Police Violence: Public Research Colloquium

Two-Day Event with Film Screening on previous evening


  • 25.01.2023 | 18:00 - 20:30
    • Film Screening of the movie „Ultraviolence“ and discussion with the director Dr Ken Fero (Coventry University)
  • 26.01.2023 | 10:00 - 17:00

    • Panel 1: internal structures and police violence

      • Laila Abdul-Rahman (Goethe University Frankfurt): Assessing and Handling of Excessive use of Force
      • Jan Beek (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz): Police Officers‘ Dilemmas in Violent Interactions
      • Halil Can (Technical University Berlin): Policing Without Critical Self-Reflection - Practices of Police Interventions as Experiences of Racial Profiling, Othering and Violence
    • Panel 2: police violence and protest

      • Emmanuel Schlichter (Green Legal Impact): Concerning Developments of Repression against the Climate Movement
      • Beate Streicher (Amnesty International): Human Rights Standards for Protest Policing
    • Panel 3: perspectives of people and groups affected by police violence

      • Azadeh Akbari (University of Twente): Resistance against State Surveillance: The Case of Iran
      • Sonja John (Berlin School of Economics and Law): Death in Custody and Matters of Accountability for Next of Kin
      • Ariadne Natal (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt): The Dynamics of Police Lethality in Brazil: Patterns and Influences

Download poster here.

Download program here.

When: 25.01.2023, 18:00 - 20:30 | 26.01.2023, 10:00 - 17:00

Where: Deutscher Sprachatlas Vortragssaal 001, Pilgrimstein 16, 35032 Marburg

The event is organized by Prof. Dr Susanne Buckley-Zistel and Dr Mariel Reiss.


  • Ken Fero
    Ken Fero is Assistant Professor at the Research Centre for Global Education, Coventry University (UK). He is also a filmmaker, activist and educator and has produced several documentaries examining community responses to issues of race, class and resistance. His ground-breaking and multi-award winning 2001 feature documentary Injustice, regarding the killings of predominantly Black people in the UK, had significant international and political impact. Fero’s recent film, Ultraviolence (2020), reveals the history of militant resistance to UK state violence and was officially selected for the BFI London Film Festival also winning a Special Jury Award (Queens World Film Festival 2021), Special Audience Award (Arbetar Film Festival 2021) and Best Documentary (British Urban Film Festival 2021). 
  • Laila Abdul-Rahman
    Laila Abdul-Rahman studied law at the Freie University Berlin and International Criminology at the University of Hamburg. From 2018 to 2022 she worked as a research assistant at the Ruhr-University Bochum in the research project „Excessive use of force by police officers in Germany (KviaPol)“ funded by the German Research Foundation. The findings of the KviaPol-Project are published in the open access book „Gewalt im Amt“ by Campus Verlag. Since 2023 she works at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt at the departement of criminology and criminal law and is currently writing her doctoral thesis on Perceptions of police (il-)legitimacy in violent interactions, funded by the Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
  • Jan Beek
    Jan Beek is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. He is currently leading a research project entitled ‘Policing as a Practice of Categorization’. His research focuses on policing, state bureaucracies, cybercrime, the anthropology of fraud, transregional connections, and collaborative research methods. Jan Beek is the author of the book ‘Producing Stateness: Police Work in Ghana’; (Brill, 2016) and has co-edited two books ‘Police in Africa: The Street Level View’ (Hurst Publishers, 2017) and ‘Policing Race, Ethnicity and Culture: Ethnographic Perspectives across Europe’; (MUP, 2022). His publications, which are based on fieldwork conducted in Ghana, Kenya, India, Niger, and Germany, have been featured in journals such as Africa, Ethnography, Journal of Modern African Studies, and Social Anthropology.
  • Halil Can 
    Halil Can studied political science at the Free University Berlin and completed his doctorate at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt Universität Berlin on: Identity processes, experiences of othering and empowerment practices in multigenerational families in the context of transnational labour migration. Since August 2022, he has been conducting research at the Berlin site of the Research Society for Social Cohesion (FGZ) as part of the study Institutions and Racism (InRa) at the Centre for Research on Antisemitism at the Technical University Berlin as a research assistant in the ethnographical sub-project: Practices and experiences of police controls in so-called crime-ridden places in Berlin. Previously, he worked as a research assistant at the Research Centre for Technology and Society at the TU Berlin in the Berlin Police Study and as lecturer at the Alice Salomon University Berlin. He is also active as a political educator in the context of migration, society, intersectional racism, and empowerment/powersharing.
  • Emmanuel Schlichter
    Emmanuel Schlichter, LL.M. (Kent), is a legal professional committed to advancing ecological transformation in Germany. Drawing on his legal expertise, he is actively engaged with the nonprofit organization Green Legal Impact Germany e.V.. In this capacity, he collaborates closely with the climate movement and environmental organizations, particularly addressing the growing challenges related to repression against the climate movement. Within his role, he monitors the unfolding dynamics of repression against the climate movement in Germany. He provides insights and guidance to various stakeholders, offering strategic advice on potential measures to counteract and address these concerning developments.
  • Beate Streicher
    Beate Streicher is a legal advisor specializing in policing and human rights and international law at Amnesty International in Germany. Most recently, she has led the work on independent complaints mechanism for police conduct and on the reform of the Federal Police Act. She is a fully qualified lawyer and gained experience during her legal clerkship at the German Federal Constitutional Court and the EU Parliament.
  • Biplab Basu
    Biplab Basu  is a historian. Since 2001, he has worked at ReachOut, a counseling center for victims of right-wing, racist and antisemitic violence in Berlin. In 2002, he founded the Campaign for Victims of Racist Police Violence (KOP) and, in 2019, the “Death in Custody” office - a body that documents deaths in custody.
  • Azadeh Akbari
    Azadeh Akbari is Assistant Professor in Public Administration and digital Transformation at the University of Twente (Netherlands). Her research focuses on authoritarian surveillance and critical studies of ICTs in development. In her dissertation she explored the relationship between surveillance and spatial justice through two case studies in urban and virtual spaces in Iran. She is the co-editor of two upcoming books on Critical ICT4D (Information & Communication Technology for Development) and the International Handbook of Critical Surveillance Studies. Azadeh Akbari is also associate editor for the journals Surveillance & Society and Information Communication for Development. Azadeh Akbari was also a journalist for many years and worked as a communication manager and community outreach specialist at the UNHCR, UNICEF, and the British Council.
  • Sonja John
    Sonja John holds a PhD and a MA in Political Science (Free University of Berlin, Germany) and a MA in Lakota Leadership and Management (Oglala Lakota College, USA). With her research focuses on Indigeneity, incarceration and intersectionality, she has lectured in Political Science, International Studies, American Studies and Peace Studies. From 2015 to 2019, she was assistant professor for Political Science at the University of Gondar and, then, Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia. Since 2021, she is researching police accountability at the Berlin School of Economics and Law. In parallel, she is in charge of human rights education for police at the German Institute for Human Rights. She is part of the collective Death In Custody that documents deaths of persons with migration background in German custody.
  • Ariadne Natal
    Ariadne Natal is a postdoctoral researcher at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), Germany. She holds a Master and Doctorate in Sociology from the University of São Paulo (USP), is an Associate Researcher at USP Center for the Study of Violence and is a member of the Brazilian Forum on Public Security (FBSP). Her research is focused on public safety issues encompassing police violence, police legitimacy, public perceptions of crime and law enforcement, fear of crime, punitive attitudes and lynching law. Her methodological expertise includes qualitative approaches such as interviews and document analysis and quantitative methods like survey design, data collection, and statistical analysis.