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While much of the world was sheltering in place in the fallout from the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans’ undivided attention was focused squarely on Minneapolis, Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed at the hands—and knees—of the police.

Floyd’s murder evoked memories of other murders by the police, including those of Walter Scott, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, and Samuel DuBose. Most recently, another unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Deadric Williams
Deadric T. Williams

Assistant Professor of Sociology Deadric T. Williams and Professor of Social Work Armon Perry study racism, inequality, and families, with a focus on Black men and their interactions with law enforcement. In an article for The Conversation, they explain that each of the killings serves as confirmation that concerns about those interactions are warranted. Read the full article on The Conversation.

UT is a member of The Conversation, an independent source for news articles and informed analysis written by the academic community and edited by journalists for the general public. Through our partnership, we seek to provide a better understanding of the important work of our faculty.



Lindsey Owen (865-974-6375,