Of course, it's troubling to think that police can start or stop writing a ticket, as if it's some sort of spigot, to express their rage. What other public servants have that sort of tool at their fingertips?
But if the police are doing this, there are some benefits.
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The news media has been hard at work tracking down the handful of protesters and others who did or even wrote something violent in order to stereotype the entire Black Lives Matter movement as violent. And when there isn't something, the news media has resorted to doctoring footage.
L.A. has long maintained an image in America as a progressive, cutting-edge, and trend-setting environment. So it should come as a huge shock that regarding the treatment of children in the juvenile justice system - Los Angeles may be the most backward major metropolitan area in the nation.
The real test of a community is not its immediate reaction to grief -- but its tenacity. Even after a shooting that rocked us to the core, we can't turn inward. Even after plummeting into a vortex of grief, we can't turn isolationist. Even after numbness, we can't turn away.
Police have a lot of power. What they don't have is a lot of accountability. That needs to change.
In the adult system, resource-poor kids are sitting ducks for prosecutors, who are notorious for overcharging the indigent. The adult jail conditions are so dire they place additional pressure on kids to give up and plead guilty to jacked charges.
I've started passively collecting examples of items and products that trivialize stalking. I don't seek out this stuff, it seems to be just out there in the world. Greeting cards, coffee mugs and so much more.
What we're doing isn't working, justice-wise, order-wise, sanity-wise. The state of Illinois is bankrupt and yet its jails are full to bursting, at a cost, per occupant, equal to or greater than the cost of luxury suites at its ritziest hotels.
During these last two years, #JusticeForEthan has evolved from the demand for answers regarding one man's death to the rallying cry focused on the need for change. Despite all that has been lost -- and it is far too much -- there is now a spotlight on where changes need to come.
Pennsylvania's logical solution is to make virtually everyone who comes in contact with a kid a mandated reporter. That means that if they don't report the abuse, they could go to jail themselves.
As George Zimmerman finds himself in the news again for yet another charge of domestic violence, I am reminded of the thing that baffled me most in this bizarre series of events.
Why does Chief J. Scott Dennis believe it to be good policy and practice to further target (literally and figuratively) people who have paid for their past mistakes? Does he think his policy has no real impact on the loved ones of those whose pictures his officers blast away?
All we will accomplish is an environment where prejudice and hatred fester and grow in the shadows, and where extremists use incitement as an excuse for their atrocities (at least in their propaganda). It shouldn't be hard to see why this is a bad idea.
Some of the current proposals may deserve consideration but they would have greater long-term impact and meaning if they improve transparency within the criminal justice system more generally and are not limited to cases just involving police.
As a criminal defense lawyer, I've handled a few DUI cases in my time. Still, the last thing I want is to share the road with an impaired driver. DUI defense isn't about supporting drunk or drugged driving; it's about making sure the legal system runs correctly.
Basically two things happen in court -- people try to get someone else's money or the government tries to get someone's freedom. People taken to court are either at risk of losing cash or going to prison.
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Do me a favor. Stop kidding yourself while riding proudly aboard the Serial bandwagon. Don't think for one minute that there is a difference between Serial and serial -- because, in most cases, there is not.