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Vigilantism and White Supremacy: The Power of the Courts to Defend and Disrupt
The trials involving Kyle Rittenhouse, the 2017 Charlottesville Rally, and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, brought the issues of vigilantism, the right to self-defense, and liability for protest-related violence into public discourse. The race and gender dynamics at play in each trial politicized the verdicts in ways that complicate their impact. Taken in comparison, the different outcomes in each matter challenge the development of a shared understanding of the scope of accountability for actors whose conduct creates a risk of foreseeable harm.

In this virtual panel discussion, experts from across the University of Pittsburgh will offer their perspective on questions such as: For whom and when is the use of force in a self-defense claim valid? What is the responsibility of protesters and protest organizers to reduce risk of harm? Are these cases a referendum on gun rights, white supremacy, or both? We invite you to bring your own questions and your curiosity to this event, as the Pitt Community seeks to learn more about these recent verdicts.

• Christian Sundquist - Professor of Law, School of Law, University of Pittsburgh
• David Harris - Sally Ann Semenko Endowed Chair and Professor of Law, School of Law, University of Pittsburgh
• Kathleen M. Blee - Distinguished Professor of Sociology and the Bailey Dean of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the College of General Studies, University of Pittsburgh

• Tomar Pierson-Brown - Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusive Excellence | Director of the Health Law Clinic | Clinical Associate Professor of Law, School of Law, University of Pittsburgh

Jan 20, 2022 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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