ABA book looks at Ferguson and how to clear paths to change

As the nation continues to grapple with the after effects of multiple cases involving police using deadly force to kill unarmed African-American males, which has eroded the public’s assurance of police, prosecutors, judges and public defenders, a new book offers meaningful paths to help build and sustain confidence in the justice system.

The American Bar Association book “Ferguson’s Fault Lines: The Race Quake That Rocked A Nation,” edited by Kimberly Jade Norwood, a professor of law at Washington University Law in St. Louis, offers a historical tour of race, inequality and injustices in America, which collided in Ferguson, Mo., after the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer. It offers varying perspectives and strategies for recognizing and dealing with implicit biases that contribute to disparities in the justice system.

The book, published in conjunction with the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law, examines some of the underlying issues that have led to the recent cases of deadly force and subsequent national dialogue. They include: The history of racial violence against black bodies: from slavery to Ferguson; stereotypes, racial bias, masculinity and the implications on policing; lessons learned from grand jury proceedings; for-profit policing and efforts to transform the system; the politics of housing segregation in Greater St. Louis; exploration of 60 years of unequal education (Brown to Brown); employment statistics and the criminalization of black lives; disparities in mental and physical health, employment and opportunity; media framing of the narratives presented to the public: black versus white; Ferguson and the First Amendment; body cameras and policing in the 21st Century.

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