“Racially Charged” Documentary Explores Use of Misdemeanors to Target and Criminalize African-Americans

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(Photos: YouTube) On Wednesday, renowned civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump joined criminal justice experts and formerly incarcerated individuals for a briefing and screening of a new documentary, Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem, on the urgent need for misdemeanor reform. 3 million people a year – most of them poor and people of color – are abused by this system, which grew out of efforts to uphold white supremacy after the Civil War.Many instances of fatal police violence that have spurred mass racial justice protests –including the murders of George Floyd and Daunte Wright–, started with alleged misdemeanor infractions. Through first-person accounts of those charged under the Black Codes of the Reconstruction Era paralleled with the outrageous stories of people trapped in the system today, Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem, by the nonprofit film studio Brave New Films, examines America’s history of using the misdemeanor system to harass and control Black people and puts human faces on the unbroken story of racial discrimination in the US legal system.Ben Crump, leading civil rights attorney, President and Founder of Trial Lawyer for Justice, and attorney for the families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright:“When I think about Racially Charged, I am literally at...