By Jon Swaine and Ciara McCarthy for The Guardian – The Counted project points to continuing racial disparities, with black males aged 15-34 nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed. Young black men were again killed by police at a sharply higher rate than other Americans in 2016, intensifying concerns over the expected abandonment of criminal justice reform by Donald Trump’s incoming administration. Black males aged 15-34 were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by law enforcement officers last year, according to data collected for The Counted, an effort by the Guardian to record every such death. They were also killed at four times the rate of young white men.
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.
By Monique Judge for The Root – A police officer in Rolesville, N.C., is on administrative leave after video posted to Twitter on Tuesday showed him picking up a female high school student and slamming her violently to the ground. The eight-second video shows a group of students at Rolesville High School crowded together, and then the officer slams the girl to the ground. After throwing her to the ground, the officer picks her up and leads her off with her hands behind her back. Police told WTVD/ABC11 that a fight occurred at the high school earlier that morning. A second video sent in to WTVD shows the fight that led up to the incident with the officer.
By Josh Begley for The Intercept – POLICE OFFICERS IN the United States have killed more than 1,000 people so far this year. The number is staggering. Who were these people? What were their lives like? How did the future look through their eyes? Some of the names are familiar: Korryn Gaines. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Others perhaps less so: Jessica Williams, Tyre King, Deborah Danner. The list goes on. Last year, when the Guardian and the Washington Post published their databases on police killings, I made a simple project cataloging the locations of all these sites of violence. Teju Cole called it “Officer Involved” and wrote a short introduction for the piece.
By Liz Martinez and Roque Planas for The Huffington Post – LOS ANGELES ― Days before he died, Pedro Villanueva asked his mother for permission to go to Tijuana with his cousin over the Fourth of July weekend. She refused, worrying that Mexico would be too dangerous for her 19-year-old son. Now she wonders if she made the right decision. “I said, ‘Oh no, if you go to Tijuana, what if something happens to you?’” Hortencia Villanueva told The Huffington Post. “You know, [as a parent] you’re always trying to protect your children. And always thinking that the worst things happen in Mexico, not knowing that these things can happen right here.
By Timothy Mclaughlin for The Huffington Post – Chicago will pay around $5.4 million in settlements for two men killed by police officers after the city council voted to approve the payments on Wednesday. The estate of Cedrick Chatman, 17, who was shot and killed by police officers in January 2013, was awarded $3 million, while the estate of Darius Pinex, 27, who was killed during a 2011 traffic stop, was awarded $2.36 million. Both men were black. Both killings brought increased scrutiny of the Chicago Police Department for its use of deadly force as well as criticism of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handling of shootings involving the police.
By Todd Richmond for Associated Press – Prosecutors charged a Milwaukee police officer Thursday with killing a black man in August, alleging the man had thrown his gun away and was unarmed when the officer fired the fatal shot. Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is also black, was charged with reckless homicide in the Aug. 13 death of Sylville Smith, which sparked two days of riots on Milwaukee’s north side. In the days after the shooting, both the police chief and the mayor had said that police video clearly showed Smith had a gun and was turning toward officers when he was shot. Thursday’s criminal complaint echoed that, but went on to describe a second shot, fired into Smith’s chest after Smith no longer had his gun.
By Staff of Black Lives Matter – Join us this Thursday, December 8th at North Charleston City Hall for a People’s Assembly to End Police Brutality, speak out at the North Charleston City Council Meeting and help us continue the fight to reform the Citizen’s Advisory Commission into a body with Power. This board in its current form is a weak body that can only make recommendations and give advice. It does not represent a mechanism that can ensure accountability, legitimacy, and trust. It does nothing to address the abuse of authority in which some officers engage. Furthermore, there is no budget and no oversight power. We want to change that. If interested in participating in this effort email BlackLivesMatterChs@gmail.com for more details and SHARE THE FLYER ATTACHED!
By Staff of Tele Sur – Late Friday, a single juror wrote Judge Clifton Newman that they could not vote to convict North Charleston, South Carolina police officer Michael Slager of either murder or manslaughter for his April execution-style fatal shooting of unarmed Walter Scott, raising the specter of a mistrial. Earlier Friday, the jury indicated that after two days of deliberation they were deadlocked, meaning they could not achieve the required unanimous agreement on a verdict. The judge sent the jury back to try again, and hours later he received a letter from one anonymous juror saying they could not vote for any form of conviction.
By Nathan Wellman for US Uncut. Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) has sent a team of human rights observers to monitor law enforcement response to those protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The decision to send the team came in response to reports of militarized police deploying pepper spray, bean bags, and strip searches, as well as a case where improperly trained mercenaries allowed guard dogs to bite multiple protesters. The protesters – who prefer to be referred to as water protectors – have so far emphasized the importance of peaceful protesting tactics. Members of the media have also been arrested for covering the confrontations. “Our observers are here to ensure that everyone’s human rights are protected,” said Eric Ferrero, director of communications for AIUSA.
By Staff of Color of Change – After young 11 and 12-year-boys of the Beaumont Bulls football knelt during the anthem to protest police violence against Black youth, their local executive board canceled their entire football season, suspended the coaching staff, and threatened to arrest their parents if they attended any future games, practices or events. For these young Black kids, the plight of injustice in America is their own.
By Nathalie Baptiste for AlterNet – Body cameras were going to be black America’s saving grace. Technology was going to bring to light the horrors of police violence in communities of color, while the cameras would provide enough transparency to help rebuild trust in law enforcement in historically over-policed communities. But instead, police departments are simply finding ways to render body cameras useless in the fight for accountability. Officials in every level of government have lauded body cameras.
By Ryan J. Reilly for The Huffington Post – “I can’t breathe.” Michael Sabbie ― a 35-year-old stay-at-home father of four ― said it after five guards piled on top of him inside the Bi State Jail, a facility that sits directly on the border between Texas and Arkansas and is run by a for-profit company. “I can’t breathe.” Sabbie ― who packed his kids’ lunches, drove them to and from school, and carted them around to their after-school activities ― said it again after a sixth officer pepper-sprayed him as he lay on the concrete floor.
By Christopher Mathias for The Huffington Post – The man who filmed the final moments of Eric Garner’s life is behind bars. Ramsey Orta, 24, told his family “It will be OK” in a Staten Island courthouse Monday, according to the New York Daily News, as a judge sentenced him to four years in prison. The sentence is the result of a plea deal Orta took earlier this summer on drug and gun charges.
By Zeba Blay for The Huffington Post – On the evening of Sept. 1, something unusual took place in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston, Massachusetts. Huge projections appeared on the sides of the abandoned homes in the area, homes which had once housed a longtime community of African-American tenants but now stood empty, the property of real estate company City Realty. Large and looming, the projections were somber video portraits of some of the hundreds of tenants who were displaced from the community this year in order to make room for 70 luxury apartments