This is a modified version of a presentation made to the British Association of American Studies on Saturday, 15 November 2014
A 2013 report published by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement called “Every 28 Hours” details 313 individual instances of black men and women killed in 2012 by police, private security guards or lone vigilantes, who typically avoid state sanction for such violence.  Such a culture of violence has a long, storied tradition in the United States, particularly with regards to the history of metropolitan police forces. It is my aim to briefly examine three separate incidents, two in New Orleans and one in Los Angeles, separated by a period of more than 100 years, to identify common elements of this narrative of state-sanctioned violence against black people and also common elements of radical black resistance to the same.
While much of the contemporary narrative of police…
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