A thing I read

Today, I started my day by getting really pissed off about this story. I urge you to read it too. A 15-year-old black girl was sent to a detention center for not completing her homework in the middle of a global pandemic. This is just so heinous. And it happened in the county I live in.

For this judge to deploy her racism at a teenage girl for being bad at school during a crisis that most ADULTS aren’t managing very well, is so disgusting. And it’s part of a larger pattern where we’re setting up black kids for failure by pushing them into the criminal justice system at much too early an age.

A report released last month, which found inadequate legal representation for juveniles in Michigan, noted that research has shown a disproportionate number of youth of color are incarcerated in Michigan overall. Black youth in the state are incarcerated more than four times as often as their white peers, according to an analysis of federal government data by The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit that addresses racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

A teenager didn’t do her online schoolwork. So a judge sent her to juvenile detention.

After I read this story, I emailed a whole bunch of people involved with this case and signed a bunch of petitions demanding that this student, Grace, be released.

If you’re interested in taking action too, here are some ways:

Petitions:

People to contact:

Demands:

  • Immediately release Grace from juvenile detention and return her to her mother’s custody 
  • Judge Brennan should immediately resign from the bench of the Oakland County Family Court 
  • Prosecutor Jessica Cooper must drop all charges against Grace IMMEDIATELY and the Oakland County Prosecutor’s office must end the oppressive and racist practice of arresting and prosecuting children.

and VOTE!

The judge and prosecutors in this case are elected officials. We need to make sure that we have judges and prosecutors in office who are committed to anti-racist work. Don’t skip over these positions on your ballot—they have a major impact on your immediate community!

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