Unjustifiable Chapter 3: The Shoebox


Manage episode 278369593 series 2413517
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What was it about the killing of Bonita Carter that sparked police reform? The search for that answer led the Reckon Radio team into the bowels of the Birmingham Public Library, to a recently discovered box of “Birmingham Police Shooting and Incident Cards.” These cards, seen by almost no one in decades, detail the lives of hundreds of people in Jefferson County, Alabama – the deaths of hundreds, killed by police and security officers and written off, seemingly casually, as “justifiable.”

Almost all the victims are Black. Almost all are men. Many are young, teenagers, shot in the back as they ran, or walked away, or were simply suspected of a crime as trivial as picking up a few bucks off a lunch counter. What was it about Bonita Carter? The answer in these files and others, which indicate that more police in this one county shot as many as 500 people in the last century, that they were not just allowed to shoot people they believed had committed a crime, they were expected and encouraged to do it. Especially if the suspect were Black.

Show Notes:

Guests: Cynthia Carter, Brian Burghart, Jay Glass, Uche Bean

Creator: John Archibald

Hosts: John Archibald & Roy S. Johnson

Executive Producer: John Hammontree

Producer & Audio Engineer: Alexander Richey

Producers: Amy Yurkanin and Marsha Oglesby

Score: Thad Saajid, Austin Motlow, David Marsh, and Danny Ray Wilkerson, Jr. Additional music contributed by Jeremy Smith.

Music: "Vehemence," by Thad Saajid

Voice Acting: R.L. Nave, Barnett Wright, Danny Ray Wilkerson, Jr.

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