Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Bad Apples Come From Rotten Trees in Policing: Pursuing Racial Equity in Policing

Dr. Rashawn Ray

Dr. Rashawn Ray, David M. Rubenstein Fellow 

The Brookings Institution, Professor of Sociology University of Maryland 

*Sponsored by the Franklin College’s Visiting Scholar Program

Zoom Link:  

George Floyd’s death significantly shifted public opinion as 76% of Americans (including 71% of Whites) agreed that incidents such as the killing of Floyd are signs of racism within law enforcement. This racial awakening and acknowledgement of racism is further confirmed by police brutality inflicted onto protestors and highlighted in the killing of Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake. While the public outcry often includes the views of the general public, missing, especially in the academic literature, are police officers themselves as well as a proper evaluation of use of force and proposed reforms (such as defund the police). Over the past several years, Ray collected interview, survey, social media, and virtual reality data with police officers, activists, and civilians. His findings show how implicit bias contributes to racial disparities in policing. His research indicates that police reforms focused on implicit bias trainings and body-worn cameras fall short because they do not address how the structural, cultural, and organizational components of policing obstruct accountability and contribute to over-policing, racial profiling, and racial disparities in policing killings. Ray concludes by discussing how a series of evidence-based policy prescriptions that focus on reallocating and shifting funding within police department budgets and innovative trainings using virtual reality technology can help transform policing in America. 

Support African American Studies at UGA

The Institute defines support in diverse ways to give you as many options as possible to assist in our mission. We consider “friend-raising" as important as fund-raising. Your financial contributions and support help us to develop and strengthen our programs and offerings, both on campus and in the community. 

Your gift makes a big difference. Learn more about how you can donate today.

Study within African American cultural history provides a basis for understanding political, social, and economic relations throughout human history.