11: Police Brutality and Trauma
“I think another takeaway is to really understand that police brutality is real, and that witnessing these acts of violence, gratuitous violence, on social media, on video cameras, we have to be careful that we don't become numb to the viewing of Black bodies.”
Police brutality and the criminalization of Black men have been issues of concern within Black communities for centuries. Although making up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, Black people are disproportionately impacted by police related deaths. According to a recent study published by the American Journal of Public Health (Buehler, 2017), Black men are nearly 3 times as likely to die from the use of force by the police than their White counterparts. Police brutality and other forms of racial trauma often elicit race-based traumatic stress and psychological injury. This podcast will focus on the impact of police brutality on the psychological well-being of Black boys and men.
Dr. Samuel R. Aymer is an Associate Professor of social work at Hunter College School of Social Work where he teaches Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families. He is also the chairperson of the clinical practice sequence. His scholarly endeavors centers on the intersection of masculinity, African American men, race, intimate partner violence, fatherhood and psychotherapeutic interventions Prior to entering academia, Dr. Aymer worked for several health, mental health, and victim assistance organizations throughout New York City. Dr. Aymer worked for a variety of child welfare agencies throughout his career. And as director of training for several child welfare programs, he developed training modules, seminars and workshops designed to educate social workers about trauma, violence, intimate partner abuse, diversity and the lived experiences of Black families affected by the child welfare system. Dr. Aymer has an MSW and a Ph.D. in clinical social work. He conducts workshops and lectures on family violence, trauma, African-American lifestyle issues, cross-cultural counseling, and diversity. Dr. Aymer maintains a clinical private practice—specializing in individual treatment with adolescents and adults.