January 23, 2020
Professor and Chair of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis
Title: "Policing White Supremacy"
Studies of protest policing emphasize how the actions of police and other authorities are conditioned by the degree of threat associated with factors such as the size or capacity for violence of protest targets. While past work focuses on threat perception and thus recognizes the constructed nature of protest threats, we have limited understanding of how how such factors operate within protests to shape police orientations and actions. Through a comparative analysis of two cases notable for their association with white supremacist violence – the policing of the civil rights-era Ku Klux Klan and the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville – this presentation focuses on police agents' preparations for, and operational considerations within, protest events to consider how a social movement’s political orientation shapes how it is policed.