police conduct

QUESTION: Police Dissent and Resistance

question / pregunta: 

In Chapel Hill, NC, where the police have recently applied horrifying and disproportionate force against unarmed protesters, some want to chant against the cops, and others want to remember that "Cops are people too." Me, I am trying to make this conversation more interesting. If cops are people, I figure, then they are morally accountable as individuals, and we can ask why there was not a single officer willing to stand up and prevent the attack this weekend. Research will help me make this case.
Is there any single historical work, or perhaps a museum, of police dissent in the United States? There must be some place to go to find the stories of heroic police who stood against their departments and fought to prevent unjust police acts. (And, of course, if such a history is impossible to find, I would also deeply appreciate any research on how American police suppress dissent and silence moral objectors)

Civilian Review Boards


If you are near an academic or large research library it is best to try this subject in some major databases.

Lexis Academic gets 30 hits in current 2 years for the search: "civilian review boards". Factiva (a better source of news articles than Lexis, thinks a social science librarian colleague here at U of MD) gets 66 in the same 2 years. I would recommend browsing all 30 in Lexis, because trying to limit with words such as "overview" or "survey" or "statistics", etc, risks losing a good article that omits those words. In Factiva, it makes more sense to try some extra words. "Civilian review boards" and survey gets 5 hits, including "Study says about 8 percent of U.S. police brutality complaints justify discipline" By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN Associated Press Writer 404 words. Associated Press Newswires 26 June 2006 01:00 AM, which refers to a Justice Department survey of large state and local forces. In Dissertation Abstracts, the search: "civilian review" and "police departments" gets 3 dissertations, but all of them seem to be case studies of a single or only a few departments. Although I didn't see very promising initial results, it would be wise to try other searches such as "police departments" and Statistic* and "review board", etc.

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