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Brentin Mock

Brentin Mock is a staff writer at CityLab. He was previously the justice editor at Grist.
Results 1-10 of 34

The Persistent, Wide Racial Gap in Attitudes Toward the Police

September 22, 2017 Less than a year into the post-Obama milieu, yet another major police shooting trial—the Jason Stockley case in St. Louis—produced a widely denounced verdict that reminds us how difficult it is to hold police officers accountable when they murder African Americans. Then-St. Louis police officer Stockley shot and killed Anthony...

Attorney General's Civil Asset Forfeiture Orders Are 'Irrelevant' in Philadelphia

July 26, 2017 Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a stink last week when he announced he was revamping policies that allow federal law enforcement officials to seize property from suspects—even if those suspects haven’t been charged or convicted of a crime. These policies have been heavily scrutinized by liberals and conservatives in recent...

The Price of Defunding the Police

July 14, 2017 One of the most contested planks of the Black Lives Matter movement’s platform is the idea of divesting from police departments. This is the demand that government agencies divert funds from law enforcement and put those resources into programs that communities, particularly black and Latino, actually want, like affordable housing....

Why Jails Are Booming

June 2, 2017 It’s impossible to discuss reducing incarceration without acknowledging that the bulk of imprisonment happens in local jails. Federal penitentiary rates have dropped since peaking in 2009—though, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that may soon change. State prison rates have come down “modestly” overall, reports the Sentencing Project, and some states...

When Cities Fought the Feds Over Apartheid

May 25, 2017 Earlier this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated his threat to withhold federal funding from cities deemed as providing sanctuary for immigrants, this time bending language in the law to make it easier for him to penalize recalcitrant jurisdictions. In his May 22 memo to “All Department Grant-Making Components,” Sessions...

Applying the 'Rooney Rule' to Cities

April 21, 2017 The city of Pittsburgh will no longer make hiring decisions for leadership positions in city government without interviewing at least one person who is not a white male. This was the hiring approach instituted in 2003 by the recently deceased Dan Rooney, who was president of the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL...

Why Is New Jersey Grouping American 'Black Separatists' with ISIS?

February 6, 2017 As government agencies increasingly turn their attention to “homegrown terrorism,” it’s important to note who’s being targeted and who isn’t. Reuters reported this week that President Trump might be refocusing the federal “Countering Violent Extremism” program, which deploys resources for monitoring groups such as white supremacists and militias, into a...

Where Gerrymandering Is Containing City Power

January 10, 2017 That cities’ voter-turnout game is mad weak is an unassailable truth. The urban sector may do a lot of things better than rural and suburban areas, but getting constituents to the polling booths is not one of them. There are plenty of explanations for why that is, but there is...

Parting Thoughts From Pittsburgh's Chief of Innovation and Performance

December 7, 2016 The Pittsburgh that exists in many people’s imaginations is covered in smokestacks and smog—a city of the past, not a metropolis of the future. In reality, Pittsburgh is increasingly becoming one of the most technologically advanced cities in the U.S., the testing ground for autonomous cars and other innovations that...

A Controversial Police Chief's Parting Words With His Profession

November 11, 2016 Five days before law-and-order candidate Donald Trump was elected president, Cameron McLay resigned from his post as chief of the Pittsburgh police department. At that point, the Trump triumph was far from inevitable, but the tea leaves of a new tough-on-crime regime were astir. The change was felt in New...