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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "Police Brutality" (1961) Summary & Analysis

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"Police Brutality" (1961) Summary and Analysis

As the New Frontier gets underway with "Presidential cries for action, vigor and moving-aheadness," Vidal presciently points to a glaring domestic problem that is often overlooked by the cocktail party intellectuals: social, racial and economic inequalities that are sometimes expressed by police brutality. His essay recounts a harrowing experience one spring night in Washington, D.C., while he was riding in a taxicab to the Union Station. Stalled in traffic, Vidal observes four policemen savagely beating an older man prostrate on the sidewalk and a younger man in an abandoned storefront. As the kicking and punching got into high gear, Vidal says, he jumped from the cab and demanded to know the names of the policemen. He was met with snarling threats as the police continued the pummeling, but he managed to cause a brief pause as...

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This section contains 435 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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United States: Essays 1952-1992 from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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