Edge of the Knife

Police Violence in the Americas

The country’s leading expert examines police brutality in New York, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Kingston, Jamaica

“A thoughtful, penetrating analysis of the problem of police violence. Eloquent and eminently practical, it points the way to reforms necessary to reduce official violence and improve the quality of policing.” —New York Law Journal

In Edge of the Knife, noted authority Paul Chevigny draws on years of field research to investigate torture and the use of deadly force, in addition to less drastic forms of violence, in New York, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Kingston. Chevigny, author of the classic Police Power, examines the sources of official violence and offers possibilities for controlling it. What emerges from his work is an image of police violence as a reflection of the larger order of a city, and a convincing argument for persistent government action against crime—including accountability for police violence.


“A groundbreaking work.”
Boston Book Review
“Timely. . . . For those who struggle for a more equitable world, Chevigny's careful study provides a . . . framework for action.”
Washington City Paper
“A welcome antidote to more conventional narratives deploying the good cop/bad cop dichotomy.”
Village Voice

Goodreads Reviews