The Hague Case: A Different View of Police Misbehavior in Pre-World War II America

By Donald W. Rogers, PhD During the winter and spring of 1937-1938, police officers clashed with members and supporters of the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) in streets and parks of Jersey City, New Jersey, manhandling demonstrators, punching a few, and bodily expelling others from city limits. Those notorious instances of police coercion contributed to the […]

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Member of the Week: LaShawn Harris

LaShawn Harris Associate Professor of History Michigan State University Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest?  My current research project focuses on the policing of New York’s Black women during the 1980s, a period widely remembered for urban decay, economic instability, political conservativism, crime, racial violence, and new cultural music and art forms. […]

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Cityscape Number 8: July 27, 2020

For now, Cityscape is The Metropole’s listing of recent, forthcoming, or overlooked writing. When movie theaters and museums re-open, we will again link to films and exhibits of interest to urban historians. Recent Books To Live and Defy in LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America By Felicia Angeja Viator, Harvard University Press, 2020  An inquiry […]

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When Conservatives Called to Freeze Police Budgets

By David Helps In 1984, Hollywood resident Jerry Martz wrote the Los Angeles Times to observe a political impasse. With the fear of crime reaching a crescendo, City Council faced calls to enlarge the Los Angeles Police Department to 8,500 officers, which Chief Daryl Gates sloganized as the “8500 Plan.” Martz’s support for police expansion ran up against his fiscal conservatism. Nevertheless, […]

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Building the Chicago Police State: A Review of Occupied Territory

By Davarian L. Baldwin Balto, Simon. Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. By 2015, Chicago had become a symbol of the broken relationship between Black communities and the law enforcement apparatus. Outrage over the massive police cover-up of Laquan McDonald’s killing […]

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Histories of Police, Policing, and Police Unions in the United States

By Matt Guariglia and Charlotte Rosen Police and policing have been an integral theoretical component of liberal capitalist society since its inception—and a near constant in the everyday lives of citizen-subjects since at least the mid-nineteenth century. The Black Lives Matter movement—and the reactionary “Blue Lives Matter” response from U.S. law enforcement—have also recently brought […]

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From Cold War Counterinsurgency to Policing in Ferguson: A Review of Stuart Schrader’s Badges Without Borders

Schrader, Stuart. Badges without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. By Charlotte Rosen As heavily-armed SWAT teams rained rubber bullets and tear gas on Ferguson protestors in August 2014, Palestinians on Twitter offered not only solidarity, but tactical advice. Given that the same tear gas […]

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Disciplining the City Review Essay 2019

By Matt Guariglia and Charlotte Rosen This week, the United Nations released a human rights report that the massive protests rocking cities across the globe are — surprise — rooted in the massive and deeply-rooted inequalities that continue to divide societies and test the legitimacy of governments. With this current rising tide of global protests […]

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