Constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky will discuss how the U.S. Supreme Court, through a series of rulings over the last half century, has enabled racist policing and sanctioned law enforcement excesses when he presents “Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights” at the next Conversations on Race and Policing program.

The presentation will take place on Zoom at noon Wednesday, April 27, and is free and open to the public. It can be accessed from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at CSUSB College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Dean Rafik Mohamed will moderate the session.

Chemerinsky’s talk takes its title from his latest book, which examines a “decades-long history of judicial failure in America, revealing how the Supreme Court has enabled racist practices, including profiling and intimidation, and legitimated gross law enforcement excesses that disproportionately affect people of color,” according the book’s website.

The dean of Berkeley Law at UC Berkeley and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law since 2017, Chemerinsky also was the founding dean and Distinguished Professor of Law and Raymond Pyke Professor of First Amendment Law at UC Irvine from 2008-17. Prior to that, he was the Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2008, and from 1983-2004 was a professor at the University of Southern California Law School, including as the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science. From 1980-1983, he was an assistant professor at DePaul College of Law.

Conversations on Race and Policing, also known as CoRP, began in the aftermath of the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd while in the custody of four Minneapolis, Minn., police officers. A video of the incident posted on social media led to widespread protests, the firing of four police officers, the arrest and conviction of one officer on a second-degree murder and related charges, the other three on charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder – and a spotlight worldwide on race and policing.

The series has featured scholars, journalists, law enforcement officers, lawyers, activists, artists, educators, administrators and others from throughout the nation who shared their experience and expertise on issues related to race and policing.

More than 50 forums have taken place, and video recordings of the sessions are posted online on the Conversations on Race and Policing Lecture Series Archive. 

The next scheduled Conversations on Race and Policing, each at noon on Wednesdays, include:

The series is organized by CSUSB students Marlo Brooks, Zoralynn Oglesby, Evelyn Jimenez, Jade McDonald, Jaime Castro and Connie Cornejo; Mary Texeira, CSUSB professor of sociology; Jeremy Murray, CSUSB associate professor of 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

Also visit the Conversations on Race and Policing webpage.

Conversations on Race and Policing April 27 event flyer.