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History Vault

African American Police League Records

African American Police League Records [1961-1988]  (Module 48)

Recent cases such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the Black Lives Matter movement have brought the issue of police brutality onto the front page. However, police brutality has a long and troubled history.

This module documents how African American policemen in Chicago, beginning in 1968, attempted to fight against discrimination and police brutality by the Chicago Police Department and to improve relations between African Americans and police. Researchers will find a wealth of resources from the African American Police League, including annual reports, court files, meeting minutes, correspondence, clippings, topical files, newsletters, police brutality files, and publications and flyers covering the work of the AAPL and its education and action arm, the League to Improve the Community. The collection also contains items on numerous law enforcement and civil rights organizations across the country; materials on the suspension of AAPL executive director Renault Robinson from the Chicago Police Department and related lawsuits; and materials pertaining to the National Black Police Association.