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  • Name: David Harris

    Job Title: Sally Ann Semenko Endowed Chair and Professor of Law

    Company Name: University of Pittsburgh School of Law

    Bio: David Harris holds the Sally Ann Semenko Endowed Chair at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is Professor of Law. He studies, writes and teaches about police behavior, law enforcement and race, and search and seizure law. His courses include Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Evidence. Professor Harris is the leading national authority on racial profiling. His book Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work (The New Press, 2002) and his scholarly articles in the field of traffic stops of minority motorists and stops and frisks, influenced the national debate on profiling and related topics.

    Bio 2: His work led to federal efforts to address the practice and to legislation and voluntary efforts in over half the states and hundreds of police departments. He has testified multiple times in the U.S. Congress and before many state legislative bodies on profiling and related issues. His most recent book is A City Divided: Race, Fear, and the Law in Police Encounters (Anthem Press, 2020), which tells the story of a case of police/civilian violence in Pittsburgh to explain why these incidents keep happening in cities and towns all over the nation, and how we can stop them. His other books include Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing (The New Press, 2005), and Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science (NYU Press, 2012).

    Bio 3: Professor Harris regularly applies his work to his efforts in national and local public service. He has served on the Civil Rights Task Force for the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, the ABA’s National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws, and on working groups and task forces on police use of Tasers, interaction between police and immigrant communities, use of body cameras, and general police reform.

    Bio 4: His work in Pittsburgh with police, civil rights groups, and African American stakeholders has been a centerpiece of many of his efforts, culminating most recently in his service on the Mayor’s Task Force on Police Reform in 2020. He received the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service for his work building bridges between police and the communities they serve in Pittsburgh and around the country.

    Bio 5: Professor Harris also writes and comments frequently in the national and international media on police practices, racial profiling, and other criminal justice and national security issues, and he serves as Legal Analyst for for Pittsburgh Public Radio. He is also the creator and host of the Criminal Injustice podcast, a show for general audiences dedicated since 2016 to the discussion of the many pressing issues in the criminal legal system. The show features Professor Harris’s interviews with many of the most compelling and important police chiefs, judges, prosecutors, writers, policy experts and advocates working in the system today, as well as news and commentary.

    Bio 6: Professor Harris has received numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship, and for his work for racial justice. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and Yale Law School, and holds an LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center. He is also a certified instructor in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.