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Category: Criminal Justice (page 1 of 3)

Man Reportedly Sends Several Racist Facebook Messages Before Shooting and Killing a Black Man

Kevin Ashley Parnell

Kevin Ashley Parnell (Mansfield Jail)

An innocent black man was shot in the face and killed on Labor Day after attempting to keep an angry, racist white man from entering his home and confronting his roommate, according to reports from local law enforcement in Fort Worth, Texas.

Read “‘I’m Going To Strip You Naked and Whip You Like the Slave You Are’: Man Sends Racist Messages Before Killing Innocent Black Man

Louisiana DA Wants to Send a Mother to Jail For Crimes Her Children Allegedly Committed

Prison cell bars

Typical Prison Cell Bars (iStock)

A mother of two in Shreveport, La., is facing criminal charges and could possibly be locked up for crimes she did not commit if Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr. has his way. He wants to punish her for a series of crimes allegedly committed by her children.

Read “Prosecutor Seeks to Lock Up a Mother For Crimes Allegedly Committed By Her Children

Is It Time We Re-Examine Who Is Labeled a Violent Offender?

Generic handcuffed prisoner

Handcuffed prisoner in jail (iStock)

In which Josie Duffy-Rice gives us the human side of supposed “violent offenders” and how that label impacts who benefits from criminal justice reform and who doesn’t.

Reform advocates have spent years trying to get the public to pay attention to the injustices of America’s merciless criminal justice system. The good news is it seems to be working, albeit slowly and fitfully, with public perception shifting across the political spectrum. There’s a long way to go—we still imprison more people than any other country in the world and the system is full of inhumanities—but there have been some important, if tiny, triumphs.

But even these minor victories have costs. To make justice reform digestible, we’ve had to draw black-and-white lines that obscure the shades of gray. Take, for example, the binary split between nonviolent and violent offenders. Because nonviolent offenders are much more sympathetic, they’ve received almost all the reform attention. Any mercy the system has demonstrated has gone almost exclusively to those we can safely lump into this nonthreatening category, a group we’ve separated rhetorically from the “violent” types who are generally considered beyond redemption or mercy.

Read “My Brother, the Violent Offender

Homicide of Black Men More Likely To Be Deemed ‘Justifiable’

iStock

A recent analysis conducted by The Marshall Project confirms what most of us have known, or at least suspected, all along: when a black man is killed by a white person in America, their killer is less likely to face legal consequences, and the killing is more likely to be deemed justifiable.

Read “Killings of Black Men More Likely To Be Deemed Justifiable: Report

On Police Departments and Drone Usage

LAPD Drones

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNA – AUGUST 21, 2014: Mario Bautista (middle ) along with other members of “Stop LAPD Spying Coalition), holds a press conference outside Los Angeles City Hall on August 21 in downtown Los Angeles. The group is saying the use of drones would violate the privacy rights of Angelenos and further “militarize” local law enforcement. Later, the group tried to present a letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti for a timeline regarding setting a policy for the LAPD to make a decision regarding drones. The group is demanding a prohibition onthe use of drone technology by the Los Angeles Police Departement. (Photo by Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission, the Los Angeles Police Department said it wanted to test the use of drones in a one-year pilot program. The announcement was met with immediate resistance from a group of activists who gathered to denounce the use of any drones by the department.

Read “Should Police Departments Be Able To Use Drones? 

#WalterScott Prosecutor Believed the Choice Between Murder and Manslaughter Was a ‘Close Call’

Former North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager (Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images)

The South Carolina prosecutor who tried the now former North Charleston police officer responsible for shooting and killing the 50-year-old black unarmed motorist Walter Scott said in a pretrial hearing last year that Michael Slager’s shooting of Scott was a “close call” between manslaughter and murder, but that a case could be made for either criminal charge.

Read “#WalterScott: Prosecutor Believed It Was a ‘Close Call’ Between Manslaughter and Murder

Baltimore Police Officer Plants Drugs Then Pretends to Find Them in Drug Bust

Baltimore Police Officer Planting Drugs

Baltimore police officer plants drugs then pretends to find them (Baltimore Sun video screenshot)

A police officer in Baltimore, Md., has been suspended, and two of his colleagues have been placed on non-public contact administrative duty after the public defender’s office released body camera footage that shows the officer planting drugs at a crime scene prior to making an arrest.

Read “Body Camera Footage Shows Baltimore Cop Planting Drugs

Another Alleged Suicide – Does This Sound Real?

Anthony Garrett

Anthony Garrett (GoFundMe)

Las Vegas Police want us to believe that 16-year-old Anthony Garrett killed himself, but what really happened?

Read “What Really Happened to 16-Year-Old Anthony Garrett? 

How Long Should An Officer Have Before Making a Statement After a Fatal Shooting?

Police

iStock

Police officers in Portland, Ore., who were involved in a shooting that resulted in death or serious physical injury were previously given 48 hours during which they could consult with an attorney before having to make a statement about the shooting. It was a rule that was objected to by advocates for police accountability.

Read “Is 48 Hours Too Long To Wait For a Police Officer To Give a Statement After a Fatal Shooting? 

Prosecutor in Lequan McDonald Cover-Up Case Seeks to Remove Pro-Police Judge

Laquan McDonald Shooting

A chalk body outline re-creates the crime scene where 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by then-Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. (Max Herman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes, who indicted three Chicago police officers on charges that they covered up the circumstances of the Laquan McDonald shooting, moved to remove the judge in the case on the grounds that she is “prejudiced” against the prosecution.

Read “Special Prosecutor in Case of Officers Charged With Cover-Up in Laquan McDonald Shooting Seeks to Remove ‘Pro-Police’ Judge

No Hate Crime Charges in the Murder of Richard Collins III

Richard Collins III

Sean Urbanski, Richard Collins III (Twitter)

Sean Christopher Urbanski, the white University of Maryland student who is accused of stabbing and killing black Bowie State student Richard Collins III on May 20, has been indicted for the crime and will be heading to trial, but he will not be facing hate crime charges.

Read “No Hate Crime Charges Against White Univ. of Maryland Student Accused of Killing Black Bowie State Student

‘Stealthing’ Could Become a Form of Felony Sexual Battery in California

Cristina Garcia

California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (Rich Pedroncelli/AP Images)

In May, Calif., Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) introduced a bill that would define ‘stealthing’ as a form of sexual assault, and on Tuesday, the state Senate Public Safety Committee advanced the bill, while acknowledging it was unclear whether or how such a law would be enforced.

Read “‘Stealthing’ One Step Closer to Being a Form of Sexual Assault in Calif.

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