Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America

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by Kristian Williams

South End Press

2007

SKU: 9780896087712

 

More than a history of police brutality, Our Enemies in Blue examines the centrality of violence to everyday policing.

Even critics have a difficult time imagining a world without police. But just what is the role of police in a democracy: to serve the public or to protect the powerful? Tracing the evolution of the modern police force back to the slave patrols, this controversial study observes the police as the armed defender of a violent status quo.

Written for both the lay reader and for scholars, Our Enemies in Blue demonstrates that police misconduct isn't just a matter of "bad apples," but a function of the very nature of policing in the US. Williams examines the populations most often subjected to police abuse and the forms that abuse takes, delving into the role of police brutality in repressing political dissent and in preserving existing structures of inequality.

Kristian Williams is also the author of American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination.