1st Edition

Human Rights Policing Reimagining Law Enforcement in the 21st Century

By Peter Marina, Pedro Marina Copyright 2023
    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    Relying on intense ethnographic research and extensive experiences teaching human rights policing to police officers, this book teaches law enforcement professionals how to apply human rights to their everyday interactions with community members. The data collected throughout this research process offers the reader first-hand accounts of police officers addressing the most important human rights as they relate to policing, telling stories of using their human agency while on the job, and providing insights into their discussions with community members on human rights, among other important topics.

    Human rights remain a relatively new concept in human civilization, but one largely unrealized at this point in history. Can police officers serve as the harbingers of human rights in a world that desperately needs it? We say yes. It starts with applying human rights to police work. But this book does more than teach police officers how to apply human rights to their careers. It reimagines the institution of law enforcement as we push toward the later stages of modernity. Refusing to tell readers what to think, this book provides the intellectual tools on how to think about policing in new and creative ways. It seeks to bring out the readers’ full creative potential as law enforcement agents, police officers, and criminal justice professionals and activists.

    This book advances new ideas throughout each chapter on how to make human rights policing a reality. The ideas in each chapter build on each other, offering a small piece of the puzzle and all the steps necessary to advance the goals of human rights policing. The book (1) analyzes the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and how it applies to policing, (2) develops a three-fold typology called “Human Rights Policing Social Interactions,” (3) discusses the relationship between the use of power and human rights, (4) explains the power of human agency to transcend the ordinary, (5) uncovers the creation of folk devils that threaten human rights, (6) describes how to use the sociological imagination to understand community members, (7) reveals the importance of storytelling to see the world from the actor’s point of view, (8) discusses the double consciousness and the creation of the “other,” (9) describes what we call “soulful policing” and engaging with the community— Chicago style, and (10) provides social policy suggestions at both the national level and local policing level.

    This book will challenge the reader in fascinating and highly surprising ways to think about, and, further, to reimagine policing as we push toward the future. It will appeal to professionals at all levels of law enforcement, and will be useful in programs offering degrees and/or certificates to students of criminal justice.


    Suicide-by-Cop: A Code Two Call in the New Orleans Police Department

    Chapter One: Human Rights Policing

    • Introduction
    • Human Rights in Extraordinary Times
    • Goals of the Book: What Do We Want? Human Rights! Who’s Gonna Help Protect it? Cops!
    • Who Are We?
    • Reflections on 30 Years of Policing: Thoughts for the Reader
    • Points of Departure
    • What Happens Next
    • Suggested Audios, Videos, and Activities

    Chapter Two: Connecting Human Rights to Policing

    • Introduction
    • Cops of the World, Unite (Under Human Rights Policing)!
    • Human Rights: Words without Meaning, Bark without Bite
    • The Nature and Meaning of Human Rights
    • Three Types of Human Rights Policing Social Interactions
    • Examples of the Three Human Rights Policing Social Interactions
    • Evolution of Human Rights
    • The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights
    • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
    • Summary of Human Rights
    • Human Rights from the Perspective of Police Officers
    • Suggested Readings and Activities

    Chapter Three: Police, Power, Agency, and Human Rights

    • Introduction
    • Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
    • Defining Power
    • From Where Does Power Derive?
    • Human Agency Versus Determinism
    • Human Agency and Policing: A Story from Inside the N.O.P.D.
    • Threats to Human Rights Policing: Moral Panics and the Manufacturing of Folk Devils
    • Black Mirror: "Men Against Fire"
    • Suggested Activities

    Chapter Four: The Sociological Imagination and Human Rights Policing

    • Introduction
    • An Invitation to the Sociological Imagination
    • The Sociological Imagination
    • Using the Sociological Imagination
    • Verstehen: The Actor’s Point of View
    • The Stories We Tell
    • The Relationship between Storytelling and Human Rights
    • Storytelling and the Double Consciousness
    • Thirty Years of Policing a Foreign Community
    • Suggested Activities

    Chapter Five: Engaging with the Community on Human Rights

    • Introduction: Soulful Policing
    • The 1920s Chicago School Sociology: Getting Dirty
    • Tongue Speakers and Religious Fanatics in Brownsville, Brooklyn
    • Down and Out in New Orleans: Homeless Shelters of the City
    • Sex Workers, Policing, and City Life: Getting to Know Community Members
    • The Gay Business Community of the New Orleans French Quarter
    • Phil the Maître D’
    • A Police Chief’s Perspective on Getting to Know the Community and Human Rights
    • It's About Policing with the Soul
    • Reimagining Policing into the Future
    • Suggested Videos and Activities

    Chapter Six. Policy Suggestions, Human Rights, and the Future of Policing

    • Introduction
    • Brief Chapter Summaries
    • On Kindness
    • The Blasé Attitude and Human Rights Policing
    • Developing the Blasé Attitude: Notes from the N.O.P.D.
    • Policy Suggestions
    • Final Thoughts and Ideas: The Future of Policing and Human Rights
    • Suggested Assignment





    Peter Marina holds a Ph.D. in sociology from The New School for Social Research in Manhattan, serves as Associate Professor of Sociology & Criminal Justice, and is author of Down and Out in New Orleans with Columbia University Press.

    Pedro Marina holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology at the University of New Orleans and is a retired police lieutenant from the New Orleans Police Department with 30 years of law enforcement experience in the Big Easy.

    "Marina and Marina’s book offers over three decades of practical experience and innovative research toward centralizing human rights within criminal justice and policing specifically. Human Rights Policing: Reimagining Law Enforcement in the 21st Century could not be more salient in these extraordinary times. While many of us imagine impending crisis on a global scale, this book—through tremendous insight, experience, and intellectual humility—offers ethical ways forward for policing and the education of future practitioners. I cannot personally imagine a more innovative or realist approach to the complex condition of modern policing with the baggage of colonialist histories during this historic moment of growing social disparities. Both Peter and Pedro’s voices ring out clearly throughout this text. One voice has the insight and articulation of well-travelled ethnographer while the other adds decades of policing experience, respectively. This book offers insightful re-conceptualizations for policing and education in criminal justice/criminology that few (if any) books currently contain."
    Edward LW Green, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL

    "Professor Marina and retired N.O.P.D. Lieutenant Pedro Marina bring a fresh, innovative, and exciting perspective on human rights and policing. Their book offers a paradigm shift away from the ‘This is the way we have always done it,’ mentality currently keeping police agencies from evolving. This book is a must-read for police chiefs and law enforcement executives looking for a way to jump-start their agencies’ community engagement philosophy and improve understanding of the role human rights plays in policing."
    Ron Camacho, Chief, Chambersburg Pennsylvania Police Department

    "Human Rights Policing is a collaboration between a retired lieutenant from the New Orleans Police Department, with 30 years of experience in law enforcement, and an academic sociologist known for his longstanding commitment to challenging the systemic issues that have plagued US policing. Their shared mission is to put forward a new model of policing that they call ‘Human Rights Policing,’ which is based upon the United Nations’ definition of human rights, which includes the right to life, liberty, security of person, freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, and many other protections. Written in an engaging and accessible style, with the use of real-life examples, this book provides a practical guide for the implementation of Human Rights Policing. While it will undoubtedly prove to be essential reading for all those working in law enforcement, it also functions as a useful and thought-provoking contribution to the debate on the future of policing in this country."
    Jayne Mooney, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York