Synopses & Reviews
More than just a chronology of the history of police brutality in the United States, Our Enemies in Blue
is a scholarly work that studies the reality of sanctioned violence against certain segments of society and the ways in which police use brutality to preserve existing structures of inequality. The simplistic myth of police officer as hero is prevalent in our society, and often obscures the facts, and silences those who would question police actions. The author believes the American public deserves a well-researched counter argument that confronts the realities of policing in modern society.
Our Enemies in Blue examines the strong-arming, racial profiling, and other objectionable tactics used by the police on an everyday basis and provides an intelligent, in-depth critique of police brutality in all its forms.
Seldom does one come across a book so right on target as this one. Clearly framed, drawing upon a wealth of data, straightforwardly presented and reaching uncomfortable but nonetheless unassailable conclusions on every point, Our Enemies in Blue is imperative reading for anyone in the least concerned by the implications attending the rampant growth of police power and violence in the United States. Kristian Williams is to be commended on his achievement. Ward Churchill, author of Perversions of Justice
"[A] well-researched, historically grounded and mordant critique of American policing past and present." Christian Parenti, PhD, the author of The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror, and Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis
Rather than an aberration enacted by "bad apples," police misconduct is a function of law enforcement's emphasis on repressive values and unenlightened tactics, argues Kristian Robert Williams. Firmly rooted in history and current practice, Our Enemies in Blue offers a clear-eyed account of law enforcement practices, including how police target certain groups and work to preserve power imbalances within society. Efforts to grow the prison industry are revealed along with a surprising account of modern police forces many of which evolved from protection rackets and slave patrols. As a growing number of United States citizens encounter the criminal justice system, this resource provides useful historical perspective and real-life strategies for opposing abuses of power.
About the Author
Kristian Williams studied literature and philosophy at Reed College. As a member of Portland Copwatch, he has helped document cases of police brutality and trained dozens of people on their rights when dealing with the cops.