Categories: Community Corner
This year, after the appalling murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of the police, the country saw its most sustained protests since the civil rights era as well as calls to #DefundThePolice and #DefundTheNYPD. American Police from NPR’s Throughline tracks the birth and evolution of policing in America, from its roots in “slave patrols” through the KKK to today.
Grounded in the seminal work by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the piece notes that “we’ve been having the same conversations for 100 years” about police’s continual targeting and brutalization of Black and Brown people and notes that change will come when society – read white people – no longer want police doing the same thing slave patrols did: controlling the movements of people of color through violence. We think it is important to ground ourselves in the historical context of when, and why, policing in America began. You can also read the transcript and the additional reading suggestions.