DC police hack shows how misidentification of gang members leads to aggressive policing; Chauvin sentenced to 22-years; NYC mayoral candidates clash over crime and police — your weekly justice news
disarray amidst uncertainty: The first half of 2021 has been particularly chaotic in NYC jails with murder, suicide and understaffed facilities as turmoil from the pandemic lessens. NY’s infamous Rikers Island will potentially be shut down and replaced with four smaller jails in the coming years. New York Times (June 19, 2021)
dangerous logic: A ransomware group called Babuk hacked over 70,000 emails and attachments from the DC Metropolitan Police Department. The documents show how the MPD identifies supposed gang members and uses it to inform their flawed and aggressive policing tactics. The Intercept (June 18, 2021)
defund or increase: NYC mayoral candidates Eric Adams and Maya Wiley clash over criminal justice reform amidst rising crime rate. Adams wants to increase police and has been criticized for plans that will harm Black and brown citizens while Wiley calls to defund the NYPD and for progressive reform. Spectrum News (June 18, 2021)
constitutional crisis? Missouri’s new second amendment protection law is under fire from the Department of Justice as it prohibits police from enforcing federal gun laws. DOJ officials say the constitution’s Supremacy Clause overrides Governor Mike Parson’s new bill and calls public safety into question. AP (June 16, 2021)
disturbing statistics: Police in Bakersfield, California have a habit of breaking bones; between 2016 and 2019, officers broke at least 45 bones in 31 people. The department upholds that force is often necessary and no officers violated policy, but advocates and experts find the numbers concerning. KQED (June 16, 2021)
shameful: A Honolulu police officer was charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap in April. The officer fired 10 shots “without provocation.” Two other officers are charged with attempted second-degree murder for their role in the boy’s death. New York Times (June 17, 2021)
unsurprising hypocrisy: During Trump’s presidency, he was often obstructed by federal judges’ injunctions and many Republican attorneys vocally condemned injunctions. Now, President Biden has received many injunctions from conservative state attorney generals in efforts to hinder progressive acts. Slate (June 16, 2021)
2nd amendment turmoil: O’Fallon, Missouri’s police chief resigned because he believes a new second amendment protection law will have consequences. The law nullifies federal gun laws and allows someone to sue a police department for up to $50,000 if an officer neglects someone’s second amendment rights. Fox2Now (June 18, 2021)
slavery reincarnated: The GEO group, one of the U.S. largest private prison companies, was sued for profiting of incarcerated people’s labor in Tacoma, Washington in 2017; workers were denied a wage. Now a federal jury is determining whether the company must pay detained immigrants a minimum wage for cooking and cleaning. KRWG (June 16, 2021)
disarray: The White House has been silent on capital punishment though many believed Biden would be the first sitting president to condemn it. Federal protocols from the Trump-era remain and cause chaos as states face pressure from conservative and anti-death penalty voices. Concho Valley (June 18, 2021)
video: “Life Without Parole Isn’t Making Us Any Safer” | essay: Can Criminal Justice Reform Survive a Wave of Violent Crime? | VOICES: Prison violence like Alabama's demands a national reckoning | survey: Reentry in the Wake of COVID-19 | 26 years after being convicted of murder, a D.C. jail inmate is elected to public office | opinion: California prisons must provide inmates addiction treatment | essay: I’m a Trans Woman. I’m Celebrating Pride From a Men’s Prison.
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