African-Americans, criminal justice, Police, Social Problems

Opinion: The Injustice of This Moment Is Not an ‘Aberration.’ From mass incarceration to mass deportation, our nation remains in deep denial. By Michelle Alexander Opinion Columnist Jan. 17, 2020. Ten years have passed since my book, “The New Jim Crow,” was published. I wrote it to challenge our nation to reckon with the recurring cycles of racial reform, retrenchment and rebirth of caste-like systems that have defined our racial history since slavery. It has been an astonishing decade. Everything and nothing has changed.

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African-Americans, criminal justice, Race

Black People Are Charged at a Higher Rate Than Whites. What if Prosecutors Didn’t Know Their Race?

George Gascón, San Francisco’s district attorney, said the lopsided number of African-Americans in the city’s criminal justice system had compelled him to try something new.

By Timothy Williams

June 12, 2019

While riding the train in San Francisco three years ago, a white man told an African-American man that he smelled bad and should move away from him. An argument followed, and the African-American man, Michael Smith, was eventually tackled by police officers and accused of assaulting them.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office charged Mr. Smith with seven counts, including battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. But after viewing body camera footage, a jury acquitted Mr. Smith, then 23, on most of the charges, and the prosecutors dropped the other counts. Mr. Smith’s lawyer said he does not believe a white person would have been arrested or prosecuted.

While the district attorney’s office disagreed with that assessment of the case, George Gascón, the district attorney, has acknowledged that a disproportionate number of African-Americans are prosecuted in the city, which led him to ask a troubling question: To what extent does bias affect the work of prosecutors?

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Gender, Sexual Abuse, Social Problems

These Rape Victims Had to Sue to Get the Police to Investigate

As more women come forward to report sexual assault, some say law enforcement has failed them. ‘There was no collection of evidence,’ one victim said. ‘Except off my body.’

Julie Ann Nitsch, left, and Marina Conner, two of the plaintiffs in an Austin lawsuit that argues that sexual assault victims do not receive equal treatment compared with victims of other violent crimes.

By Valeriya Safronova and Rebecca Halleck

May 23, 2019

Evidence so neglected it grew mold. Calls to the authorities for help that went unanswered. Witnesses and victims who were never interviewed. These are just a handful of the claims that sexual assault survivors are making against law enforcement in courts around the country.

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