Fordham Law

Symposium Analyzes Police-Citizen Interaction in Urban Landscape

October 19, 2012

The Fordham Urban Law Journal hosted its annual Cooper-Walsh Colloquium on “Legitimacy and Order: Analyzing Police-Citizen Interactions in the Urban Landscape.” The colloquium was organized in conjunction with Professor Susan Block-Lieb, the Cooper Family Chair in Urban Legal Issues, and Vice Dean Sheila Foster, the Albert A. Walsh Chair of Real Estate, Land Use, and Property Law, and took place on Friday, October 19.

This year’s event featured roundtable discussions of four articles that the Fordham Urban Law Journal will publish in its spring 2013 Cooper-Walsh issue. For each article, a brief introduction was followed by a response and roundtable discussion.

The colloquium’s contributors included the following professors:
  • Professor Alafair Burke from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
    Burke discussed the policing of the Occupy movement, noting how police departments have failed to use community policing principles in their responses and arguing that both police and protestors could further their own legitimacy by using community policing as a model to foster cooperation.
  • Professor Bennett Capers from Brooklyn Law School
    Capers queried how the Fourth Amendment can serve, not to limit public surveillance, but rather to harness public surveillance’s full potential to benefit communities through monitoring police, reducing racial profiling, and ultimately increasing perceptions of legitimacy.
  • Professor Jeffery Fagan from Columbia Law School
    Fagan examined how the widespread use of coercive police authority produces incursions on dignity, focusing on the balance of harms and purposes, and the tragedy of the criminal justice commons that has grown with the spread of order maintenance policing.
  • Professor Alexandra Natapoff from Loyola Law School Los Angeles
    Natapoff traced the influence of aggregation through each step of the urban misdemeanor process, demonstrating how that process has effectively abandoned the individuated model of guilt and lost the essential characteristics of a “criminal” system of legal judgment.

Commentators included Professor Markus Dubber from University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Professor Lenese C. Herbert from Albany Law School, Professor Christopher Slobogin from Vanderbilt Law School, and Professor Ekow Yankah from Cardozo School of Law.