Envisioning The US Without Police Violence & Control

St. Louis Police chant 'Whose streets, our streets'

By Rashmee Kumar for the Intercept. Starting with the “original police force,” the London Metropolitan Police, Vitale provides a succinct historical framework to understand how police in the U.S. were created to control poor and nonwhite people and communities. The modern war on drugs can be traced back to “political opportunism and managing ‘suspect populations’” in the 20th century. The increasingly intensified policing of the U.S.-Mexico border today stems from nativist sentiment and economic exploitation of migrant workers starting in the 1800s. Surveillance and suppression of political movements takes root in imperialist Europe, when ruling powers used secret police to infiltrate and eliminate the opposition. “The End of Policing” maps how law enforcement has become an omnipresent specter in American society over the last four decades. Police are deployed to monitor and manage a sprawling range of issues: drugs, homelessness, mental health, immigration, school safety, sex work, youth violence, and political resistance. Across this spectrum, current liberal reforms are intertwined with upholding the legitimacy of police, courts, and incarceration as conduits to receive access to resources and care. Vitale’s approach goes beyond working within the carceral system to propose non-punitive alternatives that would eventually render policing obsolete.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Conflict Of Interest

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By Panda Monium for Rebz.Tv – It has finally come to the attention to the majority of St. Louis residents that Sgt. Brian Rossomanno’s national security contracting business, 0311 Tactical Solutions, LLC, is contracted to train the police department. Beyond this being a glaring conflict of interest, it is very telling of the type of training that St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department receives to be used against citizens. We have seen, day after day, heavily armored police attacking peaceful protesters, nearly always without provocation. And of course, leading his army of military-style tactically trained police, is the self-proclaimed #RiotKing Sgt. Rossomanno himself. Rossamanno is the head of SLMPD’s civil disobedience team, and is the one that makes the decisions to brutally attack peaceful protesters with chemical munitions, using illegal maneuvers such as kettling. In STLToday’s article that brought this subject to light, they stated: Rossomanno declined to be interviewed for this story. In an email on Friday, he said that 0311 Tactical did not bid on contracts from the St. Louis police because it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Later that day, his company’s website was edited to delete the St. Louis police department and its SWAT team as clients.

Over 300 Arrested in St. Louis: It's About More Than Police Brutality

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By Jaisal Noor for the Real News. Jason Stockley for killing 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. 143 people were arrested on a highway protest on Tuesday alone, including two journalists with The Young Turks. In a police recording of the incident, Stockley can be heard saying he was going to kill the suspect. Smith was shot five times and pronounced dead on the scene. Now joining us to discuss this and the ongoing protests is Mustafa Abdullah. He’s an organizer with the ACLU of Missouri. Thank you so much for joining us. M. ABDULLAH: I’m happy to be here. JAISAL NOOR: So, talk about what you’ve seen in the streets over the past two weeks plus. The police have said there have been criminal elements in the protests who have engaged in vandalism and rioting. M. ABDULLAH: So, I think that the organized protests are really a beautiful sort of demonstration of a community’s response to what they see as systemic oppression and a lack of accountability and transparency when it comes to interactions with law enforcement and the investigations into police brutality and police killings. What I’ve seen is, I’ve seen protestors lead chants of, “Take one, take all.” I’ve seen protestors who are referring to themselves as family and I think that these issues are particularly very personal to them. I think that the fact that there has been a few instances of windows being broken at businesses is more of a demonstration of people’s anger and frustration and I think that I’m not, I think that those acts should be interpreted within that lens. And so when we’re seeing things at protests that we may find disagreeable or that we don’t understand, I think it’s important for folks to remind themselves to take a step back and to really try to have empathy for why people are frustrated and why they’re angry.

Second Wave of Journalist Arrests in St. Louis

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By Staff for Reporters WIthout Borders. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is alarmed to learn that at least six journalists have been arrested this week while covering protests in St. Louis, Missouri. RSF views the detention of reporters who are simply doing their job as a threat to press freedom and calls for all charges against them to be dropped. On the evening of October 3, 2017, while covering protests in St. Louis, Missouri, following the acquittal of a white former police officer who fatally shot a black man, at least six journalists were arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing. These detentions come just over two weeks after three journalists were arrested in St. Louis while covering similar demonstrations. One of them was citizen journalist and livestreamer Jon Ziegler, also known as “Rebelutionary Z”, who now faces two sets of charges from both this week’s and last month’s arrests.

City Of St. Louis Feeling Effects Of Ongoing Protests

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By Panda Monium for Rebz.TV – After 19 days of protesting, it seems that finally the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is starting to see the light. It’s really expensive to pay these geared up cops… to the tune of 2.9 million dollars in overtime so far. Officers are beginning to reconsider their career choice. They are tired and frustrated, and the angry protesters insulting them is indeed making some of the cops feel bad about themselves, by being frankly told exactly what people think of their profession. There are a few cops that have a shred of humanity left, and are ashamed of how peaceful protesters are being treated. And I know for certain that there are officers who continue to retain their professionalism, and are appalled at the embarrassment their coworkers are creating for the police department as a whole. Of course, we’ll never see those kinds of admissions publicly, because that would be a sign of weakness and division, and these could be taken advantage of! But we see them.

Mass Arrests In St. Louis As Police Brutality Protests Continue For Third Week

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By Rafi Schwartz for Splinter – Police in St. Louis conducted mass arrests on Tuesday night after a group of activists blocked traffic on a city highway in the latest protest against former police officer Jason Stockley’s acquittal for the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, an unarmed black man. Faced with a heavily armored police line as they marched up the Interstate, the protesters reportedly chanted, “We don’t see a riot here. Why are you in riot gear?” They were then maneuvered off the road by law enforcement officers, who proceeded to arrest them one by one. While police did not immediately release a full count of those arrested, local alderman John Collins-Muhammad told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 126 people were detained—among them State Representative Bruce Franks (D–St. Louis) and civil rights activist Rev. Starsky Wilson. Alarmingly, police also arrested journalist Jordan Chariton and his cameraman Ty Bayliss, both of The Young Turks, during the protests. According to at least one observer, law enforcement officers targeted members of the press during the opening minutes of their arrests.

Any White Cop Can Kill A Black Man..

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By Don Fitz for Green Social Thought. Missouri – This is what has sparked protests by thousands in St. Louis from September 15 through today. In 2011, St. Louis cop Jason Stockley fired 5-7 shots at Anthony Lamar Smith, killing him. Stockley claimed that Smith was selling drugs and chased him at high speed and shot him to defend himself. The story was briefly reported as another drug deal gone bad, and it was just incidental that the cop was white and the victim was black. [See 2011 story HERE]. But the case turned out to be a lot more than that. His mother, Annie Smith, said that “They wouldn’t let me kiss him or hug him goodbye.”

'No Justice, No Profits' Protests Target Concerts, Businesses

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By Staff of St. Louis Post-Dispatch – The concert got underway as scheduled and once the first song, “My Life,” drowned out the protesters’ chants, many of them headed back toward Kiener Plaza. Several again blocked Broadway and Market. The chants also included “Out of the county and into the streets.” Alexandria Lane-Detwiler of Chesterfield was among the protesters. “I can’t sit at home in my privilege and not come out,” she said. Onstage, Joel made reference to the unrest. “Good evening, St Louie,” he said early on. “Glad you made it. I know things have been a little tense around here.” At one point, a couple of protesters appeared to be attempting to block a police SUV in the street, but they were pulled away by organizers of the protest. Danielle Williams, 19, joined the protest along with a friend. The St. Louis resident said she was happy to see that it had drawn a largely white crowd. She said she has felt a lack of empathy for the concerns of black urban residents like herself from others who don’t share her skin color and don’t live in the city. “They’re not trying to understand,” she said. “They don’t get it because they don’t live where we live.” Candy Voyd, 64, says she lives in The Ville, a historically African-American neighborhood in north St. Louis. As the protest wound down, she noted that police had kept their distance from the marchers. She said she believed it was because most of them, like her, were white.

‘Whites Only’ Stickers Placed On St. Louis Restaurants In Wake Of Violent Protests — Owners Shocked

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By Dave Urbanski for The Blaze – Surveillance video shows a group walking by a restaurant with one of them placing a sticker on the front door and then the group continuing down the sidewalk, KMOV-TV reported. ‘Whites Only’ stickers found on the doors of restaurants in The Grove. Even more curious is the #BLM hashtag — presumably standing for Black Lives Matter — found in the lower right-hand corner of the stickers. While the culprits’ motives are unclear, the vandalism comes on the heels of violent protests in St. Louis over the murder acquittal last week of a white former police officer who fatally shot a black motorist in 2011. KMOV noted similar signs have been used in the past as a shock tactic to generate discussion and dialogue. In addition, numerous racist messages found in public places nationwide in recent years have turned out to be hoaxes. The owners of Layla, another restaurant, called their discovery of a “Whites Only” sticker “heartbreaking.” “We pride ourselves on being open, accepting and inviting of all types of people,” the restaurant wrote on its Facebook page, KMOV reported. “I’m proud to say I employ African-American, Caucasian American, Malaysian,” Mohammed told the station.

St. Louis Police Declare “We’re In Control” As Crackdown On Protests Enters Fifth Day

Protesters marched in silence down Market Street in St. Louis on Monday, marking the fourth day of demonstrations since a former police officer was acquitted in the 2011 shooting death of a black man. Credit Cristina Fletes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, via Associated Press

By Genevieve Leigh for WSWS – “We’re in control,” announced the head of the St. Louis, Missouri Police Department, Lawrence O’Toole, at a press conference Monday after a weekend of unrest in the city over the acquittal of a white cop who shot a black man to death in 2011. “This is our city and we’re going to protect it,” O’Toole declared. The escalation of the brutal police crackdown in St. Louis came as the demonstrations entered their fifth day Tuesday. In sharp contrast to the largely peaceful character of the protests, police have displayed alarming levels of belligerence and arrogance in their repression of protesters. Groups of police officers in riot gear were heard early Monday morning marching through areas forcibly cleared of demonstrators chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” mocking protesters with a slogan commonly used at rallies. The authoritarian declarations of the police chief and his officers came on the heels of the arrest of 123 protesters in a massive roundup on Sunday night. The arrests were carried out using a highly criticized police technique called “kettling,” in which police surround and trap protesters so they cannot escape. They are then arrested en masse for alleged refusal to disperse. Nearly a day after the mass roundup, police were refusing to release information on how many of the arrested remained in custody.

Police Chant: ‘Whose Streets Our Streets’ After Mass Arrests In St Louis

Police officers watch demonstrators on Sunday night after Jason Stockley, a former St Louis police officer, was found not guilty of the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Photograph: Joshua Lott/Reuters

Police officers watch demonstrators as they continue to protest in St Louis Police officers watch demonstrators on Sunday night after Jason Stockley, a former St Louis police officer, was found not guilty of the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011. Photograph: Joshua Lott/Reuters View more sharing options Shares By Jamiles Lartey for The Guardian – Police officers in riot gear gathered alongside a St Louis boulevard late on Sunday night, chanting “whose street, our street”, a common refrain used by those protesting against the acquittal of a white former officer over the death of a black man, after successfully clearing the street of demonstrators and onlookers. At a news conference early on Monday, interim police chief Lawrence O’Toole said police had seized at least five weapons and said he was “proud to tell you the city of St Louis is safe and the police owned tonight”. “We’re in control,” he said. “This is our city and we’re going to protect it.” The chant drew criticism, however, from protesters, activists and some police officers. In a statement, Sgt Heather King, president of the Ethical Order of Police, a group founded by African American officers, said: “That chant goes against the very code of ethics we swore to abide by. “Whether we agree with demonstrations, protests or acts of violence, it is our job to do our job free of personal bias.” On Twitter on Monday, the group said: “We are human and we will make mistakes. We are also people who have the last word, which can be – arrest, freedom, or death. No need 2 chant.” Hundreds of officers had mobilized after another day of peaceful protests over the acquittal of Jason Stockley in connection with the death of Anthony Lamar Smith. The protest began at the police headquarters downtown. Hundreds of people marched through downtown streets, the posh Central West End and the trendy Delmar Loop area of nearby University City.

Police Tactics Kettling, Mass Arrests Questioned In St. Louis

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By Doug Moore for St. Louis Post-Dispatch – ST. LOUIS • Police used a technique called kettling on Sunday night to box in about 100 people at a busy downtown intersection and arrest them for failing to disperse. It’s a tactic used to corral a group of people who fail to follow police orders. St. Louis police took the action after several windows were broken and concrete planters and trash cans overturned. But some of those caught in the box made by rows of officers said police overstepped their bounds, using excessive force and chemical spray on people who were not protesting, including residents trying to get home and members of the media. As police closed in from all sides, they struck their batons in unison on the pavement, in a cadence march. Tony Rice, an activist who goes by Search4Swag on Twitter, said he was shocked by the police behavior. “It was the most brutal arrest I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Rice said. “I thought I was going to die.” He said he could not lie prone on the ground, as ordered, because he had his bike with him. Rice said his neck was being pressed against part of his bike, and he told the officers: “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” Those bused to the jail seemed confused by what was happening, Rice said. Pedestrians were arrested along with legal observers, protesters, a freelance photographer and a doctor, he said.

More Than 80 Arrested As Riot Police Break Up St. Louis Protest Over Officer’s Acquittal

Men protest outside the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Whitney Curtis

By Valerie Volcovici and Kenny Bahr for Reuters – T. LOUIS (Reuters) – More than 80 people were arrested on Sunday night as protests in St Louis over the acquittal of a white policeman who had shot a black man turned violent for a third night running. Police in riot gear used pepper spray and arrested the demonstrators who had defied orders to disperse following a larger, peaceful protest. After nightfall, a small group remained and the scene turned to one of disorder, following the pattern of Friday and Saturday. Protesters smashed windows and attempted to block a ramp to an interstate highway, police and witnesses said. Officers tackled some protesters who defied police orders and used pepper spray before starting the mass arrests. At a late-night news conference, Mayor Lyda Krewson noted that “the vast majority of protesters are non-violent,” and blamed the trouble on “a group of agitators.” Acting police commissioner Lawrence O‘Toole struck a hard stance, saying: “We’re in control, this is our city and we’re going to protect it.” The protests in St Louis followed the acquittal on Friday of former police officer Jason Stockley, 36, of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, 24. The violence evoked memories of the riots following the 2014 shooting of a black teenager by a white officer in nearby Ferguson, Missouri.

Driver Speeds Through ‘Convict Stockley’ Protest in Kirkwood, Mo

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By Sarah Fenske for Riverfront Times. A protest in Kirkwood last night took a potentially ugly turn when an SUV barreled through the crowd, horn honking. The protesters had assembled in the St. Louis suburb to advocate for the conviction of former police officer Jason Stockley, who has been tried on a charge of a first-degree murder. The city is now in its fifth week of waiting for a verdict, a decision in the hands of a judge after Stockley waived his right to a jury. “Stand up! Fight back!” the protesters shouted, with some brandishing signs reading, “Black Lives Matter.” The protest appeared to be well under control; the video shows police lights flashing nearby. But one driver in a white SUV got fed up with the chanting and took off into the crowd.

Nazi's Threaten: St. Louis Jews Shielding Protestors From Police

St. Louis Police arrest protesters after acauittal. Source Associated Press.

By Rafael Shimunov for Medium. When protesters were caged in by an abusive police force, the Central Reform Congregation of St. Louis served as a model to all congregations and opened their doors to protect them. The people of St. Louis took to the streets in response to the acquittal of ex-cop Jason Stockley for the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith. Stockley, when engaged on a police chase of Smith was recorded premeditating his killing of Smith. Police responded to protests withunhinged violence. Here is a video of at least 40 militarized forces attacking an elderly woman with a shield, then overrunning her and others under them. Rather than administering first aid, they continue to overrun her and eventually force her up for detainment.