History of the Police Force

Here are some articles related to why the police force was created. After work I’ll pull out some things that caught my eyes.

https://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/brief-history-slavery-and-origins-american-policing

https://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/history-policing-united-states-part-1

https://popularresistance.org/police-understand-why-they-even-exist/

I think we need more police, but not more of the ones we already have. We need a police force to police the existing police force. An unrelated branch of officers who do not carry guns or interact with the public, their only job is to watch for crime committed by police and investigate police shootings the same way police investigate citizen shootings. They should send in officers under cover as regular police officers to root out corruption and work with informants, exactly as the current police force does. Their job would be exactly the job of current police, only the current police are the only ones they have authority over. Maybe even occasionally have an undercover officer get arrested and do his very best to piss off the arresting officer to see if he gets punched (it happens more often than you would like to think).

An unrelated branch of officers who do not carry guns or interact with the public, their only job is to watch for crime committed by police -- W
that's a radical idea, but I bet you are not the first to think of it

I don’t have time to give this my full attention today, but I had a nasty argument with someone that this is the “genetic fallacy”. I don’t believe that any regular officer, or even a police chief, today thinks about these origins. They don’t see themselves as working for some elite to restore order. Most of them see their jobs as keeping the peace, and because of most of them, we have community policing and officers who play basketball with gang members.

@lausten The articles had nothing to do with genetics.

It’s called the “genetic” fallacy, meaning the argument is claiming that because of something in the past about the thing in question, that means it is influenced by that past, its ancestry you might say. The analogy would be, my 3 greats grandfather owned slaves in 1863, so I’m a racist. Well, I’m influenced by that history but I’m nothing like him. My great grandfather was born just a few years later and those slaves were gone. The family had to move and we don’t know much, but I’m guessing they lost most of whatever was owned before. My grandfather moved north and never had any notion of owning slaves as far as we know. It’s not something that is genetically passed on. The same goes for how police forces were formed and managed in 1838, most of that was not passed along, most of it was legislated out.

Systemic racism is based on different advantages now, ones that are gained by having a class of people who have extreme challenges to improving themselves because they have bad housing, bad schools, their fathers are unjustly jailed, etc. It works because it is not directly run by the elite.

It’s a weak argument for the reasons Lausten pointed out, and the fact that policing has existed as long as we’ve been living in cities. Big crowds are inherently unstable and somebody has to keep order.

I think we need more police, but not more of the ones we already have. We need a police force to police the existing police force. An unrelated branch of officers who do not carry guns or interact with the public, their only job is to watch for crime committed by police and investigate police shootings the same way police investigate citizen shootings. They should send in officers under cover as regular police officers to root out corruption and work with informants, exactly as the current police force does. Their job would be exactly the job of current police, only the current police are the only ones they have authority over. Maybe even occasionally have an undercover officer get arrested and do his very best to piss off the arresting officer to see if he gets punched (it happens more often than you would like to think).
You're thinking of internal affairs.
It’s a weak argument for the reasons Lausten pointed out, and the fact that policing has existed as long as we’ve been living in cities. - oneguy
Policing began with dad. A cuff on the head and a kick in the butt to keep brats in line. Was dad brutal? You had better believe it. But not even mom was crazy enough to go along with the progressive idea of defunding dad.
<p style="text-align: left;">But not even mom was crazy enough to go along with the progressive idea of defunding dad. --Sree</p>
<p style="text-align: left;">Have you heard of stay at home dads?</p> <p style="text-align: left;">New thing, as of, oh, 1983.</p>
@mriana Here are some articles related to why the police force was created. After work I’ll pull out some things that caught my eyes.
Your implication that, because some form of Police was formed 200 years ago to control Slaves, means that they are still out to get Blacks is just more pure Race Baiting. Why do you do this? Why do you always try to stoke hatred for the current Police? It really was bad 200 years ago. But you are stuck in the past. Get into your Time Machine and travel back to the future to the year 2020. Things are completely different now. There are many Black people now in Police forces all around the country. Many Blacks have been there long enough to eventually rise to the level of Police Chief in their cities. Many of the big cities even have Back Mayors now. You would like it here.

 

@stevekinko Not race baiting. It’s history. I do it to educate people. Meanwhile, you scream race baiting because you don’t want to believe there is racism to this day. You want to believe everything is fine and no one is being discriminated against. You sound like a dotard supporter.

Things are completely different now. , Klnko
This theme is getting old. Move on. Use facts. Acknowledge cause and effect. Get real. Stop repeating. Make a logical argument.
Things are completely different now. There are many Black people now in Police forces all around the country. Many Blacks have been there long enough to eventually rise to the level of Police Chief in their cities. Many of the big cities even have Back Mayors now. You would like it here. - Klinko
We even voted in a black President for two terms and he had the nation's top cop (Eric Holder) who was also black as his wingman. And everyone thought that was the gold standard for doing right by blacks to end systemic racial injustice. But oh no, they upped the game even further. I don't know why they are doing this and where they are going with this incessant Race Baiting. I am no longer Puzzled because it seems to me that ethnic-cleansing is their Game.

What Puzzles me still is who is playing this Game? It’s not mriana.

 

@sree President Obama is 1/2 Black and 1/2 white. That said, just because he was elected for two terms doesn’t mean that race relations are vastly improved. Since the dotard began inhabiting the Big House, race relations have deteriorated greatly and is not race baiting. Screaming it and repeating that it is won’t make it true. There is a lot of racial tensions and eroding race relations that are very serious, thanks to the dotard and his chumminess with white supremacists. In fact, the dotard is a white supremacist and keeps blowing the dog whistle. There is no telling what will happen during this election either. He allegedly even suppressed the Black vote in 2016 and is trying hard to do so this time around… although now that he’s in the hospital fighting COVID-19, he’s not at this moment.

Some of the things I wanted to highlight from the articles.

First article:

https://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/brief-history-slavery-and-origins-american-policing

Policing was not the only social institution enmeshed in slavery. Slavery was fully institutionalized in the American economic and legal order with laws being enacted at both the state and national divisions of government. Virginia, for example, enacted more than 130 slave statutes between 1689 and 1865. Slavery and the abuse of people of color, however, was not merely a southern affair as many have been taught to believe.

Of course with large greedy corporations (the new plantations), such as Hellmart, today slavery has evolved into minimum wage jobs that don’t pay enough for a person to buy basic needs such as shelter, food, medical, clothing, etc. Of course, if one runs away from a minimum wage job, no one hunts the person down. They just live poorer than before.

The similarities between the slave patrols and modern American policing are too salient to dismiss or ignore. Hence, the slave patrol should be considered a forerunner of modern American law enforcement.
The legacy of slavery and racism did not end after the Civil War. In fact it can be argued that extreme violence against people of color became even worse with the rise of vigilante groups who resisted Reconstruction. Because vigilantes, by definition, have no external restraints, lynch mobs had a justified reputation for hanging minorities first and asking questions later.
Though having white skin did not prevent discrimination in America, being White undoubtedly made it easier for ethnic minorities to assimilate into the mainstream of America. The additional burden of racism has made that transition much more difficult for those whose skin is black, brown, red, or yellow. In no small part because of the tradition of slavery, Blacks have long been targets of abuse.

Here’s the thing though, Irish were at one time, not considered “white”, but now they are. If a person has one parent who is Native American and one who is white, the offspring is often considered “white” and more so for following offspring if that offspring marries a “white” person, etc etc. Asians can do almost the same thing if they wanted to “assimilate” in that manner. Who would want to do that just to be accepted though. The whole idea of racism is just plain stupid.

This disastrous legacy persisted as an element of the police role even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In some cases, police harassment simply meant people of African descent were more likely to be stopped and questioned by the police, while at the other extreme, they have suffered beatings, and even murder, at the hands of White police. Questions still arise today about the disproportionately high numbers of people of African descent killed, beaten, and arrested by police in major urban cities of America.

I’ll point out more with the other articles in the next few posts.

https://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/history-policing-united-states-part-1

These "modern police" organizations shared similar characteristics: (1) they were publicly supported and bureaucratic in form; (2) police officers were full-time employees, not community volunteers or case-by-case fee retainers; (3) departments had permanent and fixed rules and procedures, and employment as a police officers was continuous; (4) police departments were accountable to a central governmental authority (Lundman 1980).

In the Southern states the development of American policing followed a different path. The genesis of the modern police organization in the South is the “Slave Patrol” (Platt 1982). The first formal slave patrol was created in the Carolina colonies in 1704 (Reichel 1992). Slave patrols had three primary functions: (1) to chase down, apprehend, and return to their owners, runaway slaves; (2) to provide a form of organized terror to deter slave revolts; and, (3) to maintain a form of discipline for slave-workers who were subject to summary justice, outside of the law, if they violated any plantation rules. Following the Civil War, these vigilante-style organizations evolved in modern Southern police departments primarily as a means of controlling freed slaves who were now laborers working in an agricultural caste system, and enforcing “Jim Crow” segregation laws, designed to deny freed slaves equal rights and access to the political system.

Part 2

This deals in part to what I mentioned about large greedy corporations:

Maintaining a stable and disciplined work force for the developing system of factory production and ensuring a safe and tranquil community for the conduct of commerce required an organized system of social control. The developing profit-based system of production antagonized social tensions in the community. Inequality was increasing rapidly; the exploitation of workers through long hours, dangerous working conditions, and low pay was endemic; and the dominance of local governments by economic elites was creating political unrest. The only effective political strategy available to exploited workers was what economic elites referred to as "rioting," which was actually a primitive form of what would become union strikes against employers (Silver 1967).

They have to control the vulgar masses so they don’t strike by union busting.

Defining social control as crime control was accomplished by raising the specter of the "dangerous classes."

Like the poor, especially those who protest the inequality, but calling them hoodlums, thugs, rioters (whether or not the protesters were rioting), etc, causing fear for those of “higher class”.

This underclass was easily identifiable because it consisted primarily of the poor, foreign immigrants and free blacks (Lundman 1980: 29). This isolation of the "dangerous classes" as the embodiment of the crime problem created a focus in crime control that persists to today, the idea that policing should be directed toward "bad" individuals, rather than social and economic conditions that are criminogenic in their social outcomes.
Early American police departments shared two primary characteristics: they were notoriously corrupt and flagrantly brutal. This should come as no surprise in that police were under the control of local politicians. The local political party ward leader in most cities appointed the police executive in charge of the ward leader's neighborhood.

In this case, controlled by the dotard and the Repugs.

Part 3

Strike busting:

Police strike-breaking took two distinct forms. The first was the most obvious, the forced dispersal of demonstrating workers, usually through the use of extreme violence (Harring 1981). The second was more subtle. In order to prevent the organization of workers in the first place, municipal police made staggering numbers of "public order" arrests. In fact, Harring concludes that 80% of all arrests were of workers for "public order" crimes (Harring 1983). In Chicago, according to Harring the police force was "viciously anti-labor ... On a day-to-day basis it hauled nearly a million workers off to jail between 1975 and 1900 ... for trivial public order offenses" (Harring 1981). In other cities police made use of ambiguous vagrancy laws, called the "Tramp Acts," to arrest both union organized and unemployed workers (Harring 1977).

Part 4

By the end of 19th century municipal police departments were firmly entrenched in the day-to-day political affairs of big-city political machines. Police provided services and assistance to political allies of the machine and harassed, arrested and interfered with the political activities of machine opponents. This was a curious dichotomy for an ostensibly crime control organization.
It is incorrect to say the late 19th and early 20th century police were corrupt, they were in fact, primary instruments for the creation of corruption in the first place.
The advent of Prohibition (1919-1933) only made the situation worse. The outlawing of alcohol combined with the fact that the overwhelming majority of urban residents drank and wished to continue to drink not only created new opportunities for police corruption but substantially changed the focus of that corruption. During prohibition lawlessness became more open, more organized, and more blatant.
By the end of prohibition, the corrupting of American policing was almost total.

Part 5

Reform police commissioners and chiefs, often appointed in the wake of one or another scandals, made efforts to change the nature of the police bureaucracy itself. Among the reforms instituted within police organizations were the establishment of selection standards, training for new recruits, placing police under civil service, and awarding promotion as a result of testing procedures. The hope of these reforms was to lessen the hold of politicians, and particularly ward leaders on police officers. If the recruitment, selection and promotions processes were housed within the department and governed by objective criteria, the hope was that officers would no longer owe their jobs and their ranks to political operatives.

Similarly, reform-minded police executives began to try to restructure the department itself, making it more bureaucratic, with an internal clear chain-of-command. Once again, the hope was to structurally isolate police officers from politicians.

Police professionalism, however, did not turn out to be the panacea Wilson had envisaged. Professionalism antagonized tensions between the police and the communities they served and created rancor and dissension within the departments themselves. The crime control tactics recommended by the professionalism movement, such as aggressive stop and frisk procedures, created widespread community resentment, particularly among young, minority males who were most frequently targeted. Police professionalism and the military model of policing became synonymous with police repression. Furthermore, as Walker points out "a half century of professionalization had created police departments that were vast bureaucracies, inward looking, isolated from the public, and defensive in the face of any criticism" (Walker 1996). In addition professionalization had done nothing to rectify racist and sexist hiring practices that had been in effect since police departments had been created in the 1830s.
By the mid-1960s police officers had responded with an aggressive and widespread police unionization campaign. Aided by court rulings more favorable to the organizing of public employees; fueled by resentment of the authoritarian organization of departments; and united in a common resistance to increasing charges of police brutality, corruption and other forms of misconduct, nearly every large-city police department had been unionized by the early 1970s.

Basically beating the crap out of people for whatever they want, especially if they are Black.

Last part:

After the Civil Rights Movement:

The police and criminal justice system response was twofold. First in 1968, as part of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, large sums of federal money were made available for rather cosmetic police-community relations programs, which were mostly media focused attempts to improve the police image. By the 1980s many police departments had begun to consider a new strategy, community policing. Community policing emphasized close working relations with the community, police responsiveness to the community, and common efforts to alleviate a wide variety of community problems, many of which were social in nature. Community policing is the latest iteration in efforts to (1) improve relations between the police and the community; (2) decentralize the police; and, (3) in response to the overwhelming body of scholarly literature which finds that the police have virtually no impact on crime, no matter their emphasis or role, provide a means to make citizens feel more comfortable about what has been a seemingly insoluable American dilemma.
From the anti-immigrant bashing of early police forces, to the strike breaking of the later 1800s, to the massive corruption of the early 20th century, through professionalism, Taylorization and now attempts at amelioration through community policing, the role of the police in the United States has been defined by economics and politics, not crime or crime control. As we look to the 21st century, it now appears likely that a new emphasis on science and technology, particularly related to citizen surveillance; a new wave of militarization reflected in the spread of SWAT teams and other paramilitary squads; and a new emphasis on community pacification through community policing, are all destined to replay the failures of history as the policies of the future.

So it’s not just policing of minorities, but also the poor and there needs to be a lot of reform.

as for the last link mentioned above, it is a podcast, so in order to discuss that one, at least a couple us (which I already have) need to listen to it. I’ll try the Washington Post Podcast that discussed the police too.

What it means to defund the police:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/podcasts/post-reports/what-it-means-to-defund-the-police/

Jonathan Williams: In this system, we call the police for everything. If there is a problem in schools, a police officer comes to respond to that, a police officer with a gun. The only way that our society knows how to respond to things is violence, to suppress and, like, attack somebody and to be prepared with a gun to kill someone.
Katie Mettler: Defunding the police is a concept that includes taking funds away from traditional police departments, out of municipal budgets, and redirecting those funds toward social services and other programs that might help to prevent crime and support communities in different ways, including funding mental-health services, healthcare, schools, job growth, and violence prevention.

More in the podcast, but sometimes a social worker or drug rehab person is needed more than calling the police.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/07/defund-police-heres-what-that-really-means/

Be not afraid. “Defunding the police” is not as scary (or even as radical) as it sounds, and engaging on this topic is necessary if we are going to achieve the kind of public safety we need.
To fix policing, we must first recognize how much we have come to over-rely on law enforcement. We turn to the police in situations where years of experience and common sense tell us that their involvement is unnecessary, and can make things worse.

In the case of homeless people, police aren’t really needed. What is needed is a social worker, in that case.

Police themselves often complain about having to “do too much,” including handling social problems for which they are ill-equipped. Some have been vocal about the need to decriminalize social problems and take police out of the equation. It is clear that we must reimagine the role they play in public safety.
Police abolition means reducing, with the vision of eventually eliminating, our reliance on policing to secure our public safety. It means recognizing that criminalizing addiction and poverty, making 10 million arrests per year and mass incarceration have not provided the public safety we want and never will. The “abolition” language is important because it reminds us that policing has been the primary vehicle for using violence to perpetuate the unjustified white control over the bodies and lives of black people that has been with us since slavery. That aspect of policing must be literally abolished.

Defunding isn’t so much about taking money away from the police department as it is putting the money in other places that can help communities- like social workers, shelters, education, drug rehab, etc. One doesn’t always need the police for everything that happens.

OK that’s pretty much what I had in mind for this thread.

@sree President Obama is 1/2 Black and 1/2 white.
Obama is neither white nor black. And I don't mean skin color. He has no African roots also as Muhamad Ali had. Ali was authnentic and could fire up masses of his own kind anywhere in Africa. Obama is unreal, an actor who played a part in the American Dream.

@sree you’re unbelieve with the stuff you dream up and spew. None of it based in facts.