STREET JUSTICE: A History of Police Violence in New York City

Marilynn S. Johnson, Author . Beacon $28.50 (365p) ISBN 978-0-8070-5022-4

This fascinating, highly detailed historical survey, beginning with the NYPD's founding in 1845, reads like a true crime page-turner. Covering the horrifying examples of brutality from "clubbing" in the late 19th century—"the routine bludgeoning of citizens by patrolmen armed with nightsticks or blackjacks,"—to the backroom torture of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima in 1997, as well as reviewing the numerous citizen and governmental attempts to curb police violence, Johnson (The Second Gold Rush: Oakland and the East Bay in World War II ) definitively supports her main argument: "Police brutality is not a timeless, static phenomenon, nor has there been a linear progression toward more professional, less violent police behavior." Throughout, she provides a sensitive and insightful look at the range of social, political and economic changes that have affected how police brutality has been repeatedly redefined, and she illuminates key historic eras, such as her explanation of how the common abuse of Jews and African-Americans in the 1910s "laid the groundwork for the black-Jewish alliance" of the '30s and '40s. She also deftly provides numerous explanations of interesting facts related to police behavior, such as how the interrogation term "the third degree" was derived from the grueling initiation rites of 19th-century Freemasonry. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/27/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 378 pages - 978-0-8070-5023-1
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.