Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree speaks with a lecture attendee Wednesday at the U of I.
Hannah Meisel/WILL
December 03, 2014

Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree Talks Racial Injustice In America

Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree speaks with a lecture attendee Wednesday at the U of IThe deaths this summer of two African American men at the hands of white police officers again brought racial tension to the national spotlight; The death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson resulted in a decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson last month, and on Wednesday, a grand jury in New York decided to not charge NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner.

Protests and rallies nationwide aim to drive home the same point: Racial inequality is alive and well, and exacerbated by the American justice system.

Illinois Public Media's Hannah Meisel spoke with race relations expert and Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree about where the country goes from here.

Ogletree was on campus Wednesday, where he led a talk sponsored by the University of Illinois' African American Studies Department.

The professor told his own anecdotes of being racially profiled, saying that despite his success in life, he's still subjected to being pulled over under suspicious circumstances, or looked at with a presumption of guilt.


Officers wear riot gear walking through a park in downtown St. Louis.
(Tom Gannam/AP)
December 01, 2014

Obama To Hold Meetings Today On Ferguson

After another day of mostly peaceful protests in Ferguson, Missouri, President Obama is scheduled to meet with civil rights leaders to discuss mistrust of police in communities of color.


St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch.
(AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cristina Fletes-Boutte, Pool)
November 25, 2014

Grand Jury Focused On Key Fatal Ferguson ‘Tussle”

Some witnesses called it a tussle. Others described it as a tug-of-war. Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson testified that they were fighting over his handgun.  


Protesters march during a rally near Chicago Police headquarters Monday night.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
November 24, 2014

Ferguson Protests In Illinois

Dozens of protesters outside Chicago Police Department's headquarters started marching as soon as they heard that a grand jury had decided not to indict a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed, black 18-year-old in August.  


Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown reacts to the grand jury decision.
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
November 24, 2014

Grand Jury Won’t Indict Ferguson Cop In Shooting

 President Barack Obama says he joins with Michael Brown's family in urging peaceful protests after a grand jury decided not to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed the unarmed, black 18-year-old. 


October 31, 2014

What Is Marsy’s Law?

Illinois map with letters spelling Mary's Law for IllinoisAmong the items Illinois voters will be asked to weigh in on at the polls Tuesday is approving the Crime Victims Bill of Rights.

This amendment to the state's Constitution will add two components to an existing list of rights of a victim of violent crime: That victim safety be considered as part of release decisions and that victims' privacy be reinforced when it comes to personal records--like diaries.

Illinois Public Media's Hannah Meisel spoke with Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, director of Marsy's Law for Illinois. In 1990, Bishop-Jenkins' sister and brother-in-law were murdered, along with her sister's unborn child. She says Marsy's Law will add protections for victims that exist in many other states.

The amendment passed the Illinois House and Senate with very little opposition in the Spring. Bishop-Jenkins says those who oppose the law mistakenly think that adding rights for victims of a crime would take away rights of the accused.

"They have expressed concern that there is a zero-sum game, if you will, between victims' rights and the rights of the accused," she said. "That's just wrong."


Marchers protest in Ferguson, Missouri.
AP Photo
October 03, 2014

Beyond Ferguson, Part 2: A WILL-AM 580 Special

Last month, host Janice Marie Collins, a University of Illinois journalism professor, began a conversation about some of the questions raised by the shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri.  That conversation continued Friday, Oct. 3, with a live special focusing on what comes next and the search for solutions.


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