Ebony Slaughter-Johnson

No accountability: How the civil justice system fails black Americans killed by police

On June 19, 2018, Antwon Rose at just 17 years old joined the long line of Black Americans shot and killed by police officers. Rose, denied justice in life, was similarly denied justice in death: On March 22, 2019, he joined the long line of Black Americans shot and killed by police officers who were subsequently acquitted by the criminal justice system.

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Integrating the social safety net into America’s prisons

President Trump signed the First Step Act into law on December 21. The legislation represents the culmination of years of energy on both the left and the right to reform the criminal justice system.

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Trump and Congressional Republicans Are Working to ‘End Welfare As We Know It’

At the end of May, the Virginia state Senate joined the House of Delegates in electing to participate in the Medicaid expansion provided by the Affordable Care Act. As 400,000 Virginians look toward expanded access to health care coverage from Medicaid, millions of Americans across the country could encounter new restrictions on their access to the program. On June 21, the Republican-led House Budget Committee passed its budget for the 2019 fiscal year, “A Brighter American Future.” Among other changes, this budget would empower states to either convert Medicaid into a block grant or establish per capita caps and apply work requirements to any “able-bodied, working-age, non-pregnant adult without dependents” as a condition of Medicaid enrollment.

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We Now Have a Terrifying Militarized Law Enforcement System - And It's the Unavoidable Result of Living in a War Economy

On June 5, a call came into the Broward County Sheriff's Office alleging an ongoing hostage situation at the family home of student activist David Hogg, a survivor of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Law enforcement officers arrived on the scene only to find no such situation: Hogg and his family had been swatted.

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Is It Really Fair to Call It Our 'Justice System'?

On March 18, Stephon Clark was shot and killed by law enforcement officers in his grandparents’ backyard in Sacramento, California. Officers claimed they saw a gun in Clark’s hand. He was actually carrying a cell phone. In the heat of the moment, the police officers had the presence of mind to turn off the audio on their body cameras, but not to discern a cell phone from a gun. The officers discharged 20 bullets in Clark's direction; he was shot eight times. 

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Thanking Black Voters Means Saving the Social Safety Net

At his State of the Union address last Tuesday, President Trump sent out a clarion call that portends where he will set his legislative sights next. “We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity,” Trump insisted.

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4 Ways Trump and GOP Have Launched a Full-Out Assault on America's Poorest

During the first year of the Trump administration, the word “unprecedented” has been used so many times it has almost lost its meaning. But there simply is no other word to describe this presidency. First and foremost, there is the unprecedented degree to which the administration has attacked the country’s institutions in ways that threaten the foundations of our democracy. But this first year is also unique because of the unforgiving extent to which the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have leveled legislative assaults against poor people. 

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How Millions of White Americans Have Bought Into a Racist Myth About Black America

Days after President Donald Trump mocked professional athletes taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality inflicted upon communities of color, namely former San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick who first kneeled in 2016, others followed suit. As national media coverage of the athletes’ protests intensified and the president doubled down on his provocations, which soon gave way to threats, the condemnation came. Outlets like the Washington Times implicitly questioned why did the athletes not turn their attention to a more pressing cause: the danger of “black-on-black crime.”

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When Stealing a $2 Can of Beer Yields $1,000 of Debt

Renewed interest in reforming America’s complicated and controversial approach to bail has broadened over the past few years. A New Jersey law, which took effect on the first day of 2017, has almost completely eliminated the use of cash bail in the state, inspiring the wrath of the bail industry over the summer. Though reform legislation to largely do away with cash bail in California was temporarily stalled in the state assembly at the end of August, it will be reintroduced next year with the input and support of the state’s influential governor, Jerry Brown. Meanwhile, local bail reformers across the country have taken actions on their own to lessen the blows bail imposes on vulnerable defendants. Bail funds have emerged in cities, including Boston, New York (Brooklyn), Nashville, and Seattle.

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GOP Cuts Would Devastate Social Programs That Already Struggle to Meet the Needs of Poor Americans, Nonprofit Service Providers Warn

Just weeks after lambasting the Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement efforts as “terrible” and “mean,” President Trump is now calling for something even meaner: repealing the ACA entirely and replacing it at a later date.

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