Pratt Podcasts

Brown Lecture Series: Paul Butler, Chokehold: Policing Black Men

Brown Lecture Series: Paul Butler, Chokehold: Policing Black Men

Cops, politicians, and ordinary people are afraid of black men. The result is the Chokehold: laws and practicees that treat every African American man like a thug. In his new book, former federal prosecutor Paul Butler shows that the system is working exactly the way it's supposed to. Black men are always under watch, and police violence is widespread -- all with the support of judges and politicians.

In his no-holds-barred style, Butler uses new data to demonstrate that white men commit the majority of violent crime in the United States. He also frankly discusses the problem of black on black violence and how to keep communities safer without relying as much on police.

Chokehold powerfully demonstrates why current efforts to reform law enforcement will not create lasting change. Butler’s controversial recommendations about how to crash the system, and when it’s better for a black man to plead guilty—even if he’s innocent—are sure to be game-changers in the national debate about policing, criminal justice, and race relations.

Paul Butler provides legal commentary for CNN, MSNBC, and NPR and has been featured on 60 Minutes and profiled in the Washington Post. A law professor at Georgetown University, he is the author of Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice, winner of the Harry Chapin Media Award. He has published numerous op-eds and book reviews, including in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Washington, D.C.

The Brown Lecture Series is supported by a generous grant from the Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Foundation.

Recorded On: Wednesday, December 13, 2017