Police-Related Deaths in the United States

David Baker

Police-Related Deaths in the United States
Lexington Books
United States
25 May 2021

Police-Related Deaths in the United States

David Baker

To understand police related deaths in the US, we need to understand the structures and systems that enable police to operate in the way they do. Giving voice to a previously unheard group in society, this book articulates the experiences of the families of those who died after police contact. David Baker considers the disproportionate number of deaths in marginalized communities, for example: people of color, people who are mentally unwell, and LGBTQ people. Each chapter begins with a short case study drawn from this qualitative research to humanize the story of the person who died and put the key issues into context. By examining these deaths and the investigatory processes that follow, Baker argues that an increasingly aggressive police mindset allied with relatively toothless regulatory frameworks effectively lead to police being enabled by the criminal justice system to use lethal force with relative impunity. Baker combines his qualitative research with the wide base of existing literature on police use of force in the US and maintains that the effects of these deaths go beyond merely policing and criminal justice but are corroding the core fabric of American society.

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