Craemer Studies Reparations & Biases Among Black Police Officers

Thomas CraemerFor over 15 years, UConn School of Public Policy (SPP) Professor Thomas Craemer has been publishing about reparations. At the end of 2022, he joined Professor Kaycea Campbell as an economic expert for California’s Reparations Task Force. During this meeting, Professor Campbell provided their background and context to the Force’s questions on:

  • Unjust Property taken by Imminent Domain
  • The Devaluation of Black Business
  • Housing Discrimination and Homelessness
  • Disproportionate Black Mass Incarceration and Over Policing
  • Health Harms

In early March, he acknowledged challenges to data collection including Redlining in the case of housing. Professor Craemer also noted that Redlining solely did not encompass all injustices within this area. During this meeting he also offered alternative models that focused on inequities pre and post 1977. Later in the month, he led a discussion on the strategies developed to calculate California’s “Harm to Beneficiary Class.” He provided preliminary estimates on health harms, disproportionate black mass incarceration and over policing and housing discrimination. Following the meeting he spoke with Fox 40 on how the Force should go beyond the estimates of the economic experts to determine the “right amount.”

The following month he joined AFRO in their discussion about reparations for Black Californians. When discussing the five focuses of the Task Force, Professor Craemer emphasized the importance of looking at the data alongside the actions of the state. This combination could then be used to increase defensibility against challengers. He also noted that the economic experts were not estimating reparations but rather the losses of African American descendants of slaves in the United States. 

California’s Reparations Task Force issued their full report in June. Professor Craemer was cited in Part IV regarding the “Methodologies for Calculating Compensation and Restitution. The report made policy recommendations related to addressing:

  • Enslavement
  • Racial Terror
  • Political Disenfranchisement
  • Housing Segregation & Unjust Property Raking
  • Separate and Unequal Education
  • Racism in Environment & Infrastructure
  • Pathologizing the African American Family
  • Control Over Creative, Cultural & Intellectual Life
  • Stolen Labor and Hindered Opportunity
  • Unjust Legal Systems
  • Mental and Physical Harm and Neglect
  • The Wage Gap

In June, Professor Craemer joined The Conversation to discuss how “slave owners received reparations.” He noted that payments went to former slave owners or their descendants. His contribution was part of a larger discussion about why reparations remain unresolved

Most recently in August he co-authored a paper with Professor D’Andra Orey from Jackson State University. Their paper entitled “Black and Blue: Black Police Officers’ Implicit and Explicit Biases in Split-Second Decisions to Shoot or Not to Shoot Unarmed Black Civilians” was published by the Journal of Policy Studies at Graduate school of Public Administration (GSPA) at Seoul National University (SNU). Utilizing Du Bois’ “double consciousness” theory they explored the experiences of Black police officers. Their abstract explains,

The research reveals that these officers’ interactions with unarmed Black civilians are influenced by their implicit identification with the Black community and their awareness of ongoing racial inequality in the U.S.  However, internalized racism also leads to shooting errors, with officers viewing Black civilians through harmful racial stereotypes. The study, which involved 43 Black officers from various departments in the deep South, utilized a simulation game to assess decision-making under time pressure.