1956 September 10

Police Must be Impartial, NYC Police Commissioner Says


New York City Police Commissioner Stephen Kennedy on this day advised the police across the country that it was important for the police to be impartial in enforcing the law. His comments were prompted by rising conflict between the police and the African-American community as part of the civil rights movement. Kennedy was one of only a few police chief executives in the country to speak out on racial justice in the 1950s.

See the major controversy of the New York City Police Department’s stop and frisk policy, and the federal court decision declaring the department’s practices unconstitutional on August 12, 2013.

On the history of police-community relations, read: Samuel Walker, Popular Justice: A History of American Criminal Justice, 2nd ed. (1998)

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