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More stories of police officers who mysteriously still have their jobs. October 23, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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People killed by police in the US, 2017. Currently at 970.

“Police in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night fatally shot a deaf man who they say was advancing toward them with a metal pipe as witnesses yelled that the man was deaf and could not hear them.” Fire those cops. They’re not competent to do the job. Justice for Magdiel Sanchez.

“An unarmed 15 y/o child died after being shot in the head by Balch Springs PD (TX). A cop shot muliple rounds into a car filled with teens.” Justice for Jordan Edwards.

“Three of the gunshots fired by officers Jason Anderson and Steven McNew struck Lyles in the front of the torso and chest, three struck her in the back or rear of her arm, and one grazed the side of her ribs, according to the report. Several of the wounds would have been life-threatening on their own, including the one that cut through her uterus and the fetus.” Dear lord, any kind of justice for Charleena Lyles.

Security officers can even feel attacked by black people who do not, strictly speaking, exist: “Emergency dispatch audio said the at-large suspect was a black man wearing a navy blue sweatshirt and black jeans […] After the search failed to find any suspect, Mr Ahlers admitted to police he had accidentally shot himself.

To be clear, sometimes the cops do kill white people: “A 21-year-old Georgia Tech student, who was the president of the campus Pride Alliance, was shot and killed by a Georgia Tech police officer, according to a statement released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.” Justice for Scout Schultz.

And here’s a case where the cop was black, and got himself in a panic after shooting at a white couple: “A Sevier County Sheriff’s Office deputy opened fire without warning in a mobile home park, suffered an apparent panic attack four minutes later and was forcibly disarmed by a paramedic.” The people he shot at were then jailed for more than a month for “assault.”

Notice how the people who talk about Black Lives Matter are still standing up and saying these last two incidents are unjust. The “all lives matter!” crowd is…mysteriously absent. Funny how that works.

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Puerto Rico needs help, there are still too many Americans being shot, and Trump is a vile human being. October 5, 2017

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The numbers have been in for years: “…and came back with an unambiguous conclusion: states that made it easier for their citizens to go armed in public had higher levels of non-fatal violent crime than those states that restricted the right to carry.” (Levels of fatal violent crime, to be clear, aren’t lower. They were unaffected.)

But for some people, it will never sink in until it gets personal.

The guitarist who was playing at the Las Vegas massacre finally got it: “We actually have members of our crew with CHL [concealed handgun license] licenses, and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless. We couldn’t touch them for fear the police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us.”

GEE, YA THINK.

Look, buddy, we could have used you five or ten or twenty massacres ago. But you’re here now, and that’s better than nothing. Maybe you can help us figure out how to talk to the kind of person you used to be.

You know, when I was in grade school, they never taught us that Puerto Rico was part of the US. It literally never came up.

“Now a former foreign disaster assistance chief under President Barack Obama, who said he was trying ‘to be balanced’ regarding Trump’s handling of the situation because he knows ‘how hard this stuff is,’ said that the report has finally made him snap — ‘so mad I could spit.’

The family had almost run out of drinking water. Their isolated community of Caonillas had received no aid from the local or federal government, residents said. And they had no way to make the perilous trek to town; the winding roads had been obliterated and six of the family’s cars had been stored in a garage that collapsed, crushing five of the vehicles and sending the sixth sliding down the mountainside and into a river.”

And Trump is showing up and chucking rolls of paper towels into the crowd, like the bouquet at the wedding, like a prize on a game show, because he thinks this is entertainment. Because he doesn’t care. Because he is a disgusting stain on the soul of humanity.

Lives that matter, from St. Louis to Sandy Hook to Charlottesville August 14, 2017

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People killed by police in the US, 2017. Currently at 759.

Charlottesville-based organizations that can take your money. (The Twitter thread have been going around; this is a blog post that rounds up the links.)

‘I was expecting him to come home, not to be buried,’ [the 16-year-old’s grandmother] told the station. ‘I was telling him, give yourself a little while and you’ll be home with me.'” Justice for Aries Clark.

“We are among the vast majority of Americans who believe that we must take sensible steps to prevent massacres like the one that took my daughter’s life. We will continue to speak up. We will not go away.”

2014 FBI study: “There were, on average, 16.4 [mass] shootings a year from 2007 to 2013, compared with an average of 6.4 shootings annually from 2000 to 2006. In the past 13 years, 486 people have been killed in such shootings, with 366 of the deaths in the past seven years.” This was commissioned by Obama post-Sandy Hook, and was the first FBI study of its kind.

“…two officers who encountered the armed off-duty officer ordered him to the ground. He complied. When they recognized the off-duty officer, they told him he could stand up and walk toward them. Another officer just arriving at the scene saw the off-duty officer get up and, not knowing he was an officer, fired his weapon once at the man.

“Southaven officers went to the wrong house to serve a warrant on Monday, which resulted in the shooting death of a man who did not have any active warrants out for his arrest.” Worse, they shot Ismael Lopez through his front door.

The GOP keeps bleating about ~law and order~ while the people cry out for Justice May 4, 2017

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People killed by police, 2017. Currently at 399.

Federal immigration officials knock on the door of a family of legal US residents, then shoot one of the unarmed homeowners.

Off-duty cop Kevin Ferguson harasses some kids, grabs a 13-year-old, ends up firing his gun at the group. It’s all on video. And yet the middle-schooler gets charged with battery, while the grown adult member of law enforcement is allowed to keep walking around armed with no charges.

“The video shows Rosen stomping on the head of Demarco Anderson while Anderson is already handcuffed and under control. Anderson is visibly restrained and does not appear to be agitated or resisting when Rosen charges from the left side of the frame and pounds his foot into the back of the suspect’s head.” Justice for Demarco Anderson.

“He was not trying to harm anybody. He was asking them for help and they shot him down.” And the whole thing was streamed on Facebook Live. Justice for Rodney Hess.

“Soon after, Wade — fully restrained and surrounded by officers — would be writhing in pain and screaming “I can’t breathe” after enduring two blasts of pepper-spray at point-blank range.” Justice for Charles Wade and Amber Swink.

The mailman suffered injuries to his neck, face, back and arm and underwent two surgeries and physical therapy.” And the cops who beat him up were completely acquitted. Justice for Karim Baker.

“Aware that the call was in response to a possible drug abuser, instead of proceeding calmly as to not alarm the person- when officer Stumler shouted: ‘raise your hands’ she automatically shot him in the stomach with no chance to respond.” Justice for Bruce Warrick.

Cops that don’t shoot getting sacked; cops that beat a kid on his own porch not even getting charged February 6, 2017

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People killed by police, 2017. The final total for 2016 was 1,153. This year, we’re already up to 124. It’s February.

White people shooting cops, to pointed silence from the #BlueLivesMatter crowd:

“Bill Jones, 35, allegedly shot two police officers after a standoff on Wednesday. Unlike the number of black men who’ve been shot at when police mistook cell phones for guns, Jones survived his tense standoff with police.” (He’s white. But you knew that.)

Two police officers were shot and killed, and I’m guessing you didn’t hear about it: “There was no massive national freak-out over these killings as there has been whenever the suspect is a person of color or has an Arabic-sounding name. The man accused of these killings is a white guy. Scott Michael Greene — whose home reportedly features a Trump/Pence sign in the front lawn — was allegedly upset with police after he was forced to leave a high school football game because he was waving a Confederate flag and threatening black students.”

Police brutality:

“The Detroit man charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and weapons felony firearm for killing a 19-year-old woman on his porch was found guilty on all counts [on August 4].” Justice for Renisha McBride.

“Officer Marco Proano faces two federal civil rights charges for the 2013 shooting [at a car full of teenagers; they survived], which was caught on a dash cam.”

They sit next to Mr. Crutcher’s daughter in class. They are her friends. Nearly every student has a tissue as we read the article together.”

He gives the officers his ID, which lists the address as his residence, and he suggests the officers ask a neighbor to verify that he lives there. ” Dejuan Yourse, thankfully still alive, beaten by police for sitting on his own front porch.

Police brutality through the looking glass:

“Give the Weirton, W.Va., police chief some credit. He’s come up with a new spin on the the same problem. He just fired a cop for not killing someone.

Notice when the #AllLivesMatter crowd doesn’t show up January 27, 2017

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“Immediately after the reports, BLM was blamed because Black people are violent threats who hate police, right? But that entire narrative was wrong—it turned out that the perpetrators were two white men who were far from affiliated with BLM. At that point, the Blue/All Lives Matter crew dropped the subject, not because it suddenly didn’t matter that the cops had died, but because the people who had killed them were no longer part of the threat group.”

“British police used a Taser on a black man they thought was a robber. He was their race-relations adviser.”

Police officers responding to a burglar alarm fatally shot a homeowner, who had grabbed a gun when he spotted an intruder, after shots were fired in their direction as they arrived at his house.”

(Although most news stories about cops shooting homeowners involve a black victim, you can also read about the occasional white guy getting shot in his own house. Along with his dog.)

Dozens of Jewish Community Centers in the U.S. were evacuated [January 18], including in Manhattan and California’s Bay Area, after receiving near-simultaneous bomb threats, according to various local reports.”

Millions of Shia Muslims made the pilgrimage of Arbaeen this fall, in defiance of Daesh’s threats and deadly attacks against the pilgrims.

Here’s a list of things white friends have done/can do which actually make me feel safer.

Practical advice for white allies on how to talk to white non-allies.

The DoJ is going to start seriously tracking police killings. Finally. August 16, 2016

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People killed by police, 2016. 728 and counting.

Now including a 73-year-old librarian who was roleplaying for a training exercise. And yet we will continue to trust that department with guns.

“During the course of the standoff Caldwell police officers broke numerous windows to gain entry, crashed through ceilings while they were maneuvering through the home, and punctured holes in the house by shooting canisters of tear gas that released noxious chemicals into the home.” Even though nobody was in the house…and the owner had given them the front door key.

Heartwarming: “Charles Kinsey, who was released from the hospital late last week, is now walking with a cane and a noticeable limp, but he still wanted to see Arnaldo Rios. Kinsey told reporters that Rios jumped from his hospital bed and hugged him when he entered the room for their private meeting.”

Grass-roots organizations in black communities lead the efforts to make their streets safe. We need to get rid of the offensive falsehood that black people don’t care about crime, and help create the reforms they’ve long demanded.”

“The federal government investigated the Baltimore police’s activities between January 2010 and June 2015, and concluded that officers routinely violated black people’s rights, intruded upon their lives, and racial bias pervaded ‘every stage’ of BPD’s enforcement activities.”

And finally: “The US Department of Justice, for the first time, will keep a comprehensive database of fatal officer-involved incidents, amid rising skepticism around police accountability.” A long-overdue first step.

Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail August 9, 2016

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People killed by police, 2016. 703 and counting.

A Virginia jury convicted a white police officer for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager, William Chapman, who was accused of shoplifting.” Not the first person Stephen Rankin has killed, either. (“This is my second one.“)

“[Officer James Burns] had no idea who was in the vehicle. He had no idea if that was the vehicle he should be concerned with. He just discharged his weapon.” Deravis Rogers died. At least, for once, the officer was charged with murder.

“Raja then tried to stage a crime. He called 911 using his personal cell phone over 30 seconds after firing his last shot. During the call, Raja yells, “Drop the f—— gun right now!” Raja then falsely claimed on the call that he identified himself as a police officer and gave Jones orders. Raja later admitted to investigators that he kept shooting despite seeing Jones throw his firearm out of reach.” Charged with manslaughter and attempted murder. It’s a start.

“At one point, an officer tells other police, ‘Make sure these are all off,’ in an apparent reference to their body cameras.” And yet there’s video of Paul O’Neal, and it’s terrible.

“It’s almost incomprehensible that a young naked man would be considered dangerous such that a police officer would kill him.” David Joseph, 17.

“On Sept. 4, 2005, days after the levees failed and water swamped the city, police murdered 17-year-old James Brissette and 40-year-old Ronald Madison, who were both unarmed, and wounded four others on the Danziger Bridge. […] After hearing from five dozen witnesses and examining 400 pieces of evidence during a monthlong trial, a federal jury convicted the officers for opening fire and trying to cover up wrongdoing.

“The only reason this situation did not get worse is because I am a recognizable elected official and fortunately at that moment two other officers recognized who I was. I was incensed. I shouldn’t have to use my title to get justice.”

Guns, race, and police: some numbers. August 4, 2016

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People killed by police, 2016. 690 and counting.

“Data released by the FBI on Monday shows that 2015 was one of the safest years for U.S. law enforcement in recorded history, following a sustained trend of low numbers of on-duty deaths in recent decades.”

“Officer Cariol Horne did what any good person would do, when she saw a fellow cop choking a handcuffed suspect. She stepped in, and stopped the attack on the defenseless citizen. In a story that garnered national attention, Horne was fire, then dismissed from the Buffalo Police Department after 19 years of service.” Or, “but what about all the good cops?!?…oh.”

“This study estimates the impact of Missouri’s 2007 repeal of its permit-to-purchase (PTP) handgun law on states’ homicide rates and controls for changes in poverty, unemployment, crime, incarceration, policing levels, and other policies that could potentially affect homicides.” (Surprise: gun homicides went up by 23%, and murders specifically by 16%.)

“Criminal histories and documented mental health problems did not prevent at least eight of the gunmen in 14 recent mass shootings from obtaining their weapons, after federal background checks led to approval of the purchases of the guns used.”

“Alva Braziel was shot 10 times by the police near a gas station in what the police say was a justified shooting because the man had a firearm and was pointing it at them. […] However, the time frame of the video does not seem to match the police’s claim, as their arrival and the subsequent fatal shooting takes less than 10 seconds.

Even if the white guy happens to be pointing his gun directly at an officer, his interaction with the police is unlikely to end in the exchange of gunfire.” Eight incidents that illustrate the point.

Affiliates of Showing Up for Racial Justice: a good way to find good groups in your area.

Stories about people who clashed with police and survived (somehow, never with the police’s help) July 24, 2016

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People killed by police, 2016. 648 and counting.

The list of young people burdened by these tumultuous times includes Tamir Rice’s teenage sister, who lost 50 pounds after watching the police shoot him in 2014; the daughter of Oscar Grant III, killed by a transit officer while lying down on a California train platform in 2009, who as a 5-year-old would ask playmates to duck when she saw the police; and the 9-year-old nephew of Sandra Bland, who began sleeping in his mother’s room after Ms. Bland’s death last year in a jail cell.”

“He smiles and says that a few citizens in Janeville called the police because of a suspicious black man in a white car was parked at the Wharf for a couple hours. My response, ‘Really? I was just reading a book.’

“After two previous mistrials, a federal judge has acquitted former police officer Eric Parker, who was charged with violating a Indian citizen’s civil rights after throwing him to the ground and partially paralyzing him during a sidewalk stop last year.” Sureshbhai Patel was a 57-year-old grandfather who spoke almost no English, and had just moved in to help care for his new grandchild.

“When [Danny] Sanchez saw the incident, and the SWAT team converge, he began recording from his garage. He assumed there wouldn’t be any problem, since he was so far away from the incident, on his own property and even out on the edge of the garage.”

After firing 107 bullets at the innocent women, the LAPD cops ordered them out of the vehicle and immediately realized their mistake. Instead of a 33-year-old black man, two Hispanic women exited the pickup truck and demanded to know, ‘Why did you shoot at us?'” Margie Carranza and Emma Hernandez.

“He was crying. He kept saying, ‘Mom! Mom!,’ trying to tell me what happened. ‘Shoot, shoot. Police, police. Blood.’” Arnaldo Eliud Rios Soto, the autistic man whose caregiver Charles Kinsey was shot while lying on his back with his hands up.

“In fact, in reviewing nearly every publicly available video of a police shooting over the past year or so, it is close to impossible to find footage of an officer aiding the person who has been shot.