Funding Grassroots Organizations to End Mass Incarceration & State Violence

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CJI’s mission is to end mass criminalization and incarceration by building and strengthening the infrastructure of the grassroots criminal justice movement to fundamentally transform the U.S. criminal legal system. We fund where the movement is developing, shifting and growing. We believe this movement should be led by those most impacted by the injustices of the current system, working in alliances across race, class, faith, gender, gender identity, sexuality, immigration status and age.



Transformation, Not Reform:
Police Accountability and the Fight for Justice

Published May 27, 2021

It’s hard to believe that it has already been one year since the tragic murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. And yet, we are unable to grieve in peace for George Floyd as we find ourselves in solemn disbelief and righteous outrage over the killing of Ronald Greene, a 49-year-old Black man killed by Louisiana State Police on May 10, 2019. Despite having been killed a year prior to the death of George Floyd, which sparked international movements of resistance in the name of defending Black Lives, the death of Ronald Greene is only now finding its way into the public consciousness thanks to previously unreleased bodycam footage obtained and released by the Associated Press.

The footage, which captures the last 46 agonizing minutes of Ronald Greene’s life, has finally been made public, dispelling the many lies that Louisiana State Police have tried to cast over the case. For instance, officers first claimed that Greene died “on impact” after crashing his car into a tree during a high-speed chase, but the bodycam footage obtained by AP shows Greene alive and pleading with officers before being dragged to the ground. While the FBI has since announced a civil rights probe into the case, the chilling video and the subsequent withholding of information from the public serve as evidence pointing toward a larger truth that many in this movement have known for decades: The institution of policing in America CANNOT be reformed into anything that resembles justice.

In the case of Ronald Greene, and in the cases of so many others, body cams will be turned off, video withheld or edited, statements changed, and the very same officers who brag to one another about the beatings and torture they have inflicted on our people will receive a slap on the wrist before being welcomed back to the force or hired elsewhere a few weeks later, where they will go on to commit more violent acts in the name of “justice.” As long as officers are able to continue hiding behind the privileges of qualified immunity, this will be the extent of justice in policing.

However dark it may seem, today and every day we must honor the memories of George Floyd, Ronald Greene, Breonna Taylor, and the many others taken from us too soon. We must keep up this fight until every last killer cop has been held accountable for their crimes, until healing comes to the families of those who have been taken from us, and until we can put an end to mass incarceration and state violence once and for all. And while the path to justice might be long, we are thankful to be walking that path together with you.

Yours in Solidarity,

Aleah Bacqie Vaughn

Aleah Bacquie Vaughn

Executive Director

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