Book Review: The end of policing

Published date01 March 2022
Date01 March 2022
Subject MatterBook Reviews
are collected. It appears that Lindegaard collected the stories of her participants mindfully. That is,
she took care to represent them accurately, but also to not overly romanticize them. While most of the
book presents participants favorably, often praising the way they move through their worlds, she also
includes stories of the violence and crime they commit. We are not shielded from their bad behaviors,
which provides a more nuanced portrayal of the people she studied.
Readers also get a chance to understand Lindegaard as a researcher in her description of the
methods and the roles she adopted to collect data and in a couple of short interludes. In the rst inter-
lude, she tells a story of meeting a man who has committed murder and who was murdered soon after
their interaction. I enjoyed this interlude as it gave a sense of the person collecting data. This too
allows us as readers to be more sympathetic to those being studied.
Lindegaard has produced a thoughtful ethnography. It is well suited for those interested in ethno-
graphic studies of crime and those interested in cultural explanations of crime. As such, it is well
suited for upper-level methods and criminological theory classes. Like other academic works, the
book is not without limitations. Methodologically, Lindegaard did not go far enough in incorporating
the photos into the analysis and putting herself into the book. Collecting the photos was a great deci-
sion. Not only do the photos empower participants and draw the reader in, but also they are powerful
tools for data collection. Using them to stimulate interviews is an effective technique as they tap into
different parts of a persons emotions when responding to questions. The book began with 20 photos
and short captions. Because of this, I expected more from the photos throughout. Lindegaard missed
an opportunity by not making the photos and photo elicitation interview data more signicant com-
ponents of the results.
Similarly, I found the rst interlude interesting because of its ability to let me feel like I was in on
some backstage part of the research. This led me to look for other interludesin fact after the rst
one I went to the table of contents to jump ahead and read them all. Unfortunately, there were only
two. By including only two, the book left me thinking that the interludes were an afterthought and
had been forced in. I had hoped for more. These interludes would have been a nice tool to allow
readers to peek behind the curtain of the research.
Despite these small missteps, I believe Lindegaard can be seen as a research traceur. She navi-
gated the social world of young people in South Africa in a way that allowed her to see the world
from their eyes. She was able to see the ways that the larger structure of South Africa acted upon
these people, and how they used the resources available to them to act with agency. Many practition-
ers of parkour believe that they should never harm, vandalize, or damage the environment they trav-
erse. Some even advocate for being the custodians of the space they traverse. Lindegaard may be an
outsider to those she studied, but the care with which she tells their stories shows she is a custodian of
the space and of the peoples stories and that she has not abused this privilege.
Vitale, A. S. (2017).
The end of policing. Brooklyn, NY: Verso. 272 pp. $26.95, ISBN 978-1-78478-289-4.
Reviewed by: David P. Weiss, Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA, USA
DOI: 10.1177/0734016819833134
Alex S. Vitales book title aloneThe End of Policinghas the oomph to raise either ones hope or
suspicion, depending upon ones worldview. The author, professor of sociology and coordinator of
the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College, writes extensively on policing for both
scholarly journals and the general public and further serves on the New York State Advisory
Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Although Vitales knowledge of policing is
122 Criminal Justice Review 47(1)

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