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.
Criminalizing Blackness

Black and Blue: Inside the Divide between the Police and Black America by Jeff Pegues

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