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Report reveals 'long-simmering racial tensions' in New York State courts

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

New York Supreme Court building, Madison Avenue, New York City. (Photo by: Joan Slatkin/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A report that was made public Thursday reveals "long-simmering racial tensions" among court officers and racist statements made openly by attorneys, judges, and other courthouse personnel in New York State courts.

(CNN)A report that was made public Thursday reveals "long-simmering racial tensions" among court officers and racist statements made openly by attorneys, judges, and other courthouse personnel in New York State courts.

"These court officers also told us they felt they could not report incidents of bias for fear of being ostracized by their fellow officers and facing adverse career consequences from powerful and entrenched union leaders," Johnson said.

Johnson and his team spent four months interviewing nearly 300 people involved in the court system, including current and former judges, court clerks, court watchers, court officers, court attorneys, administrative personnel, civil and criminal attorneys, public defenders and prosecutors, the report says.

The report notes that while there is bias training for judges, training for non-judicial court employees doesn't appear to be "consistent. " Court officers receive a form of implicit bias training at their academy, the report said, but the writers were told the training was "lacking" and "did not actually prioritize understanding racial bias. "

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