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'A Second-Class System Of Justice': Report Outlines Racial Bias In N.Y. Courts

Image by Sang Hyun Cho from Pixabay

An independent review of the New York State court system has found a “second-class system of justice for people of color” in the state. 

The investigation led by former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson found many downstate courts are “under-resourced” and “over-burdened.” Johnson says the effect on litigants can be dehumanizing, especially for people of color.

Johnson and his team conducted almost 300 interviews with court personnel and attorneys. Some court officers of color they interviewed reported that white court officers commonly use racial slurs and remain unpunished, particularly in Kings County.

The report lays out multiple recommendations to address both explicit and implicit racial bias. They include adopting a zero-tolerance discrimination policy and requiring bias training.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.