Martin Luther King Day and You

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. On Martin Luther King Day this year, let’s think about how we can contribute to fighting injustice. All year, we blog about how broken our criminal justice system is, but we rarely talk about what can be done about it on a… Read More

Police Perjury — All. The. Time.

Ever heard of police officers “testilying” in court? “Testilying” is the cynical euphemism that cops use for testifying falsely in order to secure convictions against people whom they believe to be guilty. But there is obviously another word for it: police perjury. “Testilying” is rationalized as somehow justified because the cop’s goal is to make… 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

Rejecting the Police Cover Up

  By now, surely many have read or heard about the release of the gruesome dashboard camera videos of Chicago Police Department officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. But while mourning this brutal shooting, few are talking about the police cover up at the center of the story. The release… Read More

Gratitude and Privilege in the Justice System

As I prepare to celebrate the holiday season, I am struck by things that I am grateful for, but which are denied to many in our communities. In particular, I am concerned with privilege as it relates to the justice system. Basic rights become privilege when our system offers the rights only to some, while… Read More

Police Training: Shoot First

  With the almost constant barrage of unjustified police shootings in the news, you’d think that police training would start emphasizing how to not gun down innocent people. But if you thought that, you’d be dead wrong. Instead, the typical police training continues to stress shoot first and ask questions later. First, let’s look at… Read More

The Fictional “War on Cops”

Murder is a tragedy regardless of whether the victim is an average citizen or a police officer. But the fiction that there is some kind of “war on cops” or, worse yet, that the Black Lives Matter movement has somehow created an open season for shooting cops is both patently false and deeply problematic. The… Read More

Police Violence Against Native Americans

With all our talk about police violence aimed at poor and minority communities, we have yet to talk about the group most likely to be killed by law enforcement: Native Americans. Native American men are incarcerated at four times the rate of white men and Native American women are sent to prison at six times the… Read More

A Culture of Police Violence

There’s been a lot of press about unwarranted police shootings and law enforcement cover-ups of police brutality, but do you ever wonder how on earth a culture developed where some police officers could believe that it is okay to treat people that way? I certainly have. And here’s what I’ve come up with: the culture… Read More