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The recent police murders of Stephon Clark, a 22 year-old shot and killed on the evening of March 18 by two officers of the Sacramento Police Department in Sacramento, and Saheed Vassell, 34, murdered by Brooklyn police in New York on April 7, again reminds us that Black Lives have never mattered to state-sanctioned organizations popularly known as police departments. The mass responses to the murders of the two young Black men will initiate a familiar and repeated mass ritual that we have become accustomed to.
Prisoners in California have entered their 10th day of a statewide hunger strike to fight back against what they call inhumane conditions. The prisoners’ demands include a call for adequate and nutritious food, an end to group punishment, and stopping long-term solitary confinement where more than 3,000 prisoners are held in the isolation with no human contact and no windows – some of them for more than a decade.