Resources on Policing & Racism

In June 2020, many people are asking for resources related to racism and policing, including what it means to defund the police, so I have a new ongoing resource list below. This is a supplement to my series of blog posts called, “For those who say, how can we defund the police.” -Karen Gaffney

Challenges to addressing police violence: systemic racism

Fear of a Black Uprising

Police: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (June 7, 2020) (video)

10 things we know about race and policing in the U.S. (PEW Research Center)

Two-thirds of black Americans don’t trust the police to treat them equally. Most white Americans do.

How The Police See Issues Of Race And Policing

‘Blue lives’ do matter — that’s the problem

The Police Report To Me, But I Knew I Couldn’t Protect My Son

Minneapolis Police Use Force Against Black People at 7 Times the Rate of Whites

How Police Unions Became Such Powerful Opponents to Reform Efforts

A Major Obstacle to Police Reform: The Whiteness of Their Union Bosses

My Family Saw a Police Car Hit a Kid on Halloween. Then I Learned How NYPD Impunity Works.

Thousands of Complaints Do Little to Change Police Ways

Lawyers: Breonna Taylor Shooting Linked to Louisville Gentrification

5 Years After Ferguson, We’re Losing the Fight Against Police Violence

Over the past 60 years, more spending on police hasn’t necessarily meant less crime

The Police Are Rioting. We Need to Talk About It.

Police Attacks on Protestors Are Rooted in a Violent Ideology of Reactionary Grievance

In America, Protest Is Patriotic: The police are supposed to protect free speech, not suppress it.

How White Crime Writers Justified Police Brutality: We don’t need any more novels or TV shows about cops who do the wrong thing for the “right” reason.

Normalizing Injustice: The Dangerous Misrepresentations that Define Television’s Scripted Crime Genre (Report, Color of Change, 2020)

America, This is Your Chance

How Do We Change America? The quest to transform this country cannot be limited to challenging its brutal police.


What Critical Race Studies Teaches Us About Racism, Resistance & Policing (video of panel discussion at UCLA Law School)

Throughline podcast (NPR): American Police

The History Of Police In Creating Social Order In The U.S.

Not just George Floyd: Police departments have 400-year history of racism

The Power of Black Lives Matter: How the movement that’s changing America was built and where it goes next

Michelle Alexander: “A System of Racial and Social Control” (PBS interview transcript)

How Much Do We Need The Police?

Ida B. Wells offered the solution to police violence more than 100 years ago

Slave Patrols: An Early Form of American Policing

Defunding the Police

We Should Still Defund the Police

Reformist reforms vs. abolitionist steps in policing

Would Defunding the Police Make Us Safer? Police departments have enormous budgets. Are we getting what we pay for? (Podcast with transcript)

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: What Does It Mean to Defund Or Abolish the Police?

Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police: Because reform won’t happen.

Abolition Can’t Wait: A Teach-In with #8toAbolition (video sponsored by Haymarket Books)

Policing without the Police: Race, Technology, and the New Jim Code with Ruha Benjamin and Dorothy Roberts (video sponsored by Haymarket Books)

Abolition is Not a Suburb

How to Make Defunding the Police a Reality

The Only Solution Is to Defund the Police

Why #DefundthePolice is Genius Strategy

No More Money for the Police

Defunding Police: What It Takes to End Police Violence

How Defund and Disband Became the Demands

Movement to defund police gains ‘unprecedented’ support across US

Freedom to Thrive: Reimagining Safety & Security in Our Communities (2017 Report by The Center for Popular Democracy)

Ruth Wilson Gilmore Makes the Case for Abolition (Intercepted podcast)

Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind

Political Possibilities: Black Feminism Offers a Path to Abolition

If You’re New to Abolition: Study Group Guide

Twitter threads on defunding the police

Critical Resistance

Kumar Rao

Amber Ashley James

Sarah Jaffe

Organizations and initiatives for change

Black Lives Matter

The Movement for Black Lives

The BREATHE Act (note the link on this website to Download the Bill Summary)

The Black National Convention (organized by The Movement for Black Lives, Aug. 28)


Color of Change

Survived and Punished

“10 ways to reduce our reliance on policing and make our communities safer for everyone”

What are we talking about when we talk about “a police-free future?”

Western States Center: Take the Pledge. 21 Days for Inclusive Democracy.

Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

LEAP Action

Transform Harm

Alternatives to Policing Flyers available here on Google Drive (see the explainer)

Google Doc on Abolition Study

Sick of the ‘blue code of silence,’ director Ava DuVernay starts an initiative to spotlight police brutality

New Jersey

How should N.J. reform when police can use force? AG wants to hear from you. and related SURJ-NJ Action Alert

10 Ways To Do Racial Justice Advocacy After You Say “Black Lives Matter” (NJ Institute for Social Justice)

NJ Institute for Social Justice Action Center

Black community leaders: Make Black lives really matter in New Jersey

Asbury Park Transformative Justice Project

The Force Report

Why I Protested

Suburban While Black

Latinos stand with #BlackLivesMatter because we both fight for justice and equality

Governor Murphy and AG Grewal Announce Continued Progress and New Measures to Strengthen Police-Community Trust

Changes in Policing Take Hold in One of the Nation’s Most Dangerous Cities (Camden, NJ) (2017)

What Happened to Crime in Camden? Often ranked as one of the deadliest cities in America, Camden, New Jersey, ended 2017 with its lowest homicide rate since the 1980s.

The Camden Police Department Is Not a Model for Policing in the Post-George Floyd Era

9 Departments and Multiple Infractions for One New Jersey Police Officer

Compiled by Karen Gaffney, author of Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Manual and Toolbox (Routledge) and creator of the website Divided No Longer, which includes a new series of blog posts “For those who say, how can we defund the police.” If you have any feedback or suggestions, please contact Karen at