News and opinion compiled from outlets across the country by Policing the USA

A degree in black lives mattering?

Graduate students may soon be able to take a master’s level course to teach students why “Black Minds Matter.” The San Diego State University curriculum was created by professor J. Luke Wood. And for those who are worried that the class may be too radical (or re-enforce the notion that college campuses are skewing far too liberal), brace yourselves. Wood said the point of the course is to teach professors how to “train and prepare educators to mobilize their classrooms around the Black Lives Matter guiding principles” of loving engagement and restorative justice, among others. Wood said his goal is to “change the paradigm in how teachers see their role in education.” The course has managed to bring conservative groups and civil rights activists together on at least one point — dropping its funding. Members in both camps have lodged complaints with SDSU about the course’s use of public money. Wood’s response? This class is not about developing radicals; it’s about a radical new way of making sure that young black boys are nurtured in the classroom. 

Body slammed for car keys

What reason would an Aurora, Colo., cop have for choking a woman and forcing her to the ground? The woman scratched him and drew blood, he said. But the altercation seems to have started over car keys, and appears to end with him kicking her in the head.

OyZhana Williams, 23, has filed a lawsuit against Sgt. Michael Hawkins and two other officers on the Aurora police force for the incident, which happened one night in December 2015. The confrontation occurred outside the University of Colorado Hospital, and was caught on hospital surveillance cameras. Williams had taken her boyfriend, who had been shot, to the hospital’s emergency room. When officers asked for her car keys, so they could examine her vehicle as part of their investigation, she refused to hand them over. That’s when the incident appears to have escalated. Hawkins placed his hands around Williams’ neck and forced her to the ground. Other officers held her down while Hawkins appears to kick her in the head. 

Hawkins’ name may sound familiar. He was lauded as a hero in 2012…