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A Top Cop’s Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing

A Top Cop’s Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing

 Publicity Update for:


ISBN: 9781560258551

E-Book ISBN: 9780786736249

Norm Stamper will be on NPR’s TALK OF THE NATION this afternoon (Tues, 11/29) to discuss his recent piece in THE NATION and the challenges of crowd control.

“The best police stories are told by police officers. In Breaking Rank, Stamper…candidly describes his odyssey as a police officer and offers candid advice along the way… While accounts of daily police work comprise the bulk of Breaking Rank, Stamper also offers a number of clear-cut ideas on how best to reduce crime…. This lengthy, well-written work is recommended for collections in criminal justice and police studies.”

Library Journal

 “The 1999 riots during the World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle ended the 35-year career of Norm Stamper, the city’s police chief. But they didn’t silence him, as evidenced by Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American PolicingThe reader rides along with Stamper, starting his days as a brutish patrolman in San Diego and ending with his crusade to eradicate corruption and brutality in American policing. Stamper steps fearlessly into the contradictory world of cops and offers himself as Exhibit A. It’s tough to ignore a cop under any circumstance, but especially one who can make equally compelling cases for decriminalizing marijuana and locking up domestic abusers for life.”

The Boston Globe

 “A provocative new book…a side [of policing] rarely talked about by the men and women in uniform…. There is a passage in this book that is as powerful as any that I’ve seen or read or even heard about in a long time [about Stamper’s having shot and killed a man who’d been threatening to murder his son]…. Certainly for those African Americans who have been waiting for someone in this country to talk, boldly, about the issues of racism inside police forces…you’ll want to get [the book]…that’s the kind of forthright conversation you get on all sorts of issues…. I highly recommend it.”

—Tavis Smiley, The Tavis Smiley Show, PBS

“Norm Stamper earned this book…. Reading page after page of penetrating (but always constructive) criticism coming from a former police chief is like going on a bender with a get-out-of-jail-free card. I wanted to stand up waving a lighter as I read passages detailing police racism, homophobia and hatred of political dissidents…Stamper’s passionate voice of reason deserves a place in the annals of police reform.”

San Diego Union-Tribune, Books

Breaking Rank is an apt title given the text, but is actually too mild to describe the contents…. What is bad news for law-enforcement agencies is good news for a general readership. Stamper’s book will help lay readers understand the dark side of policing like it has never been understood before…. The book is filled with dramatic, well-written stories about crime, punishment and unpunished transgressions. It ought to be required reading for anybody who cares about policing, no matter where they reside.”

Seattle Times


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