Racism in Blue

Just before Trump’s inauguration, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Report summarizing its recent investigation of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), which resulted in many important findings. The Report discusses the police department’s pattern and practice of using excessive force, including rampant and unwarranted police shootings, profoundly unethical police practices, and a… Read More

The Truth of the Slager Trial

Remember the bystander video, taken after Walter Scott was stopped by police for having a burnt out taillight bulb? It circulated on the news and social media, showing Mr. Scott’s feeble jog away from the police officer, and Officer Michael Slager firing eight shots at Mr. Scott’s back. At the recent criminal trial against Officer… Read More

The Importance of the Pipeline Protests

A militarized response to a peaceful protest has no place in a civilized democracy. Such a response shows how our government systems often seek to protect the profit interests, at the expense of the marginalized. And that’s what we see as the government tries to shut down the protests at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, although this time the protesters appear to… Read More

Tracking Police Shootings

The federal government has finally decided that tracking national data about police shootings and in-custody police deaths is important. With police shootings regularly devastating communities, understanding the patterns behind the problem is essential to getting a handle on the violence. In theory, beginning next year we will no longer need to count on private tracking… Read More

Police Training: How to Shoot People

  Many of us are reeling as we watch the body count of black shooting victims pile higher at the hands of violent police officers. This time it is the tragic deaths of Terence Crutcher, Keith Scott, and Tyre King. Video footage proves that Terence Crutcher was simultaneously tasered and shot by Tulsa police, while… Read More

Gun Ownership and Racism

How law enforcement thinks about gun ownership rights has everything to do with race. The bottom line is that open carry gun laws and gun ownership laws in general afford rights that the police often only recognize for white people. That sounds like a pretty inflammatory thing to say, but once you look at how… Read More

Artificial Intelligence and Criminal Justice

As our country looks for a quick fix to the many problems plaguing our criminal justice system, some courts and police departments are trying to use artificial intelligence as a cure-all. One flawed idea is that technology could be used by courts to take bias out of the equation for fairer sentencing decisions. Police departments could… Read More

Black and Blue Lives

Black Lives Matter. It’s sad and confusing that such an important and basic affirmation is being treated as if it was a war cry against cops or a denunciation of white people. It is neither. Instead, it simply acknowledges centuries of violent oppression at the hands of those with economic, political, and police/military power and… Read More

Shoot First, Think Later

We ache again over senseless police shootings of black men. In the span of two days, two tragic police killings of black men have shaken our sense of justice. In the first, Alton Sterling was literally pinned to the ground by an officer when a second cop shot him at close range. In the other… Read More