News Brief: Detailing the Connection Between Gentrification and Racist Police Harassment

Citations Needed | August 11, 2020 | Transcript

Citations Needed
24 min readSep 16, 2020
Mural featured on the municipal website of Louisville, Kentucky, in a section touting Vision Russell, a gentrification project linked to Breonna Taylor’s death. (


Nima Shirazi: Welcome to a Citations Needed News Brief. I am Nima Shirazi.

Adam Johnson: I’m Adam Johnson.

Nima: You can follow Citations Needed on Twitter @CitationsPod, Facebook Citations Needed and become a supporter of our work through with Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson. We do these News Briefs in between our full-length episodes from time to time. This time around, we’re actually following up on our season three finale, which we did on HGTV and gentrification and there was a recent article in The Appeal that we really thought was incredibly salient to what we had talked about on the episode and so we kind of wanted to do this follow up.

Adam: Yeah. So at the end of the introduction of Episode 116, from our season finale, we talked briefly about some research that had been done showing the direct connection between over-policing and gentrification to kind of establish the stakes of gentrification and we wanted to sort of expound upon it because I do you think it’s a very interesting and extremely relevant and timely fact pattern to establish which is that there is actually a sort of growing, budding field of academic research that confirms or heavily implies or infers a direct connection between over-policing and gentrification, and we wanted to bring on Professor Beck, who wrote about it in, sort of in greater detail, to kind of flesh this out and talk about this in a sort of concrete way, rather than just kind of asserting it. So that’s what we’re going to try to do today.

Nima: Yeah, so from a citation on Citations Needed to an actual guest, we are going to be joined by Professor Beck himself in just a moment to talk about this some more.


Nima: We are joined now by Brenden Beck, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado, Denver, who studies policing, city budgeting, housing markets and suburbanization. He recently wrote about “The Role of Police in Gentrification” for The Appeal. You can follow him on Twitter @BrendenBeck. Brenden, thank you so much for joining us today on Citations Needed.

Brenden Beck: Thanks so much for having me.

Nima: Now, we’ve been talking about gentrification, we’ve been talking about over-policing and how these two oftentimes fit together, of course with real estate interest, and you wrote this really fantastic piece for The Appeal recently called, “The Role of Police in Gentrification,” and many of your findings that you reveal in that article go a long way to confirm what activists have been saying, since I mean, Broken Windows policing tactics emerged decades ago, if not many decades prior to that too, that over-policing, police harassment, racist targeting of certain communities correlates very closely with the needs of real estate and broader political aims for what is often referred to as “urban development” or “turning a city around.” So to start us off here, can you give an overview of your research on this topic and what are some of the key findings?

Brenden Beck

Brenden Beck: Yeah, so the genesis for that Appeal article was Breonna Taylor, her lawyers in Louisville, were alleging that the enforcement action, the police action that ultimately killed Taylor was part of an urban redevelopment initiative, trying to get an associate, a sort of distant associate of Taylor’s, out of the house he was living on Elliott Avenue, living on Elliott Avenue in Louisville. And I don’t have any particular insight into what was happening in Louisville whether the economic development department sort of gave the signal to the police that they’d really appreciate it if they could clear out this one house. The city did end up buying that house after they eventually arrested the man and have said they want to turn it into a more profitable type of housing, but what I do have some insight into is the research, the academic scholarship on gentrification in policing writ large. And I’ve done a couple studies, in that Appeal article I also summarize the work of other researchers finding that police often respond to the needs of the real estate market, that they often change their behavior based on gentrification and urban redevelopment. One study I did looked at New York City from 2009 to 2016 and I found that, I just looked at neighborhoods in New York that had experienced disinvestment, that hadn’t had recent housing construction, and that had below city median income and of that universe of disinvested neighborhoods, I found the neighborhoods that experienced housing investment were more likely to see an increase in order maintenance arrests and proactive arrests. So order maintenance arrests are for those things like trespassing and loitering and public intoxication and proactive arrests are the more intense ones like for drug possession or weapons possession or driving while intoxicated, the police have to more proactively find. So even in these two sort of distinct types of low-level policing, we see a correlation with housing investment. And, you know, my quantitative approach isn’t good at revealing the mechanism connecting gentrification to policing for that we need to rely on more qualitative, more interview and ethnography based methods, but we can imagine based on some of those ethnographies that during gentrification landlords, real estate developers and city officials go to the police and they’re like, ‘Hey, this new quote-unquote “up and coming neighborhood” is becoming a profit center for the city. It’s becoming a profit center for these landlords and real estate developers. Could you help us quote-unquote “clean it up?”’ The connection between gentrification and policing could be this path through which real estate elites make requests of the police and again, we need more qualitative research and more research in general to pin that down but I think that’s a plausible story to explain the correlations that I found. I also did a national study that I’ll summarize just briefly with a researcher named Adam Goldstein and we looked at a different time period, we looked at 180 large cities in the US in the run up to the housing crisis in 2008 and we found that cities that relied more on housing market appreciation as a percentage of their economic growth, increase their police budgets more, and we suspect that was a similar sort of symbiotic connection of real estate with policing, right? That they wanted to maintain that housing market growth, it was one of the few sectors seeing economic growth in the 1990s and early aughts and so they said, ‘Look, we have to protect this housing investment, this housing price appreciation, and the police can help us keep crime rates low and housing prices high.’ So that’s some of the research that I summarized in The Appeal piece, you know, just showing this housing police connection.

Adam: Yeah. So in your article about Breonna Taylor, you say that, quote, “Employees with the city’s department of economic development vehemently denied a ‘grand secret’ between police action and the redevelopment initiative, but acknowledged wanting to return the block ‘to productive use’ by tearing down some properties.” This seems like they’re saying we don’t like apples, we just like red fruit we pick off trees, it seems like they’re sort of conceding the point, but doing this classic thing that’s very often done to black communities where they’re kind of smeared as sort of conspiracy theorists, this sort of basic, rational dialectical reasoning where you sort of look at material forces and you say, ‘Yeah, that makes sense.’ Also, by the way, if you ask police departments, or city officials or real estate developers, they’ll all tell you that they just said it in the quote, that you know, that you just said, right? They’re sort of smeared as being paranoid, right? And this is something that I think is quite funny because it’s not in secret. It’s out in the open. It’s in city minutes, city council meetings. Bill de Blasio, supposedly is a progressive guy, people always wonder why he doesn’t really meaningfully confront NYPD aside from the fact that by the way, they run his personal security, which probably shouldn’t happen. Look at the donors of his super PAC when he ran for President. I mean, about half of them were real estate developers and this is supposedly someone on the far left wing of acceptable politics. The correlation is not a difficult one to prove it and obviously, empirically, we’re sort of showing the connection more and more. Again, activists have been saying this for years, unfortunately, nobody believes it until credentialed white people say it, which I suppose is the the point of some of what this is supposed to be, sort of appealing to normies that this is actually something that’s sort of going on and I want to sort of talk about why it’s kind of gauche to draw those connections, or seen as being tinfoil hat stuff, when again, I think it’s fairly self evident to people who’ve studied these things. I guess I’m curious what your theory about why, what the sort of counter criticisms are to this idea and obviously, real estate interests aren’t the only thing, which you make clear in your article,we want to be clear, it’s not the only driving factor, but it certainly seems like a big one.

Brenden Beck: Yeah. I mean, I think your point about the Louisville city government ostensibly denying that there was any sort of coordination between the economic development department and the police is sort of unnecessary because of course, you know, the Economic Development Corporation could sort of, just knowing that hyper policing is happening, knowing the type of black and working class communities the police target, they could sort of just wait around for the people on those streets to get arrested and then buy their homes and convert them to whatever they consider as a more productive use. So there might be sort of just a more implicit, right? You might not need that explicit coordination between city functions, but as you point out, there are city council meeting minutes and other documents that do make it more explicit. Chase Billingham, another credentialed person, he’s a researcher who’s looked at Wichita, Kansas and he found in Wichita that Wichita’s mayor was only too happy to brag about bringing the police department to the table of economic redevelopment, right? That Wichita in its attempts to redevelop what’s called Skid Row into what they were hoping would be called Old Town, a sort of gentrified development area downtown Wichita near a park, the mayor said, ‘Look, I’m not just using your traditional urban planning redevelopment toolkit like rezoning and tax incentives for landlords and the parks department. I’m also bringing the police in who are going to arrest the homeless people and the sex workers who frequent the park.’ And this sort of cross departmental collaboration, this intergovernmental partnership was something for the mayor to brag about, right? So it’s not a conspiratorial back room, sort of the real estate speculator pointing at a place on the map and winking at the police chief, maybe that happens, but, you know, we don’t even need to spend those types of conspiracies because it’s so often happens in the public. We could also imagine, I mean, I think your point gets to my earlier one about pathways, right? What is the connection between gentrification and policing? Maybe it’s this explicit demand, maybe it’s implicit, or maybe it’s not happening at the level of city elites, but rather at the level of the gentrifier, that as middle-class white people move into a neighborhood, they increasingly call the police and that increase in 9–1–1 calls attracts more arrests and more stops.

Adam: I want to talk about that because it is both pre- and post-gentrification you see over-policing. I want to talk about post, or sort of concurrent with the vanguard of policing. I know there’s been a ton of studies in this as well that show the amount of noise complaints, petty complaints. There’s one insightful comment or set up, forgive me for not remembering the name, white people treat 9–1–1 like it’s a customer service line. I want to talk about that and how not only is there over-policing to sort of get people of color out, but this sort of continues as the gentrification process happens by the kind of proverbial, I guess the sort of stereotypical white gentrifier.

Brenden Beck: Yeah. So there’s a study by Chris Herring, who was in the American Sociological Review, about these calls for service and he showed how it’s not just white gentrifiers, but also business owners and this is, you know, we see this with the death of Eric Garner and also George Floyd, right? The police were called, in the George Floyd case, it was the owner of the store that Floyd had just been in, if not the owner, one of the employees. And so these calls for service can often be a strong, Herring shows, that these calls for service can often be a strong magnet for over-policing. So in my study on New York City, I actually surprisingly found that an increase in white people was not related to more arrests or more 3–1–1 calls, which is New York City’s sort of low-level, non emergency hotline. My study is one of several, there’s another study by this great researcher Ayo Laniyonu, who’s at the University of Toronto, who found very differently that people with a BA, when they enter a neighborhood, police stops go up. So he did find that connection. So I think more research is needed to sort of flesh out the precise mechanisms. It wouldn’t be a long leap to assume that when more white people come into a neighborhood, when more middle-class people come into a neighborhood, they’re going to be using the police, you know, like a customer service hotline, and there’s plenty of research showing that they trust the police more and there’s plenty of research, as you mentioned, of long-term residents who note this change. They’re like, ‘Look, I’ve been in this one neighborhood for decades, we used to be able to sit on these park benches without getting hassled now that the middle-class people live here the police come and tell us to move it along.’ So there’s lots of qualitative research showing that.

Adam: There’s a famous Spike Lee anecdote about his father as a jazz musician, and then white people moved to Brooklyn underneath them and they called the police on his father.

Nima: Yeah, because there was now music. Yeah, I mean, this kind of makes me think about what we’ve talked about on Citations Needed a lot, that kind of prototypical example of the tough-on-crime, Broken Windows policing of the ’80s and ’90s and so you’ve written, Brenden, about what you referred to as Operation Pressure Point, right? So the militarized enforcement by the NYPD on the Lower East Side, kind of making way for a neighborhood gentrification project, there were more than 1,300 arrests, mostly for drug possession in just 18 days in that neighborhood, and the city called it Operation Pressure Point. We’ve discussed in Boston semi-recently, there was an anti-homeless enforcement operation called Operation Clean Sweep, as if that’s not disgusting enough.

Adam: It’s a good fascist operation name.

Nima: Yeah, exactly and so this is in response to media talking about crime, talking about drugs, talking about sex work, and there’s actually a New York Times article from 1985 that he talked about, which describes this Operation Pressure Point as a harbinger of quote, “rising” fortunes during which quote, “art galleries [were] replacing shooting galleries” end quote. This also makes me think, and I grew up in New York City, I remember when Times Square turned from, you know, the Times Square that I remember to this Disney-fied Giuliani hellscape. Can you tell us about these kinds of militarized operations like Operation Pressure Point, and how it typifies the symbiotic relationship between aggressive, violent policing and creating spaces for not only white comfort, but also profit?

Brenden Beck: Yeah, I mean, I think your summary of Operation Pressure Point was a good one and I think what it underscores for me is just the scale of some of these initiatives, right? I mean, 1,300 people in 18 days in one neighborhood, mostly arrested for drug possession, right? It’s not difficult to imagine that a lot of these people were suffering from substance abuse disorders and had a lot of mental health needs and then the state, you know, responded with arrests, jail and fines that were only going to exacerbate these sorts of problems and so the Lower East Side and the Times Square are two paradigmatic examples, partly because the transition has been so wholesale, right? The art gallery, wine bar, glass tower change in the Lower East Side and as you point out, the pornography theaters and gay bars and sex shops of Times Square have been replaced with Olive Gardens and Levi’s stores and the M&Ms store. So, you know, I think these two neighborhoods sort of show a really extreme example but I think it’s important too to not give the police too much credit and say like, ‘Oh, if you just knock a few heads, you can turn this derelict neighborhood into a profit center.’ You know, these are two notable neighborhoods because they were so wholesale in their transformation, but of course, this was happening in a lot of neighborhoods where it wasn’t successful. The Wichita redevelopment initiative has been decades in the making and it still hasn’t turned into a profit center. So I think Operation Pressure Point and the Times Square example both underscores how extreme and intense this sort of enforcement can be, but also might obscure some of the times when it’s ineffective, right? I wouldn’t want anyone listening to this, I’m sure your listeners don’t fit this profile, but people who aren’t as concerned with over-policing and might even like gentrification, like that New York Times article, they’re like, ‘Well, you know, you knock a few heads, and you get transformation.’

Nima: Yeah, no, totally. I mean, it also makes me think about previously, so two decades before Operation Pressure Point, also in the Lower East Side, you know, when you look at the work of Robert Moses, which I mean, we could look at forever in terms of over-policing and evictions and, you know, remaking a city, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, majority Hispanic and black and then you have activists like Jane Jacobs, who fought that kind of move on the Lower East Side and others like, you know, when they wanted to turn the Lincoln Square/San Juan Hill neighborhood into Lincoln Center, which wound up happening, but again displacing upwards of 7,000 families, raising nearly a mile, a square mile, 18 city blocks to make way for this public work, which, yes, is wonderful that the Met is there and there’s Juilliard and stuff, but you are destroying these neighborhoods, you’re destroying the culture of the city and pushing people into new, very difficult situations, difficult housing situations, to the margins of the place where they are from and it’s no small thing that like Robert Moses, in addition to, you know, building beaches and zoos and highways, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, was the head of what was called like, the Slum Clearance committees.

Robert Moses (far left) in 1959. (Meyer Liebowitz / The New York Times)

Adam: They weren’t as good with euphemisms back then.

Nima: Yeah. (Laughs.) They were like, ‘Let’s just say it.’

Brenden Beck: They weren’t far off. The 2012 Federal Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative that Obama spearheaded, included money for housing and redevelopment, but also included money for policing, right? So it hasn’t come very far since Moses.

Adam: Yeah, I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t sort of acknowledge that gentrification as a broad term can be a little bit complex. Obviously, African American, Latino populations are not a monolith, there are kind of nuances about how it’s interpreted with regard to, yeah, ‘This park used to be crime ridden now it’s not because a few white people moved in’ or something like that, without crediting the police, there’s reductions in crime in some instances due to other factors like, again, displacement, which displace the problem rather than solve it. And I sort of want to acknowledge that, because we are being somewhat dogmatic because well, we are, we’re left-wing dogmatic people, but I want to sort of address how as a society we call police to solve the social failures and that the police abuse aspect of it is basically an acknowledgement from the ruling class that they’re not going to really solve the problem, they’re not going to really give money to schools, poverty.

Nima: It’s not about the underlying systems that they’re going to alleviate. They’re just going to lock people up.

Adam: Right. Police are the thugs you call in to sort of deal with the rod of capitalism and I guess my question is, to what extent is this just like it is with mental health issues or a number of issues where we sort of send police to quote-unquote “solve” crime by simply displacing it, or rather displacing poverty, I should say?

Brenden Beck: Yeah, I mean, I think you’re right that the police have increasingly had their portfolio expanded over the past 40 years, it used to be crime control and now it’s respond to drug addiction, respond to homelessness, respond to domestic violence, respond to terrorism and now respond to mental health needs and now respond to real estate housing price fluctuations, right? You need to police this neighborhood in order to create stable and growing housing prices. So I think you’re right that their portfolios have expanded and also in pursuing these other initiatives, their budgets have bloated thusly and across the United States police spending has gone up over the past 20, 30 years. So it’s not without taking money away from the sort of social services that might address the causes of crime and it takes away police, whatever we think about whether police should be just partially or totally abolished, we might prefer they investigate violent crimes rather than arrest drug possessors and all these things we’ve asked them to do is taking more and more time away from investigating the kind of violent crime that might actually prevent violence.

Adam: Back to this issue of sort of conspiracy mongering, you do a great breakdown of police departments and police officials explicitly telling you that they actually care not just about defending property, which is sort of a, again a kind of left-wing axiom that police exist to defend property, but they actually are super concerned with the underlying value of property, the actual nominal property values. You write that, quote:

Baltimore’s police commissioner also emphasized the centrality of police in urban redevelopment when he said in 1998 that police ‘have a huge impact on property values, [and] the commercial viability of the community.’ Denver’s current mayor said in 2007 that crime statistics can affect home values. Minneapolis’s police chief said his officers should take pride in the city’s rising home prices. And the Topeka, Kansas, police department touted its ability to raise property values and grow the city’s tax base when they solicited public donations to a 2013 stolen property tracking initiative.

Police departments in many cities have adopted property value growth as a formal performance metric, Mark Moore and Anthony Braga found. Police are orienting their success to that of the real estate market as city leaders encourage them to add ‘protecting economic growth’ to their growing portfolio of responsibilities.

So here you have the sort of explicit centering of, again, not just property, but like property values, like sort of speculation values, and I find that interesting, because that sort of cuts out the middleman and now we’re sort of really talking about what the function of police is, in many ways, if not exclusively, certainly a kind of focus, right? And the erasure of human welfare. I want to talk about these examples and sort of what they tell us.

Brenden Beck: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s striking just how many examples there are from mayors and city council members and police chiefs saying, ‘Look, the police are essential, maybe because they create public safety, but definitely because they create a suitable investment environment,’ right? And this connection, this fusion of housing price and policing is really been quite thorough as those quotes that you read from Baltimore and Minneapolis and Topeka and elsewhere really underline and this is not just been affecting city government, but it’s also been affecting the police performance metric, as you summarized, and then also just to pick two more high-profile examples, your recent episode about HGTV you talk about the Property Brothers who make shows about flipping houses on HGTV, they’re spokespeople for ADT Home Security and they have advertisements on the Super Bowl, right? So this fusion between security and housing value has become really thorough. When Trump tweeted in late July about the suburban lifestyle dream he said, ‘Oh, look, I’ve kept the poor people out of your neighborhoods, suburbanites. So your housing prices will go up and your crime rates will go down,’ right?

Adam: Yeah, he explicitly said it the same day our episode came out.

Nima: Literally said that.

Adam: The same day the episode came out, we couldn’t have planned it. And of course, what’s the number one thing that racist white people said during integration, and still to this day, say whenever they talk about public housing and the Civil Rights Act, they say, ‘Oh, well, housing prices. The housing price. I’m not racist. I’m just worried about my housing prices.’ It’s this sort of catchall.

Brenden Beck: Sure. And, you know, I wish we could just write this all off to city elites trying to turn the city into a profit machine, but I think that homeowners, and perhaps understandably, homeowners are increasingly relying on housing price appreciation to fund their lives. Wages have been stagnant in this country since the ’70s and so if you as a homeowner want to take a vacation next year that you didn’t take last year, your paycheck is not going up, so you’ve got a look to your house and maybe if the value increases enough, you can borrow against that equity and take that vacation.

Nima: Yeah. So when we talk about these things like urban renewal, redevelopment, gentrification, I mean, this gets back to when in 1963 James Baldwin referred to urban renewal as Negro Removal, but Brenden, can we talk about other ways, other types of maybe what we could call urban restructuring, are there less horribly shitty ways to, quote-unquote “turn urban areas around” without it being explicitly racist, classist and done for profit at the expense of people who have lived there and built those places.

Brenden Beck: Sure, yeah. I mean, gentrification without displacement, that’s the goal, right? That’s what we’re looking for and we’re finding it so difficult to achieve. I mean, I think it’s important to, I’ll leave the prescriptions on how to create improvement in neighborhoods without creating displacement, I’ll leave those sort of policy prescriptions to the housing policy scholars, I think they would probably point us towards affordable housing initiatives, programs that help keep long term residents in their housing, right of first refusal, where if a building is going to get sold, the tenants can try to organize a purchase before it gets sold on the open market, things like this, that cities can do. Of course, the federal government could be doing much more to build public housing as well to prevent displacement, but I think it’s also important to keep gentrification in perspective in terms of other types of, like you said, urban restructurings. That the gentrification in New York City in the study I did found that only about 10 to 15 percent of neighborhoods in New York City gentrified in the 2010s, the years I was looking at, so you know, that leaves most of the city that isn’t undergoing gentrification, right? That’s undergoing, in many cases, especially in the outer boroughs, the neighborhood’s far away from Manhattan, they’re undergoing white flight and capital flight, right? Suburbanization is still very much happening. Durable poverty is happening, durable wealth. And so as someone like myself, who’s a policing scholar, I look at gentrification and compared that to neighborhoods that were similarly situated at the beginning of the study, and in my case 2009, and didn’t gentrify, that were durably disinvested, and were durably poor, and I was struck that compared to that comparison group, which we know has intense policing in it, even there gentrification seem to be a particularly consequential type of urban restructuring. So I think it’s right for us to focus on it and I think it’s also right for us to sort of keep it in context and think, alright, well, how might other types of neighborhood change be influencing policing?

Adam: Yeah, because you can’t, you know, we talk about racist policing, I mean, people talk about structures, and they talk about systems and I think this is important, but I think it’s sort of also useful to pin down what these structures actually are, what are the sort of motivating factors behind them and again, real estate interests aren’t the only factor, of course, but I think they’re a primary one. They’re also sort of heavily influential in media, as we talked about in our two-parter on homelessness, where like, you can trace back much of the panic around homelessness to real estate interests and the real estate interests that have connections with advertising relationships with and, frankly, invest in media companies and so I think it’s useful to kind of show the sort of demonic trilogy, if you will, of real estate media policing, because even if you don’t necessarily have any strong opinions about gentrification either way, I think the empirical facts that it does correlate with over-policing or police harassment, does sort of make one need to factor that into their moral equation when we talk about housing. That you can’t sort of ignore that fact, which leads to my final question, I suppose, which is what are the new points of study you’re looking for? I was being a little glib earlier when I talked about how we need sort of credentialed people to validate this but what is the sort of next course of study on this you think and what is sort of interesting you and how can we kind of pin this thing down to something that can maybe translate into sort of policy? If not direct policy, at least a sort of pause button before people start gushing about how great it is they have a Starbucks or there’s this great glossy glass community going to come, at least there’s some kind of like, ‘Hey, we need to have some kind of accounting of the violence and racism this entails.’

(Erik McGregor / Getty Images)

Brenden Beck: Sure. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think the calls that have come out of the George Floyd protests to defund the police are really important and inspiring because they open up the potential for reinvestment elsewhere, right? And so I think when we’re talking about gentrification and policing, I think the budget is going to be a really important document as a fulcrum to transition away from policing as the primary response to poverty and the primary response to economic development and putting that money into housing and community development, which, you know, city governments already have economic redevelopment budgets. This is not reinventing the wheel. It’s a movement of money on a ledger and it just takes the moral leadership of city council members and mayor’s to do that and so I think looking at funding and treating budgets as moral documents, not letting the defund the police movement become an austerity movement writ large, right? We need to defund the police and also everything about municipal government, but make it a reinvestment initiative, I think could help attack the twin problems of housing affordability and displacement, and of over-policing and mass incarceration. As far as my own research goes, I’m doing a little bit of work inspired by the George Floyd protests on defunding, trying to look at the impacts where we’ve seen police defunding happen sort of, I don’t want to say organically, but not at the behest of social movements, but rather just sort of because of the requirements of municipal budgeting. There have been countless examples over the past 20 years of cities defunding their police. It doesn’t get called that, it’s not particularly high-profile, but just because of austerity or belt tightening. My next research project is looking at those sort of naturally occurring examples of defunding. How do they impact misdemeanor arrest? How do they impact police killings? Things like that. So that’s what I’m doing personally. But hopefully policy-wise, we’re also thinking more about moving budgets in a more equitable way.

Nima: Well, I think that’s a great place to leave it. Brenden Beck, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado, Denver, everyone, please check out his recent piece in The Appeal called “The Role of Police in Gentrification.” Of course, you can follow him on Twitter @BrendenBeck. Brenden, thank you so much, again, for joining us today on Citations Needed.

Brenden Beck: Thanks so much for having me. It was a great conversation.


Adam: Yeah, that was fascinating. We definitely will touch on housing and leasing again. We kind of wanted to have this be a sort of supplemental. I think it’s good, I think it’s a useful point to make and emphasize and it really does kind of deserve its own News Brief and of course, like we said, we wanted to keep doing these News Briefs during our quote-unquote “break,” of course it’s not really a break but sort of is a break.

Nima: Because we’re such podcast martyrs.

Adam: We are.

Nima: It’s true. Yes.

Adam: It’s not a real job, but, you know, it takes a little work.

Nima: (Laughs.) We finished our third season just a couple weeks ago and we will return with season four of Citations Needed come September, but in the meantime we will, you know, keep doing some of these News Briefs and then maybe take a real break, who knows? The news may not allow that and you know what, we just work really hard as podcast hosts doing nothing. So thank you, everyone, for listening to this Citations Needed News Brief, for supporting the show for these past three seasons, all your support has been so incredibly helpful and so appreciated, cannot say that enough. Of course you can follow the show on Twitter @CitationsPod, Facebook Citations Needed, become a supporter of our work through with Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson. As I said, come September we will be back with season four. Thanks, everyone, for listening. I’m Nima Shirazi.

Adam: I’m Adam Johnson.

Nima: Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Associate producer is Julianne Tveten. Production assistant is Trendel Lightburn. Newsletter by Marco Cartolano. Transcriptions by Morgan McAslan. The music is by Grandaddy. Thanks again, everyone. Catch you next time.


This Citations Needed News Brief was released on Tuesday, August 11, 2020.

Transcription by Morgan McAslan.



Citations Needed

A podcast on media, power, PR, and the history of bullshit. Hosted by @WideAsleepNima and @adamjohnsonnyc.