Download Above the Law. Police and the Excessive Use of Force by Jerome H Skolnick PDF

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By Jerome H Skolnick

The now-famous videotape of the thrashing of Rodney King brought on a countrywide outcry opposed to police violence. Skolnick and Fyfe, of the nation's best specialists on legislations enforcement, use the incident to introduce a revealing historic research of such violence and the level of its survival in legislation enforcement this day.

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Sample text

A friend, an editor, was called to serve on a New York City jury. Eight jurors were black or Hispanic, four were white. The defendant was a young African-American man accused of a mugging. He had assaulted a women near Columbus Avenue and 59th Street and had run away with her pocketbook. A white police officer witnessed the assault, bravely chased down and subdued the offender, and testified in Court. There was one other witness, an older woman, who also saw the mugging and recited her testimony with a Chinese accent.

The four Los Angeles cops who beat King were indicted by a grand jury on serious felony charges, and appeared to face a bleak future of imprisonment until they were acquitted by a Simi Valley jury. Yet a total of twenty-seven law enforcement officers were at the scene that night, including twenty-three Los Angeles Police Department officers. Although all or most were disciplined by their departments, those who watched and did nothing to interfere with the beating were not charged by Los Angeles District Attorney Ira Reiner.

This last, headed by a Los Angeles attorney and former State Department official, Warren Christopher, wrote of the difference made by the taping of the King incident: Our Commission owes its existence to the George Holliday videotape of the Rodney King incident. Whether there even would have been a Los Angeles Police Department investigation without the video is doubtful, since the efforts of King’s brother, Paul, to file a complaint were frustrated, and the report of the involved officers was falsified.

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