May 7, 2018
NYU DC Dialogues hosted a panel discussion called, The Epidemic of Police Brutality. Despite decades of progression and advancement in human rights since the Civil Rights and Jim Crow era, America is still perpetuating the same challenges.
In light of recent movements and headlining stories of black and brown men and women losing their lives at the hands of law enforcement, the issue of police brutality — while it never left — is brought, again, to the surface. Police brutality and police shootings of unarmed people of color has become an epidemic in our country. Whether it be systemic, interpersonal, ideological, internalized, or institutionalized, oppression and racism are very much intertwined in the fabric of the United States.
The panelists included Andrea Ritchie and Jonathan Capehart who broke down, analyzed and discussed this problem and what we can do to enforce change.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart is a member of The Washington Post editorial board, writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog and hosts the “Cape Up” podcast. He is also an MSNBC Contributor, who regularly serves as a substitute anchor, and has served as a guest host on “Midday on WNYC” on New York Public Radio.
Capehart is a regular moderator of panels at the Aspen Ideas Festival and for the Aspen Institute, the Center for American Progress and at the Atlantic Dialogues conference and the Brussels Forum of the German Marshall Fund. He has also moderated sessions at the Atlantic’s Washington Ideas Forum and for the Connecticut Forum.
Capehart was deputy editorial page editor of the New York Daily News from 2002 to 2004, and served on that paper's editorial board from 1993 to 2000. In 1999, his 16-month editorial campaign to save the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem earned him and the board the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. Capehart left the Daily News in July 2000 to become the national affairs columnist at Bloomberg News, and took a leave from this position in February 2001 to serve as a policy adviser to Michael Bloomberg in his first successful campaign for New York City mayor.
Andrea Ritchie is a Black lesbian immigrant and police misconduct attorney and organizer who has engaged in extensive research, writing, and advocacy around criminalization of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color over the past two decades. She recently published Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color now available from Beacon Press.
Ritchie is a nationally recognized expert and sought after commentator on policing issues. She has testified before the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Prison Rape Elimination Commission, and several United Nations Treaty Bodies. She has appeared regularly in the New York Times, as well as on MSNBC, C-Span, NBC Nightly News, NPR, Al-Jazeera, and Mother Jones. Her blogs and opinion pieces have been published in The New York Times, The Root, Colorlines, Rewire, Cassius Life, Portside, Praxis, Bilerico and TruthOUT.
Ritchie is currently Researcher-in-Residence on Race, Gender, Sexuality and Criminalization at the Social Justice Institute of the Barnard Center for Research on Women. In 2014 she was awarded a Senior Soros Justice Fellowship to engage in documentation and advocacy around profiling and policing of women of color – trans and not trans, queer and not queer.
Ritchie is also the co-author of Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women (African American Policy Forum July 2015); A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People Living with HIV, (Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School 2014); Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Beacon Press 2011), Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in the United States (Amnesty International 2005); and Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBT Youth, YMSM and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex, Urban Institute. 2015; and author of Law Enforcement Violence Against Women of Color, in The Color of Violence: The INCITE! anthology (2006, South End Press).
Ritchie was lead counsel in Tikkun v. City of New York, groundbreaking impact litigation challenging unlawful searches of transgender people in police custody, contributing to sweeping changes to the NYPD’s policies for interactions with LGBTQ New Yorkers. She also served as co-counsel to the Center for Constitutional Rights in Doe v. Jindal, a successful challenge to Louisiana’s requirement that individuals convicted of “crime against nature by solicitation” register as sex offenders, and Doe v. Caldwell, the class action filed to remove all affected individuals from the registry, resulting in relief for over 800 class members.
NYU DC Dialogues is a student-led group that seeks to engage the NYU DC student cohort and the local community in key discussions on politics, culture, business, environment, education, and more. DC Dialogues hope that this panel will convene both a student and public audience for an evening of education and much-needed discussion on the topic of police violence, for it plagues many Americans each day and we feel mustn't go unnoticed.