End Mass Criminalization of Black and Brown Youth

End Mass Criminalization of Black and Brown Youth (88)

Demonstrators still seeking answers over the mysterious and troubling death of Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal injury while in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department, circled City Hall on Thursday after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that he had called in state troopers to help quell the protests.

Seizing on the growing backlash against police brutalization and discriminatory mass incarceration, people across the country on Tuesday took to the streets. With mass demonstrations, sit-ins, and blockades, protesters in 30 cities demanded an end to "business as usual" within the U.S. criminal justice system.

Back in June, Seattle resident Oscar Perez Giron committed the most minor of crimes, and ended up dead.

When fare enforcement officers approached 23-year-old Giron and his two companions on the light rail and asked for proof of fare payment, they could only produce two valid ticket stubs.

In 2004, Sean Bailey recalls, he was driving through the streets of St. Louis County en route to a party, when he saw a familiar black-and-white car out of the corner of his eye. He reached for his phone to warn the friend he was following to slow down, but it was too late; the cop blared his siren and pulled up behind him. Bailey, who had a warrant stemming from a failure to appear in court for unpaid traffic tickets, felt a familiar pang of anxiety. He knew exactly what was going to happen next.

When a community issues arrest warrants for more offenses than it has residents, something's deeply wrong.

In a letter to be presented to the White House today, nearly 200 civil rights, faith-based organizing, criminal justice, and social justice reform groups are calling on President Obama to take immediate executive action to ensure that federal agencies and contractors remove unnecessary barriers to employment for qualified job candidates who have an arrest or conviction in their past.

March 5 marks an important but oft-overlooked anniversary. On a winter’s day 245 years ago, in the year 1770, an angry crowd formed in Boston, then the capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. People were enraged by the extortionate taxes imposed by the British Parliament. In order to quell the public furor, the British sent troops, who violently quashed dissent.

It was exactly three years ago today that Trayvon Martin made the fatal mistake of putting on his hoodie and walking to a Florida convenience store at dusk for a cold drink and a pack of Skittles.

Marijuana is already legal in four states and DC, and 23 states have medical marijuana. Now, a pair of federal legalization bills are in the hopper. Two congressmen from two states where marijuana is already legal under state law today filed two separate bills to legalize marijuana at the federal level. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced a bill that would allow states to legalize marijuana without fear of federal intervention, while Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced a bill that would tax marijuana at the federal level, in addition to any state taxes. The bills were not yet available on congressional web sites as of this afternoon.

A sentence handed down this week in Dothan, Alabama, raises questions about fairness and justice. And race. A Cowarts, Alabama, man was sentenced this week to life in prison—for being caught with 2 ½ pounds of pot. And yes, he is black.

Page 3 of 7