Skip to main content.

Policing, Race and Community Safety: One Year After George Floyd

This month marks the sober anniversary of the police murder of George Floyd, which ignited global protests and renewed efforts to reform or dismantle conventional policing across the nation. To some, the recent conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin signaled the launch of a new era of police accountability. But in the weeks leading up to the trial’s conclusion, police in Chicago fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright, 20, who died at the hands of police during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb. Just minutes before the Chauvin verdict was read, police in Columbus, Ohio, fatally shot 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. This webinar examines the price our society pays for a criminal-legal system that disproportionately arrests, punishes and kills Black people. How does the system shape health and life outcomes, not just for individuals who come in direct contact with the system but in whole communities? How might we break seemingly intractable patterns by understanding police violence as a public health and social crisis? How do we advance police accountability and public safety policies through evidence-based approaches grounded in equity? And how can reporters best cover on this fraught and evolving story in original and powerful ways?

WHEN: May 19, 2021, from 11 a.m. to noon PT / 2-3 p.m. ET

REGISTER: [Now closed / watch video above]


Andrea M. Headley, Ph.D. is a scholar of public management, racial equity, and criminal justice policy, an assistant professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a visiting scholar of race, policing and crime at the National Police Foundation. At the heart of her research lies the question how can we create a more effective and equitable criminal justice system? She has studied ways to improve police-community relations in communities of color, assessed the effect of race during use of force encounters, evaluated the impact of body-worn cameras, examined the results of national police reform commissions, analyzed outcomes of citizen complaints, and explored the gendered norms and cultures in policing. Her research has been published in journals including the Public Administration Review, the American Review of Public Administration, and the Journal of Criminal Justice, and funded by the Department of Justice, National Science Foundation, and, most recently, the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center. Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, she was an assistant professor in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University and a postdoctoral fellow in the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Frank Edwards, Ph.Dis a sociologist broadly interested in social control, the welfare state, and race. An assistant professor of criminal justice at Rutgers University, he conducts research on the causes and consequences of the social distribution of state violence through two projects. One provides detailed analyses of the prevalence of police-involved killings in the US. His 2019 study showing police violence is a leading cause of death for young Black men has been widely cited. This project also evaluates how institutions and politics affect the prevalence of police violence. His other major area of research focuses on child protection systems as key sites of family disruption. This work shows that American child protection systems are tightly intertwined with carceral and welfare policy systems, and that race and colonization play a central role in explaining who is affected by policies of family separation. Dr. Edwards has published research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Public Health, and other outlets. His research has been covered in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The PBS News Hour, and other outlets. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Washington in 2017 and joined the Rutgers-Newark School of Criminal Justice in 2018.

Topher Sanders covers race, inequality and the justice system for ProPublica. Over the past year, he has done hard-hitting reporting on abusive practices and accountability failures within the NYPD. In 2019, he was part of a team that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Public Service and won the Peabody and George Polk awards for their coverage of President Trump’s family separation policy. In 2018, he and reporter Ben Conarck received the Paul Tobenkin award for race coverage and the Al Nakkula award for police reporting for their multi-part investigation “Walking While Black,” which explored how jaywalking citations are disproportionately given to Black pedestrians. His reporting has won other national awards including a NABJ Award, an Online Journalism Award, and the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim award for excellence in criminal justice reporting. He is a two-time winner of the Paul Tobenkin award for coverage of racial intolerance and discrimination. In 2016 Sanders co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit working to increase the number of investigative reporters and editors of color. He is a graduate of Tuskegee University and started his journalism career at The Montgomery Advertiser in Montgomery, Alabama.

This webinar is free and made possible by The California Endowment. 

Panelists' slides: 

For Prof. Frank Edward's slides, click here.

For Prof. Andrea Headley's slides, click here.

For Topher Sanders' slides, click here.

Suggested reading

Inspecting the NYPD ‘Puzzle Palace’, ” by Topher Sanders, ProPublica

Still Can’t Breathe,” by Topher Sanders, ProPublica, and Yoav Gonen, THE CITY, video by Lucas Waldron, ProPublica 

Over a Dozen Black and Latino Men Accused a Cop of Humiliating, Invasive Strip Searches. The NYPD Kept Promoting Him,” by Joaquin Sapien and Topher Sanders, ProPublica, and Nate Schweber for ProPublica 

Walking While Black,” by Topher Sanders and Kate Rabinowitz, ProPublica, and Benjamin Conarck, Florida Times-Union

Risk of Being Killed by Police Use of Force in the United States by Age, Race–Ethnicity, and Sex,” by Frank Edwards, Hedwig Lee, Michael H. Esposito, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.

“Family Surveillance: Police and the Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect," by Frank Edwards, RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 2019.

Aggressive Policing, Health, and Health Equity,” by Michael Esposito, Savannah Larimore, Hedwig Lee, Health Affairs, April 30, 2021

America’s Policing Crisis,” The New Yorker, May 2, 2021


Our California Fellowship supports reporters in the Golden State pursuing ambitious projects on overlooked health and health equity issues.


Follow Us



CHJ Icon