Slideshow

THE POLICING IN AMERICA SYMPOSIUM: On Behalf of the Community

August 16th, 2017

THE POLICING IN AMERICA SYMPOSIUM:  On Behalf of the Community

By Eric J. Miller* The development of the institutional approach to policing, and procedure more generally, is one of the most exciting features of criminal procedure over the past decade. More accurately, there are a series of institutional approaches—doctrinal, philosophical, sociological, empirical—that all claim that there is independent value in regulating the police, separate from the additional value of protecting suspects’ rights.

THE POLICING IN AMERICA SYMPOSIUM: Rafa Esparza’s Red Summer

August 16th, 2017

THE POLICING IN AMERICA SYMPOSIUM:  Rafa Esparza’s Red Summer

Yxta Maya Murray* This essay analyzes the contributions that performance artist Rafa Esparza’s 2016 performance art piece  Red Summer offers to legal analyses of police brutality and police killings of people of color.  Building on the Demosprudence jurisprudence of Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres, as well as the author’s study of “artifacts” (that is, artwork that creates meaning of legal significance), the author considers how Esparza’s invocation of grief and anguish combats official disdain of anti-police brutality social movements and etiolated legal responses to police killings. On Saturday, August 13, 2016, from dawn to dusk, performance artist Rafa Esparza carved weapons out of dead trees in a small clearing of Los Angeles’s Elysian Park.  His piece, commissioned by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles for its Made in L.A. biennial exhibition,[1] was titled  RED SUMMER, freedom is an endless meeting.  And I don’t miss your heat.  But here we are […]

THE POLICING IN AMERICA SYMPOSIUM: American Policing in the Post-Ferguson Era

August 16th, 2017

THE POLICING IN AMERICA SYMPOSIUM:  American Policing in the Post-Ferguson Era

By Justin Nix* American policing is currently in the midst of a legitimacy crisis, fueled primarily by numerous highly publicized fatal shootings of black citizens over the last two and a half years.[1] Arguably the most consequential was the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This incident sparked protests throughout the United States and fueled the growth of the Black Lives Matter Movement and Campaign Zero, which have helped raise awareness about police use of force.[2] Since Ferguson, many claims have been made about crime, policing in general, and police use of force – particularly against minorities. I outline and discuss some of the more prominent claims below, and comment on the need for better official data, which would provide for a more informed national dialogue on police use of force. I conclude by reviewing some promising avenues for police training moving forward.

THE POLICING IN AMERICA SYMPOSIUM: We Need to Talk About Police Disciplinary Records

August 7th, 2017

THE POLICING IN AMERICA SYMPOSIUM:  We Need to Talk About Police Disciplinary Records

By Kate Levine* In March 2017, an employee of New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board leaked the disciplinary record of Daniel Pantaleo to the media.[1] Pantaleo, the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death in the video[2] that went public and horrified many citizens, is under federal investigation[3] after a Staten Island grand jury refused to indict him for Garner’s death.[4] Legal Aid Society attorneys had unsuccessfully sought the release of his records in the courts for years.[5] The leak of his records is the public face of an important but rarely discussed issue facing police, legislators, judges, lawyers, and scholars who care both about transparency for public servants and privacy for individual citizens: how and when police should be forced to make their disciplinary records public.

THE POLICING IN AMERICA SYMPOSIUM: Introductory Notes on Investigating the Legitimacy of Police Power and Accountability

August 7th, 2017

THE POLICING IN AMERICA SYMPOSIUM:  Introductory Notes on Investigating the Legitimacy of Police Power and Accountability

By Frank Kearl In March of 2015 the U.S. Department of Justice released its report on the Ferguson Police Department.  In the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown, the DOJ spent six months interviewing the city’s police force, reviewing tens of thousands of pages of police records and emails, participating in ride-alongs, and working with statistical experts to analyze data on stops, searches, citations, and arrests.[1]  Their report concluded that the Ferguson Police Department aggressively enforced the city’s municipal code with “insufficient thought given to whether enforcement strategies promote[d] public safety or unnecessarily undermine[d] community trust and cooperation.”[2]

JASON LIBOU WRITING COMPETITION WINNER: Guilty of Homelessness: The Criminalization of Homelessness in the United States

August 6th, 2017

JASON LIBOU WRITING COMPETITION WINNER:  Guilty of Homelessness:  The Criminalization of Homelessness in the United States

Each year, the Urban Law Journal holds the Jason Libou Online Writing Competition, which considers student-written work on topics in urban planning, education, urban criminal justice, and energy and sustainability. Samantha Frankel‘s piece on the growing problem of homelessness in U.S. cities, this year’s winning submission, explores the ways in which urban governments, rather than addressing the causes of homelessness, have enacted anti-homeless laws that serve to exacerbate the problem.

DOJ Drops Long Battle Against Texas Voter ID Law With Case Pending in Fifth Circuit

April 11th, 2017

DOJ Drops Long Battle Against Texas Voter ID Law With Case Pending in Fifth Circuit

By Brendan Kreckel On April 9 the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the second time that a 2011 Texas voter ID law was passed with intent to discriminate against eligible minority voters. This decision comes just three months after the the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (“DOJ”) dropped its complaint opposing the Texas bill, which imposed new ID requirements for eligible voters at the polls. The DOJ withdrew after three years and close to $1 million worth of litigation.

Will Your Next Emergency Room Visit be Broadcast on National Television?

March 23rd, 2017

Will Your Next Emergency Room Visit be Broadcast on National Television?

By Shaun Prunotto  American television audiences have long enjoyed “reality” programs that grant unfiltered access to emergency personnel at work. Police actions are frequently documented and broadcast by programs such as A&E’s Live PD and Cops, which recently aired its 1,000th episode. Production companies, including ABC News (“ABC”) and Discovery, expanded the genre by embedding camera crews in some of the nation’s busiest emergency rooms and trauma units. Mark Chanko’s death in 2011, however, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (“NYP”) and its subsequent broadcast on ABC’s NY Med has resulted in proposed legislation, a $2.2 million settlement between a federal agency and NYP for violations of the federal HIPAA Privacy Rule, and an ongoing legal battle in New York’s state courts. While the effect this backlash will have on the genre’s overall feasibility is still unknown, the genre’s filming practices within New York are changing dramatically.

Progressive Movement Building in Trump’s America

March 13th, 2017

Progressive Movement Building in Trump's America

By Frank Kearl  In the wake of President Trump’s inauguration, the Women’s March sounded the beginning of a new progressive awakening with echoes of past political uprisings. American cities have always been central venues in fights for social justice. From the Boston Tea Party through the women’s suffrage movement, from the Birmingham Bus Boycott to Occupy Wall Street, people in urban centers have historically shaped the narrative around progressive movements and have helped catalyze change. Cities have begun to strike back against the anti-democratic efforts of their state courts and legislatures. By studying the organizational structures of prior social justice movements, today’s activists can build the foundation for a new era of radical social change.

New York’s “free” wifi kiosks come with a not-so-private catch

February 25th, 2017

New York’s “free” wifi kiosks come with a not-so-private catch

By Eric Hornbeck Through a program known as LinkNYC, slab-like kiosks are replacing the increasingly unused payphones on the sidewalks of New York City. The kiosks offer much more than the phone calls that can be made from payphones: the kiosks have tablets with internet access, charging stations and wifi service that expands as far as 150 feet. As more kiosks go up, it’s hard for New Yorkers not to notice them — or the ads targeted to the very pedestrians walking by.