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Department of Justice, Law & Criminology


Public Affairs, School of
Kerwin Hall

Phone: (202) 885-2940 Graduate programs: Undergraduate programs:

Public Affairs, School of
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016

Ferguson: Race, Law, and U.S. Society

Panel Discussion - September 17th, 7:00PM-9:00PM, Ward 1

On September 17th, SPA's Department of Justice, Law and Criminology hosted a panel discussion on the legal context of the recent events in Ferguson, MO. The panelists discussed and responded to questions related to the race and policing issues that boiled over on the streets of St. Louis and across the country in the summer of 2014. The panel featured faculty members from several departments across campus, including, Chana Barron (JLC), Cathy Schneider (SIS), Steve Taylor (GOVT), and Thomas Zeitzoff (JLC). JLC Department Chair Richard Bennett moderated the panel.


Richard Bennett (Chair, JLC) – Moderator

Professor Bennett's research interests include comparative criminology, comparative criminal justice, and police organization and procedures. He has published extensively in the area of cross-national crime, policing and comparative police systems. As a Fulbright Senior Scholar, he has studied crime and justice issues in developing nations. He serves on the editorial board of various criminal justice journals and is the past president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.


Chana Barron (JLC)

A lawyer and social scientist, Prof. Barron received her Master's degree from the Department Of Justice, Law and Criminology at American University. She practiced criminal law as both defense counsel and prosecutor. Her Ph. D. studies focused on Criminology and the Sociology of Law. Prof. Barron's research interests focus on gender, the death penalty and the role of law in society –i.e., what should the law be and what should it do to insure a just society.

Ron Hampton (former Exec. Director, National Black Policing Association)

Ronald Hampton worked in law enforcement in Washington, D.C., for 23 years, first on the street, and then as a community relations officer. He was also heavily involved in program development, education and crime prevention. He retired from the police force in 1994, but continued his work as the executive director of the National Black Police Association. Today he teaches criminal justice at the University of the District of Columbia.

Cathy Schneider (SIS)

Cathy Lisa Schneider writes and teaches on social movements, collective violence, policing, criminal justice, immigration and racial and ethnic discrimination in Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Her publications include the books Police Power and Race Riots: Urban Unrest in Paris and New York and Shantytown Protest in Pinochet's Chile and the articles, among others, "Violence and State Repression: Debating the Arab Spring," "Police Power and Race Riots in Paris," "Violence, Identity and Spaces of Contention in Argentina, Chile and Colombia," "Racism, Drug Policy and AIDS," and "Framing Puerto Rican Identity."

Steven Taylor (Govt)

Professor Taylor's teaching and research focus on urban politics, the politics of race and ethnicity, civil rights and liberties, and political culture both in the U.S. and West Africa. His published works include the book "Desegregation in Boston and Buffalo: the Influence of Local Leaders." Taylor has been awarded fellowships by the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. An educator who is also involved in his local community, Professor Taylor has served on the Montgomery County, Maryland Human Rights Commission and on the Transit Advisory Group for the Montgomery County Department of Public Works and Transportation.

Thomas Zeitzoff (JLC)

Dr. Thomas Zeitzoff is an assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University. He received his Ph.D. in Politics from New York University in 2013, and was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University. His research examines why individuals participate in political violence, why groups fight, and the political and psychological effects of exposure to violence. As part of his research, he has conducted extensive fieldwork and survey research in Israel, Mexico, and Turkey.