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Homeland Security Email Suggests Racial Profiling By LA Police Agency

An internal email from a Department of Homeland Security lawyer is raising questions about the use of ethnic profiling by local police against immigrants, despite an Obama administration effort to stop using the justice system to round up low-level suspects for deportation, reports the Los Angeles Times. Two Honduran men waiting for a ride to their construction job were detained by Louisiana police in May on loitering charges because they looked Latino, said a Sept. 21 Homeland Security email that […]

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Will Police Accountability Change Behavior?

Three months after passing some of the nation's most progressive bills on police accountability and sentencing reform, the state of Connecticut is still mired in debate over how much further to go in reforming its criminal justice system. The challenges emerged graphically yesterday at a panel discussion involving the state's top justice advisor, and representatives of law enforcement and the state legislature. “If people in the community don't trust the police, everything gets worse,” said Michael Lawlor, Connecticut's Under Secretary […]

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Police Call New CA Racial Profiling Law “Terrible,” Cite Paperwork

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation this weekend mandating that law enforcement agencies in the state collect and make public data on the racial makeup of all those encountered by police, The Los Angeles Times says that for civil rights activists, the measure is a big step toward protecting minorities from racial profiling. For many in law enforcement, it creates a massive new bureaucratic headache that will do little to illuminate the question of whether police treat minority groups […]

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Some Connecticut Police Agencies Practice Racial Profiling, Report Suggests

Black and Hispanic motorists in Connecticut are pulled over by police at higher rates than white motorists and are more likely to be ticketed, says a new release of traffic-stop data reported by the Hartford Courant. Blacks and Hispanics are also more likely to have their cars searched, although police find contraband less often than when the cars of white motorists are searched. The release of data on nearly 250,000 traffic stops between October 2014 and March 2015 adds to […]

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The Troubling Link Between Ferguson and Charleston

Since August 2014, when an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown was shot dead by Police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO, the use of force by police—particularly against minorities—has become the focus of national attention. Similar incidents in places ranging from Cleveland, Ohio to New York City—and last month's church shootings in Charleston SC—have reinforced a national movement, #blacklivesmatter, as well as a spurred a debate that has drawn in every sector of American life. But Ferguson continues to […]

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Arpaio Admits Violating Judge’s Order On Immigrants, Would Pay Fine

Joe Arpaio, the outspoken Arizona sheriff who often touted his get-tough approach to combating illegally immigration, admitted he violated a federal judge's orders to stop detaining people simply because of a suspicion they may be in the country illegally, reports the Los Angeles Times. The admission, one month before he lawman was scheduled to appear in court, appears to be an attempt to avoid an evidentiary hearing in which Arpaio and other officers could be called to testify. Attorneys for […]

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San Diego Official Seeks Outside Study Of Police Racial Profiling Charges

The San Diego Police Department is trying to assess whether its officers are guilty of racial profiling in traffic stops, as some community activists allege, the Los Angeles Times reports. New statistics suggest that black and Latino drivers are more likely to be pulled over than white drivers, and once stopped are more likely to be searched than white drivers who have been stopped. “We have a racial profiling issue; it is here,” said Mark Jones, a former Marine and […]

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‘Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror’

A new study from the Montgomery, Ala.-based Equal Justice Initiative concludes that whites lynched 3,959 black men, women and children in 12 southern states between 1877 and 1950—700 more people than previous investigations showed.

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Bill Bratton in New York, Take Two

When a deranged black man named Ismaaiyl Brinsley killed two New York Police Department (NYPD) officers two weeks ago, he did more than take their lives. He also transformed the dynamic surrounding the effort by New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio to transform an embattled NYPD in 2014. Before the murders of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, demonstrations over police-killings of black men had created a powerful momentum both nationwide and in New […]

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Guns, Race and Children: Facing Up to the ‘Ugly Truth’

In May 2014, 50 women who lost children at such disparate crimes scenes as suburban Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary and the streets of South Central Los Angeles gathered in Miami for a “Circle of Mothers,” a project of The Trayvon Martin Foundation.