Free Meek Mill, Philly cops panic over their new DA, LAPD caught planting drugs, 14 year old boy killed on reservation
In Justice Roundup is my weekly debrief rounding up the justice news you need to know.
Rallies & petitions grow for the rapper Meek Mill
I want to preface what I’m about to say by first making it clear that I’m not a Meek Mill fan. I couldn’t name even one song the rapper has ever performed. I said that to say that I am not writing this from the position of a fan, but as an advocate.
What the courts are doing to him right now is absolutely wrong. If you missed it, he was recently sentenced to 2–4 years in prison for violating his parole — which he’s been on for over a decade.
First, allow Van Jones to explain what he did to violate his parole
That’s right — he was literally given a ticket for popping a wheelie on a dirt bike in Harlem. And because that citation violated his parole, he is now being sent to prison.
That’s bogus. It’s a waste of resources and a gross overreach of the criminal justice system. Toward that end, rallies and petitions on his behalf are springing up everywhere. What’s happening to Meek Mill right now is absolutely indicative of just how ugly this system is to everyday people all of the time. We’re just hearing about Meek because he’s famous.
Philadelphia police officers caught threatening newly elected DA Larry Krasner online
Longtime civil rights attorney Larry Krasner was recently elected as the new District Attorney of Philadelphia with nearly 75% of the vote — a resounding mandate in his hometown. People there, and all over the country, want real reforms and Krasner ran on this message.
That’s partly why it is so disturbing that multiple Philadelphia police officers were discovered on Facebook stating that they would not honor him as their DA. Some went so far as to say they wanted to “bitch slap” Krasner.
These officers should at least be suspended for their actions and some should be fired.
Of course Krasner kept the high road. His spokesperson, Ben Waxman, released this statement,
“Larry has said repeatedly that he is excited to work with the good officers of the Philadelphia Police Department, which he believes are the overwhelmingly majority,” Waxman said in an email. “He already works closely with many in the department, including Commissioner Ross and the previous two commissioners. Larry also benefited during the campaign from the endorsement of the Guardian Civic League, an organization of African American police officers. He looks forward to working with the PPD and other law enforcement agencies to ensure the fair application of justice for all people.”
Police reforms in Chicago take one step forward and two steps back
You’d be hard pressed to find people who’ve worked more to create substantive criminal justice reforms than the people of Chicago. That’s partly why it’s so damn disappointing to see what’s happening there. This September the city opened the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) and many across the country are studying it as a model to perhaps duplicate. Unfortunately, because of fine print in the legislation that created the office, not a single report it has created over the past three months has been published — not one.
As it turns out, the newly created system is even less transparent than the old one — and now it could be months, or even years, before the first reports are released. According to Pro Publica, “Under the new ordinance, COPA is barred from posting its investigative reports — and any disagreement or pushback from the Police Department — until the review process has been completed and the officer is notified of the discipline. There is no deadline for that last step.”
To be frank, this needs to be fixed. It needs to go back before the people and be repaired — or people are going to lose complete trust in the new system.
Deputy of the Year charged with sexually abusing children going on trial
As you have no doubt heard, Senate candidate Roy Moore, twice ousted as the head of the Alabama Supreme Court, has been accused of sexually abusing minors. Two NYPD officers were just fired for sexually assaulting a teenager. Kenneth Hatch, once awarded with Deputy of the Year honors in Maine, is now going on trial for 22 different criminal counts around the repeated sexual assault of several different 14 & 15 year old girls.
If men like Kenneth Hatch and Roy Moore continue to get away with such crimes, the lesson it teaches our nation is that children simply are not protected by law from the sexual abuse or horrible men in power.
Outside of Sacramento, Marysville Police Chief Aaron Easton hastily resignedafter it was revealed that he is being investigated for the sexual assault of a young cadet. Again, though, the question comes down to why wasn’t this man fired and will he be held accountable for his actions?
It appears an LAPD officer was filmed planting drugs on someone
Just watch the whole report for yourself:
Jason Pero was just a boy. Known as a sweet, kind-hearted, teddy bear of a child, the 14 year old 8th grader who lived on a Northern Wisconsin reservation was shot and killed by police.
The deputy who shot and killed Pero was not injured. Family members and local leaders are demanding answers. State officials have claimed a knife was recovered from the scene, but family members have raised doubts about it even belonging to him.
What we do know is that a sweet boy is dead and that the officer who shot and killed him would’ve likely found a way to avoid using lethal force in most other developed countries.