Law & Disorder

LA County’s Abuse of People on Mental Health Conservatorships; The Failure of Police Training; Plus Resistance in Residence Artist Reginald Edmund

A recent report by Disability Rights California reveals widespread neglect and abuse of people in Los Angeles County held under mental health conservatorship. In LA County last year, over 800 people were held in jail or locked in psychiatric units longer than they needed to be. According to Michelle Kotval, senior staff attorney at Disability Rights California, this issue is especially harmful for people placed in LPS (mental health) conservatorships by the County because their right to make decisions about their own lives are taken from them.

Read the report here:

What could have stopped the police from killing of Ryan Gainer, the autistic Black 15-year-old who was fatally shot outside his home by a San Bernardino Sheriff deputy? We present the case to Aisha Novasky, senior staff attorney at Disability Rights California.

According to a recent investigation by the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller, law enforcement officers being trained by the for-profit training company Street Cop were “taught unconstitutional policing tactics, glorified violence, denigrated women and minorities, and likely violated a myriad of state laws and policies.” Street Cop does business with law enforcement agencies in 46 different states. Shirley LaVarco, an attorney at Civil Rights Corps joins us to unpack the failures of police training, especially in the unregulated environment in which these private companies operate. Her analysis, laid out in The Appeal, argues that more police training will not make people safer, reducing unnecessary police encounters will. LaVarco writes “While banning pretextual traffic stops won’t fully transform the culture of racism and misogyny permeating American policing, it is a common-sense first step.”

Read LaVarco’s piece in The Appeal:

The RISE Houston campaign seeks to end pretexutal stops, end the city’s contract with ineffective surveillance technology like Shotspotter, freeze police spending and invest in evidence-based solutions that actually make communities safer. Joining us is one of the visionaries behind this campaign—Joy Davis, a community organizer with Pure Justice.

Learn more about RISE Houston here:

This week’s Resistance in Residence Artist is playwright, filmmaker, dramaturg, and film director and producer Reginald Edmund.

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