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Fla. L. Rev. News

Fla. L. Rev. Forum

Katheryn Russell-Brown
Body Cameras, Police Violence, and Racial Credibility
Response to Iesha S. Nunes, “Hands up, Don’t Shoot”: Police Misconduct and the Need for Body Cameras

Iesha Nunes’s thoughtful and thorough Note, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”: Police Misconduct and the Need for Body Cameras, asks us to consider how to address the problem of police violence tied to racial profiling. Using the rallying cry at the heart of the 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri—“Hands up. Don’t shoot.”—Nunes’s piece focuses on the difficulty of holding police criminally accountable for assault. The legal critique focuses on the fact that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. Nunes’s solution? Arm all law enforcement officers with body cameras. Requiring police to wear body cameras may do some good. However, we must address why Black claims of state violence have historically been dismissed as incredible, non-critical, and rare. We cannot look to cameras (or other technologies), to solve a problem that has historical roots in racial discrimination. Read more.

Fla. L. Rev. Forum

Alex B. Long
Retaliation and the Unreasonable Judge
Response to Sandra Sperino, Retaliation and the Reasonable Person

In one sense, Sperino’s article is somewhat reassuring. But the results were also somewhat horrifying in that they laid bare the reality that too many courts seem to take a view of these matters that I would argue is completely at odds with common sense and the reasons why the law prohibits retaliation in the first place. I think the article does a remarkable job of identifying a serious problem with retaliation law as it has developed since the Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway v. White. What’s more, for reasons I will explain in slightly more detail later, I think Professor Sperino’s proposed solution—that courts define actionable retaliation in terms of an action that is more than de minimis in nature—is not only workable, but one that I can actually envision a court adopting. Ultimately, the article raised two issues for me: (1) why are so many courts so apparently misguided when it comes to determining what might dissuade a reasonable employee from complaining about discrimination and (2) how might a court actually go about adopting Professor Sperino’s proposed solution? Read more.

Environmental Law

Florida Constitutional Law