Polish Police Forcefully Remove Activists Against Far-Right March

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By Chloe Farand for Independent – Female protesters were holding up photos of Heather Heyer, who was killed at the white supremacists rally in Charlottesville. Polish police broke up a feminist rally and forcefully removed activists to clear the way for a march for far-right extremists. A live stream of the protest shows members of the All-Polish Women’s Strike group and activists from Obywatele RP, which aims to defend democratic principles in Poland, taking part in a sit-in in central Warsaw, to block the far-right rally’s route. Many of the women were holding up photos of Heather Heyer, the American woman killed when a car ploughed into a crowd of counter-protesters during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. Footage shows the women activists dressed in black and sitting on the floor, with banners reading: “If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention. Heather Heyer, victim of fascism August 2017″.

Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted In Charlottesville

Car hits people in Charlottesville racism protest. By Ryan M. Kelly, the Daily Progress.

By A.C. Thompson and Robert Faturechiand Karim Hajj for ProPublica. There was nothing haphazard about the violence that erupted today in this bucolic town in Virginia’s heartland. At about 10 a.m. today, at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counter-protesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot. On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon. One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible. Standing nearby, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades — and did nothing. It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville as law enforcement confronted the largest public gathering of white supremacists in decades. We walked the streets beginning in the early morning hours and repeatedly witnessed instances in which authorities took a largely laissez faire approach, allowing white supremacists and counter-protesters to physically battle.

Alternatives To Dialing 9-1-1

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By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy – Calling the cops is an almost knee-jerk reaction. We’re programmed from childhood to call the cops whenever something goes “wrong” in our homes or neighborhoods. But what constitutes something really being wrong and even when bad situations arise, should we immediately reach for the phone to dial 911? What’s at stake for us? For the other person/people involved? How do things like lock-up agreements between states and private prison corporations affect how police react to situations? How does the treatment of police brutality by the justice system affect how cops act when they show up at your front door? These questions and others are at the core of this segment of Act Out! dealing with ways in which we can make ourselves and each other safer without involving the cops.

Marijuana Arrest Capital, NYC Police Focus On Black People

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images. The Legal Aid Society’s database already contains information about accusations of wrongdoing against some 3,000 NYPD officers, and is being used regularly by its lawyers.

By Phillip Smith for AlterNet – Last month, the Drug Policy Alliance released a report noting that marijuana arrests under New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continue to be marked by shocking racial disparities, much as they were under his predecessors, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. Stung by the criticism, de Blasio is fighting back, but his response so far has consisted of attacking DPA as “legalizers” and comparing apples to oranges. The DPA report, Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York,noted that while pot possession arrests are down under de Blasio from the numbers achieved under Giuliani (more than 40,000 arrests in 2001) or Bloomberg (more than 50,000 arrests in 2011), NYPD still arrested more than 18,000 people for pot possession last year, and a whopping 86% of them were black or brown, maintaining the racial disparities so apparent in earlier administrations. That’s “a far cry from the mayor’s pledge to rein in NYPD’s targeting of people of color,” charged DPA New York State director Kassandra Frederique in the report. That de Blasio had managed to bring pot arrests down to an average of only 20,000 a year during his tenure shouldn’t be portrayed as progress, argued Frederique, instead describing it as “slower injustice, but slower injustice is still injustice delivered.”

Tell Trump, And Democrats: We Demand Black Community Control Of The Police

Police Officer Fatal Shooting

By Glen Ford for Black Agenda Report – The cops at a Long Island, New York, pro-police event “laughed and cheered” when President Trump urged them to brutalize immigrant prisoners – “animals,” as he called them. Then, caught in mid-guffaw, the supervisors and flaks for the bad boys and girls in blue struggled to straightened out their faces and disavow Trump’s remarks. “What the president recommended…is not what policing is about today,” claimed Steve Soboroff, a civilian commissioner of the Los Angeles Police Department, which is forever situating police brutality somewhere in the past. “The president’s comments stand in stark contrast to our department’s commitment to constitutional policies and community engagement,” said New Orleans police chief Michael Harrison. His city took until last December to reach a $13.3 million settlement for Katrina-related police murder and maiming of civilians. The International Association of Chiefs of Police hastily restated its policy “that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers” — a statement that sounds very much like the standard legal defense presented in the miniscule fraction of police brutality cases that actually go to trial.

Reality Check: More Police Officers Don’t Equal Safer Neighborhoods

by Jake Ratner.

By Zenobia Jeffries for Yes! Magazine – This summer will mark the third anniversary of the death of Eric Garner, a New York man who was killed by police officers outside of a neighborhood convenience store in Staten Island (he was suspected of illegally selling loose cigarettes). Garner’s death is one of many that has raised Americans’ concerns about the increasing number of Black men, women, and children killed by U.S. law enforcement officers. At only 13 percent of the U.S. population, African Americans are killed by police, incarcerated, live in poverty, and have poor health at higher rates than White Americans, who make up the majority populace. These numbers and conditions are much the same as those attributed to other disenfranchised citizens, including Latino Americans, who are 17 percent of the population. Contemporary movements continue to address these tragedies. Black Lives Matter is campaigning against the criminal justice system, calling for an end to racial profiling, police brutality and killings, and for officers to be held accountable for their actions.

Police Kill Innocent Man While Serving Warrant At Wrong Address

From nationofchange.org

By Andrew Emett for Nation of Change – Despite having the correct address printed on the arrest warrant, Mississippi police officers recently arrived at the wrong house and fatally shot the suspect’s neighbor through his front door. Although officers claim the man had been armed and refused commands to drop the gun, witnesses assert that he was unarmed and had been shot without warning. Shortly before 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, Southaven police arrived at 5878 Surrey Lane to serve an arrest warrant for a domestic abuse suspect named Samuel Pearlman. Earlier in the evening, Pearlman had been accused of choking his girlfriend at a Citgo gas station. Instead of approaching 5878 Surrey Lane, the officers mistakenly went across the street to serve the warrant at the wrong address: 5881 Surrey Lane. According to police reports, Ismael Lopez, 41, prepared to ambush the officers by cracking open his front door while aiming a gun at them. During a press conference on Monday, District Attorney John Champion declared that two officers arrived at the wrong address to serve the arrest warrant when Lopez’s dog, Coco, ran through the open front door in an aggressive manner. Reportedly noticing Lopez standing in the open doorway with a rifle aimed at them, the officers opened fire at his pit bull and immediately ordered Lopez to drop the weapon before they shot him to death.

White Texas Cop Caught On Video Harassing Black Man For Mowing Grass

Police Officer Fatal Shooting

By D.L. Chandler for HIp Hip Wired – There have been conflicting reports about Gipson’s age and name, with some outlets reporting as both 18 and 19. The Houston Chronicle piece referenced above states Gipson is 21. Gipson’s video was published to YouTube Tuesday (July 25) and has since gone viral. The outlet did further digging and discovered that Gipson, who resides in Houston, had an outstanding charge from 2015, and two pending charges dating back to April related to offering false information to police. An attorney from Philadelphia flew into Houston this week to meet with Gipson and the family. In a YouCaring fundraising page description, Gipson explained the situation from his perspective. The crowdfunding campaign is aimed to help expand his lawn mowing business and has raised $6,500 thus far. The page also features images of Gipson and his brothers, along with bite marks from a K-9 unit he claimed was set to attack him inside his home.

Ten Myths About #NoJusticeNoPride

“No Justice No Pride” is only the latest group to raise concerns with Capital Pride.	
 Kevin Banatte

By Siobhán McGuirk for Rewire – No Justice No Pride members have elevated an urgent, national conversation. And we’re not sorry. This month, the social justice group No Justice No Pride (NJNP) disrupted the Capital Pride parade in Washington, D.C. The protest attracted a lot of coverage, including some high-profile endorsementsof the collaborative’s demands, which focus on ending Pride’s general complicity with corporate and state institutions that criminalize, harm, and exploit queer and trans people. Just as the D.C. group, of which I am a member, was inspired by recent actions in Phoenix and Toronto, groups across the country have picked up the NJNP baton and are now protesting at the local level. The D.C. action has prompted some commentators to promote false claims about the history and present realities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, and two-spirit (LGBTQIA2S) communities. This article corrects those myths. MYTH #1: Pride is a celebration, not a protest. Our community has no battles left to fight. FACT: Pride marches commemorate a rebellious insurgency against police brutality and exploitation at the hands of bar owners who colluded with the police. The 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City was led by trans women of color, and it sparked a movement.

No SWAT Zone

Frrom thenewinquiry.com

By Tara Tabassi And Ali Issa for The New Inquiry – A volunteer screams in pain as Hollywood-grade prosthetics litter a football field strewn with body parts and gore. A “Muslim man” just fired from his job returns to his office as a figure hooded in black, takes an ex co-worker hostage, and yells he wants “to hurt the Jews for what they have done to him and his people”; a bucket bubbles over with smoking “chemical weapon” liquid at his feet; a banner proclaims, “We are the 99%” and “No War for Oil” with protesters lurking behind it. These three meticulously scripted scenarios are typical of the “training exercises” demonstrated at conventions for SWAT teams—or Special Weapons and Tactics (previously known as Special Weapons Attack Teams). They are often accompanied by vendors selling the latest in high-tech military weapons, gadgets, and gear. Colt Guns, Boeing, and Combined Systems, Inc. (CSI) are frequent sponsors. These are accompanied by “shwag”: pins that urge to “face-shoot the mother fucker,” t-shirts that read “Black Rifles Matter” or “Keep Calm and Return Fire” printed beneath an American flag, and free bracelets featuring a black and white American flag with the “thin blue line,” symbols long associated with a “War on Cops” and the “Blue Lives Matter” slogan.

German Police Disperse G20 Protest With Water Cannon Before Summit

Participants perform during the so called '1000 Figures' demonstration before the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

By Chris Stern, Hannibal Hanschke, Joseph Nasr and Raissa Kasolowsky for Reuters – German police used water cannon to disperse around 500 anti-capitalist protesters overnight in the port city of Hamburg where Chancellor Angela Merkel will host leaders of the G20 leading economies in a two-day summit starting on Friday. Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to march in the city this week against globalization and what they say is corporate greed and a failure to tackle climate change. German authorities believe around 8,000 demonstrators were prepared to use violence, the interior minister said on Tuesday. Some 20,000 police officers will be deployed. Hundreds of mainly young left-wing activists gathered and marched on a main street shortly before midnight on Tuesday in the first major protest ahead of the summit, which will be attended by U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Der Spiegel magazine reported that the Germany army fears protesters will use unarmed drones and that it has deployed a radar to locate any possible aerial intrusions.

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.

3 Chicago Cops Charged With Obstruction For Falsely Justifying Teen’s Death

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By Andrew Emett for Nation of Change – Three Chicago police officers have been indicted on state charges of conspiracy, obstruction, and misconduct for allegedly writing false reports in order to justify the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. A fourth officer was charged with murder in November 2015 after police dash cam footage revealed him shooting the teen 16 times as McDonald appeared to be walking away. Nearly surrounded by officers and suspected of breaking into cars on October 20, 2014, McDonald was attempting to walk away from a group of Chicago cops when Officer Jason Van Dyke exited his patrol car. According to initial reports, McDonald was armed with a knife and lunged at Officer Van Dyke. Fearing for his life and the lives of his fellow officers, Van Dyke shot the teen in the chest out of self-defense. But according to witness statements and police dash cam video, McDonald had been walking away when Van Dyke took a step towards the teen before opening fire. After McDonald collapsed to the ground in a fetal position, Van Dyke continued firing his weapon until emptying his clip. As Van Dyke began reloading his gun, a fellow officer ordered him to cease firing at the dying teen.

Police Searches Plummet In States That Legalize Weed, But…

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By Andy Campbell for the Huffington Post. Marijuana is often used as a tool by police officers to search your car. In many cases, the mere odor of weed serves as probable cause to pull you over and rifle through your belongings. States that have decriminalized it are still grappling with the legality of using marijuana for warrantless searches. In the case of Philando Castile, who was shot to death by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop last year, we saw the devastating effects the smell of marijuana can have on an officer’s perception of motorists. Though marijuana is decriminalized to some degree in the state, St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez would later tell investigators that he thought he was in danger because he smelled weed. It may come as no surprise, then, that states that have legalized marijuana are seeing a dramatic decline in warrantless searches.

ACLU-DC Sues D.C. Police For False Arrests, Free Speech Violations

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By Staff of ACLU – WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union of the District of Columbia today filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia, Metropolitan Police Department officers, and D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham for making unconstitutional arrests, using excessive force, denying arrested people food, water, and access to toilets, and invasive bodily searches of protesters exercising their First Amendment rights on Inauguration Day. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a legal observer, a photojournalist, and two others arrested that day. While the overwhelming majority of Inauguration Day protesters demonstrated peacefully, a small number caused property damage. In response to the vandalism, MPD officers employed a controversial crowd-control tactic known as “kettling,” where officers corralled more than 200 protesters—including many who had broken no laws—by trapping and detaining them for several hours before formally arresting them. Officers also deployed nonlethal crowd-control devices—including pepper spray, tear gas, flash-bang grenades, concussion grenades, and smoke flares—upon protesters and others both on the street and inside the kettle, without warning or threat of harm to officers or other members of the public.