Flashpoint: Guilty until proven innocent, using privilege to push for progress and a Philly high schooler turned politician

May 27, 2018 - 2:30 am
Latonya Myers and Reuben Jones

Cherri Gregg | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- This week on Flashpoint: Host and KYW Community Affairs reporter Cherri Gregg asks the burning questions about snarls in the entry to the criminal justice system. 

Recently, a Black homeless man who was accused of trying to use a counterfeit $10 bill at a Boston Burger King filed a discrimination lawsuit against the fast food company, seeking $1 million. He spent months in prison and it turns out his bill was real. Incidents of false accusations resulting in incarceration have taken place in Philadelphia as well. Former assistant DA and defense attorney turned trial lawyer Kevin Harden joins Reuben Jones of the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund and Latonya Myers who spent months in prison after being falsely accused of burglary. The discussions centers around some of the criminal procedures that trap the most vulnerable.

Also, Melissa DePino's tweet of the video of the arrest of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson at a Center City Starbucks sparked a national conversation on racial profiling. Since then, the Philadelphia native's life has changed as story after story of African Americans being profiled while golfing, barbecuing and sleeping have also gone national. DePino has since teamed up with Michelle Saahene, the black woman who recorded the video in Starbucks to launch a project, "From Privilege to Progress." Their goal is to get more White allies to #ShowUp in the fight against racism.  

Melissa DePino
Melissa DePino / Cherri Gregg | KYW Newsradio

Finally, at 18 years old she is believed to be the youngest elected official in the city of Philadelphia. Shania Bennett hasn't even graduated high school, but she's earned an Associate Arts degree from Community College of Philadelphia and is headed to Penn State. Cherri asks this future, reverent, Ph.D. and attorney what she is hoping to change.

Shania Bennett
Shania Bennett / Cherri Gregg | KYW Newsradio

Flashpoint airs every Saturday at 9:30pm and Sunday at 8:30am on KYW Newsradio 1060AM.