Colorlines

Criminal Justice

DA: No Cop Pulls a Gun on Accident

DA: No Cop Pulls a Gun on Accident

by Julianne Hing on June 16 2010, 9:30AM

A retired BART patrol officer walked the courtroom through the four safety features in the gun Mehserle used that would have prevented the weapon from accidentally being shot.

Topics: Criminal Justice, Oscar Grant Trial

Five New Orleans Cops Indicted in Post-Katrina Killing

Five New Orleans Cops Indicted in Post-Katrina Killing

by Julianne Hing on June 14 2010, 1:41PM

A federal grand jury has indicted five New Orleans police officers, three current and two former, on 11 counts of misconduct and wrongdoing in the shooting and subsequent coverup of Henry Glover’s death following Katrina. On Friday, David Warren, the…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Oscar Grant Took Photo of Mehserle Holding Taser Gun

Oscar Grant Took Photo of Mehserle Holding Taser Gun

by Julianne Hing on June 10 2010, 11:35AM

Minutes before he was killed, Oscar Grant used his sister’s cell phone to take a photo of BART cop Johannes Mehserle holding and pointing his Taser at him.

Topics: Criminal Justice, Oscar Grant Trial

No Black Jurors In Oscar Grant Trial, But It Might Not Matter Anyway

by Julianne Hing on June 9 2010, 7:26PM

The 18 jurors in the Oscar Grant trial—six are alternates—have been selected, and none of them are Black. News of the jury’s racial composition has angered community members and the Grant family. “It feels like we already have lost,” Traci…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Black Man Shot, Dragged 10 Miles in South Carolina

by Daisy Hernandez on June 7 2010, 6:12PM

The FBI is looking into whether race may have played a role in the murder of Anthony Hill last week in Newberry, South Carolina. Local authorities say the 30-year-old Black man was shot by his white coworker, Gregory Collins,…

Topics: Criminal Justice

BART Cop Mehserle's Defense: Push Race to the Sidelines

BART Cop Mehserle’s Defense: Push Race to the Sidelines

by Julianne Hing on June 7 2010, 12:47PM

Judge Robert Perry will rule soon on two motions filed by Mehserle’s attorney Michael Rains, who is trying to keep jurors from hearing about an exchange between another BART cop and Oscar Grant minutes before Mehserle shot 22-year-old Grant

Topics: Criminal Justice, Oscar Grant Trial

Oscar Grant Jurors Asked, Can You Overlook Race?

Oscar Grant Jurors Asked, Can You Overlook Race?

by Julianne Hing on June 4 2010, 9:53AM

A selection of 200 potential jurors for the trial of former BART officer Johannes Mehserle were interviewed for this week and asked to fill out a 14-page survey asking them about their attitudes on race and police.

Topics: Criminal Justice, Oscar Grant Trial

Aiyana Jones: Autopsy Released, Police Under Fire

by Jamilah King on June 3 2010, 2:13PM

Less than three weeks after the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones by Detroit police, attorneys for the girl’s family are alleging an attempted cover-up while the department faces increased scrutiny over what residents call its overly aggressive tactics. Geoffrey…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Report: Prosecutors Trained To Keep Juries White

by Jamilah King on June 3 2010, 12:12PM

A new report by the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based civil rights organization, revealed that 135 years after race-based jury selection was barred by federal courts, people of color are still illegally kept from serving on them. The report examined…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Judge Not: NJ Gov. Christie Ousts Lone Black Justice

by Michelle Chen on June 3 2010, 10:35AM

New Jersey’s new governor is zealously spreading a conservative agenda across his state, all the way up to the courthouse door. Gov. Chris Christie has sparked outrage in his decision not to reappoint the one Black judge of the state…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

Supreme Court on Miranda: Suspects Must Speak Up to Stay Quiet

by Julianne Hing on June 1 2010, 4:45PM

The Supreme Court issued a decision today that a criminal suspect must explicitly tell the law enforcement officers they are going to invoke their Miranda rights during a police investigation. If they speak up to say anything else, police…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Oscar Grant Murder Trial Kicks Off In L.A.

Oscar Grant Murder Trial Kicks Off In L.A.

by Julianne Hing on June 1 2010, 1:10PM

It’s been exactly a year and a half since Oscar Grant was shot in the back while he lay face down on a train platform by former BART cop Johannes Mehserle. Today, Mehserle faces his last pre-trial hearing.

Topics: Criminal Justice, Oscar Grant Trial

Crime, Punishment and Black Politics

by Katti Gray on May 28 2010, 12:00PM

Political leaders and thinkers increasingly identify criminal justice as a defining civil rights concern. But as the reaction to Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ killing suggests, that’s not always an easy sell in Black neighborhoods.

Topics: Criminal Justice

5 Ways to Channel Your Aiyana Outrage

5 Ways to Channel Your Aiyana Outrage

by Jamilah King on May 27 2010, 12:00PM

You’ve ranted on Facebook. You’ve flamed on Twitter. What else can you do when cops shoot a 7-year-old girl? Well, we’ve got some ideas.

Topics: Criminal Justice

Aiyana Stanley-Jones and Our Confused, Grieving Hearts

Aiyana Stanley-Jones and Our Confused, Grieving Hearts

by Akiba Solomon on May 25 2010, 12:00PM

Dueling Facebook pages reveal the conflicted emotions stirred when Detroit police shot a 7-year-old girl while investigating a 17-year-old boy’s murder.

Topics: Criminal Justice

States Can’t Lock Up Kids For Life, Says Supreme Court

by Kai Wright on May 18 2010, 10:46AM

The Supreme Court reined in juvenile imprisonment yesterday with a ruling that restricts states from locking up minors for life without parole for non-homicide convictions. The ruling expands on a 2005 decision that barred states from executing minors. CNN quotes…

Topics: Criminal Justice

The Long Rap Sheet of New Orleans Cops

by Jordan Flaherty on May 13 2010, 12:00PM

As the Justice Department considers overhauling the city’s law enforcement, it will have to round up more than a few post-Katrina rogues. Even the coroner’s got a past.

Topics: Criminal Justice

The Softer Side of Hate Crime?

by Michelle Chen on April 30 2010, 11:03AM

When should a teenage killer be viewed with sympathy? The New York Times broached that issue yesterday with a long profile of Jeffrey Conroy, recently convicted in the case of the stabbing death of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero. While press…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Fresno Cops Involved in Repeat Shootings Still on Duty

Fresno Cops Involved in Repeat Shootings Still on Duty

by Ali Winston on April 26 2010, 12:00PM

Our joint investigation with The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund finds that 25 police officers remain on active duty despite mutliple incidents of violence against civilians.

Topics: Criminal Justice

Daytime Curfew Laws Criminalize Youth, Don’t Fight The Crime They Say They Will

by Julianne Hing on April 7 2010, 3:09PM

The city council of Richmond, California, unanimously passed a daytime curfew law yesterday in an effort to curb truancy and crime that’s being associated with teens. The ordinance makes it illegal for any young person to be out in…

Topics: Criminal Justice