Anthropology Magazine

Police Violence and the Pandemic

Police Violence and the Pandemic


An interview with anthropologist Laurence Ralph, who wrote The Torture Letters, reveals how legacies of anti-black racism connect to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SAPIENS host Jen Shannon interviews Laurence Ralph, a professor of anthropology at Princeton University. Ralph is also a co-director of Princeton’s Center on Transnational Policing, the editor of Current Anthropology, and the author of the new book The Torture Letters: Reckoning With Police Violence, which exposes the Chicago Police Department’s history of torturing black men and women, and documents the community activism intent on stopping such violence.

The poll Jen mentions in this episode was conducted by Monmouth and published on June 2, 2020.