Urban Wire Reflections on research, race, and policing
Nancy G. La Vigne, Nicole Weissman
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This post is part of a series from Urban scholars reflecting on recent events involving police use of force and shootings of police. The posts represent the individual thoughts and perspectives of their authors.

Recent events in the areas of law enforcement and public safety have been a topic of much discussion and reflection among Urban scholars. The shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile by police the week of July 3, followed by the shootings of police in Dallas, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, shook many communities, including our own.

In one discussion, someone pointed out that as citizens, we feel the pain of these events immediately, but as researchers, we are forced to honor the systematic and sometimes long academic process in our attempts to offer solutions and recommendations.

Developing a single blog post on such complex topics proved impossible, so instead we’ve chosen to share reflections from Urban scholars as part of a series on recent events and their broader implications. These posts demonstrate just a few of the perspectives on these tragic events, their roots, and their aftermath.


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The Urban Institute podcast, Evidence in Action, inspires changemakers to lead with evidence and act with equity. Cohosted by Urban President Sarah Rosen Wartell and Executive Vice President Kimberlyn Leary, every episode features in-depth discussions with experts and leaders on topics ranging from how to advance equity, to designing innovative solutions that achieve community impact, to what it means to practice evidence-based leadership.


Research Areas Race and equity Crime, justice, and safety
Tags Victims of crime Racial and ethnic disparities Policing and community safety Race, gender, class, and ethnicity Racial and ethnic disparities in criminal justice Structural racism
Policy Centers Justice Policy Center