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Jonathan Smith, '84 Podcast on USDOJ Ferguson Investigation & Policing Analysis

Thursday, July 13, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
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Podcast logo with pictures of Michael Brown and Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith, ’84, served as the former Chief of the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the US Dept. of Justice.  In that capacity, he supervised a team of civil rights investigators who probed more than 20 police departments nationwide and, in particular, the investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department, the focus of this podcast.

In this podcast, after describing his current work directing the Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the legitimate legal challenges encountered in prosecuting the police officer who killed Michael Brown, the podcast really heats up:

According to Smith, “The story in Ferguson… had two major themes. The first theme was that you had a court and police department that had abandoned any concern about public safety and was entirely about raising revenue.  And, it was entirely about raising revenue, not from all of its citizens, but from the Black community.  And that was the story of Ferguson. “

If you take the time to listen to this podcast, you will hear a highly informed and detailed description of intentional, municipally sanctioned systemic racist violations of the US Constitution.  This should be required listening for anyone interested in issues of public safety, police violence and prosecutorial or judicial reform. 

Listen to this episode of the Think Twice Podcast on SoundCloud.

 


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