Running Head: RACE-RELATED ISSUES 2
Race intersects with many critical criminal justice issues. Select any criminal justice race-related issue/story in the news this week. What, if any, public policy implications are associated with this story? Offer additional thoughts and opinions or related course material/references to support your assessment. Identify the source of the story and post a summary of the story.
Classmate 1 post
This news article was published by the Associated Press and it is about a ballot measure for Minneapolis residents to potentially disband the police department and replace it with a “department of public safety.” The article talks to some residents who are for the change, and some who are against the change. One black activist in the article says he wants to see fair policing and an overhaul of the police department, but he wants the police department to remain because he sees violence and crime all over the city (Ibrahim & Forliti, 2021). Clearly there are some issues in Minneapolis that have been around much longer than the George Floyd incident. While these issues are troubling, I think the people deserve a better thought out plan than merely disbanding the department. I would argue that if that city has enough people who do not trust their police department, than it would be wise for some type of department overhaul and changes in practice. However, I do not think getting rid of the department will do anyone any good. The reality is that laws exist for a reason, and if there is no police to enforce them, then crime will skyrocket and people will be less safe. In our class text, a recent study is referenced which found that unarmed black males were over 3 times as likely to be killed during an encounter with police than unarmed white males (Okada et al., 2018). This is surely a troubling statistic if it is accurate. Measures must be taken to reduce such incidents such as better training, holding problem officers accountable, and being transparent. A city such as Minneapolis would likely benefit from an overhaul of their policies and procedures to ensure accountability, retraining, and transparency of the police department. This would allow the police to still interdict in criminal activity and investigate crimes, while providing the citizens the change they wish to see.
Classmate 2 post
For this, the main event happened back in August 2020, however, this article is discussing how the jury for Kyle Rittenhouse has been selected. This trial will help identify the difference between self-defense and vigilante killings. Back in August 2020, there was a protest in regards to the shooting of 29 year old Jacob Blake’s back in front of his three sons, less than five minutes from a 911 call being placed. This shooting left Blake paralyzed. Rittenhouse traveled from Antioch, Illinois to Kenosha (crossing state lines) with an AR-15- style rifle. At the protest, Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, fatally shot two people at the protest and injured another.
While Black Lives Matter is a very hot topic with extremists on both sides, the main focus of this article is in regards to Rittenhouse’s actions and if it can be classified as self-defense or vigilante killings. To me, my biggest question is why did he go across state lines at the age of 17 with an AR-15- style rifle in the first place. He obviously went because he disagreed with the message/actions, but it is one thing for him to go there in protest of their actions and to go there armed.
Levenson, E. (2021, November 2). Jury selected for Kyle Rittenhouse’s homicide trial. CNN. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/01/us/kyle-rittenhouse-trial-kenosha/index.html.
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