QUESTION: Police Dissent and Resistance

question / pregunta: 

In Chapel Hill, NC, where the police have recently applied horrifying and disproportionate force against unarmed protesters, some want to chant against the cops, and others want to remember that "Cops are people too." Me, I am trying to make this conversation more interesting. If cops are people, I figure, then they are morally accountable as individuals, and we can ask why there was not a single officer willing to stand up and prevent the attack this weekend. Research will help me make this case.
Is there any single historical work, or perhaps a museum, of police dissent in the United States? There must be some place to go to find the stories of heroic police who stood against their departments and fought to prevent unjust police acts. (And, of course, if such a history is impossible to find, I would also deeply appreciate any research on how American police suppress dissent and silence moral objectors)


I tried some searching in a few search engines and a few article databases and wasn't finding much about cops dissenting outright, or histories of police protesting their orders on a large scale, so I am not going to close this question in hopes that other librarians might be able to offer further help.

However, I have a few suggestions, since this topic might be one that may need to be approached in another way: instead of dissent or outright refusal of duties, you might look for instances of votes of no confidence in police administration (i.e. less direct acts of protest?).

Also, in recent news, there have been instances where cops took a stand: like in Arizona and Madison. There might be other historic incidents that you could research directly.

There may not be a complete history written (yet) about police dissent or internal, hidden viewpoints. I hope you can uncover one!

Like Alycia, I had trouble finding a single source on police dissent. Below, I have a bunch of articles and some academic texts that I hope are helpful.

In addition to the examples that Alycia provided, there’s also a famous and recent incident with a retired Philadelphia police chief Ray Lewis protesting at OWS:

This is an article that interviews Lewis, and documents one other Oakland police officer on the record as supporting OWS:

These were the only references I could find to police joining OWS protests, but I thought I’d also point you to an article about Michael Moore calling for police to join OWS

In terms of what I could find about police and protesting, there are two main strains - whiste blowing on police corruption and protesting against working conditions.
About the former, this is a legal article on what makes whistle blowing difficult in police culture and why it’s necessary:
Here’s another academic article on obstacles to whistle blowing among police:

And here are some news articles on different instances of whistle blowing in various police departments:

You might have already heard about these, but the most famous police whistle blower is Frank Serpico, whose biography is here
and the Al Pacino movie is here

As far as what seems to get police to protest, it looks like mostly working conditions. So here’s an article of Paterson police protesting layoffs
Sydney police protesting benefits cuts
Italian police protesting budget cuts

Of course, police are unionized, so their decisions to protest are largely going to be based on the unions’ stances towards the protest. The Wisconsin protest last winter seem to have garnered some police support:

So there's some hope for dissent based on the Wisconsin protests, plus maybe also global incidents of police support for shared economic hardship.