In the media: Cathy Lisa Schneider, author of Police Power and Race Riots

We recently featured Cathy Lisa Schneider, author of Police Power and Race Riots, in the first of our series of Fall 2014 season author Q&As. We haven't been the only ones interested in learning more about Scheider's book. Here's a round-up of media attention that Scheider has been getting of late.

American University Research: "1964 New York Police Riot Déjà Vu in 2005 Paris"

Wars on crime, immigration, and drugs and similar coded appeals to racial fears allow politicians to win votes, which in turn pressures police to enforce racial boundaries, according to new research from School of International Service associate professor Cathy Schneider.

"Police are not rogue agencies," says Schneider. Schneider's research looks at the 1964 riot that erupted in New York when a white police officer shot and killed a black teenager three weeks after President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. 

The New York riot set off almost a decade of Black and Latino riots that crisscrossed the United States. Yet, by the late 1970s, riots had become rare in the United States. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, particularly in Great Britain and France, they became more frequent. Schneider wanted to know why.

American University School of International Service: "Cathy Schneider on Urban Upheaval" "Understanding Police Violence & Race Riots in Paris and New York"

[I]n racially divided societies, police are tasked with policing racial boundaries. Police violence occurs often when political candidates during election campaigns activate racial boundaries by scapegoating stigmatized minorities and immigrants, winning elections by appealing to the voters’ fears. In modern times, these fears are often coded as wars on crime, drugs, terrorism, immigration, or a combination of all four. When candidates win election on these grounds, they inevitably pass laws that criminalize behaviors common in minority neighborhoods, and lift prohibitions on police violence. A system of rewards for mass arrests of minorities and immigrants, and lack of public accountability leads to egregious police abuses. In other words, police respond to political pressures imposed by leaders who win elections by playing on racial prejudice.

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