Black lives matter. Stop trying to change the narrative.

On August 9, 2014, ex-Ferguson Police Department officer Darren Wilson unleashed a hail of bullets on an 18-year-old black man named Michael Brown. Supposedly, he’d done something wrong.  Whatever mistake he did or did not make, whatever law he did or did not break, one thing is certain: his penalty should not have been death. The penalty for jaywalking isn’t (nor should it be) death. Even if Brown robbed a convenience store (which is still in question since the owner of the store did not call the police), the penalty for that is not death. Like all other citizens of the United States, Michael Brown ostensibly had the same rights as every other person. The right to a speedy and fair trial with adequate representation. He was robbed of his rights and his very life by ex-police officer Darren Wilson.

And with that, a movement was born.  A movement by black people and for black people.  Especially the young people. Using social media, they organized. On the streets of Ferguson they came together.  To protest the execution-without a trial-of a black man. To criticize those police officers across the U.S. who choose to use extreme, and sometimes lethal force against black people, rather than less lethal means (or even talking to them to defuse a situation). The movement has vocally, loudly, and peacefully criticized the problems in law enforcement that led to the death of Michael Brown.

Almost from the beginning, attempts were made by the defenders of the status quo to turn public sentiment against the protesters. The same day that Darren Wilson was identified as the Michael Brown’s killer (which took almost a week), the Ferguson PD released surveillance video from the Ferguson Market which purportedly showed Brown stealing cigarillo’s from the store. Many people saw this as an attempt to poison the well.  To show that the protesters were defending a “bad guy”…that he wasn’t innocent (because if he wasn’t an innocent person, then that totes means he deserved to be shot and killed, amirite?). To show that their protesting was, at best, misplaced. It was a thinly veiled attempt at character assassination by poisoning the well. Narrative disruption achieved.

The LRAD can produce up to 149 decibels, which is higher than the 130-decibel threshold for potential hearing loss. It may be non-lethal, but this isn’t something that should be deployed against a civilian population.  But I guess cops have to make use of all that military grade weaponry somehow. Why not use it on those uppity black people demanding recognition of their humanity?
In December, a judge ruled that police could not use tear gas against protesters.
Despite advances in technology, rubber bullets CAN kill. They also apparently hurt like the dickens.

Then the cops arrived on the streets of Ferguson, ostensibly to help “maintain the peace”. To better aid their peacekeeping goals, the police brought some weapons along with them. Among their arsenal was a long-range acoustic device, otherwise known as LRAD, tear gas, rubber bullets, and even attack dogs. This was a deliberate show of force. The intent was clear: intimidation. The message was clear: “Stop protesting. Stop complaining. Sit down and shut up. We want the status quo to continue. You black people need to be happy with how things are.”

Why do I say that’s the message? When you look at the weaponry deployed against the protesters–peaceful protesters, remember–it looks like the police are preparing for war.  They’re supposed to be there to serve and protect, not intimidate the populace.  Not to scare them into submission. Not to remind them of their place.  None of the intimidation tactics worked, of course, but it did serve to remind some people of the history of state sanctioned violence against African-Americans, which only provided fuel for the complaints of protesters. Given the support law enforcement has in the United States, there are many people who would look at images of law enforcement using an LRAD or tear gas against protesters as a sign that they {the protesters} did something wrong and deserved that treatment. Because the police couldn’t be wrong. They couldn’t have fucked up. They are good and righteous and wouldn’t brutalize the very civilians they’re supposed to protect. The seeds were planted in the early days. Seeds intended to turn public sentiment against the protesters and change the narrative surrounding the protests.

Thanks to the police showing up with their intimidation gear, their intimidation tactics, and their intimidation weapons, the protests took a turn for the worse.  Some opportunistic people began looting Ferguson stores (described in some circles as rioting; a term I refuse to use in reference to the protests). Despite the fact that there were precious few looters, the media focused on them, as if they defined what the movement was about. As if they were the face of the protests against law enforcement abuse of power and police brutality.

Frustration is now boiling over after decades of discriminatory policing, near-zero accountability, and lack of will from lawmakers to reel in the spiraling police state. In fact, as we have documented in depth, the militarization of the police is rising despite the increased outcry from concerned citizens against it. The overbearing presence of riot police in Ferguson deployed to contain peaceful protesters may have been the very spark which ignited the rioting in the first place.

To be clear, rioting did not start on August 24th until police began mass-deploying tear gas and other crowd dispersal tactics and an overwhelming majority of protesters remained peaceful.

In the predictable manner in which the corporate media operates, the news cycle has been shifted away from the tragedy of the killing of 18 year old Michael Brown, and switched to the few who lost their cool and began looting and rioting. While the riots are newsworthy, the main focus of the news coverage should be on the death of this unarmed young man, and the overall rise of documented police brutality that is permeating in all corners of America. More Americans have been killed in the last decade by the police than the total number of US soldiers killed in the entire Iraq war, but they won’t talk about that on TV.

No, we don’t see or hear that. That wouldn’t play into the narrative the media wants people to buy. From the beginning, organizers called for peaceful protests. They’ve condemned violence. They’ve helped clean up their own streets. They’ve helped protect stores from looting.  They’ve policed their own community.  But rarely is this shown by the mainstream media.  I can’t speak to the why of it, but one of the results is clear. For some people, the looters came to embody the movement. The people who condemned the looters and rushed to characterize the protesters as being looters displayed more concern for stores being robbed than the extrajudicial killing of a black man. Priorities people. Priorities. You can buy more goods to sell. Michael Brown will never be alive again, and his family and friends will suffer that loss for the rest of their lives. But the damage was once more done. Some people in the public condemned the looting, the civil unrest, and the protest movement itself. Once more, the media sought to change the narrative around the protest movement, in what looks like a deliberate attempt to discredit the protesters.

There were other attempts made to shift public opinion on the protests.  We saw people complain that protesters shouldn’t say “Black lives matter”. No, these people felt protesters weren’t being fair, and should more properly say “All lives matter”.  Of course, doing so ignores the ugly racism at the heart of the criminal justice system. It ignores the fact that every 28 hours, a black person is shot and killed by a member of law enforcement. It ignores the fact that a USA Today study of the FBI’s justified homicide database found that in 96% of cases involving a black person dying at the hands of a white police officer, the officer was rarely indicted (what about a trial you say? Pish-posh. That hardly happens). It ignores the fact that young black men are 21 times more likely than young white men to be shot dead by police. Saying “all lives matter” would distract from the very point of the protests: that people of color are unfairly, unconstitutionally, and unethically deprived of their rights and their humanity on an ongoing basis by our criminal justice system. Or as Julia Craven said:

There is seemingly no justice for Black life in America. An unarmed Black body can be gunned down without sufficient reasoning and left in the middle of the street on display for hours — just like victims of lynching.

Strange fruit still hangs from our nations poplar trees. Lynching underwent a technological revolution. It evolved from nooses to guns and broken necks to bullet wounds.

Police brutality is a BLACK issue. This is not an ill afflicting all Americans, but that does not mean you cannot stand in solidarity with us. But standing with us does not mean telling us how we should feel about our community’s marginalization. Standing with us means being with us in solidarity without being upset that this is for OUR PEOPLE — and wanting recognition for yours in this very specific context.

Telling us that all lives matter is redundant. We know that already. But, just know, police violence and brutality disproportionately affects my people. Justice is not applied equally, laws are not applied equally and neither is our outrage.

You can breathe because you’re white, dumbass.

In December, a New York grand jury declined to return an indictment against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Pantaleo is the NYPD officer whose chokehold move resulted in the death of Eric Garner. This followed on the heels of the non-indictment of Darren Wilson and served to further anger and frustrate protesters. Protesters around the country began wearing shirts emblazoned with the words “I can’t breathe”, the final words of Eric Garner, who suffered from asthma.  The shirt expresses the idea that black people across the United States feel that the oppression, discrimination, and racism they feel from the criminal justice system is preventing them from living…from breathing. To protesters, any of them could be Eric Garner. Any of them could have been held down, been prevented from breathing, or killed by law enforcement. All for being black.  One of the responses to the “I can’t breathe” T-shirts came from supporters of law enforcement.  You can see the slogan “I can breathe” in the image above.  It’s worn by people who are not experiencing systematic discrimination and racism. Of course they can breathe. They aren’t the victims of racism. They aren’t the ones dealing with racism in law enforcement or in the courts. They are the ones with the privilege of being white. Wearing that shirt sends a message whether they like it or not.  That message is “I don’t have a problem with police violence and abuse of power from law enforcement”.  As a response to one of the core problems the protest movement has been decrying, whoever came up with the T-shirts is an unequivocal asshole. Making such a shirt was a knee-jerk, unthinking response to legitimate protests. At best, wearing that shirt is privilege-laden, tone-deaf, and fails to acknowledge the very real problems that people have with law enforcement and the court system.  At worst, wearing that shirt has been a way for people to justify the death of Eric Garner.

I asked one man wearing a “I Can Breathe” t-shirt what the phrase meant. “If he hadn’t resisted arrest,” the man said with a shrug, “he could still breathe.”

Watching the video [of Garner’s death], I’d be hard pressed to view Garner’s actions as resisting arrest. In any case, even if he had been resisting arrest, that should not be sufficient grounds to kill him!  Once again, one of the key narratives surrounding the movement has been challenged by those who don’t want progress.

Those defenders of the status quo emerged once again this past weekend, following the murder of two NYPD police officers at the hands of a mentally ill man. This seemingly provided an opportunity to criticize the protest movement and attempt to demonize protesters, as if they (rather than killer Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley) were responsible for the tragic deaths of those officers. First up is former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani:

“We’ve had four months of propaganda, starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police,” said Giuliani during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “I don’t care how you want to describe it — that’s what those protests are all about.”

Giuliani cited the nationwide protests against institutional racism and police brutality that followed the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York, and that flared up anew after the respective grand jury decisions not to indict the officers responsible in either case. Giuliani said those demonstrations, and the ongoing criticism of police tactics and the criminal justice system, were part of what led to the shooting of two NYPD officers in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. Police say the alleged shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, traveled to New York from Baltimore with the intention of killing police officers.

“The protest are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged. The protests, even the ones that don’t lead to violence — a lot of them lead to violence — all of them lead to a conclusion: The police are bad, the police are racist,” said Giuliani. “That is completely wrong. Actually, the people who do the most for the black community in America are the police.”

The former mayor accused black commentators of creating “an atmosphere of severe, strong anti-police hatred in certain communities.”

Giuliani also accused New York Mayor Bill de Blasio of “allowing protests to get out of control.” But he said it was not the time to call for de Blasio’s resignation, as “a lot of other police officers were killed under a lot of other mayors.”

What Giuliani describes in not remotely an accurate representation of the protests in the US. The vast majority of protesters have been peaceful. They have called for non-violent protests. They have not said “all police are bad” or that “all police are racist”. Nor has there been “4 months of propaganda”. This is a blatant attempt by Giuliani to whitewash the ongoing protest movement. Instead of treating protesters as having legitimate concerns…of acknowledging the very real problems People of Color face from law enforcement, Giuliani has attempted to change the narrative around the protests.  In doing so, he dismisses the concerns of a great many U.S. citizens. Given the wealth of evidence that sits contrary to his views, it looks like Giuliani is attempting to rewrite history.

He’s not the only one though. The head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, had this to say recently:

“There’s blood on many hands tonight,” Lynch said. “Those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protest, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day. We tried to warn it must not go on. It cannot be tolerated. That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall in the office of the mayor.”

Who are the people he’s talking about?

Who are these people who have incited violence under the guise of protesting? By not naming anyone, and generalizing about the protests, Lynch has subtly attempted to undermine protesters. Again, the protest movement is overwhelmingly peaceful and non-violent. To attempt to characterize it otherwise is an attempt to…change the narrative.

Look, I am firmly opposed to violence as a means of conflict resolution and I condemn any such actions. I am also saddened about the deaths of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. While their deaths were tragic, a mentally ill lone gunman does not represent the entire protest movement. I also condemn anyone who looted, committed arson, or engaged in violent activities under cover of the protests. But those people do not represent the protest movement either. The protests center around a desire for reform in police departments across the country, as well as reforming the criminal justice system.  Referring to the protests as anything other than that does nothing more than dismiss the very real problems in our criminal justice system. Problems that disproportionately affect African-Americans and other communities of color in the United States. Though they may try, I don’t think the defenders of the status quo will succeed in retconning the narrative surrounding the current protest movement in the United States.  They may have done some damage though, and that’s why I think these people need to be called out and criticized for what they say. Because black lives matter.

Black lives matter. Stop trying to change the narrative.
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Eric Garner’s life isn’t worth a ham sandwich

Once upon a time, you could say that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Apparently that still holds true, with a slight tweak–a grand jury could indict a ham sandwich, but not a white police officer. The U.S. is still reeling from the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the 8/9/14 shooting death of Michael Brown.  That non-indictment led to bouts of civil unrest (some punctuated with looting and arson; though the vast majority of protesting before and after the grand jury announcement was peaceful). The fact that the grand jury didn’t indict Wilson has angered many Americans. For many, it proved-once again-that black lives don’t matter.

As if to remind African-Americans that their lives don’t matter, a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo for his involvement in the July 17 death of Eric Garner (guess what race he was).

A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer in the death of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk this past July.

“It’s a very painful day for so many New Yorkers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The encounter between Garner and officer Daniel Pantaleo caused an uproar after video footage of the incident was released. It showed Garner repeatedly gasping, “I can’t breathe,” as Pantaleo and other officers took him to the ground.

Garner family attorney Jonathon Moore says he’s “astonished by the decision” not to have Pantaleo face charges, member station WNYC reports.

Once again, a police officer killed a black man, and he gets off scot-free.  This should have been even more of a slam dunk than the Ferguson case, because this time there was video of the incident!

Shortly after the grand jury decision became public, a law enforcement source confirmed to NPR’s Carrie Johnson that the U.S. Justice Department has opened a federal probe into Garner’s death.

Garner, 43, died after being placed in a chokehold as he was being arrested for selling cigarettes on the sidewalk. He was apprehended by Pantaleo and several other officers.

His death was ruled a homicide by a New York medical examiner, who cited “compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”

Even with the medical examiner ruling, no charges were filed.  What the actual fuck?! Why is it cops are seemingly immune to being brought up on charges?! They can shoot a man and not face charges. They can choke a man and not face charges.  They have so much fucking power it’s scary. And there’s no check on their power.

Oh, and here’s some icing on that shitcake.  From the murderer himself:

Pantaleo responded to the grand jury decision in a statement, saying: “I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.  It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”

I can see how badly he felt.  I can see how much he tried to avoid killing Garner. I can see how he stopped choking Garner when the latter said he couldn’t breathe.  Oh wait, he didn’t avoid killing Garner. He didn’t stop choking him.  Garner can be heard saying “I can’t breathe”. I guess to this killer cop, those words translated to “Choke me more”.

Feels bad my ass. Goddammit, the U.S. justice system is severely fucked up (and no, the DOJ probe into the death of Brown and Garner does not fill me with much confidence).

Eric Garner’s life isn’t worth a ham sandwich

Eric Garner's life isn't worth a ham sandwich

Once upon a time, you could say that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Apparently that still holds true, with a slight tweak–a grand jury could indict a ham sandwich, but not a white police officer. The U.S. is still reeling from the Ferguson grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the 8/9/14 shooting death of Michael Brown.  That non-indictment led to bouts of civil unrest (some punctuated with looting and arson; though the vast majority of protesting before and after the grand jury announcement was peaceful). The fact that the grand jury didn’t indict Wilson has angered many Americans. For many, it proved-once again-that black lives don’t matter.

As if to remind African-Americans that their lives don’t matter, a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo for his involvement in the July 17 death of Eric Garner (guess what race he was).

A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer in the death of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk this past July.

“It’s a very painful day for so many New Yorkers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The encounter between Garner and officer Daniel Pantaleo caused an uproar after video footage of the incident was released. It showed Garner repeatedly gasping, “I can’t breathe,” as Pantaleo and other officers took him to the ground.

Garner family attorney Jonathon Moore says he’s “astonished by the decision” not to have Pantaleo face charges, member station WNYC reports.

Once again, a police officer killed a black man, and he gets off scot-free.  This should have been even more of a slam dunk than the Ferguson case, because this time there was video of the incident!

Shortly after the grand jury decision became public, a law enforcement source confirmed to NPR’s Carrie Johnson that the U.S. Justice Department has opened a federal probe into Garner’s death.

Garner, 43, died after being placed in a chokehold as he was being arrested for selling cigarettes on the sidewalk. He was apprehended by Pantaleo and several other officers.

His death was ruled a homicide by a New York medical examiner, who cited “compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”

Even with the medical examiner ruling, no charges were filed.  What the actual fuck?! Why is it cops are seemingly immune to being brought up on charges?! They can shoot a man and not face charges. They can choke a man and not face charges.  They have so much fucking power it’s scary. And there’s no check on their power.

Oh, and here’s some icing on that shitcake.  From the murderer himself:

Pantaleo responded to the grand jury decision in a statement, saying: “I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.  It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”

I can see how badly he felt.  I can see how much he tried to avoid killing Garner. I can see how he stopped choking Garner when the latter said he couldn’t breathe.  Oh wait, he didn’t avoid killing Garner. He didn’t stop choking him.  Garner can be heard saying “I can’t breathe”. I guess to this killer cop, those words translated to “Choke me more”.

Feels bad my ass. Goddammit, the U.S. justice system is severely fucked up (and no, the DOJ probe into the death of Brown and Garner does not fill me with much confidence).

Eric Garner's life isn't worth a ham sandwich

The Police States of America

I’m just shaking my head over this one. I would never have thought that a tactical police response was necessary in the wake of a neighbor dispute over dog shit.

Resident Kim Polk told WITI that it all began when a neighborhood man’s dog had crapped in her yard on Saturday afternoon.

“His dog proceeded to soil my grass and I asked him you are going to pick that up because I don’t want that sitting on my grass,” Polk recalled.

She said that the man responded by kicking the dog poop into a pile of leaves she was raking, and then threatening her family’s dog with a bow and arrow.

When Polk’s husband went to talk to the man about the confrontation, she said that he came to the door armed.

“He closed the door and came back to the door with a machete in his hand, a very long machete so at that time my husband backed up off the property and I had my daughter call the police,” Polk explained

WTF?!

Your response when confronted about your dog shitting in someone’s yard is to arm yourself? You can’t talk about the issue like an adult? You want to get all macho and puff up your chest and threaten someone else? This. Is. Over. Dog. Shit. And the dog owner was in the wrong (in more than one way, given that he threatened to kill their dog).

Of course now that the cops have been called, the situation got defused and the dog owner apologized to his neighbors and they lived happily ever after. Yeahbutno.

Disturbing cell phone video posted to YouTube shows tactical officers taking cover behind an armored vehicle, when a small dog runs out of the suspect’s home. The dog appears to turn and head back to the home after spotting the armored vehicle, but officers quickly fire at least two shots and the dog falls to the ground.

“Oh my God!” a person watching from a nearby home can be heard screaming. “They shot the dog. You f*cking a**holes!”

In a statement to the Racine County Eye, Racine Police Chief Art Howell expressed his regret for the dog’s death.

“On a personal level, I am saddened over the loss of a domestic pet that more than likely, had no malice against anyone,” he said. “During this standoff, the dog owner threatened to use a body armor piercing crossbow to kill officers, and this subject threatened to use his dog as a weapon against officers as well. After several hours of dialogue with crisis negotiators, the barricaded subject ultimately made good on his threat to introduce the dog into the active standoff.”

“Officers, who for over three hours were focused on peacefully resolving this crisis through dialogue, were now forced to deal with the distraction and unpredictability of having the subject’s dog moving through the scene of this active encounter at a critical time.”

They couldn’t deal with the dog, so they shot and killed it. I just can’t even…

Does this need to be a part of police training in the future? “This is how to deal with a small dog when it is distracting you from peaceful talks with a guy who isn’t really a threat to you”

Then there’s the fact that an armored vehicle was brought in. This was a fucking dispute over dog shit. Yeah, the dog owner was waaaaaaaaaaay over the top, but the cops couldn’t have just sent two officers over to give this guy a stern talking to?  ‘Dog shit+threatening your neighbor ‘now requires police show up in an armored vehicle? This requires crisis negotiations? I know they have to make use of the military equipment somehow, but maybe they could use it when, oh, I don’t know–there’s a hostage situation??!

And let me return again to the dog. Take a look at the video and see for yourself how terrifying this dog was:

Clearly they were all about to be mauled by Cujo.

Look at those cops. They’re in full gear. They have an armored vehicle. They have their own dog (german shepard by the looks of it). They have weapons.  All of that is deployed against a guy with a machete, a bow and arrow, and Toto. The cops  were afraid of…what exactly? Did they think the dog was going to deploy it’s sonic scream and go all Banshee on their asses?

The cops acted as if the dog owner was a terrorist.  Their response has become an all too common reality here in the United States. Cops treating civilians like they’re the enemy. Deploying excessive force for minor infractions. This is not what the cops should be doing. This is not how they should be acting.  This is not serving and protecting. This is terrorizing the civilian population and making them fear you. Yet we’ve normalized this behavior and it’s going to keep continuing and unfortunately will probably escalate. Welcome to the Police States of America.

The Police States of America

Police Behaving Badly Link Round-Up 11.2.14

I decided to rename this ongoing link round-up, as the ‘behaving badly’ category can encompass those stories where cops are brutalizing people as well as the stories involving them being complete assholes. Such as the following:

Black teen football hero sues cop who put a gun to his head for a seat belt violation

The family of high school football star Montre’ Merritt (photo above) is suing the Waycross, Georgia Police Department after an officer pointed a gun to their son’s head and handcuffed him on the ground for not wearing a seatbelt.

The incident occurred last January when Montre’ Merritt, a high school senior and gridiron star, was on his way home. Waycross police officer Cory Gay who Montre’ says had been following him for several blocks, turned on his flashing lights as Montre’ pulled into his driveway.

Officer Gay (left) is alleged to have approached the vehicle with his gun drawn, pointed it at Montre’s head, and ordered him to lie on the ground, where he was handcuffed. Montre complied, offering no resistance, all the while insisting he had done nothing wrong, and asking what violation he was being stopped for. When Montre’s mother came outside and asked why the officer was arresting her son, Officer Gay told her it was for a seatbelt violation.

When another police car arrived, Officer Gay took the cuffs off of Montre’ and ticketed him for not wearing a seatbelt. According to the Daly Signal, “No explanation was given to Merritt or his mother about why such force was used.”

The Merritts complained, and Officer Gay was suspended without pay for five days and required to attend use-of-force training. But Montre’s family doesn’t feel that was enough of a punishment. They have filed a lawsuit, claiming false arrest, infliction of emotional distress, assault, and depriving Montre’ of his civil rights. The Merritts also claim the incident was racially motivated, and faults the city of Waycross and the Waycross Police Department for negligence, for not properly training Officer Gay.

* * * *

The police felt so threatened by a cosplaying black man with a fake sword that they shot him 4 times in the back

A black man who was shot by Utah police while armed with a samurai-style sword as part of a Japanese anime costume died of multiple gunshot wounds, including several in the back of his body, according to an autopsy released Tuesday.

The state autopsy documents six gunshot wounds on the body of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt and finds at least four of the shots entered his body from behind.

That generally confirms the results of an independent autopsy released by his family, who said Hunt was treated differently because he was black.

“I don’t think anyone would have thought twice if it wasn’t someone with an afro,” said his mother, Susan Hunt, on Tuesday. Police say race wasn’t a factor.

Really? Race wasn’t a factor?  Police officers across the country need to be completely retrained. Part of that training needs to be a thorough, exhaustive study of racial bias. Society is dripping with racism. People everywhere have subconscious biases and prejudices that inform their opinions of People of Color. Sadly, most people will not confront these prejudices.  Worse still, we have officers of the law, people with the power of life and death who hold these prejudices and they act on them. Too many of them see a black man and automatically think ‘threat’. It’s a knee-jerk reaction that they don’t examine. They just keep operating under that assumption.  And it keeps killing black people.

 * * * *

Trigger Warning

Woman raped at gunpoint on the hood of a patrol car by “Cop of the Month”

According to the police report, 35-year-old Maiorino had raped a 20-year-old woman while holding a gun, and threatening to arrest and kill her. The woman had been stranded after the driver she’d been with was arrested for DUI and Maiorino told the woman he would take her to police headquarters so she could make contact with her family and be taken home.

However, that’s far from what really happened. Once Maiorino was at the station, he ordered the woman to perform oral sex on him – threatening to arrest her for DUI if she refused. Maiorino then drove out of the station, grabbed the woman from the car and made her undress. Holding her down with his right hand and pointing his gun at her with his left hand, he raped her on the hood of his patrol car.

After the horrific assault was over and the woman dressed herself, Maiorino pointed his gun at her again and threatened to kill her and her entire family if she didn’t keep silent about the incident.

Maiorino then drove the woman back to the police station. Later that night, the woman told police that Maiorino had raped her. Upon investigating the scene of the assault, a used condom was found with her DNA on it.

On Thursday, Maiorino turned himself in. He will be fired, and has been charged with armed sexual battery, armed kidnapping and unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior.

I hope he rots in prison for a long time. Rape is already a horrible, dehumanizing crime. For a police officer…someone entrusted with power…someone the public is supposed to trust…for a cop to do this is deeply fucked up, and yet another example of cops having too much power and thinking they’re above the law.

* * * *

Trigger Warning

Trans man threatened with humiliating genital search by police 

According to The Raw StoryEvans was in the midst of a routine traffic stop when he was unable to produce identification that corresponded with his gender presentation. In many states, including Georgia, getting a gender change on a driver’s license requires a court order, and many judges require proof of complete gender reassignment surgery to grant said order. Upon being unable to produce a license that was satisfactory to the officers’ demands, Evans was arrested. That is when the real nightmare began. Evans says of the ordeal:

I was pulled over because I am trans. I was humiliated. I was ridiculed and I was repeatedly threatened with them doing a genital search on me. I was called an ‘it,’ I was called a ‘thing.’

That is an egregious violation of Mr. Evans’ right to privacy. His genitalia is none of their fucking business. The police had no right to even threaten such actions.  In addition, it’s deeply dehumanizing to refer to a trans person as an “it” or a “thing”. Trans people are people dammit!

* * * *

Albuquerque cop brutalizes college student, ruptures his testicle

APD officer Pablo Padilla pulled over Jeremy Martin for suspected drunk driving. The first-year law student at the University of New Mexico was then subjected such brutal force at the hands of the officer, that one of his testicles was ruptured.

Padilla used so much force when he kneed Martin in the groin, that it shattered one of his testicles. The injury resulted in the loss of Martin’s testicle, which had to be removed during an emergency surgery, following the traumatic injury.

According to urologists at the Jenkins clinic, testicular rupture caused by severe trauma to the groin is often treatable. However, in certain cases, the trauma is so severe that the testicle cannot be saved. This was the case, after Padilla brutally assaulted Martin.

Progress Now, New Mexico published a copy of the report filed by Padilla, which makes no mention of his use of force. The report does mention, however, that Martin had lacerations on his legs and face.

Martin states that he was not provided with medical care until several hours later, when he arrived at the metropolitan detention center. From there he was taken to Presbyterian Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery, ending with the loss of his testicle.

Photos of Martin following the arrest also show cuts and bruises to his face, a result of Padilla slamming him into the bed of his truck so hard that it left a dent in the vehicle, as well as slamming him face first onto the pavement.

As punishment for using so much force on a citizen that it caused him to suffer the loss of a body part, Padilla wassuspended for six weeks without pay. He was not punished in any way for destroying the video evidence.

Earlier this week a judge tossed the state’s DUI case against Martin. The judge agreed with Martin’s attorney, who said that the video which captured Padilla tampering with evidence at the scene destroys any credibility he has a witness.

Martin’s attorney has also asked the prosecutor to formally charge Padilla for destruction of evidence. Tampering with evidence is a criminal offense under New Mexico law.

Martin also filed a civil suit against the both the officer and the City of Albuquerque. According to the suit, Padilla has been sued at least five times before: three times for civil rights violations and at least two additional times for use of excessive force. The suit alleges that the city of Albuquerque knew of systemic problems within the police department, including officers consistently using excessive force against members of the community, but made no attempt to correct the issues. The suit also states that the city “created a culture of aggression and violence within the APD, which contributed to, and resulted in officer Padilla’s attack on the plaintiff.”

Police Behaving Badly Link Round-Up 11.2.14

Police Brutality Link Round Up

Sleeping 7-year-old girl shot in head during no-knock police raid on wrong home

Warning: This is likely to piss you the fuck off.

On the evening of May 16, 2010, the Detroit Police Department’s Special Response Team (SRT) prepared for a surprise raid to arrest a wanted man. A surveillance unit had been monitoring the duplex in which he lived throughout the day and a no-knock raid was scheduled for just after midnight.

Police staged a so-called “safety briefing” shortly before the raid; undoubtedly focusing on their own safety rather than the safety of unknown innocents behind the doors they were about to kick in. Officers were briefed that they’d be entering a “possible dope den,” in which the suspect “might be armed” and might even possess “dangerous dogs.”

Police neglected to account for — or flatly disregarded — the safety of any potential children that might be present. Besides the glaring presence of toys strewn about the lawn and front porch, it is unlikely that investigators could have missed the presence of four young children and multi-generational family in the opposite unit during their surveillance of the duplex.

The raid commenced at roughly 12:40 a.m.  The Special Response Team arrived in its armored vehicle with a warrant to arrest Chauncey Owens, who was known to stay with his fiancée at 4056 Lillibridge Street.

Armed with MP5 submachine guns, adrenaline, and an unhealthy fear for officer safety, the raiders shuffled past the toys that littered the front yard and ignored the two distinct street address signs hanging on either side of the shared porch of the multi-unit building; 4056 was on the left, 4054 was on the right.

A man named Mark Robinson was detained on the sidewalk while walking his dog, just before the raid. He repeatedly told officers, “There are children in the house,” yet his warnings went unheeded. He was pinned to the ground with officers’ boots on his neck and back, reported attorney Geoffrey Fieger.

The raid team was accompanied by an embedded cable TV crew, filming for A&E’s “The First 48.” With full bravado, the SRT put on a display of maximum force for the fans of police-state-adoring reality television.

Without warning, officers simultaneously attempted to breach entrances of two discrete living units of the duplex: the suspects’ location and the neighboring residence. What occurred at 4054 Lillibridge — where the suspect did NOT live — would be devastating.

In mere seconds, masked police officers stormed the porch and smashed the window of the neighbors’ downstairs apartment. They immediately tossed in a concussion grenade and kicked down the door. An officer discharged his rifle, and an innocent little girl named Aiyana Stanley-Jones was dead.

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And if you thought that one was bad enough, here’s one to make you fucking see RED:

Man charged with breaking a trooper’s fist with his face

Around 8:20 p.m. on March 8th, 2010, police received a 9-1-1 call regarding a car that had failed to stop after a minor traffic collision. The accident resulted in no injuries and no damage, but one of the drivers did not stop to exchange information. Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) dispatched troopers to investigate this alleged hit-and-run.

A car driven by Robert Leone, 31 at the time, matched the basic description of the car in question. Mr. Leone was driving just across the Pennsylvania border from his home in Vestal, NY. He had just finished star gazing at the Kopernick Observatory and Science Center and decided to go for a ride in the country while listening to his favorite music. He had consumed no alcohol or illegal substances, but it seems that his decision-making abilities may have been affected by his legally-prescribed medication used to treat his bipolar disorder.

PSP attempted to pull over Mr. Leone, who was traveling at a speed significantly UNDER the posted speed limit — 10 to 30 mph under. Leone stated at first he did not think the trooper was trying to stop him as he believed that he had done nothing wrong prior to the encounter. Police dash-cam video clearly showed Mr. Leone driving very slowly and in a very controlled manner. The only vehicles ever seen crossing the center line or driving erratically were the state police cars that were involved in this low speed following — contrary to sworn statements later given by the troopers.

The five marked cruisers following Mr. Leone could have easily boxed in Mr. Leone at low speed and caused him to stop. Instead, the troopers deployed stop-sticks and rammed his vehicle. A “PIT maneuver” was used to smash Leone into a rock wall, while still at low speed.

Once his car was immobilized, the senior trooper on scene, Corporal Roger Stipcak, stood on top of Mr. Leone’s hood and ordered him out of his car while aiming a taser at him. Mr. Leone COULD NOT comply with the trooper’s order because a state police car was intentionally blocking Leone’s driver-side door.

Mr. Leone was then tasered through his open sunroof and forcibly dragged to the ground through the passenger-side door and beaten by fellow troopers. The senior trooper who was standing on the hood of Leone’s car was then seen jumping directly onto Leone’s back from the hood of the car.

“You’ve got a long f***ing night ahead,” the officer menaced. “Do ya hear me?? Do ya f***ing hear me?!”

This was but the first threat of many Mr. Leone was going to receive over the next 11 hours. It was also the mildest. At no time was Leone videoed resisting or attempting to strike the officers.

After his first beating he was handcuffed and questioned. At that point Leone was arrested and placed in the back of a patrol car. Without advising Mr. Leone of his constitutional rights he was questioned a second time and responded with respectful answers of “yes sir,” and “no sir.”

During the questioning, the trooper accused Leone of intentionally spitting in the trooper’s face and used that alleged behavior as a reason to beat Mr. Leone — who was still handcuffed. The trooper then hog-tied the victim.

“Who do you think you’re messing with?” one officer challenged. “We’re the Pennsylvania State Police… it’s not just some chumps.”

After analyzing the audio portion of the dash-cam it appears that the trooper fabricated the spitting incident in order to justify the beating, even though spitting does not allow an officer to beat a prisoner.

An ambulance had initially been called to transport Mr. Leone, who had suffered multiple injuries. Instead, the trooper who had broken his hand while punching Leone received medical attention, and Mr. Leone — who was handcuffed and hog-tied — was transported to the hospital in the back of a patrol car.

The above is just a portion of the horrible shit Robert Leone went through at the hands of the PA State Police and the justice system.  God, this shit makes me want to go demolish an abandoned building with my bare hands. The abuses of power demonstrated in this article are massive. There’s a part of me that still wants to believe in a just world, in the hopes that these cops will be punished, but the more rational part of me realizes that the Just World Fallacy is just that.  Many times, people get away with all manner of horrible acts, from brutally beating a suspect to killing an unarmed black man.   The United States has turned into a police state, where police officers routinely abuse their power, brutally beating or killing suspects, conducting raids on peoples’ homes without ensuring the suspect is in the home, shooting pets, demanding obeisance from the public, circling the wagons to protect their brethren, and more. They’re practically unaccountable, and so often when they commit a wrong, they don’t get punished. I wish I knew how to change the system, bc it needs to be done. Too many people are suffering.

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LA cop reportedly kicked cuffed man’s head like ‘a football player kicking a field goal’

Case in point ↑

At least in this case, the police officer has been suspended and an investigation is pending.

According to the LA Times, one police official who has seen the video said the kick  looked like “a football player kicking a field goal.” Another official called it  “horrific.”

Three other officers involved in the arrest — as well as a sergeant who arrived on the scene afterward — have been taken off active duty while the LAPD investigates the incident.

The suspect, identified as Clinton Alford, 22, sustained a gash on his ear and was taken to a hospital for stitches and a head scan following his arrest.

Alford was booked on suspicion of drug possession and resisting arrest and later released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty.

Police authorities stated that Alford was stopped by the officers who were responding to a detective’s radio call for help in locating a robbery suspect.

It was later ascertained that Alford was not the robbery suspect they were seeking.

According to Alford, he was riding his bike when a car pulled up behind him and he was commanded to stop. Alford said the speaker never identified himself as a police officer and when his bike was grabbed from behind, he jumped off and ran. After a brief pursuit, Alford was taken into custody by two officers and can be seen in the video voluntarily dropping to the ground and placing his hands behind his back.

Moments later another officer arrived and reportedly rushed at the prone Alford either stomping or kicking him in the head. The officer then repeatedly struck Alford in the head with his elbows while the other two officers held him down.

According to Alford, “I was just praying that they wouldn’t kill me. I just closed my eyes and tried to hold on.”

One of the sources who saw the video described Alford looking like “a rag doll,” as officer hauled him away.

According to the arrest record, the officers at the scene were identified as Julio Cortez, Joshua Tornek, Ruben Rosas, and Richard Garcia, with Garcia identified as the officer who administered the beating.

LA police Chief Charlie Beck issued a statement saying he was, “extremely concerned about this particular use of force.”

The police chief ought to be concerned. That’s excessive force. There’s no indication that Alford was resisting, and even if he was, minimal use of force should be employed unless the four officers arresting one man were in imminent danger (or the public was).  Too many police officers jump straight to excessive force for the most minor offenses. It’s like law enforcement attracts hyper aggressive, authoritarian assholes who enjoy lording it over the rest of us.

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Law enforcement official with the Bureau of Indian Affairs pulls gun on Uber driver

Driver James Brothers said he picked up a group from a bar Oct. 20 and dropped off a man and woman at a party after they had a disagreement with a third passenger.

He said the remaining passenger, later identified as 44-year-old Byron McDonald, acted paranoid after he attempted to make small talk.

“Typically I’ll ask people where they’re from or from out of town, but he just wouldn’t give me any info,” Brothers said.

Then the passenger began asking strange questions in a slurred voice.

“He asked, ‘Do you want to live or die?’” Brothers told KSL-TV. “So I said, ‘Well, I want to live, of course.’”

McDonald asked the driver about his 3-year-old daughter and girlfriend – neither of which Brothers has – as they arrived at the downtown Hilton.

Then McDonald put a gun to the driver’s head and then moved the weapon down so it was pointed at Brothers’ side.

“I just thought, ‘I’m going to bail because I’m not going to sit around and wait for what’s going to happen,’” Brothers said.

Brothers said he grabbed his phone from the dashboard, pulled the keys from the ignition, and tried to jump out the driver’s side door.

McDonald grabbed his shirt collar and tried to pull the driver back into the vehicle, but he broke free and fled.

Brothers called 911 as he ran away, and police arrested McDonald – who turned out to be a police officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

A spokeswoman for the Department of the Interior, which oversees the bureau, said McDonald was on “official travel at the time of the incident.”

McDonald was charged with aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, and attempted kidnapping.

I wasn’t sure whether to file this under ‘Police Brutality’ or ‘Irresponsible Gun Owner’. Ultimately, since this is another case of a law enforcement officer abusing their power, I chose this category.

What the fuck was McDonald doing pulling a gun on a driver for no apparent reason and why do I think he was drunk?

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Woman on dialysis trampled by cops angry that her son ignored them

LeRoy Hubbard III told WMAQ that two police officers pulled up in a patrol car as he was walking home to his parent’s house on Friday night.

“They say, ‘Come here.’ So, I just keep walking,” Hubbard recalled.

According to Hubbard, officers then forced their way into his home, while his niece, Keeasia, filmed the entire thing.

“They start just going crazy in the house,” he pointed out.

WCAU reported that the video showed Hubbard’s mother, who was on a dialysis machine, being knocked to the floor as police struggled to handcuff him. Eventually, more officers arrived and Hubbard was placed in a chokehold.

“They charged me with assault but how did I assault anybody?” he asked. “They were just basically just assaulting my whole family so I had to give in just to make it stop.”

“I just went outside,” Keeasia said. “It was helicopters, it was police cars, just rushing in for one person.”

Hubbard’s father, Leroy, argued that the incident was “clearly police misconduct.” He said that his son did not have a criminal record, and that officers only treated him that way because he lived in a high crime area.

“They do this all the time,” he remarked. “As far as the police, they do this all the time. They will stop anybody on the street. They want to get lucky, think they’re going to get lucky you know somebody’s probably got something.”

Hubbard was expected in court on Tuesday to face charges for aggravated battery to a police officer.

They attacked him, yet he’s charged with aggravated battery.  Da fuq?!

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Police Brutality Link Round Up

Milwaukee police officer fired 6 months after killing unarmed mentally ill black man

MILWAUKEE POLICE FIRE OFFICER WHO SHOT MAN IN PARK

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said Wednesday that he had fired an officer who instigated a fight with a mentally ill man that eventually led the officer to shoot the man 14 times, killing him.

Continue reading “Milwaukee police officer fired 6 months after killing unarmed mentally ill black man”

Milwaukee police officer fired 6 months after killing unarmed mentally ill black man

Police Brutality Link Round Up 10.13.14

In news that will come as no surprise to many people, an analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings from 1980-2012 by ProPublica has found that

 young black men are 21 times more likely than whites to be killed by police:

Who Gets Killed?

The finding that young black men are 21 times as likely as their white peers to be killed by police is drawn from reports filed for the years 2010 to 2012, the three most recent years for which FBI numbers are available.

The black boys killed can be disturbingly young. There were 41 teens 14 years or younger reported killed by police from 1980 to 2012 ii. 27 of them were black iii; 8 were white iv; 4were Hispanic v and 1 was Asian vi.

That’s not to say officers weren’t killing white people. Indeed, some 44 percent of all those killed by police across the 33 years were white.

White or black, though, those slain by police tended to be roughly the same age. The average age of blacks killed by police was 30. The average age of whites was 35.

Who is killing all those black men and boys?

Mostly white officers. But in hundreds of instances, black officers, too. Black officers account for a little more than 10 percent of all fatal police shootings. Of those they kill, though, 78percent were black.

White officers, given their great numbers in so many of the country’s police departments, are well represented in all categories of police killings. White officers killed 91 percent of the whites who died at the hands of police. And they were responsible for 68 percent of the people of color killed. Those people of color represented 46 percent of all those killed by white officers.

What were the circumstances surrounding all these fatal encounters?

There were 151 instances in which police noted that teens they had shot dead had been fleeing or resisting arrest at the time of the encounter. 67 percent of those killed in such circumstances were black. That disparity was even starker in the last couple of years: of the15 teens shot feeling arrest from 2010 to 2012, 14 were black.

Did police always list the circumstances of the killings? No, actually, there were many deadly shooting where the circumstances were listed as “undetermined.” 77 percent of those killed in such instances were black.

Certainly, there were instances where police truly feared for their lives.

Of course, although the data show that police reported that as the cause of their actions in far greater numbers after the 1985 Supreme Court decision that said police could only justify using deadly force if the suspects posed a threat to the officer or others. From 1980 to 1984, “officer under attack” was listed as the cause for 33 percent of the deadly shootings. Twenty years later, looking at data from 2005 to 2009, “officer under attack” was cited in 62 percentxxxvii of police killings.

Does the data include cases where police killed people with something other than a standard service handgun?

Yes, and the Los Angeles Police Department stood out in its use of shotguns. Most police killings involve officers firing handguns xl. But from 1980 to 2012, 714 involved the use of a shotgun xli. The Los Angeles Police Department has a special claim on that category. It accounted for 47 cases xlii in which an officer used a shotgun. The next highest total came from the Dallas Police Department: 14 xliii.

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Colorado family stunned: Cop breaks in, fatally shoots man in back, and ‘no one knows why’

Sara Lindenmuth told KRDO that a Rocky Ford police officer forced down the door to their home sometime after her brother-in-law, 27-year-old Jack Jacquez, came home around 2 a.m. on Sunday morning.

She recalled that the two men started shouting at each other.

“He was standing next to his mom, his back turned toward the officer and then he shot him twice in the back and then pepper sprayed him,” Lindenmuth said. “Then they hand cuffed his fiancé, for reasons I don’t know why. And the mom went to call the cops and the cop took her phone and threw it against the wall.”

“He just showed up,” she insisted. “No one knows why he just showed up. It just all happened unexpectedly.”

Jacquez’s fiance, Mariah, told KKTV that he had been out late because he was helping a friend babysit. She said she was asleep when she heard the gunshots.

“Came out, gun shots firing. Found my fiancé on the floor. He couldn’t breathe,” she explained.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was reportedly investigating the case. KKTV identified the officer as James Ashby. He was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

We’re long past the point where police powers need to be curtailed.  All too often, on nearly a daily basis, stories emerge of police harassing, profiling, brutalizing, and killing citizens–often on spurious grounds. This is very much a police state that we live in and people have become far too accepting of this.

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Not all cases of police brutality involve humans.

Cop Strangled Girlfriend’s Puppy to Death Then Sent Her Pictures of It

Earlier this year, 28-year-old, Baltimore city cop Alec Eugene Taylor became enraged when his girlfriend’s seven-month-old Jack Russell terrier “Rocko” had an accident on the floor. 

Taylor savagely beat the dog with a mop, and then strangled it until it was no longer breathing.  Taylor then heartlessly took photos of the dead puppy and sent them to his girlfriend like it was no big deal.

According to the Washington Post, the following text message exchange took place between Taylor and his now ex-girlfriend, Deborah Avila.

I almost killed rocko, he took a wet s*** all over the carpet after I let him outside.” Taylor reportedly wrote late in the afternoon on Feb. 26.

He then sent a photo of the dog to Avila, who responded by asking,“Why is he laying like that?”

“I beat him, I might of paralyzed him,” Taylor replied.

“Is he walking?” Avila asked.

“Nope… I think he’s pretty much dead. Imma throw him out now,” Taylor responded.

Cruelty to animals is part of The MacDonald Triad, traits that often are demonstrated in sociopaths from a young age.  It says an individual who is able to engage in cruelty to animals may have no conscience and no remorse for their behavior.

Note the last two sentences of the quoted material above.  Is this the kind of person that should be a police officer?  I wonder if law enforcement officials have to submit to psychological testing to determine their mental fitness?

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‘The Daily Show’ Brings the Disturbing Reality of Police Shootings to the Mainstream

Samantha Bee and Jason Jones report on how broken the system is.  Click the link to watch the video.

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Getting Away with Murder: How Cops Avoid Accountability for Criminal Acts

(excerpt)

On October 7, the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board published a report that analyzes the use of chokeholds by NYPD officers over the past year. The report found that between July 2013 and June 2014, the CCRB received 219 chokehold complaints, the highest number seen since the period between 2006-2010 when over 200 chokehold complaints were being filed annually. This year, CCRB also received the highest relative level of chokehold complaints registered since 2001—7.6 out of every 100 use-of-force complaints were for chokeholds.

According to the NYPD Patrol Guide, the use of chokeholds against civilian suspects is illegal. This has been the case for more than 20 years.

A chokehold, as defined in the NYPD’s use-of-force policy, is “any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.” However, as the report points out, due to the NYPD and CCRB refusal to enforce the chokehold rule, the mandate was watered down. Instead of prohibiting officers from applying any pressure to the neck that “may” interfere with breathing, civilians hoping to register complaints must now be able to prove that the chokeholds they endured resulted in actual, sustained interference with breathing.

The report was commissioned this past July, following the death of 43-year-old Staten Island resident Eric Garner, whom NYPD officers placed in a chokehold while trying to book him for selling untaxed cigarettes. During the encounter, which was videotaped and went viral soon after, Garner shouted, “I can’t breathe” eleven times as officers continued to swarm around him. A medical examiner later confirmed that Garner’s death was a homicide—a direct result of being put in a chokehold.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton’s pandering reaction to Garner’s death was to announce that he’d be retraining the entire NYPD in acceptable use-of-force practices when engaging with a suspect. However, though shrugging off civilian complaints and letting officers off the hook is routine and systematic in New York City, the practice of administering chokeholds is limited to a group of abusive cops who perpetually dodge disciplinary action. The CCRB report found that half of the officers who had chokehold complaints filed against them have a history of six or more misconduct complaints; a quarter of them have more than 10. All told, the 554 officers involved in chokehold complaints have had an average of seven misconduct complaints filed against them.

The report is sobering and thorough in its findings, but its conclusions miss the mark. The report praises Bratton for his efforts to retrain NYPD officers and conduct a review of the NYPD’s use of force policies. Its main additional recommendation is “the creation of an inter-agency collaboration between the NYPD and the CCRB in order to strengthen data collection and analysis.” In other words, the institution that supposedly represents the interests of civilians wants to work even more closely with the disproportionately powerful law enforcers who sometimes target them

Police Brutality Link Round Up 10.13.14