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Office of News & Public Affairs

BC Expert: Racial Injustice in Garner Case

office of news & public affairs

Ruth McRoy

Ruth McRoy
Donahue and DiFelice Professor

School of Social Work
Boston College

(617) 552-4363 (office)   |   512-426-5828 (cell)

Ruth McRoy's teaching focuses on the history and philosophy of American Social Welfare; her research and scholarship has focused such many topics including racial disproportionality in child welfare, family preservation, kinship care, openness in  adoptions, adoptive family recruitment and retention, minority recruitment, racial identity development, transracial adoptions, older child adoptions, and post-adoption services. She has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters and ten books, including: Tran racial and In racial Adoptees: The Adolescent Years (with L. Zurcher), Special Needs Adoptions: Practice Issues,  Openness in Adoption: Family Connections (with H. Grotevant), Challenging Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare (with Deborah Green, Kathleen Belanger, and Lloyd Bullard)  and Intersecting Child Welfare, Substance Abuse and Family Violence:  Culturally Competent Approaches (with R. Fong, and C. Ortiz-Hendricks) and Building Research Culture and Infrastructure (with J. Flanzer & J. Zlotnik).




“This Garner decision is clearly another situation of racial injustice.  How many more deaths of African American men at the hands of police officers will it take before something is done to examine police training, attitudinal beliefs of police officers about African American men, and factors that go into police officer decision making in response to a crime? We must look especially at developing strategies to build awareness, knowledge and relationships between the police and African American communities. Through building relationships, police can begin to overcome racial stereotypes and biases which often impact their decision making.  Officers need to become familiar with and deconstruct their often negative bases towards the people who live in the neighborhoods they serve and they must be held accountable for their unfair use of force.  Much more effort should be underway to racially diversify police forces and make them more reflective of the communities they serve. 

It is also critical to address the police officers' use of guns, chokeholds and other often deadly strategies to subdue a suspect.  Thus use of deadly force must stop!

Lastly, we must focus on prevention initiatives in communities through advocating for better educational and job opportunities for those that live in low income communities. There also should be opportunities to hear from residents about their perceptions of police departments as well as to hear about their hopes, dreams and challenges.  It's time to act-to support, protect and engage these communities to promote better outcomes and reduce their vulnerability.”



Media Note: For assistance or to request a source on another topic, please contact Sean Hennessey, BC Office of News & Public Affairs: 617-552-3630 (o); (617) 943-4323 (c)

Contact information for additional Boston College faculty sources on a range of subjects is available at: /offices/pubaf/journalist/experts.html

Sean Hennessey
Associate Director
Office of News and Public Affairs
Boston College

(617) 552-3630 (office)
(617) 943-4323 (cell)