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In-Depth Interview: Two Authors Offer Sharp Criticism of US Policing, and Police Reform

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Authors David Correia and Alex S. Vitale have new books about policing and criminal justice, and argue for radical change, not just more “police reform”.Correia’s book, The Police, A Field Guide is co-authored with Tyler Wall, and will be released in early 2018.  It’s a fascinating glossary of terms that are too often defined by the bias of law enforcement.  Correia and Wall offer their own definitions on a range of words and phrases that are often biased toward police.  Correia is an associate professor in American Studies and the University of New Mexico.

Vitale’s book, now available, is The End of Policing, and it’s a comprehensive indictment of many aspects of police tactics and operations.  He is especially critical of liberal support for policing and the series of modest reforms that have changed little.  Vitale is professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College.

To start, each author talks about his book and its general thrust. Then we move to discussion of the militarization of local police departments, the post-9/11 authorities and agencies, like the Joint Terrorism Task Force that are used to suppress First Amendment activists, and the framing of so-called “domestic terrorism” suspects.

It’s a smart discussion with two critical thinkers on the state of American law enforcement, and the need for radical change.