This was a really bad week for (alleged) killer cops as cities respond following a year of nationwide protests
After months of sustained #BlackLivesMatter protests, there have been a seemingly unprecedented six indictments of police in the last four days. This signals a stunning departure from the long trend of non-indictments, most notably in the cases of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Tony Robinson.
The uptick in police indictments is not unique to this week, either. In fact, the rate of indictments has increased by 5 times over the course of the last 5 months, according to data compiled by criminal justice professor Philip Stinson.
The sharp rise in indictments isn’t the only change following the anti-police violence protests sweeping across the country. Americans’ confidence in police is at a 22-year low, according to a Gallup poll conducted last month.
The six indictments that took place since Monday include two former East Point, Atlanta officers charged with murdering an already handcuffed black man. Two Albuquerque police were indicted for killing a homeless man who had surrendered. A former Fairfax, Virginia officer was charged with murder for shooting a man who’d had his hands up—in his own home. Just today, a Maryland officer was charged with attempted murder for shooting an unarmed suspect who had already surrendered. Following his surrender, the police officer called him a “piece of shit” and shot him in the groin.
This week’s indictments follow a number of other high-profile police indictments: that of South Carolina officer Michael T. Slager for shooting a 50-year-old black man, Walter Scott, in the back; and University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing for shooting an unarmed black man, Sam DuBose, during a traffic stop.
More subtle changes are also taking place, regarding public attitudes toward the protests calling for police accountability.