News & Features

Why Is There No Count of the Number of People Who Die in Police Custody?

Stephen A. Crockett Jr

The Wall Street Journal found—after a comprehensive analysis of the "latest data from 105 of the country's largest police agencies"—that federal data did not accurately report hundreds of fatal police encounters. The study also noted that "more than 550 police killings during those years were missing from the national tally or, in a few dozen cases, not attributed to the agency involved."

What’s in Store for the Republican Congress

Dave Helfert

Their near sweep in the mid-term election has generated a lot of speculation about the impact of a Republican majority in the House and Senate for the first time since 2006. Will Mitch McConnell and John Boehner lead a unified, purposeful GOP and move major legislation smoothly through the legislative process? Could there even be attempts to work with Democrats and demonstrate to the American people that Congress is still functional?

Would Body Cameras Have Made a Difference in the Eric Garner Case?

Lauren Victoria Burke

Garner was begging for his life and repeatedly said, "I can't breathe" when Pantaleo held him in a chokehold that even New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton called "disturbing" and characterized as a violation of police procedure. And even with all of it caught on video, there was no indictment. Which has prompted some elected officials who spoke with The Root to pinpoint the question of whether cameras are the solution.

Why Is There No Executive Action for Environmental Migrants?

Jenny Manrique

Data show that in 2010-2011, there were some 42 million internally displaced people in Asia alone, the majority victims of natural disasters including storms, droughts, and sea rise.But for cross-border migration driven by climate-related disasters, the legal landscape remains far murkier. Such migrants do not fall under the UN Convention for Refugees, for example, which only extends to those fleeing persecution on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity or political affiliation. 

Were Black Friday Sales Affected by Protestors and Boycotts?

Richard Muhammad

Black Friday and shopping Saturday was bleaker for some shoppers as demonstrators marched, shouted and sometimes confronted store employees and owners over the Nov. 28 weekend. Most of the time shops started to lock doors, pull down shutters and activate gates as soon as the chanting started. Young people, primarily Black but with some White and older participants, strode through malls and stores with their hands up and sometimes holding signs. “Black lives matter!” they shouted.

 

Obama Should Support Federal Prosecution of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

With the Ferguson grand jury deciding not to bring charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the slaying of Michael Brown, President Obama now finds himself faced with the same decision Bush Sr. had to make 22 years ago. The call has repeatedly gone out for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to bring civil rights charges against Wilson. He would not have moved as quickly as he did to assign a phalanx of FBI agents to the case, secure an independent autopsy of Brown’s death, and personally travel to the city to review procedures with civil rights attorneys and investigators without the personal approval of Obama. 

Ferguson Case Highlights Need for National Data on Police Shootings

Adeshina Emmanuel

Brown’s death at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson, who was not indicted by a St. Louis grand jury on Monday, has become the focal point for a growing national movement to address allegations of police brutality and violence. Yet despite skepticism about police conduct in African-American and Latino communities -- reflected in viral hashtags like #HandsUpDontShoot -- there are no reliable statistics on how often police kill civilians of any race. 

Picking On the Obama Girls Isn’t Smart, Especially if you Work for a Republican Congressman

Demetria L. Lucas

The girls’ looks of indifference were familiar to anyone with teenagers or anyone who once was a teenager. Most commenters on stories about the girls’ reactions laughed because while the first daughters’ expressions and body language screamed “over it,” they were also pretty harmless as far as teenagers go. Even the president mentioned that the Washington Post had “questioned the wisdom of the whole turkey pardon tradition,” so it’s not as if the girls were expressing something that no one else was thinking.

Obama on Ferguson Grand Jury: Anger ‘Is an Understandable Reaction’

Colorlines

President Obama, who addressed the nation Monday evening shortly after a grand jury announced that it declined to indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown, said that while, “the decision was the grand jury’s to make,” disappointment and anger about the announcement “is an understandable reaction.” Obama echoed the calls of Michael Brown’s family who in recent days have called for peaceful protests following the grand jury’s decision. 

In Wake of Gruesome Rapes, Women’s Safety Apps Launch in India

Sujoy Dhar

While dime-a-dozen safety apps are now available in India, mostly launched by mobile phone companies and other private groups, the government of India plans to launch a safety app of its own later this month, as an auxiliary service to the existing 181 helpline for women, which was started after the fatal Delhi bus rape. “This new app will also facilitate pre-registering of crimes based on perceived threats,” says Khadijah Faruqui, a women’s rights activist and human rights lawyer who is heading the 181 Helpline.

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