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Aspects of Policing - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: Democracy and Disorder Democracy, Disorder and the Role of Police Executives [Name] [University] Democracy, Disorder and the Role of Police Executives Introduction Historically the police have been looked upon as serving status quo interests…
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Aspects of Policing
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Aspects of Policing

Download file to see previous pages... Democracy and Disorder Beginning in the civil war era, our nation experienced one of the most deadly riots on American shores known as the "anti-draft riots," which rocked New York City shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. While the estimates vary, most historians agree that about 100 soldiers and civilians, many of whom were African Americans who were targeted as the reason Lincoln was fighting the war in the first place, were killed. Federal soldiers had to be diverted from around Washington D.C. to quell the outrage (Encyclopedia of War & American Society, 2005). The rise of organized labor near the turn of the century meant that organized police forces were even more important than ever. Several state police forces had their beginnings and endings related to the use of police as strike breakers in factories and on railroad holdings. This had the adverse effect of developing resentment by legislatures in various parts of the country towards police who had been used to enforce the power of management over unions (Johnson, 2003). During World War II, young Hispanic men whose attire was unique, fought with soldiers and sailors home on leave during the so-called "zoot suit" riots in Los Angeles, California. Servicemen who were dating the Hispanic women of Los Angeles were involved in numerous brawls with Hispanic men over the rights to courtship. The police were often accused of enforcement that was prejudicial to the Hispanic men (Wilson & Taub, 2006). The 1960s brought the "Civil Rights Movement" into American consciousness, and was anything but boring for law enforcement. Protest marches, sit-ins, and demonstrations, particularly in the South, brought National Guard troops out as well as police dogs and horses to attack passive, mostly Black Americans expressing their constitutional rights. As free speech was taken to another level at Berkeley in 1964, America watched as students crusaded while yelling four letter words (Stevens, 2002). Television and the media were beginning to play a role in the American psyche of social unrest. Images of the Harlem riot of 1964 were brought to us by virtue of television (Johnson, 2003). The images of New York cops ducking and dodging the rocks and heavy masonry being dropped on them from skyscrapers and firing their side-arms at the roofs on occasion were brought into American living rooms. Less than a year later, in August 1965, two brothers would fight with California Highway Patrol during an arrest, and the Los Angeles Police Department would get the blame for starting the Watts Riot (Johnson, 2003). Innumerable buildings shooting flames into the night sky and looters carrying televisions and appliances away from shattered businesses would be occurrences that the American public would see again and again (Johnson, 2003). Riots seemed to engulf the nation in 1967 and 1968, especially in the wake of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. By the late 1960s through the early 1970s, countless protests over the Vietnam War dragged on and inflamed groups large and small (Johnson, 2003). Then on May 4th, 1970, four university students would be slain by a volley of fire from the Ohio National Guard. The effect of Kent State was considered by many media analysts as one of the most unnecessary and yet most momentous events leading up to the popular disavowal of the war in public opinion polls (Kelner and Munves, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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