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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76748 Find in a Library
Title: Upsurge of Police Repression - An Analysis
Journal: Black Scholar  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(January/February 1981)  Pages:35-57
Author(s): D Smith
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 23
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The article explores the ideological and material causes of current increased police repression, with special emphasis on relationships between the police and the black community.
Abstract: Police repression and violence against blacks date back to the elaborate brand of control which slave owners established over slaves. The intensification of police repression in the 1970's and today was caused in part by such threats to the capitalist system as the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the violent black urban rebellion, and the growth of the black liberation movement. In addition, capitalist society is in a profound economic and social crisis, which the government meets not through the solution of underlying social problems but through repression, coercion, and violence. In times of crisis, reactionary forces within the United States traditionally find a favorable ideological climate. In terms of police violence, racist attitudes are translated into aggravated police use of deadly force and brutality. Racist police trends find their expression in such phenomena as holding target practices with dark-colored figures. Furthermore, many members of police departments are known to be members of the right wing, racist, and facist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, and the John Birch Society. By spying on politically active groups, numerous police departments have been engaged in illegal political surveillance and other criminal activities. Moreover, to protect their interests, the police have formed a number of organizations such as the Fraternal Order of the Police, the International Conference of Police Associations, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The article urges blacks to establish community control over the police through a massive, broad-based popular movement including church groups, community organizations, students, civil rights and civil liberties groups, and trade unions. Seventy-five bibliographical footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Black/African Americans; Capitalism; Community control of police; Police Brutality; Police community relations; Racial discrimination; Social change; Social conditions
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