My Latest in Essence Magazine: Why We Can’t Rush to Judgement in the Freddie Gray Case

My Latest in Essence Magazine: Why We Can’t Rush to Judgement in the Freddie Gray Case

This week, Essence.com published my article on the Freddie Gray case, discussing the issues in Baltimore from a prosecutor’s point of view.  With the announcement that the Department of Justice will be investigating the Baltimore Police Department’s practices, it is more critical than ever that we watch, listen, and see what the evidence says.

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Fairness. Justice. Equality under the law.  

As African-Americans, these are words that we believe in; desperately fought for, marched for and worked hard to have applied to us. With the turbulent times we have seen in the last year, have we gotten to the point where we believe that there is no way the criminal justice system can work for us? Are we rushing to judgment? Are we doing the same thing that we accuse the criminal justice system of doing?

Read the rest here.

What Do We Tell Our Sons?

What Do We Tell Our Sons?

The funeral of Michael Brown today is another chapter in an ongoing tragedy. In moving forward from here, the discussion needs to be had regarding what do we tell our children about how to interact with police? How should we interact with police?

Essence.com published my tips this weekend:

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In the wake of the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., as well as the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York, and the others killed by police in questionable circumstances, the question is “What do we tell our children about interacting with the police?” It’s not about assigning blame on the victims’ actions. It’s about arming our young people with knowledge that could help save them in the future.

Pull right over. If your child is driving a car, and sees police lights in the rearview mirror, he or she should pull over immediately.  If it is not safe to pull over immediately, slow your speed and signal that you are pulling over. Failure to pull over puts police officers on high alert that there may be a problem (even if there isn’t one). Think about it from a police officer’s perspective. Why wouldn’t you stop? Do you have an open warrant? Do you have guns or drugs in the car? Based on their occupation, police officers are trained to assume the worst in every situation.

Read the rest of the article here

Real Talk About The Verdict…

Real Talk About The Verdict…

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Here is my point of view on the Michael Dunn verdict, and the surrounding controversy. It was published on Essence.com yesterday.  Please feel free to weigh in!

Jordan Davis: A Prosecutor’s Point of View

Lessons from Jahi McMath

Lessons from Jahi McMath

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So today, I did my living will. Two of my close friends signed as witnesses. It was a bit of a buzzkill for our lunch time discussion, but it definitely started a deeper conversation.

My article on the lessons from the Jahi McMath tragedy has been posted online at Essence.com. Here is the link, please share your thoughts. At the very least, please think about what you want if heaven forbid you end up incapacitated. Preparing for the Unthinkable….

Continuing the Discussion — Shopping While Black

Continuing the Discussion — Shopping While Black

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Did you know that most shoplifters are White women between the ages of 40 – 50?

Yet the majority of shoppers stopped are of African descent?

Neither did I!

Yesterday, I had the amazing experience of appearing on the show “Tell Me More” on NPR. It’s hosted by Michel Martin, and she invited me on to discuss my article in Essence on Shopping While Black.

Also on the show was Professor Jerome Williams from Rutgers University. He has been doing a lot of research on this issue…and had statistics to back up the fact that some stores deliberately target shoppers of color, even though the majority of thefts are by store employees or middle aged White women.

Crazy, huh?

Lots of food for thought and discussion.

I think stores should just check people at random (unless they strongly suspect a particular person of theft). What do you think?

Have a listen to the discussion! Are Black Shoppers More Likely to be Profiled?

M.