By Jack Jenkins and Carimah Townes for Think Progress – On July 17, 2014, NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo wrapped his arms around Eric Garner’s neck and squeezed. He held tight as his colleagues slammed Garner, 43 years old and asthmatic, to the ground. Garner, who was unarmed at the time, gasped for air, arm outstretched, saying “I can’t breathe” over and over as officers piled on top of him. Then he was silent. The next day, when the New York Daily News released video of the encounter, Garner had already died from neck and chest compression. His death sparked national protests about police violence against the black community, and his final words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.
By Andy Grimm for Chicago Sun Times – Prosecutors on Thursday tacked on 16 new counts to the first-degree murder charges against Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke in the shooting of Laquan McDonald. A new indictment handed up by a grand jury last week adds the 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, apparently one for each shot Van Dyke fired at McDonald, special prosecutor Joseph McMahon said in a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. The new indictment, returned on March 16, still includes the six counts of first-degree murder and one count of official misconduct that were charged in November 2015, when the case was being handled by former State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
By Jessica Remer for ABC Tulsa – TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Jurors have awarded the family of Elliott Williams more than $10 million after a wrongful death lawsuit against the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. Williams died in the Tulsa County Jail in 2011. Lawyers for Williams’ family argued the sheriff’s department violated his civil rights when deputies left him on the jail floor with a broken neck. After a three-week trial, jurors found in favor of Williams’ family, awarding them $10 million from Tulsa County and another $250,000 from former Sheriff Stanley Glanz. The family’s attorney, Dan Smolen, says finding the jail responsible for Williams’ death was the only conclusion a jury could reach.
By Staff of Tele Sur – Chile’s Mapuche, who make up roughly 10 percent of its population, are more likely to be killed by police than non-Mapuche people. Dozens of Chile’s Indigenous Mapuche protested police terror in Temuco on Friday, calling on law enforcement to stop violence against their youth. The protest was organized by the parents of Brandon Hernandez, a 17-year-old Mapuche student who was shot by police last December during an anti-government demonstration. Chilean police sergeant Cristian Rivera shot Brandon in the back with a shotgun, leaving the teenager in critical condition.
By Megan Reynolds for Jezebel – Hundreds of protestors filled the streets Wednesday night in Anaheim after an off-duty LAPD officer fired his weapon during a confrontation with a 13-year old boy Tuesday. KTLA reports that the incident occurred Tuesday afternoon and “began over ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer’s property,” according to a statement from the Anaheim police. The boy in question “is alleged to have threatened to shoot the off-duty officer,” but as KTLA notes, that is disputed in the cell phone footage of the incident as well as by the parents of the boy in question. KTLA first published a story about the incident Tuesday night, which led to the boy’s family contacting the police with their side of the story. The footage, shot in broad daylight, shows the officer holding the boy by the sweatshirt as a group of teens gather to watch. “They’re grabbing a minor,” a girl says, as the boy in question protests.
By Leon Neyfakh for Slate – The new White House website went live following Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday, and it contained a bracing message implicitly directed to supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement: Your kind is not welcome in Trump’s America. “The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration,” reads a page on the website titled “Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community.” It continues: “President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.”
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.