Understanding the History of Racist Policing

History shows that racist policing has been around for at least 100 years in America. In 1919, the state militia was called in on the South Side of Chicago during race riots going on in the city.

Table of Contents

Racist Policing in America

Police brutality and violence is nothing new in America. It has been around for more than 100 years, but current events have ignited an awakening of injustice. The recent death of George Floyd and other black Americans has led to the Black Lives Matter movement and thousands of protests across the country.

To understand the history of police violence in America, it’s important to look at past events. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune published in 1919, when race riots broke out on the South Side of Chicago, the state militia was called to the scene. As a result, many people were injured by police officers who used violent tactics to control the riots.

In a recent book written by Khalil Muhammad, The Condemnation of Blackness, the author talks about systemic racism that has existed in American since the times of slavery. He says it can be found within the criminal justice system, federal and state governments, law enforcement agencies, and every day walks of life. The book points out a vicious cycle in American history that started a century ago, when black people were arrested to prevent them from exercising their rights under the Fourth Amendment.

In 1919, a 17-year-old black boy, Eugene Williams, was stoned to death by white people after he swam into what they deemed to be the wrong part of Lake Michigan. In response, black people in Chicago started protests, and white people attacked them, resulting in over 500 people injured and 38 people killed. Afterward, the city convened a commission to study the causes of the violence.

History shows that forms of racist policing and violence existed as far back as the 1600s when America was a British colony. White citizens of towns and cities developed a watchmen system where organized patrols would try to prevent crimes and maintain order as the slave population increased. Now 100 years later, racist policing in America has once again ignited national debates on racism and police brutality against blacks. In Minnesota, felony lawyers provide criminal defense for many innocent people arrested and charged with crimes. In many cases, defendants are acquitted due to misidentification, lack of evidence, and police coercion.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.
Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.