Tag Archives | Police Brutality

Noise Complaint Make Cops Tase Grandma | Police Beat

Abby Martin goes over a round-up of some of the most outrageous recent police stories, including a noise complaint that turned into a SWAT team style raid and the sentencing of Occupy protestor, Cecily McMillan for assaulting a cop after having her breast grabbed.

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Albuquerque Protest Turns Ugly

Central Ave APD Protest
ALBUQUERQUE, NM

The Albuquerque Police Department are being investigated by the FBI after a YouTube video went up last week, showing APD shooting a homeless man who was camping, after what was reported as a standoff that lasted for hours.

This is the 22nd police shooting since 2010, and outrage has poured out over the incident, sparking the interest of the national media and even Anonymous, which led to protests against police violence all over the city Sunday night.

APD has said that the deadly use of force was warranted in this instance, because the suspect, James Boyd, had a history of mental illness and was armed with multiple knives.

I’d barely noticed the story until the protests started, and didn’t really know what to make of it.  Maybe APD did have good reason to shoot Boyd.  I don’t know.

But after witnessing cops in bullet-proof vests and gas masks shooting tear gas into a street filled with peaceful protesters, innocent by-standers, and even children, I’ve decided to err on the side of the people who weren’t being assholes.… Read the rest

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Four Los Angeles Police Tased And Beat A Deaf Man Unconscious For Using Sign Language

police-beat-deaf-manIn which using sign language gestures is considered attempted assault. The New York Daily News reports:

Cops in California tasered a deaf man to the ground and then beat him unconscious because he couldn’t hear their orders, a new lawsuit claims.

Jonathan Meister alleges officers discharged the electric charge into his body after mistaking his attempts to communicate via sign language as aggressive hand signals.

Four cops arrived at his friend’s house in Hawthorne after receiving reports of a burglary [in an area that had experienced a rash of burglaries]. Meister was outside loading boxes into his car when the officers reportedly told him to stop. But because he is deaf, he said he did not hear their commands.

The officers beat Meister until he passed out, before taking him to a hospital where he was charged with assaulting police officers. That charge, however, was dropped and Hawthorne Police Department is now facing a lawsuit for violating Meister’s rights as a disabled person under the American with Disabilities Act.

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Outrage As California Police Acquitted For Beating Mentally Ill Homeless Man To Death

kelly thomasIt’s scarcely believable that the officers got off for this, given the gruesome video footage of events as they unfolded. ThinkProgress writes:

Two former police officers in Orange County, CA were acquitted of murder Monday for beating a schizophrenic homeless man, Kelly Thomas, to death. After watching a harrowing video showing Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, along with other officers, brutalizing Thomas, the jury [found] the two men not guilty.

In July 2011, the Fullerton cops came upon the 37-year-old schizophrenic taking some letters out of a trashcan and started beating him with a taser and a baton. The entire encounter was caught on a nearby security camera. As the officers hit him, Thomas begged for help and called out for his father.

Cicinelli arrived later, tasing Thomas with a stun gun and then struck him across the face with it hard enough to break several bones. “I just probably smashed his face to hell,” he says on the video.

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New Mexico Woman Billed $5,000 After Horrific 6-Hour Cavity Search At U.S. Border

borderPerhaps most horrifying is that a hospital and its medical staff actively went along with this. The El Paso Times reports:

In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in El Paso by the American Civil Liberties Union, a 54-year-old New Mexico woman claims that she underwent a brutal six-hour full-body cavity search by federal officers that included anal and vaginal probes that made her feel like an “animal.”

The woman also is suing University Medical Center, where while handcuffed she was forced to have an observed bowel movement, was X-rayed, had a speculum exam, vaginal exam and had a CT scan. The suit claims the hospital then gave her the $5,000 bill. Despite the six-hour search at the [border] and then later at UMC, no drugs were found.

The search took place when the woman was coming back from seeing a family friend, whom she calls “uncle” and tries to visit once a month.

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Video Captures Police Stop And Frisk As Practiced In Philadelphia

A disturbing cellphone video shot recently in Philadelphia points to the nature of urban harassment by police under stop-and-frisk. Officers stop two people walking on the sidewalk, initially telling them that it is for the crime of saying a friendly hello to another passerby – "In this city, you don't talk to strangers." The men are then told that they are "under investigation” for involvement in a robbery. “I said we could’ve got a call, that somebody wearing the clothes you’re wearing just robbed somebody. That’s why we stopped you. Is that wrong of us?” The officers go on to claim that the pedestrians had been jaywalking, threaten to "split [their heads] open", and accuse the two of "weakening the country" by "freeloading":
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How Cops Are Vetted For Aggression & Insensitivity | Interview with Capt. Ray Lewis

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Abby Martin remarks on the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, highlighting a recent Reuters poll showing that only 15% of Americans are satisfied with the government’s effort to prosecute Wall Street bankers, and speaks with former Philadelphia police captain Ray Lewis about why he chose to protest in-uniform at Occupy.

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‘Fake Cops’ Robbing Detroit Drivers At Gunpoint Turn Out To Be Real Cops

cops

Cops and robbers, via Information Liberation:

There were at least two reports of men with police badges, bullet proof vests and guns posing as police officers and robbing unsuspecting drivers at gunpoint.

The first incident took place at a Citgo gas station on Detroit’s east side last Sunday. The clerk says two white men in a black Ford F-150 with police lights pistol-whipped customers pumping gas. The men stole cash and cell phones from their victims. A warning went out to be on the lookout for “fake cops” but it turns out those officers were not fake after all.

A second incident happened near Harper and 3 Mile Drive. A man says he was pulled over by three men in a unmarked Crown Victoria. The man was searched and while he answered questions, his wallet and CDs were stolen.

Now under arrest are two police sergeants, a 20-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department and a 17-year veteran of the St.

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Gazing Into Police Culture Through Cop T-Shirts

Cop t-shirts: For when merely acting like an abusive asshole doesn’t send a strong enough message. Via the Huffington Post, Radley Balko runs down a litany of disturbing examples of custom t-shirts enjoyed by cops which hint at a problematic dynamic in law enforcement culture:

Earlier this week, an anonymous public defender sent Gothamist a photo of an NYPD warrant squad officer wearing a t-shirt with a pretty disturbing quote from Ernest Hemingway [below]. There have been a number of other incidents over the years in which cops have donned t-shirts that reflect a mentality somewhat less lofty than “protect and serve.”

The Village Voice reports that the quote was also printed on t-shirts worn by NYPD’s infamous Street Crimes Unit, which was disbanded after shooting unarmed immigrant Amadou Diallo 41 times in 1999 as Diallo reached for his wallet.

cop t-shirts

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