore, "Whatever Happened to Corporatism ? " in Corporatism and Ac­ countability: Organized Interests in British Public Lifo, ed. Colin Crouch and Ronald Dore (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1 990) , 3 . Parentheses i n original. 1 6 1 Crouch and Dore, "Whatever Happened?" .3-4. Parentheses in o riginal. 1 62 Michael 1'. Florinsky, Filscism and National Socialism: A Study ofthe Economic and Social Policies of the Totalitarian State (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1 936). For more on corporatism, see: Philippe C. Schmitter, "Still the Century of Corporatism?" The Review ofPolitics 36 ( 1 974) : 8 5-1 3 1 . 1 63 I f this analysis i s sound, then it suggests a particular picture of the state and the role of the police union in maintaining its power. Rather than standing as a u n i tary sovereign with various subordinate agencies at hand to enact its wil l , the state would consist of a cornplex network comprising these agencies, and dependent on their cooperation for its power. This idea will be 2 74

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expanded in the pages that fol low. For now, let's j ust notc that this view complicates Crouch and Dore's definition o f a "corporatist arrangement," since they identifY "the s tate" as one party in the arrangement, and overlook the possibility that the state itself may in part consist of such corporatist relations. Levi, Bureauaatic Insurgency, 9; and Center for Research on Criminal Justice, Iron Fist, 1 46. Levi examines the difference between private and public employees, but not between cops and other public workers. In fact, she takes the police to be paradigmatic. But as long as the p olice represent the coercive apparatus of the state, they must be understood as fundamentally different than, say, sanitation workers, firefighters, and teachers. Robert Reiner explains: "The deter­ minants of the policeman's economic situation are to an extent diametrically opposed to those for other workers . This is because, when governments attempt to implement policies of wage restraint against union opposition, the police assume a peculiar importance due to their role in situations o f i ndustrial conf1ict. Then they will have to be treated as a most 'special case' in pay negotiations. Furthermore, their work situation, i n particular when it i nvolves confrontations with trade unionists at pickets, inclines them towards a conservative world-view and a sense o f alienation from t h e l a b o u r movement. T h i s conf1icts with pressure towards forms of organiza­ tion of a more or less unionate nature, deriving fro m their own concerns as employees." Reiner, Blue-Coated Worker, 4. Emphasis in original. " [T] heir efforts to serve 'the public' often reveal how divergent conceptions of 'the public' can be. Police employee organizations demand the material and laws which enable them to p rotect worki ng- and middle-class homeowners [sid ; they are far less concerned with the protection o f ghetto dwellers, hippies, and pol itical activists. The radical caucuses o f social worker and teacher unions tend to make the opposite choice; they are less interested i n defining and containing a problem population than in providing the impoverished and the rej ected with new opportuni­ ties. The effect of batding over who is to be served-and how-is to undermine the ideology of government as a neurral serV'lnt of the citizens, ahle to bring together various i nterests under a common and equally available set of services. Instead of acting [as] the arbiter above the political struggles, the state becomes part of the fray." Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 1 5 4 . Former Atlanta police chief Herbert Jenkins described that city's police nIl ion as "not a union at all, but in fact a thinly veiled cover for Klan membership." Herbert Jenkins, Keeping the Peace: A Police Chief Looks at His Job (New York: H arper & Row, 1 970), 2 3 . T h e M i a m i Police Benevolent Association h a d a constitutional provision requiring that member­ ship be open only to "white members of the police force." That clause was removed in January 1 970, but when five R lack officers applied for membership i n December of that year, their applications were rejected. Dulaney. Black Police, 1 4'5 . Black people were not the only group subject to discrimination l i ke this. New York's Pol ice Benevolent Association exclnded women until 1 96 8 . l .evi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 27. Dulaney, Black Police, 2 1 . Quoted i n Wilson , "Enforcing Racism," 9. "Shooter Cop Reinstated; What's Wrong with This Picture?" Peoples Police Report (, ( 1 9 9 5 ) : 1 -2. Wintersmith, Police and the Black Community, 66-67. " Before the seventeenth century, every l arge European state ruled its subjects through powerful intermediaries who enj oyed significant autonomy, hi ndered state demands that were not to their interests, and profited on their own accounts from the delegated exercise o f state power. The intermediaries were often p rivileged members of subordinate populations, and made their way by assuring rulers of tribute and acquiescence from these populations." Charles Tilly, Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990-1990 (Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1 990) , 1 04. William A. Westley, " Violence and the Police," i n Police Patrol Readings, cd. Samuel G. Chapman (Springfield, It: Charles C. Thomas, 1 964) , 289-290. This analysis i s considered in chapter 1 . The degree to which this is true may be indicated by union efforts to authorize the use of force where it was prohibited by l aw or departmental policy. The most famous case, Cassese's rule to "enforce the l aw 1 00 percent" (quoted in Gunther, " Cops i n Politics," 65) has already been discussed, but other examples are available. For instance, i n 1 970, the Adama FOP voted to illegally carry their own guns while on duty. In Detroit, at around the same time, the DPOA was encouraging its members to use hollow-tip bullets. Levi, Bureaucratic Insurgency, 1 4 1 . Martin J . Smith, Press ure, Power and Policy: State Autonomy and Policy Netwo rks in Britain and Ihe United States (Pittsburgh: Univer; ity of Pittsburgh Press, 1 993) , 2. This analysis has clear implications for our undersranding of other concepts, including "state autonomy," "state interests," and "reasons of state." Clayton Szczech points out that "the state cannot effectively pursue its self-interested agenda becanse no such unified agenda exists . . . . for example, what the Department of Defense wants and needs may not always coincide with what the Department of Commerce wants and needs, and both of them must util ize networks with social groups, elected officials and other bureaucracies to realize any goals at all." Szczech, "Beyond Autonomy or 2 75

Dominance," 1 7. 1 76 Smith concurs: "It is also difficult to identi fy the boundaries o f t h e state . . . . M a n y parts of civil society are given institutional access to the state and play a role in the development of puhlic policy. The state also funds a number of groups within society which, although in principle autonomous, arc highly dependent on the state. I n addition, the boundaries of the state are COIl­ tinually changing through privatization, the hiving o ff of pans o f the civil service and the creation of new regulatory bodies." Smith, Pressure, Power and Policy, 2. The absence of clearly demarcated boundaries (defining the limits of the state) seems to me a theoretical advantage. It allows us to replace a binary opposition, in which an agency is always either identified with the state or not, with a continuum i n which it should be considered a part of the state to the degree that it is incorporated into the relevant power nerworks. Privatized services, subsidized research and devel­ opment, and police unions are thus more a part of the state than are church-run charities, family farms, and the IWW, but less a part of the state than Congress, the Army, or the courts. 1 77 Szczech, " lkyond Autonomy or Dominance," 1 9 . Emp hasis in original . Agai n, Smith: " With pol icy networks, power is a relationship based on dependence and not a zero-sum. Power is something that develops within relationsh i ps between groups and state actors, and a pol icy network is frequently a mechanism for enhancing mutual power rather [han taki ng power from one or the other." Smith, Pmsure, Power a n d Poliey, 7 . 1 78 Again, t h e tendency roward corporatism is discen;ible. " Mo nopol istic and hierarchical groups have the resources to negotiate with governments because they have the ability to implement any decisions which are agreed. Under corporatism, the role of groups is regulatory as well as rcpre­ sentative. They are responsible for ensuring that their members accept agreed policy decisions'-' Smith, Pressure, Power and Policy, 3 1 . 1 79 Szczech's thesis studies one manifestation of this process, the 1 990s wave of prison expansion: "The expansion of the U.s. prison system has clearly augmented the power of crimi nal j ustice institutions and actors considerably. This came about however, thro ugh a political process of net­ working that has also increased the power and resources o f social acrors: prisoll guards ' and po­ lice unions, firms that contract with prisons, and rural communities that would otherwise havc faced economic depress ion. Likewise, prison expansion has not increased the power or autonomy of the state as a whole. The fiscal costs of i m prisonment have entailed severe fiscal cutbacks and reduced capacity i n nearly every other governmental sector, especially social welfare." Szczech, " Beyond Autonomy Ot Dominance," 8 5 . 1 80 " Unions, as so many authors have noted, are a source of personal mobili ty. Union officialdom becomes a carecr i n itself, and union officials act to preserve their p rivileges . Collusive bargai n­ ing offers a number of advantages to union leaders i n this positio n . By engaging i n coll usive batgaining, association leaders win concessions for their members without engaging in strikes (which are always costly and problematic in the public sector wh�rc
Chapter 7 : Secret Police, Red Squads, and thc Strategy of Permanent Repression

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2 76

Frank Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege: Red Squads and Police Repression in Urban America (Berke­ ley: University of California Press, 1 990), l -L Riot control strategies are discussed in the next chapter. Quoted in Peter Bollen, Great Labor Quotations: Sourcebook and Reader (Los A ngeles: Red Eye Press, 2000), 1 3. Samuel Yellen, American Labor Struggles, 1 877-1934 (New York: Pathfinder, 1 936) , 5 9 . Quoted i n Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the United States, 1492-Present (New York: Harp­ erPerennial, 1 99 5 ) , 264. Zinn, People's History, 265. See also: Paul Avrich, The Haymarket Tragedy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1 984), 208.

7 Henry David,

The History ofthe Haymarket Affo ir: A Study in the American SOcial-Revolutionary and I.abor Movements (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1 936), 528. The Kni gh ts of Lahor, for example,

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issued a slatemenr that "the Knights of Labor have no affiliation, association, sympathy, or respect for the band of cowardly m urderers, cut-throats, and robbers, known as anarchists." Quoted in Foster Rhea I )ullcs and Melvyn Dubofsky, Labor in America: A History (Arlington Heights, IL: Harlan Davidson, 1 984) , 1 8 8- 1 8 9 . Jeremy Brecher, Strike! (San Francisco: Straight Arrow Books, 1 972), 4 7 . Quoted in Bruce C. Nelson, Beyond the Martyrs: A Social History of Chicago's Anarchists, 1 870-1900 (New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers Univcr;ity Press, 1 98 8 ) , 1 9 0 . Kelson, Beyond the lv1artyrs, 1 90 . Joseph G. Rayback, A History ofAmerican Labor (New York: The Free Press, 1 966) , 1 68- 1 69 . Among other questionable features, the jury contained members who admitted to prej udices against the defendants. Rayback, History ofAmerican Labor, 1 67- 1 68. Avrich, Haymarket Tragedy, 2 7 5 . Qlloted i n Nelson, Beyond the Martyrs, 1 92- 1 93 . Quoted in Avrich, Htlymarkl't Tragedy, 2 8 .3 . Quoted i n Yellen, Labor Struggles, 6 9 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 1 4-20. Quoted i n Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 1 5 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 2 0 . Alan Wolfe, The Seilmy Side ofDemocracy: Repression in America (Reading, MA : Longman, 1 97 8 ) , 6 . I )on ner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 1 . Frank Kitson, Low 1memity Operations: Subversion, I.nsurgeru)\ Petlce-Keeping (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1 97 1 ) , 4 9 . Senate Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities [Church Committee] , Fintll Report ofthe Select Committee to Study Government Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities, 94th Congress, 2d sess. , 1 976, Book II, 1 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 1 0- 1 1 . Donner's book Protectors ofPrivilege: Red Squads tlild Re­ pression in Urban America is commonly recognized as the single best history of the subject, and much of the discussion here is drawn from his work. Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3 1 . Don ner, Protectors afPrivilege, 1 -2 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3 0 . Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall , Agents ofRepression: The FBI's Secret wtt rs Agtlinst the Bltlck Ptlnther Party and the AmeriCLIrl Indian Movement (Boston: South End Press, 1 990), 22. Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3 5-36 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 36-37 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 62-6 3 . Donner, Protectors ofPrilJilege, 57-5 9 . Frank Donner, "Theory and Practice of American Political T ntelligcnce," New York Review of Books, Apr.il 2 2 , 1 97 1 , 2 9 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 9 1 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 66-69 . Donner, Protectors ofPriVilege, 260. Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 93-9 5 . Donner, Protectors afPrivilege, 2 3 3 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, .) 1 8 and .030. " I n the early years of [the twentieth] century, police gathered information from informers planted by private agencies, employers' associations, and patriotic groups. By the thirties, big-city police had begun to recruit their own informers from the private secror and acted as [he spy's 'handlers,' 'contacts,' or 'controls,' only rarely themselves resorting to impersonatio n , dissembling loyalties, a n d t h e fabrication of cover identities. It was one thing to have an agent as an independent contractor to do the dirty work of spying, but quite another for a public servant to do it himself. But in the sixties, police, not only in Chicago and New York but in smaller cities-San Diego, Houston, Oakland, New Orleans, and Columbus, to name a few-went under­ ground, and the 'undercover agent' became commonplace." Donner. Protectors ofPrivilege, 69-70. Donner, "Theory and Practice," 3 3 . Donner, Protectors ofPrilJilege, 1 69 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 260. American Friends Service Comm ittee (AFSC) , Program on Government Surveillance and Citizens' Rights, The Police Thretlt to Political Liberty: Discoveries tlnd Actions ofthe American Friends Service Committee Program on Government Surveillance and Citizens' Rights (Philadelphia: AFSe, 1 979), 1 2 .


46 Ford Fessenden and M ichael Moss, "Going Electronic, Denver Reveals Long-Term Surveillance," New York Times, December 2 1 , 2002, http://www. nytimes . com/2021 1 2/ 1 2ltechnology2 1 PRIY. hunl (accessed December 2 1 , 2002); Sarah Huntley, "Greens Criticize Cops for Spy Files," Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO). September 6, 2002, http://www. rockymountainnews.com/ drmn/locallarticle/O, 1 2299,DRMN 1 S_ 1 40 1 560,OO.html (accessed December I I , 2(02) ; and, Sarah Huntley, '''Spy File' Backlog Has Police Hopping," Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) , September S, 2002, http://www. rockymountainnews.com/dnnnllocallartide/O. 1 299,DRM N _ 1 ')_ 1 .)74 1 60.00 (accessed December 1 1 , 20(2 ) . 47 AFSC, Police Threat t o PolitiCilI L iberty, 2 7 . 4 8 Donner, "Theory a n d Practice," .12. 4 9 Donner, Protectors ofPriuilege, 2 2 1 . 5 0 Donner, Protectors ofl'rivilegt, 207-208. Parentheses in originaL S I Donner, Protators of l'riz,i/ege, 20()-2 1 0 and 2 1 7. 52 Quoted in Ward Church i l l and J i m Va nder Wal l , lfw C01NThLI'RO I'ilpers: DocummufTom cb,' FBIJ- Secret Wrm Aglliwt Domestic Dim'nt ( Boston: South End Press, 1 990), 92. ') .1 Church Com m i ttee, Fin,:! Repo rt, Book If, 1 0. 'i4 Ch urch Commi ttee, Final Repo rt, Book I l l , 2 20-22 .1 . '5 5 Ch urchill a n d Vander Wal l , COfN'f"EL I'RO i'llpers, 1 43 . '5 6 Quoted in Churchill and Va nder Wal l , COfNTEL PRO To'pers, 1 5 5- 1 .16. '5 7 Churchi l l and Vander Wal l , COINTEl.PRO Ptlpers, 1 .19- 1 40 . 'i 8 Churchill a n d Vander Wal l , C01N7ELl'RO Ptlpers, 1 4 1 - 1 42 . ')<) C hurchill and Vander Wal l , Agents of Rep ression, 8 8 . W Churchill and Vander Wal l , Agents o/Rep ression, 9 0 . 6 1 Quoted in Kamal Hassan , "Justice T(lO tong Denied," 7: ivfagllz.ine, November 1 997, 1 0. 62 Amnesty International, " U SA: New Evidence I n Murder Case Could End 25 Years of Injustice fo r Former Black Panther Leader," http://weh.amnesty.org/ai.nsfl index/AM R5 1 0 1 2 1 99 7 (ac­ cessed December 1 2 , 20(2 ) . Also: Hassan, "Justice," 1 0 . 6., Quoted in Don Terry, " Los Angeles Confronts a Bitter Racial Legacy in a Black Panther Case," New Yo rk Times, July 20, 1 997. 64 Dickey reasoned dut inf'lflnation about Butler's connection to law enforcement might have infl uenced the j u ry's decis ion. His thinking seems to have been sound; Jeanne Rook Hamilton, a j uro r from the case said, " I f we had known about Burler's background, there's no way Pratt would h ave been convicted." Quoted in Terry, " Los Angeles." 65 Ji Jaga sued the federal government and the city of Los Angeles and settled for $ 4 . 5 million. Todd S . Purdum, " Ex-Black Panther Wins Long Legal Batde," New }(,,·k Times, April 27. 2000. 66 AFSC, Police Threat to 1'0fitiCilI Liberty, 1 4- 1 5 . 67 Church Com m i ttf't'". Final Rptnvt, RAnk I!, � ! . 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78

79 80

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Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 1 5 8 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 1 44 . Donner, Protectors ofPritJifege, 86-88 , 3 8 9 . Church Committee, Final Report, Book I I , 5 . Quoted i n AfSC, Police I hreat to Political Liberty, 66-67. AFSC, Poliee lhretlt to Politictll Liberty, 5 0 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivi/ege, 272-27 3 . Quoted i n Ben Jacklet, "The Secret Watchers," Portltlnd (OR) Tribune, September 1 3 , 2002. Ben Jacklet and Anna Skin ner, "The Wi ld, the Weird and the Plain Silly," Po rtland (OR) Tribune, September 1 3 , 2002. Ben Jacklet, "'It Should Be Nored . . . ,'. Portland (OR) Tribune, September 1 7 , 2002. See also: Ben Jaddet, "A Legacy of Suspicion," Port/lind (OR) Tribune, September 20, 2002. Other biases also come into play, especially those concerning race and ethnicity. For example, in a 1 972 reporr on the annual Rose Festival , Portland police sergeant Wayne J nman notes with alarm, "An abnormally high percentage of those attending carnivals are blacks and a substantial portion of blacks are normally i nvolved in criminal activity. . . . The Carnival provides an excel­ lent opportunity for these undisciplined blacks to gather and perform their antisocial acts within (he anonymity and safety of the crowd." Quoted in Jacklet, " Legacy." This tendency has been especially pronounced in police campaigns against the civil rights and labor movements . See chapters 4 and 5. Donner, Protectors 0.(Privilege, 286 and 3 5 9 . "These [right-wing] organizations are prized by intelligence agencies because they share the basic intelligence assum ption that the country is i n the grip of a wide-spread subversive conspiracy. Intelligence agents and informers use the p latform and publications of the far right to document this thesis with 'inside' information." Donner, " Theory and Practice," 29. Donner, Protectors afPrivilege, 1 46- 1 50.

82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99

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Donner, Protectors 0/Privilege, 3 5 8 . AFSe , Police Threat to Political Uberty, 1 0 5 ; a n d Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 2 9 7 . A l' S e , Police Threat to Political Liberty, 4 1 -42. Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 2 1 7-22 0 . Wolfe, Seamy Side ofDemocracy, 3 7-3 8 a n d 5 1 . Quoted i n Donner, "Theory and Practice," 36. Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 1 90- 1 9 1 . Zinn, People's History, 4 7 8 . Center for Research o n Criminal Justice, The Iron Fist and the Velvet Glove: An Analysis of the u.s. Police (Berkeley, CA: Center for Research on Criminal Justice), 1 1 8 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 1 96 , 2 3 9-242 , 3 50-3 5 3 , 288-2 8 9 , 29 8 , 3 0 5 , 3 1 9, 344, 3 4 6 . Quoted in Kristian Williams, " Ken Lawrence: New State Repressions [Interview]''' Portland (OR) Affiance, April 2000. Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 240. Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3 54-3 5 5 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 2 9 7 . A F S C , Police Threat to Political Liberty, 7 8 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 267. Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 2 8 4 . It seems that Falk acted alone-though, oddly, the files were never repo rted missing. After h i s death i n 1 9 8 7 , t h e files moldered until 2002 when they were discovered and given to reporters working for the Port/lind Tribune. Jacklet, "Secret Watchers ." The Tribune's five-part expose is available at http://www.pottlandtribune.com. Jacklet, "It Should Be Noted;" and Ben Jacklet, "In Case You Were Wondering . . . ," Portland (OR) Tribune, Septemher 2 7 , 2002. Jacklet, "It Should Be Noted." Quoted in Jacklet, " Legacy." Parentheses in original. Jacklet, " Legacy;" Jacklet, " Secret Watchers ; " Jacklet, "It Should Be Noted." Jacklet, "Secret Watchers." Quoted in Jacklet, " Secret Watchers." Ibid. Quoted in Abdeen Jabara, " The Anti-Defamation League: Civil Rights and Wrongs," CovertActioll Quarterly (Summer 1 99 3 ) : 28-3 1 . Subsequent lawsuits cost the ADL nearly $ 1 1 million. Barbara Ferguson, "AD L Found Guilty of Spying by California Court," Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), April 25, 2002, http ://www. arabnews. com/Article. asp ? I D � 1 46 5 0 (accessed April 25, 2002) . Donner, Protectors o/Privilege, 3 5 7-3 5 8 . Brian Glick, "The Face of COINTELPRO," foreword to The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI's Secret wars Against Domestic Dissent by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall (Boston: South End Press, 1 990) , xii. Emphasis in original. See, for example: Jim Redden , "City Finds that FBI Ties Are Blinding Ones," Port/and (OR) Tribune, September 1 7, 2002. Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3 0-3 1 . Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 5 7 . Quoted in Donner, Protectors o/Privilege, 1 54. Alliance to End Repression et al. v. City 0/ Chicago et al. U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh C i rcuit. (January 1 1 , 200 1 ) . I can speak o f this i ncident fro m m y own experience. At the time of my arrest, I had been trampled by a horse, beaten with batons, and kicked repeatedly hy officer Michael Shemash. My wrist had then been cut by the cop removing my flex-cuffs. I was bleeding and blacking out; I asked repeatedly for medical attention. But before taking me to the hospital, the police interro­ gated me at length about political matters. At times there were as many as seven cops i n the cell with me, asking questions. Alliance to End Repression v. City o/Chicago. U.S. District Court, No rthern D istrict of Illinois. (December 2 1 , 2000 ) , 3 . M y own testimony was dismissed thus: "Williams appeared credible o n the stand, h u t h i s actions . . suggest a s i gnificant hostility toward the police." Alliance to End Repression v. City o/Chicago (December 2 1 , 2000 ) , 20. See, for example: Paul Rosenberg, "The Empire Strikes Back: Police Repression of Protest from Seattle to LA.," LA Independent Media Center, August 13, 2000, http://www. r2kphilly. org/pdfl empi re-strikes. pdf (accessed March 1 8 , 2003) . These movements, generally overlooked by the media of the time and forgotten by textbooks since, constitute what Howard Zinn termed "The Unreported Resistance." Zinn, People's History, 589--6 1 8 .


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1 2 1 B. Hillard, " Spies, Lies, and Videotape: One Man's Campaign Against Political Surveillance," The Progressive, September I 99 1 , 30�3 1 . 1 22 Quoted i n Mitzi Waltz, " Policing Activists: T h i n k GlohaL Spy Local," Crmer/Action QUllrterly (Su m m e r 1 9 97): 27. 1 23 M i chael Larson. Criminal I n tell igence Report (City of Po rtland , O rego n : Bureau of Police, February 1 6, 1 99 9 ) , 6 . 1 21 Judi B a r i \X'ehs itc, " Brief History of the Judi Bari Bombing Case," http: //www.judibari . org/#History (accessed December 1 0 , 2002) . 1 2 ') Catherine Ko mp, "Justice for Judi! A Free Speech Victory," Clamor. November/December 2002. 6 1 . 1 26 Most 01' the blame fdl on rh ree of the seven defendants. Former Oakland pol ice lieutenant Mi­ chael S i ms and reti red FBI agents John Rei kes and Frank Doyle were together held responsible fo r $ 4 . 1 million. One defendant, an F B I agent, was cleared. M i ke Geniella, " Bari Juror Explains Verdicts. Marathon Deliberations," T)re.lJ Donou'(/[, June 1 4 . 2002, h ttp://www.jud i bari . o rgl jll­ rors� tal k . h tml (accessed December 1 0. 2002). 1 2 7 Quoted in G e n iella, " Ihri Juror." 1 2 S Mary N u n n . Quoted in Nicholas Wil,u n , "Juror Tal ks ahollt the Bari vs. !CHI ·li·i a I ," A/hion fi.1onitor, July 1 6, 2002, http://www. m u n i tor.net/monito r/0207a/judibarit rial l j . h t m l (accessed December 1 0 , 2002) . 1 29 AFSe. Po!ire lhmlt to Po!iticrz/ Liberty, 48�4 9 . 1 3 0 Donner, Protector." ofPritJilege, 2 3 8 . U I Ten of t h e eleven people killed were Black. M i lton Coleman. "The Move Disaster: Life Before, The Politics A fter," Washington Post, M ay 26, 1 9 8 5 [ database: News Bank Full-'Iext Newspapers, accessed Decembn 1 2 , 200 2 ] . U 2 Quo ted i n Donner, Protectors of Privilege, 2 .1 8 . 1 .)3 Dehbie Goldberg, "City Found Liable i n Attack on MOVE." washington Post, J u n e 2 5 , 1 99 6 [ database: :-.Iews B'lll k Full-Text Newspapers, accessed December 1 2 , 2002 ] . 1 3 4 hank Morales. "The M i l i tarization of the Police," COliertAction Quarterly (Summer 1 99 9 ) : 47. 1 3 5 Both quoted i n Bill Peterson, " I luge Fire Des troys House of Ph iladelphia Rad icals." Washington 1'00t, May 1 4 . 1 9 8 ') I database: News Bank Full-Text Newspapers, accessed December 1 2 . 2002] . 1 36 M i c h ael Moss and Fo rd Fessenden , "New Tools fur Domestic Spying. and Qualms," New York Tim,'s, December 1 0 , 2002, http:// www. nytimes.com/2002/ 1 2 1 1 0/nationaI/ I O P R I V. h t m l (ac­ cessed December I I , 2002). 1 37 The accel eration of JTTF expansion has been intense. especially compared to its slow start. The first JTTF was formed i n New Yo rk in 1 9 80. C hicago followed a year later. During the following fifteen years , nine JTTFs were added. bringing the total to eleven i n 1 9 96. Then , between 1 99 6 and 200 1 , the number of Task Forces more than tripled; thirty-five JTTFs existed o n the m o rn i n � of Sf'rtpmhpr 1 1 , '0D ! . "!'�.�.' �!"!�' 8:-::: T.�;;:;:::: :..:i.i.:: .::! ii-. d ,,,, [v!!uw ;Ut:, YCdl. A� uI 2006, [he to tal stands at 1 0 1 . Patrick J. Daly, "On Counter Terrorism: Statement of Patrick J. Daly, A"istant Special Agent in Charge, Chicago Division, before the House Committee on Government Reform. Subcom­ mittee on Government Efficiency. Financial Management, and I n tergovernmental Relations," http://www.tb i .gov/congress/congress02/daly07022002 .html (accessed December 1 1 , 20(2) . Robert ]. Jordan, "On Information Sharing Initiatives: Statement for the Record, before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts," http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress02Ijordan04 1 702.html (accessed December I I . 2002) , J. T Caruso, "On Combating Terrorism: Protecting the United States; Statement for the Record, before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations," http://www.fbi.govfcongress/congress02/Glruso03 2 1 02.html (accessed December I I , 20(2). Federal Bureau of I nvestigations. " Partnerships and lnformation Shari ng," http : / /www.fb i . gov/aboutus/transformation/partnerships.htm (accessed November 1 6, 2006) . 1 3 8 J i m McGee, 'An Intelligence Giant in the Making: Anti -Terrorism Law Likely to Bring Domes­ tic Apparatus of Unprecedented Scope." washington PO.l't. Novemher 4, 200 1 [ database: News Collection from Dialog@CARL, accesssed November 1 1 , 200 1 l . 1 3 9 Quoted i n Dave Mazza, " President Signs New Anti-Terrorism Bill Into Law." Portland (OR) Alli­ lince, November 200 1 . 1 40 For a comparison o f the Palmer Raids and ongoing immigrant detentions, see: David Cole, " The Ashcroft Raids," Amnesty Now, Spring 2002, http : / /www. amnestyusa. org/usacrisis/ashctoftraids. h tml (accessed December I I , 2002) . 1 4 1 For an overview of the Patriol Act and its legal ramifications. see: Nancy Chang, " The USA Patriot Act: What's So Patriotic About Trampling on the B ill of Rights?," CovertAction QUllrterly (Winter 2 00 1 ) : 1 4�1 8 . 1 42 American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] , "USA Patriot Act Boosts Government Powers While Cutting B ack on Traditional Checks and Balances: An ACLU Legislative Analysis." http ://ar-

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1 52

1 53

chive.aclu.org/congress/ 1 1 0 1 0 1 a. html (accessed December 22, 2002 ) . Mazza, "President Signs New Anti-Terrorism Bill." ACLU, " USA Patriot Act." Ibid. Ibid. Mazza, " President Signs New Anti-Terrorism Bill." "These information sharing authorizations effectively put the CIA back i n the business of spying on Americans: Once the CIA makes clear the kind of information it seeks, law enforcement agencies can use tools l ike wi retaps and intelligence searches to provide data to the CIA. I n fact, the law specifically gives the Director of Central Intelligence-who heads the CIA-the power ro identifY domestic intelligence requirements." ACLU, "USA Patriot Act." John Ashcroft. Quoted in Eric Lichthlau et aI. , " Response to Terror: Justice Dept. to Tighten Focus on Terrorism Law," Los Angeles Times, Novemher 9, 200 1 [database: News Collection fro m Dialog@CARL, accessed November 1 1 , 2 00 1 J . Richard W Stevenson, "Signi ng Homeland Security Bill, B ush Appoints Ridge as Secretary," New York 7imes, November 2 6 , 2002, http:// \\ww. nytimes . comI20021 1 1 126/politics / 2 6 Bush. html (accessed November 28, 2002) . President B ush outlined these responsihilities when signing the legislation: "First, this new depart­ lll e nt will analyze intelligence information on terror threats collected hy the C IA, the F B I , the National Security Agency and others. The department will match this intelligence against the nation's vulnerahilities-and work with other agencies, and the private sector, and state and local governments to harden America's defenses against terror. "Second, the department will gather and focus all our efforts to face the challenge of cyber­ terrorism, and the even worse danger of nuclear, chemical, and biological terrorism. This depart­ ment will be charged with encouraging research on new technologies that can defeat these threats in time to prevent an attack. "Third, state and local governments will be ahle to turn for help and i n formation to one federal domestic security agency, instead of the more than 20 agencies that currently divide these responsihilities. This will help our local governments work in concert with the federal govern­ ment for the sake of all the people of America. "Fourth, the new department will bring together agencies responsible for border, coastline, and transportation security. There will be a coordinated effort to safeguard our transportation systems and to secure the border so that we're better able to protect our citizens and welcome our friends. "Fifth, the department will work with state and local officials to prepare our resp o nse to any future terrorist attack that may come . . . . " " President Bush Signs Homeland Security Act: Re­ marks by the President at the Signing of H.R. 5 0 0 5 , the Homeland Security Act of 2 0 0 2 " Press Release (November 2 5 , 2002 ) , www. w hitehouse.gov/newslrelease/2002/ 1 1 12002 1 1 2 5 -6. html. (accessed December 2 1 , 2002 ) . Human Rights Watch, " U . S . Homeland Security Bill : Civil Rights Vulnerable and I m migrant Children Not Protected," http:// www. h rw.org/pressI2002/ 1 1 /homeland l 1 2 1 . html (accessed December 1 1 , 200 2 ) . Jennifer Van Bergen, "Homeland Security Act: The Rise of the American Police State ( Part I I I of a 3-Part Series) ," Truthout, December 4 , 2002, http://www. truthout. org/docs_02/ 1 2 / 0 3 B . j u h . hsa.3 . html (accessed Decemher 1 1 , 2002) . The legal expansion of government power must be understood in the context of its simultaneous technological advance. For an overview of the surveillance technology in use, see: European Union. Parliament. Scientific and Technical Options Assessment. An Appraisal ofthe

7echnologies ofPolitical Control: Updated Executive Summary Prepared as a Background Document for the September 1 998 Part-Session (Septembet 1 99 8 ) , www. europarl .eu.int/ dg4/stoa/en/pub-

Iii 1 66499 /execsum.htm, (accessed August 2, 2000). The Homeland Securi ty Act allegedly put the brakes on two of the administration's most controversial proposals. Operation TlPS, through which everyday citizens could report on the suspicious activities of their friends and neighbors, was explicitly barred by the law; nevertheless, it is being implemented at the state and local levels. Nat Hentoff, "Ashcroft's Shadowy Disciple: Someone to Watch Over Us," Village Voice, November 1 5 , 2002, http : / /www. villagevo ice.com/is­ s ues/0247/hentoff.php (accessed December 1 1 , 2002) . Likewise, the work of the Total Information Awareness program, which would h ave been responsible for developing and employing computer technology to compile vast digital files about individual Americans, has been divided between two distinct agencies. The Pentagon is developing new data mining technology and the Directorate of Information Analys i s and Infrastructure Protection is collecting the actual information and maintaining the files. Linda S . Heard, " Spies, Snitches and Eyes in the Sky," CounterPunch, December 1 0 , 2002, http://www. counterpunch.org/heard 1 2 1 O. html (accessed December 1 1 , 2002) .


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1 5 4 Quoted in Center for Constitutional Rights [CCR] , "The State of Civil Liberties: One Year Later; Erosion of Civil Liberties i n the Post 91 1 1 Era; A Report Issued by the Center for Constitutional Rights," http;// www. ccr-ny.org/whatsnew/civiUiberties.:lsp (accessed Decemher 1 1 . 2002) , 2. 1 5 5 eeR, "State of Civil Liberties." 3 ; a n d Lichtblau et aI . , " Response to Terror." 1 5 6 I n terestingly, the police themselves have proven resistant to this idea, citing the damage it could d o to their relations with immigrant communities (and, in some cases, pointing to laws to the con trary) . For example, rhe Arizona State Pol ice and the San Jose city police immediately annou nced that they would not enforce immigration laws. Ameri can Civil Liberties Union, "Ashcroft Uses Local and State Police to Enforce Complex Immigration Laws; ACLU Warns Move Will Erode Immigrants ' Willingness to Cooperate with Police," http:// www. acl u.org/Ned Septemher 27, 2 ( 0 2 ) . 1 6 1 Quoted i n Heard, "Spies, Snitches a n d Eyes." 1 62 CCR, " State of Civil Liberties," 4. 1 63 CCR, " State of Civil Liberties," 3 . 1 64 C o l e , "Trading Liberty." For an overview of t h e detentions, tribunals, USA Parciot Act, Home­ land Security Bill, and violations of attorney-client privilege, see: M i chael Ratner, "Making Us Less Free: War on Terrorism or War on Liberty'" http://www. humanrightsnow. org (accessed December 10, 2002 ) . F o r a detailed discussion of immigrant detentions, s e e : H u m a n Rights Watch, " Unired States: Presumption of Guilt; Human Rights Abuses of Posr-September 1 1 Detainees," http:// www. hrw. org/reportsI2002/us9 I 1 (accessed December 2002). 165 Cole, "Trading Liberty." 1 66 CCR, " State of Civil Liberlie�," 7;.and Lichtblau et ai., "Response to Terror.;; According to the new rules, if they cannot be deported, non-citizens suspected of terrorism can be held indefinitely. In the worst case, this suggests the possibility of life imprisonment without trial. ACLU, " USA Patriot Act." 1 67 Cnle, " Trading Liberty." 1 68 Jbid. 1 69 James Sterngold, "Iranians Furious Over INS Arrests: Abuse Alleged After Men Agreed to Register in L.A. ," San Francisco Chronicle, December 2 1 , 2002 [database: NewsBank Full-Text Newspapers, accessed December 2 1 , 2002] . Behrooz Arshadi reports similar conditions. B ehrooz Arshadi , "1reated Like a Criminal : How the INS Stole Three Days o f My Life," The Progressive, M arch 2003, 22-23. 1 70 Quoted i n Nita Leyveld and Henry Weinstein, "INS Arrest Numbers Inflated, U.S. Says: Offi­ cials Accuse Groups of Exaggerating Figures Involving Immigrants fro m Muslim Communities," Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2002 [database: NewsBank Full-Text Newspapers, accessed December 2 1 , 2002J . 1 7 1 Megan G arvey et aI., "Hundreds Are Detained After Visits [0 I N S : Thousands Protest Arrests of Mideast Boys and Men Who Complied with Order [0 Register," Los Angeles Times, December 1 9, 2002 [database: NewsBank Full-Text Newspapers, accessed December 2 1 , 2002] . 1 72 Chisun Lee, "Spooky Goofs : I ndications of Serious F laws i n a 9- 1 1 f B I Flop," Village Voice, Au­ gust 2 8 , 2 002-September 3, 2002, http:// www. villagevoice. com/issues/023 5!lee.php (accessed December 1 2 , 20(2). 1 73 Quoted in Lee, "Spooky Goofs." 1 74 Donner, Protectors ofPrivilege, 3-4.

1 7 5 Kitson, Low Intensity Operations, en passim; and, Ken Lawrence, The New State Repression (Chicago: I nternational Network Against New State Repression, 1 9 8 5 ) , 2. 1 76 Kitson, i.ow Intensity Operations, 67. 1 77 Donner, " Practice and Theory," 3 5 . See also: Lawrence, New State Repression, 2-3. 1 78 Lawrence, New State Repression, 3 .

Chapter 8 : Riot Police o r Police Riots?

2 3 4 5 6 7 8

9 10


12 13 14




Much o f t h e discussi o n in t h i s chapter is drawn from my article "The Cop and the Crowd." Kristian Williams, "The Cop and the Crowd: Police Strategies for Keeping the Rabble in Line," Clamor, December 2000/January 2 00 1 , 9- 1 3 . This account is based primarily on mv own observations, with support from the sources cited later i n the chapter. Seattle City Council. WTO Accountability Review Commi ttee. Report ofthe WTO Accountability Review Committee (September 1 4 , 2000) , 1 5 . Emphasis in original. ACLU Washington, " Out of Control: Seatrle's Flawed Response to Protests Against the World Trade Organization," http://www.aclu-wa.orgIlSSUES/police/WTO-Report.html (accessed August 2 0 0 0 ) , Seattle C i t y Council, Report of the WTO, 3 . A more precise definition o f "police riot" a p pears i n the discussion that follows. Seattle Police Depanment, ihe Seattle Police Department After Action Report: World Trade Organiza­ tion Ministerial Conference: Seattle, 'Washington, November 29-December 3, 1999 (April 4, 2000) , 5 . The accuracy of this description is dubious, but it docs say something about the way the police view disor­ der, and cxage,>erare its dangers. Seattle Pol ice Department, Seattle Police Department After Action Report, 4 1 . R. M . McCarthy and Associates, An !ndependent Review ofthe Word Trade Organization Conference Disruptions in Seattle. Washington; November 29-December 3, 1999 (San Clemente, CA: July 2000) , 1 32 . They suggest making pre-emptive arrests at earlier demonstrations and assigning Nati o nal Guard troops to the area on "training/standby" status, citing-of all things-the 1 968 Chicago Democratic National Convention as a precedent. R. M. McCarthy and Associates, !ndependent Rt:I!iew, 38. The 1 ')68 Democratic Convention is examined in detail later in this chapter. R . M . McCarthy and Associates, Independent Review, 5 9 . R . M . McCarthy a n d Associates, Independent Review, 1 2 9- 1 30 . Seattle City Council, Report ofthe WiG, 1 3 . Seattle City COllncil, Report ofthe WTO, 3 . Seattle City Council, Report of the WTO, 1 0. Police in D . C . had a secure perimeter i n place considerably before the April l G , 2000 I M F I World B a n k meetings. They also had about 600 protesters ill jail bef()re the meetings began; earlier in the week, they s urrounded an entire march and arrested everyon e present. As a res lilt , they relied less on acmal force during the conference itself, and were widely p raised for their restraint. One commentator noted: " Law enforcement learned from Seattle , and changed tactics accordingly." Geov Parrish, " Lessons From D . C . ," Eat the State', April 27, 2000, 3. See also: Paul Rosenberg, "The Empire Strikes Back: Police Repression of Protest fro m Seattle to L.A.," LA Independent Media Center, August 1 3 , 2000, http://www. r2kphilly.org/pdf/empire-stri kcs. pdf (accessed March 1 8 , 2003) . Police used n ightsticks, pepper spray, and horses to forcefully attack demonstrations against the 2003 American invasion o f Iraq. I n New York, Washington, D.C., and Seattle, police corralled protesters and arrested them en masse. I n Oakland, police fired less-lethal weapons at a crowd picketing docks where war-related cargo was being loaded onto ships; numero us protesters a n d several uninvolved longshore workers were inj ured. Silja .l .A. Talui, "The Public Is the Enemy," The Nation, Mav 1 2 , 2003, 30-3 1 . Both quoted i n ames F. Richardson, The New York Police: Colonial Times to 1901 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1 97 0 ) , 1 43 . Richardson comments: "The police o f t h e 1 860's did not nave either the doctrine or the materials to deal with disorder i n any way other than violence. I n ordinary circumstances, policemen worked alone or in small groups; their only additional train­ ing or experience came i n their military drill. The only anti-riot tool s they possessed were their clubs and revolvers, and their o nly recourse in a disorder was to bash as many people o n the head as possible. There is no indication that Acton and other police officials ever thought about any other method." Richardso n , New York Police, 1 43. "That year there came a series o f tumltiruolls strikes by railroad workers in a dozen cities; they shook the nation as no labor conflict in its history had done . . . . Whe n the great rail road strikes of 1 877 were over, a hundred people were dead; a thousand people had go ne to jail, 1 00 , 0 0 0 workers h a d gone o n strike, and t h e strikes had roused i n t o action countless unemployed i n the cities. More than half of the height on the nation's 75 ,000 miles of track had stopped running at the height of the strikes." Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the United States, 1492-Present (New York: HarperPerennial, 1 9 ') 5 ) , 240 and 246.



1 � Eugene L Leach, "The Litcratllre of Riot Duty: Managing Class Conflict in tbe Streets, 1 877- 1 927," Radical History Review, Spring 1 9 9 3 , 2 3 . 1 9 Quoted i n Leach, "Li terature of R i o t Du ty," 24.

20 I b id. 21 Quoted i n Jeremy Brecher, Strike' (San Fran cisco: Straight Arrow Books, 1 972) , 1 5 . 22 Leac h , " Literature of Riot Du ty," 23 ; Zinn, People's History, 243-244; and Brecher, Strike' 1 5 . 23 "Ch icago was typ ical: Pres ident Hayes authorized the use of federal regulars; cit izen's patrols were organi/cd ward by ward using Civil War veterans; 5 ,000 special pol ice were swo rn in, free­ ing the regular police for actio n ; big employers o rganized their reliable employees into armed compan ies-many of whicb were sworn in as special police. At fi rst the crowd successflllly out-maneuvered the pol ice in the street fighting that ensued, but after killing at least eighteen people the pol ice finally gained control of the crowd and thus broke the back of the movement," Hrecher, Srrikt' 20. 24 Strike duty accounted for fully one-half o f all deploymmts between 1 8 77 and 1 8 92. Leach, " Literature of' Riot Du ty," 2 5 . 2 ') " T h e even ts of the [ 1 870s1 in particular l e d many persons to fear .1nu ther insurrection, and as a result l egislation was introduced to i m p rove and ptovide better arms for the organized mil itia. In 1 8 79, in support of this effort, the National Guard Association came i n to being in St. Louis, and between 1 8 8 1 and 1 8 92 every single state revised its military code to provide fo r :In orga­ nized militia, wh ich most states, fol l owing the lead of New York, called the National C; uard . . . Th rough the efforts of the National Guard Association, the Guard . , . succeeded in seeing a n act in 1 8 87 that doubled the $200, 000 annllal federal grant fo r fi rearms that the militia had enjoyed since 1 80 8 ." Maurice MatlofT, ed" Il mcrican Military fli.rtory (Washin gto n , D . C . : U n i ted States A rmy, Office of the Ch ief o f M i l i tary H isto ry, 1 '169) ' 2 8 7 . 26 Leach , " Lite rature of Riot Duty," 2 ,) . 7� ! Leach , " Lite ratu re of Riot Du ty," 26-2 8 . 2 8 Quoted in Leach , " Literature of Riot Du ty," 2 8 , 2 9 Leach, " Li teratu re of Riot Duty," 2 9 , 3 0 Quoted in Leach, "Literature of R i o t Du ty," 3 0 . Emphasis in original, 3 1 Leach, " Literature of Riot Duty," 29-.)0. 32 Leac h , "Literature of Riot Duty," .B-34 . 3 3 I .cach, " I .iterature of Riot Duty," 3 1 . 34 Quoted in Leach, "Literature o f Riot Duty," 34. .'3 5 Leach , "Li terature of Riot Duty," 4 1 , 36 Leach, "Literature o f Riot Duty," 3 5-36. 3 7 In 1 9 1 4, National Guard troops used a machine gun against striking workers in Ludlow. Colorado. They then set the miners' tf'nt C'itv o n fi rp h u r n i n o- tn ,.Jp
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1 972) , 5-6, 5 2 Tariq Ali and Susan Watkins, 1968: Marching in the Streets (New York: The Free Press, 1 99 8 ) , 43.


53 Stark, Police Riots, 6 . 54 Quoted in Ronald Fraser e t aI.,

1968: A Student Generation in Revolt (New York Pantheon Books,

1 988), 1 95 .

5 5 Fraser et a! . , 1968, 1 9 9 . 5 6 Gilje,


1 64 .

5 7 Stark, Police Riots, 6. 58 Ali and Watkins, Marching

in the Streets, 72. Ghetto Revolts: The Politics o/Violence in American Cities (New

5 9 Joe R. Feagin and Harlan Hahn.

York: The Macmillan Company, 1 973) , 1 05 . The Oakland police took the opportunity to have a shoot-out with the Black Panthers, who were actively (and successfully) discouraging rioting. The cops fired over 2,000 rounds into a house where Eldridge Cleaver and Bohby Hutton were hiding in the basement. They then filled the house with tear gas, starting a fire in the process. Cleaver and Hutton surrendered. Cleaver, who stripped naked before leaving rhe house, was beaten by police. Hutton was shot and killed after he surrendered. He was seventeen years old. Ali and Watkins,

60 61

1968, 76-77; and Henry Hampton et aI. , Voices o/Freedom: An Oral History ofthe Civil Rights Movementftom the 1 950s Through the 1980s (New York: Bantam Books, 1 990) , 5 1 4-5 1 7. Stark, Police Riots, 4-5 . Stark, Police Riots, 6 .

62 I b i d . Police vandalism was a common response to riots, especially those with a racial component. The "Soul B rother" signs that marked Black-owned businesses offered them a level o f protection from the angry crowds, but made them targets for the police and Narional G uard. Feagin and Hahn, 63 Stark,

Ghetto Revolts, Police Riots, 6 .

1 7 5 and 1 92- 1 9 3 .

6 4 Ali and Watkins, 1968, 204. 6 5 Quoted in Ali and Watkins, 1968, 20 1 . 6 6 Stark,

Police Riots. 5-6 . Student Generation in Revolt,

67 Fraser et aI . ,


6 8 No exhaustive study of the year's events is available; likely, none is possible. The National Student Association counted 22 1 demonstrations on 1 () 1 college campuses during the first half of the year. Likewise, a review of the

New York Times and Washington Post covering September

16 to October

1 5 , 1 9 68, shows reports of 2 1 6 separate protest events, 3 5 percent of which involved violence. Jerome H . Skolnick, The Politics ofProtest: Violent Aspects 0/Protest and Conftontation; A Report Submitted by Jerome H Skolnick [The Skolnick Report; Report of the Task Fo rce on Violent Aspects of Protest and Confrontation to the National Comm ission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence] (Washington, D . C . : Supt. of Documents, U . S . Government P r inting Office, 1 9(9) , 1 5 and 3. 69 Stark implies that television was the crucial factor in creating the DNC's infamy: " [EJ vents in Chicago were unique only in tbe quality and quantity of media coverage." Stark, Police Riots, 4 . 7 0 Gilje,


1 66 .

7 1 Quoted in Norman Mailer, 72 13 74

Miami and the Siege 0/ Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions 0/1968 (New York: The Wo rld Publishing Company, 1 9 ( 8 ) , 1 79 . Quoted i n M ailer, Miami and the Siege o/Chicago, 1 77. Mailer, Miami and the Siege o/Chicago, 1 75 . Daniel Walker, Rights in Conflict: Chicago's 7 Brutal Days (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1 9(8) , vii.

75 Walker,

Rights in Conflict, xii. 76 The term "police riot" is not the hyperbole many assume i t to be. During the June 1 9-2 1 , 1 9 6 8 , disturbances in Berkeley, police not only beat, gassed, and threatened scores of peaceable citizens, they also threw rocks at crowds, broke windows, and engaged in other vandalism. "A policeman was seen knocking i n a window at a bookstore . . . . Several persons reported damage to their residences after the police had forced their way inside. A number of orhers claimed that police beat their automobiles with riot batons, causing dents and breaking headlights ." Stark,


Police Riots, 4 8 . Stark, Police Riots,

1 8-2 1 .

78 A Berkeley police memo dated August 2 1 , 1 96 8 , notes, " Both civilians and officers have reported observing a sort of 'one-upmanship' phenomenon in squads without leaders of a supervisory rank, Each officer seems not to want anyone to feel he is less zealous than anyone else in the squad, and in tense enco unters, a spiraling force-level was observed." Quoted in Stark, Police Riots, 5 3 . 7 9 Walker described the attitude of the Chicago police going into the 1 9 6 8 Democratic National Conven tion (with echoes of Henry Bellows, half a century before) : " They believed that even a n orderly crowd of peaceful demonstrators could easily develop into a m o b led by a few deter­ mined agitators into violent action." Walker, 80 Stark,

Police Riots,

Rights in Conflict,


1 38.

8 ! "Thus, it is not the use of violence that makes police riots unusual events, but simply the (on-


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centrati o n of pol ice v iolence in a l imited time and spaLe . . . . This is what makes it a riot- that the police are doing collectively in a short period oftime and in a small area what they would ordinarily b" doing in pairs or very smilll groups across a 1Iery wrge area over a longer time. " Stark, Police Riots, 1 2 Jnd 8 4 . Emphasis i ll original . 8 2 Stark, Police Riots. 1 26 . 8.\ S t a r k , Police Riots, 1 2 8- 1 2 9 . 84 Quoted i ll Stark, Police Riots, 1 2 7 . B 5 Wal ker, Rights i n Conflict, vii. 8 6 Stark, !'olice Riots, 1 8 6 . 8 7 Walker, Rights in Conflict, xi. 8 8 Stark, Police Riots, 1 8 .

8 9 Stark, Police Riotl, 20. ')0 Stark o bserves , "There was a strong negative cortelation betwet' l1 the amoulH of fo rce appl ied and the cessation of rioting in Detro i t . " Stark, Police Riots, 1 3 7 .

9 1 President's Commission on Campus Un rest [ T h e Scranton Commissio n ] , The Report o{the Presidoit's Commission on Cunp"s Unrest (\Xiashi ngto n , n.c.: U . s . Covernment Printing Office, 1 9 70), 2 . 9 2 McPhail et aI . , Policing Prote;·t, 5 2 .

93 Della Porta a n d Reiter, " Po l icing of Protest i n Western Democracies," 6-7 . 94 Permit requirements have been in place since the Progressive Era, but had not prev iously been used to this end. I n s tead, per m i ts were ro utinely denied, though the re'j u i re m e n t provided a pre­ text f,)r declaring gatheri ngs illegal . Fra n k D o n ner, f'l'Ote<'lors o/Priuilege: Red Squads and I'o/ice

Repression in Urban America (Berkeley: University of Ca l i fornia Press , 1 990) , 50.

9') John T Brothers, " Co m m u n i cation Is the Key to S m a l l Demonstration Control," Camp us Law Fnforcement jo urnal (September-October 1 98 ') ) : 1 3- 1 6 .

<)6 See, fo r example: N ational Com mission on the Causes and Preven tion of Violence [The Eisen­ h ower C o m m issio n ] , 70 EstidJ/ish justice, /0 !nsure Domn-ric 'franquillity: Final Report on tbe

Causes and Prel'ention or Violena (Wash i ngto n , D . C . : U . S . G ove rn m e n t Print i n g O