Police State

Police State

How America's Cops Get Away With Murder

Book - 2015
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How does America, founded on the promise of freedom for all, find itself poised to become a police state?

In Police State , legendary "country lawyer" Gerry Spence reveals the unnerving truth of our criminal justice system. In his more than sixty years in the courtroom, Spence has never represented a person charged with a crime in which the police hadn't themselves violated the law. Whether by hiding, tampering with, or manufacturing evidence; by gratuitous violence and even murder, those who are charged with upholding the law too often break it. Spence points to the explosion of brutality leading up to the murder of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, insisting that this is the way it has always been: cops get away with murder. Nothing changes.

Police State narrates the shocking account of the Madrid train bombings - how the FBI accused an innocent man of treasonous acts they knew he hadn't committed. It details the rampant racism within Chicago's police department, which landed teenager Dennis Williams on death row. It unveils the deliberately coercive efforts of two cops to extract a false murder confession from frightened and mentally fragile Albert Hancock, along with other appalling evidence from eight of Spence's most famous cases.

We all want to feel safe. But how can we be safe when the very police we pay to protect us instead kill us, maim us, and falsify the evidence against us? Can we accept the argument that cops may occasionally overstep their boundaries, but only when handling guilty criminals and never with us? Can we expect them to investigate and prosecute themselves when faced with allegations of misconduct? Can we believe that they are acting for our own good? Too many innocent are convicted; too many are wrongly executed. The cost has become too high for a free people to bear.

In Police State , Spence issues a stinging indictment of the American justice system. Demonstrating that the way we select and train our police guarantees fatal abuses of justice, he also prescribes a challenging cure that stands to restore America's promise of liberty and justice for all.

Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2015, ©2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250073457
Branch Call Number: 363. 20973 SPE
Characteristics: 338 pages ; 25 cm


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Jan 07, 2018

I am only just beginning the book, but some impressions have formed, after only a few pages: where are the references? The few footnotes are nearly all to magazine and newspaper articles. The media and the author's obviously strongly leftist attitude are the source for his information. Yes, it would appear that too many people are being killed in the United States by police officers, but it also appears that there is a defiant and dangerous culture in some quarters. Should the police not be armed and protected against these forces? The author calls it militarization. We must bear in mind that the media sensationalizes events (I am not trying to downplay injustice and senseless killing and prejudice and wrongdoing). As a result, a few incidents will appear to be a major trend and problem. We must remain cognizant of the fact that the US has 10 times the population of Canada, so logic would suggest that there be more incidents. I am not saying this is right, and perhaps more use of less lethal deterrents should be used. So, I will continue to read this book, but I can already say that, by the writer's tone, I can see that he is sensationalizing.

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