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You’ve (hopefully) read the whole book – what do you think?

2 Responses to “Open Thread on Cop in the Hood”

  1. Emily McCabe says:

    I really enjoyed getting the background and history of the origins of the use of drugs like heroin, cocaine and crack in American culture. I had no idea that both heroin and cocaine originated as white middle class legally sanctioned drugs (sedative for coughs, and safe and effective anesthetic). The use of cocaine in Coca Cola and other drinks for popular consumption in the early 1900’s was surprising to me. I also thought it was helpful to chronicle the legislation from its earliest beginnings and the comparison to the earliest police force (and its goals and policies) in London highlighted the ways American policing has strayed from these lofty goals. The parallels drawn between American prohibition in the 1920’s and the current drug war were also striking. The argument felt a little lopsided however and presented less of the counter argument in support of the war on drugs than I wanted to hear to grasp both sides of the issue and form a more unbiased opinion. However I imagine Moskos felt in writing the book that most Americans exposed to the official government reports media etc hardly need to hear those arguments rearticulated and thus focused on personal experience to fuel the narrative. His last point about green policing seemed innovative and potentially effective to me. I had never thought about patrol cars vs foot patrol and it isnt something that comes up much in The Wire (other than officers being assigned there as punishment) so I felt that was an interesting way to conclude the story and bring it back to the modern day after the lengthy historical discussion.

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  2. Tahirah Foy says:

    One portion of Cop in the Hood was the discussion about drug related murders in Chapter 4. Moskos describes how most drug related murders are within the dealer circle and does not include the “junkies”. He mentions how these are usually turf wars. He make an interesting point about the importance of property right and the protection of those rights. The drug world is a war zone because it is an illegal realm and the only way to protect “property” is through violence and fear. This made me think about what it would be like if there were no property rights. This is just something that struck me while I was reading the book. Overall I enjoyed the book it detailed the harsh and sad reality of drugs and the effect that is has on the community, addicts, and police. It also outlined interesting aspects of police work that I never knew about.

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