A Prehistory of Blue Lives Matter

Lecture Description

When African-American youth Sagon Penn shot two white policemen who were beating him on the streets of San Diego in spring 1985, his defense attorney argued that it was self-defense, and members of the jury agreed. This talk explores the afterlives of the Penn case, a case that did not see Penn convicted but did see him destroyed. Tracing the reaction of many white San Diegans and the ongoing fury of the local police, the talk examines how critiques of racism in policing begat revanchism rather than reform.


Crime, Violence, Incarceration Post-1945

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