Who polices the police? (Notes and references)

July 12, 2018
  1. In June 20, 2014, two law enforcement officers in Williamson County, Texas, have been fired after it was discovered they were members of the Ku Klux In July 14, 2014, a Fruitland Park Florida deputy police chief has resigned and an officer has been fired after the FBI reported that both belonged to the Ku Klux Klan. There may also be other white supremacist connections among some of the 700,000 or so police officers in the United States.
  2. The Justice Department wants sweeping changes in Cleveland Police Department; report finds “systemic deficiencies,” according to James McCarty (The Plain Dealer, December 4, 2014). For a glimpse at the Albuquerque dynamic, see here.
  3. “‘Zero tolerance’ policing giving way to softer approach,” Washington Post, May 3, 2015.
  4. The comment, which can be found here, was made in response to an article from December, 2014.
  5. Gettman (2000); see also www.aclu.org/files/assets/aclu-thewaronmarijuana-rel2.pdf
  6. As a corollary, we should oppose the New York State legislation proposed by Governor Cuomo that “declares that all competitive class employees are entitled to collective bargaining with respect to matters pertaining to disciplinary procedure.” The legislation in question is S7801/A9853.
  7. Justice Antonin Scalia: “It is the grand jury’s function not “to enquire …upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,” or otherwise to try the suspect’s defenses, but only to examine “upon what foundation [the charge] is made” by the prosecutor [Respublica v. Shaffer, 1 Dall. 236 (O. T. Phila. 1788); see also F. Wharton, Criminal Pleading and Practice 360, pp. 248-249 (8th ed. 1880)]. As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.”
  8. Had this been in place before Tamir Rice was killed by Officer Timothy Loehmann, Rice may never have been murdered. In his five months on the Independence, OH, police force, Loehmann was determined to be “emotionally unstable”and unfit for service as a police officer. In his personnel records, his direct supervisors described him as having a “lack of maturity” as well as an “inability to perform basic functions as instructed.” These supervisors were referring to the disturbing behavior Loehmann exhibited during a weapons training session. Loehmann’s worrisome conduct and mental instability when handling weapons would become a recurring theme in his personnel files. There may well be other officers who float from police department to police department without ever being stopped for inadequate job performance. A national database could help end such irresponsibility.
  9. See also “Wearing a Badge, and a Video Camera,” New York Times, April 7, 2013, p. BU4.
  10. On May 14, 2014, a Daytona Police Department internal investigation revealed that former officer Justin Ranum had turned off his body camera during an incident under the Seabreeze Bridge.  On December 3, 2014, the Albuquerque Police Department has fired Officer Jeremy Dear for multiple incidents in which his body camera was found to be disabled during encounters with citizens that involved controversial uses of force, including one that ended in near fatal shooting 19-year-old Mary Hawkes. In Oakland, California, dozens of police officers have been punished for failing to switch on their body cameras over the last two years, reported ArsTechnica.
  11. Information on prison cell extractions also comes from a personal communication with a former inmate of the New York State prison system.



Carlson, Jennifer Dawn

2014              “Body Cameras Aren’t Going to Fix Policing.” Los Angeles Times, December 13.

Farmer, Paul

2006              “Structural Violence and Clinical Medicine.” In Social Medicine in the 21st Century  Medicine, edited by Samuel Barrack, pp. 30–35. Wilmington, DE: Internet Medical Publishing.

Foner, Philip Sheldon

1998                History of the Labor Movement in the United States. Vol. 2: From the Founding of the A.F. of L. to the Emergence of American Imperialism (2nd ed.). New York: International Publishers.

Galtung, Johan

1969                “Violence, Peace, and Peace Research.” Journal of Peace Research 6(3): 167–91.

1990                “Cultural Violence.” Journal of Peace Research 27(3): 291–305.

Gettman, Jon

2000              United States Marijuana Arrests, Part Two: Racial Differences in Drug Arrests. Washington, DC: The NORML Foundation.

Gramsci, Antonio

1971                Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci (trans. Quintin Hoare, Geofrey Nowell Smith). New York: International Publishers.

Grossman, Dave

2009                On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.

New York: Back Bay Books.

Martinot, Steve

2012                “On the Epidemic of Police Killings.” Social Justice 39(4): 52–75.

Peña, Devon G.

2011              “Structural Violence, Historical Trauma, and Public Health: The Environmental Justice Critique of Contemporary Risk Science and Practice.” In Communities, Neighborhoods, and Health: Expanding the Boundaries of Place, edited by Linda M. Burton et al., pp. 203–18. New York: Springer Science & Business Media.

Steuter, Erin and Deborah Wills

2009                At War with Metaphor: Media, Propaganda, and Racism in the War on Terror. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Takagi, Paul

1974                “A Garrison State in a ‘Democratic’ Society.” Crime and Social Justice 1 (Spring-Summer): 27–33.

Turner, K.B., Davide Giacopassi, and Margaret Vandiver

2006                “Ignoring the Past: Coverage of Slavery and Slave Patrols in Criminal Justice Texts.” Journal of Criminal Justice Education 17(1): 181–95.


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