Critical Perspectives on Police, Policing, and Mass Incarceration
Citation: 104 Geo L.J. (2016)
Public clamor over police–community relations began in the mid-1990s and has now started to reach fever pitch. It is unlikely to subside soon for a number of reasons. The minority community is concerned about the large number of its youth who end up in the criminal justice system, often for minor offenses such as possession of small amounts of marijuana, driving with a burned-out taillight, or jaywalking. Their encounters with police can turn deadly, especially when the officer is white and concerned more with asserting authority than de-escalating conflict. When a police–citizen interaction turns violent, bystanders often record it and post the video on the Internet. The combination of a large and vocal minority community, an intractable police force, and a system of social media that widely broadcasts encounters ensures that the current turmoil is apt to continue, if not worsen, in the immediate future.