The infiltration of white supremacists and militia extremists in police departments in the United States will be the focus of the next Conversations on Race and Policing, to take place virtually at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23.

“White Supremacists and Militia Extremists in Police Departments” can be accessed from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at This will be the 17th event in the series that began in June. 

A report in August – “Hidden in Plain Sight: Racism, White Supremacy, and Far-Right Militancy in Law Enforcement” – by one of the panelists, Michael German, a former FBI special agent and now a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty & National Security Program, said that while police reforms often include training in implicit bias to eliminate discriminatory practices, such reforms have not addressed explicit racism.

“Explicit racism in law enforcement takes many forms, from membership or affiliation with violent white supremacist or far-right militant groups, to engaging in racially discriminatory behavior toward the public or law enforcement colleagues, to making racist remarks and sharing them on social media,” German’s report said. “While it is widely acknowledged that racist officers subsist within police departments around the country, federal, state, and local governments are doing far too little to proactively identify them, report their behavior to prosecutors who might unwittingly rely on their testimony in criminal cases, or protect the diverse communities they are sworn to serve.”

Scheduled to join German on the panel are:

  • Vida Johnson, associate professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to joining the center, Johnson was a supervising attorney in the trail division at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she worked for eight years. Johnson earned her law degree from New York University Law School in 2000 and a B.A. in American History from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995.
  • Sam Levin, Los Angeles correspondent for the British daily newspaper, The Guardian. He reports on breaking news, technology, politics, labor, the environment, criminal justice, housing, immigration, and a range of other topics relevant to California and the West. Related to the panel, The Guardian on Aug. 27 published Levin’s article, “White supremacists and militias have infiltrated police across US, report says,” which was an interview with German about his report for the Brennan Center. Levin graduated from Columbia University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies.

Conversations on Race and Policing began in the aftermath of the May 25 death of George Floyd while in the custody of four Minneapolis, Minn., police officers. A video of the incident posted on social media has led to widespread protests, the firing of four police officers, the arrest of one officer on a second-degree murder charge, the other three on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder – and a spotlight worldwide on race and policing.

Previous forums also are posted online (more recordings will soon be available for viewing) on the CSUSB History Club Lecture Series YouTube channel:  

On June 16 the College of Arts and Letters presented “Structural Racism, Civil Disobedience, and the Road to Racial Justice in the Age of COVID-19,” which is also posted on YouTube.

The university’s June 9 memorial for Floyd also focused on the Black Lives Matter movement.

And, related to the university’s conversations series, Netflix is making the 2016 Ava DuVernay film, “13th,” available for free on its YouTube channel. Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.

The ongoing Conversations on Race and Policing series is hosted by CSUSB students Marlo Brooks and Yvette Relles-Powell.

The series is organized by Brooks and Relles-Powell, CSUSB faculty members Mary Texeira (sociology) and Jeremy Murray (history), Robie Madrigal, public affairs/communication specialist for the CSUSB John M. Pfau Library, and community member Stan Futch, president of the Westside Action Group.  

For more information, contact Robie Madrigal at or Jeremy Murray at

Conversations on Race and Policing No. 17 flyer