Police: A Field Guide | David Correia & Tyler Wall
288 pages | Verso Press
A book on police in the form of a field guide, this book arms activists on the streets--as well as anyone with an open mind on one of the key issues of our time--with a critical analysis and ultimately a redefinition of the very idea of policing. The book contends that when we talk about police and police reform, we speak the language of police legitimation through the art of euphemism. So state sexual assault become "body-cavity search," and ruthless beatings become "non-compliance deterrence." A Field Guide to the Police is a study of the self-evident and taken-for-granted language of police, a language we're all forced to speak when we talk about police. In entries like "Police dog," "Stop and frisk," and "Rough ride," the authors expose the way "copspeak"--the euphemized language of police as well as the unexamined assumptions undergirding contemporary policing--suppress the true meaning and history of policing. Like any other field guide, it reveals a world that is hidden in plain view. The book argues that a redefined language of police might help chart a future free not only of police violence, but also of the police as we currently know it.