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Black attorney responsible for freeing 17 inmates sets the record straight over Kim Kardashian

DEFENDER NEWS NETWORK — Kim Kardashian has been making headlines as of late after reports said she is responsible for freeing 17 inmates in 90 days. but what hasn’t been highlighted are the Black women doing the work behind the effort. That changed Tuesday when attorney Brittany K. Barnett, who along with fellow Black woman lawyer MiAngel Cody, established the 90 Days of Freedom Campaign, posted a lengthy post on Facebook that set the record straight.

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By Defender News Service

Kim Kardashian has been making headlines as of late after reports said she is responsible for freeing 17 inmates in 90 days, but what hasn’t been highlighted are the Black women doing the work behind the effort.

That changed Tuesday when attorney Brittany K. Barnett, who along with fellow Black woman lawyer MiAngel Cody, established the 90 Days of Freedom Campaign, posted a lengthy post on Facebook that set the record straight.

Kardashian is involved in the project, having financially backed it, but Cody and Barnett have been putting in the groundwork to free 17 men who had been serving life in prison on federal drug cases.

“The first and last time I will speak on it. Seriously, because the negativity from today is misdemeanor s— and we still have lives to save,” Barnett’s post began. “MiAngel Cody and I have BEEN doing this work for FREE. Ask any of our dozens of clients who are now free living their best lives. Both of us left six figure salary jobs and wiped out our own savings accounts to fund our work. We attempted to get grants from these large foundations shelling out MILLIONS of dollars to other organizations but would not look our way because they so-called don’t fund “direct services”. Our hands were full picking locks to human cages, we didn’t have time to participate in glorified begging from the nonprofit industrial complex only to be turned down.”

“Kim linked arms with us to support us when foundations turned us down,” Barnett continued. “We and our clients and their families have a lot of love for her and are deeply grateful for her. In 90 days TWO black women lawyers freed SEVENTEEN people from LIFE W/O PAROLE sentences – the second most severe penalty permitted by law in America. Only two of us. Prosecutors opposed nearly every single case we had. We litigated our asses off in federal courts across the country. We won DOWNWARD DEPARTURES in most of our cases – due to good lawyering. People set to DIE in prison – are now FREE.”

Barnett went on to explain the clients she and Cody worked to free were not even included on a selective list issued by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which is an agency established to address widespread disparity in federal sentencing. She also blasted the “drama” involved in the criminal justice reform arena.

Still, the lawyer is appreciative of Kardashian’s involvement in their efforts and blasted those who took aim at the reality star, who made headlines for helping get clemency granted for federally imprisoned great-grandmother Alice Johnson last year.

“We need Kim’s support and the support of anyone else who wants to join this fight,” she concluded. “We love that she is using her platform to raise awareness. We ain’t trying to be famous, we trying to get our people free. Period.”

In response, several commenters praised Barrett for her and Cody’s efforts.

“Brittany K. Barnett, actual facts and supreme truth. Your heart and works are monumental!”

“Amen, Now that’s Gangsta.”

“Keep doing what you good at .God put this fight on your heart Job well done.”

This article originally appeared in the Defender News Network

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Activism

Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024

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Bay Area

Sen. Wiener, Mayor Breed Announce Bill to Shut Down Fencing of Stolen Goods

On June 3, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed joined State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to announce a bill aiming to combat fencing, the sale of stolen goods. Authored by Wiener and sponsored by Breed, Senate Bill (SB) 925 would allow San Francisco to create permitting requirements to regulate the sale of items commonly obtained through retail theft and impose criminal penalties for those who engage in this practice.

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By Oakland Post Staff

On June 3, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed joined State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to announce a bill aiming to combat fencing, the sale of stolen goods.

Authored by Wiener and sponsored by Breed, Senate Bill (SB) 925 would allow San Francisco to create permitting requirements to regulate the sale of items commonly obtained through retail theft and impose criminal penalties for those who engage in this practice.

“The sale of stolen items in San Francisco has created unsafe street conditions and health and safety hazards that have negatively impacted residents, businesses, City workers, and legitimate street vendors,” states a statement released by the mayor’s office.

San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Chief Bill Scott praised the effort.

“I want to thank Mayor Breed and Senator Wiener for identifying new ways to combat the illegal fencing of stolen goods. This will help our hard-working officers continue to make progress in cracking down on retail theft,” said Scott.

Under the legislation, San Francisco can require vendors to obtain a permit to be able to sell items deemed as frequently stolen by asking for documentation that the merchandise was obtained legitimately, such as showing proof of purchase.

The legislation also establishes that those in violation would receive an infraction for the first two offenses and an infraction or a misdemeanor and up to six months in county jail for the third offense.

Under this bill, people can still:

  • Sell goods with a permit
  • Sell prepared food with a permit
  • Sell goods on the list of frequently stolen items with a permit and proof of purchase.

“In San Francisco we are working hard to make our streets safer and more welcoming for all. SB 925 would greatly help us get a handle on the sale of stolen goods, all while taking a narrow approach that specifically targets bad actors,” said Breed.

Wiener says the cultural richness of San Francisco and the livelihoods of legitimate street vendors are threatened when bad actors are allowed to openly sell stolen goods on the city’s streets.

“With this bill we’re taking a balanced approach that respects the critical role street vending plays in our community while holding fencing operations accountable for the disruption they cause. It’s critical that everyone feel safe on our streets, including street vendors and neighborhood residents,” said Wiener.

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Community

Public Policy Inst. of California Releases Data on Hate Crimes

Hate crimes against minorities have increased statewide over the last decade with a spike in violent crimes between 2020 and 2022, states a Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) report. The recent increase in violent hate crimes is backed by data revealing that victims were targeted based on personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, and gender. Those violent hate crimes disproportionately affected Black, Latino, and Asian individuals.

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By California Black Media

Hate crimes against minorities have increased statewide over the last decade with a spike in violent crimes between 2020 and 2022, states a Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) report.

The recent increase in violent hate crimes is backed by data revealing that victims were targeted based on personal characteristics, including race, ethnicity, and gender. Those violent hate crimes disproportionately affected Black, Latino, and Asian individuals. Incidents of violent hate crimes including assault grew by 791. The number of property-related hate crimes, including vandalism, increased by 314 incidents. In all the incidents reported, 25% of the hate crimes included the use of weapons including knives, handguns, and clubs.

The report stated that violent hate crimes remain underreported. The California Department of Justice is working on plans to invest more money in facilitating the reporting of hate crimes and supporting communities affected most by these incidents.

According to the report between 2019 and 2022, hate crimes targeting Black people tripled, while incidents against Latinos doubled, and attacks against Asians more than tripled in recent years.

“These increases are overwhelmingly driven by violent rather than property crimes,” the report stated.

In 2022, approximately 75% of all reported hate crimes included violent attacks against Black, Latino, or Asian people.

The state has since passed bills to address current and emerging issues related to hate crimes. The Legislature passed AB 485 in 2020, requiring local law enforcement agencies to post monthly updates of hate crimes online. Legislators passed AB 449 in 2023, a law that requires local law enforcement agencies to report suspected hate crimes and provide information that helps report hate crimes to the state attorney general.

Gov. Gavin Newsom launched the “CA vs Hate” campaign, an educational awareness campaign that includes a hotline and online resources for reporting hate crimes. The campaign also provided funds to community-based organizations supporting victims of hate crimes.

“This potential change in reporting behavior, along with increased media attention to the problem, may be partially responsible for the recent uptick in the number of incidents we report on here,” the report stated.

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