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Chokehold

Policing Black Men
Narrated by: JD Jackson
Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (114 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Cops, politicians, and ordinary people are afraid of black men. The result is the Chokehold: laws and practices that treat every African American man like a thug. In this explosive new book, an African American former federal prosecutor shows that the system is working exactly the way it's supposed to. Black men are always under watch, and police violence is widespread - all with the support of judges and politicians.

In his no-holds-barred style, Butler, whose scholarship has been featured on 60 Minutes, uses new data to demonstrate that white men commit the majority of violent crime in the United States. For example, a white woman is ten times more likely to be raped by a white male acquaintance than be the victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a black man. Butler also frankly discusses the problem of black on black violence and how to keep communities safer - without relying as much on police.

Chokehold powerfully demonstrates why current efforts to reform law enforcement will not create lasting change. Butler's controversial recommendations about how to crash the system, and when it's better for a black man to plead guilty - even if he's innocent - are sure to be game-changers in the national debate about policing, criminal justice, and race relations.

©2017 Paul Butler (P)2017 Brilliance Audio. Published by arrangement with The New Press (www.thenewpress.com).

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good but not amazing

I was disappointed by this book. While I don't disagree with most of the points the author makes, in many places the book lacks substance. Simply making sweeping assertions about racism in the criminal justice system is fine (and my claim isn't that they are incorrect), but it doesn't add much to the debate. Relative to the other books in this area, this book should be low on any reading list. You need to read Michelle Alexander, John Pfaff, James Forman Jr, Khalil Gibran Muhammad etc well before this book (and once you have there isn't much more to be gained by reading this). The best parts of the book are where the author draws directly on his own experience as a prosecutor (i.e. locking up black men) to give an insight into how the system works. He should have focused on that.

The book also needs to be edited a lot. He spends too long at the beginning defining the concept of the chokehold. There is a lot of repetition. There is too much referring to other chapters. The use of slang (never money, always "cash money") is fine, but i worry the author is adopting a mode of speech just to buy credibility. I am sure that as a criminal prosector the author never used those terms in regular speech. The reference to academic work is mostly superficial. There is a lot of throwing around of social science terms that don't really mean anything. Explaining "intersectionality" once is OK, but he labors the point several times. Its a simple idea - a person has multiple attributes to who they are (black, woman, gay etc).

The chapter offering advice to people who are arrested is interesting/useful.

I didn't dislike the book, but this is an area where there is an incredible collection of fantastic books and thinkers. I would not place this book among them.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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GET THIS BOOK

A Must READ for every BLACKMAN. So informative had to listen to it twice. Will be buying the hard copy for my library

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Good Information

I found out about this book watching MSNBC one night & thought it would give me more current policing insight & it did just that. Knowing new tactics & coming from a reliable source was extremely helpful. must read for all, especially those of color.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I Can't Breathe - the reason why!

An insider's analysis of the criminal justice system. From his own experience perpetuating the chock hold as a prosecutor, to his own experience as a victim, Paul Butler presents an engaging and thought provoking review of how the system works and strategies to change it. A must listen in today's political climate.

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A Shocking and Informative Book About Oppression

A shocking and informative book about systems of oppression and conscious/unconscious bias that unfortunately continue to persist.

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Heavy but Relevant

This book was very enlightening and yet I hesitate to recommend it because it is such emotionally heavy content.
The author did a phenomenal job presenting a problem, breaking it down and supporting his theories with real life cases. If you feel you dont understand why the Black Lives and other civil right movements are needed in today's culture this book makes it extremely clear we have a long way to go in our fight for equality and justice for all.

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Not up to par!

Well I don't know about this one. I like Paul but it feels more like he is atoning for a sin and that sin being a former prosecutor of black me. I just felt too much of that in the book. I would have liked to hear him get in the face of young black men a bit more but he kind of danced around the subject. No disrespect to Paul but this one isn't for me.

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great book

I'll definitely give this book to my sons as great step forward to his young adult life.

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Insightful book

Really informative, great sources and interpretation. Butlers experience as a prosecutor and prosecuted offers a great way to navigate the politics of American criminal justice

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A must read.

The Choke Hold was a very informative book on the different vices that hold and are against African Americans and people of color. The author used his on experience of being a prosecutor and recommending harsh sentences to individuals of color. He also gives numerous suggestions on when and how to handle certain situations.