Today, a grand jury announced that former Louisville, Kentucky, police officer Brett Hankison will be charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. These charges are related to shots he fired into apartments surrounding Breonna Taylor’s, who was killed by one of the officers at the scene during the incident. No charges were filed in response to Taylor’s killing.

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Breonna Taylor’s death was preventable, but according to laws set forth by our War on Drugs, her killing is justifiable because police suspected that her home was involved in illegal drugs. …


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By Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)

Civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has ignited action to change policies surrounding policing. Experts across the country are now working to weaken a problematic legal doctrine known as qualified immunity, which inhibits police accountability. As a retired Chief of the Albany Police Department, I’m all too familiar with how qualified immunity has protected officers from being held accountable and can see why criminal justice professionals and legislators recommend that we reign it in.

First established by the Supreme Court in the ruling of Pierson v. Ray (1967), qualified immunity was formulated to protect public officials, including police officers, from superfluous lawsuits. The rationale was that police should not be afraid to make an arrest or use force when necessary to protect public safety out of fear of being sued. …


Today, people around the world are coming together to commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day, a day to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose. This is a day to unite in honor of those we’ve lost, and while there’s so much going on in the world right now, finding effective solutions to this public health crisis is more important than ever.

Overdose is a global problem, but the solutions begin in our own communities. Addiction should be fought with compassion and, most importantly, with harm reduction methods and programs to save lives and protect public safety. …

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