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Civil Disorder: A Compilation of Papers Presented Before the Police Foundation National Conference

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1993
172 pages
This collection of readings, based on material presented at a 1993 Police Foundation Conference, reviews what research has found on the features of civil disorder and draws implications for how law enforcement agencies should prepare for it.
A theme throughout these readings is the link between civil disorders in urban areas and the interactions between police and diverse minority groups permeated by frustration and anger stemming from socioeconomic disadvantage. Among these minority racial/ethnic groups, police are often viewed as agents of a mainstream society that cares little about their plight, views them as inferior failures, and are more interested in controlling them than helping them. A number of readings address police-community relations with particular minority groups, specifically, African-American, Korean-American, and Hispano-American residents. Various readings from the Police Foundation conference examine specific occasions when a "trigger" event, often involving the police, has resulted in destructive anger and aggressive behavior, often targeting the police and businesses in urban areas. The Los Angeles civil disorder was a focus of the conference since it was a recent occurrence at the time. A number of readings profile programs that have addressed police-minority relations in particular communities, including Baltimore; Los Angeles;, Prince Georges County, MD; Greenville, SC; Atlanta; Florida; Madison, WI; Lansing, MI; and Chicago. Two models of civil disturbance planning are presented, along with prevention strategies among gang members and ways in which Federal agencies are addressing civil disorder causes, prevention, and emergency response.