On April 20, 2021, the jury delivered its verdict in the high-profile trial of Derek Chauvin. The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of murdering George Floyd. It was one of the most watched trials in recent years. And whatever network you tuned in to, you were likely to see Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Law Professor Ayesha Bell Hardaway delivering expert commentary.
During the three-week trial, Hardaway made several appearances on CNN, including The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, to ESPN’s The Undefeated, and was quoted in papers ranging from USA Today to Rolling Stone magazine. And her appearances are not limited to the Chauvin Trial. Hardaway has been asked to opine on other high-profile and racially-charged incidents, such as the 2021 police killing of Andre Hill (Associated Press), and the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol (U.S. News and World Report).
Parents magazine recently profiled Hardaway as one of “Six Black Moms on the Frontlines of the Fight Against Racism.” The article quotes Hardaway as saying: "Black women, men, and children have been brutalized, terrorized, and dehumanized since being brought to the place we now call America." But this current movement, which she says began with the founding of Black Lives Matter in 2013, gives her hope.
"It's aimed at tearing down systems and practices that have continued to oppress and threaten the lives of Black people despite prior progress," says Hardaway. "Our young people are demanding it, so I have faith that it will come to pass."
Hardaway is an Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the Director of the Criminal Clinic in the Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic. She is also Director of the Law School’s Social Justice Law Center and Co-Director of the university’s Social Justice Institute. Prior to joining the law school faculty, Hardaway practiced in the Litigation Department of Tucker Ellis LLP and served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Cuyahoga County. Hardaway serves as the Deputy Monitor on the Independent Monitoring Team appointed to evaluate police reforms implemented by the Cleveland Police Department under a federal consent decree.
Hardaway is not alone as a CWRU Law faculty media magnet. A spate of other CWRU professors are regularly featured in news stories about the law. They have been quoted in 1,496 stories in the past two years.