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Mass Incarceration

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Philadelphia Inquirer (Op-Ed): An end to sinister prison gerrymandering is a racial justice victory

Our democracy works best when every person, regardless of what they look like, where they live, or how much money they make, has equal voice in determining the direction of our country. But for too long, our racist history of policing and mass incarceration has undermined that ideal. Compounded with our redistricting processes that have repeatedly put the interests of partisan insiders over the needs of communities, lawmakers have fundamentally and intentionally diminished the power and voice of Black and brown people in our democracy. But here in Pennsylvania, we are finally taking steps in the right direction. This week, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission voted 3-2 to count incarcerated people in their home districts, rather than where they are incarcerated, ending the practice of prison gerrymandering here in the commonwealth.

On the Anniversary of the Murder of George Floyd

Change is long overdue to a system that has delivered unequal justice to far too many in our state for far too long. In the year since the tragic murder of George Floyd, we have seen the conviction of Mr. Floyd’s murderer, but Minnesotans are still waiting for justice. Minnesotans deserve real reforms to prevent what happened to Mr. Floyd, and others, from ever happening again. Our legislative leaders must make commonsense policing reforms a top priority and they must not come up short again.

Reflections on the Chauvin verdict: one conviction does not absolve a system

I am encouraged by the decision in the Chauvin case but I am in no way relieved. The criminal justice system has a history of failure in similar cases. This one conviction does not absolve a system that has disappointed the families of Michael Brown, Antwon Rose, Breonna Taylor, Walter Scott and so many others.

Conviction of Derek Chauvin for George Floyd’s Murder Does Not Alleviate Need for Policing Reforms

Today’s conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is a small step but we still have so far to go to address the underlying racism, police brutality, and lack of police accountability behind it. The conviction represents accountability but not justice. George’s Floyd’s murder must serve as one more catalyst to bring about systemic change and dismantle the white supremacy that drives deadly policing in the United States. In the wake of this conviction, so much more must still be done to bring about equal justice for Black Americans. Unchecked police brutality continues to claim the lives of far too many Black and Brown people and it must be ended.

Sam Ogundare’s Reflections on the verdict on the Chauvin verdict

What happens next time, if a black individual is killed by the hands of police but there is no video footage of that incident? As a black man that question angers me because I am not sure the outcome of that trial would be the same.

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