A Brief History of Slavery and the Origins of American Policing
Written by Victor E. Kappeler, Ph.D., Eastern Kentucky University
The birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. The institution of slavery and the control of minorities, however, were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities. For example, New England settlers appointed Indian Constables to police Native Americans (National Constable Association, 1995), the St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols.
In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation’s first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property. Continue reading →
‘Rough Rides’ and the Challenges of Improving Police Culture
By David A. Graham, Apr 27, 2015
A rough ride. Bringing them up front. A screen test. A cowboy ride. A nickel ride.
Police say that intentionally banging a suspect around in the back of a van isn’t common practice. But the range of slang terms to describe the practice suggests it’s more common that anyone would hope—and a roster of cases show that Freddie Gray is hardly the first person whose serious injuries allegedly occurred while in police transit. Citizens have accused police of using aggressive driving to rough suspects up for decades in jurisdictions across the country. Though experts don’t think it’s a widespread practice, rough rides have injured many people, frayed relationships, and cost taxpayers, including Baltimore’s, millions of dollars in damages.
Gray’s funeral was Monday, eight days after he died and two weeks after he was arrested by Baltimore police under murky circumstances. President Obama sent three aides, including the chair of his My Brother’s Keeper task force, to the burial. Protests have roiled the streets of Baltimore ever since Gray died, forcing the city to reckon with a troubled police department and its fraught relationship with black citizens. Continue reading →
Timeline: Freddie Gray’s arrest, death and the aftermath From Baltimore Sun
April 12, 2015
Four officers on bicycles attempted to stop Freddie Gray and another man, who ran after seeing police at the intersection of W. North Avenue and N. Mount Street. “A lieutenant begins pursuing Mr. Gray after making eye contact with two individuals, one of which is Mr. Gray,” Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said.
April 12, 2015
Police caught and arrested Gray in the 1700 block of Presbury Street. Police said Gray stopped voluntarily and they did not use any force. An officer took out his Taser but did not use it, police said. “That has been verified by downloading the information on the Taser and also by the physical evidence on Mr. Gray’s body,” Rodriguez said.
Okla. execution: ‘Chaos’ after injection is stopped, inmate dies anyway
by Ed Payne, Greg Botelho and Dana Ford, CNN
— One execution [botched], another postponed.
Oklahoma corrections officials looked for answers Tuesday following the death of inmate Clayton Lockett, who convulsed and writhed on the gurney after drugs to carry out his death sentence were administered.
“His body started to twitch, he mumbled something I couldn’t understand,” said Dean Sanderford, his attorney. “The convulsing got worse, it looked like his whole upper body was trying to lift off the gurney. For a minute, there was chaos.” Continue reading →
Lethal Injection Leads to the Most Botched Execution By The Daily Beast
Last night the state of Oklahoma added to America’s long history of botched executions when it attempted to execute Clayton Derrell Lockett by lethal injection. At 6.23 p.m., a doctor administered the first drug, which corrections officials identified as the sedative midazolam. What followed was an agonizing spectacle that ended when Lockett died at 7.06 p.m.—43 minutes after the drugs began to flow. Continue reading →
Marissa Alexander Released Home on House Arrest From OCG
Fla. Woman Sentenced to 20 Yrs. for Firing Warning Shot—RELEASED Marissa Alexander Freed While Awaiting Trial
by Associated Press
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida woman awaiting a new trial in a controversial “stand your ground” case is free on bond.
First Coast News (http://fcnews.tv/18q19sa) reports that Marissa Alexander was released from jail Wednesday. According to the Duval County Clerk of Court, she must remain under house arrest and electronic monitoring while awaiting trial.
In 2012, Alexander was sentenced to a mandatory 20-year prison sentence for firing what she insisted was a warning shot during a fight with her husband. She tried to invoke Florida’s “stand your ground” law but the judge threw out Continue reading →