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Kara
Dansky
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An MRAP Is Not a Blanket

An MRAP Is Not a Blanket

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:41pm
This August, Americans watched in horror as the police descended on peaceful protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, as though they were going into battle. In May, a toddler named Bou Bou Phonesavanh had his chest ripped open and his face torn off by a flashbang grenade that police officers in Georgia threw into his crib during a paramilitary raid. Though these incidents shocked many Americans, police militarization isn't new. The American siege on communities of color has been going on for a very long time.
Not Having a Roof Over Your Head Can Mean Jail Time: The Criminalization of Homelessness

Not Having a Roof Over Your Head Can Mean Jail Time: The Criminalization of Homelessness

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 1:31pm

Kilee Lowe was sitting in a park when cops picked her up and booked her into jail overnight.

After she got out the next morning, she returned to the park. The same officer who had thrown her into a cell not 24 hours before had booked her again.…

Jail Doesn't Help Addicts. Let's Stop Sending Them There.

Jail Doesn't Help Addicts. Let's Stop Sending Them There.

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 11:17am

Misti Barrickman has scoliosis. Since she was a teenager, it's been debilitating. It hurt to lie down. It hurt to stand up.

She started taking Oxycontin to help with the pain and became addicted. She came to Seattle to find large quantities…

A Psychotic Episode Shouldn't End in a Jail Cell

A Psychotic Episode Shouldn't End in a Jail Cell

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 11:59am

Michelle Mata wants to be treated the way you would want your mom to be treated.

She's an aunt and a neighbor. She likes line dancing. And she suffers from major depressive disorder with psychotic features.

When people like Michelle…

How Many People Must Be Maimed or Killed Before We End the Militarization of Our Police Forces?

How Many People Must Be Maimed or Killed Before We End the Militarization of Our Police Forces?

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:59pm

Yesterday, a grand jury in Habersham County, Georgia, decided not to bring charges against the police officers who threw a flashbang grenade into the crib of Bounkham Phonesavanh, known affectionately as "Baby Bou Bou." The explosion left a hole in…

Do Cops Really Need Tanks to Keep Us Safe?

Do Cops Really Need Tanks to Keep Us Safe?

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:11pm

This piece was originally published on The Crime Report.

The militarized law enforcement response to peaceful protests over the killing of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo. last month, has prompted several federal officials to question…

The Real Reason Ferguson Has Military Weapons

The Real Reason Ferguson Has Military Weapons

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 11:34am

This piece was originally published on CNN.com.

It used to be billy clubs, fire hoses and snarling German shepherds. Now it's armored personnel carriers and flash-bang grenades. The weaponry has changed, but the target is still the same.

If…

Another Day, Another 124 Violent SWAT Raids

Another Day, Another 124 Violent SWAT Raids

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:51pm

It's 3:00 a.m. Your children are screaming and your dog is lying dead in a pool of blood. Scorch marks and shattered glass cover the floor. You're being held at gunpoint by towering figures wearing black and holding AK-47s.

This isn't a Hollywood…

10-Hour SWAT Raid of Organic Farm? Just Another Day in the War on Drugs.

10-Hour SWAT Raid of Organic Farm? Just Another Day in the War on Drugs.

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice & Iman Boukadoum, ACLU at 2:07pm

A SWAT team spent ten hours raiding a small organic farm called The Garden of Eden in Arlington, Texas last month...

What Could Stop Eric Holder from Rolling Back the War on Drugs? A US Attorney Fresh out of "Purple Drank"

What Could Stop Eric Holder from Rolling Back the War on Drugs? A US Attorney Fresh out of "Purple Drank"

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 12:58pm

Remember two days ago when Attorney General Eric Holder gave a major, televised speech calling out the US for throwing too many people behind bars? Remember how he questioned the War on Drugs and criticized the racial disparities that plague the criminal…

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