School of Law to host panel discussion on police reform March 23

Police Reform panel flyerRuqaiijah Yearby, associate of dean of institutional diversity and inclusiveness at the School of Law, will host a panel on “Police Reform: Why Respect for Difference Matters” Wednesday, March 23, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the law schools moot courtroom (Room A59).

Videotaped images of individuals being killed or severely injured during interactions with police currently permeate the national media and discourse. While the images are new, the deaths of Americans—in particular members of marginalized communities—at the hands of police are not new. The shift to militarized policing from community-oriented policing plays a crucial role.

Over the course of several decades, attempts have been made to institute police reforms to ensure that police departments do not engage in use of excessive force. When the individuals killed at the hands of law enforcement belong to a minority group due to their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and/or mental health status calls have been made for bias-free, culturally sensitive policing. This panel will engage civil and criminal defense lawyers, law enforcement officials, government attorneys, and the broader community in a discussion on how diversity plays a role in police reform efforts and provide suggestions for police reform.

The panelists will be:

  • Daniel S. Chaplin, solo-practitioner who represents mentally ill clients in Cleveland
  • Ayesha Bell Hardaway, visiting professor of law
  • Michael L. Nelson Sr., president of the Cleveland Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • Maya Simek, director of programming at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland and founder/staff-attorney of the Community Lawyering Program at the Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center

A reception will follow the panel discussion from 6 to 7 p.m. in the School of Law lobby.