To help remedy the circumstances that led to Sandra Bland’s death in a Texas jail, the state Senate unanimously passed a bill commonly referred to as the Sandra Bland Act.
Black Lives Matter activists have come together to free more than 30 mothers from jail in what will hopefully become a holiday tradition: National Mama’s Bail Out Day.
Black women represent a disproportionate 44% of women in jails across the United States. For many of them, the only reason they’re still in custody is because they couldn’t afford to pay the bond or fine necessary to get out. This is even the case for minor offenses including loitering.
There’s an episode of Law and Order: SVU out there where a young white woman and her boyfriend were looking to cover up a crime by blaming it on “a black guy” they “couldn’t really see”. Fortunately, the detectives caught on early and let them bury themselves in their lies. But it was Detective Fin Tutuola’s (played by Ice T) response of “Why is it always a black guy?” that stuck with me more than any other detail of the episode.
This scene came back to mind when it was reported that Leiha Ann-Sue Artman, 25, had completely fabricated a story where she claimed that she was kidnapped, beaten and raped for two days by four black men, according to MLive. She’d even gone as far as to send selfies with head injuries and gagged to her boyfriend with demands for a ransom.
The historically Black, Washington D.C. located Howard University has been the home to celebrities ever since it opened its doors in the mid-19th century – including celebrities who enrolled in classes after reaching the height of their celebrity. The latest to do so is none other than actor and television host Nick Cannon.
Cannon has been noticeably more public with his support for social activism and the Black Lives Matter movement in recent months and he’s now working to educate himself so that he can do it the best way for all parties.
The criminal justice system has several holes in its processes that have existed for generations. That’s no surprise. But, thanks to President Obama’s latest efforts to reform some of the most flawed and common legal practices, a new trend is developing.
The Justice Department recently filed a brief claiming that it’s unconstitutional to jail people simply because they can’t afford to pay bail, according to NBC.
According to the New York Times, a new study from the Vera Institute of Justice shows that the number of women in jails in the United States is increasing more quickly than the number of men in jails. The majority of these women are black or Hispanic and many are also low-income. The study suggests the increasing rate of female inmates has been overlooked by criminal justice reform efforts.
It’s often said that the bond of those who serve in the military is unrivaled by any other. Even veterans that didn’t serve together often feel a connection because of their shared experiences and they sometimes look out for each other when the opportunity presents itself.
Well, that’s exactly what happened when Sgt. Joseph Serna walked into North Carolina District Court Judge Lou Olivera’s courtroom. Olivera, himself a Gulf War veteran, heard Serna’s trial for violating probation by lying about a urine test and chose to sentence him to 24 hours in prison, according to the Root. Not only did Olivera personally escort Serna to the next county, but he walked him to his one-man cell and spent the entire 24 hours with him.
Wakiesha Wilson was in LAPD custody when she was found dead in her jail cell. According to the LAPD, the 36-year-old hanged herself and was found on the morning of Sunday, March 27th. While Wilson suffered from bipolar disorder, her family disputes that she wouldn’t have taken her own life.
“I don’t believe that, my daughter would not kill herself. It’s not like this is the first time she’s been incarcerated. No, she had too much to live for,” said Wilson’s mother, Lisa Hines, according to ABC.
Joyce Curnell, a 50-year-old black woman from South Carolina, was taken to Roper Hospital in July 2015 due to stomach flu. When it was revealed that there was an outstanding warrant for her arrest for 2011 misdemeanor shoplifting charge, she was taken into custody by Charleston County authorities.
Curnell, who was battling sickle cell disease, alcoholism and hypertension, according to New York Daily News, was found dead just over a day later. It’s being reported that she spent 27 hours in jail before she died due to complications of the stomach flu and dehydration.
Michael Slager, the former North Charleston, South Carolina police officer who fatally shot unarmed Walter Scott eight times in the back as Scott ran away, was released on $500,000 bond on Monday. According to the Charleston Post and Courier, the presiding judge was concerned about the delayed start date of the trial and granted bail.