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Students In California Can Be Placed On Probation For Poor Behavior

Four students in Riverside County have filed a class action lawsuit against it.

Four students in California have filed a lawsuit against Riverside County for allegedly jump-starting a life inside the prison system. According to The Appeal, the lawsuit claims the schools within the county that participate in the Youth Accountability Team leads to illegal searches and seizures and disproportionately affects black and brown students in the district.

“It’s kind of like this expedited version of the school-to-prison pipeline by having this extrajudicial system operating exclusively through the school,” ACLU's Hannah Comstock said.

In 2017, a 13-year-old student named Andrew was placed in handcuffs after kicking an orange over the school fence that landed near an officer. Andrew was taken to the principal's office where law enforcement searched his bag to find marijuana. He received a civil infraction that day and a month later Andrew was told to go to the police station to discuss probation, which was a contract for YAT.

Andrew's family was present but he didn't have a lawyer and agreed to participate in the program for six months. To avoid further consequences, Andrew had to go to his classes, earn good grades, adhere to a 8 p.m. curfew, complete 25 hours of community service, attend counseling, visit a prison and go to weekly programs with the Moreno Valley Police Department. This strict schedule even called for Andrew being pulled out of class during a Spanish quiz to take a YAT survey.

The program was created in 2001 as a means to keep "at risk" students in line, however the lawsuit states teachers, school officials and law enforcement used the program as a means of discipline for students.

The four plaintiffs are asking the courts to prohibit the enforcement of Section 601(b), which is a vague statute that states students "persistent[ly] or habitual[ly] refuse to obey the reasonable and proper orders or directions of school authorities” and do away with the contracts, citing they were signed under coercion and without a lawyer present.

READ MORE: HBO’s ‘Notes From The Field’ Brilliantly Illuminates The School-To-Prison Pipeline

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Incoming Attorney General Letitia James Planning Investigation Of Donald Trump And Co.

Incoming New York Attorney General Letitia James is planning a sweeping investigation of Donald Trump, his family and anyone associated with the president.

While speaking with NBC News, James said she will use every corner of the law to look at any illegal activity committed.

“We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well," James said.

Specifically, James will investigate any illegal activity associated with the president's New York real-estate holdings, including the 2016 meeting with a Russian official at Trump Tower and any government subsidies he's received.

"We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law,” the Democratic attorney general said.

After James announced her forthcoming investigation, Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen will face the music for lying to Congress and violating campaign laws. Cohen faces four years in prison.

READ MORE: Donald Trump "I'm The Least Racist Person...That I Can Tell You"

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Oscar Grant's Family Advocates To Have Fruitvale Station Named After Him

Nearly 10 years to the day of his passing, Oscar Grant III's family is aiming to build a tangible legacy in his honor. A request to rename Fruitvale Station in Oakland, Calif., the location where Grant was fatally shot by a police officer on Jan. 1, 2009, has been made. At 22, Grant was killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer while he was handcuffed and face down on the train's platform. The officers were responding to a fight on a crowded train and apprehended Grant and other riders.

“It would be an atonement, it would be part of BART saying yes this happened here, we vow that it won’t happen again and we vow to work with the communities and ensure that all people are treated equally,” Wanda Johnson, Grant's mother, said.

According to KGO-TV, BART officials have declared the family's plea unlikely, not based upon the reason of the request, but rather that BART policy requires all stations' names to align with its geographical position. The Oakland transit system will instead install a mural honoring the late father. Currently, in the planning stages, the family also requested a side street at Fruitvale be named after their fallen family member.

Killed in the blink of an eye, Grant's case made him one of the many faces of police brutality. Cellphone cameras caught officers handcuff an unarmed Grant, who was later shot in the back. He died shortly after in a California hospital.

READ MORE: 'Fruitvale Station': Michael B. Jordan On the Many Layers of Oscar Grant 

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Justin Sullivan

Study Shows Gun Violence Cuts African Americans Life Expectancy By Four Years Or More

Gun violence has seeped into the American culture sinking its claws into everyday life. With 53,492 shooting occurring in 2018, the result was more than 13,700 gun-related deaths, reported by the Gun Violence Archive.  A new study led by a professor at Boston University has found that the life expectancy of African-Americans has lowered by more than 4-years due to gun violence.

Based on federal data collected between 2000 and 2016, the research concluded black Americans died more frequently due to homicide among younger ages, although white American gun deaths are linked more so toward suicide amid older folks.

Published Dec. 4 in the BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine journal."Our study using cumulative data from 2000 to 2016 demonstrates a total firearm life expectancy loss of 905.2 days, which is nine times greater than observed in 2000, indicating increasing life expectancy loss by year," wrote Bindu Kalesan, the lead author of the investigation.

Furthering the discussion surrounding firearm injury, Kalesan inferred that gun-related injury causes American's to "lose substantial years." A common misconception surrounding shooting victims, only 30% of people struck by bullets die. However, the trauma endured is now linked to the shortened life expectancy.

One of the studies calculated in the 2000s, "concluded that shootings reduced the average American lifespan by about 100 days, with a significant gap between black and white men: Black men lost 361.5 days, while white men lost 150.7 days," wrote Nick Wing, a journalist at Huffington Post.

Two hundred and eleven days in difference, this study is a clear indication of the racial gap plaguing people-of-color in relation to the inherent violence suffered through life. Gun policy, a clear stain on the American fabric, has become a growing issue, claiming lives by the tens-of-thousands with no clear sign of slowing down. The research illustrates the growing issues within the black community, because not only are we being attacked from all sides, we engage in friendly fire.

READ MORE: Girl Who Penned Essay On Gun Violence Killed By Stray Bullet

 

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