ACLU releases video of brutal beating of motorist by enraged cop

In dashcam video posted by the ACLU, police officer Joe Joswiak pulls over Anthony Promvongsa, driving a dark SUV. Joswiak immediately approaches the vehicle screaming "get out of the car motherfucker!", with his gun drawn and posed sideways. Then he starts pounding and kicking at Promvongsa through the open car door — before Promvongsa seems to have a chance to do anything.

Read the rest

Dashcam video shows killing of Philando Castile

Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted Friday after killing Philando Castile last July. Castile, unarmed, had disclosed to Yanez that he was a legal owner of a concealed-carry firearm as he reached for his driver's license, as Yanez had requested. Yanez shot him seven times in front of his wife and child, later claiming that the smell of marijuana, and his inability to see what Castile was reaching for, justified the killing. Viewers watched the aftermath on Facebook Live, broadcast by Castile's distraught wife. The Star-Tribune synchronized and superimposed the two videos — only the dashcam footage is embedded above.

Tyrone Terrill, president of the African-American Leadership Council, said the video could further widen the gap in community-police relations.

"No, no, no," Terrill said minutes after viewing the video. "You don't have to remain calm on this one. You have a right to be outraged. You have a right to be angry. And I would be disappointed if you weren't outraged, if you weren't angry. It raises the question — how will you ever get a guilty verdict?"

He said he tried to point the gun away from the little girl in the back seat. He heard her screaming. "I acknowledged the little girl first because I wanted her to be safe."

Yanez attended a training course that teaches cops to think like "bulletproof warriors", to shoot without a second thought, and that the rush of killing people leads to "the best sex of their lives"

In the class recorded for “Do Not Resist,” Grossman at one point tells his students that the sex they have after they kill another human being will be the best sex of their lives.

Read the rest

Police lawyer threatens reporter: don't report smirking cop's corpse selfie

A St. Louis-area police officer was photographed posing with a murder victim's corpse, and a police lawyer threatened the newsroom to whom the image was leaked. KMOV, far from being impressed by the attempt to intimidate it, posted Lauren Trager's article wondering what on Earth a cops was doing giving the thumbs up while fooling around with Omar Rahman's dead body — and also Lynette M. Petruska's threatening letter.

“In your mind, is there any reasonable explanation for what that officer was doing?” asked Investigative Reporter Lauren Trager. “No,” said Staton. “Because when they come to a call, they're supposed to be there to help and protect, not doing what he was doing with thumbs up and a smirk on his face.”

Staton's attorney, Antonio Romanucci, agrees.

“It's hideous. The implications of this photograph are just astronomical,” said Romanucci.

He believes something isn't right.

“I have seen thousands and thousands of forensic photographs, I have never seen a staged photograph of an officer next to a deceased body,” Romanucci said.

The North County Policing Cooperative covers Vinita Park and Wellston, just outside of St. Louis city limits in Missouri. The legal letters are a good read; KMOV's counsel's reply may be compared to that given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram. Read the rest

Chicago cop who sexually assaulted a man with a screwdriver keeps his job

In October, a civil court jury ruled that Chicago police officer Scott Korhonen sexually assaulted a 20-year-old black man with a screwdriver.

The taxpayers will pay $4 million to the victim. They will also continue to pay Officer Korhonen's salary, because he gets to keep his job.

From The Guardian

District Court Judge James Holderman, who presided over the hearing, said in court documents there was a “preponderance of evidence” in Mr Coffie's favour.

“This was a clear case,“ he said, ruling that: "Korhonen unreasonably inserted a screwdriver in Coffie's rectum in violation of Coffie's constitutional rights and that [Korhonen's partner, Officer Gerald] Lodwich knowingly failed to stop Korhonen's unconstitutional conduct."

“In addition, the evidence clearly showed that Korhonen and Lodwich each knowingly testified falsely at the trial.”

Officer Korhonen's mother must be so proud of her son. Read the rest

Half of all U.S. adults are in face-recognition databases, and Black people more likely to be targeted

One in two American adults is in a law enforcement face recognition network.

“The Perpetual Lineup” report out today from a Georgetown University thinktank makes a compelling case for greater oversight of police facial-recognition software that “makes the images of more than 117 million Americans — a disproportionate number of whom are black — searchable by law enforcement agencies across the nation,” as the New York Times account reads.

Read the rest

Report finds over 125,000 complaints against more than 25,000 Chicago police officers

An analysis of five decades of police records by The Chicago Tribune found that a small group of Chicago police officers have racked up over 100 complaints each over the course of their respective careers, “including notoriously corrupt cops who wound up in prison but also others whose allegations of repeated wrongdoing were never before made public.”

Read the rest

El Cajon police say unarmed black man pointed vape at officer before he was shot to death

Alfred Okwera Olango, who was black, was fatally shot by police in El Cajon, California on Tuesday. Police in the San Diego suburb city say the 38 year old Ugandan immigrant pointed a vape pen or e-cigarette device at them, before police shot the man to death.

Officers were responding to a call of a man behaving erratically, and walking in traffic. Olango's friends and supporters say court records show that he suffered from mental illness, and may have been experiencing a seizure before his death. An El Cajon police officer is believed to have shot Olango within as little as one or two minutes after arriving at the scene.

Read the rest

Video: Keith Lamont Scott's wife captured killing by Charlotte, N.C. police. "Don't shoot him. He has no weapon."

Rakeyia Scott, the wife of recent police shooting victim Keith L. Scott, recorded a video on her cell phone just before and after the fatal shooting of her husband by police in Charlotte, N.C. The New York Times obtained the video from attorneys for the Scott family. It includes graphic violence of a man being killed by police, and strong language. Read the rest

Phoenix officers accused of forcing man to eat marijuana

Three gentleman were allowed to resign from their jobs after they were accused of forcing a 19-year-old man to eat marijuana. The gentlemen's names are Richard G. Pina, Jason E. McFadden, and Michael J. Carnicle, and they were all Phoenix Police Department officers.

The officers' superior, Lt. Jeff Farrior, was told about the incident but chose not to investigate. For this, he was demoted to the position of sergeant. From USA Today:

All three officers had been wearing body cameras but they were turned off at the time, he said.

The 19-year-old, a Phoenix resident, brought the matter to the department's attention, Yahner said. The man reported that several officers stopped him for a traffic violation at about 3:30 a.m. Sept. 13. The officers were reported to have found marijuana in his vehicle during the stop, [Phoenix Police Chief Joe] Yahner said.

When the marijuana was found, the man told police, officers demanded he eat the marijuana to avoid being taken to jail, Yahner said. The man said he ate about a gram of marijuana, was issued traffic tickets and then released. He reported being sick as a result.

Read the rest

Charlotte, NC: "Release the video" of Keith Scott's death by police

This powerful statement from the New York Times editorial board captures the cries of many people on the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina tonight.

Read the rest

Cops pepper-spray 15-year-old girl who fell off her bike

This is very sad and infuriating. A 15-year-old girl from Hagerstown, Maryland was riding her bike and collided with a car. When police arrived they told her an ambulance was going to take her to the hospital. She didn't want to go. She got back on her bike, but before she could get away, an officer grabbed her from behind. The next thing you know, she was roughed up, cuffed, put in the back of a patrol car, and then pepper sprayed. Instead of taking her to the hospital, the officers took her to the police station for interrogation.

Read the rest

St. Louis cop accused of planting gun on black man he shot to death

“I’m going to kill this motherfucker.” That's what St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was recorded saying to his partner Brian Bianchi while they were chasing drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith in his car. Stockley kept his word. Once they stopped Smith, Officer Stockley shot him five times, killing him.

Now, newly released video shows Officer Stockley rummaging through a duffel bag in the back of his police SUV, then entering Smith's car. Officer Stockley said he found a gun in Smith's car, but the only DNA found on the gun belonged to Officer Stockley.

Officer Stockley was charged with first degree murder.

From NY Daily News

Prosecutors have not accused Stockley of planting the firearm that he says Smith has, and told KTVI "The people of the City of St. Louis have a right to determine whether the State has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The courtroom is the appropriate forum for this matter."

Stockley has been released on $1 million bail and a hearing for his case is set for Oct. 3.

Smith's daughter reached a $900,000 settlement with the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners in 2013.

Read the rest

Police accidentally record themselves conspiring to fabricate criminal charges against protester

ACLU is suing Connecticut state police for making false charges against a man who was protesting a DUI checkpoint.

On September 11, 2015, Connecticut resident Michael Picard was filming a protest near a police DUI checkpoint in West Hartford. Unbeknownst to the troopers who confiscated his camera, it was rolling while they appeared to fabricate criminal charges against him.

“Let’s give him something,” one trooper declared. Another suggested, “we can hit him with creating a public disturbance.” “Gotta cover our ass,” remarked a third.

Read the rest

Video released of Tulsa police fatally shooting unarmed black man Terence Crutcher

WARNING: The video in this post is graphic and documents a violent death.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, police have released video that shows a white police officer shooting and killing an unarmed black man. In the video, Terence Crutcher can be seen raising his hands above his head.

Read the rest

NYPD: We can't tell you how much cash we seize because it would break our computers

New York City councilmember Ritchie Torres wants to know how much cash NYPD seizes every from citizens every year using using civil asset forfeiture, so he introduced legislation requiring annual reports from NYPD. But NYPD said at a hearing that the bill shouldn't be allowed to pass because NYPD's computers will crash if they attempt to generate the reports. Sounds legit!

Via Village Voice

"Attempts to perform the types of searches envisioned in the bill will lead to system crashes and significant delays during the intake and release process," said Assistant Deputy Commissioner Robert Messner, while testifying in front of the council's Public Safety Committee. "The only way the department could possibly comply with the bill would be a manual count of over half a million invoices each year."

When asked by councilmember Dan Garodnick whether the NYPD had come to the hearing with any sort of accounting for how much money it has seized from New Yorkers this past year, the NYPD higher-ups testifying simply answered "no."

[via] Read the rest

Austin cops investigated for violence, racist remarks against black teacher

Last year, Austin police office Bryan Richter approached a woman in a parking lot and told her to get back into her car. He told the woman, a black 26-year-old school teacher that he'd seen her speeding a few minutes earlier. The woman hesitated and questioned him but got in the car. But she kept her feet out of the car. Officer Richter pulled her from the car and violently slammed her to the ground twice. He handcuffed her and arrested her.

As she was sitting in the back of a patrol car on the way to jail, Richter's partner explained to the woman that it was necessary to throw her to the ground and handcuff her because black people have "violent tendencies."

The officers' superiors reviewed the video and gave Officer Richter the lowest level of discipline: counseling and training. Since that time, the video was viewed by higher ranking members of the force and both officers have been pulled from the streets pending a full investigation. Charges against the woman were dropped.

From KVUE:

While King was being transported to jail on a charge of resisting arrest, she spoke with Officer Patrick Spradlin about relations between officers and the black community. Police video caught some of Spradlin’s explanations about why some people fear African-Americans.

“I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way. Violent tendencies. And I want you to think about that,” Spradlin said on video.

Charges against King were dropped after prosecutors saw the video of her being slammed to the ground.

Read the rest

Charges dismissed for cop who paralyzed innocent grandfather on a stroll

Charges were dismissed for the Madison, Alabama police officer who body slammed a 58-year-old man from India walking on the sidewalk last year. Sureshbhai Patel, who does not understand English, was seriously injured and needed an operation to fuse two vertebrae.

From NBC News:

Hank Sherrod, Patel's attorney, told NBC News in an email that the state's decision to drop the assault charge is deeply troubling, though not entirely surprising.

"This decision illustrates how difficult it is to hold law enforcement officers accountable under the criminal laws for brutal acts that would send an ordinary citizen to jail," he said.

[Former Madison, Ala. police officer Eric Sloan] Parker, 27, still faces a civil lawsuit in connection with the incident. Parker encountered Patel last Feb. 6 while responding to a call of a suspicious black man looking at garages and walking near houses. Patel, in from India to visit his son and grandson, testified that he did not understand English or the officers who confronted him while he was out for a walk.

Nice people around the world gave $209,000 to Mr. Patel's GoFundMe account. Read the rest

More posts