Zero tolerance for zero tolerance? Analyzing how zero tolerance discourse mediates police accountability activism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

While several scholars critically analyze the effects that the New York Police Department's zero tolerance policy has on poor minority communities, few have adequately explored contestations to the policy. This article draws on interview data from the Communities united for Police Reform campaign in New York City to investigate how zero tolerance discourse is inflected in the claims, demands, and strategies of police reform activists. I chronicle how several core principles underlying the NYPD's zero tolerance policy resonate in activists' grievances and demands for reform, culminating in pursuit of what I term accountable zero tolerance. These data, I posit, provide insight into the resilience and depth to which zero tolerance discourses influence shared understandings of criminality, crime, and law enforcement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalCity, Culture and Society
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • NYPD
  • Police accountability
  • Police activism
  • Quality of life
  • Zero tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Urban Studies
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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