Our country’s justice system is broken—and a recent Independent story, by Brian Blueskye, illustrates that painful fact.
Meet Kimberly Long. The Corona resident was convicted of murdering her boyfriend after a day of drinking back in 2003—even though all the available evidence seems to exonerate her. Her case is one of the 18 that the San Diego-based California Innocence Project has taken up; here’s hoping the project’s attorneys can achieve justice for Kimberly Long and her family very soon.
Another example: My good friend Brian Burghart continues his work on Fatal Encounters, a crowd-sourced database of people killed during interactions with law enforcement. As we explained in an article last December—and as Brian himself has explained during TV interviews on everything from Al Jazeera to The Daily Show—he is trying to fill a void: There is no national database of people killed by law-enforcement officers, even though there is a semi-epidemic of such killings happening around the country, especially in the West. Therefore, he set out to create a database going back to the start of the year 2000. If you have time and expertise, please consider helping him out.
(As a side note: Brian, who is the editor of the Reno News & Review, and Fatal Encounters were just announced as finalists in the 2015 Association of Alternative Media Awards. Now, a little bragging: So were the Independent and writer Brian Blueskye, for his coverage of the Palm Springs mural ordinance. Congrats!)
Of course, there are also the examples of the unrest-catalyzing police-related deaths in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo.
However, I am optimistic that our justice system can be fixed, at least partially. It’s a good sign that the Fatal Encounters site exists and is getting so much attention. It’s great to see that people are taking actions to make their voices heard in Baltimore and Ferguson and fight against police brutality and racism. It’s fantastic that groups like the California Innocence Project exist to help those wrongly imprisoned—and 11 of the project’s clients are now free, as we hope Kimberly Long will be soon.
You’ll learn a lot from Brian’s piece on Kimberly Long, which serves as the cover story of our June print issue. You’ll get a lot out of the rest of our content, both online and print, as well.
As always, thank you for reading the Coachella Valley Independent.