Police Brutality in Lock-Ups

Many people defend police brutality by saying that cops have a tough job to do and sometimes catching the bad guys requires a little roughness.  But while policing is a difficult job, that does not excuse the above-the-law mentality fueling the all too frequent and unnecessary police violence we see. A lack of accountability is at the… Read More

Journalist Sues to Get Police & State’s Attorney Records of Laquan McDonald Shooting Investigations

Laquan McDonald protest

CHICAGO — The independent journalist who forced the release of the infamous Laquan McDonald police shooting video has sued Chicago Police, the Independent Police Review Authority, and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to force release of their investigations into the police killing of the 17-year-old. The suits were filed on behalf of independent journalist… Read More

Conviction of ex-NYPD Officer Peter Liang: A Sign of Change for Police Accountability or A PR Stunt at the Expense of the “Model Minorities”?

As a native Asian-American New Yorker who has been advocating for police accountability for almost a decade, I am conflicted and have mixed feelings about the police shooting of Akai Gurley and the criminal charges filed against former NYPD Officer Peter Liang. On one hand, if I praise the jury for holding Liang accountable for… Read More

2016 Presidential Candidates on Police Reform

The 2016 Presidential Election marks a turning point on the nation’s view on police brutality. Historically, the issue of police reform is rarely covered during presidential debates. With increased coverage of national police misconduct scandals and Black Lives Matter demonstrations, Americans have become more skeptical of law enforcement and are demanding a national conversation about… Read More

Why Police Shooting Cases Need Outside Prosecutors

In the aftermath of highly publicized police shootings, a number of states around the country have enacted reforms requiring special prosecutors to investigate police shootings, and many other states are considering them. Chicago, more so than any other jurisdiction, needs to implement this reform. The demand for special prosecutors is a result of the following… Read More

A Matter of Perspective?

At Altering Convictions we share our perspective about combating police brutality, opposing mass incarceration, and fighting injustice. All of our pieces presume a few basic truths that are inarguable. It is unacceptable for law enforcement to treat certain people’s lives as expendable. Law enforcement should honor everyone’s constitutional rights. And all people should be treated… Read More

Doubling Down With Police Tasers

Chicago’s long time police shooting problem has finally made national news, with the horrifying video of an officer senselessly gunning down Laquan McDonald as the impetus for closer scrutiny. With the spotlight shining on it, the Chicago Police Department is doubling down with a shockingly counterproductive change that will only worsen the situation. It is… Read More

How Does US Justice Stack Up? An International Comparison

As we near the end of the year, it seems like a good time to reflect, so I thought I’d examine how the United States compares to other countries in matters of policing and criminal justice. Unfortunately, an international comparison of criminal justice statistics shows just how far behind our country is. Police shootings: This… Read More

Media Coverage of Black Shooting Victims (Part II): “Thugs” in the News Media

  In a recent post, Media Coverage of Black Shooting Victims (Part I), we considered how the media uses negative portrayals of black shooting victims to imply that police brutality against black victims is somehow justifiable. We explored how the news media’s use of mug shots or unflattering photos of the victims and its assassination… Read More