Category Archives: Demanding Police Accountability

ab

YouTube effect’ has left police officers under siege, law enforcement leaders say

Chiefs of some of the nation’s biggest police departments say officers in American cities have pulled back and have stopped policing as aggressively as they used to, fearing that they could be the next person in a uniform featured on a career-ending viral video.

That was the unifying — and controversial — theory reached Wednesday at a private meeting of more than 100 of the nation’s top law enforcement officers and politicians.

With homicide rates soaring inexplicably this year in dozens of U.S. cities, the group convened by new U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch concluded with a brief news conference promising a robust response to the reversal of decades of falling violent crime rates.

But for hours preceding that, mayors, police chiefs, U.S. attorneys and even FBI Director James Comey privately vented in a Washington ballroom that they don’t really understand the alarming spike in murders and applause filled the room when mayors said police officers’ sinking morale could be a factor.
Participants in the discussion were told that the meeting was closed to the news media, but the mayor of D.C. listed the event as public and a Washington Post reporter entered with her entourage and observed more than three hours of the discussion.

Could the root cause be drugs? Guns? Gangs? Perhaps a little of each, said Chuck Wexler, a former top officer in Boston and head of the Police Executive Research Forum.

Wexler tried to sum up the day-long discussion for Lynch, who arrived near the end. But there was another problem, he told her, one that hits closer to home for the nation’s top cop.

“Perhaps the most difficult to calibrate, but the most significant,” he said, “is this notion of a reduction in proactive policing.”

Police chiefs and elected leaders from Baltimore, Chicago, New York and St. Louis were more blunt:

“We have allowed our police department to get fetal and it is having a direct consequence,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Lynch. “They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don’t want to be a news story themselves, they don’t want their career ended early, and it’s having an impact.”

There is no evidence of a broad retraction of police engagement with the public in major cities, and no participant in Wednesday’s summit presented a single example of lackluster policing that somehow contributed to a violent crime.

Rather, chiefs and elected officials spoke broadly of a changed atmosphere in major city police departments over the past year amid high-profile police-involved shootings and in-custody deaths that led to riots in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore.

Chiefs said patrol officers still do their jobs, clocking in and policing their beats. But fewer take extra steps such as confronting a group loitering on a sidewalk late at night that might glean intelligence or lead to arrests, for fear that any altercations that ensued would be uploaded to the Internet.

a5

Continue reading

damn

6 Police Officers Across the US Were Charged with Murder This Week, Proving Strength of Protests

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.

good

Continue reading

utah

Killings By Police in Utah Outpacing Gang, Drug, Child-Abuse, and Spousal Homicides

In the past five years, more Utahns have been killed by cops than by gang violence, drug dealers, or from child abuse.

Data from a five-year period is painting a disturbing picture of a deadly trend among Utah police officers.

Up until this year, killings by police officers ranked second only to homicide of intimate partners. However, this year, including a Saturday shooting in South Jordan, deadly force by police surpassed even violence between spouses and dating partners.

As police killings rise, more people are becoming aware and police watchdog groups are saying that it’s time we start treating deadly force by police as a potentially serious public safety problem. The Free Thought Project agrees.

“The numbers reflect that there could be an issue, and it’s going to take a deeper understanding of these shootings,” said Chris Gebhardt to the Salt Lake Tribune, a former police lieutenant and sergeant who served in Washington, D.C., and in Utah, including six years on SWAT teams and several training duties. “It definitely can’t be written off as citizen groups being upset with law enforcement.”

Continue reading

assholess

Domestic Terrorism: Cop Caught Aiming Gun at a Crowd of Hundreds of Innocent People

Baltimore, MD — A Baltimore cop was caught in a photograph, which is now going viral, pointing his pistol into a crowd of hundreds.

The incident began Sunday night as a crowd gathered to watch dirt bikers perform. Police showed up to disperse the crowd, when one of them took to threatening the lives of hundreds.

“It just seemed so egregious,” said Noah Scialom, who took the photo. “I just took a few pictures, and I couldn’t believe that he did it.”

After a glass bottle had allegedly broken near a group of officers, this one cop felt that it was necessary to respond with deadly force. According to Scialom, no other officers felt the need to brandish their weapons, and the photograph illustrates that point.

According to WDAM, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she has asked the police commissioner to investigate. A police spokesman said they take the incident seriously, and the officer has been placed on administrative duties during an investigation.

After the image had been posted to Facebook, it was met with mixed responses. While most people saw the cop as threatening and insane, a few ardent apologists praised the officer’s actions. “Looks like he knows how to handle a situation,” said one person on Facebook.

As is the standard operating procedure for police officers behaving badly, this madcap cop has not been identified but the department assures us that it is under investigation.

In this image made from video taken in August 2014, and provided by the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015, an 8-year-old boy struggles and cries out as he sits in a chair with handcuffs around his biceps and his arms locked behind him while a school resource officer stands nearby, at an elementary school in Covington, Ky. The boy’s mother, along with the mother of a 9-year-old girl who was also handcuffed at the school, have filed a federal lawsuit against the school. The lawsuit says both children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and school officials are aware of their disabilities. (American Civil Liberties Union via AP)

Parents Fighting Back, Suing Cops for Terrorizing School Children

COVINGTON, Ky. (CN) – A deputy sheriff handcuffed an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old at school in Kentucky, pinning their tiny arms above the elbows behind their backs, two mothers claim in federal court.

Described in the Aug. 3 complaint only by their initials, 8-year-old S.R. and 9-year-old L.G. allegedly endured the improper restraints on three occasions in fall 2014.

At the time, the students, both of whom suffer from disabilities, were elementary students in the Covington Independent Public Schools District, their mothers claim.

Kenton County Sheriff Charles Korzenborn entered into a deal with the district last summer to provide four deputies to serve as school resource officers through June 2015, according to the complaint.

The mothers say it was one of these officers, Kevin Sumner, who used unnecessary excessive force on their children.

“Because of the children’s small size in comparison to the handcuffs, which are designed for adults, defendant Sumner handcuffed them behind their backs and placed the handcuffs on their biceps (above the elbows),” the federal complaint states (parentheses in original).

Standing at just 3 ½ feet tall in the 2014-15 school year, S.R. was a 52-pound third-grade boy at Latonia Elementary School diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

L.G., a fourth grader last year at Carlisle Elementary School, also suffers from ADHD and weighed 56 pounds, her mother says.

Continue reading

ahole

Florida Cops Shoot and Kills Deaf Man For ‘Talking Too Loud’

A deaf man was shot by Volusia County sheriff’s deputy Joel Hernandez and the excuse the killer cop gave boils down to the fact that he was talking too loud.

Now Deputy Hernandez was under investigation for fatally shooting Edward P. Miller, police sources say. But since then officials have decided to let him off the hook with no charges.

The Sheriff’s department tells us that Hernandez was responding to an unrelated matter at Fryer’s Towing when he over heard a verbal disagreement between Miller and an employee of Fryer’s Towing.

Watch the local report from WESH Orlando below…

Continue reading

asswipes

California Cop Pulls gun on citizen in his driveway for NO reason

Rohnert Park, CA — In a video that is sure to spark outrage across the country, a Rohnert Park police officer was caught on film stalking a man for filming.

As if the harassment and intimidation for simply recording a police officer from his own property weren’t enough, this cop went so far as to exit his vehicle and pull his gun on a man who was simply practicing his freedom of speech.

The incident began as Don McComas was loading up his boat for a day on the water when he noticed a Rohnert Park police cruiser stopped in front of his house.

McComas explained the interaction on a post to his Facebook page:

I was hooking the boat up when the officer pulled slowly into my court. When he rounded infront of my house he stopped yet did nothing, then crept forward and instead of leaving toward Snyder he rounded the court opposite of me, then stopped facing me for a few minutes, doing nothing but pointing straight at me/my house. After a couple minutes I was concerned enough to pull out my phone and hit record. Glad I did.

The officer in unit 1438240 parked only a few feet away from McComas’ Excursion and just sat there in an overt attempt to intimidate an innocent man. After a few uncomfortable moments, the officer rolls down his window and begins filming back. Seconds later he jumps out of his car and begins to threaten McComas.

Within just a few seconds of exiting his vehicle, the officer drew his pistol and began approaching McComas. Remember that McComas had done absolutely nothing wrong, a fact that this officer admits upon contact.

Despite McComas having the camera in one hand and his other hand up, posing no threat whatsoever, the officer continues his advance, with his pistol drawn.

“When I saw the gun and comprehended what was happening I absolutely thought ‘they are going to kill me and claim my hand was in my pocket’ period,” said McComas.

When McComas asserts that he’s done nothing wrong and asks the officer why he got out of his vehicle, the officer proceeded to resort to elementary school tactics.”You’re taking a picture me; I’m taking a picture of you.”

Is taking a picture enough to have reasonable articular suspicion to not only stop at someone’s home but to pull a gun on them?

Luckily, McComas escapes with his life as the armed assailant walks back to his car after momentarily coming to his senses.

When the Free Thought Project reached out to the Rohnert Park Police in regards to this incident, we were told that they are aware of the incident, and they “will be responding in due course.”

Continue reading

beating

Cops Beat Man in Streets After “Illegal U-Turn”

NEW YORK — A disturbing video has surfaced online showing officers beat a man after pulling him over for an “illegal U-turn.”

The victim is Timothy Nelson, 24.

Timothy did acknowledge that he made an illegal turn and double parked to pick up some food.

But he was stunned when officers began beating him, displaying needless force instead of simply issuing him a ticket.

The video begins right when Timothy is pulled over.

The officers ask for his paperwork and he cooperates by giving it to them.

That’s when the unthinkable happens.

“He was punching me, three times. He punched my face and nose. I have a chipped fracture in the right side of my nose.”

Witnesses gathered nearby and were startled to see the man being beaten.
Continue reading

The casket of Samuel Dubose is transported to a hearse during his funeral at the Church of the Living God in the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Dubose was fatally shot by a University of Cincinnati police officer who stopped him for a missing license plate. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Ohio cop indicted on murder charge in traffic-stop shooting

CINCINNATI (AP) — A University of Cincinnati officer who shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate was indicted Wednesday on a murder charge, with a prosecutor saying the officer “purposely killed him” and “should never have been a police officer.”

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the grand jury indictment at a news conference to discuss developments in the investigation into the July 19 shooting of 43-year-old motorist Samuel DuBose by Officer Ray Tensing.

Authorities have said Tensing spotted a car driven by DuBose and missing the front license plate, which is required by Ohio law. They say Tensing stopped the car and a struggle ensued after DuBose refused to provide a driver’s license and get out of the car.

Tensing, 25, has said he was dragged by the car and forced to shoot at DuBose. He fired once, striking DuBose in the head.

But Deters dismissed Tensing’s claim that he was dragged by the car and suggested that he shouldn’t have pulled DuBose over to begin with.

Mourner Tramell Metz pauses at the hearse of Samuel Dubose before his casket is transported to a cemetery during funeral services at the Church of the Living God in the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Dubose was fatally shot by a University of Cincinnati police officer who stopped him for a missing license plate. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Mourner Tramell Metz pauses at the hearse of Samuel Dubose before his casket is transported to a cemetery during funeral services at the Church of the Living God in the Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Dubose was fatally shot by a University of Cincinnati police officer who stopped him for a missing license plate. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Continue reading

assholes

By the Numbers: US Police Kill More in a few Days than Other Countries do in Decades

Starting on Thursday, US Police killed 3 people, Friday that number doubled at 6 people killed, and at least 3 more were confirmed over Saturday and into Sunday morning.

That makes 12 lives ended prematurely by America’s ‘protectors’ in just a few days.

By contrast, China, whose population is 4 and 1/2 times the size of the United States, recorded 12 killings by law enforcement officers in 2014.

More people were killed by American police in just the last three days than were killed in 2014 in Germany, England, Spain, Switzerland, and Iceland — combined.

Anyone see a problem with this?

Police killings have gotten so out of control that they have gained the attention of those in the mainstream. While there have been the hardcore activists at sites like KilledByPolice keeping count for almost 2 years, The Guardian has also thrown their hat into the ring of police accountability.

They have just built a comprehensive and interactive database of US police killings.

According to the Guardian:

It’s rather difficult to compare data from different time periods, according to different methodologies, across different parts of the world, and still come to definitive conclusions.

But now that we have built The Counted, a definitive record of people killed by police in the US this year, at least there is some accountability in America – even if data from the rest of the world is still catching up.

Continue reading