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(hella long) THREAD on #bailreform & #PoliceViolence
Here’s the deal: last year NY passed bail reform legislation that mandated pretrial freedom for 90% of folks going through the system. It was a huge win for black people, poor people & the movement to end pretrial jailing.
It also SIGNIFICANTLY checked the power of law enforcement to use pretrial jailing as a tool to terrorize black NYers. The reforms meant that tens of thousands of people now couldn’t be jailed and held hostage just based on an arrest.
Pretrial jailing is a direct extension of police power. The #ExoneratedFive, #KaliefBrowder, #LayleenPolanco are all examples of black people who suffered horrible violence and tremendous consequences from being locked up pretrial as a result of racist cops & racist arrests.
Rikers Island is almost 90% Black and LatinX folks solely because it’s our neighborhoods that cops police and our communities that cops target & terrorize. If mass incarceration is an extension of slavery, then law enforcement is the overseer & slavecatcher.
Now more than ever, we can’t deny how cops lie, abuse their power & use arrests to enforce white supremacy & socially control. #bailreform took power from cops by preventing the majority of folks they arrest from being locked in jail for months to years awaiting trial.
So predictably, law enforcement was PISSED when it passed. Too hard a hit to the presumption of guilt they relied on. Now they were going to target, harass and arrest black people only for people to have a chance to fight their case BEFORE they were incarcerated? Nah,
So they went on a rampage in Albany and in the media, using every tired, racist, Willie Horton tactic in the book to try to get the reforms rolled back. Check out to see how frequently they blatantly lied in the media to support their false narratives.
And they weren’t alone. Outlets like the NY Post ran their bs stories day after day. Too many elected officials to name- though I’ll happily at @toddkaminsky all day - took up their cause in the legislature. And unfortunately, it kind of worked.
Just months after NY’s historic bail reform took effect, @NYGovCuomo, @NYSenDems and @NYAssembly voted to roll back the reforms & expose thousands more legally innocent NYers to pretrial jailing.. in the middle of the #COVID19 pandemic.
Yes, the "progressive" elected officials who are now saying the names of black people killed by police and talmbout “we need to do something about racist policing" are the exact some ones who folded like a house of cards to political pressure from law enforcement on bail.
So now, in exactly a month-in the middle of a pandemic and a battle between protestors & the cops who are wilding out and unconstitutionally mass arresting them-bail reform rollbacks are set to take effect, drastically increasing police power to incarcerate folks. #NYProtests
This is extra wack bc courts are running virtually & due process is at an all time low (just look at the delayed processing of arrested protestors). Making a systemic change that subjects MORE people to jailing rn will lead to even more chaos that will mostly harm black people.
To the electeds tweeting that #BlackLivesMatter: we elected you to be legislators not influencers. Your hashtags won't protect black NYers from state violence but voting to #DefundThePolice, #norollbacks on bail, #freeourelders, #repeal50A & #walkingwhiletrans (+ many others) can
To @nygovcuomo: you have the power to suspend the implementation of rollbacks indefinitely. Bail rollbacks will aggravate our public health crisis, further denigrate due process, aggrandize law enforcement and most importantly, sacrifice even more black lives. This is on you.
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