Breaking the Chokehold: A Radical Approach to Disrupting the Policing System


Missed the event? View a timeline of the conversation here.

What does it mean to identify as Black and male in a time defined by Black Lives Matter, stop and frisk laws, My Brother’s Keeper, and the routine killing of unarmed Black folks followed by the subsequent acquittals of police officers responsible for these deaths? In his timely new book, Chokehold: Policing Black Men, Georgetown law professor and former federal prosecutor Paul Butler interrogates the damning imagery and policies that place Black men in a “chokehold” which constantly surveils and subjects them to state sanctioned violence. Doing for policing what Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow did for mass incarceration, Butler’s Chokehold examines the systemic brokenness of policing and criminal justice in the United States through cutting edge research and policy solutions.

Paul Butler is a former federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice and current Brick Professor of Law at Georgetown University. In addition to publishing the widely reviewed Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice and many scholarly articles on criminal law, Butler routinely provides legal expertise as a commentator for MSNBC and CNN.

Join New America on July 27th for a conversation about race and the criminal justice system with Butler and New America Fellow and Georgetown University professor Marcia Chatelain.

Copies of Chokehold: Policing Black Men will be available for purchase by credit card or check.

The event will be live streamed on this page. You can follow the conversation online with #BreakTheChokehold and @NewAmericaFCSP.


Paul Butler, @LawProfButler
Author, Chokehold: Policing Black Men
Brick Professor of Law, Georgetown University

Marcia Chatelain, @DrMChatelain
Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow, New America
Associate professor of history and African American studies, Georgetown University


S. Melody Frierson
Project Manager, Millennial Public Policy Fellowship, New America