Tag Archives: Jeff Adachi

Bay Area: No Equality in Drug Jailings

“If you go to any courtroom in the Hall of Justice, you will see that the majority arrested are African American. At every stage of the criminal process – arrest, conviction and those who are sent to prison – there is a disproportionate impact on blacks. It is a tradition in San Francisco to focus sting operations in communities where there are larger populations of African Americans, and there are state and federal grants that support those stings.”

~ SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi

A recent study was conducted of 200 high-population counties nationwide to examine disparities in drug case jail sentences. Guess what? San Francisco county apparently locks up a higher percentage of African Americans in drug cases than any other county in the study. Granted, the statistics could be skewed as San Francisco might have a smaller percentage of African Americans than other counties (not hard to do since gentrification has caused SF’s Black community to dwindle to around 6 or 7 percent of the city). However, the results still show the Bay Area’s complicity in the nationwide trend of sending Blacks to jail much more than whites for drug offenses, even though rates of drug use amongst the two groups are the same.

Now I love the Bay Area, but we are kidding ourselves if we think the “liberal” culture here stops our institutions from being just as unjust as anywhere else. The “War on Drugs” continues to be a war on communities of color, especially that of the Black community when it comes to prison sentences. Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s comments above echo this, particularly in regards to the state and federal grants that support targeting the African American community in drug stings. Again, I love the Bay, but news like this makes me sick.

Props to Jeff Adachi for continuing to fight for the right kind of justice in the Bay Area legal system.

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Jena Six and the Bay Area War On Gangs

Thousands marched in Jena, Louisiana yesterday to protest the treatment of the “Jena Six” by the fucked up American legal system. I’m glad it was such a strong demonstration of solidarity against institutional racism. Our man Jordan Flaherty over at Left Turn Magazine wrote a great article awhile back explaining the context of the Jena Six here.

At the same time, we have a discreet “War On Gangs” taking place in San Francisco City Hall that is a reminder of how institutional racism takes on a much more subtle form here in the Bay Area. SF District Attorney Dennis Herrera has entered a heated debate with SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi over proposed “gang injunctions’ as a way of tackling what is perceived as a rising problem with SF gangs. I posted awhile back a very informative piece written by Adachi that outlined how such gang injunctions have proven to actually increase violence. Essentially, they become a means to legally target and further criminalize inner-city youth of color. Fuck that. Don’t believe any of the bullshit, Adachi knows what he’s talking about and should be supported.

**UPDATED 9.24**

As the murder rate approaches the 100 mark in Oakland this year, the questionable killing of Gary King by the Oakland Police Department reminds us that racist violence extends everywhere from Jena to Oakland.