A Duke University sociology professor who studies “the way state power is legitimized (and) shapes inequalities in communities” will be the next speaker at CSUSB’s ongoing Conversations on Race and Policing.

Tony Cheng, assistant professor of sociology and author of The Policing Machine: Enforcement, Endorsements, and the Illusion of Public Input,” will be the guest of the program at noon Monday, March 18, on Zoom. The program, free and open to the public, can be accessed from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android at https://tinyurl.com/csusb-race-policing.

Cheng, on his website, writes that “‘The Policing Machine’ is about how police resist institutional reforms by cultivating political capital from the community constituents they empower.” In it, he examines how the New York City Police Department has resisted change through strategic and selective community engagement.

Cheng has a Ph.D. from Yale University and a J.D. from New York University Law School. Before teaching at Duke, he was a faculty member in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine.

The Conversations on Race and Policing program began after the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, and its aftermath. Floyd, a Black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, triggering extensive protests, demands for systemic reform in policing, and profound dialogues on race and racism. This also led to the inception of Cal State San Bernardino’s Conversations on Race and Policing, abbreviated as CoRP.

In subsequent court cases, three other former Minneapolis police officers implicated in Floyd’s death were given prison sentences.

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.

One hundred forums have taken place since, and video recordings of the sessions are posted online on the Conversations on Race and Policing Lecture Series Archive. 

Upcoming programs, which will all take place at noon on Zoom, include:

The series is organized by Matt Patino (CSUSB alumnus and adjunct faculty member at Crafton Hills College); CSUSB faculty members Mary Texeira (sociology) and Jeremy Murray (history); Robie Madrigal, public affairs/communication specialist for the CSUSB John M. Pfau Library; Michael German, fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice; and community member Stan Futch, president of the Westside Action Group.

For more information, contact Madrigal at rmadriga@csusb.edu or Murray at jmurray@csusb.edu.

Also visit the Conversations on Race and Policing webpage.