African-American voters want change at the front door—or pretrial stage—of the criminal justice system, according to a new study by the Pretrial Justice Institute. The study found that 78 percent of African-American voters want to reduce the number of arrests for low-level, nonviolent offenses by issuing citations rather than arresting people.
Between the November 2016 election of Donald Trump and December 2017, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups targeted Texas State University at least 10 times, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The school’s administration has struggled to respond.
Some worry that a risk-assessment tool under development could predict recidivism by weighing factors that serve as a proxy for race and socioeconomic status, ultimately incarcerating more black and brown defendants while allowing white defendants to go free.
The Washington Post says reaction by both police and the community to the shooting of Justine Damond by a black Minneapolis cop has been much different than when Philando Castile was killed by an officer last year.
The incident began when Jacqueline Craig, who is black, called police to report that a white man had assaulted her 7-year-old son after accusing the boy of littering. Tempers flared after a cop arrived, and the white Fort Worth police officer arrested Craig and two of her daughters. The officer has been placed on restricted duty.
Robert Pittenger, whose district includes parts of Charlotte, pegged the violence there this week to black protesters who “hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.” He later apologized on Twitter, saying his racist comment “doesn’t reflect who I am.”
Vanita Gupta of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division sees a “very clear link” between the criminalization of poverty and the growing distrust of police and the government. She says police targeting of the poor entraps African-Americans “in perpetual cycles of poverty, debt and incarceration.”
Gov. Paul LePage again says black narcotics dealers from out of state are causing Maine’s entrenched heroin problem. FBI statistics suggest he is wrong. “It sounds like your governor is acting short on facts and heavy on myths,” says an ACLU official.
Commissioner William B. Evans says his South Boston roots help him connect to the city’s underprivileged citizens. He says, “Sometimes these kids think I had a whole different upbringing and had everything handed to me. I always like to let them know, I slept in a bed with two of my brothers…I had to overcome a lot of obstacles, very much like a lot of you guys.”