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?

Link
African-Americans, Healthcare, Race, Social Problems

The New Health Care – Doctors and Racial Bias: Still a Long Way to Go. It would be easy to look at a photo from the 1980s and conclude that things have changed. Many have not. Image: A lot of research shows that African-American patients are treated differently than white patients when it comes to cardiovascular procedures. By Aaron E. Carroll Feb. 25, 2019

Link