SB 1070: California Is Not Arizona

hector villagra

Hector Villagra: Monday’s decision shows that Arizona is a failed experiment. Most of this law – most of it has been struck down. And the piece that remains is obviously on life support. And it’s just a matter of time before that dies the death that it deserves.

20 Years After the LA Riots: What Have We Learned?

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Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: What has changed in South LA — then South Central — where the flames shot to the sky 20 years ago, after an all-white jury exonerated the gang of police officers who had beaten a black motorist half to death, captured on video for all to see?

6 Rules for Becoming a Prosecutor

criminal prosecutor

Bruce Reilly: Hardly any new prosecutor will get a made-for-TV movie case, write a book, and get on the speaking circuit. The real job is very repetetive, threatening to jade and bleed your soul.

Violence Goes to College

cal berkeley violence

Vijay Prashad: The priorities of the campus are clear. An Assistant Professor earns an annual salary in the low $60,000 range; a Lieutenant in the campus safety department (the man who fired the pepper gas, for instance) brings home $110,000.

Can Civilians Arrest Cops?

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Jeff Norman: Maybe the top cops and mayors of other American cities should visit Los Angeles, enjoy a few bong hits with Chief Beck and discuss how to treat peaceful demonstrators humanely.

“So This Is America?”

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Tom Degan: Please, if you’re looking for an authentic American hero, you need search no further than Ray McGovern. He is holding up a mirror for all to see.

Police Have More, Better Rights than You

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Wendy McElroy: Even as the Illinois police defend their “right” to surveil everyone on the grounds that those being watched are in public, they deny the public the right to record them in the line of duty.

Cops Are Missing the Bad Guys While Profiling the Black Guys

Joe Morgan

David Love: Reading 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today made me angry, not because the subject matter was brand new to me, but because it was far too familiar – not only as a black man, but also as a human rights advocate who worked with police brutality victims and their families back in the 1990s, and decided to go to law school as a result.

Obama’s First Stand

Robert Reich: The President says a Republican proposal to extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone for two years is a “basis for conversation.” I hope this doesn’t mean another Obama cave-in.

In Defense of Public School Teachers

Mark Naison: In a country with one of the highest rates of poverty in the industrialized world, with almost no social safety net to help struggling families, our teachers have to create a positive learning atmosphere in classrooms filled with young people under stress.

Marco Rubio Flipped Wrong on Arizona

Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

Andrea Christina Nill: Perhaps the most damning evidence that the law hasn’t really changed is the fact that its main sponsor, state Sen. Russell Pearce (R) admitted himself that the new wording won’t alter how the law is enforced. The changes also do not address the fact that the new law is likely unconstitutional on the grounds that it allows the state to regulate immigration — a power which the Constitution explicitly assigns to the federal government.

Arizona Law Author Kris Kobach Wants to Cast a Wide Net Against Latinos

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Andrea Christina Nill: Wonk Room recently obtained an email written by Kris Kobach, a lawyer at the Immigration Reform Law Institute — the group which credits itself with writing the bill — to Arizona state Sen. Russell Pierce (R), urging him to include language that will allow police to use city ordinance violations such as “cars on blocks in the yard” as an excuse to “initiate quieries” in light of the “lawful contact” deletion

Van Jones, Man on a Mission

Van Jones is one of the founders of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a non-profit organization based in Oakland, CA. Before Van Jones joined the Obama Administration, he was one of the founders of The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an organization that started as a vehicle for the fight for fair treatment by the police but broadened its reach to human rights for all.

Between the Lines: The Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Who Made the Hard Sell of Trust

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The passing of Los Angeles Deputy Chief of Police, Kenny Garner, has left a stunned community pondering the question, “Who do we call now, when we want answers from LAPD?” Kenny Garner was a friend to me, the community, and most he met, and he had the hardest job of anyone in the community; convincing [...]

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