It will surprise no one that Americans are not all treated equally by the police. Law enforcement picks on kids more than adults, the queer more than straight, Muslims more than Methodists — Muslims a lot more than Methodists—antiwar activists more than the apolitical. Above all, our punitive state targets the poor more than the wealthy and Blacks and Latinos more than white people.A case in point: after the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, a police presence, including surveillance cameras and metal detectors, was ratcheted upat schools around the country, particularly in urban areas with largely working-class black and Latino student bodies. It was all to “protect” the kids, of course. At Columbine itself, however, no metal detector was installed and no heavy police presence intruded. The reason was simple. At that school in the Colorado suburb of Littleton, the mostly well-heeled white families did not want their kids treated like potential felons, and they had the status and political power to get their way. But communities without such clout are less able to push back against the encroachments of police power.
- Time to be Afraid in America: The Frightening Pattern of Throwing Police Power at Social Problems (rinf.com)
- The over-policing of America (tomdispatch.com)
- Chase Madar: The Over-Policing of America (huffingtonpost.com)
- Police overkill has become the default American policy (salon.com)