— FEATURED —
— FOLLOW US —
— POLICIES —
Except where indicated, Boing Boing is licensed under a Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution
— FONTS —
No criminal charges will be filed in the fatal police shooting of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., a 68-year-old Marine vet. He was shot to death in his White Plains, NY apartment after his medical alert device accidentally went off and signalled police to his apartment. According to reports, audio recordings captured by that device showed that a responding officer used racial slurs in addressing the man.
Anthony Carelli, the White Plains police officer who killed Chamberlain, has been accused in a separate racially-charged incident of police brutality.
Democracy Now has a big update in the homicide of 68-year-old Kenneth Chamberlain, a black Marine vet shot dead at his home by police in White Plains, New York, last November after he accidentally set off his wearable medical alert device. A previous BB post on the story is here. The victim's son and other advocates have been pressuring authorities to release the name of the officer involved:
Documented in audio recordings, the White Plains police reportedly used a racial slur, burst through Chamberlain’s door, tasered him, then shot him dead. "The last time I actually really saw my father, other than the funeral, was at the hospital, with his eyes wide open, his tongue hanging out his mouth, and two bullet holes in his chest," said Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr. "And I’m staring at my father, wondering, 'What happened?'"
The alleged shooter, Officer Anthony Carelli, is due in court later this month in an unrelated 2008 police brutality case. He is accused of being the most brutal of a group of officers who allegedly beat two arrestees of Jordanian descent and called them "rag heads."
The Trayvon Martin story remains in national headlines this week, but little media attention has been paid to a similarly troubling case: that of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr., a 68-year-old Marine vet killed in his home last November by police officers in White Plains, NY.
The officers were responding to a false alarm accidentally triggered by Chamberlain's medical alert pendant while he slept. Instead of helping the man, who had a heart condition, they broke down his front door, tasered him, reportedly called him the "n-word" and mocked him, then shot him dead.
Audio throughout the incident was recorded by his medical alert device.
"[W]hat's been pretty seriously under-covered is this past weekend's amazing outburst of out-of-control NYPD tactics on Occupy Wall Street," writes Choire Sicha at the Awl, along with a roundup of links and videos illustrating just how out-of-control those NYPD tactics are.
"No property was harmed during this installation," DocPop tells us about this hilarious teeny-tiny Lego Occupy. "From what I understand the piece has already been removed though I don't know by whom."
The reason pepper-spray ends up on the Scoville chart is that – you probably guessed this - it’s literally derived from pepper chemistry, the compounds that make habaneros so much more formidable than the comparatively wimpy bells. Those compounds are called capsaicins and – in fact – pepper spray is more formally called Oleoresin Capsicum or OC Spray.
But we’ve taken to calling it pepper spray, I think, because that makes it sound so much more benign than it really is, like something just a grade or so above what we might mix up in a home kitchen. The description hints maybe at that eye-stinging effect that the cook occasionally experiences when making something like a jalapeno-based salsa, a little burn, nothing too serious.
Until you look it up on the Scoville scale and remember, as toxicologists love to point out, that the dose makes the poison.
At the University of California at Davis this afternoon, police tore down down the tents of students inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, and arrested those who stood in their way. Others peacefully demanded that police release the arrested.
In the video above, you see a police officer [Update: UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike] walk down a line of those young people seated quietly on the ground in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, and spray them all with pepper spray at very close range. He is clearing a path for fellow officers to walk through and arrest more students, but it's as if he's dousing a row of bugs with insecticide.
Wayne Tilcock of the Davis-Enterprise newspaper has a gallery of photographs from the incident, including the image thumbnailed above (larger size at davisenterprise.com). Ten people in this scene were arrested, nine of whom were current UC Davis students. At least one woman is reported to have been taken away in an ambulance with chemical burns.
This 8-minute video was uploaded just a few hours ago, and has already become something of an iconic, viral emblem accross the web. We're flooded with eyewitness footage from OWS protests right now, but this one certainly feels like an important one, in part because of what the crowd does after the kids are pepper-sprayed. Watch the whole thing.
Thanks to the numerous Boing Boing readers who @'ed or emailed this one in. It's hard to come up with an alternate narrative that explains away the impression one gets from watching this, which is "pure awful brutality."
[Photos: Wayne Tilcock/Davis-Enterprise ]
UPDATE: Here's how much the police officer in this video, John Pike, earned in 2010. He's been an employee for a few years. And here is an open letter by UC Davis Assistant Professor Nathan Brown calling for the UC Davis Chancellor's resignation. Compare the assistant professor's pay with that of the police officer who sprayed the students. You can share your thoughts with the Chancellor here. And I've updated the post above with a second video that shows an alternate POV (thanks, Michael Van Veen). As others have noted, it's harder to enforce a media blackout when there's a wall of cellphones and digital cameras aimed at you. And here are some of the arrestees, in jail.
From the description for this video by photographer and military veteran Adam Plantz:
Bob O'Grady being arrested in the San Diego Civic Center Plaza for laying inside of his sleeping bag to stay warm while a group of non-violent occupiers from San Diego, Los Angeles, Irvine, Encinitas, and other transplants from various locations across the US pow-wow under an erected U.S. flag in the heart of the plaza; in celebration of Veteran's Day. SDPD uses excessive force to apprehend Bob, a SDPD officer uses a choking technique I never knew was legal in the continuum of force ladder. That must come after using a closed fist to assault the suspect in the face.
The San Diego Reader reports that O'Grady is 28 years old, and that he was choked and arrested at around 2:35 AM Saturday morning in San Diego's Civic Center Plaza after police ordered him to "exit his sleeping bag and sit up." The video above shows that he appeared to pose no threat to the armed officers surrounding him. Read eyewitness reports here.