The "Secure DC” Omnibus bill is the latest attempt by DC’s local government to impose law and order, while ignoring the root issues that lead to street-level crime and advancing the war against the Black working class. After passing unanimously by the DC Council's Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, the new crime bill was voted on and unanimously passed on February 6, 2024, by the full council. Pan-African Community Action (PACA) contends that Black people in the U.S are a domestic colony, an internal colony that is enforced by a massive police presence meant to control and keep us exploited for our labor and other human resources.
Target Corp. pioneered the Community Prosecution Program in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO) more than two decades ago during the era of mass incarceration. As part of a broad anti-crime campaign that employed new advanced technology and reshaped the criminal justice system in Minneapolis, the program had particularly devastating effects on Black residents. In 2004, a public-private partnership consisting of Target, the Downtown Council, Hennepin County, and the City of Minneapolis launched a sweeping surveillance collaborative in downtown Minneapolis called the SafeZone, as illustrated throughout Unicorn Riot’s years-long investigative series.
The crisis of mass incarceration is about more than the conduct of police officers—it’s a question of public expenditures, and how pouring taxpayer money into incarceration at the expense of other, more humanizing ventures takes a toll on society at large. As public schools and public health programs across the nation grapple with a host of preventable problems arising from underinvestment, state and local governments across the nation spend over $200 billion each year on prisons, jails, and police. Now, a new report from the Justice Policy Institute, “The Right Investment 2.0”, takes a detailed look at the “downward spiral” low-income, predominately Black and Brown communities across Maryland are forced into by this imbalance in public expenditures.
Atlanta, GA — A multi-agency task force raided three homes in Atlanta early Thursday morning as part of an ongoing investigation surrounding resistance to ‘Cop City.’ At around 6:00 a.m., law enforcement agents with the Atlanta Police Department, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia State Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and FBI carried out search warrants at three separate homes across the city seeking evidence related to a July 2023 arson targeting police motorcycles at an Atlanta police precinct. One 30-year-old Atlanta local, John Mazurek, was arrested and charged with first-degree arson in connection with the 2023 sabotage.
The New England Human Rights Organization (NEHRO) reaffirms its commitment to promoting human rights wherever violations might occur. Therefore, the organization adopts a holistic approach to human rights, encompassing the right to life and liberty; freedom from slavery and torture; freedom of opinion and expression; as well as the right to work and education, to name a few. According to the United Nations, « everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination. » On January 26, 2024, Kenya’s High Court Judge Enock Chacha Mwita ruled that « any decision by any state organ or state officer to deploy police officers to Haiti… contravenes the constitution and the law and is therefore unconstitutional, illegal, and invalid. ».
Over the past three years, tens of thousands of people in crisis have been met with behavioral health specialists and social workers instead of police officers. Interactions like these are taking place across the country more often today compared to previous years. While unarmed crisis responders have existed for decades, public outrage over the 2020 police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Prude, and many others prompted cities to create new ways to respond to people in crisis. Police are often called to respond to situations involving people experiencing mental health crises—with disastrous results.
The International Department of the Central Organizing Committee of the Communist Party of Kenya issued this statement in staunch solidarity with the January 26th, 2024 High Court ruling in Nairobi, declaring the deployment of National Police Services (NPS) officers to Haiti unconstitutional. Judge Chacha Mwita's articulate decision represents a crucial victory for constitutional principles and sovereignty. The acknowledgment that the National Security Council and NPS lack authority to deploy police beyond Kenya underscores the imperative of upholding the constitutional framework governing our government's actions.
Press freedom advocates joined together on Jan. 29 to call for the dropping of criminal charges against Indigenous journalist Brandi Morin, who was arrested while covering Edmonton police’s raid on an inner city homeless tent encampment. Morin, a former Alberta Native News contributor, was charged with obstructing a peace officer on Jan. 10 while filming the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and City of Edmonton’s final raid of an eight-encampment sweep on assignment for the online news outlet Ricochet. If convicted, Morin could face up to two years in prison. Morin was arrested while filming the dismantling of the Indigenous-led 95th Street and Rowland Road encampment, which had been cordoned off with police tape.
Minneapolis, MN — In a historic ruling, Hennepin County Judge William Koch vacated Marvin Haynes’ murder conviction, dismissed his charges with prejudice, and ordered his release from prison where he was sentenced to serve life. Haynes walked out of MCF-Stillwater as an exonerated man into the loving arms of his family and supporters on Dec. 11, 2023. Marvin Haynes was 16 years old when he was framed for murder by the Minneapolis Police and Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. Haynes’ wrongful conviction was supervised by former Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar and upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court years later in an appeal.
It was about to get dark. In the summer of 2003, Devin was 19 years old and living in West Baltimore with his mom and two brothers, just a few blocks away from the Western District Baltimore Police station. Every night around 9 or 10 p.m., Baltimore cops patrolled the area heavily. They drove in marked and unmarked cop cars searching for signs of disorder, ready to round up people for mass arrest. It was all part of a policing strategy introduced in the late ’90s called “zero tolerance.” “It always happened around sundown,” Devin told The Real News. “The police see you out with even just one or two people and they just looked at you and you knew they were gonna wild out.”
A court case heard in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on December 14, 2023, could have a decisive impact on the legal fight to finally put Cop City on the ballot. If successful, the citizen ballot initiative would put a question to voters about whether to revoke the lease of land to the Atlanta Police Foundation to build the massive militarized police training facility, which has seen grassroots resistance reach a fever pitch this year. In Atlanta, for a citizen ballot initiative to be voted on in a general election, petition gatherers must collect signatures equivalent to 15 percent of active registered Atlanta voters within 60 days.
In the last 10 years, taxpayers have spent millions to outfit police officers across the country with body-worn cameras in what was sold as a new era of transparency and accountability. But a survey by ProPublica shows that when civilians die at the hands of police, the public usually never sees the footage. At least 1,201 people were killed in 2022 by law enforcement officers, about 100 deaths a month, according to Mapping Police Violence, a nonprofit research group that tracks police killings. ProPublica examined the 101 deaths that occurred in June 2022, a time frame chosen because enough time had elapsed that investigations could reasonably be expected to have concluded. The cases involved 131 law enforcement agencies in 34 states.
Starting in April 2021, people in Atlanta, Georgia set out to defend Weelaunee Forest, where politicians and profiteers are attempting to build a police training compound known as Cop City. Over the past two and a half years, this movement has given rise to one of the fiercest struggles in North America. Opponents of Cop City have repeatedly destroyed equipment and forced contractors to withdraw from the construction project, while the authorities have killed one forest defender and pressed outlandish racketeering charges against 61 more, including the members of a legal support collective.
The open repression of Palestine solidarity protests in Paris over the last months has been unprecedented and violent. Although there have been some alarms ringing on this reality of state violence in France, including a statement by Amnesty International, it is important for all who witnessed this new wave of street-level suppression to speak out. I am writing this text after having been present at a number of recent Palestine solidarity actions in Paris. As mass protests demanding a permanent ceasefire in Gaza continue around the world, French authorities are systematically deploying police forces to silence demonstrations calling for justice in Palestine.
The Tampa 5 are proud to announce a great victory: their misdemeanor and felony charges will be dropped! This victory was made possible by months of mobilizations of people across the state of Florida, and even across the entire country, in defense of the Tampa 5. It is because of the bravery of students and youth protesters coming out for diversity and for student protest, that these five members of Students for a Democratic Society protesters will not see a single day in prison. They have just agreed to a misdemeanor intervention program that will lead to the dismissal of their charges upon the fulfillment of various conditions such as 24 hours of community service.