The Unspeakable Podcast

Can We Get Smarter About Policing? A conversation with Professor of Police Science (and former Baltimore cop) Peter Moskos

August 16, 2020

“You’re far less likely to be shot as a black man in New York City than as a white man in Tulsa.” - Peter Moskos

In this episode, Meghan talks with Peter Moskos, a professor of law and police science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who also happens to be a former Baltimore City police officer. They discuss the media’s role in public perceptions of policing, the various definitions of “defund the police, the impact of ubiquitous cameras and viral videos and what big city police departments get right that smaller ones tend to get wrong. Peter also talks about the death of George Floyd and shares his theory about what the other officers on the scene might have been thinking as they watched the events transpire.

Professor Peter Moskos (A.B. Princeton, PhD Harvard) is chairperson of the Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He is the director of John Jay College’s NYPD Executive Master’s Program and a former Baltimore City Police Officer.

In addition to his primary duties at John Jay College, Moskos is a faculty member in CUNY’s Doctoral Program in Sociology, has taught introductory criminal justice classes at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, and is a Senior Fellow of the Yale Urban Ethnography Project.

Moskos is the author of three books: Cop in the Hood, In Defense of Flogging, and Greek Americans. In 2011 he was recognized as one of The Atlantic Magazine’s “Brave Thinkers” of the year.

Visit his website at

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