I was at a really good panel discussion at the BCC tonight about what I came away convinced is a case of racial injustice that communities can make an impact by confronting.
The panel consisted of Raul Pinto, North Carolina’s ACLU lawyer; George Friday, a field organizer for BORDC; Mel Underbakke, an academic researcher; and Laila Yaghi, the mother whose son, Ziyad, was prosecuted under entrapment.
Here is a video of Laila Yaghi telling her story, which was particularly heart-breaking to hear in person – http://youtu.be/F6e4WsDbnJQ?t=3m55s
It seems the incentives that law enforcement officials have to protect the image of their position have severely detrimental effects. Ms. Friday believes that by confronting this issue within communities–showing up in court in cases of racial injustice, passing local ordinances against racial profiling, etc.–we can make an impact on this issue.
The panel is being held again on Tuesday in Raleigh, and I’d like to drive a carpool to attend, as the panel and discussion provide a great presentation of the topic.