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History of Policing

Why Policing is Racist

  • Prisons and Policing in the U.S. as a History of Anti-Blackness
    • Summary: policing in the United States originated to control slaves by enforcing “slave codes.” Includes a podcast outlining academic research on the history of policing and the evolution after slavery was abolished. 
  • The End of Policing
    • Summary: This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve. In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing.”

Disparities Exist in Sacramento

  • “When the Smoke Clears”
    • Summary: evidence collected showed that Black residents in Sacramento were arrested on marijuana-related charges 29 times more often than white residents – a disparity seven times the state average – despite equal rates of use among Black and white residents.
  • California Attorney General Report on Sacramento Police Department
    • Key finding: Black residents in Sacramento are 43 percent of SPD’s use-of-force incidents, despite only being 13 percent of the City’s population. Also outlines necessary changes to Sacramento’s use-of-force policies.