Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States

Truthout’s print anthology, published by Haymarket Books, features contributions from Ejeris Dixon, Adam Hudson, Aaron Cantú, Mike Ludwig, Page May, Asha Rosa, Monica Trinidad, Kelly Hayes, Sarah Macaraeg, Alison Flowers, William C. Anderson and myself!

Here’s a short description from Haymarket:

What is the reality of policing in the United States? Do the police keep anyone safe and secure other than the very wealthy? How do recent police killings of young Black people in the US fit into the historical and global context of anti-Blackness?

This collection of reports and essays (the first from Truthout in collaboration with Haymarket Books) explores police violence against Black, Brown, Indigenous and other marginalized communities, miscarriages of justice, and failures of token accountability and reform measures.

Contributions cover a broad range of issues including the killing by police of Black men and women, police violence against Latino and Indigenous communities, law enforcement treatment of pregnant people and those with mental illness, and the impact of racist police violence on parenting, as well as specific stories such as a Detroit police conspiracy to slap murder convictions on young Black men using police informants, and the failure of Chicago’s much-touted Independent Police Review Authority, the body supposedly responsible for investigating police misconduct.

“As a long-time organizer immersed in the current Movement for Black Lives, I read the contributions hoping to learn and to be inspired. I found the essays to be informative, illuminating and challenging.… I cannot recommend this anthology any more highly. It’s an indispensable primer for anyone who wants to understand the current rebellions and uprisings against police impunity.” —Mariame Kaba, founder and director, Project NIA

An extraordinary collection of writings.… Simultaneously enraging, invigorating, radically imaginative, practical and inspiring.” —Kay Whitlock, coauthor, Queer (In)Justice

A powerful collection of essays by organizers, legal activists and progressive journalists that take us beyond the ‘few bad apples’ theory of police violence, insisting that we interrogate the essential role and purpose of police and policing in our society. These writers have highlighted some of the critical questions that the anti-state violence movement is wrestling with.” —Barbara Ransby, author, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement

“Resisting state-sanctioned violence, especially by police, has become a paramount issue as a result of grassroots activists mobilizing throughout the country. Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? gives journalists, writers and activists at the forefront of activism and reporting on state-sanctioned violence in the United States a welcome platform to present their ideas for growing a movement against this violence so activists may have a lasting impact, which empowers and lifts up communities of color.” —Kevin Gosztola, managing editor, Shadowproof

“This brilliant collection of essays, written by activists, journalists, community organizers and survivors of state violence, urgently confronts the criminalization, police violence and anti-Black racism that is plaguing urban communities. It is one of the most important books to emerge about these critical issues: passionately written with a keen eye towards building a world free of the cruelty and violence of the carceral state.” —Beth Richie, author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation

Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? goes behind the headlines to ask the deeper questions: Do the police make communities (particularly, communities where Black and Brown people live) safer? Who do community residents fear? Are there ways to address those fears without the police and carceral state? What would we have to create in order to do this? What steps must we take to get there? Each of the essays examines these interrelated questions in depth. Read together, they provide an extremely thorough, and timely, examination of the issues underlying these recent events, forcing us to rethink the very idea of justice in this country.” —Alan Mills, Uptown People’s Law Center

“A great collection of new voices — mostly people of color, mostly women. These are not the old guard but activist/scholars based in a range of organizations and struggles…. Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? replenishes our will to make sure that Black lives do matter, that the lives of Black women, Black workers and Black transgender folks also matter, that from the notion that Black lives matter we can draw broader definitions of liberation for all…. This book had me crying out for more.” —James Kilgore