cover image No Place on the Corner: The Costs of Aggressive Policing

No Place on the Corner: The Costs of Aggressive Policing

Jan Haldipur. New York Univ, $25 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4798-8800-9

In this insightful study, sociologist Haldipur assesses how four specific groups (“achievement-oriented young adults, young adults involved in the criminal justice system, local parents, recent immigrants”) in New York City’s South Bronx have been affected by aggressive policing tactics in their community, particularly the “stop and frisk” policy that allowed police officers to detain and search civilians they found suspicious (and often, give vague or no reasons for having done so, leading to accusations of bias). The consequences of growing up under this type of surveillance included, Haldipur finds, missed classes at school and missed shifts at work, and extended to choices people made about where to live, who to be friends with, and what to wear; “even the quintessentially New York act of sitting on one’s own stoop” was curtailed. Haldipur finds the loss of freedom in public space “most devastating and most enduring,” but his attention to a less observed “acute form of trauma”—the one endured by parents who must deal with the emotional and financial burden of their children’s interactions with the police—is particularly noteworthy. The academic roots of Haldipur’s work impede its readability, but the focus is fresh and the message of aggressive policing’s devastating effects on communities is clear. (Nov.)