Category Archives: crime

Talladega Knights: The Ballad of Bubba Wallace, “Sweet Home Alabama,” and the Day of the Noose

Headline: Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only Black driver who races full-time in NASCAR’s top three series – a noose was found in his garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway, “the biggest and baddest track.” NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag from its … Continue reading

Posted in Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass, crime, Justice Chronicles, Lest We Forget, Politics, race, Revolution, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Bibliography of Police Misconduct for Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats

As I have indicated elsewhere, when working on my collection of poetry about police misconduct, Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats, I drew on news reports and headlines. While doing a little Spring cleaning, I came across the original manuscript … Continue reading

Posted in Amadou Diallo, being a teenager, Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass, crime, Justice Chronicles, juveniles, Lest We Forget, Murder, NYPD, Poetry, police involved shooting, police-involved killing, Politics, race, raising black boys, Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats, Streets of Rage, Urban Impact | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Slaughter of the Innocents

In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, I have been rereading some of my poems in my collection about police misconduct, Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats. I am even more disturbed now than when in 1995 I … Continue reading

Posted in being a teenager, crime, Growing Up, Justice Chronicles, juveniles, Lest We Forget, Murder, NYPD, police involved shooting, police-involved killing, race, raising black boys, Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats, Streets of Rage | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ABRACADABRA! Or Notes on the War on Crime, Redux

In 1989 I wrote an award-winning essay, “ABRACADABRA! Or Notes on the War on Crime.” In it I mentioned those magic words crimefighting politicians would utter as the solution to the “crime problem”: “more police, more prisons, longer prison terms.” … Continue reading

Posted in crime, Justice Chronicles, Martin Luther King, police-involved killing, Politics, race, raising black boys, Streets of Rage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Linda Fairstein’s reckoning, not her demonization

Len Levitt, in an Op-ed piece in amNew York, 6/18/19, “The campaign to demonize Linda Fairstein,” as it relates to her behavior to convict the Central Park Five, writes that we “seem to be going through a period of racial … Continue reading

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On this Day in American History, April 24, 2019 – White supremacist killer of James Byrd Jr. Executed

Some say it was “one of the most notorious hate crimes of modern times.” James Byrd Jr., a 48 year old Black male, was targeted and murdered by white racists in 1998 in Jasper, Texas. They tied him to their … Continue reading

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Ham Sandwiches, Indictments, and Unjust Convictions

One of the fundamental problems of the U.S. criminal legal system is the nearly unfettered power of prosecutors to indict, so much so that Judge Learned Hand once quipped that a prosecutor could get a ham sandwich indicted.  (Note that … Continue reading

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On this day in American History, November 6, 1909 — Colored Alabamian Reports Murder of Black Wagon Driver in Alabama

In October 1909, a black wagon driver “who did not drive as far to the right as a white man thought he should” was shot dead in Montgomery, Alabama. According to an article in Colored Alabamian magazine, the white man avoided punishment … Continue reading

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On this Day in American history, September 6, 2010 — Alabama Prison Bans Pulitzer Prize-Winning Book, Slavery By Another Name

In September 2010, lawyers at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a nonprofit civil rights law firm in Montgomery, Alabama, mailed a copy of Slavery by Another Nameto client Mark Melvin, then incarcerated at Kilby Correctional Facility. Written by award-winning journalist Douglas … Continue reading

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On this day in history — July 31, 1919 — White Mobs Set Over 30 Fires in Chicago’s Black Communities

Before noon on July 31, 1919, angry white mobs had started more than thirty fires in the African American residential area of Chicago. Far from an isolated incident, these instances of arson were part of an extended barrage of violence … Continue reading

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