Paul Butler takes on police brutality in new book


Police brutality in the black community is as old as law enforcement itself.

Former federal prosecutor Paul Butler speaks in depth on the issue in his new book, “Chokehold: Policing Black Men.”

“Even as a prosecutor I was a still a black man,” said Butler during an interview on MSNBC with Rev. Al Sharpton. “I was even arrested for a crime I didn’t commit…I was acquitted in less than five minutes.”

In his book, Butler points out that black people have never been in a situation of good faith in America with police.

“When we say that the system is targeting black men, that’s true,” Butler told Sharpton. Butler worked as a prosecutor at the Department of Justice and is now a professor at Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C. Butler also had a few recommendations for decreasing incidents of police brutality.

“Half of cops should be women,” Butler suggested. “Women cops are much less likely to shoot people.”

Butler continued, “Cops should have college degrees. Cops with college degrees are much less likely to shoot unarmed people.”

Butler takes a “no-holds-barred” approach to writing about police brutality.

In his book, he also points out that white men commit the majority of violent crime in the United States and that a white woman is ten times more likely to be raped by a white male acquaintance than becoming a victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a black man.

Butler also speaks forcefully about the unwarranted fear whites have of blacks, and how that perception ends up impacting American policing.

Lauren Victoria Burke is a speaker, writer and political analyst. Lauren is also a frequent contributor to the NNPA Newswire and Connect with Lauren by email at and on Twitter at @LVBurke.