Eric Garner's killer will not be charged

U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday said they will not charge an N.Y.P.D. officer in the death of Eric Garner, whose final words, "I can't breathe," inspired national protests against the unpunished police killings of Black people in America. Read the rest

Video released of jail officers beating up a strapped-down inmate

Two officers at Cuyahoga Country Jail were filmed beating up a man strapped into to a restraint chair, and the video was released to the media. Nicholas Evans and Timothy Dugan are each charged with felonious assault, unlawful restraint, and interfering with civil rights. Evans also tampered with the evidence, prosecutors say, when he turned off his bodycam to prevent it recording the beating.

wall camera footage was released to News 5 – it clearly shows both officers punching the inmate repeatedly in the head as he sits in a restraint chair with both his arms bound with his mouth covered. The video shows the officers speaking to the inmate, but audio was not recorded.

The indictments allege that Evans and Dugan left the inmate in the restraint chair for over two hours after beating him, instead of immediately transporting him to medical.

Be warned: the video depicts a brutal attack on a man who cannot even raise his hands to shield his face. The machine-vision quality mades it particularly disturbing. Read the rest

Harrowing video shows New Jersey cops beating up pinned teen

Three cops in New Jersey were filmed repeatedly punching a teen in the face. They demand he rolls over onto his stomach while clearly pinning him on his back, as they beat him for "resisting".

Early Sunday morning, police attempted to restrain Cyprian Luke, 19, outside a convenience store. Video recorded by someone with Luke at the time shows the police pinning him down and punching him, with one officer putting his hand around Luke's throat.

The officers are seen on camera demanding Luke, who was on his back, roll onto his stomach, while one officer had his knee on Luke's stomach.

One of the cops involved, Sgt. Michael Pier, has a reputation for similar violence, with the city paying off an earlier victim after a 2015 incident.

Punishing prisoners for following orders, or for being unable to due to their restraints, is undeniably malicious. But consider too how bad at their jobs the officers must be to get themselves into the situation here, punching a teenager over and over in the face until he is blooded and semi-conscious. Surely even the authoritarians would prefer their agents of order be less chaotically incompetent?

The trend toward bare-knuckle violence is a reminder that you can't fix cops with cameras or use-of-weapons policies. They'll just find the least accountable method to do what they want, and then do it all the same. Read the rest

Florida cops charged after one punched teen and another tried to destroy the evidence

After a raid in Miami, police Sgt. Manuel Regueiro approached and punched an 18-year-old cuffed suspect in the face. The victim warned the officers they were being filmed by the home security system. So officer Alex Gonzalez stole the evidence. But he had in fact taken the system's battery, and now both officers are being charged with crimes.

Regueiro for misdemeanor battery ... Gonzalez with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and misdemeanor petty theft.

“Shameful we have to take these actions,” the department’s director, Juan Perez, said in a Tuesday tweet. “However, any officer violating the law will face the consequences, including arrest and prosecution.”

Consider in silence how ignorant of modern technology you'd have to be to think that a modern surveillance camera's battery was a tape. Read the rest

Rapper Willie Bo shot 25 times in his car by 6 police after falling asleep in Taco Bell drive-thru

“Overkill is an understatement,” the family’s lawyer said.

Woman says she was forcibly stripped naked for 12 hours by sheriff

Zandrea Askew (28), a Marine Corps veteran, was detained by an Illinois sheriff's department on charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest. She is now suing the department for forcibly stripping her naked, violently pulling her hair, and leaving her naked on the floor for 12 hours. (The charges against her were dismissed.)

From ABC News:

The lawsuit claims several officers then slammed Askew to the ground and physically restrained her, causing bodily harm. They "forcibly and maliciously stripped" all of her clothes and undergarments from her body and "violently pulled" her hair, causing further pain and injury, according to the complaint.

"There was no legitimate or necessary law enforcement, safety or penological objective to forcibly stripping [Askew] of her clothing. The only objective of the officers was to punish, harass, humiliate, degrade, and inflict physical and psychological pain," the lawsuit states. "The officers’ conduct in stripping [Askew] of her clothing was intentionally demeaning, dehumanizing, undignified, humiliating, terrifying, embarrassing and degrading."

The department had previously settled lawsuits filed by women who say they were forcibly strip-searched.

Read the rest

Aussie cops filmed beating kid with autism, disabled senior, and more

"Horrific" CCTV footage shows a group of Aussie cops savagely beating a teen with autism, and the resulting outrage is drawing attention to the country's worsening reputation for police brutality.

In another case, Victoria police beat up a teenager who had ridden his scooter in front a police car, claiming that the baby-faced kid was the middle-aged, bearded car thief they were unable to find.

Tommy Lovett was riding by a police car on his scooter when he was wrongly arrested. ... Documents obtained by The Age reportedly support Mr Lovett’s claim that he was hurled into a fence, assaulted while handcuffed and capsicum sprayed — leaving his body bruised, grazed and bleeding. Victoria Police vehemently denied the claims and an internal investigation found nothing wrong with Mr Lovett’s arrest. However, a human rights lawyer who spoke to 7.30 said the cases — including one where a Melbourne doctor claims police threw her to the ground and punched her in the head — outlined in the investigation are alarming.

“These cases keep going on,” he said. “There’s clearly cultural systemic issues at work."

More footage shows another Aussie cop attacking a disabled senior.

A Victorian policeman retained his job and rank despite being caught on CCTV assaulting a drunk disability pensioner at Geelong Police Station.

Read the rest

Serial swatter off to jail for "at least 20 years"

Tyler Barriss, a serial hoaxer whose SWATting calls to 911 we've covered before, is off to jail. He'll serve at least 20 years, according to his plea deal, but won't be sentenced until January.

A California man has admitted making a hoax call that ultimately led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a dispute between online gamers over $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game.

Twenty-six-year-old Tyler R. Barriss pleaded guilty to making a false report resulting in a death, cyberstalking and conspiracy related to the deadly swatting case in the Kansas. The deal with prosecutors will send him to prison for at least 20 years, if the judge accepts it. He had previously pleaded not guilty in Kansas.

28-year-old Wichita, Kansas father of two, Andrew Finch, was killed by local police in 2017 after Barriss apparently took a $1.50 in-game bet to call them on him.

Vile as he is, Barriss is just a trigger: the bomb is police enthusiasm for deadly violence on the slightest pretext. Prosecutors refused to charge Justin Rapp, the cop who actually killed Finch, though his department faces a lawsuit from his family. Read the rest

Dallas P.D. fires Amber Guyger, cop who entered neighbor's apartment and killed him

After first claiming it was unable to do, Dallas P.D. has fired Amber Guyger, the officer who forced her way into a neighbor's apartment and killed him, supposedly under the impression that it was her home and that he was an intruder.

Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall terminated Police Officer Amber Guyger, #10702, during a hearing held September 24, 2018.

An Internal Affairs investigation concluded that on September 9, 2018, Officer Guyger, #10702, engaged in adverse conduct when she was arrested for Manslaughter.

Officer Guyger was terminated for her actions. She was hired in November 2013 and was assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division.

Under civil service rules, Officer Guyger has the right to appeal her discipline.

Guyger is trouble, but has received an alarming degree of special treatment since killing Botham Jean. Read the rest

Activists teaching Australian Aboriginals to protect themselves by recording their interactions with law enforcement

Smartphone video footage of police brutality being exercised against black Americans and other ethnic minorities living their lives within the nation’s borders have become depressingly commonplace. While difficult to watch and, most likely for the videographer, difficult to stand by and film, such footage can be an important tool in bringing cops who abuse the power of their office to justice. The news, social media and water cooler talk here in North America often overflows with reports of abuses of power by law enforcement officials. It’s easy to forget that the very same brand of injustice and violence are served up in other parts of the world – a lot.

According to The New York Times, in Australia, a country that’s been marred by institutional racism since its inception, “...aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are incarcerated at 13 times the rate of non-Indigenous Australians. They make up 27 percent of Australia’s prisoners, compared with 3 percent of the overall population.” Given the disproportionate representation of Indigenous Australians in the clink, it’s safe to say that there’s some greasy shit going on Down Under, of a similar sort to the greasy shit we see going on up here in places like New York City and Ferguson, Missouri.

To help Australia aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander peoples to mitigate this prejudicial treatment at the hands of those meant to serve and protect them, human rights activists are teaching them how to respond to the threat of police violence and to record their interactions with law enforcement, just like we do up here:

From The New York Times:

The Copwatch workshops, activists said, are intended to teach people their legal rights and how to safely record interactions with police officers.

Read the rest

Angry Louisiana cops strangle man to death after he asks to see his arrest warrant

Armando Frank, 44, refused to get off his tractor when stopped by police. He demanded to see an arrest warrant. But the cops arresting him didn't have time for that sort of legal stuff. So they attacked him, then killed him when he resisted.

A video recording of the arrest, obtained by The Advocate, shows officers growing frustrated with Frank, 44, after he refuses to step down from a tractor near a Walmart store along La. 1. A use-of-force expert who reviewed the 10-minute recording at the newspaper's request says the law officers escalated the exchange by placing Frank in a choke hold and attempting to yank him off the tractor. ... A forensic pathologist hired by the parish had said in a report that manual strangulation was the primary cause of Frank’s death. The video shows Spillman mount the tractor behind Frank and apply a choke hold while another officer tries to pull him down. For a time, Frank is doubled-over while resisting. Officers had to carry Frank to a patrol car after his body went limp.

The killers' names are Brandon Spillman and Alexander Daniel, deputies in Avoyelles parish, and Marksville, La., police officer Kenneth Parnell.

It is completely reasonable to receive a calm, detailed answer when you are asked why you are being arrested, rather than being executed in the street by enraged, screaming, out-of-control cops: “There’s no exigent circumstance here. He’s not attempting to flee, he’s not assaulting anybody, he’s sitting on a tractor and he’s asking reasonable questions they are refusing to answer,” said a use-of-force expert interviewed by The Advocate. Read the rest

New Orleans cops beat man up for being a "fake American"

Two New Orleans police officers were charged with battery this week after beating up a man they decided was a "fake American," reports CBS News. The officers were white and the victim hispanic; they told him they "didn't like his camouflage clothing."

Spencer Sutton and John Galman were booked on one count each of simple battery in connection with the beating of Jorge Alberto "George" Gomez early Tuesday, reports CBS affiliate WWL-TV.

Gomez said the two off-duty officers, who are white, began harassing him inside Mid-City Yacht Club, saying they didn't like his camouflage clothing and asking him whether he had served in the military, reports the New Orleans Advocate. Gomez said he told the men he was born in the U.S. but was raised in Honduras before he returned to live in New Orleans and served in the National Guard, but the men wouldn't accept his answer.

WWL-TV confirmed that Gomez, who is Hispanic, served with the Louisiana National Guard.

The cops tried to claim Gomez was the aggressor, but surveillance video made liars of them. Read the rest

Black teen, roughed up by cop, wins settlement in McKinney, Texas

Dajerria Becton, the black teenage girl roughed up by Texas cop Eric Casebolt at a suburban a pool party, has won a $184k settlement from the city of McKinney over the attack.

Casebolt was seen dragging Dajerria by the hair, slamming her to the ground, pinning her down and then handcuffing her, all while she called out for someone to call her mother.

Though it didn't result in signifant injury or death, this incident exemplified enduring problem with policing in America: inappropriate training, institutional irresponsibility, and big white cops satisfying themselves with violence on little black kids.

The screengrab is taken from a video of the attack recorded by Brandon Books, without which it is as likely Casebolt would have been praised by his superiors rather than merely insulated by them from legal consequences.

Here he leaps into the fray, lest justice be evaded:

Here he reaches for his gun, lest justice be resisted:

Read the rest

Police set dog on a driver who politely refuses to answer questions

WKYC Channel 3 in Canton, Ohio, posted footage of police smashing a car window, dragging out the driver and setting a dog on him after he very politely refused to answer questions. The driver, Ronald D. Wagner II, appears to be a "sovereign citizen" type who refuses to screw the number plate on their car for arcane constitutional reasons. Their excuse? The car's registered owner had a concealed carry permit, so they were frightened for their lives: "Stop fighting the dog"

Listen to his screams and ask yourself if America is great again. Read the rest

No charges for cops who pinned Alton Sterling to the ground and executed him

Surprise!

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry declined to criminally charge the two white Baton Rouge police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, in July 2016 outside a convenience store, according to Sterling's family.

Veda Washington-Abusaleh, Sterling's aunt, confirmed that Landry will announce Tuesday he will not charge the officers. The family met with Landry at his office ahead of a 10 a.m. news conference to announce his decision.

Landry's holding a press conference right now; the thrust of his excuses are as follows: because Sterling was resisting arrest, the cop experienced subjective fear, and someone said there might be a gun, it was ok to "incapacitate Mr. Sterling" by shooting him in the back while pinned on the ground. (Video later proved that Sterling didn't reach for the concealed gun he owned)

Key facts:

• If they're afraid, they can kill you. • If you resist arrest, they can kill you. • If someone says there's a gun, they can kill you. • Guns are for whites. Read the rest

Cop charged with assault after beating "jaywalking" pedestrian

Leaked footage of a police officer repeatedly punching a pedestrian led to charges for Christopher Hickman, the Asheville, NC cop who also lost his job after the attack on August 24 last year. Hickman claimed that Johnnie Jermaine Rush was jaywalking and had assaulted him when challenged, but bodycam video showed a more sinister incident in which Hickman, who is white, told his black victim "you are going to get fucked up hard core", chokes him, repeatedly strikes his head with his fist, then tases him.

"I beat the shit out of his head," Hickman says on the recording. "Not gonna lie about that."

The police chief, Tammy Hooper, has also offered to resign.

Police said they plan to present an investigation into whether Hickman’s actions against Rush were criminal to the district attorney next week.

“This is a human rights issue, and Hickman should’ve been charged from day one,” local Black Lives Matter leader DeLores Venable said during Wednesday’s meeting, per the Citizen-Times report. “If no one would’ve leaked it or said something, we would be in the dark.”

Hooper issued a public apology March 1, saying, “The acts demonstrated in this video are unacceptable and contrary to the department’s vision and the progress we have made in the last several years in improving community trust.”

Jaywalking is a ridiculous crime to begin with, but "jaywalking" in the dead of night on an empty road in Asheville? No wonder people were curious about the circumstances of the arrest, and no wonder the footage had to be leaked before the public saw it. Read the rest

Lawyer says nine NYPD officers bullied teen girl who accused two detectives of cuffing and raping her

Remember the story about the two NYPD narcotics detectives -- Eddie Martins and Richard Hall -- who said a teen girl they handcuffed and put into an unmarked van "consented" to have sex with them? Her lawyer said that when she went to the hospital, nine NYPD officers went into her room and tried to intimidate her into not pressing rape charges against the officers.

From Huffington Post:

“Nine cops came initially from the 60th Precinct and then another four or five from another precinct,” [lawyer Micheal] David said. “They were basically trying to intimidate [victim Anna Chambers (a pseudonym)] and her mother ... to get them to say it wasn’t cops.”

David said he only learned of the alleged intimidation attempt earlier this month during a meeting with Chambers’ mother. She mentioned that cops had “bullied” them at the hospital on the night of the assault, he said.

According to David, the group of officers interrogated Chambers and her mother after the hospital had filed a report about the rape allegation with the police. One cop spoke to Chambers’ mother in Russian, her native language, and allegedly told her that Chambers often filed complaints against police. But David said his client had “never” filed a complaint ― until that day.

When the victim and her mother refused to back down, Detective Martins and Detective Hall decided to slut shame and victim blame the girl. From the Kansas City Star:

Martins and Hall allegedly tried to attack the woman’s credibility by pointing out her raunchy social media posts and a $50 million claim against the city.

Read the rest

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