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

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-17

12 Pages Posted: 15 May 2020 Last revised: 18 May 2020

See all articles by David A. Harris

David A. Harris

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2020

Abstract

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

Harris, David A., A City Divided: Race, Fear and the Law in Police Confrontations Chapter 1: The Incident (January 1, 2020). Chapter 1 in A CITY DIVIDED: RACE, FEAR AND THE LAW IN POLICE CONFRONTATIONS, David A. Harris, Anthem Press, 2020; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3596154

David A. Harris (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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