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Policing Hatred: Law Enforcement, Civil Rights, and Hate Crimes [Paperback]

Jeannine Bell , Thomas Cushman , Stjepan Mestrovic
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 1 2002 Critical America (New York University Hardcover)
Policing Hatered explores the interaction of race and law enforcement in the controversial area of hate crime. Although the nation's attention has been focused on high profile hate crimes like the dragging death of James Byrd and the murder of Matthew Shepard, thousands of individuals each year are attacked because of their race, religion or sexual orientation. In hate crimes, stereotypes about criminal roles are often reversed: most of the accused tend to be white, while most of the victims are not.

Policing Hatred is an ethnographic study of how hate crime law works in practice, from the perspective of those enforcing it. It examines the way the police handle bias crimes, and the power that members of law enforcement have to influence the social environment by determining whether a crime will be charged as a bias crime.

Bell includes in her work the experiences of detectives who are women, Black, Latino, and Asian American, exploring the impact of the racial identity of both the hate crime victim and the officers' handling of bias crimes. Policing Hatred addresses enforcers' treatment of defendants' First Amendment rights and debates the merits of "special" treatment for hate crimes. Ultimately Bell argues for the importance of having the police diligently address even low level offenses such as vandalism given their devastating cumulative effects on society.


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Product Description

From Library Journal

President Jefferson's "wall of separation" metaphor is central to U.S. Supreme Court analysis of First Amendment religious practices and relations between religious institutions and governmental activities. Dreisbach (justice, law, and society, American Univ.) demonstrates the underpinnings and both 19th- and 20th-century interpretations of this pervasive metaphor, which began as a phrase in a letter Jefferson wrote to the Danbury, CT, Baptist Association in 1802. He shows how the "wall" metaphor represents a struggle for religious liberty and in a similar fashion has been used as a component of a strict separation policy between church and state. This historical analysis offers new insight into the foundations of church-state discourse in the United States while also providing documentary underpinnings to Phillip Hamburger's analysis of 17th- to 19th-century religious writings in Separation of Church and State. Almost half of Dreisbach's volume contains extensive appendixes, notes, and a bibliography. This well-constructed book will be useful for academic libraries as an addition to their history and law collections. Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Readable and interesting...a fine work that offers fresh insights into how the police enforce hate crime laws." --Law and Politics Book Review "This useful and timely book deals with the ethnographic basis of hate crime." -- Choice "A very well written analysis of the process of enforcing hate crimes. Policing Hatred illuminates basic matters of policing in a democratic society-balancing victims' rights versus the rights of suspects, the role of public ignorance and political pressure on police work, and the quite striking decency of these investigators... Will be a 'must read' for all social scientists interested in hate crime as well as scholars in criminal justice, law, sociology, and political science in the area of police studies." --Peter K. Manning, Brooks Chair of Policing and Criminal Justice, College of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars lots of detail but not enough surprise March 11 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The book contains quite a bit of detail reflecting the author's ability for efficient and focused research. But the questions that she is pursuing, while potentially interesting to lay audiences and certainly socially important, aren't especially insightful, and accordingly, neither are the answers that she provides for them. The task that the author has set for herself is one that demands a strong propensity for the accumulation of detail (which is important) but the details themselves don't necessarily lead to the kinds of penetrating analysis that one might hope for in scholarly literature generally and especially this topic.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly but engaging Jan. 28 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Professor Bell carefully chronicles the work of a hate crime unit in a major metropolitan area. Her work offers careful detail of the type of crimes encountered, decisions investigate and charge suspects, and even the varied outlook of different cops within the unit.
At the same time, Bell keeps her narrative grounded in real cases and real injuries. The result is a detailed analysis that remains engaging and compelling, and does not sacrifice individual anecdotes for the sake of social science.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative & Engaging Sept. 22 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Policing Hatred examines the important issue of hate crimes from a new vanatage point -- the cops on the beat, whose actions and decisions will affect significantly the judicial process. Bell's study of how and why police charge crimes as hate crimes is facinating, very well-written, and accessible to anyone interested in law and political science.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative & Engaging Sept. 22 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Policing Hatred examines the important issue of hate crimes from a new vanatage point -- the cops on the beat, whose actions and decisions will affect significantly the judicial process. Bell's study of how and why police charge crimes as hate crimes is facinating, very well-written, and accessible to anyone interested in law and political science.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly but engaging Jan. 28 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Professor Bell carefully chronicles the work of a hate crime unit in a major metropolitan area. Her work offers careful detail of the type of crimes encountered, decisions investigate and charge suspects, and even the varied outlook of different cops within the unit.
At the same time, Bell keeps her narrative grounded in real cases and real injuries. The result is a detailed analysis that remains engaging and compelling, and does not sacrifice individual anecdotes for the sake of social science.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lots of detail but not enough surprise March 10 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book contains quite a bit of detail reflecting the author's ability for efficient and focused research. But the questions that she is pursuing, while potentially interesting to lay audiences and certainly socially important, aren't especially insightful, and accordingly, neither are the answers that she provides for them. The task that the author has set for herself is one that demands a strong propensity for the accumulation of detail (which is important) but the details themselves don't necessarily lead to the kinds of penetrating analysis that one might hope for in scholarly literature generally and especially this topic.
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