Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $30.45

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Cops, politicians, and ordinary people are afraid of black men. The result is the Chokehold: laws and practices that treat every African American man like a thug. In this explosive new book, an African American former federal prosecutor shows that the system is working exactly the way it's supposed to. Black men are always under watch, and police violence is widespread - all with the support of judges and politicians.

In his no-holds-barred style, Butler, whose scholarship has been featured on 60 Minutes, uses new data to demonstrate that white men commit the majority of violent crime in the United States. For example, a white woman is ten times more likely to be raped by a white male acquaintance than be the victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a black man. Butler also frankly discusses the problem of black on black violence and how to keep communities safer - without relying as much on police.

Chokehold powerfully demonstrates why current efforts to reform law enforcement will not create lasting change. Butler's controversial recommendations about how to crash the system, and when it's better for a black man to plead guilty - even if he's innocent - are sure to be game-changers in the national debate about policing, criminal justice, and race relations.

©2017 Paul Butler (P)2017 Brilliance Audio. Published by arrangement with The New Press (www.thenewpress.com).

More from the same

What listeners say about Chokehold

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andrew
  • Andrew
  • 16-12-2017

Good but not amazing

I was disappointed by this book. While I don't disagree with most of the points the author makes, in many places the book lacks substance. Simply making sweeping assertions about racism in the criminal justice system is fine (and my claim isn't that they are incorrect), but it doesn't add much to the debate. Relative to the other books in this area, this book should be low on any reading list. You need to read Michelle Alexander, John Pfaff, James Forman Jr, Khalil Gibran Muhammad etc well before this book (and once you have there isn't much more to be gained by reading this). The best parts of the book are where the author draws directly on his own experience as a prosecutor (i.e. locking up black men) to give an insight into how the system works. He should have focused on that.

The book also needs to be edited a lot. He spends too long at the beginning defining the concept of the chokehold. There is a lot of repetition. There is too much referring to other chapters. The use of slang (never money, always "cash money") is fine, but i worry the author is adopting a mode of speech just to buy credibility. I am sure that as a criminal prosector the author never used those terms in regular speech. The reference to academic work is mostly superficial. There is a lot of throwing around of social science terms that don't really mean anything. Explaining "intersectionality" once is OK, but he labors the point several times. Its a simple idea - a person has multiple attributes to who they are (black, woman, gay etc).

The chapter offering advice to people who are arrested is interesting/useful.

I didn't dislike the book, but this is an area where there is an incredible collection of fantastic books and thinkers. I would not place this book among them.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Frank B. Polk Sr
  • Frank B. Polk Sr
  • 24-10-2017

GET THIS BOOK

A Must READ for every BLACKMAN. So informative had to listen to it twice. Will be buying the hard copy for my library

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for goodnitesaigon
  • goodnitesaigon
  • 10-08-2020

Extraordinary, Timeless & Scary

I have had so many conversations with my son about interactions with law enforcement from so many perspectives. This is eye opening from a prosecutor's perspective. It is straightforward & direct. Paul Butler pulls no punches but leaves the reader feeling informed. A little healthy fear is sometimes warranted.

I have give this to my daughters to continue family legacy of education.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A. Hayden
  • A. Hayden
  • 12-08-2017

Good Information

I found out about this book watching MSNBC one night & thought it would give me more current policing insight & it did just that. Knowing new tactics & coming from a reliable source was extremely helpful. must read for all, especially those of color.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J. Vance
  • J. Vance
  • 03-03-2021

Essential Reading

This is a really important book for anyone who is trying to be better informed about our criminal justice system. Written by an academic who is a former prosecutor, it's a very honest, pragmatic analysis of flaws in the system.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Shelley Martin
  • Shelley Martin
  • 17-01-2021

Chokehold

Anyone with a male child of color should read this book. Very informative. I highly recommend this work

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nathan
  • Nathan
  • 16-07-2020

If you are serious about Police reform LISTEN!

I have read articles and journals that utilize the data found in this book. But I have never read something so thorough when it comes to police brutality and the superpowers that the police have. It is my personal opinion that everyone who lives in the United States must read/listen to this book. One of the most significant pieces of information this book taught me is that only one in 24 crimes is a violent crime. By that statistic alone, we can come to realize that the majority of stops by police are not against violent criminals. Nor are the majority of people in prisons violent criminals; The people in prisons are those with minor infractions. Of course, the majority of them are people of color. The system isn’t broken it functions as it was intended.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alex
  • Alex
  • 15-07-2020

Definitive claims without citation

I listened to this book to better understand and learn more about the BLM movement and protest surrounding the George Floyd incident. Although there are some noteworthy messages and ideas in this book, I was disappointed in its lack of a coherent argument. I personally come from a science background, where you can't make a definitive claim(s) without having tangible evidence or proof to back it up. I listened to the book and didn't have a physical copy to verify citations, but I would expect there to be more reference to citations, especially when the author makes very definitive statements such as "The official practices of police departments include: violating the rights of African Americans" or "The police as policy, treat African Americans with contempt". The author is implying that there is actual written and published policy amongst the LEO community about policing African Americans differently than other races. I don't think that is accurate. It may be a accurate personal observation by a former federal prosecutor, but I would be absolutely shocked and furious if it were indeed actual written, systemic policing policy across the United States. From an outside perspective, the BLM movement implies that African American's are disproportionally confronted, pursued, prosecuted and ultimately targeted by the justice system. There is probably some truth to that, especially 60 years ago, however, in this book, the author says verbatim "The bottom line is that African American men commit a disproportionate share of certain serious crimes". Again, there is no reference to that statement however it definitely causes questions in my mind about the BLM movement, especially when the author states that African American men are disproportionately also the victims of the certain serious crimes the author has referred to.

In all, this book wasn't the paradigm shift I was personally hoping for.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Laura Salm
  • Laura Salm
  • 07-06-2020

A Must Read For ALL

I found this book to be insightful, honest, and full of extremely useful information that I can use to advocate for myself as well as others. Chapters 7 and 8 need to be on my person at all times in case I am ever detained by police.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Priscilla Smalls
  • Priscilla Smalls
  • 16-12-2019

Good facts bad advice

The facts inserted in this book were insightful, however the advice Butler gave to black men while interacting with a LEO was cowardly. Butler should have edited that section out.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hannah
  • Hannah
  • 14-10-2020

Essential reading for everyone.

Exceptionally well written and clear, very accessible as no academic jargon. A must read.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.