– One resident argues that it does. –
Grand Rapids, MI (BlackNews.com) — Professor Michelle Alexander’s
book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,
is where she argues that a once abolished Jim Crow Law still exists by way of
its being redesigned and implemented by the Justice System. A situation at hand
in Grand Rapids, Michigan, coincides with Professor Alexander’s argument. “I’ve
been wronged by the Justice System as it is unjust,” says Angela Angel, an
African American woman residing in Grand Rapids.
The Community Relations Commission (CRC) in Grand Rapids conducted hearings
where the community expressed their views; African Americans raised numerous
allegations of misconduct as well as complaints of disproportionate arrests for
hindering and opposing laws (H/O) against the Grand Rapids Police Department
“The H/O ordinance is strange by its having a privilege and a punishment
attached to it; on one hand, a person is issued an appearance ticket and walks
free while on the other, a person is arrested, jailed, and charged on their
record for H/O,” says Angel.
As quoted from the CRC report, “African American males were arrested on
hindering and opposing charges at a rate that was 71% higher than Caucasian
males (169 vs. 99) yet are only one third in population size (10% vs. 30%) to
Caucasian males. This data shows that Caucasian males are more likely to be
issued an appearance ticket than African American males while African American
males are more likely to be arrested. Citizens also expressed fear of
retaliation for filing complaints. Further, citizens expressed feelings of
intimidation in having to come to GRPD Headquarters and file a complaint with a
Unit that is supposed to investigate the conduct of their colleagues.”
“I have evidence where I formatted documents into video for viewing, and
given that this is not an isolated problem by there being allegations,
complaints, and scandals throughout the U.S. consequently establishes that there
is a systemic problem which renders credence to Professor Alexander’s argument,”
says Angel. “Just like the tea party coming together for change as they have
been successful is what we have to do also.”
Angela Angel’s determination is unwavering as it has now been 4 ½ years of
fighting in her efforts to receive justice. She realizes that this is a huge
task that she cannot do altogether on her own, and hopes that others come to
stand side by side for change.
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