Why are Republicans like Chris Christie so adamant in their opposition to BLM?
Because it is working. It is causing a new look not only at violence perpetrated by bad Police, but at the entire judicial system as well as the carceral state. It threatens to tear down a supporting pillar of white privilege and system of disenfranchising minority voters.
A dozen officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter this year resulting from shootings.
The number of U.S. police officers charged in fatal shootings has hit the highest level in a decade in 2015, new research shows, driven by greater scrutiny over use of deadly force.
Public outrage over the deaths of black men at the hands of police in New York, Missouri and elsewhere have spurred prosecutions. Police body cameras and bystanders’ videos also have helped bring cases, but even with the upturn, only a small percentage of police killings result in charges, lawyers and analysts say.
A dozen officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter this year resulting from shootings, up from an average of about five a year from 2005 to 2014, said Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminology at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. He sifted court records and media reports as part of research for the Justice Department on police crimes and arrests.
The 2015 number does not include six Baltimore officers facing trial for the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old black man died in April from a spinal injury after he was arrested and bundled in a transport van. Four of the officers face murder or manslaughter charges.
None of the officers has been convicted, and over the previous decade just one in five officers charged was found guilty, said Stinson, a former police officer.
Stinson, attorneys and criminologists say it is too early to tell if the upturn indicates a permanent change or is a statistical fluke.
“We can tell for one year, but is that just an anomaly or is it a trend?” said Stinson.
The prosecutions represent only a small fraction of the killings by U.S. police. A Washington Post database last week showed 796 fatal police shootings this year, and one maintained by the Guardian newspaper recorded 927 deaths from all causes.
The United States has lacked official numbers on police-related deaths, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch said this month that the Justice Department was trying to improve data on the use of force by police. A study for the department said in March that less than half of arrest-related deaths had been reported under two programs.
At least two states, California and Texas, and several local jurisdictions, including Houston, Dallas and Fairfax County, Virginia, have started public databases on police-related shootings or deaths.
Ezekiel Edwards, director of the criminal law reform project at the American Civil Liberties Union, said mayors, prosecutors and lawmakers were under increasing public pressure to act when a questionable police shooting occurred.
“It’s not that there has been this massive uptick in civilian deaths. It’s just that there has been this massive uptick in scrutiny and protests,” he said.
Widespread protests over police brutality exploded over the August 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by an officer in Ferguson, Missouri. A grand jury declined to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, and the Justice Department cleared him of civil rights violations.
Besides the Baltimore police, the officers charged this year include:
— Michael Slager, a former North Charleston, South Carolina, patrolman facing trial over the death of a black man who ran from a traffic stop and was shot in the back. A bystander caught the incident on video.
— Ray Tensing, an ex-University of Cincinnati officer, charged with murder for the July death of an unarmed black motorist during an off-campus traffic stop. Tensing’s body camera showed the stop and the shooting.
— Stephen Rankin, a former Portsmouth, Virginia, officer, faces a first-degree murder charge for the April shooting of a black teenager in a Walmart parking lot….The rest here…