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A work of riveting literary journalism that explores the roots and repercussions of the infamous killing of Eric Garner by the New York City police--from the bestselling author of The Divide NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST On July 17, 2014, a forty-three-year-old black man named Eric Garner died on a Staten Island sidewalk after a police officer put him in what has been described as an illegal chokehold during an arrest for selling bootleg cigarettes. The final moments of Garner's life were captured on video and seen by millions. His agonized last words, "I can't breathe," became a rallying cry for the nascent Black Lives Matter protest movement. A grand jury ultimately declined to indict the officer who wrestled Garner to the pavement. Matt Taibbi's deeply reported retelling of these events liberates Eric Garner from the abstractions of newspaper accounts and lets us see the man in full--with all his flaws and contradictions intact. A husband and father with a complicated personal history, Garner was neither villain nor victim, but a fiercely proud individual determined to do the best he could for his family, bedeviled by bad luck, and ultimately subdued by forces beyond his control. In America, no miscarriage of justice exists in isolation, of course, and in I Can't Breathe Taibbi also examines the conditions that made this tragedy possible. Featuring vivid vignettes of life on the street and inside our Kafkaesque court system, Taibbi's kaleidoscopic account illuminates issues around policing, mass incarceration, the underground economy, and racial disparity in law enforcement. No one emerges unsullied, from the conservative district attorney who half-heartedly prosecutes the case to the progressive mayor caught between the demands of outraged activists and the foot-dragging of recalcitrant police officials. A masterly narrative of urban America and a scathing indictment of the perverse incentives built into our penal system, I Can't Breathe drills down into the particulars of one case to confront us with the human cost of our broken approach to dispensing criminal justice.
Named one of the best nonfiction books of the year by The Washington Post "Tangled Up in Blue is a wonderfully insightful book that provides a lens to critically analyze urban policing and a road map for how our most dispossessed citizens may better relate to those sworn to protect and serve." --The Washington Post "Remarkable . . . Brooks has produced an engaging page-turner that also outlines many broadly applicable lessons and sensible policy reforms." --Foreign Affairs Journalist and law professor Rosa Brooks goes beyond the "blue wall of silence" in this radical inside examination of American policing In her forties, with two children, a spouse, a dog, a mortgage, and a full-time job as a tenured law professor at Georgetown University, Rosa Brooks decided to become a cop. A liberal academic and journalist with an enduring interest in law's troubled relationship with violence, Brooks wanted the kind of insider experience that would help her understand how police officers make sense of their world--and whether that world can be changed. In 2015, against the advice of everyone she knew, she applied to become a sworn, armed reserve police officer with the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department. Then as now, police violence was constantly in the news. The Black Lives Matter movement was gaining momentum, protests wracked America's cities, and each day brought more stories of cruel, corrupt cops, police violence, and the racial disparities that mar our criminal justice system. Lines were being drawn, and people were taking sides. But as Brooks made her way through the police academy and began work as a patrol officer in the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods of the nation's capital, she found a reality far more complex than the headlines suggested. In Tangled Up in Blue, Brooks recounts her experiences inside the usually closed world of policing. From street shootings and domestic violence calls to the behind-the-scenes police work during Donald Trump's 2016 presidential inauguration, Brooks presents a revelatory account of what it's like inside the "blue wall of silence." She issues an urgent call for new laws and institutions, and argues that in a nation increasingly divided by race, class, ethnicity, geography, and ideology, a truly transformative approach to policing requires us to move beyond sound bites, slogans, and stereotypes.
With his colleagues at the People's Law Office (PLO), Taylor has argued landmark civil rights cases that have exposed corruption and cover-ups within the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and throughout the city's corrupt political machine. The Torture Machine takes the reader from the 1969 murders of Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton and Panther Mark Clark--and the historic, thirteen-years of litigation that followed--through the dogged pursuit of commander Jon Burge, the leader of a torture ring within the CPD that used barbaric methods, including electric shock, to elicit false confessions from suspects. Joining forces with community activists, torture survivors and their families, other lawyers, and local reporters, Taylor and the PLO gathered evidence from multiple cases to bring suit against the CPD officers and the City of Chicago. As the struggle expanded beyond the torture scandal to the ultimately successful campaign to end the death penalty in Illinois, and obtained reparations for many of the torture survivors, it set human rights precedents that have since been adopted across the United States.
Critics on both the left and the right increasingly use the term “mass incarceration” to call attention to the unprecedented scale of, and racial inequities in, the U.S. criminal legal system—and the havoc they wreak. This book shows that the criminal legal response to lawbreaking has continued to intensify even as lawmakers increasingly embrace criminal justice reform. It also identifies three dynamics that help explain why mass incarceration persists despite plummeting crime rates and widespread efforts to reduce prison populations. These incarcerative forces include the political and cultural dynamics surrounding the issue of violence, resistance to criminal legal system reform in suburban and especially rural counties, and the failure of the most popular drug policy reforms (including drug courts) to meaningfully reduce the reach of the criminal legal system or racial inequities in it. The second part of the book identifies three broad political and policy shifts that would significantly reduce the scale of punishment while also addressing the social problems to which it is a (misguided) response. These include the enactment of a twenty-year maximum sentence and the expansion of restorative justice principles and practices that offer alternative ways of promoting accountability and healing. Meaningful harm-reduction-based drug policy reforms, including the expansion of alternative responses to low-level crime and disorder that operate outside the criminal legal system, enhanced access to medication-assisted treatment, and investment in low-income housing, including Housing First initiatives, are also needed.
Understanding the explosive protests over police killings and the legacy of racism Following the high-profile deaths of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, both cities erupted in protest over the unjustified homicides of unarmed black males at the hands of police officers. These local tragedies--and the protests surrounding them--assumed national significance, igniting fierce debate about the fairness and efficacy of the American criminal justice system. Yet, outside the gaze of mainstream attention, how do local residents and protestors in Ferguson and Baltimore understand their own experiences with race, place, and policing? In Hands Up, Don't Shoot, Jennifer Cobbina draws on in-depth interviews with nearly two hundred residents of Ferguson and Baltimore, conducted within two months of the deaths of Brown and Gray. She examines how protestors in both cities understood their experiences with the police, how those experiences influenced their perceptions of policing, what galvanized Black Lives Matter as a social movement, and how policing tactics during demonstrations influenced subsequent mobilization decisions among protesters. Ultimately, she humanizes people's deep and abiding anger, underscoring how a movement emerged to denounce both racial biases by police and the broader economic and social system that has stacked the deck against young black civilians. Hands Up, Don't Shoot is a remarkably current, on-the-ground assessment of the powerful, protestor-driven movement around race, justice, and policing in America.
Named one of the most important nonfiction books of the 21st century by Entertainment Weekly Slate Chronicle of Higher Education Literary Hub, Book Riot and Zora A tenth-anniversary edition of the iconic bestseller';one of the most influential books of the past 20 years,' according to the Chronicle of Higher Educationwith a new preface by the author ';It is in no small part thanks to Alexander's account that civil rights organizations such as Black Lives Matter have focused so much of their energy on the criminal justice system.' Adam Shatz, London Review of Books Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander's unforgettable argument that ';we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.' As the Birmingham News proclaimed, it is ';undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S.' Now, ten years after it was first published, The New Press is proud to issue a tenth-anniversary edition with a new preface by Michelle Alexander that discusses the impact the book has had and the state of the criminal justice reform movement today.
In the United States, Black men are almost six times more likely to be imprisoned than white men. This disproportionate impact can be traced back to slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the criminalization of Black people into the modern day. With growing awareness about unfair treatment in the justice system, more and more people are calling for change. Read more about the history and causes of mass incarceration and how activists are reforming and rethinking justice. Read Woke(tm) Books are created in partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke librarian. Inspired by a belief that knowledge is power, Read Woke Books seek to amplify the voices of people of the global majority (people who are of African, Arab, Asian, and Latin American descent and identify as not white), provide information about groups that have been disenfranchised, share perspectives of people who have been underrepresented or oppressed, challenge social norms and disrupt the status quo, and encourage readers to take action in their community.
"A firsthand, eye-opening story of a prosecutor that exposes the devastating criminal punishment system. Laura Coates bleeds for justice on the page." --Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist When Laura Coates joined the Department of Justice as a prosecutor, she wanted to advocate for the most vulnerable among us. But she quickly realized that even with the best intentions, "the pursuit of justice creates injustice." Through Coates's experiences, we see that no matter how fair you try to fight, being Black, a woman, and a mother are identities often at odds in the justice system. She and her colleagues face seemingly impossible situations as they teeter between what is right and what is just. On the front lines of our legal system, Coates saw how Black communities are policed differently; Black cases are prosecuted differently; Black defendants are judged differently. How the court system seems to be the one place where minorities are overrepresented, an unrelenting parade of Black and Brown defendants in numbers that belie their percentage in the population and overfill American prisons. She also witnessed how others in the system either abused power or were abused by it--for example, when an undocumented witness was arrested by ICE, when a white colleague taught Coates how to unfairly interrogate a young Black defendant, or when a judge victim-blamed a young sexual assault survivor based on her courtroom attire. Through these revelatory and captivating scenes from the courtroom, Laura Coates explores the tension between the idealism of the law and the reality of working within the parameters of our flawed legal system, exposing the chasm between what is right and what is lawful.
He was seventeen when an all-white jury sentenced him to prison for a crime he didn't commit. Now a pioneering lawyer, he recalls the journey that led to his exoneration--and inspired him to devote his life to fighting the many injustices in our legal system. Seventeen years old and facing nearly thirty years behind bars, Jarrett Adams sought to figure out the why behind his fate. Sustained by his mother and aunts who brought him back from the edge of despair through letters of prayer and encouragement, Adams became obsessed with our legal system in all its damaged glory. After studying how his constitutional rights to effective counsel had been violated, he solicited the help of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, an organization that exonerates the wrongfully convicted, and won his release after nearly ten years in prison. But the journey was far from over. Adams took the lessons he learned through his incarceration and worked his way through law school with the goal of helping those who, like himself, had faced our legal system at its worst. After earning his law degree, he worked with the New York Innocence Project, becoming the first exoneree ever hired by the nonprofit as a lawyer. In his first case with the Innocence Project, he argued before the same court that had convicted him a decade earlier--and won. In this illuminating story of hope and full-circle redemption, Adams draws on his life and the cases of his clients to show the racist tactics used to convict young men of color, the unique challenges facing exonerees once released, and how the lack of equal representation in our courts is a failure not only of empathy but of our collective ability to uncover the truth. Redeeming Justice is an unforgettable firsthand account of the limits--and possibilities--of our country's system of law.
The trade paperback edition of the highly buzzed about YA debut from Mark Oshiro, Anger Is a Gift follows a boy from Oakland as he falls in love amidst the chaos of modern America. *31st Annual Lammy Finalist for LGBTQ Children's/Young Adult category* *2019 ALA Schneider Family Book Award Teen Winner* *Buzzfeed's 24 Best YA Books of 2018* *Vulture's 38 Best LGBTQ YA Novels* *Book Riot's Best Books 2018* *Hyable's Most Anticipated Queer YA Books of 2018* *The Mary Sue's 18 Books You Should Read in 2018* Moss Jeffries is many things--considerate student, devoted son, loyal friend and affectionate boyfriend, enthusiastic nerd. But sometimes Moss still wishes he could be someone else--someone without panic attacks, someone whose father was still alive, someone who hadn't become a rallying point for a community because of one horrible night. And most of all, he wishes he didn't feel so stuck. Moss can't even escape at school--he and his friends are subject to the lack of funds and crumbling infrastructure at West Oakland High, as well as constant intimidation by the resource officer stationed in their halls. That was even before the new regulations--it seems sometimes that the students are treated more like criminals. Something will have to change--but who will listen to a group of teens? When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes again, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does--or does not--say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. Want more of Garden Heights? Catch Maverick and Seven's story in Concrete Rose, Angie Thomas's powerful prequel to The Hate U Give.