COVID-19 – Racial Equity and Social Justice

Find below a reading list on policing, put together by the UB School of Law

A. Some Context

The History Of Police In Creating Social Order In The U.S.

Reposted from NPR
June 5, 2020

“NPR’s Ailsa Chang talks with Chenjerai Kumanyika, an assistant professor at Rutgers University, about the historical role of police in preserving power and social order.”

[Read more]

George Floyd: Five pieces of context to understand the protests

By Alice Cuddy
Reposted from BBC News
June 5, 2020

“George Floyd, 46, was arrested in the city of Minneapolis on 25 May for allegedly using counterfeit money to buy a pack of cigarettes. He died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, while he pleaded that he could not breathe.”

[Read more]

Police the Public, or Protect It? For a U.S. in Crisis, Hard Lessons From Other Countries

By Amanda Taub
Reposted from The New York Times
June 11, 2020

‘No justice, no peace. No racist police!’ Weeks of nationwide demonstrations, in which that chanted demand has echoed in streets across the United States, have made one thing clear: The American police face a crisis of legitimacy. And its consequences reach far beyond policing itself.”

[Read more]

B. Defund… Abolition

M4BL, “Invest-Divest,”;

Defund Police/Defend Black Lives form at

How Much Do We Need The Police?

By Leah Donnella
Reposted from NPR
June 3, 2020

“One effect of the widespread protests across U.S. cities this week has been to renew discussions of what role the police should play in society.”

[Read more]

The Only Solution Is to Defund the Police

By Alex Vitale
Reposted from The Nation
May 31, 2020

“The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor prove what we already knew—police “reform” has failed.”

[Read more]

Police “Reforms” You Should Always Oppose

By Mariama Kabe
Reposted from TruthOut
December 7, 2014

“I read today that President Obama has offered some measures for ‘reforming’ the police. Here is a simple guide for evaluating any suggested ‘reforms’ of U.S. policing in this historical moment.”

[Read more]

Critical Resistance

“Reformist reforms vs. abolitionist steps in policing”’

We Won’t Stop Until We Dismantle the Whole Racist System

By Lane Mullet
Reposted from American Friends Service Committee
June 4, 2020

“In this moment of truth, we cannot lose focus on what’s important: Black Lives Matter.”

[Read more]

Bill de Blasio Has Failed the Test of This Moment

By Elie Mystal
Reposted from The Nation
June 1, 2020

“New York’s mayor has floundered in the face of stunning police violence—just like so many other mayors who aren’t prepared to rein in the cops.”

[Read more]

What’s Wrong with Police Unions?

By Benjamin Levin
Columbia Law Review (forthcoming)
January 24, 2020

“In an era of declining labor power, police unions stand as a rare success story for worker organizing—they exert political clout and negotiate favorable terms for their members. Yet, despite broad support for unionization on the political left, police unions have become public enemy number one for academics and activists concerned about race and police violence.”

[Read more]

C. Reformist Plans and Ideas

Draft Democratic proposal seeks big changes to policing

By John Bresnahan
Reposted from Politico
June 6, 2020

“A sweeping new police reform bill being drafted by House and Senate Democrats would ban chokeholds, limit “qualified immunity” for police officers, create a national misconduct registry, end the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases and make lynching a federal crime among other dramatic changes, according to an outline being circulated on Capitol Hill.”

[Read more]

• Campaign Zero at


• Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (January 2020)

• Angela J. Davis, Bryan Stevenson, et al, Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment (2018)

• Andrea Ritchie, Invisible No More: Police Violence against Black Women and Women of Color(2017)

• Danielle Sered, Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair (2019)

• Alex S. Vitale, The End of Policing (2017)

• Implementation Guide for President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, at