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Short Papers: Policing and Protest

July 15 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm UTC+0


Chair: Allan Martell

Please use this link to register for this session:



Don’t Use My Assault to Protect Racist Police Practice: A Theoretical Framework for Understanding the Ideological Connections Between Record-Keeping Practices in Gang Databases and Sexual Assault Reports


Sydney Triola

Accessibility details:

I am happy to maximize the accessibility of my session, just not sure/clear what resources are compatible with my computer.


In this paper, I will utilize the information life cycle from information studies to juxtapose law enforcement’s sexual assault record-keeping practices with law enforcement gang database record-keeping practices, in order to reveal the epistemological values embedded in police record-keeping practices. I find that sexual assault record-keeping practices highlight systematic patterns of police under-reporting these crimes, especially when the victim is from a marginalized community. Contrarily, I find that gang database record-keeping practices encourage over-reporting individuals who are often only included in these criminal databases as a result of racial profiling in low-income communities, and do not exhibit any evidence of posing a dangerous threat to the public. This juxtaposition reveals the true epistemological values of record-keeping in law enforcement: the reinforcement of the Black Brute Caricature, which poses Black men as an inherent threat to White women’s safety. This paper ends with a set of theoretical assumptions that researchers working with these populations can utilize to avoid perpetuating this adversarial mythology of the Black Brute Caricature.

Will this session be recorded for the AERI2021 Youtube channel? Yes


What Matters to Archives? Preliminary survey results of archivists and archival scholars on institutional responses to 2020 BLM calls for social justice


  • Sumayya Ahmed, Simmons University
  • Rachael Clemens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Angela Murillo, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis


In April 2021, during the waning days of the trial of the police officer who murdered George Floyd, we surveyed professionals in the fields of Libraries, Archives, and Museums (LAMs) in order to capture their voices and document reactions to the events that had been put into motion since Floyd’s death. We asked survey participants to reflect upon and consider observed occurrences or incidences in their workplace and profession that they believed were galvanized by what we termed the catalytic incidents of 2020 (e.g., the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd) and subsequent calls for social justice by those protesting under the Black Lives Matter (BLM) banner. We asked if these events motivated changes in their workplace and/or professional organization, what changes occurred, and who initiated those changes (i.e., organization, upper management, etc.).

The online survey was distributed across multiple LAMs-related listservs, and we received a high number of responses from archivists and archival scholars (47 percent of respondents who provided their professional affiliation). This may reflect the proactive engagement of the archives field with social justice issues predating the events of 2020 (for example: Harris,2007; Jimerson, 2007; Gilliland, 2011; Duff et al., 2013; Ramirez, 2015; Punzalan and Caswell, 2016; Sutherland, 2017; Wallace, 2017; Hughes-Watkins, 2018; Drake, 2019).

This paper presents preliminary findings of a subset of data collected with particular attention to the open-ended and qualitative responses. It offers us an opportunity to look at the reflections and experiences of archivists and archival scholars surrounding the 2020 BLM protests and ongoing calls for social justice. These responses document narratives of engagement and crisis management, stories of discouragement and frustration, as well as visions of change and growth.

Will this session be recorded for the AERI2021 Youtube channel? Yes


July 15
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm UTC+0
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