“Do black lives matter to the courts?” It’s the question raised time and time again when unarmed black men are killed by police and the officers are either not indicted, or not convicted. It’s the question raised by NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill in a new collection of essays called Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution and Imprisonment.
Professor Angela J. Davis is the collection's editor. She's a law professor at American University's Washington College of Law. She's also the author of several books, including Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor.
Sherrilyn Ifill, with her colleague Jin Hee Lee, co-wrote the essay in Policing the Black Man, titled "Do Black Lives Matter to the Courts?" Sherrilyn is also the author of On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century.
Policing the Black Man lays out startling data that highlight the many ways black men are unfairly targeted and prosecuted within our criminal justice system. Black men are stopped, searched and arrested more frequently than white men who engage in the same behaviors. Black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than white men. Prosecutors charge black men more frequently and with more serious crimes than white men who engage in the same behavior. Criminal defendants, no matter their race, are punished less harshly when the victim is black. Black men are incarcerated at much higher rates than white men.
Professor Angela J. Davis and Sherrilyn Ifill join Tom to discuss Policing the Black Man...