Should the U.S. rely so heavily on racial profiling?
1. Over the weekend, a former deputy police chief claimed that he was detained at JFK International Airport early this month simply because of his name. Hassan Aden had spent 26 years with the Alexandria Police Department before becoming chief of police in Greenville, North Carolina. He retired from the force in 2015. Aden was returning from Paris on March 13, when he was held in the airport for 90 minutes. Aden is not Muslim, but he said policies like President Trump's travel ban could lead to authorities being suspicious of him just because of his name.
2. Meanwhile, law enforcement officials say using racial profiling is just another tool in their arsenal to keep everyone safe. There are some stats to back up specific genders and races are more prone to committing different kinds of crimes. Often, a person's race, name or gender is used in combination with other factors and evidence to determine whether the person is a danger.
3. So, is racial profiling a good tool for law enforcement?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Should Dylan Roof be sentenced to death?
1. Dylan Roof has been convicted of federal murder and hate crimes for killing nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina. He became the first person convicted of a federal hate crime to get the death penalty. Some would say that Roof deserves to die, rather than live out the rest of his life in prison, for taking nine lives. He should face punishment that fits his crime.
2. But others disagree. As CNN reports, there are at least two family members of the shooting victims who don't want Dylan Roof dead. Ethel Lance's children, Esther Lance and Sharon Risher, both said they were conflicted about it. Esther said her mother would not have wanted Roof to die. Sharon said she is opposed to the death penalty because of her faith. Human rights expert Rick Halperin said that the death penalty is "the most fundamental human rights violation of any country in the world, including our own."
3. So, should Dylan Roof be sentenced to death?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Michigan's attorney general charged four officials in connection with the Flint water crisis on Tuesday. Among the people charged are the highest-ranking officials implicated in the investigation of lead contamination in the city. About 100,000 people were affected by the water contamination. Those charged could face up to 25 years in prison. Darnell Earley and Jerry Ambrose were both emergency managers of Flint. Both were appointed by Governor Rick Snyder. Snyder, so far, has not been charged in connection to the Flint water crisis.
Should we celebrate Columbus Day?
1. Columbus Day has been celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States since 1937. The day commemorates the discovery of North America by Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. New York City has an annual parade and many schools and businesses close for the holiday.
2. Many communities are instead celebrating Indigenous People’s Day. Supporters say this holiday promotes a more accurate telling of United States history and commemorates the resilience and struggle of the land's original inhabitants against European settlers. Celebrating Columbus Day overlooks the indigenous American people, supporters say.
3. So, should we still celebrate Columbus Day?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Sandra Bland's family will receive $1.6 million as part of a wrongful death suit settlement. Bland was arrested for a traffic violation in July 2015 and booked into jail. Three days later, her body was found hanging in her cell. Her death was ruled a suicide. Jail guards failed to complete timely checks on inmates. The settlement also includes jail procedure changes to ensure timely cell checks and to provide medical support on all shifts.
Georgetown University officials announced Thursday that the institution would atone for its past involvement in the slave trade. Nearly two centuries ago, the University profited from the sale of 272 slaves. Georgetown's president offered a formal apology, said he would create an institute for the study of slavery and erect a memorial to the slaves who worked for Georgetown. The president also said that descendants of the slaves will have priority during admissions — similar to legacy students. Many other older universities have acknowledged their involvement in the slave trade, but Georgetown's preferred admission policy is unprecedented.
A federal report released Wednesday criticized Baltimore police offers for using excessive force and discriminating against blacks. The report is the result of a year-long investigation following the death of Freddie Gray — a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken while he was handcuffed and shackled in the back of a police van. The Baltimore police commissioner fired six officers who committed egregious violations. The Justice Department and Baltimore police agreed to negotiate court-enforceable reforms.
The hits keep coming for the Chicago Police Department. After a video of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald's shooting surfaced, officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with murder. Protests ensued, calling for city leaders involved in the investigation, or lack thereof, to resign. As a result, police Superintendent Gary McCarthy was given the boot. If that wasn't enough to handle, now the Department of Justice is investigating the CPD for civil rights violations. Full details of the probe, which was urgently requested by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, are to come later this week. Not everything blows over in The Windy City.