Peer-to-Peer Engagement Assignment #1: PLS 141

Policing America: past and present

[note: please scroll to the last page of this assignment for Zoom information and student conduct expectations. Thank


Assignment Overview: Policing in the US has a long and powerful history and this history, informs where we are today.

In this assignment, students will research how policing developed across the North and South, and its legacy today.

Objective of this Assignment:

This assignment will offer students the academic content and reflective opportunity to understand US policing and its

impact on crime and community relations.

More specifically, this assignment will:

• Provide resources to students to better understand the US system of policing

• Offer students insights into how policing was similar and different in the US North and South

• Explain the impact of this history on police-community relations and with communities of color in particular.

• Offer students the information needed to understand current dialogue about police reform efforts


This assignment contains two parts:

✓ Part I: Please review each of the below websites and prepare formal, written (typed) answers to the below


✓ Part II: Please be prepared to discuss your answers and reflections in a live Zoom meeting.

To receive full credit, students must arrive to the Zoom meeting with the paper completed and ready to hand in.

Directions will be offered in the meeting as to how to hand in the assignment.


Links (please make sure you budget enough time to view the links, take notes, and type up formal answers to the below


Through Line: American Police: (1:04 minutes – please reserve time to listen to this)

The Conversation: The racist roots of American policing


BBC: George Floyd: How the USA’s history has shaped today’s police brutality (3 minutes)


CNN: There is a growing call to defund the police: what does that mean?




Want to learn more? Check out these (not part of required assignment)

Resources to teach the history of policing in America that you won’t find in textbooks: Washington Post:


Questions: Please type out formal answers to the following for submission AND bring your answers and reflections to our

live Zoom meeting. Your grade is based on your written responses and your oral participation/discussion in the Zoom

meeting. Thank you

Please prepare answers to the following questions before the Zoom Meeting.

1. What happened after the Civil War? Explain Black Codes and how they were politically/legally justified?

2. How did the KKK evolve?

3. What was happening in the North with policing? Discuss the impact of England’s model. What was the role of

police in communities? Describe the connection between police and local politicians.

4. How do African Americans at the time of the Great Migration describe the difference between living in the

South versus the North? What is Police Science and why is it harmful?

5. How were police professionalized after Prohibition and what did this mean for African Americans?

6. How can we turn the tide? How do we get out of this (from Throughline)?

7. What does it mean to defund the police? Where would the money go and why?

8. Other thoughts and reflections?


Peer-to-Peer Engagement Activity (you only have to pick ONE option below)





Zoom meeting on Tues Feb 16th from 9am-



Click here:




Meeting ID: 831 8878 5835

Passcode: 319830


One tap mobile

+16468769923,,83188785835#,,,,,,0#,,319830# US (New York)

+13017158592,,83188785835#,,,,,,0#,,319830# US (Washington D.C)



Zoom meeting on Tuesday Feb 16th from



Join Zoom Meeting




Meeting ID: 862 7471 6108

Passcode: 296079


One tap mobile

+13126266799,,86274716108#,,,,,,0#,,296079# US (Chicago)

+16468769923,,86274716108#,,,,,,0#,,296079# US (New York)


Student Conduct Expectations: As you likely know, conversations around sensitive topics/political topics can be challenging and hurtful when not hosted in a hospitable environment. With that, the following is expected of all students as well as the instructor:

• Every student and the instructor is expected to show respect for others. This means listening before assuming you know better than someone else, it means not interrupting others, it means accepting and understanding that you only know your own experience, not the experience of others.

• Every student, and the instructor, is expected to use language affirming of others. This means no racial/ethnic/religious/etc. slurs will be tolerated, and it means that every student will work to understand his/her peers as individuals worthy of the same respect one wishes for him/herself.

• Every student/instructor will use this engagement opportunity as a learning experience NOT a platform to convince others they are right or “shove” unwelcome ideas “down anyone’s throat.”

• Every student/instructor will enter this activity, and all class interactions, offering others the benefit of the doubt with regard to sincerity. And, we will also show respect by “calling others in” when something is said that isn’t factual, truthful or is harmful/hurtful.

• Every student and the instructor will take active steps to create a welcoming environment for everyone in this course.

• To promote thoughtful and engaged discussion, students will be asked to use their camera and microphone. Please dress appropriately and locate yourself in a place conducive to thoughtful conversation, listening and sharing. If you need help changing screen backgrounds to promote privacy, please consider sitting in front of a blank wall or check out this link for instructions on changing your Zoom background. Backgrounds can be both fun, and offer you privacy!

• –Thank you
  • Peer-to-Peer Engagement Assignment #1: PLS 141
  • Policing America: past and present
  • BBC: George Floyd: How the USA’s history has shaped today’s police brutality (3 minutes)
  • Resources to teach the history of policing in America that you won’t find in textbooks: Washington Post: