“Just Pursuit” by Laura Coates is a memoir about a Black female prosecutor and her time at the Department of Justice. You get the perspective of her coming into the agency as someone new to the office, and then a bit of insight as she gets a bit further along in her career. Now, to be clear, this isn’t a chronological story or a day-by-day account of her career at the Department of Justice. Instead, Coates picks out a few significant cases and discusses what was going on in her life at the time, the details of the case, and how the case affected her.
Tag: <span>justice system</span>
“LA 92” is a 2017 documentary about the racial tensions that erupted into riots in Los Angeles in 1992. At the core of the unrest was the acquittal of four White police officers who had been caught on video savagely beating a Black man, Rodney King. The relatively light sentencing of a shopkeeper who shot and killed an unarmed Black girl who she thought was stealing also contributed to the unrest. The documentary explains these two contributing events but also explores the city’s decades long history of discrimination and ill-treatment of its Black population.
“They Can’t Kill Us All” by Wesley Lowery is a relatively recently published book detailing incidents of police shootings. And really also White vigilante shootings of Black people in America. Many of whom were unarmed. The book charts the author’s experience as a relatively new journalist. But it also discusses the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement in response to the killings of unarmed Black people.
“The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan” by Laurence Leamer details the racially motivated of Michael Donald and the criminal and civil trials that followed. In 1981, two White men abducted and tortured the teen in retaliation for another local case that had resulted in two mistrials. Along with other members of the local chapter of the KKK, they felt that if Black people could serve on juries and thus allow a Black man to kill a White man and live, the reverse should also be fair. Their decision to hunt down and murder Donald would have a tremendous impact on the organization’s financial well-being and thus existence.
“A Time to Kill” is a 1996 film based on a book by John Grisham that takes place in a relatively small community in Mississippi. A courtroom drama, “A Time to Kill” follows the case of a Black man who is on trial for murdering two racist White men who viciously attacked and raped his daughter. Needing legal representation, he seeks the help of a local lawyer with a struggling law practice. The pair face off against a prosecutor who is hoping to use the case to advance his career and the murdered men’s supporters who are seeking revenge for their deaths.