The IJS in Action

Lawsuit Involving Fatal Police Shooting Settles

The lawsuit against the city of Little Rock and two former police officers over the 2019 fatal shooting of Bradley Blackshire ended after the court entered a dismissal order on November 9, 2021. Read the plaintiffs' motion to dismiss here.

IJS Practitioner-in-Residence Omavi Shukur, along with co-counsel at the NAACP LDF and Loevy & Loevy, represented the plaintiffs.

Bradley Blackshire


IJS Postdoctoral Scholar Che Gossett in Time on Activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya

Dr. Gossett is writing a biography of Kiyoshi Kuromiya

Watch the video with Dr. Gossett on Kiyoshi Kuromiya here.


Legal Team Representing Bradley Blackshire’s Family Reaches Settlement in Lawsuit Involving Fatal Police Shooting

Today, plaintiffs represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), co-counsel Loevy & Loevy, and the Initiative for a Just Society reached a settlement – subject to the approval by the probate court – with the city of Little Rock, Arkansas for monetary and non-monetary relief.  This lawsuit was filed in June 2019 on behalf of the family of Bradley Blackshire, a Black man who was repeatedly shot and killed by former Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) Officer Charles Starks. The suit brought forth several claims, including counts of excessive force, failure to provide medical attention, and wrongful death.

Read the full joint press release from the NAACP LDP, Loevy & Loevy, & the Initiative for a Just Society here

Police Lights


Derecka Purnell on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Derecka Purnell, Scholar-in-Residence at the Initiative for a Just Society, talks about her new book, Becoming Abolitionists, on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. 


Derecka Purnell joins Michelle Alexander for Book Talk at Politics & Prose

For recordings of Becoming Abolitionists book talks and other press, please visit the Becoming Abolitionists News page.


One less person on Rikers Island

As conditions on Rikers Island continue to deteriorate, IJS works to aid the release of individuals. On September 30, 2021, there was at least one less person on Rikers—seen here, crossing Foley Square, after being released from Rikers and state court, with all of the books he read while incarcerated.  

One less individual on Rikers Island


$17 Million Revelations in Standing Rock Litigation

The private security firm TigerSwan received over $17 million from Dakota Access LLC for its work related to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, recent court filings and documents produced in response to a judicial order in the ongoing litigation Thunderhawk v. County of Morton reveal.

Read the full press release here.

Highway 1806 south side blockade in Morton County, North Dakota


Kenyatta Emmanuel performs at Wild Birds 

Kenyatta Emmanuel Hughes, Artist-in-Residence at the IJS, performed live in Brooklyn on September 20, 2021. Here is Hughes in an earlier concert at Carnegie Hall: 

On October 21, 2019, Kenyatta Emmanuel walked out of prison after serving 24.5 years and just a few hours later, walked onto the stage at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Room to perform his first concert as a free man.


Abdul Latif Nasser Released from Guantanamo Bay

"'He is ecstatic,' said Bernard E. Harcourt, a New York-based lawyer and law professor, who represented Mr. Nasser in federal court... He was particularly buoyed by being reunited with extended family members who had gathered for Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holy day known as the Feast of Sacrifice, Mr. Harcourt added." — "A freed Guantánamo Bay detainee is reunited with his family in Morocco," by Carol Rosenberg for The New York Times

Moroccan man held nearly 20 years without charges released from Guantanamo

Carol Rosenberg, A freed Guantánamo Bay detainee is reunited with his family in MoroccoNew York Times, July 20, 2021. 

Sacha Pfeiffer, "Biden Administration Transfers First Detainee Out Of Guantánamo," NPR, July 19, 2021.

Chuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, "Moroccan man held nearly 20 years without charges released from Guantanamo," ABC, July 19, 2021.

Carol Rosenberg and Charles Savage, "Biden Administration Transfers Its First Detainee From Guantánamo Bay," New York Times, July 19, 2021.

"After Almost 20 Years, Guantanamo “Forever Prisoner” Abdul Latif Nasser Returns Home to Morocco," Press Release, July 19, 2021.