• The Targeting of Bail Funds is an old Weapon in the Civil Rights Backlash

    by Say Burgin and Jeanne Theoharis

    Atlanta and Georgia law enforcement's arrest of the leaders of a fund dedicated to securing bail for protesters opposing "Cop City" shows that protest movements have long depended on bailing out activists, and the forces opposed to change have long known it. 

  • Buried Footage Helped Chicago Police Get Away with Killing 10 Labor Activists in 1937

    by Greg Mitchell

    Paramount's newsreel division shot footage of the murderous attack on a steelworkers' march in 1937. They sided with the bosses by burying the footage. Even after Senator Robert LaFollette pushed for the film's release, cities banned it from the screen as Chicago prosecutors ruled the killings justifiable. A new documentary tells the story of the film. 

  • The Police Aren't Part of Change in Chicago

    by Dan Berger

    A historian critiquing a recent book on Black Lives Matter argues that the political, fiscal and cultural influence of police is so broad that it's impossible to think of meaningful social reform in a society that includes modern police departments. 

  • Blaming Atlanta "Cop City" Protests on "Outside Agitators" is Familiar and Shameful

    by Benjamin Stumpf

    Blaming outsiders for grassroots objections to turning valuable parkland over to the police to create an urban warfare training center is an effort to shift blame for violence from police to protesters and to assert that local communities accept the plan. Opponents of civil rights did the same thing. 

  • The Police Car is PR for Power without Accountability

    by Jeffrey Lamson

    As the central feature of police technology and the main way that departments present themselves to the public, police cars have long been key symbols in police efforts to claim greater legitimacy, resources and power. 

  • Welcome to the Predator State

    by Michael Gould-Wartofsky

    The rise of paramilitary police tactical teams heralds the arrival of a moment when policing drops the pretense of serving and protecting a community and embraces war footing. 

  • Trauma of Tyre Nichols's Killing Echoes in Many Places

    by Michael Honey

    A police killing in Tacoma prompts a historian to reflect on the radical traditions of nonviolent resistance led by Martin Luther King, and the need for hopefulness in struggle. 

  • Evaluating the Perpetually Forthcoming Racial Reckoning

    Journalist Wesley Lowery turns to a rereading of James Baldwin and Derrick Bell to consider how the racial identity of the officers who beat Tyre Nichols to death fits into the history of American racism. 

  • Tyre Nichols's Death and America's Systemic Failure

    by Peniel E. Joseph

    Nichols's killing, like other police killings, emphasizes the need for what W.E.B. DuBois called "abolition democracy," meaning the "eradication of the institutions, vestiges, and badges of racial slavery and new investments in Black citizenship and dignity." This is more than "reform." 

  • Refuse a Return to "Normalcy" after Police Killings

    by Austin McCoy

    Refusing to accept avoidable death as part of American life—from COVID or police violence—is the foundation of change. Americans need to organize a national day of mourning in the form of a work stoppage. 

  • NY Mayor's Proposal to Lock Up Mentally Ill Has Long History

    by Elliott Young

    The impulse to heal the mentally ill has long battled the impulse to lock them up as a threat to the society. Eric Adams is trying to do the latter while claiming to do the former. 

  • The Orwellian Rise of "Suicide by Cop"

    "Suicide by Cop" emerged as a descriptive phrase in the context of a crackdown on crime and an abandonment of police accountability, making a large portion of killings by officers seem natural and unavoidable. 

  • Two Years After George Floyd: What Next?

    by Austin McCoy

    Despite the massive insurgency of 2020, activists struggle as news media amplify reactionary moral panics about history curricula and crime to justify increasing the funding and power of police departments that have seen superficial reforms at best.