Panel to discuss implications of Ferguson, New York cases Jan. 21 at Wayne Law

DETROIT – Experts will discuss the legal, social, moral and practical implications of events in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City during a presentation Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Wayne State University Law School.

Wayne Law’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights will present “After Ferguson: A Panel Discussion” from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in Lecture Hall 2242 of the Keith Center at the law school, 471 W. Palmer St. Admission is free, and lunch will be provided. Register at or (313) 577-6530. Parking will be available for $7 (credit or debit cards only) in Parking Structure No. 1 across West Palmer Street from the law school.

The panel will be moderated by Stephen Henderson, managing director/opinion and community engagement for the Detroit Free Press.

Panelists will be:

  • Blanche Cook, a Wayne Law assistant professor and a former assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Saul Green, chair of Detroit’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative
  • Nicholas Klaus, a third-year Wayne Law student who twice has served as an observer in Ferguson for the National Lawyers Guild
  • Portia Roberson, Wayne Law class of 1993, director of the city of Detroit's Civil Rights and Justice Division
  • Steven Winter, Wayne Law’s Walter S. Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law

The background: On July 17, Eric Garner, a black suspect, died in Staten Island, N.Y., after a white police officer put him in a chokehold. On Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis.

Brown’s shooting prompted protests that rocked the area for weeks. On Nov. 24, a grand jury decided not to indict the Ferguson officer. The announcement set off more protests across the nation. On Dec. 3, a grand jury decided not to indict the New York officer involved in the Garner killing, creating more protests. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating in both instances, and the wave of anger they triggered continues as many Americans ask questions about police brutality and racial motives.

Photo of Blanche Cook Photo of Saul Green Photo of Stephen Henderson
Blanche Cook Saul Green Stephen Henderson
Photo of Nicholas Klaus Photo of Portia Roberson Photo of Steven Winter
Nicholas Klaus Portia Roberson Steven Winter


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