The Dilemmas of Police Unions

Police unions are everywhere these days. Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, which represents a majority of the department’s members, recently held an election. The winner, Kevin Graham, ran on a Jeff Sessions platform: against reform, against DOJ consent decrees, against critics of policing practices. Elsewhere, many police unions advocate cooperation with ICE to enforce Trump’s deportation agenda and support laws to make violence against police a hate crime and to limit accountability in shooting investigations and public access to body camera footage.

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Walled Cities: Jill Leovy’s Ghettoside, Part III

Ghettoside is fundamentally a book about segregation. Previous posts (Part I and II) have examined how Jill Leovy builds a case for the vigorous policing and prosecution of violent crime, especially murder, as a critical means to suppress historically high black homicide rates. By the end of the book, perhaps as the reader’s expectation for concrete “solutions” bears down, Leovy shifts gears to discuss more explicitly the costs and ramifications of hyper-segregation—the walled city of the racial ghetto.

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In Defense of Incarceration: Jill Leovy’s Ghettoside, Part II

Jill Leovy has written an astonishing book in ways that I don’t think many have appreciated. Reviewers commonly noted that Leovy brought to light an under-recognized aspect of law enforcement. She emphasizes the importance of under-enforcement in poor segregated neighborhoods, low homicide solve rates in particular, when so much public attention—and anger—has been directed at over-enforcement of low-level drug and property crimes and public-order offenses. Yet, what Leovy is really doing in Ghettoside is building a moral case for incarceration.

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