Over 300 Arrested in St. Louis: It's About More Than Police Brutality

Jason Stoakley protests St Louis

By Jaisal Noor for the Real News. Jason Stockley for killing 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. 143 people were arrested on a highway protest on Tuesday alone, including two journalists with The Young Turks. In a police recording of the incident, Stockley can be heard saying he was going to kill the suspect. Smith was shot five times and pronounced dead on the scene. Now joining us to discuss this and the ongoing protests is Mustafa Abdullah. He’s an organizer with the ACLU of Missouri. Thank you so much for joining us. M. ABDULLAH: I’m happy to be here. JAISAL NOOR: So, talk about what you’ve seen in the streets over the past two weeks plus. The police have said there have been criminal elements in the protests who have engaged in vandalism and rioting. M. ABDULLAH: So, I think that the organized protests are really a beautiful sort of demonstration of a community’s response to what they see as systemic oppression and a lack of accountability and transparency when it comes to interactions with law enforcement and the investigations into police brutality and police killings. What I’ve seen is, I’ve seen protestors lead chants of, “Take one, take all.” I’ve seen protestors who are referring to themselves as family and I think that these issues are particularly very personal to them. I think that the fact that there has been a few instances of windows being broken at businesses is more of a demonstration of people’s anger and frustration and I think that I’m not, I think that those acts should be interpreted within that lens. And so when we’re seeing things at protests that we may find disagreeable or that we don’t understand, I think it’s important for folks to remind themselves to take a step back and to really try to have empathy for why people are frustrated and why they’re angry.

Police Arrest 32 In St Louis After Acquittal Of Police Officer Jason Stockley

Protesters confront police in St Louis following the acquittal of a former officer charged in the shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Photograph: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

By Amanda Holpuch for the Guardian. Mostly peaceful demonstrations followed a not-guilty verdict in the murder trial of a white former police officer who shot and killed a black motorist St Louis police said 32 people had been arrested during demonstrations against the acquittal of a former police officer, who had been charged with murder in the 2011 fatal shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith. Ten law enforcement officers were injured in the mostly peaceful protests, which began after the not-guilty verdict was handed down by circuit judge Timothy Wilson on Friday morning. The demonstrations quieted early Saturday morning, having taken place in different parts of the city, including outside the home of mayor Lyda Krewson. At one point, the crowd around her home swelled to about 1,000 people, including some who pelted the home with red paint and broke at least two windows.

2017 Deadliest On Record For Killings By Police

BLM protesters outsideof the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct Nov. 25, 2014. (AP/Jim Mone)

By Rachel Blevins for Mint Press News – In 2017 alone, police have killed 746 people in the U.S., according to the Killed By Police database, which puts this year on pace to become the deadliest year on record. In contrast, in the first seven months of 2016, police killed 714 people; the number was slightly higher in 2015 with 725 killed, and it was noticeably lower in 2014 with 663 killed and in 2013 with 353 killed. One case from this year that received a host of media attention occurred on July 15 when Justine Damond, a 40-year-old Australian woman was shot and killed by police in Minneapolis, after she called 911 to report a disturbance in her neighborhood. As The Free Thought Project reported, while audio was released from the shooting, neither one of the two officers on the scene chose to turn on their body cameras, and the officer who shot and killed Damond had several complaints on his record. In addition to the increase in police shootings, the U.S. is also under a new administration, which has expressed overwhelming support for all of the characteristics that lead to an empowered police state. In an address to the National District Attorney’s Association conference on July 17, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to increase the federal government’s civil asset forfeiture programs. “In addition, we hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture—especially for drug traffickers,” Sessions said. “With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.

Newsletter - This Juneteenth, End "US Way Of War"

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. We just returned from the weekend-long United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) conference in Richmond, VA. This is the fourth UNAC conference since its founding in 2010 to create a vibrant and active anti-war movement in the United States that opposes all wars. The theme this year was stopping the wars at home and abroad in recognition that we can’t end one without ending the others, that they have common roots and that it will take a large, broad-based and diverse movement of movements to succeed. Speakers at the conference ranged from people who are fighting for domestic issues – such as a $15/hour minimum wage and an end to racist police brutality and ICE raids – to people who traveled from or represented countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Korea, the Philippines, the Congo, Iran, Syria, Colombia and Venezuela, which are some of the many countries under attack by US imperialism.

Thousands Take To The Streets To Protest Philando Castile Verdict

Castille protest of jury verdice 6-17-17

By Jessica Goldstein for Think Progress. Within hours of the verdict, thousands of protestors came together at the state Capitol, starting a march toward St. Paul Cathedral. The crowd, as the Associated Press reported, was “mixed-race” and “includ[ed] many people with children.” Their signs read “Unite for Philando” and “Corrupt systems only corrupt.” A group of protestors peeled off from the pack and headed to Interstate 94 in St. Paul; the freeway was shutdown in both directions. A police standoff with protestors lasted over an hour and a half, at which point “the group dwindled and appeared to largely clear the interstate without police using force.” According to CNN, Minnesota State Patrol reported 18 arrests following I-94 demonstrations when protestors did not comply with orders to disperse. St. Paul police put the number of peaceful protestors in the streets and at the Capitol at about 2,000.

Minnesota Police Officer Yanez Acquitted In Shooting Death of Philando Castile

of moments after shooting.

Update: Several hours after the verdict, a protest which began at the St Paul State Capital building, made its way to I-94 freeway where there were 18 arrests, including several journalists.

By John Zangas for DC Media Group. A mostly white jury acquitted Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez of the shooting death of Philando Castile, a Black man from Twin Cities, Minnesota, during a traffic stop. The verdict was delivered Friday afternoon after the jury deliberated for five days. The shooting death of Castile happened on July 6, 2016, when Yanez pulled Diamond Reynolds over in Falcon Heights for a broken taillight. Castillo was riding in the front passenger seat and Reynolds’ 4 year old daughter was seated in a baby car seat behind them. Officer Yanez had pulled over Reynolds at about 9 pm because of a broken taillight. In a patrol car voice recording of the incident, and before Reynolds began her cell video camera, Castillo can be heard telling Officer Yanez that he has a firearm and is licensed to carry it. “Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me.” Castillo said to Yanez. Yanez then said “Okay,” Yanez said to Castile not to pull out his gun. Castile said, “I’m not pulling it out,” Yanez then screamed, “Don’t pull it out,” while he pulled his own gun out and shot Castile. He fired seven shots in succession. The last thing Castillo said before he lost consciousness was, “I wasn’t going to pull it out.” Their four year old daughter sat in the backseat of the car. She was not hit though one shot penetrated Castile’s seat…

US Supreme Court Sides With Police Breaking Into Home, Shooting Couple

POlice entering house

By Shelley Connor for WSWS. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously on Tuesday in favor of the police in a case involving Constitutional issues relating to an illegal search and entry in violation of the Fourth Amendment which resulted in a man and his pregnant wife being shot 15 times. The 8-0 decision in County of Los Angeles vs. Mendez overturns a Ninth Circuit Court decision that found in favor of Angel Mendez and vacated an award of $4 million granted by the Ninth Circuit. In the Mendez decision, Justice Samuel Alito called the provocation rule “a novel and unsupported path to liability in cases in which the use of force was reasonable.” The court vacated the damages awarded by the court, sending the case back to the Ninth Circuit with instructions to reconsider whether the Mendezes can be awarded damages strictly on the merits of the warrantless entry; the court will not be allowed to consider the issues of police provocation or excessive force.

Unarmed 15 Year Old Killed By Police In Texas

Jordan Edwards family. Father , Odell Edwards wipes away tears as he sits with his wife, Charmaine Edwards, listening to their attorney Lee Merritt talking about the death of their son. (GUY REYNOLDS for AP)

By Staff for Popular Resistance. On Monday, the police department of the Dallas suburb of Balch Springs, Texas, changed its story on the shooting of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was killed by a police officer on Saturday. Edwards was a a freshman at Mesquite High School. The story changed after Chief Jonathan Haber watched body-cam footage of the shooting. The video tape has not been released and police say a decision on its release will be made by the police and prosecutor. The Balch Springs police Tuesday fired Oliver who fatally shot Jordan Edwards. In a statement the family said “Over the past 24 hours Chief Haber has made commendable strides toward justice. However, there remains a long road ahead. We anxiously await this officer’s … arrest for the crime of murder. . . The magnitude of his horrible actions cannot be overstated. We fully expect an equivalent response from those responsible for investigating and punishing the crime. We also know that although his actions were the most wicked and consequential, he was not the only officer responsible for dreadful behavior that evening.”

Sabal Trail Pipeline Protester Killed By Police

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By Sabal Trail Resistance for It’s Going Down. The story is still unfolding about a man, 66 year old James Leroy Marker, who lost his life to police bullets after an act of sabotage that disabled a section of Sabal Trail pipeline construction in Marion County last week, on February 26, 2017. We know that there will be more to say in the coming days or weeks, as family and friends come forward with stories of James’ life. But we felt a need to acknowledge what has happened while the incident is fresh on peoples’ minds and questions are surfacing around his motivations, the value of the actions he took and the response of law enforcement. First off, it must be noted that his action effectively disabled recent construction activity in a highly controversial area, mere miles from the crossing of preserves including Pruitt, Halpata Tastanaki and the Marjorie Carr Greenway, with sensitive wetlands and endangered species being impacted.

Five Years Ago Today, Trayvon Martin Was Killed

Trayvon Martin Peace Walk in MIami Gardens, 2nd Annual

Staff for #RememberTrayvon. The murder of Trayvon Martin was the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement that accelerated with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and has grown with the deaths of so many other blacks at the hands of police. Here are several campaigns to remember Trayvon: #TrayvonTaughtMe digital toolkit and campaign:The #TrayvonTaughtMe digital campaign highlights the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement, and how Trayvon’s extrajudicial murder and his family’s commitment to ending gun violence and strengthening communities catalyzed a generation of organizers and activists to take action for Black lives. #OurSonTrayvon campaign: In collaboration with Gbenga Akkinagbe, founder of Liberated People, and activist-writer Michaela Angela Davis, BLM is supporting the launch of the #OurSonTrayvon campaign, whose goal is to create a sustainable movement humanizing Black children in the collective imagination. #DearTrayvonsMom letter writing campaign: is soliciting love letters to Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother and #TalkAboutTrayvon digital toolkit and campaign: seeks to launch a conversation among white people about the conditions that led to the extrajudicial murder of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

Baltimore Police Agree To Tackle Deep, Systemic Failures

In Baltimore's Sandtown-WInchester, every day is an ongoing Katrina

By Juliet Linderman and Eric Tucker for Associated Press. Vanita Gupta, the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said the agreement will make the city safer for everyone, including officers. “The city and BPD will implement comprehensive reforms to end the legacy of Baltimore’s zero-tolerance policing,” she said. “And in its place, Baltimore is empowering officers to engage in proactive, community-oriented policing.” The Justice Department agreement mandates changes in the most fundamental aspects of police work. Known as a consent decree, it is the culmination of months of negotiations and is meant to correct constitutional violations identified in the report released last year.

Police Killed More Native Americans In 2016 Than Previous Year

Indian lives matter student put in police wagon. Image Credi Light Brigading

By Simon Moya-Smith for Indian Country Media Network. The number of Native Americans killed by police nearly doubled in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to reports. Last year, an estimated 21 Native Americans were killed by law enforcement. In 2015, police killed 13 Native Americans, The Counted, a tabulation of all police killings in the U.S., revealed. A 2014 study by The Center of Juvenile and Criminal Justice reported that, per capita, Native Americans are more likely to be killed by police than any other demographic in the U.S.

Does Jeff Sessions At DOJ Signal Death Of Police Reform?

Jeff Sessions with Donald Trump

By Adeshina Emmanuel for In These Times. President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Senator Jeff Sessions (R – AL), a longtime ally, to become his attorney general. Sessions is known as an immigration hard-liner with an alleged history of racist remarks and actions, sparking fears that his confirmation could mean major changes at the Department of Justice (DOJ)—especially as it relates to communities of color. “I would hope the folks who have been activists around police reform, who have built an important and effective movement, will see this as a moment where that movement needs to get bigger,” says Jonathan Smith, former DOJ official. Activists concur, but not just because of the potential shifts in the DOJ. Master notes that Trump’s presidency has emboldened proponents of white supremacy, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and anti-Muslim sentiments in the U.S. She says that means activists from marginalized groups have to change their approach, bolster their bases and collaborate more with one another. “Trump’s regime … doesn’t stop our work,” says Samantha Miller, a Baltimore area organizer.. “It makes it more pressing.”

Erica Garner: Why We Can’t Let Cops Get Bonuses For Corruption

Eric Garner, pictured here with his family, died after a police officer held him in a chokehold during an arrest on July 17, 2014  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3157948/Eric-Garner-s-family-awaits-closure-year-chokehold-death-cop-lock-says-t-wait-work.html#ixzz3fmrdnkqU  Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

By Erica Snipes-Garner for Alternet. NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed my father, Eric B. Garner, on July 17, 2014. The idea that Pantaleo receives a substantial increase in pay after murdering my father and no one noticed is silly. Someone knew about this. This was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bonus for a job well done and de Blasio has put his political future on the line to defend this corrupt institution. This underscores why we need transparency, the Right To Know Act, and a permanent special prosecutor. This also underscores why de Blasio is fighting tooth and nail to hide the disciplinary records of this killer cop on payroll. He already knows what we do not. As long as police officers like Daniel Pantaleo and Michael Zak are on the force and reporting to work in the 120th precinct and getting bonuses for corruption, we can never be serious about healing and building relationships with the community.

Mysterious Private Police Force That’s Killing People In Nation’s Capital

DYLAN PETROHILOS

By Carimah Townes for Think Progress – The last time Beverly Smith had a full conversation with her son, Alonzo, was October 30, 2015. It was a Friday, and even though the weekend had just begun, he was thrilled about the upcoming week. The 27-year-old, who worked with special needs students, had booked several gigs as a part-time portrait model. When she received the news, Beverly couldn’t have known it would be the last time she’d share a joyful moment with her youngest child.