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CSLS Speaker Series: NIKKI JONES

Monday, October 21, 2019 @ 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

The Center for the Study of Law and Society 
& cosponsor Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice
are pleased to announce the next speaker in the Fall 2019 CSLS Speaker Series




Professor of African American Studies at University of California, Berkeley


Speaking on her research

“Color-Blind Cops: How Racism Makes Its Way into Everyday Policing”

(co-authors Kenly Brown, Eduardo Bautista Duran, Kaily Heitz, Jasmine Kelekay, Gil Rothschild Elyassi, Geoffrey Raymond)


This paper presents preliminary findings from an analysis of over 80 hours of ethnographic interviews conducted with police officers during ride-alongs in a major metropolitan area in the western U.S.  Specifically, we use micro-interactional concepts (Schegloff 2005, Van Manaan 1978), along with literature on everyday racism and spatial racism (Anderson 2014, Bonilla-Silva 2016), to document and explain the ways that officers’ seemingly race-neutral categorization of people and places informs, by their own account, how they interact with members of the public generally and, more specifically, how and why they manage encounters differently with people in “certain” parts of the city. In contrast to discussions of implicit bias, which suggests that officers are not conscious of the biases they deploy during interactions with the public, we show how officers consciously construct “nice” people and “people in the projects” as fundamentally different and how understandings of Black Space remain central to officers’ encounter logics even in places outside of Black Space (Anderson 2014). Our analysis reveals how tacit racist biases documented in classic ethnographies on policing have evolved into a form of institutional expertise that affirms disparate patterns of treatment in everyday policing. This reliance on colorblind forms of expertise acts as a vehicle for the construction and maintenance of spatial and racial inequality in the city. These distinctions are especially consequential in high-surveillance Black and Latinx neighborhoods where colorblind framing of racial difference legitimizes routine expressions of dominance and aggression during the earliest stages of encounters.



Please join us on Monday, October 21 from 12:45-2:00p in the Philip Selznick Seminar Room, 2240 Piedmont Ave. 


Coffee and water are provided. We invite you to bring your own “bag lunch.”
We are looking forward to seeing you soon!


Catherine Albiston, Faculty Director


Monday, October 21, 2019
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Center for the Study of Law and Society


Philip Selznick Seminar Room
2240 Piedmont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720-2150 United States
+ Google Map

Events are wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, contact the organizer of the event. Advance notice is kindly requested.

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