False Justice spreads upon the people and the ruin of the world is near. They will take everything from you, if you do nothing. What is your answer? Will you use the strength within you to take it back?
Very well, I have heeded your resolve. Vow to me. I am thou, thou art I…
Jordan Edwards should be alive. The 15-year-old honor roll student was leaving a house party in Balch Springs, Texas, when he was shot and killed by an officer responding to a call about “drunk teens.” His two brothers were arrested while Jordan lay dying in the front seat of the car, his family said in a statement.
Edwards’ family responded to news that the officer who shot him, Roy Oliver, had been fired on Tuesday night. “The magnitude of his horrible actions cannot be overstated, the family said in a statement. "We fully expect an equivalent response from those responsible for investigating and punishing the crime.”
We can only hope that the family’s hopes and expectations for justice won’t be in vain. But if we look to recent developments in police shooting cases, for too long, families of victims of police brutality have waited months — and even years— for answers. Too often, officers are not held accountable for their actions. Read more (Opinion)
Susan Burton knows just how hard it is to get back on track after being released from prison. It’s an experience she lived through six times, once for each of the prison terms she served.
“One of the things about incarceration is that you’re deprived. You lose all of your identity and then its given back one day and you’re ill-equipped to actually embrace it and work it,” Burton says. “Each time I left prison I left with the resolve to get my life together, to get a job, to get back on track. And each time the task became more and more and more daunting.”
Burton’s prison sentences were all drug related. After her sixth release, she finally received the addiction treatment and counseling she so desperately needed. Slowly, she began to rebuild her own life — then she turned her attention to others in Watts, the Los Angeles neighborhood she had grown up in.
Knowing what it was like to get out of prison with no money and no safe place to live, Burton started a home for women in same position. Gradually Burton’s organization, A New Way of Life, expanded from one home to five. In addition to housing, it offers 12-step programs, counseling and other help to women coming out of prison.
Burton acknowledges that her work — which brings her back to prison regularly — can be draining. “So many nights after I’ve gone into a prison and lay my head on the pillow, it’s a heavy head that I lay on the pillow,” she says. But, she adds, “It’s not hard for me to go back, because I’m going in with the purpose of freeing people up.”
Burton traces her journey from prison to recovery — and her efforts to help others — in the memoir Becoming Ms. Burton.