Beyond Thoughts and Prayers: Strategies to Eradicate Anti-Black Police Violence

On June 25th, the Department of Public Policy (DPP) and the University of Cincinnati will be hosting a webinar from 5pm - 7pm entitled “Beyond Thoughts and Prayers: Strategies to Eradicate Anti-Black Police Violence"

Modern anti-Black police violence predates the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. This present-day abuse continues a long tradition of Black population control dating back to the days of slavery. Violence against Black people is often accompanied by anti-Black bias in the criminal legal system (including the courts, probation, and parole) and has devastating consequences for Black communities across the nation. Our panelists will come together to think constructively about strategies to eradicate police violence against Black people in the United States. During this conversation we want to interrogate ways to bring about change in order to bring solutions to fruition.


Thomas Craemer

Thomas Craemer, an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy, obtained a political science doctorate from the University of Tuebingen, Germany (2001), and Ph.D. from Stony Brook University, New York, (2005). His research focuses on implicit racial attitudes and race-related policies like slavery reparations.


Brandi Blessett

Brandi Blessett is an Associate Professor and Director of the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Cincinnati. Much of her recent work acknowledges the disproportionate effects the criminal legal system has on people and communities of color. Her research focuses on administrative responsibility, disenfranchisement, and social equity.

Jack Mewhirter

Jack Mewhirter is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. He studies the emergence of society and the policy tools available to correct them. His work examines the organizations charged with the implementation of policies, the factors that impact organizational effectiveness, and the evaluation of implemented policies.

Rob Kenter

Rob Kenter is the Director of Law Enforcement Field Engagement at the Center for Policing Equity, a nonprofit   research center and think tank. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Old Dominion University and served over 30 years with the Norfolk Police Department before retiring in 2020.

Brian Williams

Brian N. Williams, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Public Policy in the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. As a scholar committed to action research, he examines the interplay between race, policing, and public governance. His work is devoted to redesigning policies and practices that improve police-community relations.

Ivonne Roman

Ivonne Roman has 25 years of experience in policing, serving every rank from police officer to police chief, in the Newark Police Department. In 2017, she established the Women’s Leadership Academy (WLA) within the Newark  Police Superior Officers’ Association, to increase female representation in law enforcement.

Frank Adderley

Frank Adderley is the Chief of the West Palm Beach Police Department. Previously, he served for 10 years as the first African-American Chief of Police in the City of Fort Lauderdale. He is Past President of the Broward Chiefs Association, serves on the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Dangerous Narcotics and Drug Committee, and is a former member of the Florida Commission on the Status of Black Men and Boys.

On June 10, 2020, DPP Department Head Mohamad Alkadry shared his thoughts with students and colleagues:

Dear Colleagues and DPP Students,

We are very saddened by the events that brought anti-Black police violence to the forefront of our national dialogue. After the COVID-19 Pandemic reminded us of the importance of professional public servants to protecting our communities, the murder of George Floyd came to highlight the disparities of outcomes of administrative actions and public policies for people of color. It was beyond devastating to watch George Floyd pleading for his life for nearly 9 minutes without any compassion from other officers who watched him get killed by another officer. Nothing excuses that behavior.

We have seen too many people of color unnecessarily die at the hands of people who are supposed to protect them. The murder of George Floyd is not an isolated incident and it is not one without policy remedies. Therefore, we wanted to provide a forum for our students and colleagues to engage in how we can avoid tragedies like this in the future.

Colleagues from UConn and the University of Cincinnati, and I, are inviting you to a discussion about strategies and policy actions to prevent excessive use of force and violence by law enforcement professionals against people of color.

You will hear from academics and practitioners about strategies to prevent future incidents. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions and make comments.

I hope you will join us on Thursday, June 25th at 5 PM.

Sincerely yours,

Mohamad G. Alkadry

To RSVP to this FREE webinar, please complete this registration form. The webinar link will be sent to you upon registration.