In Episode 1 of the From Words to Weapons series, we begin with Jimmy Warren’s story. It’s the first time he’s talking publicly about his gun case that made national headlines in 2016 when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturned his conviction, ruling that police hadn’t had reasonable suspicion to stop him in the first place.
That decision attracted attention because it established running from police doesn’t necessarily justify a police pursuit, doesn’t automatically mean someone’s guilty and could seem like the logical thing to do given generational trauma over law enforcement – in communities of color, in particular. And that police need to consider that when evaluating whether a pursuit is legally justified. The thing is, no one ever heard from Jimmy. He wasn’t interviewed by any reporters. The lawyer who handled his newsworthy appeal case never even met him, despite efforts to find him. It’s like the case had a life of its own without him. In this episode, we hear about his story and the pervasiveness of law enforcement trauma and its effects.
Links to research mentioned in this episode:
Latent Class Profiles of Police Violence Exposure in 4 US Cities and Their Associations with Anticipation of Police Violence and Mental Health Outcomes(Leslie Salas-Hernández, et. al)