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Police Brutality

NCJ Number
W Dudley
Date Published
160 pages
This book on police brutality is divided into three chapters, which examine the extent of police brutality, its causes, and its prevention.
Following an overview of police brutality in the U.S., grounded in the context of the Rodney King incident, in which the beating of a black motorist by a white policeman was videotaped and resulted in two highly publicized trials, several authors present arguments on either side of the debate over whether police brutality toward ethnic minorities, juveniles, and poor people has reached crisis proportions. Causes of police brutality which are explored in detail here include job-related stress, racism, group psychology and an elitist police attitude toward civilians, lax police discipline, and the need for self-defense. A variety of reforms have been proposed to stop the escalating rate of police brutality. Some focus on internal changes, such as strong leadership, aggressive prosecution, training, and enhanced police-citizen contacts, while others emphasize external factors, including civilian review boards, stricter laws, Federal and local reforms, and sting operations. 1 appendix