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Tag Archives: Murder by Cop

Sessions Brings Back KKK “Justice” in Alton Sterling Case – Refusing to Prosecute

Shooting black folks in the back is just fine with the Chump’s Grand Dragon Attorney General.

The Justice Department is officially dead, and can no longer be respected or trusted as any sort of legitimate arbiter of either the Law or Justice.

Justice Department will not charge Baton Rouge officers in fatal shooting of Alton Sterling

The Justice Department has decided not to bring charges against the officers involved in the death of Alton Sterling, whose videotaped shooting by police in Baton Rouge last summer prompted unrest across the city, and is planning to reveal in the next 24 hours that it has closed the probe, according to four people familiar with the matter.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Sterling family had yet to be informed by the Justice Department of the decision, and it is unclear how and when the department will announce its findings.

“We have not heard nor received an update and are unaware of any charges that may or may not be filed,” said Ryan Julison, a spokesman for the Sterling family’s attorneys. “We have not received word, nor has the family been given any notice of upcoming updates regarding this case.”

The case will be the first time under Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the department has publicly declined to prosecute officers investigated for possible wrongdoing in a high-profile case, and officials in Baton Rouge have been girding for a possible reaction there.

Sterling’s death last summer sparked tense protests across the city. President Barack Obama weighed in on the matter then, declaring his confidence in the Justice Department probe and remarking, “We have seen tragedies like this too many times.”

The shooting came the day before a police officer in Minnesota gunned down school cafeteria manager Philando Castile during a traffic stop that was broadcast on Facebook, and in the same week that a black man upset by police and out to kill white people gunned down five officers in Dallas. A little more than a week later, another gunman targeting police shot and killed three officers in Baton Rouge.

By the police account, officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake saw Sterling, 37, outside a convenience store in July after it was reported that a man had threatened someone there with a gun. Sterling, who was selling CDs outside the store, fit the description of that man, according to a search warrant affidavit in the case.

A video of the shooting shows Sterling lying on his back with two officers on top of him. One of the officers appears to yell, “He’s got a gun!” and then shots ring out. A detective wrote in the search warrant affidavit that officers had observed the butt of a gun in Sterling’s front pants pocket. At issue in the investigation was whether Sterling was reaching for the weapon, as officers claimed, when he was shot and killed.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

Local police and city officials have said this week that they believed a decision was imminent, but they and representatives for Sterling’s family said they had not been told when an announcement from the Justice Department was coming. Some local schools have sent notes to parents informing them of action plans in case of major protests, and several local lawmakers have publicly called on the Justice Department to end the suspense.

“The Department of Justice’s failure to communicate with the community has created angst and nervousness, and I fear carries the potential for increased tension between the community and law enforcement,” Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D), whose congressional district includes part of Baton Rouge, wrote in a letter to Sessions on Friday. “It is inappropriate and against the interests of public safety . . . to allow this level of uncertainty to continue.”…

 
 

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Murder By Cop Out of Control in Florida

DOn’t tell the KKK Attorney General this…

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Another survey of police shootings finds wide racial disparities

The Tampa Bay Times has just published a survey of Florida police shootings between 2009 and 2014. What the newspaper found is striking — although if you’ve seen similar studies from other states, it also isn’t terribly surprising.

First, though whites outnumber blacks in Florida by about 3-to-1, the paper found that cops shot more black people than white people. Police groups and their supporters will of course say that this is because blacks commit more crimes, are more likely to confront police, and that police are more likely to find themselves in black neighborhoods.

But the next set of numbers are more difficult to explain away. The paper focused on shootings in which the victim had neither threatened police with a weapon, nor committed a violent crime. If you subscribe to the “police shoot more black people because black people are more likely to be violent criminals” line of thought, you’d expect to see the racial disparity disappear in these numbers, or at least to narrow. Instead, it grew. Black people outnumbered white people in these incidents by nearly 2-to-1 (97-50). Police shot 55 unarmed black people vs. 25 white people. Police shot 15 black people who had been pulled over for only a traffic violation, vs. six white people. They shot 19 black people after mistaking a non-weapon for a weapon, vs. eight white people. They were about three times as likely to shot a black person who was running away (16-5), or who was suspected for a minor crime like drug possession or shoplifting (17-6), and four times as likely to shoot a black person in the back (8-2).

Perhaps most disturbingly, the paper found six incidents in which Florida cops shot a motorist because they mistakenly thought the motorist was reaching for a weapon. Five of those motorists were black. This goes back to the perpetuation of the fear of the ambush traffic stop, which is drummed into the heads of police officers over and over. It isn’t that such incidents never happen, but they’re exceedingly rare — a tiny, tiny fraction of traffic stops. A 2001 study in the Journal of Criminal Science found that even during the 1990s, a much more violent era than the one we live in today, under the worst-case scenario, about 1 in 6.7 million traffic stops resulted in the death of a police officer. When the authors used a more inclusive definition of “traffic stop,” the figure was 1 in 20 million.

Here’s a typical story from the series. The motorist is Rodney Mitchell, a 23-year-old black man and former college football player who was driving home from his job at a department store.

Adam Shaw had made mistakes in 2½ years with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. He’d been disciplined for stopping minority residents for seatbelt violations then illegally searching their cars. Now he was part of Operation Armistice. Police were saturating north Sarasota to reduce crime. The black community scornfully called it Operation Amistad, after the slave ship.

Mitchell, in the Jeep with Florida tag GODANGL, was the next target.

Shaw would later say he saw Mitchell wasn’t wearing a seatbelt as the two passed on the road going opposite directions, even if it was nighttime and the Jeep had tinted windows. He would say the car didn’t stop soon enough, and that after it stopped, the driver was moving around a lot inside. He would say the driver refused to put the car into park.

What Mitchell’s 16-year-old cousin remembers from the passenger’s seat is a white cop rushing to the driver’s window and shouting: “Boy, why didn’t you stop the car?”

He remembers another officer walking to the front of the Jeep, the spotlight from his vehicle beaming through the windshield. He remembers Rodney Mitchell’s hands on the steering wheel, and Shaw ordering him to put the car into park. He remembers his unarmed cousin moving his right hand from the wheel toward the gearshift, then the flash from a muzzle, then the sound of four shots.

Pop, pop, pop, pop.

From stop to gunfire: 41 seconds.

Natasha Clemons raced to the scene when a friend called. Police would not let her go to Mitchell, sprawled in the driver’s seat, wearing his seatbelt. She collapsed right there, bathed in the blue lights of the lawmen who killed her only son.

Let’s talk about that seat belt. Last year, I posted about a study by the ACLU of Florida finding that black motorists in Florida are twice as likely as white motorists to be pulled over for seat-belt violations, despite being only slightly less likely to buckle up. (And it isn’t the first time a seat-belt violation has led to a police killing in Florida.)

In short, if you’re black in Florida, you’re more likely than white people to be pulled over for a minor traffic violation. Once you’ve been pulled over, cops are more likely to see you as a threat, more likely to mistake an innocent movement for a furtive gesture, and more likely to mistake an innocuous object in your possession for a weapon. And it’s not all that different if you don’t happen to be in a car.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Lawsuit – SC Police Shoot Unarmed Man 17 Times in the Back

Not sure if there has been any criminal prosecution for this, but there is a lawsuit. Hard to see how the murder victim was a threat when sht Cops shot him in the back.

South Carolina police shot unarmed black man 17 times in the back: lawsuit

The sister of a South Carolina man who was killed by police after a high-speed car chase claims in a lawsuit that three officers shot her unarmed brother 17 times in the back — as he lay on the ground.

Waltki Cermoun Williams “did not have a weapon” and was struck in total by 19 of the two dozen shots fired at him during the deadly confrontation on Dec. 10, according to a lawsuit filed in Sumter County.

“Sumter Police Department officers had the obligation and opportunity to refrain from utilizing inappropriate and unnecessary deadly force,” the lawsuit states. “However, the officers in question made the conscious decision to use inappropriate and unnecessary force.”

What happened to Williams, the suit goes on to state, “is so extreme and outrageous that it shocks the conscience.”

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Williams’ sister, Tomekia Kind, seeks unspecified damages.

Williams, 35, was black. The race of the officers who filed the fatal shots was not specified in the court papers and they have not been identified.

There was no immediate comment from the Sumter Police Department beyond a denial of the allegations laid out in the lawsuit.

“We haven’t even been served with the lawsuit yet,” spokeswoman Tonyia McGirt told NBC News.

But back when it happened Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark called it “a tragedy for everyone involved.”

“This incident shows the devastating, far-reaching effects of domestic violence,” he said in a statement.

Williams was no stranger to police. He was twice found guilty of stalking and also had several motor vehicle violations on his record. He had also been accused of trying to sell a stolen car and entering a bank “with intent to steal.” Both those charges were dismissed.

“I think his was a pretty good guy,” one of Kind’s lawyers, C. Carter Elliott, told NBC News. “He had some criminal background there but none of it was crazy.”

Elliott said the chain of events that ended with Williams’ death began with an argument with a girlfriend in a parking lot at the Sumter Mall.

“It ended with a ton of shots, a lot of them in his back,” Elliott said. “It doesn’t make sense to me. There’s two eyewitnesses that saw it. And we are pushing to get the (officers’ bodycam) video that recorded what happened.”

Police, in a news release, said they were responding to reports that “a female was afraid to go outside of the mall after an estranged boyfriend threatened to kill her and was seen outside pointing a firearm at her vehicle.”

The brief chase began when Williams crashed his SUV into a couple of cars.

“Williams got out the vehicle, a short foot chase followed,” the police statement read. “There was a brief struggle and then an exchange of gunfire, the details of which are under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division.”

The SLED investigation is ongoing, Special Agent Thom Berry told NBC News. “We have not concluded our work on the matter,” he said.

The lawsuit lays out a different scenario — and there is no mention of any exchange of gunfire.

It says that after the crash, Williams escaped his vehicle by smashing through the back window. But he only managed to take about 10 steps before he was tackled by police.

“While on the ground the decedent did not have a weapon and he was not a threat in any way to the police officers on the scene,” the suit states. “One of the officers moved away from the decedent (while he was still laying on the ground and not moving) and at least three (3) Sumter Police officers made the conscious decision to utilize inappropriate and improper use of deadly force by firing their service weapons indiscriminately at least twenty-four (24) times directly at and into the decedent.”

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Police Murder of Terrance Sterling in DC

This one in DC three weeks ago. The officer fired from inside a patrol car into moving traffic in a direct violation of DC Police rules, There was no threat to the officers, Sterling was unarmed.

 

Black Lives Matter DC raises questions about DC Police Union chairman

It has been three weeks since a D.C. police officer shot and killed Terrence Sterling. Despite the release of the police body camera footage and the officer’s name, there are still questions about what is going on behind the scenes of the investigation, especially since his death was ruled a homicide. Now, the Black Lives Matter movement is questioning the D.C. Police Union’s chairman and the impact his past will have on future proceedings.

Representatives for Black Lives Matter DC said a closed door meeting was held on Tuesday after the D.C. Police Union reached out to them. The meeting lasted about an hour and a half, but the group said they came out of the meeting with even more questions.

“I wanted him to know that this was bigger than just this case,” said April Goggans of Black Lives Matter DC. “That this case was indicative of all things that we’ve been saying – the way that it’s being handled.”

Black Lives Matter DC continues to question transparency in the Sterling case. Following the closed door meeting, the group’s words towards D.C. Police Union chairman Matthew Mahl are personal.

Black Lives Matter DC said in a news release that “Sergeant Mahl is no stranger to criminal behavior on the job,” citing a use of force incident back in 2015.

Documents, including the use of force report, obtained by FOX 5 confirmed, “Sergeant Mahl struck a handcuffed prisoner in the face after he was kicked in the groin by the prisoner.” Two separate review boards found Mahl’s use of force was unjustified and recommended a suspension that could have meant his termination from the force.

But sources confirmed to FOX 5 his suspension was quietly overturned by D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier just days after Mahl became police union chairman. Sources said it was an unprecedented move.

“To dismiss his case of police brutality the same week that he becomes president, I think that merged the solidarity between the [police] department and the [police] union,” said Goggans. “I think his idea of doing that is to build power.”

According to sources, disciplinary action against Mahl includes a police-involved shooting in 2007 and two unpaid suspensions in 2013 and 2015.

 

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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St Louis Police Finally Charged for Murder of Anthony Lamar Smith…5 Years Later

This video shows the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith by St Louis Cops.

Former St. Louis police officer charged with first-degree murder for 2011 shooting

A former police officer is now facing first-degree murder charges for a shooting that left a driver dead in 2011.

FOX 2 obtained dash camera video of the incident that has not been publicly released, but the station confirms it is authentic.

Authorities say it all started when former Officer Jason Stockley attempted to make a traffic stop after a reported drug deal.

In the video, Stockley is seen getting out of his patrol car with his personal AK-47-style rifle, which is a violation of the St. Louis Police Department’s policy on personal weapons.

The driver, Anthony Lamar Smith, speeds away in his car, jumping over a sidewalk to get away.

Prosecutors say Stockley shot at Smith’s car before getting back into his patrol car.

The officer who is driving the patrol car begins a pursuit.

A speed monitor on the dash cam video clocks the officers exceeding 80 miles per hour on wet streets and speeding past stop signs.

At one point, the officer failed to make his turn and hit a tree.

”Back up,” Stockley yells.

It is difficult to hear exactly what is being said, but the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Probable Cause Statement claims that Stockley said, “Going to kill this m***** ******, don’t you know it.”

When Smith slows down to pull over, Stockley is heard yelling, “Hit him right now.”

The officers ram Smith’s car before surrounding him. The probable cause statement alleges that Stockley fired five shots into the car, killing Smith.

Right after the shooting, police reported finding a gun on Smith, but prosecutors claim it “was later determined by lab analysis to have only (Stockley`s) DNA on it.”

It is not clear what happens at the end of the video as Stockley is seen rummaging through a bag in the back of a squad car.

The Circuit Attorney’s Office responded with this statement:

“The people of the City of St. Louis have a right to determine whether the State has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The courtroom is the appropriate forum for this matter. ”

Stockley’s attorney Neil Bruntrager called to say the video is just one piece of the evidence.  He says another surveillance video that’s not available, shows a different perspective.  He also points out that the Feds had this same video and declined to prosecute or even pursue the case in civil court.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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