Rutgers sociologist Brittany Friedman is available to discuss Black struggles against U.S. police violence and calls for police abolition and defunding in the context of historical movements against chattel slavery, racial violence and white supremacy.

“The contemporary demand to abolish the police is a part of a longstanding struggle by Black abolitionists who rightly point to the historical connection between law enforcement in maintaining chattel slavery, white supremacy and fostering perpetual racial violence,” said Friedman. “Defunding the police is but one step toward dismantling the prison industrial complex, which relies on centuries of dispossession and extraction from Indigenous and Black communities. The contemporary struggle to abolish the police cannot be removed from these histories of Black struggle against racial violence and white supremacy as law enforcement.” 

Friedman is an assistant professor of sociology and faculty affiliate of the program in criminal justice and the Center for Security, Race, and Rights.  Her research examines how the racial and sociopolitical dynamics of penal policy influence punishment severity, incarceration conditions, and the prison social system.

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