Police enforcement of minor crimes contributes to clogged courts and may exacerbate racial tensions, write John Jay President Jeremy Travis and associate professor of psychology Preeti Chauhan. Last Friday, John Jay College announced the creation of a data-driven research network aimed at helping policymakers and law enforcement authorities explore different approaches.
Alderman Roderick Sawyer of the City Council’s Black Caucus is concerned that police continue to stop people without a “reasonable suspicion” of a crime, which is required for an investigatory stop to be constitutional. “Were the reasons legitimate?” the alderman says. “Or is it still ‘walking while black?’ “
Residents of largely white Yellow Springs, Ohio, home of Antioch College, say police are too aggressive; blacks say they are racially biased. Controversy arose over the arrest of a black man on New Year’s Eve for taking an officer’s Taser.
White officers use greater force on black suspects than on white suspects, according to a two-year study of seven police agencies in 7 U.S. cities by researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Central Florida. One of the co-authors cautions it suggests possible bias but “doesn’t prove it.”
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson pushed to settle the case, which was filed during Bill Clinton’s presidency. About 100 black agents alleged that Secret Service fostered a racist culture and routinely promoted white agents over more qualified African Americans.
New Orleans spends more to administer its bail system than it earns in revenue from bail, fines and fees—with a devastating impact on the city’s poorest residents, most of them African-American, according to a study released Tuesday by the Vera Institute of Justice.
Conventional wisdom suggests that African-Americans have lost their trust in police as a result of viral videos of deadly interactions between officers and black citizens. But an analysis of citizen complaints and civil lawsuits in the District of Columbia asserts that trust has been destroyed in personal experiences with cops. “It made me hate the police,” said a woman involved in one troubling incident.
The Restorative Justice Community Court in Cook County will give 18- to 26-year-olds charged with nonviolent crimes an opportunity to work in the community and to avoid a criminal record. The court opens amid new research on the impulsiveness of young adults.
Jackie Lacey must make tough decisions about whether to charge Los Angeles cops in controversial shootings of black citizens. At the same time, she faces pressure from African Americans to do the right thing on behalf of her race.