How Ceasefire Has Changed This Organizer And Baltimore


By Lisa Snowden-McCray for Baltimore Beat. Baltimore, MD – Just a few days after the second 72-hour Baltimore Ceasefire weekend, which ran from Nov. 3-5, Erricka Bridgeford and I are sitting in her car in her old Rosemont neighborhood escaping the cold and rain. She has a bit of a cough and she’s just off a speaking engagement at the Community College of Baltimore County’s Essex campus, but Bridgeford has gamely agreed to take a few moments to share her thoughts about the second ceasefire, meant to pause the violence in the city and connect with and create community.

Standing Rock Police Violence Lawsuit Moves Toward Trial

NoDAPL aggressive police

By Water Protector Legal Collective. Dundon v. Kirchmeier is a federal civil rights class action lawsuit challenging police violence on the night of November 20-21, 2016, at Backwater Bridge near the water protector camps and the site of the DAPL pipeline just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. The case was filed on November 28, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota by nine named plaintiffs on behalf of everyone who was injured by law enforcement that night. “American Indians have felt the sharp end of a sword and the blunt end of a projectile too often in this country’s history. The brutal and militarized police violence on Backwater Bridge on November 20, 2016, should not have happened and must never happen again. The preliminary injunction is denied, but we will continue our fight for a permanent injunction and to ensure that the State pays for their indiscriminate use of excessive force,” said WPLC Executive Director Terry Janis.

Chicago Funds Police Force That Abuses, Under-funds Education

Invest in schols not police academy

By Dave Stieber for Huffington Post. Mayor Emanuel thinks the police are deserving of a new $95 million training facility. Just another example of Rahm using taxpayer money for anything and everything besides our students. Rahm will fund River Walks, Navy Pier, basketball stadiums and hotels while stealing TIF funds from the neighborhoods and schools that need them. His policies lead to the cutting of librarians, social workers, counselors, teachers, and support staff. School budgets continue to be cut. Parents go on hunger strikes to keep schools open. Still more schools are proposed to be closed, in Englewood. What message does this send our students? The same thing that our city and country has been telling people of color since the beginning ― that you don’t deserve as much as others. The Chicago Police Department costs taxpayers $4 million a day in operating costs, which makes up 40 percent of our city’s entire budget and totals up to $1.5 billion dollars per year. Police brutality cases in Chicago have cost our city more than $500 million dollars.

Envisioning The US Without Police Violence & Control

St. Louis Police chant 'Whose streets, our streets'

By Rashmee Kumar for the Intercept. Starting with the “original police force,” the London Metropolitan Police, Vitale provides a succinct historical framework to understand how police in the U.S. were created to control poor and nonwhite people and communities. The modern war on drugs can be traced back to “political opportunism and managing ‘suspect populations’” in the 20th century. The increasingly intensified policing of the U.S.-Mexico border today stems from nativist sentiment and economic exploitation of migrant workers starting in the 1800s. Surveillance and suppression of political movements takes root in imperialist Europe, when ruling powers used secret police to infiltrate and eliminate the opposition. “The End of Policing” maps how law enforcement has become an omnipresent specter in American society over the last four decades. Police are deployed to monitor and manage a sprawling range of issues: drugs, homelessness, mental health, immigration, school safety, sex work, youth violence, and political resistance. Across this spectrum, current liberal reforms are intertwined with upholding the legitimacy of police, courts, and incarceration as conduits to receive access to resources and care. Vitale’s approach goes beyond working within the carceral system to propose non-punitive alternatives that would eventually render policing obsolete.

Police Reportedly Claim A Brooklyn Teen Consented To Sex In Custody


By Natasha Lennard for The Intercept – ON SEPTEMBER 28, attorney Michael David filed notice of a claim against the New York Police Department, the City of New York, and two unnamed police officers, referred to as John and Jim Doe. These plainclothes cops, alleged the claim, “brutally sexually assaulted and raped” his 18-year-old female client. David told me that within a day, he needed to amend the claim: The officers had been identified by police in the press as Brooklyn South narcotics detectives Richard Hall and Edward Martins. “What was strange,” said David, “was that within only two or three hours of me filing, there was a story leaked to the New York Post saying that the detectives were claiming that the sex they had with my client in custody was consensual. They hadn’t even been named yet.” The attorney told me that he believes “the police were trying to get ahead of the story.” At a time of elevated public awareness about police violence and sexual assault, these detectives’ apparent defensive tack raises troubling questions about the way cops approach these national plagues. Let us be clear: Someone in police custody cannot give consent, in any meaningful sense of the word, to the officer holding them. Someone in police custody cannot give consent, in any meaningful sense of the word, to the officer holding them.

Convicted, But Still Policing


By Jennifer Bjorhus and MaryJo Webster for Star Tribune – The creation of the POST Board in 1977 made Minnesota a pioneer in police accountability. A series of highly publicized police shootings and protests at the time — similar to the incidents involving Jamar Clark and Philando Castile — galvanized state lawmakers to create one of the nation’s first police licensing systems. Minnesota became the first state to require law officers to hold at least a two-year college degree — a point of pride even today. Since then, however, other states have expanded the powers of their licensing bodies, while Minnesota’s board has continued to emphasize training and education. Today, the range of behavior considered grounds for state discipline in Minnesota is narrower than in many other states — and has gone nearly unchanged since 1995. A felony conviction is grounds for mandatory license revocation, and a gross misdemeanor triggers POST Board review, but not necessarily discipline. For misdemeanors, the board concerns itself with only a select group of crimes. Convictions for misdemeanor drunken driving and 5th degree assault, for example, do not trigger a review. Neither does on-duty conduct such as excessive use of force, even when cities pay tens of thousands of dollars to victims to settle claims.

Blockade Illustrates Why Chicago Is Not A Sanctuary City


By Organized Communities Against Deportations. Chicago, IL – Three life-size representations of statistics that show how Chicago and Mayor Emanuel have failed to live up to the claim of being a “Sanctuary” city and instead continue to uplift policies that center policing and incarceration, and fail to protect people from deportations. The role of the Chicago Police Department’s Gang database has been brought to the forefront by the case of an immigrant father from Back of the Yards, Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez, who has filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago for its role in directing immigration enforcement to his door by wrongfully claiming that he is a gang member.

Bigoted And Unprofessional Police Chief Backed By Michigan Governor

Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue. (photo: M Live)

By William Boardman for Reader Supported News – This is an unsurprisingly nasty internet meme that was publicly shared by the director of the Michigan State Police on her Facebook page on Sunday, September 24. Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue apparently gave no thought to her pre-packaged, knee-jerk reaction to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police treatment of African Americans in America. Col. Etue was apparently unprepared for the intense reaction to her casual castigation of fellow citizens, predominantly black athletes, acting on principle. A Michigan State Police spokesperson actually asserted that Col. Etue’s slanderous social media post was “not about race” — even though the issue wouldn’t exist without a racist justice system that allows cops (mostly white) to kill unarmed, innocent black people without suffering significant consequences. Roughly two days after the posting, Col. Etue issued a brief, substance-free non-apology apology for it, posted on the Michigan State Police website (not on Facebook): It was a mistake to share the message on Facebook and I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended. I will continue my focus on unity at the Michigan State Police and in communities across Michigan.

D.C. Police Threw More Than 70 Grenades At Inauguration Protesters

Screenshot 2017-10-10 at 11.26.29 AM

By Baynard Woods for The Real News Network – MPD deployed the weapons during massive protests of Donald Trump’s inauguration. At some point around 10:00 a.m. on the morning of the inauguration some protesters began breaking windows of major corporations on 13th Street NW between Logan Circle and Franklin Square. The protesters who engaged in vandalism were dressed in all black as part of a so-called “black bloc.” In the statement of notice for an expert witness set to appear in the first trial related to the case, which begins on Nov. 20, the prosecutors argue that the “‘black bloc’ tactic involves participants dressing in all black clothing and concealing their faces with masks, bandanas, and other clothing items. This tactic makes it difficult for law enforcement to identify the individual perpetrators of violence or destruction within the larger group.” Shortly after the police encountered the group, they began to deploy weapons, spraying large amounts of pepper spray (I was covering the event and was hit with spray). Platoon 32, for instance, emptied four large MK46 canisters and seven smaller canisters of the irritant.

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.

Second Wave of Journalist Arrests in St. Louis

St Louis Arch

By Staff for Reporters WIthout Borders. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed to learn that at least six journalists have been arrested this week while covering protests in St. Louis, Missouri. RSF views the detention of reporters who are simply doing their job as a threat to press freedom and calls for all charges against them to be dropped. On the evening of October 3, 2017, while covering protests in St. Louis, Missouri, following the acquittal of a white former police officer who fatally shot a black man, at least six journalists were arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing. These detentions come just over two weeks after three journalists were arrested in St. Louis while covering similar demonstrations. One of them was citizen journalist and livestreamer Jon Ziegler, also known as “Rebelutionary Z”, who now faces two sets of charges from both this week’s and last month’s arrests.

Calls For Resignation Of St. Louis Police Chief

Protesters Outside of Stadium, Photo by Danny Wicentowski

By Riverfront Times Staff. Protesters marching through downtown St. Louis on September 25, 2017 focused on a matter ripped from the headlines — the treatment of black officers on the city’s police force. Then they called for the resignation of Acting Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole. The group originally assembled at Market and 16th streets at 6 p.m., with participants given blue tape to cover their mouths. Then state Representative Bruce Franks Jr. (D-St. Louis) announced that they would be marching to police headquarters to discuss two high-profile cases involving black officers. The march was a silent one, with several hundred people following organizers in a long line through downtown streets. At the police headquarters, the protesters planned ten more minutes of silence — but after that, Franks warned, they would “turn it up.”

Colin Kaepernick Won


By Les Carpenter for The Guardian. All Colin Kaepernick ever asked was for his country to have a conversation about race. This, he warned, would not be easy. Such talks are awkward and often end in a flurry of spittle, pointed fingers and bruised feelings. But from the moment the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback first spoke about his decision to kneel or sit during the national anthem, he said was willing to give up his career to make the nation talk. In one speech on Friday night, Donald Trump gave Kaepernick exactly what he wanted.

Any White Cop Can Kill A Black Man..


By Don Fitz for Green Social Thought. Missouri – This is what has sparked protests by thousands in St. Louis from September 15 through today. In 2011, St. Louis cop Jason Stockley fired 5-7 shots at Anthony Lamar Smith, killing him. Stockley claimed that Smith was selling drugs and chased him at high speed and shot him to defend himself. The story was briefly reported as another drug deal gone bad, and it was just incidental that the cop was white and the victim was black. [See 2011 story HERE]. But the case turned out to be a lot more than that. His mother, Annie Smith, said that “They wouldn’t let me kiss him or hug him goodbye.”

Driver Speeds Through ‘Convict Stockley’ Protest in Kirkwood, Mo

Missouri Protest of Police Acquittal. Riverfront Times screen shot  9-16-17

By Sarah Fenske for Riverfront Times. A protest in Kirkwood last night took a potentially ugly turn when an SUV barreled through the crowd, horn honking. The protesters had assembled in the St. Louis suburb to advocate for the conviction of former police officer Jason Stockley, who has been tried on a charge of a first-degree murder. The city is now in its fifth week of waiting for a verdict, a decision in the hands of a judge after Stockley waived his right to a jury. “Stand up! Fight back!” the protesters shouted, with some brandishing signs reading, “Black Lives Matter.” The protest appeared to be well under control; the video shows police lights flashing nearby. But one driver in a white SUV got fed up with the chanting and took off into the crowd.