Briefing Room


Moritz hosts Ferguson discussion

December 4, 2014 | Events

A standing-room only discussion on recent events in Ferguson, MO, on Tuesday, December 2, featured Moritz professors Joshua Dressler, Amna Akbar, Ric Simmons, and Sharon Davies. They discussed the legal standard for self-defense, the history of race related protests, the structure of grand juries, and unconscious bias in American society.

“As lawyers, it is important to tie the abstraction you learn in class back to reality,” said Dean Alan C. Michaels, who moderated the event.

Panelists: Amna Akbar, Assistant Professor of Law; Sharon Davies, Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity; Joshua Dressler, Distinguished University Professor and Frank R. Strong Chair in Law; Ric Simmons, Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Professor for the Administration of Justice and Rule of Law

Moderated by Alan Michaels, Dean & Edwin M. Cooperman Professor of Law

Ferguson Panel


A podcast of the event is available here.

Professor Akbar’s presentation is available here: Akbar presentation – Ferguson

In 140 characters or less:

How we prevent these types of tragedies from occurring in the future” is most important thing to focus on now – @DresslerJoshua #Ferguson

“What we ought to be concerned about is how we train the police” @DresslerJoshua @OSULawExperts #Ferguson #FergusonDecision

“We have an obligation to take Ferguson seriously.” @orangebegum at #Ferguson panel discussion

“Every 28 hours, a black person is killed by police, security or vigilante.” – @orangebegum #Ferguson

“We also need to take seriously protest.” – @orangebegum speaking on #Ferguson at @OSU_Law

“What we are seeing in Ferguson and across the country is a movement moment.” – @orangebegum speaking on #Ferguson at @OSU_Law

“Grand jury has become tool of the prosecutor” @OSULawExperts Prof Simmons #FergusonDecision

“Grand jury is a tool of the prosecutors. Indictments returned 99%of the time.”  #Ferguson @OSU_Law

Grand jury proceedings typically last a few minutes, pro-forma procedure. #Ferguson GJ heard 60 hours of testimony. Ric Simmons @OSU_Law

There are some reasons to believe the grand jury got it right, and there are some reasons to believe they got it wrong -Ric Simmons @OSU_Law

“This is a moment for us as a nation to think about a larger question – why do these events keep happening?” @OSU_Law Prof. Sharon Davies

“How is a 12-year-old assessed to be a lethal threat to police?”@OSU_Law Prof. Sharon Davies on #TamirRice

“This is not just a police problem we are talking about. It is an ‘us’ problem.” @OSU_Law @KirwanInstitute Prof. Sharon Davies

“Black boys have to assume that others will assume that they pose a threat – a lethal threat.” @OSU_Law

“Black males are faring the least well on every metric of human life.” @OSU_Law @KirwanInstitute Prof. Sharon Davies

As lawyers, it’s important to tie the abstraction you learn in class back to reality  – @OSU_Law Dean Alan Michaels at #Ferguson panel

“We are often unaware of how race is affecting our decision-making.” @OSU_Law @KirwanInstitute Prof. Sharon Davies

Media Coverage

Columbus Dispatch