Uncovering Racial Injustice In America

Join ID for our Uncovering Racial Injustice In America specials, including: The Injustice Files, Sugar Town and Atlanta Child Murders.

June 05, 2020

Encores Saturday, June 6 from 8-10 PM ET

Built on sugar cane production, New Iberia, Louisiana is a complicated town bisected by railroad tracks. Residents to the north of the tracks are predominantly white, while largely black neighborhoods lie to the south. These steel lines created a strong history of racial divide predating the American Civil War in New Iberia, and a Jim Crow south most residents would argue is still very much alive to this day. On March 2, 2014, simmering racial tensions came to a boil when 22-year-old Victor White III was fatally shot in the back of a police car while being taken to the station. Even more puzzling is the officers’ accounts that White shot himself in the chest…despite being handcuffed behind his back in the rear seat of the patrol car. Focusing on the central mystery of what might have happened to Victor White III, Sugar Town chronicles the White family’s search for justice for their son’s suspicious death while in police custody. The mystery becomes far more unsettling than any single tragedy, revealing a larger story of power, corruption and racial injustice nestled within a divided southern town, with Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal – a man shrouded in controversy – at the center.

At the End of a Rope

Encores Sunday, June 7 from 9 – 11 AM ET

History relegates lynchings to the Deep South’s bygone era of Civil Rights injustices, when racial intolerance spawned crimes so hateful and politically charged that they divided a nation. In this explosive special, Keith Beauchamp probes the shocking claim that lynchings may still be a reality in modern-day America. The special considers four mysterious hanging deaths which authorities ruled suicides but families of the deceased believe were murders, echoing fears of an underground resurgence of vigilante hate crimes. For years, these families have been on a merry-go-round searching for answers to confirm their deep-rooted beliefs that foul play is at hand. But for investigators, the cases have been closed as suicides and the evidence speaks for itself to support these conclusions. With the assistance of a criminologist, a psychologist and a forensic pathologist, Beauchamp examines the hangings of: Raynard Johnson, 17, from Kokomo, Miss; Nick Naylor, 23, from Porterville, Miss; Keith Warren, 19, Silver Spring, Md.; and Izell Parrott, 61, from Glens Falls, N.Y.

Don’t let the sun set on you in a sundown town. That’s what signs at the city limits of all-white communities warned when African Americans were not allowed to live there or even visit after the sun set. This method of exclusion was often held by an official policy or restrictive covenant. The practice of excluding blacks from American towns was so prevalent that, by 1936, it became the impetus for Harlem civic leader Victor Green to pen the Negro Motorist Green-Book, a guide designed to help African-American travelers avoid places where they could be harassed, threatened, or even killed. Today, it is illegal for sundown towns to exist on paper due to the 1968 Fair Housing Act, but some believe that communities remain sundown by reputation and reluctance to diversify. In this installment of THE INJUSTICE FILES, filmmaker Keith Beauchamp travels to three historically-known sundown towns – Martinsville, Ind., Vienna, Ill., and Waverly, Ohio to explore whether these exclusionary practices still exist today.

Encore Sunday, June 7 at 12 PM ET

Modern day self-defense laws, such as Florida’s “Stand Your Ground,” law which was invoked in the Trayvon Martin case, and the Castle Doctrine – which states that a person has no duty to retreat when their home is attacked – continue to perpetuate the pattern of discrimination against African Americans. These laws, which on their face may seem fair, have often been used to discriminate against, intimidate and even murder innocent minorities. Hood of Suspicion examines three distinct cases which illustrated how self-defense practices discriminate against African Americans, including: the 2008 death of Robbie Tolan from Bellaire, Texas; the 2012 murder of Rekia Boyd from Chicago, Ill.; and the case of John McNeil from Kennesaw, Ga. who faces life imprisonment for defending himself on his property.

In 1979, the city of Atlanta fell victim to a terrifying 23 months wherein 29 African-American youths were stolen from their families and found killed. Multiple suspicions lead nowhere, and conspiracy theories ran rampant. Decades later, no person has been tried for these murders, and the killer has never been confirmed. From Executive Producer Will Packer in collaboration with Jupiter Entertainment, The Atlanta Child Murders reveals the full story behind this long-standing mystery.

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