Imam Mujahid Ramadan’s Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue Radio Show aired its newest episode on October 2nd. The topic was titled ‘Social Justice and Criminal Justice System.’ As always, the show was aired on KCEP 88.1 FM and sponsored by Silver Sage Foundation.
Ramadan hosted three esteemed guests on the show: Christopher Chiou, the acting US attorney for the District of Nevada, Athar Haseebullah, Local attorney and executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada, and Captain Carlos Hank, bureau commander at LVMPD’s Office of Internal Oversight. Hank was very kind to accept our last minute call to join to the show to replace Aaron D. Ford, the 34th Attorney General of Nevada, who couldn’t make it due to a delayed flight.
Imam Ramadan opened the discussion with the fact that the social justice issues we had during the terrible Tulsa Massacre are still prevalent in a smaller sense even though there have been huge steps taken towards a better justice system. He asked his guests on to reflect what are the current issues, and what can and are being done about those.
Chiou started his remarks by stating the fact that there have been many improvements in the economical, criminal, educational and social justice systems. But while all of these fields have huge issues, the criminal justice system is on the spotlight because that is the end result dealing with the injustices originating from the other areas as well. He said that the law enforcement should work together with the communities to deal with the issues. He also put forward a very important point that while people focus on the criminal injustices the most, the main cause of those problems arise from the economic, health, education and housing issues which don’t have visible results as much as the law enforcement’s dealings.
Haseebullah lamented that the law enforcement’s reforms and initiatives are not effective as the police unions are strongly preventing officers who commit serious misconducts to get a fair punishment. He said that there are officers who are promoted even though they have a history of racial and social misconducts in their records. He believes that with the visibility provided by the social media, good steps will be taken in terms of making the law enforcement more fair and transparent. But he warned that the current actions are not enough for a necessary change.
Captain Hank talked about the developments within the police departments as they have been starting more and more initiatives to bring the community closer to the law enforcement. They are pushing for more engagement and transparency in all fields. He warned that police officers also feel an immense pressure as they are always in the spotlight and it creates an unnecessary tension. He believes that there should be an understanding on both sides.
All in all, it was a great discussion to hear about the evolution of the criminal justice system towards a more fair and transparent structure. While there are still very important issues in our society, it is quite hopeful to see that we can overcome these with constant dialogue. All we need is to have an understanding for both sides. It should be also noted that the issues about the police officers and criminal justice system that we see on the social media are the end result of a deeper social divide arising from the lack of social equality, lack of healthcare, lack of quality education and lack of fair housing.
We would like to thank Imam Ramadan for yet another great discussion. Special thanks to Christopher Chiou, Ather Haseebullah, and Captain Carlos Hank for their invaluable contributions. To get the latest updates on the future episodes, please follow our social media channels.