What I Am Thinking About Now: Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, “Policing as the Public Theater of Racial Degradation”

, Room 103

Please join us for a “What I Am Thinking About Now” presentation by Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Brown University and an affiliated faculty with the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, IL.  

“Policing and the Public Theater of Racial Degradation”
Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) expanded the police’s power to stop, search and frisk citizens. This decision disproportionately impacts how police are able to control and abuse people of color. Legal scholars rarely interrogate how the Terry case codified the ability of the police - not just to stop, frisk and racially profile – but also to humiliate and degrade. In fact, it transformed policing into a type of “public theater” for “racial degradation ceremonies.” These ceremonies are defined by punitive excess and allow officers to repeatedly reenact the marginalized status of people of color – a performance intended for white audiences. I end with a critique of the role of humiliation and social degradation as a form of state-sanctioned violence and pretrial punishment that allows police to circumvent the criminal court system almost entirely.

RSVP: [email protected]. Snacks and caffeine will be provided.

“What I Am Thinking About Now” is an on-going informal workshop/seminar series to which faculty and graduate students are invited to present and discuss recently published work and work in progress. All are invited to attend and participate.