Category Archives: police accountability

“It’s a Money Grab”: Billions in COVID Relief Going to Fund Police and Prisons

If you’re from inner-city Birmingham, Alabama, there’s a “99-percent chance” you have a family member or friend who has been incarcerated, according to Veronica Johnson, deputy director for the Alabama Justice Initiative, which has been fighting against a proposal to … Continue reading

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Local Community Protests Former Champaign Police Chief’s Teaching Appointment at Parkland College

Former Champaign Police Chief Robert T. Finney was hired in August, 2020 to teach Community Policing as well as Introduction to Criminal Justice at Parkland College. “Unbelievable” is what one African American community member thought on hearing the news; “Shocking,” … Continue reading

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Ubuntu Project Statement on Automated License Plate Readers

The Ubuntu Project Urbana-Champaign is disappointed to learn that the Champaign City Council is considering voting to purchase license plate readers. Considering the well-documented controversial reputation and questionable value of license plate readers, the Champaign people need more information on … Continue reading

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The Ubuntu Project and the Need for a Progressive Shift in Policing

Ubuntu is a term that originated with the Zulu people and roughly translates to “humanity” in English. The term emerged as a political concept following apartheid’s disintegration in South Africa. Now a collective of local community members, scholars, clergy, and … Continue reading

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Anarchism and the American Labor Movement

Anarchists, proponents of “anti-authoritarian socialism,” seek to abolish the state and capitalism. Anarchism replaces authoritarian governance and private ownership of resources with federations of self-managed industries and communities in which those affected by decisions participate in making them directly in … Continue reading

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The Haters Among Them

The number is thirty so far, thirty police officers charged with the act of participating in the Capitol insurrection last January. Many, many Americans felt shock, and media analysts expressed particular outrage, to find men in blue—perhaps even waving blue-line, … Continue reading

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Urbana Police Chief Finally Admits Misconduct in Aleyah Lewis Arrest

  It has been more than seven months since the violent arrest of Urbana resident Aleyah Lewis. Tens of thousands of people have watched the videos of Urbana Police Officers throwing Lewis to the ground, pinning her, punching her in the … Continue reading

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Chicago Firm Hired to Review Urbana PD has Worrying Police Ties, Offers Disappointing Community Engagement

The authors of this article are concerned residents and citizen journalists working towards accountability in government and law enforcement at the local level. Background: Growing Outcry Around the Arrest of Aleyah Lewis On June 22, amid a flood of protests … Continue reading

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Police Unions: Solidarity and Accountability

The Police and Solidarity There are two major differences between police officers and other workers in both the private and public sector. The first is a truncated sense of solidarity, the second a lack of accountability. Unionized workers in both … Continue reading

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Chalk It Up to Protecting Property Over People

In July Michael Long, owner of the Rogue Barber Co. in downtown Champaign, implemented a discriminatory “membership only” policy. The issue came to public attention on July 23, when a female Champaign resident shared screenshots on social media of a … Continue reading

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How Are Violent Police Held Accountable in Champaign County?

On April 10, Urbana Police officers threw an African American woman, Aleyah Lewis, to the ground and punched her while she was down. She had protested the arrest of a friend. Caught on video, this led many people in the … Continue reading

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Urbana Civilian Police Review Board Under the Spotlight After Violent Arrest

For the past eleven Urbana City Council meetings, residents have lined up to deliver what has amounted to more than a dozen hours of criticism and a seemingly endless stream of misconduct allegations against the Urbana Police Department. Initially sparked … Continue reading

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