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Tag Archives: police brutality

Judge Unloads on Dirty Cop…Calling him racist.

Judge Vonda Evans unloaded on the Michigan Police Officer found guilty in court of Police Brutality…

Judge Vonda also spoke before the sentencing, saying Melendez and his officer were playing a “game” when they decided to pull over Dent.

“You forgot the eye of justice was watching. The dash cam designed to protect you – caught you. You knew better,” she said.

Melendez was found guilty of misconduct in office and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.

The first charge carried up to a 5 year prison penalty and the second charge had a maximum of 10 years.

He was sentenced to no less than 13 months and no more than 10 years in prison on the first count, and was given 90 days credit for the second charge.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Distrust of Chicago Police

This article in the Chicago Tribune talks about the Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emmanuel and his inability to fix the Police Department. The real story here though is the shattered relationship between the community and their police department which has failed them at nearly every turn. Wrong question, Trib!

Distrust of Chicago cops helps drive Emanuel’s low approval on crime

…A strong majority of Chicagoans don’t think the city’s cops treat all citizens fairly and believe a cover-up “code of silence” is widespread in the Police Department,…

The survey’s results illustrate a deep-seated distrust of the Chicago Police Department put in stark relief by a series of revelations about the death Laquan McDonald, a black teenager shot 16 times by white Officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014. Police dashboard-camera video showed McDonald walking away from police when he was shot, but police reports show six officers claimed the teen had moved or turned threateningly toward them.

Prosecutors eventually charged Van Dyke with murder, but not until 13 months later, hours before the court-ordered release of the shooting footage. The chain of events led to weeks of street protests, calls for the mayor’s resignation and a federal civil rights investigation into the Police Department.

The poll found a dim view of the Police Department across racial and ethnic lines. Only 20 percent of voters said they believe city cops treat all citizens fairly, including just 6 percent of African-Americans surveyed.

Just 3 percent of Chicagoans said they don’t believe cops use a code of silence to protect one another, while nearly two-thirds said they think such a code is a widespread problem…

The new poll backs up that perception of unfairness across racial and ethnic lines. One in 3 white voters thought the police were fair to everyone while 53 percent said they were not. Twenty-three percent of Hispanics thought the police were fair to all, while 69 percent did not. Among African-American voters, only 6 percent said cops treat all citizens fairly while 85 percent said they don’t.

Lonnie Morgan is in the latter group. The 63-year-old retired painter said he too often sees officers pull young black men out of cars as they just try to hang out in his neighborhood, Greater Grand Crossing.

“Too many of these officers look at this neighborhood and say, ‘Oh, these are black people,’ and they just don’t care,” said Morgan, a poll respondent. “They come out and have an attitude. You can look at them and they’ve got a nasty scowl on their face. They look at you like you are dirt.”…

Nine in 10 Chicagoans said they believed there’s a code of silence in the department, with just 3 percent saying it didn’t exist. Overall, 64 percent of voters said the code of silence is a widespread problem, while 26 percent said they believe it’s limited to a handful of bad cops.

Among white voters, half said the code of silence was widespread, while 38 percent called it an isolated problem. Just 16 percent of black voters called the code of silence limited, with 79 percent saying it’s widespread….

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Maryland Cop Who Put His Gun to Homeowner’s Head Sentenced to Prison

Imagine you have gone out with a friend to a restaurant or a ball game, and your friend drives. You get home, and your friend pulls the car in front of your house and you talk for a few minutes before exiting the car to go to your house. A Cop pulls up, and claims you are “illegally parked”, even though thee are no no-parking signs on the street – and you are still in the car with the engine running. You explain to the Cop that this is your house, show him your ID and get out to go home, when the Cop pulls out his gun, and points it in your face while screaming at you – threatening to kill you. That was exactly the situation in PG County in the Maryland suburbs last year. Fortunately a bystander caught the cop on video.

Justice actually happens…Sometimes. This one was an egregious case of a Prince George’s Cop, in the suburbs of Washington, DC attacking a pair of men, one of whom was being dropped off at his home by his friend. The motive apparently was to show off for some of the Cop’s friends who were on an illegal “ride along” on that day.

 Former Md. police officer sentenced for pointing gun at man’s head

The victim of the Police Assault, William Cunningham speaks to the press outside the Courthouse.

A former police officer who was found guilty of holding his gun to a Prince George’s County resident’s head to intimidate him will serve five years in prison without the chance of parole for his actions.

The sentence was the mandatory minimum that former Prince George’s County officer Jenchesky Santiago could have been given. He faced up to 45 years behind bars. He was convicted in December of first- and second-degree assault, use of a handgun during a crime of violence, and misconduct in office.

Santiago’s actions were captured on cellphone video, which was a key piece of evidence at his trial.

The incident happened in 2014 after Santiago, while on patrol, approached a car that he claimed was illegally parked in a Bowie neighborhood. When a passenger in that car tried to walk off to his home, Santiago ordered him back into the car, pulled his weapon when the man refused, and dared the man to a fight. He can be seen on video holding his gun up to the victim’s face.

Before handing down the sentence, Judge Dwight Jackson called the case “sad on a lot of levels” and said there were “no winners … only losers.”

Jackson, the son of a police officer, told Santiago “you have diminished them and what they do.” He speculated that Santiago was “perhaps bored, or perhaps wanted to show off” to two friends whom he had brought on an unauthorized ride-along that day.

The judge also heard at times tearful statements from Santiago’s mother, sister and fiancee, who described him as a caring, loving person devoted to his two young children. Jackson later said, “The person who is here to be sentenced bears no resemblance to the person they know.”

Prosecutors also accused Santiago of not taking responsibility for his actions. In a recorded phone conversation from jail, Santiago “described the fact that not only was he not remorseful and had no intention of apologizing in this case,” said Angela Alsobrooks, the state’s attorney for Prince George’s County, “but still believed even after this case that he was owed an apology from the victim.”

“It kind of didn’t sit well with me to hear that he was not apologetic, or had no remorse,” said victim William Cunningham outside the courthouse. “I did think that he may shoot me, or my life may have been in jeopardy.”

Santiago, now 26, was fired from the police department on Dec. 18. His lawyer said he also expects Santiago to be dishonorably discharged from the Navy, where he serves as a reservist.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Black American Seeks Asylum in Canada

Bit of an unusual case…DOubt he will win asylum in this case.

Black American Seeks Asylum in Canada Over Police Brutality

Kyle Canty says blacks are ‘being exterminated at an alarming rate’ and that he’ll only be safe north of the border.

It has been nearly two months since he crossed the border into Canada, fleeing the discrimination and state violence plaguing his home country.

In seeking refugee status before Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board in Vancouver, Kyle Lydell Canty argued that belongs to a vulnerable minority that is “being exterminated at an alarming rate” in his homeland.

Canty was referring to the United States and police brutality.

“I’m in fear of my life because I’m black,” Canty, 30, told the board during his hearing on Oct. 23, where he cited the killings of Michael Brown in Missouri andEric Garner in New York. “This is a well-founded fear.”

Canty, who was born in New York, has resided in six states over the span of three decades. He traveled to Vancouver early last month as a tourist, but says he decided to apply for refugee status shortly after his arrival. He now resides at a homeless shelter.

“When I see the police coming in the U.S., I cross the street,” he said.

In presenting his case before the IRB, Canty submitted evidence that he claims demonstrates that cops have harassed and profiled him in every state he’s lived in.

“I got bothered because I’m black,” he alleges. “This is a history of false arrest. My name is ruined because of the false arrest.”

In Canada, however, Canty says he does not perceive any existential threat from law enforcement and that he is more than comfortable interacting with Canadian authorities.

During his hearing, Canty also discussed his outstanding criminal charges in the U.S., including ones for disorderly conduct, issuing threats, and resisting arrest.

Melissa Anderson, the IRB spokeswoman for this case, told The Daily Beast that a decision regarding Canty’s application would likely be issued within the next few weeks. When asked if she would characterize this as an unusual case, Anderson demurred, but said that she is “not aware of any” other cases like this in Canada, but couldn’t be sure.

“For us, every case is unique,” she said. “Refugee protection and refugee discrimination, this is a complex issue.”

Canada has accepted American refugees before. In 2013, three U.S. citizens were granted asylum, for instance. In 2010, actor Randy Quaid applied for refugee status, claiming he was being persecuted and possibly marked for death by“Hollywood star whacker” assassins. (He later withdrew his claim.)

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Former St. Louis Prosecutor Pleads Guilty In Police Brutality Cover Up

No surprise here with the record of St Louis Prosecutors in the Michael Brown investigation…The only surprise is that the DA was caught, and not given a walk and promoted.

Former St. Louis Prosecutor Admits To Covering Up Brutal Police Beating Of A Suspect

“An officer of the court allowed her friendship with a police officer to eclipse her public obligation to uphold justice.”

Bliss Barber Worrell former Prosecutor (r)

A former St. Louis prosecutor covered up a vicious beating of a handcuffed suspect last year by a veteran cop with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department that included the officer shoving his handgun “down the throat” of the suspect, who was already in custody.

Those are the shocking revelations in a guilty plea agreement released Monday from Bliss Barber Worrell, former assistant circuit attorney for the city of St. Louis, who admitted to covering up an assault by a police detective in July 2014. Worrell has since stepped down from the circuit attorney’s office and now works in private practice, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The plea agreement details egregious misconduct from Worrell and law enforcement officials linked to the beating of a suspect over fraudulent use of a police officer’s daughter’s credit card.

During her tenure as a prosecutor at the circuit attorney’s office, Worrell developed a close friendship with a “veteran officer” — who is not named in the plea — who assaulted a suspect on the night of his arrest on July 22, 2014, according to the plea. The suspect is also not named, but is identified as “M.W.” in the plea.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the circumstances of the plea line up with the reasons Worrell was asked to resign from the circuit attorney’s office after St. Louis police detective Tom Carroll allegedly assaulted 41-year-old Michael Weller. Weller had been Weller arrested and accused of using Carroll’s daughter’s credit card, which had been stolen during a car break-in.

Worrell would resign days after the assault. Carroll was first suspended around that same time, according to the paper; two months later he also resigned.

Former St. Louis police officer Thomas A. Carroll

All charges against Weller were eventually dropped.

According to the plea, Worrell and the veteran officer frequently “communicated and texted each other” and “often” confided in one another. They were also training for a marathon together.

The night the assault took place, Worrell says, she received several phone calls from the veteran officer while she was at a St. Louis Cardinals game. While she couldn’t remember the entirety of the conversation because she had been drinking alcohol during the baseball game, she did remember the veteran officer told her that the suspect had been arrested for allegedly using the officer’s daughter’s credit card.

The Victim, Michael Waller

Worrell says she believes she “made a joke” about what the officer might do to the suspect. Later that night, the officer told Worrell that he injured his foot and was concerned the injury might affect his ability to train for an upcoming marathon. The following day, Worrell realized the officer had injured his foot while assaulting the suspect, the plea agreement reads.

After the baseball game, Worrell says, she went to a bar and met with another officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. She couldn’t recall their full conversation but knew they had talked about the beating that the suspect received, because that officer, not involved in the assault, told Worrell: “If it was my daughter, I would have beat him up.”

In the plea, Worrell says that she did not intend to bring any charges against the suspect in the incident, but that she was present when the arresting officer showed up at the warrant office and decided to help a new prosecutor file charges against the suspect. The report from the arresting officer did not match what she had heard from the veteran officer, but she failed to tell her supervisors what she knew about the incident and filed charges against the suspect anyway for receiving stolen property, for fraudulent use of a credit card and for allegedly attempting to escape while resisting arrest.

Later that evening, Worrell went on a run with the veteran officer, who spoke in more detail about the assault. He acknowledged that other officers were involved in the beating and noted that he was glad a “loose cannon” lieutenant was on duty that night, because that officer also took part in the assault, the plea says…Read The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Martise Johnson, Student Beaten By Police at UVa, Speaks Out

A lot of folks in y area with ties to the University of Virginia, were shocked this spring by the video of Police assaulting a kid in front of one of the campus bars. Martise was asked for an ID at the entrance to one of the bars, and after presenting a valid state ID was slammed to the ground by officers and arrested.

After being detained, all charges were dropped.

Martese Johnson, the U.Va. Student Assaulted by Officers Last Spring, Speaks Out

On the night of March 18, 2015, three white Alcoholic Beverage Control officers asked me for identification outside of a bar adjacent to the University of Virginia’s grounds. I showed them my I.D., which they wrongly assumed was a fake I.D. After a brief interaction with these officers, I was slammed to the ground violently, detained with handcuffs and leg shackles, and arrested without justification. As the officers pinned me to the ground with their knees, blood flowed freely from my face and my friends and classmates surrounded the scene, screaming with indignation and anger. They watched helplessly as I yelled, “How did this happen? I go to U.Va.!” When I was picked up and dragged away by these officers, glimpses of my ancestors’ history flashed before my eyes. Although it could never compare to a life of slavery, for those hours, I had no freedom, no autonomy, and no say in what was happening to me. I cried for a long time that night—not because of my physical wounds (though there were many) or possible jail time (I was charged with two misdemeanors that were eventually dropped), but because my lifelong vision of sanctuary in success was destroyed in seconds.

The next morning, a video of my encounter with law enforcement went viral, and #JusticeForMartese became a nationally trending hashtag. Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Tanisha Anderson, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose. My name is now mentioned alongside theirs. These victims’ hashtags will probably exist forever, signifying a new historic era of social-media activism.

Most of those famous hashtags came at the cost of a precious human life. I am lucky to say this was not the case for me, but the list will continue to grow. According to The Guardian,as of the time of this writing, 880 people have died at the hands of “police and other law enforcement agencies in the United States” since the start of 2015. Of those 880 killings, 217 of the victims were black. Making up about 25 percent of deaths by law enforcement, African-American lives are lost at a higher rate than any other racial demographic in the United States.

I sustained three gashes on my head (one requiring 10 stitches to close), facial swelling, a busted lip, and cuts and bruises on my body. The scars on my face and head will likely remain for the rest of my life. The officers’ actions may not have been premeditated that night, but I do believe they were calculated. Thousands of students have been arrested for similar charges throughout the years, 1,670 by A.B.C. officers just last year, but it’s hard to imagine that most of them experienced the physical violence I endured in that brief period. Why would I be subjected to such violence when so many other students in similar circumstances—so many other students that same night—were left alone? With the untold thousands of college students in Charlottesville that night, it is difficult to believe that my race did not play a factor in the way I was handled by the officers. The United States’ policing issues are incomparable to any country in the rest of the world. The Guardianshares that “in the first 24 days of 2015, police in the U.S. fatally shot more people than police did in England and Wales, combined, over the past 24 years.” The truth of the matter is that police forces in America are over-militarized.

During my childhood in the South Side of Chicago, I believed that education and success would become my sanctuary. I grew up in some of the most violent and under-resourced neighborhoods in what is often called the “murder capital” of the United States. I have seven brothers; my mother raised three of us on her own. We struggled for what we had. No family car, no vacations, no weekend outings. We seldom celebrated holidays, because we could not afford that privilege. When my brothers and I complained about materialistic things like new clothes, we were reminded that we had a place to sleep and groceries were usually in the refrigerator. By necessity, we learned to appreciate what many children in this country take for granted: food and shelter. Despite these hardships, my mother emphasized the importance of good health and togetherness within our family; she created a household environment where instead of feeling limited or disadvantaged, I felt emotionally supported and loved.

My mom did a great job taking care of us, but it was the constant financial struggle that motivated me to carve out a new life for myself and eventually my family. I was often told that if I just did what I was “supposed to do” (pull up my pants, go to school, and stay out of trouble), I would one day earn a better life. Most of the young people in my community wanted better lives, too, but could not endure the poverty while following the rules of a society that had written them off at birth. We give more funding to prisons than schools, provide easier access to crippling debt than opportunity, and only offer jobs to poor communities that almost ensure mere subsistence over success. Many of my peers fell into the inescapable trap that is the U.S. prison system. I heeded the advice given to me by my elders, and was lucky enough to be among the fraction that escaped my neighborhood.

On March 18, 2015, what I had thought of as my long-worked-for sanctuary crumbled. Three A.B.C. officers did what they interpreted as their duty. They hailed from an agency whose mission consists of “protecting citizens by ensuring a safe orderly and regulated system,” but those officers’ definition of “citizens” does not include people who look like me. These officers would probably never admit to being racist, and it is because they truly believe that they are not. Still, their inclination to police a black male more violently than a white male conveys a different message. The officers did not see a University of Virginia student out with his peers; they saw a young black male with a high-top fade, a gold chain, some tennis shoes, and a hoodie. In their minds, I could not possibly have been a member of the “community” that they had sworn to protect.

Growing up in Chicago, I know firsthand how law-enforcement officers treat black people and members of low-income neighborhoods. Exclaiming my enrollment at a university that has never fully embraced minorities like me seemed, ironically, to be my last resort of claiming the sanctuary that I thought I had built. After years of working hard to change my life for the better, I realized that there were some things that would always be the same. There are no suits I can wear, words I can say, or achievements I can earn that will eliminate the centuries of fear and propaganda that have told this nation and the world that people who look like me are inherently a threat.

In the social-media tidal waves of police brutality, my story picked up traction. I was a University of Virginia student. I was “honorable.” I was supposed to be “one of the good ones.” And so my story had a plot twist. The media didn’t paint me as a weed-smoking kid with an attitude, like they were able to do posthumously to Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. The media didn’t refer to a previous arrest record, as they did in Freddie Gray’s murder. The narrative of a smart, black, politically active University of Virginia student being brutalized by A.B.C. officers directly contrasts the story often woven to validate black lives being taken by law enforcement. My story combats this victim blaming, and that is why it outraged so many people.

Raw Story reported that “more black Americans were killed by police in 2014 than were killed in the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001.” Trends indicate that this statistic will also be true for 2015. We are experiencing a new age of genocide, aimed at the destruction of black bodies. Our ambivalence coupled with inclinations to negatively judge has allowed us to accept police brutality in America. The men and women who have committed themselves to protecting and serving our citizens have allowed cultural biases to cloud their judgment and transform them into the very “criminals” they are tasked with pursuing. It has been too long, and we have lost too many lives to these crimes.…Read the rest here…

 

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Texas the new Mississippi Burning?

Here we go again, with the same Police Department as arrested Sandra Bland on diaphanous reason.

This time the out of control cops taser a City Councilman in his front yard for the crime of coming outside to see what was going on in his front yard.

Texas councilman seen on video being tased by police

A video out of Prairie View, Texas, is raising questions about police use of force. A councilman is seen getting tased while on his knees and with his back to officers. Police say he was resisting arrest.

Jonathan Miller, 26, was on his knees with his hands by his side when he was tased on Thursday night by Prairie View Texas Police.

Before using the taser, police warned the councilman, several times, to put his hands behind his back.

“He’s going to have to tase you because you’re not doing like you’re supposed to,” an officer can be heard saying on camera before tasing him.

“I live here man, I live here,” Miller is heard saying after being tased.

“I told you to back off and you didn’t listen,” said one of the officers.

Officers arrived at the scene to question Miller’s fraternity brothers, who were outside of Miller’s home. Miller came out to ask what was going on.

“I’m not trying to be combative or anything,” Miller told officers before being tased.

“I understand you’re coming in at the tale end of it,” a female officer replied. “I just told you everything is okay. They already explained everything to me.”

But the situation escalated when another officer asked Miller to move away.

“Go over there before you go to jail,” a male officer said to Miller.

Miller just stands and looks at the officer.

He was tased, arrested and spent the night in jail…

Coincidentally, the female officer in the body camera video is the same one who transported Sandra Bland to a county jail after she was arrested in July. Bland made national headlines after authorities say she hanged herself while in jail.

If I were that Councilman, that Police Chief better have a really good car repair shop, and be real comfortable with what he is making now…Because it will be 2050 before he gets any new cars, or a raise.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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