By Andrew Emett for Nation of Change – Captured on cellphone video running towards a handcuffed man on the ground and kicking him in the face without provocation, a Georgia police officer was immediately fired on Thursday after his supervisors viewed the footage. According to the arrest report, both officers at the scene failed to include the unnecessary use of force in their version of events. Around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Gwinnett County Police Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni reportedly noticed a car changing lanes without using a turn signal and missing a license plate. While conducting a routine traffic stop, Sgt. Bongiovanni called for backup after smelling marijuana and recognizing the driver of the vehicle from a previous arrest in August. According to Bongiovanni’s incident report, he ordered Demetrius Hollins out of the car when the suspect became belligerent and attempted to push away from him. Stuck in traffic, a bystander recorded the arrest on his cellphone as Bongiovanni used a Taser to take Hollins to the ground.
By Amanda Batchelor for ABC News – Cellphone video shows Charles Kinsey lying on his back in July 18, 2016, with his hands in the air in the area of Northeast 14th Avenue and Northeast 127th Street. Sitting next to him was an autistic man holding a toy truck. Police said they were called to the area about a man who was walking around with a gun and threatening to commit suicide. Sivano Hernandez, who recorded the shooting, told Local 10 News that Kinsey was being submissive and trying to calm down the autistic man, identified as Arnaldo Rios, who was holding a toy truck. “Before police even showed up he laid down with his hands up,” Hernandez said. “Everybody at this point thought that the little toy (truck) was actually a gun because it looked silver and shiny.” In the video of the incident, Kinsey is heard telling officers that he is unarmed. Authorities said Aledda was behind a car 152 feet away when he shot Kinsey.
By Sikivu Hutchinson for The Feminist Wire – In July 2015, African American activist Sandra Bland died in police custody after challenging a white officer who stopped her for an alleged lane change violation. Bland’s death generated national exposure for the high rate of suspicious police custody deaths among African Americans (Bland was one of five black female policy custody deaths that July). Like Bland, the majority of black women who die in police custody have been detained for minor, non-violent offenses. Nationwide, one in nineteen black women will be incarcerated during their lifetimes for nonviolent offenses—four times the rate of white women—placing them at even greater risk of being re-victimized in prison.
By Charlotte Dubenskij for Russia Today. Paris, France – Hundreds of protesters have gathered in front of police station in Paris for the 3rd consecutive night to vent their anger over the killing of a middle-aged Chinese man over the weekend. Tensions quickly escalated into clashes with police again firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse the angry crowd. RT’s correspondent at the scene, Charlotte Dubenskij, reports that police used tear gas to break pockets of protesters as the crowd continues to shout “Police assassins!” Paris, France – Hundreds of protesters have gathered in front of police station in Paris for the 3rd consecutive night to vent their anger over the killing of a middle-aged Chinese man over the weekend. Tensions quickly escalated into clashes with police again firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse the angry crowd. RT’s correspondent at the scene, Charlotte Dubenskij, reports that police used tear gas to break pockets of protesters as the crowd continues to shout “Police assassins!” “We’ve been seeing bottles thrown. We’ve got tear gas flown, pepper spray. I actually had it right in my face, we’ve been sort of with the crowd as it’s moving,” Dubenskij said.
By Rachael Revesz for Independent – More people have died at the hands of law enforcement in the US so far this year than during the same period in 2016, casting a dark shadow over the Donald Trump administration as it invests more power in the police. By 19 March this year, 271 people have already been killed by police, compared with 262 people by the same date in 2016, according to a database called Killedbypolice.net. There were fewer deaths (255) in 2015 and even fewer (209) in 2014 by the same point. The rising numbers do little to reassure critics of Donald Trump, who signed an executive order in February to invest more power in the police and who has all but scrapped the former Justice Department’s investigation into law enforcement violence around the US.
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.