American Bar Association Announces 2018 Silver Gavel Awards

ABA News | 5.23.18

Winner of the Silver Gavel Book category: “Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission, a book in which author Barry Friedman examines the impact of 21st century law enforcement on contemporary Americans and makes the case for democratic policing—the idea that the people should take responsibility for policing.


What to Do About the Police?

The Nation | 3.29.18

The social costs of the police state are the subject of Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission, a dense but vital book by Barry Friedman, a professor and director of the Policing Project at the New York University School of Law. Friedman, like Vitale, is concerned with police overreach, but he places the blame less on cops than on the rest of us. He argues that we, as a society, have failed to impose basic ex ante standards on local, state, and federal law enforcement. Our calls for police reform, which fixate on civilian-oversight boards, body cameras, and judicial intervention, are inadequate, Friedman says. What we really need are “not reviews but rules: rules that are written before officials act, rules that are public, rules that are written with public participation.”


The 10 Most Inspiring Books of 2017

NationSwell | 12.27.17

Ever since the unrest in Ferguson in 2014, policing’s become a hot-button topic. Rather than blaming cops, Barry Friedman, a law professor at New York University, tries to move the conversation forward, arguing that judges and ordinary citizens alike need to do more to restore the Fourth Amendment’s protections against “unreasonable search and seizure” in a time of heightened surveillance and militarization among law enforcement.


Out-of-Control Policing: Are Judges to Blame?

Judicature | 8.29.2017

[Friedman] does offer a lot that all of us -- judges, lawyers, and all people living in this country -- need to think about more, and better. At bottom, not reading this book is unwarranted.


How Will We Police The Police?

Fast Company | 7.27.2017

We spend billions on the police but have little say in what they do. Constitutional lawyer Barry Friedman makes the case for a more democratic policing. The hard work of policing is done on our behalf, to serve and protect us, it’s often said. But we the people play a very small role in the way that that policing is conducted. That yields to the cops a power—to use force and surveil us—that is awesome and exceptional in modern democracy. This inconvenient truth is as alarming as it is nearly obvious, and it’s the basis of the book Unwarranted, an engaging tour of modern policing by constitutional scholar Barry Friedman. As he put it recently, “policing outran the structures and rules that we and the Founders created for it.”


Is democratic policing the answer to law enforcement abuses?

America Magazine | 5.23.2017

In Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission, Barry Friedman has taken on a monumental task—to fix the broken relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. At first blush, it may seem odd to describe a book about law enforcement in relational terms. This conception of the book’s lesson is appropriate, however, for Friedman’s thesis is that the community being policed must predetermine the proper use of police powers. The dysfunctions seen in the execution of policing are largely failures of the public to properly exercise their role in this relationship. Unwarranted is a powerful call for what Friedman terms “democratic policing.” It would require people to take responsibility for policing ex ante (before the fact). Calling for democratic institutions to exert proactive control over policing policies is simple in theory; its application will undoubtedly prove to be more difficult.


In Unwarranted, Barry Friedman Argues That the People Should Be Policing the Police

Nashville Scene | 3.9.2017

We've all read stories about trigger-happy cops barging into homes, and innocent people being detained on the roadside while their vehicles are searched for drugs. Such reports are disturbing, but most Americans tend to see this kind of abusive policing as anomalous and almost certainly illegal. They’re wrong on both counts, according to former Vanderbilt law professor Barry Friedman. In Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission, Friedman takes a sobering look at the increasingly intrusive practices of modern law enforcement and explains how legal protection against them has been subverted or slowly chipped away.


An Interview with Barry Friedman

Washington Independent Review of Books | 2.23.2017

Barry Friedman, a professor at the New York University School of Law, has studied, taught, and written about constitutional law for three decades. His first book, The Will of the People, argued counterintuitively that the Supreme Court follows and reflects popular opinion more closely than legal scholars or the general public realize.


Our Criminal Injustice System

The Wall Street Journal | 2.21.2017

Americans once understood that drawing boundaries around those authorized to use force was a bulwark against creeping tyranny. Matt Welch reviews “Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission” by Barry Friedman.


Two Books Argue the Case for Police Reform from Within

The New York Times | 2.21.2017

Barry Friedman’s broader and more accessible book looks beyond the lethal use of force at the many other ways the Fourth Amendment protection against “unreasonable searches and seizures” has been ignored or stretched in the name of public safety.


Policing in the Trump Era

Thought Matters | 2.9.2017

Barry Friedman is a leading authority on constitutional law, policing, criminal procedure, and the federal courts, and the founding director of the Policing Project. Ahead of the publication of his new book, Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission, Thought Matters asked him a series of questions about his motivations for writing the book, policing after Ferguson and Snowden, the role of technology, and policing under Trump.


Kirkus Starred Review

Kirkus Reviews | 11.15.2016

A law professor diagnoses the ills of American policing and prescribes a healthy dose of sunlight.  At once creative and conservative, Friedman offers a timely blueprint for recovering democratic control of local and national law enforcement.


Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission

Publishers Weekly | 10.31.2016

Drawing on landmark court cases, extensive history, and incisive analysis, Friedman takes a hard look at current problems and proposes astute and well-researched solutions in favor of more “democratic and constitutional” policing.