Laura Coates tells stories that need to be told.
A CNN senior legal analyst, Sirius XM host, adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law, she is also a former Federal Prosecutor. When she joined the Department of Justice, she wanted to advocate for the most vulnerable among us. But she quickly realized that even with the best intentions, “the pursuit of justice creates injustice.”
Through her experiences revealed in her new book, Just Pursuit: A Black Prosecutor’s Fight for Fairness, we see no matter how fair you try to fight, being Black, a woman, and a mother are identities often at odds in the justice system.
Coates talks with CNN reporter Sara Sidner about her experiences: how, on the front lines of our legal system, she saw how Black communities are policed differently; how Black cases are prosecuted differently; how Black defendants are judged differently — and how others in the system either abused power or were abused by it—for example, when an undocumented witness was arrested by ICE, when a white colleague taught Coates how to unfairly interrogate a young Black defendant, or when a judge victim-blamed a young sexual assault survivor based on her courtroom attire.
Join Coates and Sidner for this conversation — part of the 92Y Confronts Hate series — as they explore the tension between the idealism of the law and the reality of working within the parameters of our flawed legal system, exposing the chasm between what is lawful, and what is right.
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