It’s like police officers are trying to make people hate them

Sometimes you think you’ve heard it all.

Police officers open fire on an unarmed Black couple after the driver tries to get out of the car and put his hands in the air, bc it doesn’t matter if you comply with orders or not, cops are going to shoot.

Emantic Bradford was shot in the back of the head, neck, and the lower back by a police officer who felt either there was imminent danger from someone running away from him or that all Black men look alike.

Willie McCoy was asleep in his vehicle in the parking lot of a California Taco Bell, and apparently he must have had some sort of mutant ability to resist a bullet or two, bc his body moved while he was sleeping and the cops unleashed a hail of bullets, killing him.

Black baby is severely injured (trigger warning for that link, bc there is a graphic image of the injured child) by a flash grenade after police officers perform a no-knock raid on a home before ensuring they knew who the fuck was in the home.

But then you hear IT. The new story of anti-Black racism from police that just smacks your gob and gasts your flabber:

Police officer arrests Black man for “trying to steal an IV and sell it on ebay”.

Continue reading “It’s like police officers are trying to make people hate them”

It’s like police officers are trying to make people hate them

White privilege example #20349

We can’t talk on our phones at an Ohio Wal-Mart while holding an air pellet rifle without being seen as suspicious, even if that rifle is classed as a toy, it’s aimed at the ground, and open/carry is legal in the state (John Crawford, III).

We can’t walk down a Utah street with a fake sword even though Utah is an open/carry state–and that applies to *real* swords too (Darrien Hunt),

Our kids can play in public with toy guns, but they’d better expect concerned citizens to freak the fuck out and call the cops. Once law enforcement officials arrive, we can expect them to open fire before assessing the situation (Tamir Rice).

If a loved one is shot by police and lays dying, we can’t be allowed to rush to their side. But we can be confident we’ll be treated horribly by police during our attempts to do so (Samaria Rice, sister of Tamir).

Our babies can’t be asleep in their cribs without flash grenades going off in front of them (Bounkham Phonesavanh).

Running from the police even if we are unarmed is out of the question bc apparently that’s grounds for being shot to death. In the back (Walter Scott).

We can’t walk outside in near-freezing temperatures with our hands in our pockets bc some “concerned citizens” are worried that a black person with their hands in their pocket must be guarding a nuclear weapon rather than warming their hands (Brandon McKean).

We can’t circumvent state tax laws on cigarettes bc OMG the world will end. And if we do, we can expect to be choked to death. Because violating state tax laws on cigarettes is totes grounds for being killed (Eric Garner).

As adults, we cannot have an attitude or be disrespectful to law enforcement officials during a traffic stop bc authoritarian thugs don’t like their authority questioned (Sandra Bland).

As children we must remember to always be respectful and deferential to law enforcement officials-even ones nicknamed ‘Officer Slam’-bc if we don’t, we deserve to be body-slammed or so I’m told by a lot of white people invested in upholding white supremacy (Spring Valley High School teen).

Our kids cannot be loud and unruly at a swimming pool. Not unless they want to be treated like an armed and dangerous felon, grabbed by the hair, thrown to the ground, and sat on by a really swell douchebag in uniform (Dajerria Becton).

If we are in the midst of a mental health crisis and the police are called, we have no guarantee they will assist us, but we can be confident they’ll make the situation worse (Tanisha Anderson).

We can expect our constitutional rights to be violated if we commit even low-level crimes, bc apparently the punishment for robbery is execution by cop (Shelly Frey).

We can’t expect our children to be able to sleep in the comforting presence of a grandparent without worrying about SWAT teams raiding the wrong house (Aiyana Stanley-Jones).

We don’t get to do any of these things, whether legal or not, without being harassed, detained, abused, brutalized, or murdered by police officers bc our existence is constantly under supervision by agents of the state. At every turn, black people across the United States are overpoliced. From everyday actions like getting an attitude with teachers, to not being thrilled at being pulled over for a bullshit reason, to yes, even committing a crime-black people are not allowed the luxury of any benefit of the doubt. At every turn we are treated to civil rights violations and a denial of basic human rights. For another group of USAmericans, this is not the case. Members of this group are accorded undeserved privilege, even in situations where one of them is a direct threat to the lives of police officers (Roger Hale), or situations where one of them point firearms at cops and children (Lance Tamayo), or even in cases where two of them show up at a Wal-Mart, remove BB-guns from their boxes and shoot up the store (two drunk guys). Even in these examples, when these people were a direct threat to others, no excessive force was used against them. In addition, none of them were killed, despite the danger they posed (which is why I find the “my life was in danger” line used by many cops to justify the murder of suspects to be, how shall we say, hollow-as-fuck). That’s all part of having DUM DUM DUUUUUUUM: White Privilege!

And for the latest example of ‘shit only white people can get away with’ (also known as DUM DUM DUUUUUUM: White Privilege) we have a story out of Akron, Ohio:

Continue reading “White privilege example #20349”

White privilege example #20349

To the defenders of police

In the last year I’ve been thinking a lot about the criminal justice system in the United States. I’ve been thinking how unfair it is to People of Color-especially black people. In the wake of Michael Brown, Jr’s death at the hands of ex-police officer Darren Wilson, I found my reality turned upside down. The world that I knew-a world where law enforcement officials were good, honest, and treated all citizens with fairness and equality-that world quickly began crumbling. As I read more about Michael Brown, Jr. and the circumstances surrounding his death, I found myself despairing. The whole situation seemed unjust. It looked like the deck was stacked against him. And then I saw the support pour in for Darren Wilson. I saw the money people were raising in his name. I saw the supportive comments from cops. I saw the racist commentary from civilians in the comments sections of news articles. And I felt my anger rise. I thought “How is this right? This cop killed Michael Brown, Jr. He judged this young man to be guilty and he gave him the death penalty.” Brown was never given access to due process (but Wilson was). If I thought my frustration at Brown’s death was bad, I would soon discover that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Continue reading “To the defenders of police”

To the defenders of police

Black people cannot even take out the trash without being harassed by police

I’ve worked in restaurants from the age of 16 on. In that time, I have performed mundane tasks such as scrubbing floors, sweeping, and mopping. I’ve also taken out the trash–a lot. I’m trying to imagine what it would be like to be arrested for trespassing while taking out the trash not once, not twice, but 62 times. I don’t know what that’s like, but unfortunately Earl Sampson of Miami Gardens, FL does:

Miami Gardens, Fla., convenience store owner Alex Saleh decided he’d try. He’d become vexed at what he saw as police harassment of his employees and even his customers.

So he installed surveillance cameras, with the specific intention of watching the detectives.

He’d become frustrated, you see, about the possibly not coincidental number of times that his employee, Earl Sampson, had been stopped and questioned by police officers — 258 times over a four-year period does seem a little like overkill. These included 100 searches and 56 jailings. As for convictions, well, they were only for marijuana possession.

Saleh told the Miami Herald it seemed odd that Sampson had been arrested 62 times for trespassing, when the vast majority of offenses were outside the very same Quickstop.

That would be the Quickstop where Sampson worked.

How the hell do you arrest someone for trespassing on the grounds of the business they work at? Could it be some racial bias on the part of the arresting officers? No, that can’t be it. If you ask a police officer, they’ll say “I’m not racist”, and we know they’ve examined their beliefs to ensure they hold no conscious or subconscious stereotypes about People of Color. It must be something else. That would be sarcasm, btw.

Earl Sampson is not the only Miami Gardens resident who has been harassed by the MGPD:

In the summer of 2010, a young black man was stopped and questioned by police on the streets of Miami Gardens, Florida. According to the report filled out by the officer, he was “wearing gray sweatpants, a red hoodie and black gloves” giving the police “just cause” to question him. In the report, he was labeled a “suspicious person.”

He was an 11-year-old boy on his way to football practice.

A Fusion investigation has found that he was just one of 56,922 people who were stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens Police Department (MGPD) between 2008 and 2013. That’s the equivalent of more than half of the city’s population.

Not one of them was arrested.

It was all part of the city’s sweeping “stop and frisk” style policy that may be unparalleled in the nation.

According to a review of 99,980 “field contact” reports, they were stopped, written up and often identified as “suspicious” — but just like the 11-year-old boy — the encounter was recorded in a public database, and they were let go.

Thousands more were arrested after being stopped by the police, raising the total number of people ensnared by the policy to 65,328 during the five-year period.

“I have never seen a police department that has taken the approach that every citizen in that city is a suspect. I’ve described it as New York City stop-and-frisk on steroids.” said Miami-Dade County Public Defender Carlos Martinez.

Last year, a Miami Herald report exposed how the MGPD repeatedly stopped and arrested employees and customers of a local convenience store including, Earl Sampson, who was stopped more than 200 times.

Fusion’s analysis of more than 30,000 pages of field contact reports, shows how aggressive and far-reaching the police actions were. Some residents were stopped, questioned and written up multiple times within minutes of each other, by different officers. Children were stopped by police in playgrounds. Senior citizens were stopped and questioned near their retirement home, including a 99-year-old man deemed to be “suspicious.” Officers even wrote a report identifying a five-year-old child as a “suspicious person.”

Fusion’s Investigation also found evidence that some field contact reports may have been falsified. There were many instances were multiple reports were filed just minutes apart – all claiming to stop the same person. Other reports claimed a person was stopped on the streets by police, when in fact, they were actually in jail at the time.

Two officers from the MGPD told Fusion that high-ranking department officials gave them orders to “bring in the numbers” by conducting stops and arrests. One officer said he was ordered to stop all black males between 15 and 30 years of age.

Nope. No racism or racial bias to see here folks. Just keep walking.

Black people cannot even take out the trash without being harassed by police

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.

Police Behaving Badly 11.12.14

Saratoga County Sheriff’s Deputy Shawn Glans has been suspended without pay following the release of a video of the officer apparently slapping a suspect.

The video shows the officer, Sgt. Shawn Glans, cursing at the person he was speaking with, and the sound of what the videotaper alleges was a slap can be heard. Officers had spotted a rifle in the back of the parked car, according to the video.

“It is disturbing,” Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said of the situation Saturday. “The minute we heard about it, we began an investigation. We’re going to be up front about it and deal with it.”

Glans has been suspended without pay pending an investigation and disciplinary action after an incident that took place during an interview in Halfmoon early Friday. Deputies responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle, and found a car in a business parking lot with the rifle in the back seat.

Glans and another officer questioned two young men who they saw walk to the car, and a confrontation ensued when the owner refused to give police access to the vehicle.

You can see the video at LiveLeak.

* * * *

Alabama ex-deputy admits to forcing woman to cook meth to feed his addiction

Grady Keith Concord pleaded guilty to one count each of extortion under color of official right, manufacturing methamphetamine, and manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine on premises where children are present or reside, reported

The 42-year-old Concord, who admits he was addicted to drugs, was arrested in June on drug manufacturing charges and fired from the Winston County Sheriff’s Department.

According to court documents, Concord approached a Nauvoo woman in July 2013 and arranged to supply her with pseudoephedrine if she would supply him with the finished product.

Investigators said the deputy took decongestant pills containing the meth precursor from the sheriff’s department evidence room, and Concord and his wife also bought the medication for use making illegal drugs.

Concord denied the woman’s claim that he threatened her with arrest, but he agrees she might have felt pressured to participate because he was a sheriff’s deputy.

I’m sure she felt no pressure from an officer of the law.  It’s not like they have higher social standing or anything. And we’re never taught to automatically listen to and respect them.  Nosiree.

* * * *

The United States is not the only country that has problems with its police force. A woman in Winnipeg was brutally beaten by an officer as her 8 year old child watched.  

Lana Sinclair told CBC that Winnipeg police officers showed up on Halloween night to investigate reports of “yelling.” One officer spoke to her son, while another officer talked to her.

“He came up to me and poked me,” Sinclair recalled. “I was sitting on a chair in the kitchen and I jumped up and said you don’t need to touch me.”

The officer pulled out a baton, and beat her with it, she explained to CTV. She said he then smashed her face into a work table, and into the floor.

“He had my arm behind me and he smashed my face right here,” Sinclair said, pointing to her sewing table.

She said the officer handcuffed her, stood her up, and then kicked her feet out from under her. Sinclair hit the floor face first.

To make matters worse, she said her 8-year-old son watched then entire incident.

“We [my son and I] were both traumatized,” Sinclair noted. “I just hug him and kiss him and tell him it’s okay.”

* * * *

West Virginia homeless man loses only photos of dead wife when cop throws backpack in river


According to a criminal complaint obtained by the The Charleston Gazette, Charleston Patrolman Brian Lightner confronted 26-year-old Andrew Joel Hunt on the Spring Street bridge on Aug. 18 over an argument that several homeless people were having while standing in the road.

Hunt admitted that he had been drinking. And when he refused to leave, Lightner arrested him.

After getting out of jail, Hunt complained that Lightner had tossed his backpack off the bridge, including a laptop with the only photos he owned of his dead wife.

The Charleston Police Department eventually agreed to an undisclosed settlement with Hunt after the dive team recovered his belongings.

Brendan Doneghy, who was representing Hunt on the public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges, told The Charleston Gazette that he found it strange at the time that the police department would file a motion to drop the charges without an explanation.

“I received a dismissal out of nowhere,” Doneghy recalled. “It made me suspicious the allegations [against Lightner] were true.”

For his part, Lightner called dealing with homeless people a “frustrating job.”

Dear Officer Lightner,

You are an empathy deficient asshole.

* * * *

“Free speech only goes so far!” says this power tripping NYPD cop.

The interaction started as the citizen saw a private security guard block in a taxi cab for picking up a fare. The citizen filming simply voiced his concern over the security guard detaining the taxi, when he was approached by power tripping officer Butler.

The confrontation becomes heated quickly as the citizen refuses to be bullied by Butler.

Butler tells the man that he cannot say what he wants to and cannot be filming, at which point the man rebuts. That’s when officer Butler chose to stifle the citizen’s first amendment rights, going so far as to tell him that, “Your First Amendment Ends Right Here!”

At one point the two men brush hands as Butler tries to snatch the wallet out of the man’s hand. Butler quickly calls it assault and tells the man filming that he will arrest him for assault on an officer. Eventually a crowd begins to gather as Butler continues his barrage.

After Butler gets the ID and begins writing citations for “obscene language” and “unreasonable sound” one officer tells the man to look at the crowd that’s gathering because of your actions. Then, in an awesome display, the crowd says they are there for the citizen’s protection!

Despite the rantings of one woman who would rather give up her rights than the assert them, the crowd was in total support of this man.

In the background while the ticket is being written, Butler can be hear saying, “free speech only goes so far.”

Eventually the citizen is given the ticket by an obviously flustered and constitutionally oblivious Officer Butler.

How can cops not know by now that citizens have the right to film them?  And those citations are a fucking joke.  “Obscene language”?  Are the cops going to start policing what we say?  I guess he does truly think freedom of speech should be curtailed.  Police State anyone?

Here’s the video:

Police Behaving Badly 11.12.14

She was in the middle of the highway with guns pointed at her while having contractions

Picture this:  Your wife is going into labor. You hop in the car and make a mad dash to the hospital, speeding as fast as you can to get there. Along the way, you pass cops.  You probably think they’ll pursue you to the hospital where you’ll be able to explain the situation as your wife goes to the delivery room right? Whoa there pardner. That’s called wishful thinking:

Continue reading “She was in the middle of the highway with guns pointed at her while having contractions”

She was in the middle of the highway with guns pointed at her while having contractions

Police Brutality Link Round-Up 10.9.14

“You’re black. This family is white. You can’t possibly live here. Prepare to be pepper sprayed!”

Stacy Tyler said she had left her home unlocked because she knew her foster son, DeShawn Currie, would be arriving home from school. When neighbors spotted Currie, who is black, entering the Tyler residence, they immediately called police.

When they arrived, they ordered Currie to put his hands on the door. “For what?” he said he replied. “This is my house. Why are y’all here?”

Officers then pointed to a photograph on the mantel of the Tyler’s natural born children, all of whom are white, at which point Currie became angry. After a brief argument, officers pepper-sprayed Currie in the face.

Stacy Tyler arrived home to find Currie being treated by EMS for the pepper-spray, and quickly cleared up the confusion with the officers, who told her that her foster son had been threatening and belligerent.

Currie insisted he was merely offended by the officer’s suggestion that he could not possibly be part of the Tyler family.

“I had moved into my room, and I’m feeling like I’m loved,” he said. “And then when they come in and they just profile me and say that I’m not who I am. And that I do not stay here because there was white kids on the wall, that really made me mad.”

Yeah, I’d be kinda mad too.  The police of course were under the coughcoughracistcoughcough assumption that home that looks to be owned by white people couldn’t possibly be the home of a black person and that if a black person is entering, they are clearly a burglar.  So rather than try to get the situation figured out (by, say calling Stacy Tyler…cell phones? What are those?), they figure “let’s pepper spray the black guy who’s getting angry that we’re treating him like a criminal.  Clearly he doesn’t know his place.  You are not supposed to get angry at the police. You’re supposed to be an obedient slave and know your place.”

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Road Rage fueled police officer draws gun on family in minivan

A Beverly Hills couple had contacted 911 on Friday at around 7 p.m. after someone cut off their minivan, and then began driving erratically. At some point, the man allegedly rolled down his window and brandished a firearm at them.

On Monday, Birmingham police Cmdr. Terry Kiernan said that his department had asked the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for a warrant to arrest the 43-year-old Detroit officer.

“We’re told the officer rolled his window down and pointed the gun in their direction,” Kiernan explained. “Whether he was pointing the gun directly at them is something that still has to be determined.”

The suspect identified himself as an officer when he was later stopped by Royal Oak police, and then was turned over to Birmingham police. A .40 caliber Glock pistol was recovered from his vehicle.

The officer’s name was being withheld until the prosecutor announced formal charges.

According to state records obtained by WXYZ, the officer was forced to undergo driver improvement examination earlier this year because he was deemed “unable to operate vehicle safely.”

The guy needs to undergo anger management therapy too, bc brandishing a gun at people who are not an immediate threat to you is fucked up.  I wish we lived in a country where such actions meant people would no longer be legally allowed to own a gun.  This is an example of police brutality, police state mentality, and gun owner irresponsibility.  A trifecta of horribleness!

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WATCH: NYPD cops pistol-whip cowering teenage pot suspect after foot chase

Surveillance video posted online by DNAinfo New York shows the officers catch up to 16-year-old Kahreem Tribble following a brief foot chase Aug. 29 in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

The teen slows up and turns to face one of the officers, Tyrane Isaac, who immediately takes a swing at Tribble – but the teen manages to duck the roundhouse punch.

Tribble backs up against a wall with his hands raised in surrender as both officers approach him.

The second officer, Officer David Afanador, smashes the teen in the face with a handgun, and the first officer punches him in the head moments later.

A third officer arrives on the scene and stands watch while Isaac places the teen in handcuffs and Afandor jogs away to retrieve Tribble’s bag — which he smacks the teen with in the face when he returns.

Tribble, who was charged with possession of 17 small bags of marijuana and disorderly conduct, appeared in court afterward with cracked teeth and bruises.

He pleaded guilty to a violation in the case.

Investigations were launched by the police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office after the video was discovered.

Police initially spotted the teen peeking into the window of a parked minivan and said he tossed away a small canvas bag and fled as they approached.

The officers said they feared the teen had a weapon.

It’s the same excuse we hear all the time:  cops assume a black person is a threat. They don’t have any reason to think that. As always, the black person has far greater reason to fear the police than vice versa. The well documented cases of police brutality across the United States are testament to that fact.

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‘Get it on film’: NYC cop under investigation for punching teen out over a cigarette

Another New York City police officer was under investigation on Wednesday for allegedly punching a 17-year-old boy who was already laying down on the ground, WABC-TV reported.

The family of Marcel Hamer also filed a $5 million civil rights lawsuit against the police department and released video of Hamer’s encounter with the unidentified plainclothes officer on June 4.

The 55-second clip begins with Hamer on the ground and being held by one arm by the officer, saying, “Mister, it was just a cigarette, sir. It was just a cigarette.”

The Brooklyn Paper reported that the incident began when the officer got out of his car after seeing Hamer — who was 16 years old at the time — smoking while walking down the street, and accused him of smoking marijuana.

The camera moves just as the officer allegedly punched Hamer, but a loud thumping noise can be heard in the background. Hamer’s body appears to be limp for the remainder of the clip.

“Yeah, get it on film,” the officer can be heard saying, before being told by witnesses that Hamer was unconscious and asked to wake him up. The officer then attempts to lift Hamer before another man tries to rouse him.

We’re seeing more and more civilians filming police officers engaged in brutal acts against civilians, which is a good thing. But we need more. We need them to be accountable for their actions. We need the court system to punish these cops and we need the government to send a message to law enforcement that these actions are intolerable.

Gonna start holding my breath on all that.

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Here’s a story that could easily have led to a case of police brutality.  Thankfully this civilian knew what the cop was trying to do:

Man Effectively Flexes his Rights After Being Profiled for… Frisbee Golfing

In a video uploaded to YouTube on October 2, a man receives a written warning for having his headlights off. Then he meets the “friendly, good cop”, just your old buddy who is out to make small talk- which may allow him to violate some rights.  Luckily, the driver knew exactly how to handle the situation.

After handing the driver the written warning, the cop proceeds to make conversation- asking him if he plays frisbee golf.  The driver states that he does and next we see the true motives of the seemingly casual banter.

“I need you to answer me a question; why is it, everybody that plays frisbee golf smokes weed?” the officer asks.

The driver explains that it is not everybody, that it’s a select few, to which the officer replies “it’s everybody, man.”

We all know where this is heading.

“You can’t tell me you’ve never smoked weed before,” the officer continues.

The driver keeps his cool and does not answer the officer one way or another.

“How much weed do you have in the car tonight,”? the cop asks, as if he is an old friend.

The driver informs the officer, who is seemingly desperate to make quota, that there is nothing in the car, to which the officer begins the “so if i searched your car…” bit.

“You understand you’re free to go and everything, but you wouldn’t have a problem with me looking through your car?”

On what planet should someone who’s free to go, consent to a search? Does this line work?

The driver refuses the search, which according to the officer, means he must have weed on him.  He then claims the driver admitted to having smoked weed in the past, which was an absolute lie.  The driver simply asserted his right not to answer.

As he explained this to the officer, correcting his false claim, the officer again states that his refusal to answer equals a yes.

The man informs the cop that he is being filmed and the officer finally wraps up his attempt at trapping them into an illegal search.

Police Brutality Link Round-Up 10.9.14

First it was Stop N Frisk. Now it's Preach N Ticket?

I’m accustomed to hearing stories of cops Stopping and Frisking African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans.  I’m accustomed to stories of cops brutalizing citizens of the US, especially People of Color. I’m not use to hearing stories of police officers proselytizing during the course of a traffic stop. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened to Ellen Bogan:

Continue reading “First it was Stop N Frisk. Now it's Preach N Ticket?”

First it was Stop N Frisk. Now it's Preach N Ticket?

First it was Stop N Frisk. Now it’s Preach N Ticket?

I’m accustomed to hearing stories of cops Stopping and Frisking African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans.  I’m accustomed to stories of cops brutalizing citizens of the US, especially People of Color. I’m not use to hearing stories of police officers proselytizing during the course of a traffic stop. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened to Ellen Bogan:

Continue reading “First it was Stop N Frisk. Now it’s Preach N Ticket?”

First it was Stop N Frisk. Now it’s Preach N Ticket?