sadie_reads_again's review against another edition

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4.0

In the wake of the very justified unrest in the US and other countries about the treatment of black people (and basically anyone who isn't white) I was very grateful to publishers Haymarket for making this book available for free. I have always described myself as anti-racist, but very interesting conversations and statements made recently have made me realise that it isn't enough for me to just say that everyone deserves equality. Of course they do, but from my relative safety as a white woman I can do so much more to understand and fight for that right either alongside marginalised people or in spaces where they are unable. Books like this are key to educating and arming myself both with knowledge and with fuel for my arguments. Hearing the voices of people who know firsthand what injustice and inequality feels like and how it shapes their existence is vital, and this collection of pieces from a variety of writers brings together so many facts, experiences and perspectives on the impact of policing in the US and particularly police violence. It raises some radical points which at first I felt unsure of (such as doing away with policing completely), but to which viewpoint I was brought around by the intelligence of the arguments made. I think the way the system has not only failed but damaged marginalised communities to the point that they are advocating putting their safety and health at risk to avoid interacting and engaging with these public services is incredibly upsetting. As are the myriad shocking statistics mentioned throughout the pieces in this book. This book is a tough read, as it does pummel you with case after case of police violence and painful stories to hear. It definitely isn't a primer - it's a dense book to read through, which could be intimidating to those new to non-fiction or the topic. But if you get through it and it doesn't leave you seething with anger on the part of those most vulnerable, then you've been reading it wrong.

gn606's review against another edition

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4.0

Super informative short essays. The first half discusses and analyzes cases of police brutality and state violence in the United States and how young poor Black, hispanic, and indigenous communities are disproportionately impacted. The second half aims to resolve these issues by offering policing alternatives. The contributors examine what’s possible and what’s already being done in various communities. If you’re are moved by the current movement and looking for an introduction to police brutality I would recommend!

veelaughtland's review against another edition

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3.0

This was an enlightening and at times very heavy read. I didn't love most of the essays in this collection as I didn't think all of them were particularly brilliantly written, and especially in the first section it just felt like I was reading long lists of statistics rather than a nuanced argument. But there were some real standouts that I felt taught me a lot:
Your Pregnancy May Subject You to Even More Law Enforcement Violence by Victoria Law.
Say Her Name: What It Means to Center Black Women's Experiences of Police Violence by Andrea J. Ritchie.
Black Parenting Matters: Raising Children in a World of Police Terror by Eisa Nefertari Ulen.
Our History and Our Dreams: Building Black and Native Solidarity by Kelly Hayes.

I also found the second section, which focused more on alternatives to modern policing focused around community focused activities and support systems, to be really engaging and uplifting, and it showed me a different side to standard policing that I hadn't really thought about before. Although it has to be noted that this was published in 2016, and we are four years on from the subjects dealt with in the essays collected here. And so at the end I felt both hopeful and a little hopeless at the same time. This collection is probably just as relevant in 2020 as it was when it was first published, and usually I'd say a book's enduring relevance is a good thing but not so much here.

multilingual_s's review

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 A great collection of essays, but other reading on the same topic overrode this one eventually.

thoughtsfromtheafro's review against another edition

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4.0

A solid anthology of analysis, reflections and ideas on how we can separate ourselves from policing at the individual and societal level. Scaling it will take time, but I’m open to thinking twice as to who I can call directly to deal with a problem in lieu of the police.

Based on the title and cover art, it would be easy for someone to assume that it’s full of radical approaches and “burn down police departments” sentiments, but each is filled with quite a bit of nuance, research, reflection on professional experience, and logic.

linnae's review against another edition

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5.0

a strong collection of essays that serve as a good primer/intro about the inherent and un-reformable violence of police towards Black communities, including Black women and Black pregnant people, as well as other communities of color. the essays near the end started the work of imagining & re-imagining, which i really appreciated. as someone who believes in abolition, but is not yet the most educated on the topic, this seemed to be a good-level book, particularly to prompt me to continue my research!

scransbottom's review

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emotional informative fast-paced

5.0

werin407's review against another edition

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5.0

Ever since I was little my passion in life was to help people. Having a specific interest in child welfare, that passion manifested into wanting to work as a Detective in the Crimes Against Children Unit of a police department. I had, of course, heard about instances of police brutality, but being the naive optimist I am, I thought I would be able to fix the system from the inside. Lately, I've begun to realize that it isn't possible. It's more than fixing the system. It's reimagining and reconstructing it. I have been naive and ignorant, and I am sorry for not educating myself a long time ago.
Lately, I've been trying my best to educate myself on the experiences black and brown people have with the criminal justice system. Part of this is learning to reimagine how we can live in a world with limited police presence (or with no presence at all). Based on a friend's recommendation, I read the book "Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?". This collection of essays covers a wide range of topics from instances of police brutality to alternatives to calling 911 in emergency situations. It would absolutely recommend it to anyone who is trying to educate themselves on alternative to policing. (BONUS: the e-book version of this book is free on Haymarket Book's website right now!)

francienolans's review

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challenging emotional informative inspiring fast-paced

4.0

adfj897's review

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dark informative tense fast-paced

4.0

Read for RiP Study Guide - Defund the Police