Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Anthony Baez, Patrick Dorismond. New York City has been rocked in recent years by the fate of these four men at the hands of the police. But police brutality in New York City is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that refers not only to the hyperviolent response of white male police officers as in these cases, but to an entire set of practices that target homeless people, vendors, and sexual minorities.
The complexity of the problem requires a commensurate response, which Zero Tolerance fulfills with a range of scholarship and activism. Offering perspectives from law and society, women’s studies, urban and cultural studies, labor history, and the visual arts, the essays assembled here complement, and provide a counterpoint, to the work of police scholars on this subject.
Framed as both a response and a challenge to official claims that intensified law enforcement has produced New York City’s declining crime rates, Zero Tolerance instead posits a definition of police brutality more encompassing than the use of excessive physical force. Further, it develops the connections between the most visible and familiar forms of police brutality that have sparked a new era of grassroots community activism, and the day-to-day violence that accompanies the city’s campaign to police the “quality of life.”
Contributors include: Heather Barr, Paul G. Chevigny, Derrick Bell, Tanya Erzen, Dayo F. Gore, Amy S. Green, Paul Hoffman, Andrew Hsiao, Tamara Jones, Joo-Hyun Kang, Andrea McArdle, Bradley McCallum, Andrew Ross, Eric Tang, Jacqueline Tarry, Sasha Torres, and Jennifer R. Wynn.