The history of policing in the United States has deep and complicated roots that reach all the way back to 1704, when the colony of Carolina organized the first slave patrol.
Since the end of slavery, the police continued to act as enforcers of Jim Crow and segregationist laws. Below are a few articles and eBooks dealing with recent scholarship around the criminalization and control of people of color and the continuing history of policing in the United States.
“Bring Out Your Dead”: Understanding the Historical Persistence of the Criminalization of Black Bodies (2016).
Black Americans and the “crime narrative”: comments on the use of news frames and their impacts on public opinion formation (2018).
The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Mirron Willis
Black and blue: Exploring racial bias and law enforcement in the killings of unarmed black male civilians (2016).
From Stopping Black People to Killing Black People: The Fourth Amendment Pathways to Police Violence (2017).