In this episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast, host Michael Shields interviews Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College, Alex S. Vitale. Professor Vitale has spent the last thirty years writing about policing and consults with police departments and human rights organizations internationally. He is a frequent essayist, whose writings have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Nation, Vice News, Fortune, and USA Today and he has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, PBS, Democracy Now, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Professor Vitale is the author of City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics and The End of Policing, his latest book which lies at the core of this episode. The End of Policing attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice — even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Professor Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve. Expounding upon the ideas put forth in The End of Policing, this episode explores the bevy of myths that surround policing, ones regarding the benefits of diverse police forces, the capabilities of police training, and the idea that the police exist to protect us from the “bad guys.” This episode also surveys the history of policing as we know it, the concept of “broken-window” policing, what Defund The Police authentically means, how alternatives to police such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction can led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice, and so much more.
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