The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel held a hearing June 16 addressing racial disparities in the U.S. military justice system.
Watch the hearing in the video player above.
The watchdog group Protect Our Defenders released a report last month which documents attempts by the Air Force to cover up its data on racial disparities despite an internal investigation mandated by Congress.
The Congressional investigation was a response to Protect Our Defenders’ initial 2017 investigation which uncovered “substantial and persistent racial disparities in the military justice system.” Their analysis, along with reporting by USA today, found that the Air Force has the highest racial disparities of any military service branch for court-martial and non-judicial punishments.
Despite the Air Force’s avowal to address these racial disparities, the recent report by Protect Our Defenders found that young enlisted black airmen were twice as likely to face punishment as their white counterparts.
Col. Don Christensen (ret.), the former chief prosecutor of the United States Air Force and president of Protect Our Defenders, testified at the hearing alongside military officials and a representative from the Government Accountability Office.