Copwatching Jocelyn Simonson

njdiver

Staff member
Curator
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
438
Copwatching by Jocelyn Simonson

This article explores the phenomenon of organized copwatching – groups of local residents who wear uniforms, carry visible recording devices, patrol neighborhoods, and film police-citizen interactions in an effort to hold police departments accountable to the populations they police. The article argues that the practice of copwatching illustrates both the promise of adversarialism as a form of civic engagement and the potential of traditionally powerless populations to contribute to constitutional norms governing police conduct. Organized copwatching serves a unique function in the world of police accountability by giving these populations a vehicle through which to have direct, real-time input into policing decisions that affect their neighborhoods.

While many scholars recognize that a lack of public participation is a barrier to true police accountability, when searching for solutions these same scholars are often preoccupied with studying and perfecting consensus-based methods of participation such as community policing, neglecting the study of more adversarial, confrontational forms of local participation in policing. By analyzing copwatching as a form of public participation, this article challenges the scholarly focus on consensus-based strategies of police accountability. The article urges scholars and reformers to take adversarial, bottom-up mechanisms of police accountability seriously – not just as protest, but as true participation. Doing so requires respecting observation and contestation as legitimate civic gestures worthy of protection.

 

Attachments

Last edited:

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
3,510
Messages
6,994
Members
549
Latest member
AlinalCrura

New Threads

Top