The Subject of a Carceral State

SoniaFrom the conclusion of Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent in Utah, Petitioner v. Edward Joseph Strieff, Jr. (June 20, 2016):

This case involves a suspicionless stop, one in which the officer initiated this chain of events without justification.  As the Justice Department notes, supra, at 8, many innocent people are subjected to the humiliations of these unconstitutional searches.  The white defendant in this case shows that anyone’s dignity can be violated in this manner.  But it is no secret that people of color are disproportionate victims of this type of scrutiny.  For generations, black and brown parents have given their children “the talk”–instructing them never to run down the street; always keep your hands where they can be seen; do not even think of talking back to a stranger–all out of fear of how an officer with a gun will react to them. Continue reading