Panel Profile: The Future of Policing in America

FAS is proud to present our 2016 panel: the Future of Policing in America. This year’s panel seeks to address issues of police brutality, racial injustice, abuse of power, and directions for future reform. Featured panelists include Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis, co-founder of Muslims for Ferguson Linda Sarsour, Baltimore Sun investigative journalist Mark Puente, and policy analyst Donovan X. Ramsey. The panel discussion will be moderated by Amnesty International Interim Director Margaret Huang.
 
Drawing from the speakers's different perspectives from law enforcement, activism, public policy, and journalism, this panel presents a unique opportunity for students to engage in a discussion that is crucial to the future of Baltimore. With the events of Freddie Gray last year and following protests with many Hopkins faculty and students actively participating, we seek to continue this dialogue and find meaningful ways to address the problems that greatly affect the Baltimore community. Before joining us this evening at 7:30 PM in Shriver, take a look at some debates, articles, and editorials by panel members and prominent figures in the conversation.

Fas '14 Speaker Dr. Cornel WEst ANd Fox News Commentator Megyn Kelly Discuss BLM and "Black-on-Black" Violence

“You know when you socially neglect a people, when you economically abandon people, when you transfer wealth from them to the well to-do generation after generation, how will they respond? They will respond with unbelievable levels of sad forms of despair... This is true in the Appalchia, it’s true with the indigenous people, it’s true all around the world. It’s a human thing when you abandon folk.”
— Cornel West on "black-on-black crime"
Black girls are subject to discipline that’s harsher than punishment doled out to white girls; they’re also six times more likely to be suspended. (Black male students suffer, too, but the racial disparity in punishment is greater for girls than it is for boys.) On the street, black girls face police harassment just like their brothers and male cousins.
— Alex Ronan

Panelist Mark Puente's Investigative Report for the Baltimore Sun on the Use of Tasers by Baltimore PD

"The first-ever data analysis of all Taser incidents in Maryland reveals that police agencies across the state have predominantly used the devices against suspects who posed no immediate threat. In hundreds of cases over a three-year period, police didn't follow widely accepted safety recommendations."

Image courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

Image courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

Panelist Donovan X. Ramsey, FiveThirtyEight: Tracking Police Violence a Year After Ferguson

Still, a full year after Brown’s death, the government is without a reliable system for tracking police use of force. Experts say given the nature of the phenomenon and the difficulty of measuring it accurately, it’s not likely we’ll have one any time soon. Yet recent developments, including new proposed legislation and a White House initiative, could make tracking police violence a whole lot easier.
Image courtesy of The Atlantic

Image courtesy of The Atlantic

In America, we have decided that it is permissible, that it is wise, that it is moral for the police to de-escalate through killing... When police can not adhere to the standards of the neighborhood, of citizens, or of parents, what are they beyond a bigger gun and a sharper sword? By what right do they enforce their will, save force itself?

When policing is delegitimized, when it becomes an occupying force, the community suffers.
— Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Conservative Review: Responding to Black Lives Matter

When is President Obama going to stand up and lead on the issue of violent rhetoric directed at our nation’s police officers? Although a direct connection between many of the recent assaults on police officers and the Black Lives Matter movement is still tenuous, it’s difficult to argue that chants of “Pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon” are helping diffuse community tensions with the police. Yet, President Obama has still refused to publicly denounce the group.
— Dan Bongino, former Secret Service agent
Image courtesy of The Atlantic

Image courtesy of The Atlantic

When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is “correct” or “wise,” any more than a forest fire can be “correct” or “wise.” Wisdom isn’t the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the community.
— Ta-Nehisi Coates