Peter Tosh – Wanted Dread and Alive. The Clash – Bankrobber. What do songs like this have to say about how crime is viewed in our society?
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What are the three most important things you learned from the materials in modules 1-3? Discuss these issues, and why they are important to you.
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THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE COVERED SO FAR.
WEEK ONE MODULE
Open Date: Sunday July 4 at 12:01am
Close Date: Saturday July 10 at 11:59pm (plus the automatic 24-hour grace period)
Read the class Syllabus in detail
“Reading Comprehension Strategies” (link on our Blackboard homepage)
“Guide to Writing Discussion Posts & Reflection Papers” (link on our Blackboard homepage)
Police Innovation textbook: Introduction (pp 1 -26)
Police Innovation textbook: Community Policing (pp 27-68)
Module 1 mini-lecture
Colors (120 min, 1988) (UTEP Library)
Directed by Dennis Hopper and starring such luminaries as Robert Duvall, Sean Penn, and Don Cheadle, several police officers I know have told me they think this is the most realistic cop movie ever made. I thought this would be a fun and interesting way to begin the video component to our semester. The remainder of the semester’s videos will be documentaries that are especially well-done, informative, and which cover a wide range of issues.
Judas Priest – B reakin ’ th e Law
What better way to get our class rolling than to rock out with this song? As you know from reading the syllabus (you have read it, haven ’t you?), each module will have two songs that connect with the week’s material in some way. So, given them a listen and email me any song suggestions you might have. I love listening to new songs and incorporating them into my classes.
Ice-T – Cop Killer
Extremely controversial when it came it, this song advocates what it says, the killing of police – but often missing in debates about this song it its exclusive focus on killing cops who engage in brutality and kill young Black men. “Fuck the police” is the refrain of the song (and reminiscent of NWA’s song Fuck the Police which we will listen to next week) and it symbolizes the anger and fear that the police often engender in poor, urban, minority communities. As much as any song ever written, Cop Killer speaks to the dire need for the police to obey the law and gain the trust of the public, also known as police legitimacy.
Discussion Board Posts
WEEK TWO MODULE
Open Date: Sunday July 11 at 12:01am
Close Date: Saturday July 17 at 11:59pm (plus the automatic 24-hour grace period)
Police Innovation textbook: Procedural Justice Policing (pp 71-120)
Police Innovation textbook: Broken Windows Policing (pp 121-164)
Module 2 mini-lecture
The Force (2017, 132 min.) (Amazon; also available on YouTube)
For a great description and review click here: rogerebert.com
N.W.A. – Fuk da Police
Perhaps the song N.W.A. is best known for, this song has very explicit lyrics about hating the police. However, this song (like Ice-Ts Cop Killer that we heard last week) is catnip to conservatives who often argue that it is “the community,” and its unwillingness to trust and cooperate with police that is the true source of high crime in impoverished urban minority neighborhoods. However, songs like this document the anger and frustration engendered by police brutality and abuse, and argue that high crime results from decades of bad policing.
Brad Paisley – Mr. Policeman
Let’s shift genres (and mood) to a country song that is light and fluffy. Although a few decades too late, this song could have been played during any Dukes of Hazzard episode I might have watched while growing up.
Discussion Board Posts
WEEK THREE MODULE
Open Date: Sunday July 18 at 12:01am
Close Date: Saturday July 24 at 11:59pm (plus the automatic 24-hour grace period)
Police Innovation textbook: Problem-Oriented Policing (pp 165-204)
Police Innovation textbook: Pulling Levers Policing (pp 205-250)
Module 3 mini-lecture
Fallen (2017, 76 min) (YouTube)
This is a documentary about police officers who are killed in the line of duty and the aftermath of these tragedies on the officers’ families and friends. This film can be tough to watch because it portrays so much pain and suffering, but I think it is important to watch because it shows the humanity of police officers – that they are real people, with real families – and that the risks they take in the normal course of their jobs is something that few other occupations entail. A few years ago, a retired police officer I knew from work on a citizen review board had his son, also a police officer here in El Paso, die in a car crash while on duty. And seeing this gentleman again, and the pain that was etched onto his face, when the board reconvened, really brought home for me the message contained in this video.
Peter Tosh – Wanted Dread and Alive
He’s wanted dread and alive, and he’s being pursued by the evil forces. But he’s
never done nothing wrong. Reggae songs like this are known for often having a message of social justice, and the songs of Peter Tosh is among the best in this genre. The lyrics are below the video.
The Clash – Bankrobber
Like a lot of songs about crime, this one by The Clash (in their reggae phase), trivializes and glorifies crime. No worries about victims or penalties. Crime is just good fun, right? “He just loved to live that way, and he loved to take your money.” What do songs like this have to say about how crime is viewed in our society?
Discussion Board Posts
Reflection Paper #1