Is Policing Racially Biased?

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In 2014, the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO, set off a wave of protests and sparked a movement targeting racial disparities in criminal justice. Since then, there have been other controversial deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement that have captured the public’s attention, from Tamir Rice to Philando Castile. 

But there are some who say that these encounters, many of them recorded, have fed a narrative of biased policing that the data does not back up, vilifying people who are trying to do good in a difficult job that often puts them in harm’s way. What are the statistics, and how should we interpret them? How have recent incidents shaped our view of policing? Does crime drive law enforcement’s use of force, or is there racial bias?

Arguing for the motion:

  • Gloria Browne-Marshall, Associate Professor of Constitutional Law, John Jay College of Criminal Justice & Former Civil Rights Attorney
  • Marq Claxton, Black Law Enforcement Alliance & Retired NYPD Detective

Arguing against the motion:

  • Heather MacDonaldThomas W. Smith Fellow, Manhattan Institute & Author, The War on Cops
  • Harry SternAttorney, Rains Lucia Stern & Former Police Officer


  • Friday, February 3 at 8pm on AM820/NJPR
  • Saturday, February 4 at 10pm on AM820