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Katie Jane Fernelius
M. Forrest Behne, Craig Waleed, Meghan Peterson, and Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein
Adam M. Rhodes
Former Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson’s fiery dissents on mass incarceration and sentencing in America’s most carceral state garnered international attention. But the rise of the first Black woman on the court was characterized by one battle after another with the Deep South’s white power structure.
The U.S. representative has been a chief architect of mass incarceration in the state and an instigator of racial injustice.
Jody David Armour
Dubious DNA evidence—and a potential coverup by the Travis County DA’s office—are at the heart of a judge’s recommendation that Areli Escobar gets a new trial.
Some lawmakers are citing the violence in Washington as a reason to pass laws that criminalize protesting, but far-right extremists aren’t the target.
The California Supreme Court Justice is motivated not by politics but by making equal justice under the law a reality for all Californians.
From San Francisco to Philadelphia, cities across the country are creating fully unarmed response teams to address emergencies that used to call for cops.
Outside of the traditional foster care system exists a shadow system of potentially hundreds of thousands of children removed by CPS to their relatives or family friends—without a court case, monetary support, or due process.
The report found that spread inside correctional facilities contributed to community spread, particularly in California, Florida and Texas.
McAuliffe is running to become Virginia governor a second time. If he wins, he would be the only active Democratic governor to have carried out executions in office.
A new study suggests that if counties—rather than states—bear the cost of incarceration, they may be less likely to incarcerate people.
Pennsylvania’s prisons have the second-highest number of people in the country serving life without the possibility of parole. Nine people who were released after being sentenced to die behind bars share their stories.
With aggressive legal maneuvering, the incoming head of the Justice Department can reverse some of Trump’s most lasting harm and take steps toward a more humane immigration system.
Investing in local communities and rolling back the criminalization of marijuana is exactly what the country needs right now.
Eric Garcetti, who may be considered for a position in the administration, is out of touch with the city’s working class and poor people, activists say. And they fear he’ll bring that sensibility to national politics.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s Transportation Secretary or Assistant to the Transportation Secretary, Rahm doesn’t belong in any of D.C.’s halls of power.
Two moped riders were left dead or injured after recent police pursuits in Washington, D.C., and Providence, Rhode Island.
Incumbents Jimmy Flannigan and Alison Alter have been targeted by conservative challengers because of the council’s votes to cut police funding and repeal a ban on public camping.
New York City’s jail population is close to reaching pre-pandemic levels. Advocates say dishonest fearmongering about bail reform—and the politicians who capitulated to it—have created a very real safety crisis.
In addition to the releases he has already ordered, the New York governor can grant commutations to free more incarcerated people to protect them from the disease. He has issued only three since the pandemic began.
The governor has rolled back bail reform, not released enough prisoners during the pandemic, and failed to rein in police abuses, advocates and prisoners say.
None of the Austin City Council members who voted to cut police funding lost their elections, but a police union vice president who fearmongered about the defund movement did.
Progressive lawmakers and activists say Cuomo has failed to adequately protect those who are out of work, at risk of losing their homes, or living behind bars, where the virus has spread rapidly.
Tara Francis Chan,
When election and racial justice protests rocked the city, Lori Lightfoot used raised bridges and shutdown public transportation as crowd control measures, which harmed the city’s workers.
Law enforcement organizations have long treated mass incarceration as a job creation program. In 2020, the tide began turning against them.
Researchers with the Covid Prison Project talk about how COVID-19 has opened up possibilities for data collection, a new report shows persistent disparities in L.A. County jails, and Colorado’s El Paso County jail sets a grim state record.
An overview of gubernatorial candidates and their stances on decarceration during the pandemic, a new lawsuit argues that Massachusetts corrections officials are ignoring home-confinement requests, and new infections spike at the Fort Dix federal prison in New Jersey.
A judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking the release of seriously ill prisoners from a facility that is now dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak; despite nationwide calls to shrink prison populations through sentencing reform, only one Election Day ballot measure seeks to tackle the issue; partying corrections officers are blamed for an outbreak at a North Carolina jail.
Under the banner of Detroit Will Breathe, the city’s Black Lives Matter activists have formed a cohesive and lasting local political force.
The ACLU and other groups sue to free people from the deadliest federal prison; a new study finds that coronavirus-driven jail releases hasn’t caused an increase in crime; and half of people in South Dakota prisons have tested positive for COVID-19.
A new watchdog report finds ‘inadequate adherence to basic safety protocols’ during COVID-19 outbreaks in California prisons; advocates call on Gov. Cuomo to release incarcerated people and enhance medical oversight; Abbe Lowell says the First Step Act needs a Second Step Act.
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says decarceration is the only way to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control; the CDC changes its testing guidelines after a Vermont prison guard contracts coronavirus; and our ongoing case map shows more than 60 new outbreaks.
Incumbent Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel is backed by police unions and has declined to charge officers in high-profile killings. Challenger Julie Gunnigle says she wants to create an independent unit to review police use-of-force cases.
Fort Bend Sheriff Troy Nehls wants voters to send him to Congress despite his department’s history of jail deaths and allegations of racial-profiling.
A California appeals court orders San Quentin prison to reduce its population by half, the ACLU’s Death by Incarceration project paints a stark picture of COVID-19’s toll, and a new law grants early release to 3,000 New Jersey prisoners.
An outbreak at Montana’s Cascade County jail demonstrates the risk COVID-19 poses to rural communities, the virus has infected nearly 2,000 children in juvenile-detention facilities, and one large Michigan prison is grappling with an outbreak that’s infected roughly one-third of its staff.
A new report by researchers at Johns Hopkins University warns prisons and jails that ‘changes are urgently needed’ to prevent more COVID-19 outbreaks; Wisconsin continues to struggle with infections inside and outside its prisons; and a new video series shares the tragic story of a wife trying to get help for her husband amid an outbreak at Chicago’s Cook County Jail.
Civil liberties experts say the Strategic Response Group’s recent crackdown on ICE protests is the most brutal suppression of protests in decades—and many of its officers are the subject of significant misconduct allegations, including a supervisor with 32 complaints.
How a collaboration between scholars, public health officials, and the Wayne County jail has kept COVID-19 in check; the California prison with the most coronavirus cases kept prisoners working despite the outbreaks; two counties report spikes in infections among juvenile detainees.
Truitt Watts, who is serving a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole at Oregon State Correctional Institution, describes the programs that helped him recover from addiction and address his past.
A ’freedom fighter’ reports from the San Quentin prisons on Twitter, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a ruling made to protect elderly prisoners, and a class-action lawsuit seeks $400 million from the state of Delaware for ignoring basic COVID-19 precautions.
Contrary to reports, most City Council members—who ran and won by pledging to advance racial equity—tried to do the right thing, but were stalled by a charter commission that overstepped its authority.
The Florida Sheriffs Association gains a third of its multimillion-dollar budget by selling big-ticket items like trucks and mobile command centers to local sheriff’s departments and other government agencies.
COVID-19 has exposed a huge gap in knowledge over the rights of hospitalized prisoners, Wisconsin sees a spike in new cases in correctional facilities, and vitamin D might help save the lives of incarcerated people.
Mayor Ted Wheeler’s popularity has declined after a summer of protests against police violence in the Oregon city.
Through a loophole in the 13th Amendment, governments and corporations profit from cheap, incarcerated labor.
Michele Bratcher Goodwin
President Trump has appointed a quarter of active federal appellate judges, and they have decisively hampered legal efforts to force prisons and jails to address the coronavirus.
After being COVID-free for months, Massachusetts facilities see new outbreaks; a New York lawmaker wants to make it easier for people to serve prison and jail sentences at home; and deaths continue to plague a Virginia prison.
States like California, New York, and Arizona have relied on prisoners to continue working, with little pay and in precarious conditions, during the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite new outbreaks in Oregon prisons, Gov. Kate Brown remains hesitant to release people, federal prison inspector releases an online COVID-19 dashboard to boost transparency, and our ongoing case map suggests widespread trouble for Georgia prisoners.
Research has shown only that police can be sufficient, not that they are necessary.
The ruling said the commission wasn’t diverse enough and gave little voice to communities affected by policing.
If he becomes president and Democrats win the Senate, Biden should push a federal spending bill that includes money for civilian first-responder programs.
An investigation by The Appeal and Spotlight PA found that troopers in three counties have taken big money from drivers, many of whom were never charged.
Joseph Darius Jaafari,
A ruling by a Texas judge slams officials for deliberate indifference toward vulnerable prisoners; in San Diego, an ill-advised hospital visit led to a massive COVID-19 outbreak; and a new report finds an alarming increase of Latinx and Native American youth in juvenile-detention facilities.
Mayors of liberal cities love to criticize the president’s incendiary law-and-order rhetoric, but do precious little to check police violence and bloated budgets in their own backyards.
Under the guise of restoring public confidence in law enforcement, President Trump’s secretive and regressive Commission on Law Enforcement is stacked with old-guard failed tough-on-crime thinking that precipitated the crisis of confidence we now face.
Miriam Aroni Krinsky,
A new report documents pandemic-driven efforts to release people from Chicago’s Cook County jail, how Virginia’s 900-page COVID-19 response plan has failed elderly and ill prisoners and federal prosecutors argue that a life sentence equals a death sentence.
The proposed legislation would expand the city’s public mental healthcare system using funds reallocated from the police budget.
New Jersey is close to enacting a law that would release up to 3,000 people from prison, advocates urge New York legislators to consider early parole for elderly prisoners, and California prisons see a new spike in coronavirus cases.
Lawsuits from Joliet Police Department officers are among at least 12 current federal complaints against the agency. The men say their civil rights lawsuits are part of a decades-long history of discrimination.
Legislation proposed this week by Gov. Ron DeSantis also seeks to withhold state funding from counties that move to decrease police budgets.
Experts discuss ongoing issues with COVID-19 in prisons and jails, Oklahoma prison officials agree to mandatory testing of all staff, and an incarcerated journalist pens a heart-wrenching account of his experience with coronavirus.
Accused of shaking a baby to death and facing the death penalty, Amy Wilkerson says she is innocent, but pleaded guilty to spare her life.
Documents obtained by the ACLU suggest that restarting executions caused a COVID-19 outbreak at a federal prison; Florida’s Brevard County jail says it quashed an outbreak, but a lack of testing raises questions; and San Quentin’s newspaper is publishing again.
As protests against racism and police violence were sweeping the country, a Vallejo, California detective shot and killed Sean Monterrosa. His death has galvanized a community.
Despite more than 16,000 COVID-19 infections in Florida’s prisons, the head of the system says his department has protected people from the virus; Science Magazine explores research being conducted on decarceration best practices; and a recent outbreak puts South Dakota on our new infections map.
Women at California’s Folsom prison report that men with COVID-19 have been moved into their building, an ACLU attorney says federal judges don’t understand the realities of incarceration, and Iowa’s prisons are emptier than they’ve been in 20 years—but are still over capacity.
The 17-year-old, who his lawyers say was pushed off a fence by a police officer, survived the fall but suffered serious injuries.
Through a series of maneuvers, state legislators narrowed the ambitious scope of Senate Bill 14.
Brian Stepter, a 61-year-old with chronic respiratory problems, has struggled with substance use for decades. Police and prosecutors sought the harshest sentence possible after he failed to return the car.
Several recent killings have put the spotlight on the largest sheriff’s department in the U.S., but many of the LASD’s abuses go unseen, advocates say.
California just made it a tiny bit easier for formerly incarcerated people to become civilian firefighters. But the law still leaves many obstacles in their path.
After testing positive for COVID-19, Tommy Zeigler, whose case inspired legislation and multiple investigative reports, is missing in a Florida prison; advocates for women inside Oklahoma’s Eddie Warrior Correctional Center want to hear from Gov. Kevin Stitt; and men quarantined in a previously shuttered prison say they’re being forced to pee in cups.
We should demand that prison officials and our elected representatives honor their constitutional obligation to promote and support youth healing, growth, and change.
Now is the time to act. If we have learned anything since George Floyd’s death, it is that we cannot keep waiting for change.
A court ruling allows the Cook County Jail to return to double-occupancy and dorm-style housing, a state oversight agency makes an example of New York’s Fishkill prison, and we update our ongoing map of new COVID-19 cases.
"To be in the same place where I was three years ago is very frustrating," said one teen who, like others, has seen her DACA application rejected despite a ruling in June against the Trump administration’s cancellation of the program.
Doctors at California’s San Quentin State Prison hope other correctional institutions will learn from their experience, COVID-19 causes one Colorado county to cancel its plans to build a bigger jail, and guards at Oregon’s Snake River Correctional Institution are blamed for an ongoing outbreak.
Efforts to address the harms of police violence and incarceration must consider the drug war, activists and treatment professionals note, including the punitive models of treatment.
Experts say Black and Native children are disproportionately jailed either for status offenses or for technical violations of probation or parole—and that incarcerating them has far-reaching negative consequences.
Dawn R. Wolfe
In February 2019, police officers in Killeen shot James Scott Reed in his home. One officer entered a guilty plea to evidence tampering, but Reed’s family is still suing the city and several officers in federal court.
The review follows an investigation by The Appeal and Spotlight PA, which found that troopers were using minor traffic stops to illegally detain and search motorists along highways.
Like her Democratic mayoral counterparts in Portland, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York, Lightfoot has condemned police violence outside her borders, while using law enforcement to suppress demonstrations in her own city.
Nikki Addimando, convicted of second-degree murder for the death of her boyfriend, whom she said abused her, petitioned to have her sentence reduced under the 2019 law. But a judge ruled against her. If that ruling is affirmed, state legislators say, it will be ‘insurmountably difficult’ for survivors to ever benefit from the law.
As states move toward reopening, jails and prisons continue to report large COVID-19 outbreaks; researchers call for greater transparency in reporting infection rates; and prisoners at a New York federal jail say screening is limited to, ‘Are you OK?’
Body camera video shows that Daniel Prude was complying with police when they knelt on his back and pushed his face to the ground for so long that he stopped breathing.
California’s corrections secretary is retiring amid criticism over his handling of COVID-19 outbreaks, a Baltimore public defender describes his struggle to get an elderly client out of prison, and advocates for incarcerated people in Colorado want Gov. Jared Polis to consider more prisoner releases.
A review of five years of cases that arose from traffic stops in the south-central region of the state shows that police used underhand tactics to justify holding and searching drivers illegally.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown considers releasing more people from prison, how California’s Fresno County quietly became a major COVID-19 cluster, and new updates to our coronavirus outbreak map.
Athletes should demand more than prosecutions of police officers who kill Black people. The criminal legal system is a guilty system responsible for our oppression. It cannot also be the guardian of our liberation. Here are three racial justice demands that athletes can support right now.
A new lawsuit uses the lesson of one prison to demand the release of people from New Mexico lock-ups, a new bill would require more transparency in reporting COVID-19 cases in prisons and jails, and deaths of incarcerated people hit a grim milestone.
Administrative subpoenas—which do not require a judge’s approval—are typically used for the department’s internal investigations, but The Appeal has learned that they are being used in criminal cases.
What makes Ohio prisons so deadly, the CDC urges corrections officials to conduct mass testing, and the Washington Post editorial board finds a surge in jail and prison COVID-19 outbreaks ’morbidly unsurprising’.
Removing police union influence from the prosecutor’s office is a critical first step towards building a system that is safe, just, and fair for all.
Miriam Aroni Krinsky,
Taewon Wilson and Candace Chavez-Wilson are part of a growing movement to end life without possibility of parole and other harsh sentences.
As of Thursday, 993 incarcerated women and 62 staffers at Lowell Correctional Institution have tested positive for the virus. Two women have died.
White voices and victims dominate the genre, which can skew the perception of what constitutes a crime.
Gov. Ron DeSantis ignores calls to release elderly people from Florida prisons, quarantines are no longer hampering California prison fire crews, and an update to our ongoing COVID-19 outbreak map.
Some say their roles are already too close to those of law enforcement and are organizing for a radical rethinking of the profession.
Amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks in state prisons, Oregon lawmakers grapple with decarceration plans; the Sacramento County Sheriff won’t share infection data with the oversight board; and Oklahoma corrections officials use CARES Act money to ’boost morale’.
Although there’s a diversity of views about law enforcement in Brownsville, Brooklyn, there’s widespread agreement that the community is still fighting to obtain all the resources it needs to thrive and police itself.
A state investigation found that Detroit police officers fabricated evidence that helped convict a 14-year-old boy. A judge threw out his conviction after he spent nine years in prison, but the officers are still on the job and haven’t been flagged as unreliable to testify in court.
California prison watchdog finds lapses in COVID-19 screening procedures, the ‘trailer jails’ that officials in one Missouri county praised as ‘innovative’ are the site of an outbreak, and the U.S. Marshals Service is blamed for spreading infections among federal detention facilities.
The state Board of Pardons recommended last year that hundreds of people’s criminal records be cleared. Months later, more than half are still waiting for Tom Wolf’s signature.
Nicole Poston was sentenced in July for punching a police officer after she slipped free from a handcuff. Life sentences, even for nonhomicide offenses like Poston’s, are ‘a major factor’ in mass incarceration in the U.S., a criminal justice expert said.
Newspaper fearmongers around releasing people from prison due to COVID-19, oversight agency urges state DOC to ease restrictions on people in prison who have faced months of lockdown due to pandemic, sheriff orders staff not to wear masks.
President Trump and the DOJ are funding federal policing programs in cities like Detroit, Chicago, and Baltimore, but advocates say they’re unnecessary, harmful, and ineffective.
The City Council passed a budget that cut nearly $150 million from the Austin Police Department. Millions will be reinvested in services like violence prevention and supportive housing.
New outbreaks continue to hit California prisons, advocates have harsh words for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and a longtime journalist weighs in on a sheriff’s decision to take a battle with the ACLU to the Supreme Court.
In difficult moments like this, we can’t let bad faith attacks set our community back. What our families need are resources and investment, not more police on the streets.
The boy’s mother says Orange County Sheriff John Mina has still never spoken to her after more than 20 years. And in the wake of the George Floyd uprisings, local activists are asking why Mina deserves to keep his job.
The City Council will pass a budget this week that could cut nearly $150 million in funding from the Austin Police Department. The proposal appears to have majority support.
Judge Mary Ellen Brennan jailed the 15-year-old, known as Grace, for violating her probation by not completing schoolwork. Last month, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered Grace’s immediate release, which Brennan said left her without the means to ‘issue consequences.’
A new research project aims to better understand how COVID-19 spreads through jails, the virus continues to sweep through California’s death row, and federal prison employees are suing for hazard pay.
If the bill is signed into law later this month, about 20 percent of the state’s prison population could see their sentences reduced to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including some people who have served lengthy sentences for violent crimes.
Attorneys file a class-action lawsuit over the outbreak at a California forensic psychiatric hospital, cases increase among Vermont prisoners sent to Mississippi, plus a map of new cases.
They shared their stories as part of a lawsuit seeking urgent changes to protect prisoners. One prisoner wrote that a jail officer denied his request for a mask, so he tied old underwear around his face.
Despite the growing consciousness around the need for reforms, thousands of prisoners who might also deserve clemency or early release are slipping through the cracks.
Amid sustained lockdowns and deteriorating conditions, prisoners and guards are reaching a breaking point; a new study shows decarceration is slowing amid increasing outbreaks in detention facilities; and HuffPost interviews a Rikers Island whistleblower.
Incompetence and inaction by California’s leaders are driving illness and death inside the state’s prison system.
According to people incarcerated and their loved ones, state officials are ignoring the spread of COVID-19 at New Haven Correctional Center.
Connecticut Bail Fund Hotline Volunteers
A lawsuit alleges Breonna Taylor died because Louisville was trying to arrest its way toward economic redevelopment. Research shows this is common.
Dozens of Vermont prisoners sent to an out-of-state private prison test positive for COVID-19, new study shows the prison infection rate is more than four times the general public’s, and Jay-Z’s Team Roc sues a Mississippi prison over “sub-human and deplorable” conditions.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ordered her immediate release pending an appeal of a circuit court judge’s decision to jail the teen, known as “Grace,” in mid-May.
Local law enforcement tear-gassed and beat protesters and journalists.
California watchdog agency that repeatedly warned of "dire consequences" of prison overcrowding urges lawmakers to implement reforms; human rights org tweets "keep-you-up-at-night horrifying" stories from Georgia jail; and we map out four days of coronavirus outbreaks.
Sixteen-year-old William Haymon has spent more than 500 days in an adult jail in rural Lexington, Mississippi. There are no state rules governing how long a person can be incarcerated without being formally charged with a crime.
Protesters believe law enforcement is looking for retribution after police arrested a woman Tuesday night and placed her in an unmarked van, a callback to recent events in Portland, Oregon.
As U.S. attorney in Seattle, Durkan prosecuted a severely mentally ill man in a terrorism case using an informant convicted of child sex abuse—and claimed to have reformed the same Seattle Police Department that has tear-gassed peaceful protesters for weeks.
Though domestic violence is often cited as a reason to maintain the carceral status quo, advocates say there are more humane—and effective—alternatives.
COVID-19 tears through a Texas prison for medically fragile women; California prisons are flattening the curve on new diagnoses, but deaths continue to climb; and the ACLU finds jails releases haven’t led to an increase in crime.
To decarcerate New Orleans, we must defund the police department.
Federal agents have been unfairly arresting Black and brown people for decades. Now that white Portlanders are seeing it up close and personal, they are outraged. Better late than never.
Qualified immunity is just one obstacle of many that incarcerated people face when seeking to hold correctional officers accountable for misconduct.
If the justice system’s goal is to produce healthy, safe, and productive members of society, then it must begin with support from corrections staff and healthy relationships with peers.
As thousands of people are freed from local jails, a group of nonprofits and activist organizations says the city's housing authority must revamp its policies that banish the formerly incarcerated.
Under current law, established during the "tough on crime" era, San Francisco mandated at least 1,971 full-time police officers. Voters will now have the opportunity to reconsider that mandate.
Judge Mary Ellen Brennan sent the 15-year-old, known as Grace, to juvenile detention in May for violating her probation by not completing online schoolwork. On Monday, the judge said Grace was ‘blooming’ in the facility, despite arguments by Grace that she is falling behind.
From crackdowns on Black students decades ago to more recent arrests during protests against neo-Confederates, the department has served as a tool for enforcing white supremacy.
Police should no longer occupy all of our vital support systems in our communities.
Alex S. Vitale
Excessive force against people being arrested, falsification of evidence against suspects, and brutality by guards against prisoners — these are all just different forms of the same problem.
A year after state officials said they would take steps to overhaul solitary confinement rules, prisoners remain isolated in conditions that one says is akin to being ‘buried alive.’
State law requires all murder charges be automatically filed in adult court, regardless of age.
Prisons that have lagged on releasing people have also seen significant COVID-19 outbreaks, one Indiana sheriff is spending his CARES Act money on high-tech virus prevention tools and California’s corrections chief says he’ll crack down on staff who refuse to wear masks.
Through this mechanism, communities can accept accountability for the racism they allow to flourish by failing to disrupt it.
Monica C. Bell
There are nearly 1,000 new cases at Seagoville Federal Correctional Institution in Texas, the Cook County Jail gets praise for its COVID-19 response, and California’s jail oversight board announces plans to collect and publish county-level data.
Today’s update focuses on major outbreaks in two state prisons in tiny Buckingham County, Virginia that in June gave it one of the highest per-capita COVID-19 infection rates in the U.S.
As criminal justice reformers take steps to defund police departments and limit qualified immunity, it’s important to consider the role of universal and special duties in policing.
Geriatic prison with the most deaths in Texas has a years-long history of neglect, Kentucky corrections officials won’t say how many people they’ve tested for COVID-19, and an outbreak at a remote Oregon prison grows from 20 to 120 cases in less than a week, all as Gov. Kate Brown has refused calls to decarcerate the state’s prison system.
The COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests over police brutality are strengthening the case against mass incarceration, advocates argue.
Critics say California’s release plan is an inadequate response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the state’s prison system, 42 percent of Louisiana prisoners tested for COVID-19 are positive, and conditions at Texas and Indiana prisons get the attention of lawmakers.
A new report finds that too many kids, particularly Black youth, continue to be held in dangerous juvenile detention facilities; California prison officials refused offers of free testing before and during San Quentin outbreak; and Gov. Gavin Newsom announces plans to release 8,000 incarcerated people.
In a moment of crisis, the state Senate and House are slated to be in recess until January.
A new multimedia campaign seeks to amplify voices of people incarcerated in Maryland’s Prince George’s County Jail, a GEO Group stockholder sues the for-profit prison company over its ’woefully ineffective’ COVID-19 response, and widespread testing is turning up thousands of new infections.
Pressure mounts on California’s governor to release people from prison; people with months, even days, left on their sentence are dying in Texas prisons; and a new report finds higher rates of COVID-19 in prison than in the U.S. population.
Legal experts say the IRS is illegally denying CARES Act payments to incarcerated people.
Jordan Michael Smith
Florida media outlets had to sue to obtain information on COVID prison deaths; after preventable outbreaks, California replaces its prison medical director; and the Texas prison where Andrea Circle Bear died grapples with a new outbreak.
Social Workers address crises regularly and without an armed police officer standing in front of us. Often, the presence of an armed officer escalates a crisis that could have been better handled by mental health professionals alone.
This year’s presidential contest will be the first since a federal judge lifted a decades-old consent decree barring the Republican National Committee from engaging in “ballot security,” or voter intimidation at the polls.
In late April, officer Toni McBride shot Daniel Hernandez to death after a suicide call. His attorney and grieving family say videos posted on social media of McBride gleefully firing high-powered weapons show that she’s a trigger-happy officer.
In the 1990s, Davis was a policing superstar, hailed as the best crime solver the Crescent City had ever seen. But a dispute over a paid detail at a festival turned into a major federal case against her, brought by a prosecutor involved whose conduct in other cases was called ‘grotesque.’
A representative board is needed to check the power of the NYPD and appropriately discipline officers for misconduct, they argue.
Workers report facing a difficult choice between earning a living and feeling safe and healthy at their job.
The city’s clearance rate for murder, whose victims are disproportionately Black, has hovered around 40 percent for the last several years.
Law enforcement super PACs are spending big money on district attorney races and local elections from California to New York—and respected Democratic consulting firms are helping them.
Safe and healthy communities start with less police and more investment in community services that work.
The Department of Justice is leaving researchers, policymakers, and advocates in the dark about deaths in police custody, prisons, and jails.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has hampered the process of installing a police oversight council, activists say, despite making it a major part of her public safety platform during her mayoral run.
For decades, the Court has been carving out generous exceptions and crafting new rules that limit the Miranda warning’s real-world impact.
Two people, arrested and detained in Cincinnati after protesting the police killing of George Floyd, recall being held at the jail, outside, for hours.
Protesters and activists have categorically changed the national conversation about public safety. Now they have to figure out how to change public policy.
The ruling thwarts the administration’s attempt to deport nearly 700,000 immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
In October 2018, Marshall Miles died at the Sacramento County jail after struggling with deputies. His lawyers say a deposition scheduled for next month will force the sheriff to answer for the in-custody death.
The cuts will defund a controversial gang policing unit and end the city’s policing partnership with TriMet, the regional transit agency.
A lawyer with the state attorney general’s office omitted key evidence in a meeting with the family of Ricky Ball, who Canyon Boykin shot and killed in 2015.
Yes, we must radically transform policing in America. But we cannot stop there. We must transform the pervasive systems of economic and carceral injustice that are choking our common life.
William J. Barber II,
The city wants to give the force an additional $24 million. But the department is still failing to solve crimes, and officers have shot 212 people between 2011 and 2018, killing about half.
After families of people killed by police asked the organization to investigate racist American policing, 54 African nations called for a debate on the treatment of Black Americans. The debate will happen today.
District Attorney Rachael Rollins sought to block the disclosure of records that could show Boston police used Snapchat to target people who are Black or Latinx.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis are both provoked by natural phenomena, the dangers they present are just as political as the crisis of police violence.
Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò
Memos obtained by The Appeal and anecdotes from public defenders reveal how, for a week during protests over police brutality, the NYPD stalled cases by directing officers not to testify in court.
Sterling Higgins called 911 in March 2019 seeking help during a mental health crisis. Police took him to Obion County Jail, where he died after officers pinned him to a floor.
Essential workers say curfews put them at risk of police violence, even though they were exempt.
Videos contradict officers’ claims that they didn’t ‘kettle’ protesters.
The New Jersey department received slavish media praise after it was disbanded and reoriented toward community policing. But behind the reformist mask was an embrace of surveillance and broken windows policing.
Breonna Taylor was killed nearly three months ago during a no-knock raid. All 26 members of the Metro Council have signed on as co-sponsors to “Breonna’s Law,” which would ban them.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has asked for the budget increase amid ongoing local and national reports of police violence against protesters.
Coroners and police departments have cited the condition in cases across the country, often clearing officers of wrongdoing when people die in their custody. In Floyd’s case, experts say, the diagnosis is irrelevant to his death.
Farmworker and labor advocates say these workers are among the most exploited in the country.
Madeline Leung Coleman
The country’s homeless population was already struggling to access services during the pandemic.
The ‘drug house’ ordinances that force landlords to kick out tenants are mostly compounding the overdose crisis, critics say.
Some unions and labor activists are calling for the AFL-CIO to expel police unions.
Democrats have introduced and reintroduced bills that have languished in the Judiciary Committee, which must approve them before they reach the full House.
The move follows the police killing of George Floyd and more than a week of uprisings, where hundreds of thousands of people around the world have protested against police violence, and abusive police responses to the protests.
Dion Johnson’s family wants answers about the last moments of his life.
The use of excessive force against nonwhite communities and people protesting police brutality is further eroding public confidence in policing.
This weekend’s string of errors is just the latest in his career of cruelty.
Lawmakers are targeting a statute that has been used as a cudgel to bat away almost any inquiries into police misconduct.
The killing of George Floyd demonstrates that incremental police reforms are insufficient in the absence of a comprehensive plan to transform law enforcement and its stated purpose.
David A. Love
A president who openly endorses police brutality struggles with a nation rejecting it.
Under the HEROES Act, the Community Oriented Policing Services program would receive $300 million to fund the hiring of more police. Democratic and Republican leaders alike remain committed to the ideology of increased funding, even under the guise of reform.
State Assembly members, senators, and city council members have said they will decline and donate funds from police and corrections officers as New Yorkers fill the streets to protest recent violence by law enforcement.
Cops who turn marches against police violence into parades don’t actually want substantial changes to policing.
Canyon Boykin was charged with manslaughter for shooting and killing Ricky Ball during a traffic stop in 2015.
More training, more equipment, and more officers will not stop police from killing Black people.
The city is flouting CDC guidance by continuing to dismantle homeless encampments during the COVID-19 pandemic, though it does not have nearly enough shelter space.
On the pretext of conducting ‘transnational gang operations,’ ICE raids have swept up thousands of U.S. citizens.
Advocates say states aren’t doing enough to close the gaps in the federal stimulus bill.
As of April 30, one in three unsheltered people have been arrested in Miami-Dade County since a local state of emergency was declared in March.
People incarcerated in the Otay Mesa Detention Center decry crowded units and substandard medical care as COVID-19 tears through the facility.
As COVID-19 spreads, Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio are slashing budgets, but leaving funding for police and prisons largely untouched.
Using language evoking pernicious stereotypes about immigration and crime, the Court’s conservative majority clears the way for the Trump administration to deport legal permanent residents for crimes committed long ago.
A woman detained by ICE was sick with COVID-19 for days before being removed from a 50-person jail dorm in York County, Pennsylvania, according to women housed with her.
The Supreme Court will soon decide the fate of 650,000 so-called Dreamers across the country. Lawyers say terminating protections for them during a pandemic would be 'catastrophic.'
Intentionally disqualifying millions of American citizens from much-needed stimulus funds during this unprecedented health crisis is both unnecessary and cruel.
Jane Lilly López
On the anniversary of the Baltimore Uprising protests, new evidence in Gray’s death uncovers suppressed witness accounts of police brutality.
The city has created the structural conditions that have engendered disproportionately high rates of infection and death among its Black and Latinx residents.
Darializa Avila Chevalier
The current coronavirus crisis underscores our urgent need to look hard at our pretrial justice system. Eliminating money bail is a necessary first step.
Michigan was one of several states requiring registrants to report to local police stations in person despite the risk to public health from coronavirus.
Louisville, Kentucky judges are ordering people with COVID-19 who have allegedly defied quarantine to wear GPS ankle monitors, raising ethical questions about the government's role in a pandemic.
As infections and deaths mount, state leaders and law enforcement are turning to tough-on-crime tactics in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.
ICE has adopted no policies aimed at releasing any of the 38,000 people it keeps in county jails and private detention centers across the country.
Decisive action by governors and the President now can save lives -- of incarcerated people, correctional and medical personnel, and nearby community members. Business as usual will not.
In Boston, it’s worse than business as usual at the police department as the pandemic spreads. On a recent day, officers arrested people for charges the district attorney has publicly declined to prosecute.
One of America’s largest police forces says it’s drastically reducing the number of people it arrests during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sheriffs wield enormous power, and they can direct it in ways that will help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect incarcerated people.
The Metropolitan Police Department has discussed reducing arrests, but it has not formally announced any policy changes.
Rhode Island prosecutors charged nine people with felony distribution of the addiction treatment drug. Reform prosecutors in other states are declining such charges and instead encouraging access to the drug.
The student, whose last name is Mohammed, was subject to improper searches based on little evidence, his attorney argues.
We need to be more critical of the former New York mayor’s outsize influence on the gun control movement.
The city is ramping up a cleanup program that activists fear will worsen the criminalization of homelessness.
Deputies in Orange County wrote false reports about their collection and booking of evidence, according to internal audits kept secret for months.
At least one error led to a wrongful arrest, according to a Freedom of Information Law request, underscoring the need for better oversight of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, advocates say.
The former mayor issued a city resolution honoring officers for their ‘bravery’ in a shooting that paralyzed Tarance Etheredge, who will receive a payout from a civil rights lawsuit.
The authors reported that 29.4 percent of the possession cases involved Black individuals in a county where Black people make up only 8.9 percent of the population.
As a Black child in San Francisco, I learned early that mine and others’ bodies meant nothing to those supposedly tasked with our protection.
Jawan Richards was shot by Baltimore police and hit with gun and assault charges stemming from the incident. His defense attorneys now say video evidence may exonerate their client.
As old audio clips of Bloomberg defending the controversial policing policy went viral, new data showed the practice isn’t fading away in New York city.
Rann Bar-On pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault of Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson to remain a legal U.S. resident. For the next two years, he isn’t allowed to protest in the county.
Erick Wallace’s federal civil rights lawsuit joins a long line of litigation and misconduct allegations against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Mistaken identifications have been involved in nearly 70 percent of post-conviction exonerations based on DNA evidence.
A civil suit claims that an officer who shot a 46-year-old stagehand in Midtown Manhattan should have de-escalated the encounter.
In a lawsuit, the boy’s family said he was repeatedly suspended, secluded, and violently restrained before he was ever given a special education evaluation.
Leading with housing status for homeless people is a common trope in the news reporting business and one in urgent need of re-examining.
Adam H. Johnson
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister’s stings, conducted under the guise of targeting human trafficking, netted the largest number of arrests there since 2008. Sex workers say the operations put them at risk.
A wave of sensationalist press is not just coming from New York City, but also from county sheriff and city police departments frustrated by bail reform that they claim is ‘too broad.’
Activists hope Chesa Boudin will press charges, and push for systemic changes to address the criminalization of mental illness.
There’s a cynical local-to-national news pipeline designed to mock the powerless under the guise of “odd” news stories.
Charges in each of four arrests of a city man were subsequently dropped. Now he has become one of a long line of New York City residents who have filed wrongful arrest lawsuits against the city.
The move is made possible by a Texas law that legalized the production of hemp last year.
The department is targeting communities of color and violating local and federal law by using broad ‘association’ criteria to list people in a gang database, a Rhode Island community organization claims.
Lucas Smolcic Larson
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez of Texas told The Appeal about her vision for a complete overhaul of her state’s legal system.
Logbooks were seized as part of an inquiry into misconduct allegations against high-ranking officers in the division that investigates sex crimes.
According to a complaint, police in Oak Lawn, a suburb of Chicago, subjected Tylus Allen Jr. to invasive searches, all of which turned up nothing.
Misconduct complaints against officers in the NYPD’s 34th Precinct have risen for three years straight. In 2018, 15 officers had complaints against them substantiated, the most of any precinct in New York City.
Since 2010, no Vallejo officer has been disciplined for using deadly force, despite multiple shootings of unarmed people—including a man holding a can of beer. And active police union leaders have been involved in the shooting investigations.
Social media posts, tattoos, or the unvetted word of an officer can lead to inclusion on the list, which is overwhelmingly composed of people of color.
A City Council Committee considers a bill on NYPD surveillance today.
Criminalizing those who sell drugs by enacting more punitive laws may lead to more dangerous drug use and will disproportionately affect communities of color, a new report suggests.
Zachary A. Siegel
District Attorney Rachael Rollins ran as a reformer who would work to increase transparency, but her office and the police department have been fighting the order.
Investing billions of government dollars into programs that embed police in Black communities will not reduce police violence, nor repair years of injustice.
Philip V. McHarris
A Philadelphia police union’s recent attack on Players Coalition co-founder Malcolm Jenkins matches rhetorical tactics that officers’ groups are using in the face of outspoken support for criminal justice reforms.
Kyle C. Barry
Advocates say the removals are more evidence of a troubling and unregulated law enforcement tool, overseen by the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
During the tenure of Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal, deputies assaulted and harassed men inside the parish jail. Several deputies were convicted in federal court, and now cases brought by the office are under renewed scrutiny.
The billionaire and former New York City mayor defended the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim Americans and mandatory minimum prison sentences for gun possession, among other policies.
Research shows access to a trauma center is critical after a shooting. But as gun deaths are rising in Philly, one trauma center has closed. Experts say a rise in homicides may prompt more policing.
A close examination of a poll backed by a business group reveals loaded questions, undisclosed conflicts of interest, and the shortchanging of very real privacy concerns.
If passed, Question 2 would also allow the board to force police commissioners to provide more insight into disciplinary decisions.
Recent violent arrests in the city subways should make New Yorkers question the push by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA to hire 500 new transit police.
The mayors of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco wrap themselves in the language of progressivism, but when it comes to the criminal legal system they’re Trumpian.
At least three women made police reports about Girls Do Porn in 2015, but recruiters continued to exploit women until the FBI stepped in last month.
A lawsuit in Los Angeles and a motion in Orange County highlight battles to get key information.
Criminal case files from Oakland’s seminal Riders scandal were among documents shredded by the Alameda County Superior Court in 2015.
Last week, the City Council reinstated a “no camping” ordinance meant to discourage people experiencing homelessness from sleeping on sidewalks and outside a shelter. Advocates say the city is criminalizing poverty.
Sheriff Mike Chapman, who runs the Loudoun County jail, has received close to $15,000 in contributions from the provider since taking office in 2012.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was elected on the promise of reforming the scandal-plagued sheriff’s department. But eight deputies now accuse Sheriff Villanueva of allowing a violent group, the Banditos, to thrive in his department's ranks.
The former Dallas police officer should be held accountable for killing Botham Jean, but sending her to prison does not keep us safe.
The gang database in the state gives police increased authority to approach and harass people for virtually no reason at all.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Department was sued in 2017 for allegedly subjecting Black motorists and pedestrians to unconstitutional stops and searches.
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer intend to openly defy a 1975 state Supreme Court precedent that says law enforcement cannot intentionally discriminate against a person or group of people.
WJLA’s Kevin Lewis selectively reports on immigrants arrested for sex crimes to paint a misleading picture of violence in Montgomery County.
The Washington State Patrol has added thousands of old sealed juvenile records to a database it shares with law enforcement agencies across the country—erasing for many their chance of a clean slate.
In a rare case of local media nuance, a Boston TV news station provided a humane and health-focused segment on safe drug use.
Court records and interviews with former prosecutors show that internal assessments of police dishonesty are rarely memorialized, potentially violating the rights of people charged in criminal cases and sometimes keeping the records of bad cops clean.
Police are accused of lying to obtain the warrants to conduct military-style raids on the homes of poor people and people of color.
Jose ‘Lil Joe’ Chapa says one way to make Beauregard Parish ‘great again’ is to stop construction of a new jail and divert resources to services that keep people out of lockup altogether.
Advocates and homeless people are suing Sacramento County over its treatment of homeless—and the city responded by filing a lawsuit against seven men for being a ‘public nuisance.‘
Kansas City news outlets called scores of people ‘violent criminals’ based solely on the word of police and the federal government.
In a civil rights lawsuit, an officer in Allentown claims he was subjected to racial discrimination before he was fired.
Elsewhere in the country, lawsuits and legislation seek to protect people from predatory mugshot sites.
Katie Rose Quandt
Police and prosecutors claimed facial recognition technology wasn’t at the center of a shoplifting case, but defense attorneys say it was the sole basis for probable cause to arrest.
Media coverage obsessively focuses on homicides, which are at historical lows. Meanwhile, suicides and overdoses skyrocket, quietly driving record declines in American life expectancy.
Murder rates are at an all-time low in Brooklyn, but one would hardly know it reading the New York Times.
In Valencia County, a sheriff’s deputy who once faced allegations of excessive force in Albuquerque is accused of assaulting an elderly man.
Heather Marlowe, now an activist, says neglected kits are a reflection of who and what police prioritize.
Most coverage of police raids targeting homeless people and substance users parroted official—and fraught—talking points.
Children as young as 4 years old are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result, the complaints say.
A new internal audit shows that officers disproportionately strike, tussle with, and draw guns on Black people but then fail to disclose the incidents in their reports.
A federal lawsuit claims that Palo Alto, California, police falsely detained, arrested, and beat a gay Latinx man—then boasted about their brutality.
The family of Ricardo Treviño, an unarmed 21-year-old killed by police last year, says they’ve spent months waiting for answers on why he was shot.
The New Jersey General Assembly unanimously passed a bill to extend qualified immunity to police officers at private colleges and universities.
Current and former mayors were questioned about how they managed their police departments.
Dozens of reports about an indigent man in Bradenton, Florida, showed the cruel excesses of local news’s homelessness coverage.
The Crescent City is in the final stages of a multimillion-dollar federal police reform process. Here‘s why it and other programs like it fail to achieve real reform.
Three Bronx friends recount their 2012 arrests in the NYPD’s ‘Operation Crew Cut,’ along with their experiences with the court system and incarceration, and reflect on their lives seven years later.
In California, Texas and Florida, advocates sent letters to district attorneys, demanding that they refuse to work with officers with histories of misconduct.
A new effort to reduce arrests and summonses is criticized as continuing to criminalize homelessness.
Offices across the state conduct operations under the guise of saving victims of human trafficking. But the vast majority of people detained, including sex workers, are charged with prostitution.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, Florida, is one of the state’s most controversial lawmen.
For far too long, the press has leaned on wrong-headed tough-on-crime officials like the former NYPD commissioner when reporting on the criminal legal system.
A Shippensburg man faces 15 years on the sex offense registry for offering a girl a ride.
A California Superior Court ruling gives officers accused of misconduct access to investigator notes and files while cases are in progress.
Sensational and false news reports about the drug are pushing lawmakers to enact harmful policies.
Zachary A. Siegel,
Expert reports in a 2017 federal lawsuit explore an alleged pattern of discrimination against men perceived to be gay.
Louis Ackal has said he isn’t seeking re-election. But advocates fear that may not be enough to bring change.
ABC News claims anti-police violence is on the rise but offers no data.
The accusations span decades and involve two separate Biddeford cops and at least seven alleged victims.
Brandi Courtesis lost her job with the Gettysburg force after saying a colleague sexually harassed her. The accused, fired for another reason, may be back in uniform soon.
Reality shows like ‘The First 48,’ ‘Live PD,’ and ‘Cops’ are interfering in legal cases, exploiting people of color, and threatening lives.
The police union’s newly elected vice president led the investigation into the shooting that cleared Officer William Gourley of any wrongdoing.
The California county has a thin blue line that appears to protect not just the police, but also the DA’s office, criminal justice advocates say.
Jose Montelongo-Morales challenged the jail’s immigration detainer policy. He and some of his family members were arrested months later.
Thanks to the diligence of one assistant state attorney, 119 cases were thrown out and the officer is under state investigation.
The popularity of Axon’s tech soared after the police killing of Michael Brown in 2014, but it may be doing more harm than good in protecting people from excessive force.
The sensationalist coverage of a handful of fights highlights local media’s misplaced priorities.
City officials say its vast network of cameras are simply a tool when responding to 911 calls and complaints of criminal activity. But several cases suggest the system serves an additional purpose.
In Pennsylvania, mothers are harshly penalized for leaving children unattended in vehicles, even for several minutes.
Chicago hands out millions in settlements and legal fees for police misconduct. Its newly inaugurated mayor should take a dollar from the department’s budget for every dollar the city spends settling with its victims.
Newly released records show that task force members faced allegations of theft and questionable overtime, all under the watch of a commander later fired for lying as the misconduct was investigated.
Trooper testimony inconsistent with video and misconduct among state and local law enforcement in New Hampshire and Massachusetts have caused at least 15 drug cases to unravel.
A former Baltimore officer says the Hopkins plan should be viewed skeptically because campus police have a history of deadly force and its officials come from troubled Baltimore Police units.
Instead of building ‘humane jails’ to replace Rikers Island, let’s push the NYPD to cut down on arrests.
New York City just paid Jose LaSalle of the Copwatch Patrol Unit nearly $900,000 over claims of false arrest related to the 2016 incident, but his fight for justice is far from over.
In a case of mistaken identity, Jada Noone was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police, spent 15 days in jail and faced a felony drug case before charges were dismissed. She’s now suing over her false arrest.
The fatal shooting by Oakland police of an unconscious man as he woke is putting pressure on the California department to rethink its deployment of force.
Videos and audio posted by the group and its supporters on social media raise questions about the agency’s role.
Advocates are pushing to abolish the office in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
After a drug bust involving Houston narcotics officer Gerald Goines turned deadly, questions are being raised about how he operated during his time on the force.
New NYPD data show that in 2018 the department closed nearly 500 rape cases due to an alleged lack of participation from victims and had a declining clearance rate for rape, raising questions over its handling of sexual assault.
A new documentary explores the notorious ‘Bronx 120’ raid—and what it says about the evolution of policing in New York City.
Police union lawsuits delayed many local governments from complying with a new transparency law. In the meantime, some cities have destroyed files.
In September, Marcus Smith experienced a mental health crisis and begged Greensboro, North Carolina police for help. Instead, they tied him with restraints. Moments later, his body went lifeless.
William C. Anderson
Attorneys for a man exonerated in a Baltimore murder say detectives suppressed exculpatory evidence and that the police’s homicide unit has a pattern and practice of similar conduct in decades of cases.
Banishing people from the subway will only marginalize them without addressing the problem.
Andrew Mitchell, a former officer in Ohio who was recently indicted on charges he kidnapped women and forced them to have sex for their freedom, will soon face a grand jury for killing Donna Dalton during a prostitution arrest.
Melissa Gira Grant
A scandal of falsified drug arrests is spreading at a Florida sheriff’s office that has also spent more than $1.33 million settling excessive force lawsuits and is at the center of the increasingly troubled Robert Kraft case.
Their claims are part of a federal lawsuit; other women say they, too, were assaulted and the officer now faces a raft of criminal charges.
In 2017, over 2,000 homeless people were arrested on charges including drinking in public and panhandling. That same year, roughly 1,400 people were arrested in Miami-Dade County for rape, murder, and robbery.
Critics say New York’s new interrogation recording law falls short.
In 2009, Anaheim police shot and killed Theresa Smith’s son. A new California law promises police transparency, but her quest for answers faces a substantial cost.
Attorneys representing the arrestees in Cartersville, Georgia, say they were mistreated in jail, lost jobs, and endured public humiliation.
New bills would expand access to medical marijuana, but the state's sheriffs' association promises to fight even such modest legislation.
In April 2018, Herman Bell was paroled after spending 45 years in prison in a case involving the shooting deaths of two police officers. Now, New York police unions and the widow of one of the slain officers are challenging the decision in court.
Jason Van Dyke’s sentence for the 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald is approximately half the average sentence for a person convicted of second-degree murder in Cook County, Illinois.
A new coalition of people in the sex trades wants New York to become the first state to fully decriminalize their work.
Claims including sexual assault of a woman with mental illness to lying in reports haunt the Miami Gardens police; payouts in federal lawsuits have cost the city's taxpayers at least $3.5 million.
Since Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s 2017 election, at least five people have died at the hands of the law enforcement in Mississippi’s capital city.
Senate Bill 1421 requires law enforcement agencies to make public investigative records of officer-involved shootings and uses of force resulting in great bodily harm. But law enforcement unions argue that the law threatens the privacy of their members.
Lexipol, a private for-profit company, has quietly become one of the most powerful voices in law enforcement policymaking in the country.
A former Baltimore Police officer says it’s time for the department to stop wasteful, harmful marijuana arrests, especially after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s announcement that her office would not prosecute cases of possession.
‘There were explosions everywhere ... I had no idea who was in the house.’
Advocates say the case hasn’t been handled fairly and there’s little hope for justice.
In October 2018, Marshall Miles was taken into custody by Sacramento County sheriff‘s deputies outside a convenience store. About 14 hours later, he was dead.
People who view body cam footage of an incident are less likely to attribute blame to a police officer than those who see the same incident through the lens of a dashboard camera.
She is suing the Division of Human Rights for saying it’s not authorized to investigate her complaint.
Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed decriminalization legislation that advocates say would curb the discriminatory policing tactics associated with fare evasion enforcement. Today, the D.C. City Council will decide if it will override her veto.
A new proposal to abolish small police forces seeks to end the cycle of debt and incarceration.
The records raise questions about the department’s compliance with its protest monitoring rules.
Alex Berenson says he’s concerned there’s not enough research into cannabis risks, but his misleading arguments set scientists back.
Cherie Townsend is suing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after she says they falsely imprisoned her for murder and destroyed her reputation.
The decision also held that the city’s routine storage of DNA profiles from nonconvicted people in a permanent database violates state law.
The president is drawing on two decades of bipartisan support for crackdowns on traffickers to secure support for his agenda at the border.
Melissa Gira Grant,
More states are giving undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses, but many DMVs are sharing their information with ICE.
A ban on dancers under 21 raises questions on the growing role of the state's Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control in policing clubs.
The officers were part of the department's Street Crimes Unit, known among residents for its aggressive patrols.
Officer Sheehan Miles of the Trenton Police Department had 43 force encounters between 2012 and 2016, according to a new database.
Advocates say victims are being pressured to sign ‘withdrawal’ forms to quickly close investigations and protect the department from legal liability.
Officers say the language used now is more subtle but still encourages numbers-driven policing.
SB 4 encourages officers to ask for the status of anyone they detain.
Advocates say the city has dragged its feet on legislation meant to ensure transparency on the police practice, and that data released so far—from 2010 to 2016, nearly 82 percent of stops involved Black people—signals that it’s time to end stop-and-frisk entirely.
Attorneys for a Honduran woman are suing over the widespread jailhouse practice of honoring ICE requests to hold incarcerated immigrants for pickup.
A notoriously unreliable roadside drug test administered by Monroe County sheriff's deputies led to Dasha Fincher being charged with methamphetamine trafficking.
Baton Rouge residents say little has changed after Alton Sterling.
Even though it’s unlikely that they commit sexual assault at higher rates than other ethnic or racial groups, nearly one of every 100 Black men is on a sex offender registry, a rate double that of white men.
Supporters hope the passage of Prop C may herald a more compassionate—and effective—approach.
The city’s experiment with civil asset forfeiture was supposed to end, but the practices of its parking agency and some in state law enforcement suggest that police may be turning to other forms of property confiscation.
Then he ordered another officer to arrest the man.
In internal documents obtained by The Appeal, the vice unit’s supervisor admits no specific complaints were lodged against Daniels or the club before the police took action.
In Travis County, detectives refused training that would have helped them interview victims of trauma.
In response, a new ‘Freedom Cities’ movement is rising to defend immigrants’ rights.
Local allies of the Trump administration fought challengers over immigration policy.
Advocates say that Sheriff Donnie Harrison is unfit for a fifth term because of such abusive practices as well as his office's cooperation with ICE.
Advocates say these charges endanger sex workers and urge the police to stop using them.
Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins seeks a fourth term as critics blast him for a record that includes poor jail conditions, in-custody suicides, and the deaths of two young people at the hands of his deputies.
More than one dozen sheriffs support Measure 105 that would allow for cooperation with federal authorities even when an immigrant suspect has not been apprehended for any crime.
Dismal police accountability has made communities vulnerable to private vendors.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office stands accused of violating immigrants’ rights and dismissing a shocking number of jail deaths.
Opposition to Operation Stonegarden, however, is spreading; one Arizona county just rejected over $1 million of its funds.
Experts say playing up the risk of sex trafficking fuels anxiety and criminalization.
The Strategic Response Group was created for counter-terrorism but it's involved in everything from Broken Windows policing to suppressing protest.
A new report details Alabama’s “War on Marijuana” ahead of a key DA election.
If his conviction stands, it could criminalize people who refuse to do things like unlock their phones or garages at police request.
Campus police forces have become more professionalized, but critics say they operate behind a veil of secrecy and often exceed their jurisdiction.
With writer Kelly Hayes.
Established to track anyone convicted of a gun-related offense, the registry has proved to be both racist and ineffective in reducing gun violence.
The women, who were arrested alongside Stormy Daniels in July, allege that they were smeared by arresting officers, but they’re just the latest to raise concerns.
About 51 percent of the people charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana in Allegheny County are Black.
Lawyer seeks end to Halloween restrictions that target people convicted of sex offenses.
A lawsuit brought by a Compton resident detailing an alleged beating by deputies is just one of nearly three dozen federal civil rights lawsuits alleging brutality and racial bias at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Two new reports challenge the efficacy and ethics of prostitution diversion programs in New York City and nationwide.
This fall, however, an initiative goes to voters that would change the law on deadly force by the police, which has led to no officer there being convicted of wrongfully killing someone in the line of duty in more than 30 years.
The exceptions to the policy change could actually worsen the racial disparities in marijuana-related arrests, defense attorneys told The Appeal.
Rep. John Becker doubles down on his recent comments about the tasing of an 11-year-old for allegedly shoplifting.
Between 2001 and 2017, the department justified officers in 99 percent of use-of-force cases, according to data released through a public records request.
Jeffery Parker was shot to death by a police officer in his Huntsville home. A grand jury handed up an indictment for murder, but the mayor and City Council appear to be throwing their support behind the officer.
State Senate candidate Julia Salazar explains how sex workers’ rights is a key part of reforming criminal justice in New York.
Community outrage mounts over Officer Andrew Mitchell’s killing of Dalton during an attempted prostitution arrest.
An 11-month prosecution of a ‘forcible touching’ case in Manhattan sharply diverges from the office’s treatment of Harvey Weinstein, defense attorneys say.
Off-duty law enforcement officers are using state resources to work side jobs for the pipeline company.
Critics say the Berkeley Police Department’s unusual practice of posting anti-fascist protesters’ mugshots on Twitter endangers activists and violates free speech rights.
After the Gun Trace Task Force scandal rocked the police department, plainclothes policing was spurned. But a recently resigned commissioner championed plainclothes units, a decision the department seems to be sticking with.
Local advocates are struggling with a new immigration memo that makes it more difficult to support these survivors.
A bill introduced in the state would require all chronic pain patients to enter into an agreement with their doctor before being prescribed opioid medication for the first time.
A former Baltimore cop questions how a department with a nearly half-billion-dollar budget that is riven by rampant corruption and brutality, bloated overtime spending, and unaccounted for patrol officers can continue to justify its existence
A white cop joked about bringing explosives to a Black Lives Matter protest in Columbus with no consequences. A black cop joked about ‘black on black’ crime and may be fired.
Grassroots group VOCAL-NY is teaching people with substance use disorder how to avoid getting ensnared in the criminal justice system.
In the wake of Nia Wilson’s murder, it’s critical that calls for justice in response to anti-Black violence are not contingent upon appeals to white-approved notions of innocence and respectability.
New records obtained by the Appeal show the account seems to have been monitoring Black Lives Matter activists for years.
A community group met with the Bastrop County sheriff in an effort to build trust between the sheriff’s office and the immigrant community. Then, the sheriff ran a sting that led to more than one dozen arrestees being handed over to ICE.
Faya Rose Touré, a 73-year-old former judge, says she’s determined to fight the charges against her.
Police appear to have used a fake Facebook account to 'friend' activists and archive who 'liked' their posts.
Groups like the Loop and DanceSafe test drugs like Ecstasy and warn users of high dosages and adulterants, but federal legislation from the early 2000s has live music promoters wary of their brand of harm reduction.
Jurors were barred from hearing about the eight civil rights lawsuits against Detective Jeremiah Williams.
A onetime gang liaison for the Baltimore Police Department writes that its database is racist and error-ridden.
Earl McNeil’s family is demanding answers from the National City, California, police department.
Advocacy group demands an end to traffic checkpoints concentrated in Black and Latinx areas.
“Jail is not a country club,” the Bristol County sheriff said. “That’s why once you’ve done time in the Bristol County House of Corrections, you won’t want to come back.”
A new lawsuit says Riverside County’s probation officers threaten to prosecute kids for ‘pre-delinquent’ behavior.
Lawrence Parrish faces charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and remains jailed on $500,000 bond even though the Austin police admitted he never shot at them.
A former Baltimore Police officer says that a plan to flood the streets with local and federal law enforcement is likely to yield more of the same ineffective 'broken windows'-style arrests.
A Pennsylvania hate crime statute is being used by law enforcement to punish angry arrestees.
The solution to problems like unsolved homicides, especially in communities of color, cannot be reinvestment in institutions that wage violence against them.
The King County Sheriff's Office told reporters Tommy Le had a knife. He was actually holding a pen.
Surveillance video sheds some light on the police raid that killed Yang Song last year while, advocates say, the raids continue.
Melissa Gira Grant
From local charities, to the editorial pages, to city politicians, New Orleans strip clubs were blamed for human trafficking, leading to abusive police raids – harming the dancers they claimed they were protecting, and pushing the dancers to fight back.
In the ‘fentanyl’ bust at a ‘narcotics house,’ no opioids were seized at all.
Wendi C. Thomas
Josie Duffy Rice
Her former partner assaulted her in her home. When the police arrived, she was arrested and he walked free.
Melissa Gira Grant,
Philadelphia implemented the “focused deterrence” model of gang policing, which includes the promise of critical social services. The reality is much different.