Unpacking the Tensions Between Minority Communities & Law Enforcement in the United States

Unpacking the Tensions Between Minority Communities and Law Enforcement in the United States

Faculty Journal — Unpacking the Tensions Between Minority Communities and Law Enforcement in the United States

In August 2016, Roosevelt House Public Policy Program solicited opinion pieces for the Minority Communities and Law Enforcement edition of the Faculty Journal to highlight scholarship that explored the tensions between communities of color and law enforcement in the United States. Nearly four years later, the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, and Tony McDade have become the most recent examples of persistent police brutality and violence by law enforcement officers. Coming at the heels of the pandemic-related lockdown and its disproportionate impacts on communities of color, the recent deaths have catalyzed nationwide protests to demand an end to racialized policing, and address systemic race and class inequities that have plagued American history and politics for centuries. Today, we revisit the thoughtful commentaries by Hunter faculty experts in the hopes of furthering the much-needed conversations surrounding institutional racism, poverty, mass incarceration, and police brutality that continue to disempower BIPOC communities in the nation.

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Series Introduction: Race, Inequality and Law Enforcement: An Understanding of Complex Social Realities

By Shyama Venkateswar, Director, Public Policy Program, Roosevelt House and Distinguished Lecturer, Hunter College

Race, Policing and Black Lives

By Anthony Browne, Chair of the Department of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Hunter College

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A Reason for Hope – Policing in America

By Tami Gold, Professor, Film & Media Studies, Hunter College; Filmmaker and Visual Artist

Evolving From a Culture of Divisiveness and Hate

By David Julian Hodges, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Hunter College


Race and Police Shootings in America Today: The Role of Data in Shaping Public Opinion

By Michael A. Lewis, Associate Professor of Social Work, Hunter College

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Black vs. Blue : Worlds Apart?

By Howard Lune, Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Graduate Social Research Program, Hunter College


The Intersections of Race and Poverty in the United States: Some Ethnographic Notes

By Michaela Soyer, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Hunter College

The writing and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute or Hunter College.