Copping Out
The Consequences of Police Corruption and Misconduct
by Anthony Stanford
March 2015, 176pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3089-1
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3090-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge tortured suspects to obtain confessions.

A Chicago journalist reveals how pervasive police misconduct, brutality, and corruption are changing the perspective of the criminal justice system and eroding the morals of the American people.

In this shocking yet fascinating volume, an award-winning Chicago journalist goes behind the headlines to provide a far-reaching analysis of brutality, vice, and corruption among men and women who have sworn to serve and protect. This timely book draws on actual cases to examine the widespread phenomenon of corruption inside law enforcement agencies. It looks at the effort of criminal elements and gangs to infiltrate police departments and the criminal justice system, and it discusses how vigilante justice is encouraged by claims of police misconduct. Of particular importance to readers, the book also exposes the trickle-down effect of police corruption as it affects American values and society as a whole.

But the news is not all bad. Police departments across the nation are fighting back against abuse of power, and the author sheds light on the escalating battle they are waging against rogue police officers involved in criminal activity. Through Stanford’s investigative work and firsthand interviews with leading law enforcement professionals, readers will be privy to the backstory of the struggle of police commands to insulate their departments against the criminality and corruption so prevalent today.


  • Exposes ever-increasing police corruption and the lures that influence police officers to participate in illicit activities
  • Educates readers about the struggle to rid law enforcement agencies of corrupt officers
  • Examines the ways technology increases the probability of police officers becoming involved in illegal activities, as well as how advances in technology can prevent a crossing of the threshold
  • Features interviews with leading law enforcement professionals who discuss the challenges of police corruption
  • Points out steps that should be taken by law enforcement to curb police corruption, including stricter screening standards and more careful psychological monitoring of law enforcement personnel
Anthony Stanford is a freelance writer and Sun-Times Media Group journalist in the Chicago, IL, area. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Homophobia in the Black Church: How Faith, Politics, and Fear Divide the Black Community and Revaluing the Federal Workforce: Defending America's Civil Servants as well as cutting-edge perspectives on politics, race, and religion in the Chicago Tribune, such as "Race as a Burning Issue" and "On a Day of Rebirth, Grieving a Loss of Faith." Stanford was named the 2014 Outstanding African-American of the Year by the African-American Heritage Advisory Board of Aurora, IL.


"Anthony Stanford is a real-life truth-telling journalist of the first order. He is brave, fearless, and passionate in his writing, and as in Homophobia in the Black Church, the reader is caught up in the unfolding story and the startling truths Stanford reveals."—Judy Zalazar Drummond, Poor People's Radio, KPOO 89.5 FM, San Francisco, CA

"Stanford’s timely book confronts the intractable problems of police criminality and the racism that so frequently underpins policing in America. Stanford deftly weaves his own very personal experiences together with the larger history of brutality and corruption in our criminal justice system."—Sarah Burns, author and filmmaker of The Central Park Five

"As a defense attorney and former prosecutor, I am acutely aware of the fundamental value of individual rights. Anthony Stanford's groundbreaking book sheds new light on our criminal justice system, while acknowledging the tough job of law enforcement professionals."—Richard C. Irvin, Attorney

"In this incredibly timely book, Anthony Stanford explores the history and consequences of police misconduct on minority communities, our criminal justice system, and American society as a whole. Through insightful analysis and interviews with those working on the front lines of law enforcement, Stanford’s book explores not only the problems of, but potential solutions to, police corruption and misconduct. This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the state of policing in the United States."—Yoruba Richen, Director of Documentary Program, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

"Stanford’s book could not be coming out at a better time, in light of the uprisings in Ferguson and the much-needed public debate about the role of the police in the management and control of the dispossessed."—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
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