Riot Control in the Occupied Territories

I believe the city is Bethlehem:

Here’s an article about the relationship between the police techniques used under the Israeli occupation, and those increasingly used in the United States.

Here’s an article with background about the riots in Jerusalem and the West Bank this past summer.


Eric Garner Video

Comment on MacDonald’s argument in chapter 5 of The War on Cops, on her defense of “Broken Windows Policing,” which she defines as “the enforcement of low-level misdemeanor laws regulating public order” (p. 31). “The biggest threat facing minority New Yorkers today is de-policing,” she says, referring to the discontinuation or reduction of Broken Windows Policing (p. 35). Thoughts?

Notice that Broken Windows policing is likely to have two sets of effects. On the one hand, it is (for obvious reasons) likely to drive down the rate of low-level misdemeanors, some of which can be quite annoying, and can seriously affect people’s quality of life. On the other hand, it is also likely to lead to an increased number of incidents like that involving Eric Garner: the more stringently such laws are enforced, the greater the number of Terry stops required to enforce them; since a subject rarely knows that he is in a Terry stop (and the police have no obligation to tell him), Terry stops used in Broken Windows policing are likely to blur the line between justified/constitutional non-cooperation and illegal non-compliance. Illegal non-compliance leads to force-escalation, and force-escalation can easily lead to lethality, which is what happened in this case.

Here, by the way, is the New Jersey statute that I mentioned, governing illegal parking on private property.

President Obama’s Ferguson Speech

We discussed this video today in class, in relation to Mac Donald’s claims in chapter 1 of The War on Cops, “Obama’s Ferguson Sellout.” Comment on MacDonald’s critique of this speech in that chapter, with special attention to the claims she makes about body language: “Obama gestured wanly toward the need to respect the grand jury’s decision and to protest peacefully…[b]ut his tone of voice and body language unmistakably conveyed his disagreement, if not disgust, with that decision” (p. 7). Is MacDonald fair to Obama, or does she misrepresent the speech?

Ethics Conference this Saturday

Here is the schedule for the ethics conference this Saturday the 14th at the Rutherford campus. The main (or “concurrent”) sessions will take place in Martin Hall, but the plenary speech by Michele Moody-Adams will take place in Ray’s Place in the Education Commons Building (2:15-4 pm). Feel free to come for any part of the conference you like, but I highly recommend Professor Moody-Adams’s talk on hate speech (more precisely titled, “Taking Expression Seriously”). I will post an extra credit assignment here after the talk (I have to hear it to know how to formulate an assignment).

Violence in the 1980s: Three Depictions

Three of the most famous filmic depictions of the crime spree of the 1970s and 80s include “Boyz in the Hood,” Clockers,” and “New Jersey Drive.” “Boyz in the Hood,” the most famous of the three, came out in 1991, as the crime spree continued, depicting life in Los Angeles; the other two films came out in 1995, as crime itself began to decline, but as memories of the crime spree were still fresh, depicting life in New Jersey (specifically, Newark, though “Clockers” depicts a fictional city). “Clockers” is based on a 1992 story by the author Richard Price. All three are “period pieces,” recognizable to anyone who lived through the time period. I’ve inserted the trailers below. Worth watching if you haven’t already.  Continue reading