Rethinking the Use of Force in American Policing

In late July, as the scorching Miami heat pounded the pavement, three gunshots rang into the air. The rounds, fired from the weapon of a police officer, didn’t strike a criminal; nor were they fired during a high-speed chase or a violent altercation. They struck Charles Kinsey, a behavioral therapist, while he was lying down on the ground with his hands up – with an autistic patient, only 23 years old, sitting next to him. The use of deadly force in American policing is one that has become deeply ingrained…

Cultural Appropriation Needs a Facelift

In early September, author Lionel Shriver gave a polemic keynote speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival. Her controversial theme of choice, which prompted an abrupt walkout and scathing review by Australian activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied, was the rejection of political correctness enshrouding identity politics. Shriver dismissed the concept of cultural appropriation as creating impossible conditions under which to write fiction or even operate as a society, and she expressed her hope that it is a mere “passing fad.” Shriver’s speech pointed to one of Fordham’s very own law professors, Susan Scafidi,…

The Lowdown on Stop and Frisk

Amid the crossfire of insults and exchange of wisecracks during last Monday’s presidential debate was a probing discussion on the contentious relationship between law enforcement and African American communities nationwide. The conversation about America’s criminal justice system has been especially pertinent given this past summer’s shootings in Dallas, which resulted in the tragic deaths of five police officers, alongside the more recent display of civil unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina. Throughout the conversation, both candidates played deftly to their respective ideological visions. Clinton expressed a desire to restore trust in…