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On Nov. 1, the FBI released a trove of previously undisclosed documents related to a decades-old investigation of police misconduct. In the 1990s, the agency investigated allegations of torture at the hands of Chicago police at the department’s Area 2 headquarters, where heinous acts of violence and psychological abuse were perpetrated against over 100 Black men and women under the supervision of then-commander Jon Burge.
On the morning of Nov. 23, 2004, Malaika Brooks was driving her 11-year-old son to school when Seattle police pulled her over for speeding. When the officers gave her a ticket and asked her to sign it, Brooks refused, believing that she had been wrongly pulled over and thinking, mistakenly, that her signature would be […]
In September 2018, President Trump stood in front of 44 sheriffs as he began another diatribe against the New York Times and other media outlets that had published stories criticizing his administration. The sheriffs applauded. The meeting was originally scheduled to be between the sheriffs and officials from ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. […]
In May 2016, 26-year-old Caleb Smith was prepping for medical school entry exams, and ordered what he thought was Adderall off the internet to help him study. After the package arrived at his home in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, his girlfriend, 26-year-old Amanda Leach, asked to try some. Smith obliged, and days later, Leach was found dead […]
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute eight men over eleven days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture.
In Georgia, a man stole a can of beer worth $2 from a corner store. The court ordered him to wear an ankle monitor for a year. The company administering it, Sentinel Offender Services, charged him so much money that he eventually owed more than $1,000. Trying to keep up with his payments, he sold plasma, but he fell behind and the judge jailed him for non-payment.
In 2006, Ann Colomb and her three sons were convicted of running one of the largest crack cocaine distribution rings in Louisiana. Federal prosecutors said that, over the course of a decade, the family bought $15 million worth of drugs with a street value of more than $70 million. Over 30 witnesses were prepared to […]
Most evenings, Aguirre Dick rides his bike about three miles from the streets of Waikiki in Honolulu to the slopes of a volcano, where he sleeps. If he doesn’t make that trek, he could be arrested. A 2014 law made it illegal to sit or lie down on the public sidewalks in Waikiki. As a result of this law, those without homes, like Aguirre, live in constant fear of being pushed into the criminal justice system simply because they are too poor to own or rent lodging. Liz Barney / The Guardian
In 1992, three homemade bombs exploded in seemingly random locations around Colorado. When police later learned that sometime after the bombs went off, Jimmy Genrich had requested a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook from a bookstore, he became their top suspect. In a search of his house, they found no gunpowder or bomb-making materials, just some common household […]
In our Explainer series, Justice Collaborative lawyers and other legal experts help unpack some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines—like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine—so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected […]