Policy Link: “Community-Centered Policing: A Force for Change”
This report, released by PolicyLink in partnership with the Advancement Project , has sparked hope and interest in communities across the country. Community-Centered Policing: A Force for Change is a resource intended for distribution to communities nationwide. (August 2001)
Policy Link: Organized for Change: The Activist’s Guide to Police Reform
For many communities of color, incidents of racial profiling, excessive use of force, and questionable stop-and-frisk practices are the norm rather than the exception and significantly contribute to the erosion of confidence in police departments. Activists have long sought solutions to help bridge the deep divide with police and to move toward engagement. PolicyLink offers some recommended solutions in its latest publication. Policy Link is dedicated to advancing policies to achieve economic and social equity based on the wisdom, voice, and experience of local constituencies. (April 8, 2004)
Vera Institute of Justice: Policing Bibliography
As new models for policing emerge, the methods and structure of police departments are changing dramatically. The Vera Institute develops resources for communities to ensure that community satisfaction and engagement remains high during and after these transitions, focusing specifically on issues that crop up locally. For instance, a recent report advises police departments on improving cooperation between police and Arab-American communities. See also their excellent selectively annotated bibliography of policing literature
Center for Problem-Oriented Policing
Related to community policing, problem-oriented policing is an approach to law-enforcement that prioritizes the problems that lead to crime rather than specific criminal activity. It aims to treat the disease and not the symptoms by identifying recurring problems and involving the community to solve these problems. This site, sponsored by the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services, contains case-specific guides for finding solutions to common crime-causing problems, articles on analytical approaches to problem-oriented policing, and a comprehensive library of research information.
Community Policing Consortium
The Community Policing Consortium is a partnership of five leading police organizations in the United States that works to advance the philosophy that police-community cooperation is the only viable option for reducing crime while maintaining trust in the police. The consortium develops community policing research, training and technical assistance, and works to educate communities about community policing and bring it to places. This rich website includes detailed information about community policing, including best practices and approaches to problem-solving, research articles, a framework for community policing, and an extensive list of outside resources.
Department of Justice: Community Oriented Policing Services
According to Attorney General John Ashcroft, “since law enforcement agencties began partnering with citizens through community policing, we’ve seen significant drops in crime rates.” This is the U.S. Government’s site dedicated to spreading awareness about and practice of community policing. Includes a FAQ and applications for requesting funds for projects related to community policing, and resources for training police officers under this approach.
Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
The Washington, D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum is progressive, national membership organization that researches and reports on police and criminal justice issues. PERF encourages academic study as a means to professionalize policing at all levels.
An independent resource for policing, the Police Foundation acts as a catalyst for change and an advocate for new ideas, in restating and reminding ourselves about the fundamental purposes of policing, and in ensuring that an important link remains intact between the police and the public they serve. In addition to a variety of resources and tools, the site includes an interesting history of community policing.
New York City
General Reports & Studies
“Deflecting Blame: Dissenting Report of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s Task Force on Police/Community Relations“
In 1998, community activists made recommendations to the Giuliani administration in order to improve the effectiveness of the Task Force on Police/Community Relations and the Citizen Complaint Review Board. A general criticism of Mayor Giuliani’s performance in combating police brutality, the Dissenting Report informs and gives focus to the Task Force Majority’s final report, but goes further in advocating critical, fundamental changes in NYPD — proposals rejected or not considered by the Majority, which would have established significant accountability over the NYPD.
Spitzer, Elliot. Report on the NYPD’s Stop and Frisk Practices
Report published in 1999 by New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, in response to the Amadou Diallo shooting and other incidents causing community concern.
Broken Window Theory
The Atlantic Monthly: Broken Windows – The police and neighborhood safety by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kellin
The original article that sparked a new trend in policing, most notably in New York City, where Police Commissioner William Bratton embraced the theory during the 1990s. This article outlines what happened in The State of New Jersey during the 1970s when the state funded a program that got officers out of their cars and walking the streets. (March, 1982)
Seattle Police Department: The Broken Window Theory
This explanation of the “broken window” theory was written by Henry G. Cisneros when he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. It was published in a series of essays titled “Defensible Space: Deterring Crime and Building Community” — January 1995.
The Chronicle of Higher Education: Poking Holes in the Theory of ‘Broken Windows’ by D.W. Miller
If there were a Hall of Fame for influential public-policy ideas, then the “broken windows” thesis would probably have its own exhibit. In an Atlantic Monthly article by that name published in 1982, James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling popularized the idea that neighborhoods that neglected minor signs of decay and disorder were opening the door to serious crime. (February 9, 2001)
Shattering “Broken Windows”: An Analysis of San Francisco’s Alternative Crime Policies
A study by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), a project of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ), finds that San Francisco has been more effective at fighting violent crime than New York City. Since 1995, violent crime has dropped faster in San Francisco (33 percent) than in New York (26 percent). Meanwhile, San Francisco has reduced the number of individuals it sends to prison from 2,136 in 1993 to 703 in 1998. It is the first of its kind in 1999 to compare crime rates in cities and counties nation-wide. (October 25, 1999)
New York Magazine: Street Fight
In 2002,the NYPD’s notorious Street Crimes Unit was unceremoniously disbanded — not with the bang of a judicial order but with the whimper of a press conference. (April 22, 2000)
Government & Organizations
The Anthony Baez Foundation
6 Cameron Place, Bronx, N.Y. 10453
Phone:718-364-2879. Iris Baez, Chairperson.
Mayor Bloomberg’s Office: News from the Blue Room
Read press releases from Mayor Bloomberg’s office about New York City’s status as nation’s “safest big city” (May 24, 2004) and about “Operation Clean Sweep.” (January 8, 2002)
The Amadou Diallo Foundation
The Foundation’s mission is to promote racial healing through activities, including programs in schools, that seek to diminish prejudice and racial conflicts and enhance police-community relations. The corporation will also promote educational exchange programs for students and scholars between Africa and the United States. With these purposes, it is hoped that Amadou Diallo’s short life and legacy will endure.
New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB)
Visit this official site to read the history of the board, as well as statistics and case profiles.
NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association
Home page of the New York Police Officers’ Union.
New York Police Department
View weekly crime statistics for all 5 boroughs.
100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care
Cliff Hollingsworth, a police officer who appeared in “Every Mother’s Son,” is a member of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcenment Who Care, a group of concerned African Americans involved in law enforcement professions that works to give back to the African American community and strengthen ties between the police and black communities. This site contains recommendations for what to do when stopped by a police officer.
People From the Film
(Find out more about the three cases covered in the film in the Updates section.)
Salon.com: Amadou Diallo
Collected coverage of the Amadou Diallo trial, from the online news and culture magazine Salon, presents a variety of takes on the verdict, police brutality, and the controversial NYPD Street Crimes unit.
The Village Voice: 41 Bullets — The Amadou Diallo Archive
Read through this collection of articles about the Amadou Diallo case and stories related to police brutality and the politics of race. See especially “Lost Legacy,” which criticizes the NYPD for neglecting adequate mental health training even after the Gidone Busch tragedy. Also see “Mothers of Invention,” which profiles Iris Baez and other mothers of victims of police shootings.
Time Magazine: Rudolph Giuliani – 2001 Person of the Year
The events of September 11th thrust former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani onto the global stage. In addition to many honors bestowed on Sir Giuliani, including knighthood, he is known today to many as “America’s Mayor.” Find out more about this complex man and his career, and his new career as a security consultant for cities like Mexico City, Mexico.
Police Brutality & Racial Profiling
Reports & Studies
American Civil Liberties Union: “Fighting Police Abuse: A Community Action Manual“
Since Rodney King’s beating by police officers in 1991, communities all across the United States have organized to bring about real and lasting reform. Some of the most successful strategies are described in this manual, now in its 3rd printing. This manual was not inspired by, nor is it intended to generate, animosity toward the police, or to promote the perception that all police officers are prone to abuse. They are not.
Amnesty International USA: “Police Brutality and Excessive Force in the New York City Police Department“
This investigation by Amnesty International looks into allegations of ill-treatment, deaths in custody and unjustified shootings by police officers in the New York City Police Department.
Human Rights Watch: “Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States“
Examines common obstacles to accountability for police abuse in fourteen large cities representing most regions of the nation.” Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization “dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.
Amnesty International USA: “Report on Racial Profiling“
This report from AIUSA indicates that racial profiling is so pervasive that it has impacted nearly 32 million people in the United States – approximately the population of Canada. (September 2004)
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EBC)
EBC documents, exposes and challenges human rights abuses in the United States criminal justice system; builds power in communities most harmed by government-sanctioned violence; advocates for proactive, community-based solutions to systemic “criminal injustice.”
A national non-profit research, communications, capacity building and advocacy organization dedicated to achieving economic and social equity and building strong, organized communities. The organization published the guide “Community-Centered Policing: A Force for Change” in 2001, and “Organized for Change: The Activist’s Guide to Police Reform” in 2003.
The Police Complaint Center
A national non-profit organization, the Police Complaint Center provides assistance to victims of police misconduct by helping people file complaints to the proper law-enforcement agencies and investigating alleged incidents of police abuse.
October 22 Coalition
Keep up with news of new cases, find out about upcoming events, and discuss and debate solutions to the problem of police brutality with other members of the coalition. The site also features tools for organizing against police brutality in your own community. The October 22 Coalition began in 1996 as an effort to bring together Americans from all walks of life to unite against police brutality in a day of action.
“Stolen Lives: Killed by Law Enforcement“
This website provides important and compelling exposures of the nationwide epidemic of police brutality and murder. People who’ve been killed, their families and loved ones, and communities under the gun speak through the pages and tell their stories.
lso on PBS and NPR
NOW: Policing a Changing Miami
Bill Moyers asks the question, how do you police Miami, a growing and sometimes chaotic metropolis? With such an ethnically diverse yet segregated community, policing in Miami may well be a bellwether for policing in similar cities around the nation. Moyers predicts that the astonishing diversity of America may be the greatest challenge facing law enforcement in our big cities.
Online NewsHour: Amadou Diallo
Betty Ann Bowser reports on the aftermath of the Amadou Diallo trial, in which the four police officers indicted for shooting the African immigrant 41 times were acquitted of all charges. (March 2000)
Online NewsHour: NYPD Blues
Online NewsHour covers the police brutality scandals that rocked the NYPD 1990s, when crime fell to an all-time low but the tactics that may have brought this about were coming under severe criticism after a string of murders that had critics crying racism. (April 1999)
Speak Truth to Power
The Speak Truth to Power website honors several people who have defended the human rights in the face of adversity, including Van Jones, the founder and executive director of Bay Area Police Watch, an organization committed to stopping police misconduct and protecting victims of abuse. Read a short profile and an interview with Van Jones and find out more about the issue of police brutality.
Weekend Edition: Diallo Verdict
The four white police officers accused of murdering African immigrant Amadou Diallo in his Bronx neighborhood were acquitted yesterday of all charges. NPR’s Melissa Block reports from Albany. (February 2000)
All Things Considered: Gidone Busch
The night after Gidone BuschÃs murder, NPR interviewed on-the-scene witnesses who give their own accounts of the conduct of the police officers. Here is NPR’s coverage after the judge delivered a not-guilty verdict.