Dr. Sam Mitrani, The Real Origins of the Police

The YouTube video of Saturday, May 16, 2015 is now up and available for viewing on the YouTube channel of The Open University of the Left.


Dr. Sam Mitrani, Open University of the Left, 5-16-2015 Chicago, IL


Join Open University of the Left on Saturday May 16th  at 2:30 pm

 A presentation by Dr. Sam Mitrani

The Real Origins of the Police: To Control the Working Class and Poor People

The police were not created to serve or protect the population – the police were created to control it. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, nothing resembling the modern police existed anywhere in the United States. Then, as a new working class developed in growing cities like New York,  Philadelphia,  Boston and Chicago, business owners pushed to create militarized police forces removed from democratic control. This talk will focus on Chicago, where, as class conflict roiled the city in waves throughout the late nineteenth century, the business elite that ran the city built an increasingly powerful police force to maintain control – the police force we still have today.

Sam Mitrani  is an activist and  Associate Professor of History at College of DuPage. He earned his PhD from the University of Illinois, Chicago, in 2009. He is the author of The Rise of the Chicago Police Department: Class and Conflict, 1850-1894 (University of Illinois Press, 2014). Most recently, Sam was active in Ed Hershey’s Working Class Fight campaign for 25th Ward Alderman. He can be reached at: [email protected].

Open University of the Left
Lincoln Park Public Library
1150 W. Fullerton Ave, Chicago (corner Racine)
across from DePaul University
free parking, (Red Line: Fullerton)