“I thought Des Moines, Iowa, was gonna be better. But, you know, if you don’t change something, you’re going to still fall into the same thing you’ve been doing.” Melvin Gaye, Iowa juvenile offender. The history of police in America is a story of repeated promises to change from its gatekeepers, yet people of color, adolescents and other vulnerable populations say they continuously bear the brunt of its shortcomings. This report is part of Kids Imprisoned, an investigation of juvenile justice in America produced by the Carnegie-Knight News21 program. For more stories, visit kidsimprisoned.news21.com.21 special report
Youth in America are criminalized every day, with racial and socioeconomic disparities further increasing their likelihood of being policed, arrested or killed by law enforcement.