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New Harvard, UPenn law prof has anti-police history, blames cops for the ‘devaluation of black life’


Campus Reform, Austin Brown

A new Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School visiting professor has published several works that promote anti-police tropes, even blaming cops for the “devaluation of Black life.”

In 2018, Amna Akbar published a research paper, “Toward a Radical Imagination of Law,” which calls for “studying not only the critiques offered by radical social movements, but also their visions for transformative change.”

Akbar, previously at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, “writes and teaches about the theories and practices of social movements and social change, and policing, race, and inequality.” She will spend the new academic year teaching “Law, Lawyering, and Social Movements” at UPenn’s Carey Law School through the fall, and will offer “Criminal Law 4” and “Racism and Anti-Racism” at Harvard Law during the spring term.

[RELATED: Professor claims only White people can be racist]

In “Toward a Radical Imagination of Law,” Akbar argues that by considering the “visions” of radical, intersectional social movements, law schools will be better equipped to understand and teach about societal injustice.

Her paper contends, “These visions should push legal scholars toward a broader frame for understanding how law, the market, and the state co-produce intersectional structural inequality, and toward agendas that focus not on building the power of law and law enforcement, but on transforming the state and society and building the power of marginalized communities.”

Akbar takes direct aim at the police, saying, “Over time, police have been central to the agenda of racial capitalism and the devaluation of Black life.”

Her anti-police views are also expressed in a 2020 New York Times op-ed, “The Left Is Remaking the World.” Akbar praises various social justice movements, including the push for defunding the police and promoting the Green New Deal, which she claims “would upend the status quo and redistribute power from elites to the working class.”

She also suggests these causes as interrelated, noting, “Police violence, global warming and unaffordable housing are not disconnected, discrete problems; instead, they emerge from colonialism and capitalism. Organizers recall these histories, and tell stories of freedom struggles.”

[RELATED: Professor calls it ‘admirable’ to murder ‘racist, homophobic, or transphobic speakers’]

Akbar reinforces her opposition to the police in a piece for the spring 2023 edition  of Dissent, titled “The Fight Against Cop City.” Akbar commends those who recently protested the construction of a police training facility in Atlanta, dubbed “Cop City,” while writing that “Stop Cop City is a struggle for the many over the few, no matter how hard they try to make it appear otherwise.”

Campus Reform contacted Akbar, the Moritz College of Law, Harvard Law, and UPenn Carey Law School for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow Austin Browne on X.

Republished with permission from Campus Reform

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