Tangled Up in Blue: Policing the American City

Rosa Brooks. Penguin Press, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-55785-2
Brooks (How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything), a journalist and Georgetown University law professor, delivers a nuanced and revealing chronicle of her experiences training to be a reserve police officer in Washington, D.C. Over the objections of her husband, mother (the writer Barbara Ehrenreich), and law school colleagues, Brooks took a sabbatical and entered the police academy in 2016. She and her fellow recruits—most of whom came from military backgrounds—did push-ups, underwent firearms training, and learned the academy’s central lesson: “Anyone can kill you at any time.” After graduation, Brooks worked 24 hours a month as a patrol officer, mainly in D.C.’s Seventh Police District, “the poorest, saddest, most crime-ridden part of the nation’s capital.” An observant writer with a sharp sense of humor, Brooks vividly sketches her patrol partners and the D.C. residents they encounter, and highlights problems caused by mass incarceration, racial discrimination, and lawmakers turning “trivial forms of misbehavior” into jailable offenses. After completing her training, Brooks helped launch a fellowship program for new recruits to learn about these and other issues. This immersive, illuminating, and timely account takes a meaningful step toward bridging the gap between what American society asks of police and what they’re trained to deliver. Agent: Kris Dahl, ICM Partners (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/30/2020
Release date: 02/09/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-525-55786-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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