Harvard-trained sociologist Peter Moskos became a cop in Baltimore's roughest neighborhood--the Eastern District, also the location for the first season of the critically acclaimed HBO drama The Wire--where he experienced real-life poverty and violent crime firsthand. He provides an unforgettable window into this world that outsiders never see--the thriving drug corners, the nerve-rattling patrols, and the heartbreaking failure of 911.
Moskos reveals the truth about the drug war and why it is engineered to fail--a truth he learned on the midnight shift. He describes police academy graduates fully unprepared for the realities of the street. He tells of a criminal justice system that incarcerates poor black men on a mass scale--a self-defeating system that measures success by arrest quotas and fosters a street code at odds with the rest of society--and argues for drug legalization as the only realistic way to end drug violence and let cops once again protect and serve. Moskos shows how officers in the ghetto are less concerned with those policed than with self-preservation and maximizing overtime pay--yet how any one of them would give their life for a fellow officer. Cop in the Hood ventures deep behind the Thin Blue Line to disclose the inner workings of law enforcement in America's inner cities. Those who read it will never view the badge the same way again.
Check out Chapter 1.