Holding Prosecutors Accountable in Local Communities

Color of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. It challenges injustice, holds corporate and political leaders accountable, commissions game-changing research on systems of inequality and advances solutions for racial justice that can transform our world. Thanks in part to support from Voqal, Color of Change mobilized and supported a growing network of stakeholders working to hold prosecutors accountable for their decisions and impact on the Black community and criminal justice system.

An excellent example of the power of this work can be seen in the case of Botham Shem Jean. Jean was murdered in his home on September 6, 2018 despite having not committed a crime. The media and Dallas police department tried to assassinate the 26-year-old’s character by pointing out that he had, of all things, a small amount of weed in his apartment. Despite the attempts to get the public lost in petty details about what was in Botham’s home, Color of Change and its partners knew that all that mattered was that Dallas police officer Amber Guyger killed him.

Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson had the power to ensure that at least a small piece of justice was served and that Guyger was charged for the crime she committed — murder. Color of Change collaborated with local groups Mothers Against Police Brutality, Texas Organizing Project and Faith in Texas to deliver 170,000 petition signatures to her office, demanding she present the grand jury with adequate charges of murder against Guyger. Thanks in part to the efforts of Color of Change and its partners, Guyger was eventually charged with murder and is currently awaiting trial.

A truly socially equitable country is not possible as long as the criminal justice system continues to discriminate against certain segments of the United States population. The work of Color of Change and its partners to ensure that prosecutors and others in the criminal justice system are held accountable for this discrimination is key to building the more socially equitable world envisioned by Voqal. We applaud this work and look forward to the continued efforts by Color of Change to advance a more racially equitable society for all.