Racial Profiling, Security, and Human Rights: State-Sanctioned Violence and Anti-Blackness

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The police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, a transman, sparked the current uprising, but we shouldn’t forget the much longer list of people, women and trans people included, we’ve lost because of police brutality and the violence that civilians, vigilantes supposedly enforcing law and order in their communities, also inflict on innocent Black people like Ahmaud Arbery and, some eight years ago, Trayvon Martin. (In my other recent posts, I also point out the vulnerability of Indigenous and Latinx people to disproportionate police violence.)

In March 2013, the University of Florida’s Center for the Study of Race & Race Relations, a unit within the Levin College of Law, convened its 10th Annual Spring Lecture & Symposium. The focus that year was on Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who killed him. Most of the papers presented in “At Close Range: The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin” were reviewed and revised for publication in the online UF Law Repository. As of today, those ten papers have been downloaded more than 24,000 times. There is an interactive world map that shows where readers are located and the particular papers they’ve downloaded since 2013. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you’ll see the map: https://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/csrrr_events/.

The paper I contributed to the symposium, “Racial Profiling, Security, & Human Rights,” has been downloaded more than 7,000 times from readers in many parts of the world. Last month, I was invited to contribute an op-ed article to a Slovakian newspaper, because the Deputy Director of the Foreign Desk had read this essay, which you, too, can download from the following site:


The article’s historical background and analysis of policing, human rights violations, and the carceral state are just as relevant today as they were in 2013.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

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