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The Law of the Police

Rachel Harmon


  • ISBN: 9781454891130

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  • Description
    The Law of the Police is the first book to explore the complex array of federal, state, and local legal rules that govern police encounters with the public. The book is primarily designed to provide materials for law school courses and seminars on policing or courses on criminal procedure that seek to provide a broader understanding of the institutions and laws shaping police practices than traditional casebooks permit. It also offers a resource for academics, lawyers, and others who want to know more about how American law regulates the police and how it might do so differently. In addition to cases, statutes, and policies, the book includes extensive commentary and questions encouraging readers to consider the form and content of the law; how it might change; who is making it; and how the law affects the costs and fairness of policing and the public accountability of police actions.  
    • Part I introduces local policing—its history, its goals, its legal foundations, and its problems 
    • Part II considers the law that regulates investigative activities, such as surveillance, interrogations, and collecting evidence 
    • Part III addresses the law that governs common street activities, including preventing crime, stopping traffic, using force, handling protests, and maintaining order 
    • Part IV examines legal remedies for police abuses and avenues for police reform 

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  • Details
    Page Count 944
    Published 02/09/2021
  • Additional Product Details
    Publication Date: 2/1/2021
    Copyright Year: 2021
    Pages: 944
    Hardcover: 9781454891130
  • Author Information

    Rachel Harmon

    Rachel Harmon is a professor and directs the Center for Criminal Justice at the University of Virginia law school. As a leading scholar on policing and the law, she frequently advises government actors and nonprofits. In 2017, she served as an expert for the independent after-action review of the Summer of Hate protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    Before teaching, Harmon spent eight years as a prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where she handled civil rights crimes nationwide, including hate crimes and excessive force and sexual violence by police officers and other officials.

    Harmon received her B.S. from MIT, two masters’ degrees from the London School of Economics, and her law degree from Yale Law School. She clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Guido Calabresi and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

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