Race and Policing
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We are at a moment in time when we are collectively rethinking how society treats children. A big piece of this work is harm reduction—stemming the tide of the huge numbers of youth that have been flowing into our justice systems, and the significant overrepresentation of youth of color, youth with disabilities, and LGBTQ/gender nonconforming youth.Equally important is reorienting society's approach to view issues of youth behavior and welfare through a public health lens instead of a punitive lens—looking at how can we unlock the potential of our youth rather than focusing on locking them up. When society supports youth and provides them with resources needed for positive youth development, such as good health care, housing, education, healthy food, and nurturing relationships, we are setting them on a path for success. However, when policing is heavily concentrated in marginalized communities, leading to frequent stop andfrisks of young people, then we are sending them down a different path—one in which future contacts with police and arrests are more likely.
The systemic criminalization of youth of color, youth with disabilities, and youth of color with disabilities in schools is one of the most blatant and egregious examples of structural racism and violence in this country. The presence of police officers, guns, handcuffs, and metal detectors in schools creates hostile teaching and learning environments that are reinforced by harsh, punitive, and exclusionaryii school discipline policies. Together these practices constitute what is widely referred to as the school-to-prison pipeline. As this report demonstrates, Milwaukee's reliance on punitive approaches to discipline is ineffective, costly, and, most troublingly, racially biased.
Communities of color have a long-standing history of inequitable treatment by the police in the U.S. In recent years, activists with the Black Lives Matter movement have helped to raise the profile of the destructive treatment of the black community by law enforcement, which includes a long line of police shootings of youth of color – Michael Brown, Jordan Edwards, Jessica Hernandez, Ty're King, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Jesse Romero, Stephen Watts– and many more. While these incidents are nothing new, the ubiquitous use of cell phone cameras is now thrusting them into the public's eye. It is past time to change how police interact with black and brown youth.Data bears out the ugly fact that youth of color are killed by police far out of proportion to white youth. This deeply unequal and fundamentally lethal treatment can be attributed to a number of factors. These factors include the widespread over-policing and racial profiling of communities of color, our country's historic treatment of people of color, and implicit and explicit biases by the police and society that cause police and the court systems to view youth of color as older than they are and more culpable than their white peers. Moreover, the lack of consistent and real accountability for police mistreatment and brutality has led to a continuation of this unjust system. This report presents recommendations for reform and details the reasoning behind them.
Bias against youth of color has deep historical roots in this country with overrepresentation of black youth and disparities in treatment originating with the first juvenile court's inception. The view of youth of color as different and deserving of harsher treatment was intensified in the 1980s with the perpetuation of the "superpredator" myth—that a new breed of brutal youth, commonly viewed as youth of color, were going to terrorize the country. Disparate treatment of youth of color is no doubt impacted by the racism that continues to infect our society—most recently and glaringly represented by the August 2017 demonstration by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. While explicit and structural racism contribute to the widespread racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice systems across the country, a more insidious contributor to this problem is that of implicit bias. This snapshot will provide a brief overview of this issue as well as resources to find more information.
We can imagine the pain and suffering that the youth and families in Newtown, Connecticut are experiencing. As youth growing up on some of America's deadliest streets, we are all too familiar with gun violence and its impacts. Too many of us have been shot and shot at. We have buried our friends and family members. Nearly all of us have been to more funerals than graduations. No one wants the violence to stop more than we do.But, we have also seen how attempts to build public safety with security systems, armed police and prisons have failed. We want college prep, not prison prep.
This report documents the deaths of 589 people who lived in Los Angeles County and were killed by law enforcement between January 1, 2000 and August 31, 2014. In addition, the report documents all cases – with name, age,race, location and where possible incident details – from January 1, 2007 – August 31, 2014 in order to remember eachindividual; to investigate who is impacted by race, age, gender and community (location of the shooting); and to learnfrom their experiences in an attempt to save lives in the future. Based on these specific case histories, the report looks for trends or commonalities among incidents and raises concerns regarding suspicious and troubling patterns. Finally, the report makes some comparisons between LA and other jurisdictions, and begins to evaluate media's coverage of officer-involved homicides.
Racial and ethnic disparities weaken the credibility of a justice system that purports to treat everyone equitably. Across the country, juvenile justice systems are marked by disparate racial outcomes at every stage of the process, starting with more frequent arrests for youth of color and ending with more frequent secure placement.This briefing paper explains how disproportionate minority contact (DMC) with the juvenile justice system is measured and takes a close look at drug offenses, property crimes, and status offenses.
This report contains data drawn from surveys of LGBTQ youth describing criminalization, stories of Black transgenderwomen from various backgrounds, a timeline of events for the campaign, recommendations from the community, and next steps for BreakOUT!This report was created to further our mission -- to end the criminalization of LGBTQ youth inNew Orleans! This document is a manifestation of love, hard labor/research, bravery, and vulnerability of BreakOUT! members and theentire community. This report is a call for equal treatment and creating or strengthening support structures whichpromote mobility in the areas of safety, housing, health, education, and employment. We hope this report will help yourise to action- or at least support the young people who are organizing against forces which continue to exploit, harm, andoverall enslave us in the criminal justice system.