Law and Policy


Mental health first-responder programs are being launched in cities like New York, San Francisco, and elsewhere as an attempt to diminish police violence.
Mental Illness Is Not a Crime, So Why Do We Police it Like One?

American cities are finally implementing first-responder programs that send behavioral health professionals—not cops—to non-violent and mental health-related crises.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - August 2017: Memorial flowers and notes are left at the spot where Heather Heyer was killed and others were injured when a car plowed into a crowd of protesters during a rally. (Image via Shutterstock)
Over 15,000 Law Enforcement Agencies Don’t Report Hate Crimes. A New Bill Could Change That.

The legislation would require police track hate crimes and report them to the federal government.

Image via Shutterstock
What Will Happen to Right-Wing Violence After Trump Leaves Office?

Right-wing extremists and white supremacists have gotten "leaner and meaner" in the Trump era. It's unclear what happens next.

Attorney Shaka Johnson, who is representing the family of Walter Wallace Jr., speaks during a news conference on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. He called on the Philadelphia Police Department to equip all of its officers with Tasers and teach officers how to use them. (Screenshot from AP Video)
Walter Wallace Jr.’s Family Attorney Says Police ‘Intended’ to Kill Wallace

Attorney Shaka Johnson called for every officer in the Philadelphia Police Department to be equipped with Tasers.

Attorney's for the Wallace family, Shaka Johnson, left, and Kevin P. O'Brien, right, speak to the media outside Walter Wallace Jr.'s home in Philadelphia, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Police officers fatally shot Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man armed with a knife during a confrontation the day before, an incident that quickly raised tensions in the neighborhood and sparked a standoff that lasted deep into the night. (Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
Walter Wallace Jr.’s Parents Called for Medical Help. Police Showed Up Instead and Killed Him.

The family said police responded to calls to the house earlier Monday to deal with Wallace, who was having a mental health crisis.

Sharif Proctor lifts his hands up in front of the police line during a protest in response to the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Philadelphia. Police officers fatally shot the 27-year-old Black man during a confrontation Monday afternoon in West Philadelphia that quickly raised tensions in the neighborhood. (Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
Philadelphia Police Killed Another Young Black Man—This Time in Front of His Mother

Hundreds of protesters filled the streets of West Philadelphia Monday night, just hours after Philadelphia Police shot and killed a young Black man in the middle of the street.

Portland environmental groups sue over use of tear gas
Environmentalists Sue Federal Government Over Use of Tear Gas in Portland

A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday is seeking a court order to stop federal officers from deploying tear gas in Portland.