A trilogy of trepidation: Diverse perspectives on police violence targeting African American males


“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are supposedly “certain inalienable rights” that the Declaration of Independence claims have been gifted to all human beings by their Creator, and for which the U.S. government was created to protect. The issue of violence and brutality against African American males along with the police shooting of unarmed African American males has become a reality of the denial of these rights for some in America. Recent police shooting incidents of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio, in addition to the brutal murder by police of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, have sparked riots, looting, protests, “die-ins,” and national conversations. The subsequent civil unrest across the United States and abroad has attracted widespread public attention. In this article, three authors respond by providing a timely trilogy of uniquely diverse perspectives and viewpoints on these issues giving particular attention to (1) the view from a historical lens and Black Power political framework producing an analysis of the causative factors promoting and sustaining violence against African American males, (2) an examination of criminal justice law, and (3) a look at our way forward.

Publication Title

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment