Surveillance technology leads to more police brutality against Black and brown people; states that reduce arrests for low-level offenses found to have less police shootings — your weekly justice news
reform graveyard: Despite campaign promises from the Biden administration, the Department of Justice has had a lackluster approach to progressive criminal justice legislation. At times, their policies have even been regressive. Inquest (July 26, 2021)
right to an attorney: Last Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled that incarcerated people are entitled to legal representation when challenging murder convictions that others committed. It is a win for hundreds in the state’s prisons. AP (July 26, 2021)
new focus: Violent crime is the focus of mayoral races across the country. With attention on rising crime rates, the conversation surrounding police funding has changed for many candidates. POLITICO (July 28, 2021)
uniformed klansmen: An FBI investigation revealed officials in the Florida Department of Corrections were members of the Ku Klux Klan. Their plot to murder Warren Williams, a Black man incarcerated in a state prison is part of a long, disturbing history of KKK members in law enforcement. AP (July 27, 2021)
step toward success: Over the past years some U.S. cities and states have reduced the number of arrests for low-level offenses like traffic violations or certain misdemeanors. Data appears to show that cutting arrests has decreased police shootings in these cities. FiveThirtyEight (July 28, 2021)
point of tension: The new president of the LAPD’s civilian oversight panel has been outspoken against defunding the police and emphasized that the city needs more cops for safety. His comments are counter to LA justice advocates calls for police funding to be reallocated to social services over the past year. Los Angeles Times (July 27, 2021)
uneven and ineffective: A new report from the Movement Advancement Project says that hate crime laws around the U.S. are inconsistent and often do not properly address hate motivated violence. Data collection and reporting of hate crimes suffers similar problems. CNBC (July 29, 2021)
pecuniary penalties: The Brennan Center for Justice examines the unfair ways the American justice system and does its best to extract the most amount of money possible from people and perpetuates systemic poverty. Brennan Center (July 26, 2021)
racist tech: Surveillance technology like ShotSpotter has sent more police into Black and Latinx neighborhoods and has not been found to increase public safety. In Chicago, it led to the death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. Vice (July 26, 2021)
disturbing data: A report from the Center for Policing Equity found that officers from the Seattle Police Department are five times more likely to stop Black people and nine times more likely to stop Native Americans than white people. They also found that force was most likely to be used against Black children and young adults. The Seattle Times (July 26, 2021)
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