Black and Blue: Inside the Divide between the Police and Black America
In Black and Blue, author Jeff Pegues is careful to hear from both sides of the issue. International Association of Chiefs of Police President Terrence Cunningham defends the actions of police officers involved in controversial shootings, while activist Ja’Mal Green demands a change in police culture and criticizes Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel for his handling of the city’s rising violent crime. Valuable as these points of view are, the effect is to merely provide a wide-ranging confirmation of the existence of a problem, even if the two sides don’t always agree on even the nature of the problem.
Ceding much of his book to lengthy political speeches on police-community relations and interview transcripts in which he shies away from contradicting or fact-checking his interview subjects, Mr. Pegues fails to assert any authority of his own. The book’s most interesting ideas — police forces as revenue generators, the relationship between race and class, etc. — are mentioned by the interview subjects, with Mr. Pegues offering no or minimal follow-up. With the two sides of the issue sometimes in emphatic disagreement, Black and Blue isn’t forceful enough to effectively mediate the dispute, resulting in a tepid exploration of an urgent issue.
|Page Count||280 pages|
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|Category||Current Events & Politics|