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Articles by Casey Bastian

Is It Time to Stop Relying on the Cops?

by Casey J. Bastian

For many Black Americans, the thought of calling the police for help is not an option. Most won’t request assistance from law enforcement unless there is a truly violent crime occurring. Minor situations are frequently escalated and end with unnecessary police violence and brutality. Far too ...

NYPD Training Deprioritizes First Amendment Education in Policing Protests

by Casey Bastian

A recent cache of internal training documents from the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) was released pursuant to a Freedom of Information Law request by The Intercept. The documents pertain to training for “Civil Disorder Offenses,” with information drawn from the NYPD’s Police Students’ Guide, Patrol ...

Texas Man Positively Identified by Six Eyewitnesses and Sentenced to Life Granted Actual Innocence Relief as Result of DNA Evidence

by Casey J. Bastian

Aaron Scheerhoorn was stabbed to death outside a Houston bar in 2010. During the investigation, multiple witnesses told detectives an unknown Black man was the perpetrator. Detectives believed that man was Lydell Grant. Witnesses were asked to participate in a lineup. The lead detective administered the ...

Virginia Passes Comprehensive Record Clearance Legislation

Far too frequently, a criminal record is an obstacle to securing education, employment, housing, and other similar necessities. Approximately 1.6 million Virginia residents have a criminal record; a disproportionate number of them are Black. The House and Senate Chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have passed legislation that will facilitate ...

Police Funding Reallocated to Community Programs Nationwide

Defunding the police is not a new concept. The idea has just been largely ignored by lawmakers until recently. Advocacy groups have flooded city council meetings for years while making similar demands. Activist have been pushing officials to cease expansion of police and jail budgets and ...

Maryland and Montana: First States to Pass Laws Restricting Access to Consumer Genealogy Databases by Law Enforcement

by Casey J. Bastian

In recent years, law enforcement has realized the enormous potential to solve crimes by using genetic genealogy databases. New laws in Maryland and Montana seek to reconcile the usefulness of genetic genealogy data and consumer privacy. Consumer companies like FamilyTree DNA, 23andMe, Ancestry, ...

It’s No Shock That Tasers Increase Brutality

During the past 20 years, the stun gun has become a popular weapon in the American law enforcement arsenal. First marketed as a “non-lethal” device, the deployment of stun guns has not decreased brutal police violence.

In the U.S., most law enforcement agencies rely on stun ...

Constitutional Protections No Protection for Colorado Man Killed by Police

The death of Elijah McClain after a violent encounter with law enforcement in August, 2019, sparked local protests in Aurora, Colorado. In response to the inadequate departmental oversight, the Aurora City Council appointed an independent panel to investigate what went wrong. The panel issued a 157-page ...

The Louisiana Board of Parole Giveth and Taketh Away: The Troubling Case of Bobby Sneed

In yet another outrageous example of what constitutes “justice” in America, we have the story of 74-year-old Bobby Sneed. He has been imprisoned at one of this nation’s most perilous institutions for 47 years. Earlier this year, a 17-minute hearing before the Louisiana Board of Parole ...

Decades of Data Link Juvenile Lead Exposure and Criminal Behavior



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