Verso gives you two books for price of one

Policing the Planet - Jordan T. Camp, Christina Heatherton

I should note that I am most likely a little less left leaning than the majority of Verso readers. I have the publishers, it makes me think, and I always learn something. But my politics are less revolutionary and radical.

On one hand, this book is a little repetitive and slightly misnamed. I'm not sure why it is policing the planet when the essay focus on the US. There is mention of Toronto and many of the groups interviewed have voiced support for Palestine, but it is really focus on broken windows policing in the United States. Additionally, I found it interesting that while the groups would express support for a variety of causes and make stands against a variety of -ism, the one ism that was never mentioned was Anti-Semitism. Yet, get care seemed to be taken to point out support for Palestinians. I know that the whole Middle East question is a conflicting area of racism, colonialism, Anti-Semitism and so on, but it is possible to condemn anti-Semitism and not support Israeli building. It does not look good that anti-Semitism is never, ever mentioned by any of the groups. And for the record, I know Muslim men and women who speak out against Anti-Semitism so it is an issue for the book and those in it, not an issue about the wider group.

On the other hand, this is an important book because it does present the effects and impact of broken windows policing. Not only is broken window policing explained, but the effects on police are also shown. To say this book is anti-cop is wrong because one of the issues details the story of a police officer who is exactly what you want a community police officer yet who had to leave the police force. There are very good interviews and essays on Indigenous people and interactions with the police. This section is particularly important because it usually does not get as much attention, at least in some parts of the country. The look at the effect on the LGBTQ groups are welcomed as well. I particularly enjoyed the interviews, even if the editors tended to ask the same questions in different ways. The interviews gave more insight into the different groups.

It is worth a read, especially if you are interested in politics, race, policing, or if you read or teach books that deal with any of those issues.