Tag Archive: Police


The NYPD is the biggest police force in the country, with over 34,000 uniformed officers patrolling New York’s streets, and 51,000 employees overall — more than the FBI. It has a proposed budget of $4.6 billion for 2013, a figure that represents almost 15 percent of the entire city’s budget.

NYC’s population is a little over 8 million. That means that there are 4.18 police officers per 1,000 people. By comparison, Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S. with 3.8 million people, has only 9,895 officers–a ratio of 2.6 police per 1,000 people. [Read more]

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A white Milwaukee police officer fired after killing a mentally ill black man in April won’t face criminal charges, the top county prosecutor said Monday, a decision that prompted the U.S. attorney to later announce a federal investigation of the incident.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said Christopher Manney won’t be charged because he shot Dontre Hamilton in self-defense. Manney is at least the third white police officer across the country to avoid charges in the past month after a confrontation that led to a black man’s death. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-12a – Michael’s Blog

From the dingy donut shops of Manhattan to the cloistered police watering holes in Brooklyn, a number of black NYPD officers say they have experienced the same racial profiling that cost Eric Garner his life.

Garner, a 43-year-old black man suspected of illegally peddling loose cigarettes, died in July after a white officer put him in a chokehold. His death, and that of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, has sparked a slew of nationwide protests against police tactics. On Saturday, those tensions escalated after a black gunman, who wrote of avenging the black deaths on social media, shot dead two New York policemen. [Read more]

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Eric Garner’s death is difficult to watch, but at least we can watch it. We can dissect it and determine what the cops did wrong, maybe what Garner could have done differently. We can examine it in the hopes that it will prompt change in police tactics, so perhaps something that awful won’t happen again. And while that video didn’t lead to the charges many wished for, at least we know—without a shadow of a doubt—what happened that day.

On the streets of Chicago, things can be very different.

Like all law enforcement agencies, the Chicago Police Department is not required to report the number of incidents where an officer fires their gun, or, necessarily, when a subject is killed in police custody. [Read more]

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The family of a California bank teller who was killed after three robbers took her hostage has questioned whether police used unreasonable force during a pursuit through city streets.

Misty Holt-Singh, a 41-year-old mother of two, was kidnapped with two other people during the July 16 robbery of a Bank of the West branch in Stockton. [Read more]

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On a clear, warm April day in 2013, a 35-year-old father of two, Ortiz Glaze, was manning a grill in his South Chicago neighborhood. He was cooking seafood, chicken and potatoes for scores of guests, including kids, in a parking lot. The barbecue, which stretched from day to night, was to commemorate his friend who had recently died from a shooting.

A group of Chicago police officers pulled up to the party, some wearing plain clothes and arriving in unmarked cars.

What happened next is where the stories differ. Police officers say Glaze was holding a cup appearing to contain alcohol, was ignoring orders and was gesturing to his waistband where Officer Louis Garcia and his partner, Officer Jeffrey Jones, say they believed he stowed a gun. [Read more]

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Over the past year, the Seattle police department has revised its policies on when police can use force, as part of a settlement with the Justice Department over findings that officers used frequent excessive, unconstitutional force on suspects.

But some 125 Seattle police officers responded by filing a lawsuit challenging the new laws. In their view, the new policies infringe on their rights to use as much force as they deem necessary in self-protection. They represent about ten percent of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild membership. The police union itself declined to endorse the lawsuit. [Read more]

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In 1974, while imprisoned in Beaufort County Jail in Washington North Carolina, Joan Little defended herself against sexual violence by a white guard by stabbing him with an ice pick. She was charged with first-degree murder by an all-white jury, and faced the death penalty. In 1975, she was acquitted, the first time a woman had been acquitted of murder on the grounds of self-defense against sexual assault.

In a different case, police were called to Tiawanda Moore‘s home because of a domestic dispute, and a police officer sexually assaulted her. When Moore tried to report the assault to police internal affairs, she was discouraged from doing so, so she started recording the conversation on her cellphone. When caught recording, Moore was arrested and charged with two counts of eavesdropping, and faced up to 15 years in prison. [Read more]

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An officer with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Department in central Washington is offering me a tank. Three of them, actually.

“We really want to get rid of these,” Undersheriff John Wisemore says. “We’ve been trying to get the military to take them back since 2004.”

The tanks came from a vast Defense Department program that has furnished American police arsenals, at no charge, with $4.3 billion worth of combat equipment leftover from two foreign wars. The tanks are amphibious, capable of firing 107-mm mortars—and not remotely useful to Wisemore’s rural police department. But the county can’t seem to unload them. Back in June, Wisemore got an email from a Defense Department liaison promising to explain how Chelan County can get rid of the tanks. Then, nothing. Until further notice, Wisemore says, “they’re just going to sit there.” [Read more]

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Notable articles, op-eds and news from the United States – summarized in one blog-post, updated daily (mostly) – latest posts on top.

 

September 8th, 2014


 

We still lie about slavery: Here’s the truth about how the American economy and power were built on forced migration and torture | Salon

A beautiful late April day, seventy-two years after slavery ended in the United States. Claude Anderson parks his car on the side of Holbrook Street in Danville. On the porch of number 513, he rearranges the notepads under his arm. Releasing his breath in a rush of decision, he steps up to the door of the handmade house and knocks.

Danville is on the western edge of the Virginia Piedmont. Back in 1865, it had been the last capital of the Confederacy. Or so Jefferson Davis had proclaimed on April 3, after he fled Richmond. Davis stayed a week, but then he had to keep running. The blue-coated soldiers of the Army of the Potomac were hot on his trail. When they got to Danville, they didn’t find the fugitive rebel. But they did discover hundreds of Union prisoners of war locked in the tobacco warehouses downtown. The bluecoats, rescuers and rescued, formed up and paraded through town. Pouring into the streets around them, dancing and singing, came thousands of African Americans. They had been prisoners for far longer.

In the decades after the jubilee year of 1865, Danville, like many other southern villages, had become a cotton factory town. Anderson, an African-American master’s student from Hampton University, would not have been able to work at the segregated mill. But the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a bureau of the federal government created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, would hire him. To put people back to work after they had lost their jobs in the Great Depression, the WPA organized thousands of projects, hiring construction workers to build schools and artists to paint murals. And many writers and students were hired to interview older Americans—like Lorenzo Ivy, the man painfully shuffling across the pine board floor to answer Anderson’s knock. [Read more]

Christian Group ‘Derecognized’ at State’s Colleges Because It Requires Leaders to Hold Christian Beliefs — and Writer Wonders What’s Next | Blaze

After an international Christian group for college students, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, was “derecognized” by all 23 California State University schools because IVCF wouldn’t stop requiring its leaders to hold Christian beliefs, a writer for Christianity Today wondered what might be coming next.

“It’s not just InterVarsity that will be impacted,” Ed Stetzer wrote. “Following the same logic, any group that insists on requiring its leaders to follow an agreed upon set of guiding beliefs is no longer kosher (irony intended) at California’s state universities. This will impact many other faith-based organizations with actual, well, faith-based beliefs. Presumably, even People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would have to allow Oscar Meyer to lead their campus chapters.” [Read more]

Why a U.S. “Southern Initiative” on Climate Justice is Needed | OpEdNews

Climate-related disasters in the southern United States have outnumbered those in other regions of the U.S. annually in both scale and magnitude by a ratio of almost 4:1 during the past decade. The Southeast U.S. for the period 1980-2012 had more billion-dollar disasters than the rest of the country combined. The southern region is vulnerable because of its physical location. The region is also vulnerable because of its high prevalence of concentrated poverty, uninsured households, income and wealth inequality, health care disparities, and food insecurity–combined create a perfect storm of vulnerability if and when natural and human-made disasters strike. [Read more]

St. Louis Police Shot 16 Before Michael Brown in 2014 | truthout

By the time of Michael Brown’s murder, St. Louis area police had already shot at least 16 people in 2014, the vast majority of whom were black.

Truthout obtained this figure by examining news reports from January 1 to August 6 of 2014. On August 10, protests opposing the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown began. You can view the data Truthout compiled here. [Read more]

The Rise of the SWAT Team in American Policing | New York Times

Posse comitatus is not a phrase that trips lightly off every tongue. It is typically translated from Latin as “force of the county.” Anyone who has ever watched an old Western movie will instantly recognize the first word as referring to men deputized by the sheriff to chase down some varmints who went thataway. (Rappers and their tag-alongs later gave “posse” a different context.) The full phrase is more obscure, but the concept that it embraces is enshrined in American law. The Posse Comitatus Act, passed in 1878 at the end of Reconstruction and amended but slightly over the decades, prohibits the nation’s armed forces from being used as a police force within the United States. Soldiers, the reasoning goes, exist to fight wars. Chasing local wrongdoers is a job for cops.

But many police departments today are so heavily armed with Pentagon-supplied hand-me-downs — tools of war like M-16 rifles, armored trucks, grenade launchers and more — that the principle underlying the Posse Comitatus Act can seem as if it, too, has gone thataway. Questions about whether police forces are overly militarized have been around for years. They are now being asked with new urgency because of the recent turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., where unarmed demonstrators protesting the fatal police shooting of a teenager faced off for a while against mightily armed officers in battle dress and gas masks. What the world saw were lawmen looking more like combat troops in the Mideast than peacekeepers in the Midwest. [Read more]

NYPD officers take turns beating Bronx man after search turns up nothing | Raw Story

A Bronx man has accused a half-dozen NYPD officers of taking turns beating and kicking him after he asked an officer why he had been searched when she was responding to a noise complaint, according to ABC7.

According to Santiago Hernandez, 23, he was standing in front of a home in the Melrose section of the Bronx on August 18th when a uniformed NYPD officer stopped and asked to frisk him. [Read more]

Guardian Reports Damning New Facts Re: White Cop’s Murder of Black Wal-Mart Shopper Crawford | Daily Kos

Sunday’s Guardian story on the Beavercreek, Ohio police murder killing of 22-year-old Wal-Mart shopper John Crawford, on August 5th, brings to light new facts about the case which should make any reader’s blood curdle.

Here’s the excerpt of the opening of the story… [Read more]

An Energy Boom Lifts the Heartland | New York Times

Waist-high weeds and a crumbling old Chevy mark the entrance to a rust-colored factory complex on the edge of town here, seemingly another monument to the passing of the golden age of American industry.

But deep inside the 14-acre site, the thwack-thwack-thwack sound of metal on metal tells a different story.

“We’re holding our own,” said Greg Hess, who is looking to hire draftsmen and machine operators at the company he runs, Youngstown Bending and Rolling. “I feel good that we saved this place from the wrecking ball.” [Read more]

Driving American Politics Underground | truthdig

Politics, if we take politics to mean the shaping and discussion of issues, concerns and laws that foster the common good, is no longer the business of our traditional political institutions. These institutions, including the two major political parties, the courts and the press, are not democratic. They are used to crush any vestiges of civic life that calls, as a traditional democracy does, on its citizens to share among all its members the benefits, sacrifices and risks of a nation. They offer only the facade of politics, along with elaborate, choreographed spectacles filled with skillfully manufactured emotion and devoid of real political content. We have devolved into what Alexis de Tocqueville feared—“democratic despotism.”

The squabbles among the power elites, rampant militarism and the disease of imperialism, along with a mindless nationalism that characterizes all public debate, have turned officially sanctioned politics into a carnival act. [Read more]

Fleshing Out Nixon’s Vietnam ‘Treason’ | Consortium News

One of America’s great political mysteries continues to come into sharper focus: Did Richard Nixon sabotage President Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in 1968 to win that election and did Nixon’s fear of exposure lead him to create the burglary team that got caught at Watergate in 1972?

Pieces of this puzzle began to fall into place even in real time as Beverly Deepe, the Christian Science Monitor’s Saigon reporter, got wind of Nixon’s treachery before the 1968 election although her editors spiked her article when they couldn’t get confirmation in Washington. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Almost Scoop on Nixon’s ‘Treason.’”]
Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States.

In the ensuing years, other journalists and historians began assembling the outlines of Nixon’s peace-talk sabotage with the story getting its first big splash of attention when Seymour Hersh made reference to it in his 1983 biography of Henry Kissinger, The Price of Power. [Read more]

Why Are Cops Shooting So Many Mentally Ill People? | Alternet

Kajieme Powell, 25, was known to have suffered from mental health issues. But the cops who responded to the disturbance call on August 21 didn’t know this. They ended up shooting him dead in a corner store parking lot moments after they arrived.

Powell was the fourth mentally ill person killed by police officers in a two-week time span in the U.S. The number of men and women being shot by cops recently has sparked conversations—and sharp criticsm—about law enforcement, especially how police are trained to deal with suspects who may have mental health issues. [Read more]

The NRA’s Multimillion-Dollar New Ad Campaign Is Despicable | The Daily Beast

When the gunman announced a stick-up, 51-year-old McDaniel Watson Jr. likely worried less about his wallet than about the small King James Bible he always carried in his front pocket.

Watson said something the wife beside him could not make out. The gunman’s response to Watson’s slight hesitation rang out through the park in Birmingham, Alabama, where the couple had been taking an evening walk a week ago Friday.

The Navy veteran and father of three fell with a fatal bullet wound to the head and became the country’s latest gun victim. He still had the Bible that he not only carried but also lived by. [Read more]

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