In the midst of a national conversation about police violence and racial profiling, many have pinned their hopes on body cameras. President Obama has called for $75 million in funding, and a growing number of police departments have implemented pilot programs to see if body cameras can increase civility and good behavior on both sides of the badge. But the cameras are still a highly contested technology, with little consensus on their effectiveness, their impact on relations with highly-policed communities, and their contributions to an expanding network of surveillance technologies. Can body cameras help combat police violence without spawning more problems than they solve?
Nicole Austin-Hillery is the first Director and Counsel of The Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C. office which she opened in March 2008. In her role, Ms. Austin-Hillery has overseen the growth and development of the Brennan Center’s advocacy and policy development work in Washington. Ms. Austin-Hillery is the organization’s chief liaison to Congress and the Administration. Her day to day work includes oversight of the Washington office operations and staff, serving as the chief advocate for the Brennan Center on a host of justice and democracy issues and coordinating coalition work with other civil rights, social justice and democracy organizations in Washington. Priority issue areas of Ms. Austin-Hillery’s portfolio include voting rights, racial and criminal justice advocacy and reform, indigent defense and felon enfranchisement. She also supports work in the Money and Politics issue area on a limited basis. Ms. Austin-Hillery provides both strategic and advocacy counsel ranging from legislative analysis to policy development. She serves as both a media spokesperson and frequent presenter on Brennan Center issues. Ms. Austin-Hillery has written opinion pieces for several publications including Roll Call, The Root, CNN.Com and BillMoyers.Com and has been a contributing writer to several advocacy publications. She has also submitted testimony for Congressional hearings and serves as a frequent speaker on a host of public interest issues.
Ms. Austin-Hillery has significant litigation experience having practiced with the law firm of Mehri & Skalet, PLLC as part of the firm's civil rights employment class action practice and as the George N. Lindsay Civil Rights Law Fellow at the national office of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C. where she focused on housing litigation and policy. She is a former Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School and currently serves on the Board of the Washington Bar Association, as an appointed member of the ABA Elections Law Committee and as co-chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Racial, Ethnic Justice & Diversity Committee. She is a former member of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Committee and is a past-president of the Washington Council of Lawyers. Ms. Austin-Hillery is a graduate of the Howard University School of Law and Carnegie Mellon University.
Rachel Levinson-Waldman serves as Senior Counsel to the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program, which seeks to advance effective national security policies that respect constitutional values and the rule of law.
From 2006 through 2011, Ms. Levinson-Waldman served as Associate Counsel and then Senior Counsel to the American Association of University Professors. In that role, she oversaw the AAUP’s in-house legal docket and contributed to amicus briefs and policy issues in a variety of areas, focusing particularly on academic freedom and the First Amendment. She regularly spoke to audiences on matters relating to higher education and to free speech, and was a frequent commenter for the higher education press.
From 2003 through 2006, Ms. Levinson-Waldman served as a Trial Attorney in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, litigating matters under the Fair Housing Act. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Ms. Levinson-Waldman clerked for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Ms. Levinson-Waldman is a 2002 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and graduated cum laude with a BA in Religion from Williams College.
Jay Stanley (@JayCStanley) is Senior Policy Analyst with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, where he researches, writes and speaks about technology-related privacy and civil liberties issues and their future. He is the Editor of the ACLU's "Free Future" blog and has authored and co-authored a variety of influential ACLU reports on privacy and technology topics. Before joining the ACLU, he was an analyst at the technology research firm Forrester, served as American politics editor of Facts on File’s World News Digest, and as national newswire editor at Medialink. He is a graduate of Williams College and holds an M.A. in American History from the University of Virginia.
Jim Bueermann is the president of the Police Foundation, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting innovation and improvement in policing through its research, technical assistance, training, professional services, and communication programs. As president, Bueermann directs all foundation operations and is a voting member of the board of directors.
Jim Bueermann worked for the Redlands Police Department for 33 years, serving in every unit within the department. He was appointed chief of police and director of Housing, Recreation and Senior Services in 1998. He retired in June 2011.
As chief, he developed a holistic approach to community policing and problem solving that consolidated housing and recreation services into the police department and was based on risk and protective factor research into adolescent problem prevention. This strategy was recognized as one of the country's 25 most innovative programs in the 2000 Innovations in American Government program sponsored by Harvard's Kennedy School.
Jim was the first police chief to be inducted as an honorary fellow in the Academy of Experimental Criminology and into the halls of fame at George Mason University's Center for Evidence Based Crime Policy and the School of Behavioral Science at California State University, San Bernardino.
He is on policing advisory boards at Cambridge University, George Mason University, John Jay College, and the Council for State Governments and works extensively in the field of evidence-based policing, innovative technologies, and prisoner reentry.
Prior to coming to the Police Foundation, he was an executive fellow with the US Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice and a senior fellow at George Mason University.
He is a graduate of California State University, San Bernardino, the University of Redlands, the FBI National Academy, and the California Command College.
Andrea J. Ritchie is a Black lesbian police misconduct attorney and organizer who has engaged in extensive research, writing, litigation, organizing and advocacy on profiling, policing, and physical and sexual violence by law enforcement agents against women, girls and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color in over the past two decades.
Andrea currently coordinates Streetwise & Safe (SAS), www.streetwiseandsafe.org, a leadership development initiative aimed at sharing “know your rights” information, strategies for safety and visions for change among LGBT youth of color who experience of gender, race, sexuality and poverty-based policing and criminalization. As such, she serves on the steering committee of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), www.changethenypd.org, a city-wide campaign to challenge discriminatory, unlawful and abusive policing practices in New York City led by grassroots community groups, legal organizations, policy advocates and researchers from all five boroughs. She is the author of Violence Everyday: Police Brutality and Racial Profiling Against Women, Girls, and Trans People of Color and the co-author (with Joey L. Mogel and Kay Whitlock) of Queer (In)Justice. She lobbied and organized with co-contributor Meron Wondwosen and fellow law students at Howard University School of Law on behalf of Mumia throughout her law school tenure, and has had the privilege of offering pro bono legal research support to Mumia’s legal team. Andrea is a Feminist We Love because she gives voice to members of our community who are often silenced and rendered invisible by their own families, some activists groups, and the mainstream media. Her groundbreaking work charts new territory in the literature on mass incarceration.
Tanzina Vega is a digital correspondent for CNN Politics where she covers the intersection of technology, politics and civil rights.
Prior to working at CNN, Tanzina was a staff reporter for The New York Times, where she covered digital media and advertising for the business section, race and ethnicity for the national section and the New York City courts for the metro section. She was also Web producer for The Times and joined the paper in 2006 as a news clerk and a stringer. Tanzina began her career at CMP Media, a technology trade magazine publisher, where she was a research editor and helped pioneer the company's first podcast.
NPR's Code Switch included Tanzina in their "Journalists — Of Color! — To Watch In 2014" list and The Huffington Post listed Tanzina as one on of the 40 top Latinos in American media. She has won various awards for her multimedia work, including being part of the Emmy-winning team that produced One in 8 Million for The New York Times in addition to awards from the National Press Photographers Association. Stony Brook University listed Tanzina in their "40 Under 40" alumni honors program and Mediate.com called Tanzina one of the best writers who tackled race in 2014.
Born in New York City, Tanzina received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the State University of New York at Stonybrook. She has taught English as a foreign language in Barcelona, Spain and JinJu, South Korea and earned her Masters in Multimedia Journalism from City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism.