Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heatherton, editors of “Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter” (Verso, $19.99), have compiled a probing collection of essays and interviews addressing police brutality and racial injustice. Policing has become one of the urgent issues of our time, the target of dramatic movements and front-page coverage from coast to coast in the United States and across the world.
“It’s important, we think, for us to observe the year anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray and the uprising in Baltimore; it’s the 25th anniversary of the 1992 of the L.A. rebellion — the largest U.S. uprising in U.S. history that followed the acquittals of the police officers who beat Rodney King — and it’s nearly 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. described the urban uprising against police violence of his time, writing in 1965, ‘It is my opinion that these riots grew out of the depths of despair which afflict people who see no way out of their dilemma,’” explained Camp.
This book, combining firsthand accounts from organizers with the interventions of scholars and contributions by leading artists, traces the global rise of the “broken-windows” strategy of policing, first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton, a doctrine that has vastly broadened police power and contributed to the contemporary crisis of policing that has been sparked by notorious incidents of police brutality and killings.
Contributions from #BlackLivesMatter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, Ferguson activist and St. Louis University law professor Justin Hansford, poet Martín Espada, scholars Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Robin D.G. Kelley, Naomi Murakawa, Vijay Prashad and more describe the ongoing struggles nationally, as well as in London, San Juan, San Salvador and beyond.