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  • Geoff Ward (a1)


Prominent U.S. police officials have advocated greater acknowledgement of the role of law enforcement in historical racial injustice, including violence, in hopes of transforming police community relations. While an encouraging development, these calls for transformative justice understate the scope of this historical and contemporary problem, neglecting the often extralegal nature of police involved violence and injustice, its array of spectacular and more subtle forms, and the layered roles of state and non-state actors in perpetrating and sanctioning White supremacist violence. Drawing on historical records of racist violence implicating police, this paper analyzes overlapping aspects of White supremacy in policing, including racist ideologies and political acts of law enforcement officers and officials, and more routine underpolicing of White supremacism by legal authorities. This backdrop of normative racist violence - physical, cultural, and structural – must inform a contemporary transformative justice agenda, including demands for explicit and robust protection from White supremacism in policing.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Geoff Ward, Department of African & African American Studies, Washington University in St. Louis, Campus Box 1109, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130-4899. E-mail:


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