State Sanctioned Violence: Criminalizing Black Bodies

Updated: Jul 6




On this episode of American Origin Stories, we examine the history policing and law enforcement in the United States. Specifically, by focusing on the racialized origins and implementation of American policing, the disparate treatment and impact of the criminal justice system, and the enormous and lasting reach of incarceration, we will highlight the depth of state sanctioned violence against Black people.


Joining the conversation is special guest (and personal friend) Heather Brown, an attorney and former Public Defender in Hennepin County, where George Floyd was killed. She talks about her experiencing the in criminal justice system and the constant abuse that her clients suffered, not only at the hands of police officers, but also through the racist practices that make the system unfair for Black citizens.





Guest Bio:


Heather Brown is a federal-sector employment law Attorney in Washington, DC. Her work primarily focuses on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) law and employment discrimination.


Heather is committed to public service and empowering communities through legal outreach. Previously, she was an Assistant Public Defender in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Baltimore, Maryland. Heather is a proud alumna of Spelman College and Washington University School of Law.




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