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Renowned Howard University Pathologist Roger A. Mitchell Jr. to Promote ‘Death in Custody’ Book

Photo of Dr. Roger Mitchell

WASHINGTON - Howard University’s Roger A. Mitchell Jr., MD, and co-author Jay D. Aronson, Ph.D, will share stories of individuals who died in custody and chronicle efforts of activists and journalists to shed light on the full scope of the problem. The authors will launch their book at Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St NW, on Thursday, September 7, at 7 p.m. 

The book is titled, “Death in Custody – How America Ignores the Truth and What We Can Do About It.” Mitchell and Aronson are hoping to help listeners understand the true extent of deaths in custody and learn steps to address the injustice. The Busboys and Poets event will be moderated by Keith L. AlexanderWashington Post crime and courts reporter. 

Copies of the book will be available for purchase during and after the event, and will be followed by an audience Q&A. The authors will be signing the book as well. Click here for public RSVP information.

Mitchell is a professor and chair of pathology at the Howard University College of Medicine. He is a forensic pathologist who previously served as the Chief Medical Examiner and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice for the city of Washington, DC. Mitchell is also the author of “The Price of Freedom: A Son's Journey.”

Aronson is the founder and director of the Center for Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is a professor of science, technology, and society in the Department of History. He is the author of “Who Owns the Dead? The Science and Politics of Death at Ground Zero” and “Genetic Witness: Science, Law, and Controversy in the Making of DNA Profiling.”

In "Death in Custody," Mitchell and Aronson outline a practical, achievable system for accurately recording and investigating these deaths. They argue for a straightforward public health solution: adding a simple checkbox to the US Standard Death Certificate that creates an objective way of recording whether a death occurred in custody. They also propose the development of national standards for investigating deaths in custody and the creation of independent regional and federal custodial death review panels. 

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced two Schwarzman Scholars, four Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American PhD. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

Media contact: Sholnn Freeman; sholnn.freeman@howard.edu