Time has passed and laws have been changed, yet the deck has remained stacked against many Black people and others minorities in Mississippi, with Black and brown bodies disproportionately funneled into a prison system eager for free labor. Plagued by legal woes, the state has been hit with a number of lawsuits regarding its treatment of African-American residents, including a suit filed by the ACLU that accused Madison County of designing checkpoints to create additional revenue via unwarranted searches and traffic tickets.
It’s a practice that Jennifer Riley-Collins, executive director of the ACLU in Mississippi, describes: “These practices force thousands of people to live in fear and under constant threat of being subject to suspicionless searches and arrests simply because of the color of their skin.”
Teaming up with the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, the ACLU of Mississippi recently reached a settlement in Burks v. Scott County, Mississippi, a class-action lawsuit that will impact four Mississippi counties. (Atlanta Black Star)