A former federal prosecutor proposes radical criminal justice reforms to benefit black men

By | July 21, 2017

Early on, in his recently published book, Chokehold [Policing Black Men], Paul Butler states, “cops routinely hurt and humiliate black people because that is what they are paid to do.”

It’s a bold and stark claim that Butler, a Georgetown University Law School professor and former federal prosecutor, never backs away from as he challenges social activists to confront the nation’s broken criminal justice system.

To cite one of many examples drawn from the recent, sensational headlines of police abuses of black men, Butler notes that Ferguson, Missouri?—?site of sustained protests following the 2014 police killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown?—?had more criminal offenses (32,975) than citizens (21,000 in 2013). The overwhelming majority of those arrested were black men. In fact, African Americans comprised 94 percent of arrests for “failure to comply,” 92 percent for “resisting arrest,” 92 percent for “disturbing the peace,” and 89 percent for “failure to obey,” according to Butler.

“Ferguson is America,” he writes. (Think Progress)

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