Panel discussion tackles recent police-involved shootings 

The discussion, "Columbus, Tulsa and Charlotte: What's Next?," was held in the McBridge Gathering Space in the Numen Lumen Pavilion. 

The Council on Civic Engagement at Elon on Monday hosted an academic discussion following a string of police-involved shootings around the country this month that resulted in the deaths of two black men and a black teenager. 

Titled “Columbus, Tulsa and Charlotte: What’s Next?,” the discussion in McBridge Gathering Space in the Numen Lumen Pavilion was moderated by Buffie Longmire-Avital, associate professor of psychology. 

Panelists included: 

  • David Baker, Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Coventry University
  • Damion Blake, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies
  • Steve Friedland, Senior Scholar and Professor of Law
  • Anthony Hatcher, Associate Professor of Communications
  • Sandra Reid, Lecturer in Human Service Studies

Driven largely by questions and comments from the audience, the broad discussion touched on aspects of how better promote the discussion of racial disparities in class and across peer groups, what steps can be taken to help ensure more peaceful encounters with law enforcement and how changes in police training might impact the likelihood of officer-involved shootings in the country. 

The panelists offered insights from both their academic work as well as their personal lives, with Reid drawing from her work in the juvenile justice system, Friedland using insights from his time as a federal prosecutor and Hatcher his work as a journalist. 

Monday’s panel discussion was organized based on requests from students for a forum to discuss these broader issues, and comes after a gathering and march organized by the Black Student Union in support of the Black Lives Matter movement was held on campus on Friday, Sept. 23.