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Special Project

Power over Policing

As Minneapolis agrees to disband its police force and Denver votes unanimously to remove police from its public schools, police abolition has entered the public consciousness with full force and considerable support.

Alongside select archival essays, this special project features lawyers, activists, historians and more responding to the demands of the 2020 uprisings. They not only boldly imagine an abolitionist future without police and prisons, but outline the steps needed to get us there.

Derecka Purnell Nia T. Evans

An interview with Derecka Purnell about her new book Becoming Abolitionists, how we should think about the systems that produce violence, and, ultimately, the resources that will allow people to live safely.

Amanda Alexander Danielle Sered

Effective responses to violence—preventing it, interrupting it, holding people accountable, and helping people heal—already exist. We need to learn from and invest in them.

Derecka Purnell

Abolition is not only about eliminating the police, but imagining new systems that work to ensure a fair, equal society where there is no place for racism, ableism, or state violence.

Lily Hu

Studying the social world requires more than deference to data. In some cases, it may even require that we reject findings—no matter the prestige or sophistication of the technical apparatus on which they are built.

Charmaine Chua

Two timely new books unmask the colossal shipping industry behind global trade, whose monstrous pursuit of profit has long wreaked havoc on laborers and the seas they sail through.

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Robin D. G. Kelley

As a culture of protest took hold in 1960s LA, communities of color also prioritized a radical tradition of care, emphasizing mutual aid, community control, and the transformative power of art and politics.

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Erica R. Meiners Judith Levine

Instead of deterring sexual violence, criminalization has empowered policing and punishment. To prevent both sexual and state-inflicted abuse, we must embrace restorative justice.

Anne Gray Fischer police sexual assault
Anne Gray Fischer

Forms of gender-specific violence are baked into the structure of law enforcement. Reform efforts will fail until we eliminate police discretion over women’s bodies.

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Joseph Margulies

In many states, legal regimes sanction the predictable murder of innocent black men. Justice will not be served until the law changes.

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Jodi Melamed Lisa Cacho

We must reject the current legal regime under which resisting arrest is so widely accepted as a justification for police brutality and officer shootings.

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