September 2, 2021

Dr. Ervin Staub on active bystandership in law enforcement

Dr. Ervin Staub studied the roots of violence between groups after living through the horrors of Nazism and then communism in Hungary. His best-known book is “The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence,” in which he explores the psychological, cultural and societal roots of group aggression. 

After the Rodney King incident in 1991, Dr. Staub was invited to create a peer intervention training program for the LAPD with the goal of lowering the number and degree of uses of force. Then in 2014, he and other consultants assisted the New Orleans Police Department’s in developing EPIC (Ethical Policing is Courageous) training, designed to educate, empower and support patrol officers to play a meaningful role in “policing” each other.

Georgetown Law's Project ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement) peer intervention program builds upon EPIC and Dr. Staub’s research to prepare officers to successfully intervene to prevent harm and to create a law enforcement culture that supports peer intervention. In this podcast, host Jim Dudley speaks with Dr. Staub about how law enforcement can develop a culture that supports active bystandership.

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