Two Police Officers Shot Amid Breonna Taylor Protests

Louisville, Kentucky 

Cristal M Clark 

As curfew hit just minutes ago in Louisville, Kentucky, it was met with two officers being shot amid the decision not to charge any of the officers in the senseless killing at the hands of police of Breonna Taylor. 

The pain, anguish and suffering the community and our nation are feeling is insurmountable.  

Today the new heated protests broke out after the public learned that not a single police officer will be charged directly in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. 

Only one police officer faces 3 counts over shooting into neighboring apartments. That’s all that came out of the investigation according to a tearful Attorney General Daniel Cameron who announced the Louisville grand jury’s decision at a news conference today, as protesters against racial injustice and police brutality massed in the streets of Kentucky’s largest city.

Once again I am feeling let down and disheartened by a criminal justice system that is clearly designed to just fucking trash and kill black men and women. I am utterly without any words that could truly convey the heaviness that I feel in both my heart and my soul over today’s decision.

The message that has been sent is that Breonna Taylor, an innocent bystander was nothing more than collateral damage. 

A human being, an innocent human being is simply just collateral damage? Was a war going on in Kentucky that we somehow missed because the last time I heard the words “collateral damage,” used as a way to explain the killing of innocent human beings was during a fucking war, that was in another fucking country. 

What a way to dehumanize Breonna Taylor’s entire life.

Cities nationwide are bracing for more protests, riots, looting, violence and the potential to turn deadly because we have so many twisted minds and sides that aim to create confusion and chaos, cause harm and pain, and sway a public amid an even more sickening presidential election. 

The shooting to two police officers today is not the way to turn these protests into power, and at this moment no one knows who did the shooting nor do we know the condition of the officers who were shot this evening. The police must also remain as vigilant as ever, with these agitators crossing state lines more and more, this is the perfect time for them to capitalize whatever story, belief or cause they hold by causing more problems for law enforcement and peaceful protesters. 

It is time to fix our severely broken, poorly designed criminal justice system, our judicial system. It was made to punish and kill those who are black and those who are poor. We are not the archaic individuals our ancestors were. It’s time to create change and to evolve. 

Cristal M Clark

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Criminal Justice Reform – How Do We Tackle That?

Broken Criminal Justice System of the United States of America 

Cristal M Clark 

As we face racial bias at the hands of the police we must also face Judicial Reform along with Criminal Justice reform. Both our Judicial System and  Criminal Justice System in the United States happens to be two of the most broken, outdated and lopsided systems in the world. 

In terms of Criminal Justice, in the past few months I have worked with prosecutors and victims of crime and continue to hear about DA’s offering deferred sentences as if they are candy to the wealthy, affluent and the white. On the flip side should someone be black, brown or poor well they are not afforded the same opportunity as their white counterpart who committed similar crimes. 

That is completely inexcusable, disgraceful, disgusting and highlights how those that working in the Criminal Justice System, make a mockery of it. I am not sure how many of you advocate for the rights of those who were punished to fullest extent but that maybe did not deserve that, victims or family members of victims, but if you do are not sick of hearing defense lawyers argue that defendants due to status, education or race deserve more of an opportunity than someone less fortunate or who is black or brown?

When you look at reforming the Criminal Justice System, you also have to look at Judicial reform as a whole which is part political, and that is a much more difficult feat to actually accomplish but it can be done. 

We need to take away the ability to offer plea deals based off of race, social standing, class and sex. That needs to be taken away right away. Deferred sentencing should only be allowed for minor infractions, deferred sentencing should never be allowed or offered when an act of criminal violence has been committed. 

Deferred sentencing in recent years has widely been abused by prosecutors nationwide, leaving victims, revictimized, disrespected and unheard through the process. What is deeply more concerning is the rate at which a deferred sentence is offered to white, affluent males as opposed to black or hispanic males who commit like crimes. What that ends up doing to an offender, if they finish the deferred sentence and comply with everything, that record vanishes from a public records search. I don’t need to tell what that does to someone’s chances of being employed, who was not offered the same grace.

We as a society need to push for reform and change within that system, one of our best opportunities to do that is to vote, Judges are voted for not appointed. Do your homework on Judges in your city or municipality and get out and vote. Another crucial step is having each other’s backs. Seek out victim advocates in your community that don’t work for the DA’s office, most of us will offer our services for free which I know a lot of people do not know about. Your assigned victims advocate through the Criminal Justice System works for the prosecution, the prosecution cares only for a guilty plea, not you, not what you want or what you need much less actually seeking justice as per the guidelines of the law. Seems like that is too quickly forgotten once an offender is in the Criminal Justice System. And, we can push to defund cities, counties and municipalities when the courts in each continually fail at upholding the law and continue to make a mockery of our Criminal Justice System.

Those of us that go into courtrooms are a strong reminder and a powerful one of precisely where the system abuses and misuses its power, how deals are being offered that should not be and how Judges just preside and go along with things forgetting just what our Criminal Justice System is here for. Advocates like myself also fight for those that are facing having the book thrown at them when that simply is not warranted or those that have been abused by the very system they are facing for some type of criminal activity.  

We also need to address DA’s and prosecutors who both abuse and misuse their power to offer a deal. We the people, have the right and the power to remove any DA or prosecutor who has a history of giving too many deals to one class or race, who offer deals just to get a conviction, and who are handing out deferred sentences like candy. One of the worst acts of a DA is to give a deferred sentence to someone who commits an act of violence whether it is beating up a neighbor or an act of domestic violence. Too many times later down the road the offender ends up murdering or severely hurting someone else. Yet DA’s in recent years are handing out deferred sentences left and right. DA’s are here to represent the law and it’s victims, not themselves. 

We also have to start looking at every law written on the books, many are antiquated and outdated, they make no sense when one looks at the sentencing phase. Laws need to be overhauled and rewritten along with sentencing guidelines. 

How deals are handed out and offered need to be handled with strict, constructive and fair guidelines. As Reverend Al Sharpton put it, we need a Criminal Justice System that is a Criminal Justice System for all – not just one race, not just the white race or just black race. Taking that a step further we need a system that no longer offers better deals to the wealthy and affluent over those that are not. No more holding down people just because of race or social and financial class. 

Protesting gets the cause noticed but we also need to follow that through with action and a strong commitment to be heard, to have conversations with those we need to, to show up and not put up with injustice and racial bias through our Criminal Justice System and to offer our help in making the necessary and long overdue changes this country needs, most importantly we need to advocate for each other through the process when needed. 

Together we are the best chance of making change happen but we have to fight for each other here too without any bias whatsoever. 

It’s now a time for action across the board here, we’ve talked on the news and in the streets long enough, now it’s time to start sitting with leaders, prosecutors, attorneys and Judges and make change happen. 

Cristal M Clark

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Donald Trump Presidency – the criminal justice system doesn’t need fixing?

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington

Donald Trump – Judicial Reform – Police Reform

Some are already thinking that the Donald Trump Presidency will reinforce the idea the criminal justice system doesn’t need fixing.

police-reform-crimeshop

When Trump won the election I believe police across the nation let out a heavy sigh of relief collectively.

Many departments felt that the Obama administration was hell bent on having an all out war with departments across the nation.

According to fears now, from those that support judicial reform overall, they seem to insist that Donald Trump’s presidency will reinforce the idea that the criminal justice system as a whole does not need to be fixed.

In fact some feel that if Donald Trump continues to act as if racism is not a real thing here in the US, that it could have some dire consequences for individuals of color.

Many also worry that the next administration will empower the Justice Department to be less willing to investigate civil rights violations by local police departments.

In looking back, the Obama administration did make heavy use of the Justice Department’s power to threaten lawsuits to force departments to reform themselves.

But did that really end up working?

I have posted articles about this before, it never worked. Nothing the Justice Department has done worked when you look at the long term.

When change was imposed it ended up costing communities more while departments did not lose the grants which they apply for each year.

The departments that were forced to change, never paid, the communities that they serve did.

Many also feel that police reform under the Obama administration initially started off by being more or less an iron fist against police departments that really bordered on being vengeful at times.

US Police Reform-CrimeShop.jpg

So what will judicial reform look like after Trump and his team step up to the plate?

It is important to highlight, that a lot of fear does come directly from Donald Trump’s past verbal assaults, behaviors and actions.

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For instance right off the top, you have Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general.

The guy was basically denied a federal judgeship in the 80’s because of accusations of racism.

And people do have grounds to fear him being attorney general based off of that fact.

Either way, presidents only have limited power over police departments as it is and in many states, cities and municipalities change is already underway with regards to police and judicial reform.

Many police departments understand the need to create a more cohesive relationships within the communities that they serve.

DA’s and judges with poor histories in terms of racism are being voted out.

I personally, have never thought that all police and all police departments are corrupt, racist or wayward and I also feel that some Judges, courts and the like are not all that bad either.

Despite Trump’s past indiscretions during the campaign, this is what I sense is coming in Trump’s America in terms of judicial reform.  

I believe that Trump and his administration actually do realize that need for reform is needed but not on the scale the media has led the public to believe.

Basically, the numbers do not back it up because we have yet to see any actual numbers.

I also believe that they will pull from departments, states, cities, and municipalities that have been successful at building solid relationships within the communities that each serves so they can help make departments in need of change, better.

Furthermore, I do believe that they will take a less heavy handed approach and sit down and work with problem departments, cities, municipalities and states to help create change when needed.

I base that off of the fact that, when push comes to shove Trump does take a realistic approach in terms of what would be successful and what would not be successful.

And in Trump’s world it has always been about striving for long term success, like him or not, agree with him or not, he has a pretty solid history of building long term success.

If Sessions works against that grain, Trump will, with no issue what so ever rid himself of that problem.

Trump and his team likewise will not cave to a media frenzy, making a mountain out of molehill philosophy.

Meaning, that they will base the decision of judicial reform off of numbers and in cases where it’s clearly misconduct, not off of being gorged and fattened with a media frenzy.

Judicial reform is an area if Trump and his team have time to deal with it, they could be quite successful at it by creating and fostering successful relationships with communities and the justice system as a whole.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop