A City Divided: Race, Fear and the Law in Police Confrontations Chapter 1: The Incident
Chapter 1 in A CITY DIVIDED: RACE, FEAR AND THE LAW IN POLICE CONFRONTATIONS, David A. Harris, Anthem Press, 2020
12 Pages Posted: 15 May 2020 Last revised: 18 May 2020
Date Written: January 1, 2020
An African American teenager in Pittsburgh, walking in his neighborhood, encountered three plain clothes police officers. In less than a minute, this chance encounter turned violent with the young man injured and arrested. When pictures of his battered face hit the media days later, Pittsburgh is first shocked – but then quickly becomes divided. This excerpt is the first chapter of A City Divided: Race, Fear, and the Law in Police Confrontations (Anthem Press, 2020). The book tells the story of the case from the start to finish in federal court. In a case that foretold the fates of so many other black men after Ferguson, the author uses a deep knowledge of policing and the legal system, along with the latest social and psychological science concerning race, to explain why things went wrong on the street, how the legal system failed, and what we can do to prevent catastrophes like this one from happening again.
Keywords: Police, police misconduct, police violence, race, racial profiling, criminal law, African American, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Police, public safety, community policing, social psychology
JEL Classification: J15, K14, K19, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation