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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Social Activism, Civil Disobedience and Anti-Racism Movements: Police Response to Demonstrations

A guide on Activism, Protest, Social Movements and Police Response to Civil Unrest

NYPD, Demonstrations and Protests Policy and Procedure

for further resources try using the following subject headings

  • Demonstrations -- New York (State) -- New York. and
  • Riot Control -- United States
  • Social Control -- United States.

Enterno, J. (ed,). 2014. The New York City Police Department : the impact of its policies and practices. Reserve Room - 3 day loan - HV8148 .N5 N497 2014 also available as an e-book.  [Includes discussion on policing Occupy Wall Street protests]

Police Executive Research Forum. 2013 Social media and tactical considerations for law enforcement. Reserve Room - 3 hour loan - HV8139 .S59 2013a also freely available on PERF website

NYPD (no date, under Raymond Kelly, Police Commissioner) Disorder Control Guidelines. Louis Anemone Papers, Special Collections Room A copy of the 2012 version is freely available on the Internet Archive. Versions of similar publications on "Crowd Control" NYPD procedures for other years are available in our Special Collections Room for 1993, 1970

New York ACLU. 2005. Rights and wrongs at the RNC: a special report about police and protest at the Republican National Convention. Special Collections & Stacks - HV8148 .N52 R53 2005 also freely available on the NY-ACLU website

New York (N.Y.). Police Department. Training Bureau. 2004. Officers' guide to the Republican National Convention 2004, New York. Special Collections Room - HV7597 .Q 2004

New York ACLU. 2003. Arresting protest : a special report of the New York Civil Liberties Union of New York City's protest policies at the February 15, 2003 antiwar demonstration in New York City. Special Collections - HV8148 .N52 A77 2003a also freely available on NY-ACLU website.

New York (N.Y.). Police Department. 1988. Report on the Tompkins Square Park Incident. Law Enforcement News Archives (available by appointment) also freely available in the Lloyd Sealy Library Digital Collections

New York (N.Y.). Police Department. Legal Division. 1973. Instructions for members of the force at mass demonstrations. Special Collections & Stacks - HV 8055 .N483 1973

New York (N.Y.). Police Department. 1970. Guidelines for demonstrations. Special Collections & Stacks - HV8055 .N48 1970


Books and Reports on Police Response to Demonstrations

2013 Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street. [From the website] "This report is the first in a series by the Protest and Assembly Rights Project, a national consortium of law school clinics addressing the United States response to Occupy Wall Street. In their 132-page report, the experts catalog 130 specific alleged incidents of excessive police force, and hundreds of additional violations, including unjustified arrests, abuse of journalists, unlawful closure of sidewalks and parks to protesters, and pervasive surveillance of peaceful activists."

2006 Police management of mass demonstrations : identifying issues and successful approaches.  Stacks - HV8055 .P645 2006 also freely available electronically  The PERF has also posted a statment on their website about their involvement in police response to occupations. Police Executive Research Forum - P.E.R.F.

2003 California Crowd Managment and Civil Disobediance Guidelines. California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Christopher Dunn Arresting protest: a special report of the New York Civil Liberties Union of New York City's protest policies at the February 15, 2003 antiwar demonstration in New York City NY-ACLU

Police Use of Oleoresin Capsicum or "O.C." or Pepper Spray

Below are some suggested recent resources on Pepper Spray and its use. It is also suggested that a search using the some of these keywords Pepper Spray or Oleoresin Capsicum and Police or Law Enforcement and Demonstrations or Crowd Control in CUNY+ for books and reports or in Academic Search Complete and/or Criminal Justice Abstracts for Articles.

Encyclopedia Articles

Action Medic Groups. Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice. Ed. Gary L. Anderson and Kathryn G. Herr. Vol. 1.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference, 2007. p18-19.

Steve Ijames. Nonlethal Weapons. Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement. Ed. Larry E. Sullivan, M. R. Haberfeld, Marie Simonetti Rosen, and Dorothy Moses Schulz. Vol. 1: State and Local Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference, 2005. p305-307.

Less-lethal Weapons Technology. World of Forensic Science. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. Vol. 1.  Detroit: Gale, 2005. p416-417.

Books and Reports

Lynne Wilson. The Use and Abuse of Pepper Spray. National Police Accountability Project, National Lawyer's Guild. [Reprinted with permission of the Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Report © 1997 Thomson West, Rochester, NY]

The effectiveness and safety of pepper spray.  Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, [2003]. Stacks - HV8080 .A6 E34 2003


Deborah Blum About Pepper Spray. Scientific American Guest Blog 11/21/2011

Rosemary Joyce. Pepper Spray The Berkeley Blog. 11/20/2011

Pepper Spray Cop/Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop Imagery Know Your Meme Blog

Subject headings to search on Police and Demonstrations

Try using these words for subject, keyword subject, and keyword searching.


Demonstrations -- United States

Crowd control

Crowd control -- United States

Spectator control -- United States

Police and Occupations in the News

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Police and Pepper Spray in the News

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