Policing and Protests

Over the past few years, the nation can’t help but notice interactions between the police and black people. For many years, black people have cried their eyes out about the injustice they’ve experienced from police, but we never really saw it as vividly as we have seen in recent years. The relationship between the police and black people have reached its boiling point, and we are actively seeing it play out. There are many images from the recent protests this summer — Dallas, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, as well as many BLM protests from other states and countries around the world. Use the images as a launching pad to discuss the idea of justice — and what that means to you.  Push beyond the either/or thinking of police vs protester, BLM vs ALM.    – JA

Q. Is justice a feasible concept for black people in America?


“I knew that these were theories…that justified the jails springing up around me, that argued for ghettos and projects, that viewed the destruction of the black body as incidental to the preservation of order. According to this theory ‘safety’ was a higher value than justice, perhaps the highest value” (p. 84)

Q. In America, do we value safety more than justice?


“Should assaulting an officer of the state be a capital offense, rendered without trial, with the officer as judge and executioner? Is that what we wish civilization to be?” (p. 131)

Discuss the images in terms of Blue Lives Matter and how this connects to the idea of justice in America.

Officer Donald Givens and Chief Steven Jones respond to “Black Lives Matter” on Facebook




A Dallas police officer who did not want to be identified after the sniper shooting in downtown Dallas




REUTERS/Carlo Allegri  Sun July 10, 2016,

Dallas police officer hugs a man following a prayer circle

Discuss how the image and the tweet above capture a divide in the national conversation post Dallas shooting. How did the media coverage of the Dallas shooting compare to the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile prior to Dallas?



A protester prays near Dallas police officers July 7 after police officers were shot during a protest in Dallas. Snipers shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven more at the demonstration to protest the police killing of black men in Baton Rouge, La., and St. Paul, Minn. (CNS photo/Ralph Lauer, EPA)



In a violent week, Americans turn to poetry


Everything President Obama Just Said About Racism and Policing


After Dallas We Don’t Need To Say Blue Lives Matter


Death in Black and White

Q. Why does race play such a big role in sentencing of black people? Specifically, black males? Is there a fear, and if so, where does that fear stem from?

Racial Disparity

Q. What is the role of religion in the protests and in BTWM?

Black Activism Unchurched


Daniel J. Comacho_The Social Gospel of Ta-Nehisi Coates

“a non-pessimistic reading of Coates’s alleged pessimism”


BTWM Book Club_Not Trying to Get into Heaven


Ta-Nehisi Coates woke me up










A demonstrator raises his hands in front of police in riot gear during protests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 10, 2016. REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 10, 2016. REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON

Associated Press

Protesters march to the state Capitol in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday, July 10, 2016. People are protesting the shooting death of a black man, Alton Sterling, by two white police officers at a convenience store parking lot last week. (Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via AP) ( Scott Clause )


REUTERS    Jonathan Bachman

A brass band performed on North Foster Drive on Wednesday to protest the killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. CreditWilliam Widmer for The New York Times


REUTERS    Jonathan Bachman

Police made dozens of arrests in Louisiana’s capital city during weekend protests around the country in which people angry over police killings of young black men sought to block some major interstates. (Max Becherer)


14 Must Read Reactions to Baton Rouge Police Shooting






July 2016, Getty Images


ASSOC PRESS July 27, 2106   Tyler Clark Edwards of St. Paul raises his fist in the air in front of a large photo of Philando Castile, as protesters encamped in front of the Governor’s residence in St. Paul, Minn. pack up their belongings Tuesday, July 26, 2016.


MHP on the Mothers of the Movement: I Am With Them


Why Don’t Black and White Americans Live Together?


Why Do US Police Keep Killing Unarmed Black Men?


Mapping Police Violence


Math/ STATS/ Data —

A great deal of stats are being reported about police killings, homicide trends and crime data. This is an important opportunity to look at inconsistencies and omissions when it comes to statistics.


The COUNTED Database on US Police Killings


Young black men killed by US police at highest rate in year of 1,134 deathS


Q. What is the impact of how we report data?

US Department of Justice Homicide Trends












Members of the community hold hands in front of police officers in riot gear outside a recently looted and burned CVS store in Baltimore, Maryland on April 28, 2015. Photo by Jim Bourg/Reuters



Patrick Semansky—AP





Baltimore residents march for justice and an end to police brutality on April 23, 2015. (Photo: Getty)



The Justice Department’s Report

Justice Department Issues Scathing Report On Baltimore Police Department


Justice Department Finds Pattern Of Discrimination In Baltimore Police

Black Activism, Unchurchedm

Racial Disparity

Have the class watch a few of these videos and them share their thoughts on them: