1st Edition

Perilous Policing Criminal Justice in Marginalized Communities

By Thomas Nolan Copyright 2019
    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    Policing and police practices have changed dramatically since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and those changes have accelerated since the summer of 2014 and the death of Michael Brown at the hands of then-police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Since the November 2016 election of Donald Trump as president, many law enforcement practitioners, policy makers, and those concerned with issues of social justice have had concerns that there would be seismic shifts in policing priorities and practices at the federal, state, county, and local and tribal levels that will have significant implications for constitutional rights and civil liberties protections, particularly for people of color. Perilous Policing: Criminal Justice in Marginalized Communities provides a much-needed interrogatory to law enforcement practices and policies as they continue to evolve during this era of uncertainty and anxiety. Key topics include the police and marginalized populations, the use of technology to surveil individuals and groups, the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the erosion of the police narrative, the use of force (particularly deadly force) against people of color, the role of the police in immigration enforcement, the "war on cops," and police militarization.

    Thomas Nolan’s critique of current practice and his preliminary conclusions as to how to navigate contemporary policing away from the pitfalls of discredited and counterproductive practices will be of interest to advanced undergraduates and graduate students in Policing, Criminology, Justice Studies, and Criminal Justice programs, as well as to researchers, law enforcement professionals, and police policy makers.

    1. The Police, the Constitution, and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 

    2. Technology and Privacy in the Era of Homeland Security

    3. Deadly Force: Compliance, Confrontation, and Consequences for African Americans

    4. Black Lives Matter: Interrogating and Challenging the Law Enforcement Narrative

    5. The "War Against the Police": The Fictive Response to the New Accountability

    6. The "Immigration Police": The Demonization of the "Other"

    7. "Soldier Up": The Consequences of Militarization for Communities of Color

    8. "Taking Off the Cuffs": Police Retrenchment and Resurgence

    9. Fusion Centers: An Unholy Alliance of Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement

    10. Perilous Policing: "That’s the Signpost Up Ahead"


    Thomas Nolan has been an Associate Professor in Criminal Justice at Boston University, the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and Merrimack College. He was a Senior Policy Advisor at the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., and a 27-year veteran (and former lieutenant) with the Boston Police Department. His doctoral work focused on moral probity among police officers, and his recent publications deal with such topics as civil rights and civil liberties in policing and constitutional issues of surveillance.

    A solid academic book tackling some of policing’s most important issues—written by a police practitioner/scholar. The topics are timely, and there couldn’t be a better time in our field for a policing book of this nature than now.

    Peter Kraska, Professor, School of Justice Studies, Eastern Kentucky University, USA

    Tom Nolan has produced this scholarly scrutiny that supplements his thirty-plus years of policing experience. It's an important book that should be widely read. Use it in your courses. The "narrative" of US law enforcement's too often violent interaction with the public it serves has rightly given way to a national conversation in the marketplace of ideas.  

    Wm. Peters, Coordinator for Legal Studies and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, USA

    The human race faces immense challenges: climate collapse, economic inequality, racism and nativism, mass migration, and crises in democratic governance. Cutting across all of these issues are the problems of police and policing. This timely book examines policing's role in upholding the status quo, and the failures of ostensibly free societies to rise to the challenge of adequately policing the police.

    Kade Crockford, Director, Technology for Liberty Program, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, USA

    Perilous Policing is provocative and well-written. It gives fresh insights into the service practices and patterns of policing. Tom Nolan utilizes his insider perspective to illuminate the modern issues that face police departments today. Unlike many other books on policing, Perilous Policing could be used in an upper-level undergraduate course, a graduate-level seminar, or by practitioners in the field.

    Alexa D. Sardina Ph.D., Assistant Professor, California State University Sacramento Division of Criminal Justice, USA

    This book is very timely with its focus on immigration, militarization and Black Lives Matter. While the book is based on American policing, these issues resonate globally, and policing has become increasingly contested and perilous (for citizens and for the police themselves).

    Monique Marks, Research Professor, Urban Futures Centre, Durban University of Technology, South Africa