Bronx rap star and international icon French Montana, who is also a Global Citizen Ambassador, recently made news for bailing a woman out of a New York City jail. It was not confirmed whether it was form Rikers Island, or one of the many booking centers throughout the five boroughs, nor what her charge(s) are. This notewothy action is in tandem with the Mass Bailout Initiative, which focuses paying the of women and young people (ages 16 and 17) who are housed at Rikers regardless of their crime or bail amount.
While the current pay-to-leave-jail system (during the proceedings of trial), many who find themselves locked up are not in jail because they’re guilty, but rather because they’re too poor to afford bail of any amount. The case is often that defendents with money and resources — or powerful social and or political connections — and who are just as potentially dangerous or as likely to skip a trial, spend the time during their trials in at home with family and friends.
However, beyond that heavily criticized scenario, many are often left to sit in Rikers for petty crimes that area often a result of Courts in 2013 ruled that the practice of pervasive practices by police that contribute to an overwhelming black and brown arrest and inmate population on Rikers. There is no way to refute that these individuals come from under-resourced and marinalized communities where the unconstitutional 'Stop & Frisk' is still employed.
French confirmed that he has officially joined the Mass Bail Out initiative, which aims to free women and children from jail who are too poor to afford bail.
"Today I came home to the Bronx and posted bail for someone who should have never been caged in the first place," the rapper stated on Instagram. "Thank you to @glblctzn, @rfkhumanrights, @revolveimpact all the grassroots, black led groups who have been using bail as a tool for liberation for decades. Poverty is not a crime. Pre-trial detention is the real threat to public safety."
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Today I’m joining the @massbailout - a historic effort to free women and children who are jailed simply because they’re too poor to afford bail. Today I came home to the Bronx and posted bail for someone who should have never been caged in the first place. Thank you to @glblctzn, @rfkhumanrights, @revolveimpact all the grassroots, Black led groups who have been using bail as a tool for liberation for decades. Poverty is not a crime. Pre-trial detention is the real threat to public safety. www.massbailout.com
French spoke to TMZ, and noted that: "I feel like you should never be guilty until innocent, you should be innocent until proven guilty. Just because you can't afford to be out of there don't mean you should be in there."
These actions by French Montana and those in accord with the mission stem from a problem that many vehemently claim is not real, or delegitmize the lamenting of (think: Colin Kaepernick, and many other sports player on all levels taking knees during the American National Anthem in protest of the numerous shootings of unarmed black males with impunity in the United States, as well as Meek Mill's crusade for criminal justice reform for a couple of examples). While evidence for racial disparities is growing and illustrated scientifically by data that focuses on the treatment of black civilians by white officers, there has not been much action by those who have the power to make significant changes at the legislative level.
Cody T. Ross — a doctoral student in anthropology at the University of California, Davis conducted an analysis of national police-shootings data from 2011–14. The conclusions of that study confirmed that there is "evidence of a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans." The probability of being black, unarmed and shot by police is about 3.5 times the probability of being white, unarmed and shot by police.
Stanford University social psychologist Jennifer Eberhardt, PhD, and her colleagues took a look at data from the Oakland, California Police Department in 2016. What that study found was that while black residents make up only 28 percent of the city's population, they accounted for 60 percent of police stops. Black men were four times more likely than white men to be searched during a traffic stop, even though officers were no more likely to recover any illegal substances or weapons when searching those black suspects (Stanford SPARQ, 2016).French isn't the only Hip Hop icon involved. Rapper/Activist Common also is part of Mass Bailout and shows his support while wearing the organization's logo t-shirt.