Activists Ask Charlottesville To Drop Charges; ACLU Asks City To Revise Police Tactics

Shaban Anthuman/ Times-dispatch

By Lauren Berg for The Daily Progress – CHARLOTTESVILLE — Activists want all charges dropped against protesters arrested at the July 8 KKK rally in Charlottesville after they say police used unnecessary force against demonstrators, and the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is asking residents to urge the City Council to increase “civilian oversight and accountability in policing.” Lodging allegations of police brutality, activists associated with Solidarity Cville held a news conference Friday in front of the Charlottesville Police Department, asking for police to apologize for their tactics at the rally and revoke the permit for the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally, organized by pro-white blogger Jason Kessler. Emily Gorcenski, who attended the rally, said it was unnecessary for police to declare unlawful assembly as protesters gathered around a garage where members of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan had parked. She said police did not give protesters and others enough time to leave the area before Virginia State Police deployed three canisters of tear gas. “To be frank, it is ridiculous to expect a grieving community, with a deep legacy of racial violence, to simply pack up and go home after the KKK rallied in our city,” Gorcenski said. After the Klansmen left, some protesters turned their attention to police and followed officers back up to High Street, where they continued to defy police commands to leave the area.

Police Should Answer To The Communities They Serve

After the death of Michael Brown in 2014, and ensuing demonstrations and police response in Ferguson, Missouri, the Obama Administration created the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which issued a report including 150 recommendations for law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Photo by Scott Lum / Flickr.

By Christopher Zumski Finke for Yes! Magazine – Here’s what I learned: In 1829, a member of the British Parliament named Sir Robert Peel wrote nine principles for policing communities. They include, “the police must secure the willing cooperation of the public” and “the police should use only the minimum degree of physical force necessary on any particular occasion.” Every cop in the United States should have learned them. Carter did when he joined the St. Paul Police Department in 1975, after the city was sued for failing to hire Black officers. He served 27 years on the force, first as a patrol officer, then as a detective, then as an Internal Affairs investigator. Carter comes from a celebrated African American family in St. Paul. His father, Melvin Carter Sr., was a jazz musician (who died earlier this month), and his son is running for mayor of St. Paul. Carter created the organization Save Our Sons, a mentorship program for young men of color, and was instrumental in creating the Juvenile Detention Alternative Center. He’s now an elder-figure on matters of race and policing in the Twin Cities. Voices in and around law enforcement seem to agree that Peel’s rules are good ones. Carter wanted me to know them, because he wanted me to understand that Peel’s Principles don’t apply to Black people.

Minnesota Police Officer Yanez Acquitted In Shooting Death of Philando Castile

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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…

LGBTQ Activists Blockade DC Capital Pride Parade

LGBTQ protest DC 6-10-17 by John Zangas

By John Zangas for DC Media Group. Drawing spirit from the LGBTQ resistance roots of the Stonewall protests of the late 1960s, an ad-hoc group of activists under the banner of No Justice No Pride, staged a series of spectacular blockades of the 42nd D.C. Capital Pride parade Saturday afternoon. There were three separate blockades representing major concerns of the three groups that they say have resulted in marginalization by Capital Pride organizers and sponsors. Black Lives Matter LGBTQ persons protested the police sponsorship of Pride and LGBTQ war resistors protested the corporate military sponsors of Pride, while indigenous and immigrant LGBTQ persons protested bank sponsors for their oppressive prison, pipeline and anti-immigration funding.

A Q&A About Police Violence And Reproductive Health

To understand the connections between law enforcement violence and reproductive justice, doctors and researchers have to think broadly about how history and policy affect care and barriers. 
 Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

By Cynthia Greenlee for Rewire – Police violence and interaction could be seen as particularly extreme forms of maternal stress. If one lives in a community that is frequently policed, the accumulative effects of these interactions can have health consequences more insidious than those caused by actual physical violence. When there is a police shooting, somewhere a doctor or medical staff are involved. They treat the living wounded, and as coroners, they read the bodies of the dead and produce autopsies that will be scrutinized by the public, the media, and the criminal justice system. Those documents underline that the provision of medical care is political. Physicians do not shed their biases and beliefs when they don white coats. Individual doctors and medical associations have been agents of social change and, in other cases…

Our Streets: The Story from the Front Lines & How We Fight

Militarized police and card players sit-in from Trump Inauguration protests by Eleanor Goldfield, Art Killing Apathy

By Eleanor Goldfield for ACT Out. Yawn points out that condemning black bloc tactics divides us and that we should not limit ourselves to only permitted protests. He asks: what violence would have to be done to you before you fight back? Is that being done to others in our country? Is it being done by the United States to others around the world? With these questions in mind he points out that opposing black bloc tactics comes from a place of privilege, the privilege of not suffering violence at the hand of the state. Yawn describes how tactics must be analyzed in the context of the situation and the goals of the protest.

Anonymous Joins #NoDAPL Fight

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By Brianna Acuesta for True Activist. What occurred on Sunday night at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation was a brutal use of force that showed the true colors of the oil companies backing the Dakota Access Pipeline and local police. It’s been clear which side the police have been on from the start, but up until now the assault on protesters has been relatively mild and spread out. However, on Sunday night, chaos ensued when law enforcement pulled out all the stops in an effort to persuade the protesters to end their fight. Police used rubber bullets, water cannons, and concussion grenades to cause “nonlethal harm” to the water protectors, but the damage inflicted was massive. Police reportedly shot a 13-year-old girl in the face with rubber bullets, vindictively shot a man at point blank range in the belly button and knee caps with a smile on their face…

‘Nothing To See Here’ Headlines Conceal Police Violence At Dakota Access

"Environmental assessments failed to disclose the presence and proximity of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation," stated UN expert Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. (Photo: John Duffy/flickr/cc)

By Jim Naureckas for FAIR – Sorry, New York Times–when more than 470 people have been arrested opposing the pipeline since August, that’s not the news. Nor did the print edition headline—“16 Arrested at North Dakota Pipeline Protest as Tensions Continue”—add anything. No, the news in the story came in the second paragraph, where reporter Jonah Engel Bromwich wrote that “officials also defended their use of fire hoses against protesters the night before, despite the below-freezing weather.”

How We Boycott Injustice And Police Brutality In America

King and Abernathy talking to police during Montgomery Bus Boycott by Gener Herrick for AP

By Shaun King for the NY Daily News. The protests build awareness, be they on the football field, the basketball court, the soccer pitch, or in the streets — but they don’t build the political and economic pressure required to force the hand of politicians to bring about the change. We need to force their hand. That’s why I just introduced InjusticeBoycott.com. On this Dec. 5, the anniversary of when Dr. King and others began the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, we are launching our own Montgomery Bus Boycott to show every city, state, institution and corporation in this country that meaningful, reasonable, achievable reforms on police brutality and injustice are not our long-term dreams. They are our immediate emergency priority. It is going to take the same type of determination and organization that we saw with the Montgomery Bus Boycott over 60 years ago for us to succeed. We’ve done it before. We can do it again. We will do it again. In just a few days, 79,089 people from all 50 states and countries all around the world have joined us. By now, you’ve probably signed many petitions the past few years. This is not a petition. This is you making a pledge that you will boycott cities, states, businesses, and institutions which are either willfully indifferent to police brutality and racial injustice or are deliberately destructive partners with it.

Look, Black People Aren’t Lying About Police Violence

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Melech Thomas chants during a demonstration outside the State Attorney’s office calling for the investigation into the death of Freddie Gray on April 29, 2015, in Baltimore.

By Julia Craven for The Huffington Post – A damning report from the Justice Department found that the Baltimore Police Department routinely used excessive force, retaliated against citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights and committed other civil rights abuses. Baltimore police officers often stopped, frisked and arrested residents unconstitutionally. The report, formally released on Wednesday, also says officers within the department were purposefully careless in sexual assault cases, used slurs against LGBT people and, in some cases, were told by supervisors to target black residents and “lock up all the black hoodies.”

How Environmental Injustice Connects To Police Violence

A demonstrator stands during protests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

By Brentin Mock for City Lab – As the nation continues to process the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, it’s worth keeping in mind that the circumstances of those killings were not all the same. And demonstrators across the country aren’t only protesting police violence against black citizens. They’re also venting grievances about their own stifling living conditions, under which it’s often difficult to ride, walk, or even breathe without police suffocating black lives further.

Why We Dream About A World Without Police

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By William C. Anderson for Praxis Center – The last few years have been rough. President Obama’s last term in the White House has given many of us some of the most polarizing times we have ever experienced. It goes without saying that many have felt hopeless after being promised a change. Political disillusionment has clouded the air in a country struggling to find its true identity. In the midst of all this, unrelenting police violence has been in the spotlight driven by organized resistance to police brutality and renewed media interest.

Following Horrific Violence, Something More Is Required Of Us

Madia Alluding and her granddaughter Danielette Johnson hold candles at city hall in Portland, Maine, during a vigil to remember two black men shot and killed by police in Louisiana and Minnesota, Friday, July 8, 2016. (Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

By Michelle Alexander for Moyers and Company – I have struggled to find words to express what I thought and felt as I watched the videos of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile being killed by the police. Thursday night, I wanted to say something that hasn’t been said a hundred times before. It finally dawned on me that there is nothing to say that hasn’t been said before. As I was preparing to write about the oldness of all of this, and share some wisdom passed down from struggles of earlier eras, I heard on the news that 11 officers had been shot in Dallas, several killed from sniper fire.

Newsletter: US Racism Is Killing Us

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. This was a traumatic week. Two more unjustified killings of black men were caught on video and shared widely. Mass protests erupted throughout the country. And then, at the end of a Dallas protest against police violence, a lone gunman shot 12 people, killing five police officers. A graphic video shows Baton Rouge police shooting Alton Sterling outside of a convenience store where he was selling CDs. Two police have him on the ground, then shots ring out and Sterling is dead. Forty-eight hours later in Minnesota, Philando Castile is shot dead at a traffic stop while he is reaching for his wallet. In the aftermath of Castile’s fatal shooting, a video made by his girlfriend from the passenger seat is posted on Facebook and goes viral. Police violence is a growing public heath threat that is wounding, traumatizing and killing people.

Protests Over Police Violence Spread Around U.S.

EDUARDO MUNOZ / REUTERS

By Staff of Reuters – SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Thousands of people took to the streets in U.S. cities on Friday to denounce the fatal police shootings of two black men this week, marching the day after a gunman killed five police officers watching over a similar demonstration in Dallas. Protesters clogged roadways in New York City, Atlanta and Philadelphia on Friday evening, and events also were planned for San Francisco and Phoenix. Local media reports did not indicate any immediate instances of major clashes or injuries.