Our Press – 2020/2021

October – December 2021

2 young people killed, 4 injured in Durham shooting on Eugene Street

December 14, 2021 | Read More

"The only way to break the chain [of teen violence], is to invest in communities and teens" said Kerwin Pittman

How NC sheriffs shaped new body-camera law that limits who can release footage

December 8, 2021 | Read More

“What happened behind the scenes is what almost always happens. The sheriffs’ association used its incredibly outsized power at the General Assembly and got that done,” said Dawn Blagrove

The Geriatric Ward: North Carolina’s Aging Death Row Population Faces Looming Health Care Crisis

November 20, 2021 | Read More

When the pandemic hit North Carolina’s prison system, chronic care needs went unmet and sick calls were often ignored by the already limited medical staff, said Elizabeth Simpson, associate director of Emancipate NC

NC Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Juvenile Life-without-Parole

November 12, 2021 | Read More

"There's no way to claim equity or fairness in a process when the results so disproportionately deny life and liberty to black children," Blagrove asserted.

'The trial invokes an emotion that's sickening': NC activists, attorneys react to Ahmaud Arbery case

November 5, 2021 | Read More

"This trial invokes an emotion that's sickening . . . [it's] white man's justice and black man's grief in the criminal justice system," said Kerwin Pittman.

Why Ashlee Inscoe, an incarcerated intersex, trans woman is fighting for her safety

October 27, 2021 | Read More

“A lot of people in prison administration, including medical professionals, have a political orientation that is hostile to trans people and does not respect their existence or the validity of their experiences,” said Elizabeth Simpson, associate director of Emancipate N.C

July – September 2021

‘She is not safe.’ Lawyer says NC transgender inmate who spoke out now faces retaliation

September 30, 2021 | Read More

“Your repeated conclusory statements will not be sufficient assurance that she is safe from harm and not subject to coercion and retaliation, while she continues to be a woman incarcerated in a men’s prison,” Simpson wrote.

Wake DA faces families, criticism of police investigations at criminal justice forum

September 24, 2021 | Read More

“There is a segment of our population who, number one, feels like they are silenced, and, number two, feels like their pain is not recognized,” Dawn Blagrove said.

North Carolina database seeks to hold law enforcement accountable

September 20, 2021 | Read More

"Normally, when you do a citizen's complaint, it goes nowhere. So we're that extra reinforcement for the citizens to advocate for them." said Cierra Cobb with Emancipate NC

Trans inmate says she doesn’t belong in an NC men’s prison: ‘They know I’m not a man’

September 14, 2021 | Read More

Elizabeth Simpson, an attorney with Emancipate NC, said she believes that prison deaths over the past year and a half increased not only due to the virus but due to lack of access to care for chronic conditions.

NC criminal justice group launches database to track reports of police misconduct

September 9, 2021 | Read More

“We want to normalize that any mistreatment by law enforcement, even mistreatment that does not result in physical harm, is still harmful,” she said. “It’s still worthy of being documented, and we want to hear your story.”

‘Anti-Black Lives Matter Bill’ ignores call for racial equity in criminal justice, critics say

August 20, 2021 | Read More

“And we call this bill particularly ‘The Anti-Black Lives Matter Bill,’” said Kerwin Pittman from Emancipate NC.

Activists say anti-riot bill is 'racist,' 'anti-BLM'

August 18, 2021 | Read More

“This bill HB805 is racist. It’s an anti-Black Lives Matter bill,” said attorney Dawn Blagrove with Emancipate NC.

We asked what questions you had for Raleigh’s new police chief. And then we asked them.

August 15, 2021 | Read More

Will you personally encourage citations over misdemeanor arrests, including for marijuana charges? asked Kerwin Pittman with Emancipate NC

The Pandemic Rush on Prison Weddings

July 21, 2021 | Read More

Cierra Cobb, an advocate for Emancipate NC, believes institutional racism is part of the problem. She had planned to wed her high school sweetheart, Jeffrey Cobb, 34, who is serving time for second-degree murder in Windsor, N.C., in March 2020. Lockdown derailed that. “It’s already degrading to have a wedding in prison,” she said. “Buying a dress and knowing you’re not going to use it — it’s a letdown.”

'It's always watching': Warren County town to use 24-hour cameras, controversial facial recognition

July 19, 2021 | Read More

"Facial recognition systems has shown disproportionate error rates in identifying Black and brown people, ultimately leading to wrongful arrests of black and brown people," Kerwin Pittman said.

April – June 2021

North Carolina bill aims to stop prosecuting 6-year-olds

June 29, 2021 | Read More

“What we are seeing is Republicans finding the easiest, the most innocuous, the least impactful ways to create change to a system that needs massive overhaul without actually disrupting the system,” Dawn Blagrove, Emancipate NC Executive Director said.

Study said Wake needs more public defenders, but proposed NC budget would take 2 away

June 24, 2021 | Read More

Public defenders’ offices are underfunded across the country, but in North Carolina it is “especially egregious,” said Dawn Blagrove, executive director of racial justice group Emancipate NC. “It is a travesty and it is a guarantee that folks’ Sixth Amendment right to counsel will be decimated,” Blagrove said

A White Woman Hit Protesters With Her Car in Elizabeth City. Now Police Are Considering Hate Crime Charges.

May 25, 2021 | Read More

"It is not surprising because these individuals with racial hatred in their hearts have pretty much referred to us as bowling pins and made posts on social media about how they can run over folks and get away with it," said Emancipate NC organizer Kerwin Pittman.

Black Woman, 68, Files Lawsuit Against Officers Who Snatched Her from SUV By Her Hair, Then Bragged About Grabbing a ‘Handful of Dreads

May 5, 2021 | Read More

If [the police department is] not going to hold these officers accountable in a situation like this, when will they hold officers accountable?” said Ian Mance, attorney with Emancipate NC.

January – March 2021

‘Make Your deeds match your words’ racial justice group tells NC Attorney General Stein

March 31, 2021 | Read More

Cierra Cobb, who works for Emancipate NC and is married to someone in state prison, said Stein’s silence on the state’s handling of COVID-19 in prisons has been disheartening.”

'I thought I was gonna die in prison’ How COVID is opening NC prison gates.

March 12, 2021 | Read More

“Advocacy works,” Elizabeth Simpson, an attorney for Emancipate NC, said. “It is my fervent wish that everyone in prison would have someone who cares about them and is working hard to get decision makers to see their humanity.”

Settlement secures release of 3,500 incarcerated people from state prisons

March 4, 2021 | Read More

“It will be a recognition that our state was over-punishing — over-incarcerating — its citizens, and that actually detracts opportunities for community and is not the best way of handling harm,” said Elizabeth Simpson, attorney and associate director of Emancipate NC.

Wake County Judge Approves Release of Body Camera Footage of Fuquay-Varina Teen's Detention

February 24, 2021 | Read More

“We believe that it is important for the people of Fuquay-Varina to see Malcolm’s face while he experiences the trauma of this interaction. Hear the humiliation and fear in his voice," said Dawn Blagrove, Executive Director of Emancipate NC. "This situation could have been handled with so much more care.”

NC prisons to expand quarantine program, despite concerns about conditions, legality.

January 22, 2021 | Read More

“And it’s hard to imagine what could be more coercive than telling someone that they’ll be sent back to prison if they don’t agree,” said Ian Mance, attorney with Emancipate NC.

Released Inmates at Durham's COVID Motel Say It's Just Another Prison

January 5, 2021 | Read More

“My experience of NCDPS, unfortunately, is that they have plans that sound passable and then their implementation is not passable at all.” says Elizabeth Simpson, associate director at Emancipate NC.

October – December 2020

Prison inmates entitled to federal stimulus checks but deadline looms. Here's how NC advocates are working to help

October 29, 2020 | Read More

"Within a week and one day, 350 people have called -- family members and people in prison," said Kerwin Pittman, about the flood of state prisoners calling the stimulus hotline set up by Emancipate NC.

July – September 2020

A Black Nationalist Upbringing Fueled A Criminal Justice Reformer: Meet Dawn Blagrove

September 28, 2020 | Read More

So if I whitewash the truth, if I water down the truth in a way that feels more palatable to the person who is oppressing me, then I am being complicit in my own oppression,” said Dawn Blagrove, Executive Director of Emancipate NC.

"I Sleep, Eat, Live, Breathe Activism": Kerwin Pittman Advocates For Prison Reform

September 10, 2020 | Read More

I was always taught silence means acceptance, right? So, if I don't speak up and speak out about what you're doing to me, that means I accept what you're doing to me, because I'm a basic human and you're a basic human and we have human rights,” said Emancipate NC Organizer Kerwin Pittman.

'Black Lives Matter' billboard put up next to Confederate flag on US 64 in Pittsboro

July 13, 2020 | Read More

The billboard was paid for by Emancipate NC, Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services, and a community-led fundraiser.