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'MHP' Syllabus: 4.25.15

This Saturday on MHP: controversial police tactics from Baltimore to bicycles.
Melissa Harris Perry MHP The Syllabus
Melissa Harris Perry MHP The Syllabus

This Saturday on MHP: controversial police tactics from Baltimore to bicycles.

Melissa Harris-Perry will have the latest on the case of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man who died after sustaining a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. His funeral is set for Monday as his family and community continue to look for answers.  We’ll also examine another high profile case out of Chicago. In 2012, Rekia Boyd was 22 when she was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer. Officer Dante Servin fired over his shoulder from his police car into a crowd. Servin says he feared for his life when a man he argued with approached his car with what Servin believed was a gun. After a year and a half of outcry and activism in Chicago, Servin was eventually charged with involuntary manslaughter.  This was the first criminal trial of a Chicago police officer for a fatal shooting in 20 years. But this week, in the midst of the trial, the judge suddenly cleared Officer Servin of all charges because he said prosecutors failed to prove Servin had acted recklessly. Our guests will share their reactions and insight. Panelists include:

• Seema Iyer, Host of "The Docket" on Shift/MSNBC. Criminal Defense Attorney
• Phillip Atiba Goff, Professor of Social Psychology at UCLA. President, Center for Policing Equity
• Cherrell Brown, Community Organizer at Justice League NYC 
• Jon Shane, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, John Jay College. Retired Captain of Newark Police Dept.

Then, tickets for bicycling. The Tampa Bay Times reports that police have been targeting poor, black neighborhoods for stops based on obscure bicycle laws. In Tampa—where only a quarter of its residents are African American—police have issued 79 percent of bicycling tickets to black residents. Disturbing storiesinclude a man who had his bike confiscated and impounded for 90 days because he couldn't produce proof that the bike was his. 

And the Death Penalty. Many victims of the Boston Marathonbombing shared graphic testimony this week during the sentencing phase of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial. As jurors consider whether to sentence him to death or life in prison, we’lltakes a closer look at the ethical debate around the country over capital punishment. 

All that plus Bruce Jenner’s long-awaited interview, a big honor for Doc McStuffins, and much more.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday at 10am ET on msnbc. Join the conversation—share your thoughts about these issues on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.