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Police violence

Nicaragua: Fifth Anniversary Of Coup Attempt, Conflicting Accounts Persist

According to Amnesty International (AI), five years ago the Nicaraguan government committed an extraordinary and horrendous crime. In October 2018, AI published a report, Instilling Terror,[1] concerning the violent coup attempt that took place in Nicaragua in April-July of that year. Among the incidents they covered, they gave prominence to a claim that on July 8, 2018, Faber López Vivas, a young member of the national police force’s Directorate of Special Operations, was the subject of a possible “extrajudicial execution” by his fellow police officers. The report alleged that two days earlier, disenchanted with his duties as a police officer, he attempted to resign.

Officer Released On Bail After Indictment For Killing Patrick Lyoya

Patrick Lyoya, 26, an African immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was shot in the back of the head by patrolman Christopher Schurr on April 4. This act of police violence was met with widespread shock and mass demonstrations demanding that Schurr be terminated from the Grand Rapids police department and charged with murder. There was an announcement made on June 15 saying that Schurr had been fired from the Grand Rapid Police Department. This came less than a week after his indictment on second degree murder charges in the death of Lyoya. Despite the national attention focusing on the killing of Lyoya, it would take more than two months for Schurr to be indicted for second degree murder.

Detroit Organizations Demand Justice Department Act On Police Misconduct

CPTA begins the memorandum by stating that: “The Coalition for Police Transparency and Accountability (CPTA) requests a federal investigation of a pattern of killings and excessive force by the Detroit Police Department (DPD) and an institutional culture within the department that promotes violence and racial discrimination within the Department and against members of the community. The mission of CPTA is to expose police misconduct in all its forms and thereby demand police transparency and accountability as well as garner community support for this effort. The Coalition was formed after the killing of Hakim Littleton in July 2020 by the Detroit Police Department officers.

Massacre In Buffalo Highlights The Legacy Of Racist Violence

A white racist gunman targeted and killed ten African Americans in a supermarket in an African American community in Buffalo, New York. The 18-year-old shooter, Payton Gendron, has been heavily influenced by the white supremacist ideology of replacement theory which encourages violent attacks against African Americans and other nationalities in the United States. According to reports, Gendron drove more than 200 miles in New York state to this location where on several occasions, he visited the store in order to map out his murderous attacks against innocent people. One witness said that he had talked to Gendron the day before outside the supermarket for over 90 minutes. This massacre follows numerous incidents over the last few years where gunmen motivated by racist beliefs have carried out mass shooting aimed at killing as many of a particular targeted group as possible.

Execution In Grand Rapids Illustrates Failure To End Police Terrorism

Over two weeks after Patrick Lyoya, 26, was stopped, chased, tackled and shot in the back of the head by a Grand Rapids patrolman, killing him instantly, there still has not been any punitive action taken against the white officer responsible for the death of the Congolese immigrant. The City of Grand Rapids has refused to even release the name of the officer since he has not yet been charged with a crime. This incident in a major midwestern municipality clearly illustrates the systematic refusal by the local, state and federal government agencies to address the ongoing deaths at the hands of the police. Two years since the brutal shooting deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and many others, the relevant authorities responsible for the funding and oversight of law-enforcement have refused to take any action to reform the operational culture of the police.

Police Killings Continue; Biden Calls For More Law Enforcement Funding

In Minneapolis, Mayor Jacob Frey, who was in office at the time of the murder of Floyd and the subsequent rebellions in the city and around the country, has now issued a proposal to ban “No-Knock Warrants”. However, the problems of police misconduct and brutality are not new to Minneapolis and the recent initiative by the City of Minneapolis does provide loopholes that would allow the type of law-enforcement intrusions into people’s homes that result in many unjustified deaths. During a press conference on March 14, Frey told the media that: "The purpose here is to give people who are trying to comply, people who are trying to do the right thing, giving them the ability to again, get their wherewithal, answer the call if possible, and to make sure that officers are then entering into a situation where an individual is well-informed about who is entering the place."

Wet’suwet’en Approach UN Over Militarization And Rights Violations

As the movement against the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline project in Canada continues, indigenous Wet’suwet’en activists have approached the United Nations to raise their concerns about indigenous rights violations. In a submission filed to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, February 7, activists of the Gidimt’en clan of Wet’suwet’en raised the issues of forced industrialization, police militarization and violation of the rights of indigenous peoples. The eight-page document points out that Canada has overlooked its international obligations under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). It stated that Canada has violated several rights of the community, including the right to conserve and protect traditional lands, and has forcibly removed clan members from their territories.

ACLU Statement On Bill To Expand Police Violence

Olympia, Washington - Today, the Washington State Senate passed Senate Bill 5919, a bill that expands law enforcement’s ability to use physical force. Enoka Herat, police practices and immigration counsel at the ACLU of Washington, had the following statement: “It’s disappointing to see the Senate rush through a bill that will harm communities, particularly the communities of color and people with disabilities this Legislature made a commitment to protect when it passed more than a dozen bills last year aimed at reform and accountability in policing. The effectiveness of those bills is indicated by data showing a 62% decrease in police killings since their enactment last year.

Wet’suwet’en Retake Checkpoint A Month After Police Crackdown

On Saturday, December 19, activists leading the Wet’suwet’en resistance against the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline project declared that they evicted workers of the project from the drill site. This development comes exactly a month after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) violently dismantled a blockade led by the Gidimt’en clan near Camp Coyote and arrested dozens of protesters and even bystanders. The declaration of reclaiming Camp Coyote was made over a statement released by the Gidimt’en Checkpoint, on Sunday, December 20. “This courageous action took place one month after a wave of militarized raids on Gidimt’en land,” the statement read.

Two DC Officers Indicted For Murder Of Karon Hylton-Brown

Washington, DC – After months of fighting for justice in the police murder of Karon Hylton-Brown, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. announced the indictment of Terence Sutton for second-degree murder, one of the DC Police officers involved with this gross negligence of their duties and complete disregard for this young man’s life. He was also indicted with federal charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice, along with his supervisor Andrew Zabavsky. We stand in solidarity and full support of Karon Hylton-Brown’s family as they continue their fight for justice and accountability for all. Since his death on October 23rd, 2020, organizations, volunteers and supporters of his family have pushed for an investigation into his death. Not only demanding MPD exercise their due diligence as required by law to investigate, but to hold the officers accountable for their behaviors that caused his death.

36 Years Ago, Police Firebombed A Neighborhood In Philly

Since the beginning of time, there has been a constant struggle between people who want to be free and those who seek to control them. It is an unending war that that rages just beneath the surface of “civilized” society, waiting to reach a boiling point where violence can erupt on the streets between police and citizens—or the oppressor and the oppressed. Since our history is passed down by those who seek to control us, this struggle is framed in a way where the oppressors are always the innocent victims, and the oppressed the senseless terrorists when in reality, the opposite is usually true. Nowhere is this situation more obvious than in the media coverage and cultural myths surrounding the American Civil Rights movement. Police would regularly raid the offices and homes of civil rights leaders, shooting first and asking questions later.

An Environment Of Anti-Racism Is How We Win

Canada - Spring has always been a time of renewal and hope. I’m filled with a sense of wonder and possibility as I watch new life sprout from the soil and cherry blossoms bloom along streets. But this spring, I feel a prevailing heaviness. For many of us, this season marks a year since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place. March 13 marked one year since Breonna Taylor was shot in her sleep by police in Louisville, Ky. As the season progresses, and as we pass through solemn anniversaries, I continue to be reminded of where we were a year ago. Last spring, the COVID-19 pandemic started to unmask the inequalities in society, with the virus disproportionately affecting racialized communities. Headlines were filled with stories of police violence as mass protests erupted around the world.

AFL-CIO’s Report Shows Commitment To Defending Police Unions

On July 2020, a month after protests over racial injustice and police violence set the AFL-CIO headquarters on fire, America’s largest union coalition formed a ​“Task Force on Racial Justice” as a signal that it was taking the issues seriously. A subcommittee of that task force was charged with producing a report on the touchy issue of the labor movement’s relationship to police unions. In These Times has obtained a copy of that committee’s draft report, which is currently circulating within the group before being released to the public. As it stands, the report amounts to a definitive rejection of calls for the labor movement to separate itself from police unions, and a clear statement that the AFL-CIO intends to stay closely aligned with its police members. 

Police Killing Black Americans Amounts To Crimes Against Humanity

The systematic killing and maiming of unarmed African Americans by police amount to crimes against humanity that should be investigated and prosecuted under international law, an inquiry into US police brutality by leading human rights lawyers from around the globe has found. A week after the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in George Floyd’s death, the unabated epidemic of police killings of Black men and women in the US has now attracted scorching international attention. In a devastating report running to 188 pages, human rights experts from 11 countries hold the US accountable for what they say is a long history of violations of international law that rise in some cases to the level of crimes against humanity.

What Police Impunity Looks Like

We already know the case of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is an anomaly. Officers who kill civilians are rarely prosecuted, let alone convicted  — many aren’t even disciplined by their departments. To understand how police impunity works, it’s worth looking at another case, that of Kawaski Trawick. Two years ago, Trawick was alone in his apartment in the Bronx when two New York City Police Department officers arrived in response to 911 calls about Trawick walking through the building with a serrated bread knife and a stick. Trawick, who had a history of mental health and drug issues, had locked himself out of his apartment but had gotten back in after firefighters pried open the door.
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