Tag Archives | Police

Run The Jewels: Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)

Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) by Run The Jewels feat. Zack de la Rocha. Directed by A.G. Rojas

killedbypolice.net

“When Run The Jewels sent me this track, I knew we had the opportunity to create a film that means something. I felt a sense of responsibility to do just that. We had to exploit the lyrics and aggression and emotion of the track, and translate that into a film that would ignite a valuable and productive conversation about racially motivated violence in this country. It’s provocative, and we all knew this, so we were tasked with making something that expressed the intensity of senseless violence without eclipsing our humanity. For me, it was important to write a story that didn’t paint a simplistic portrait of the characters of the Cop and Kid. They’re not stereotypes. They’re people – complex, real people and, as such, the power had to shift between them at certain points throughout the story.… Read the rest

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ACLU Report: Chicago Now The Stop And Frisk Capital of U.S.

Doug Siefken (CC BY 2.0)

Doug Siefken (CC BY 2.0)

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

Chicago Police are leading the way now in “stop-and-frisk,” surpassing even New York City’s use of the controversial practice. According to a report released by the Illinois American Civil Liberties Union yesterday, CPD conducted a quarter million stops that did not lead to an arrest, with Chicagoans being stopped more than 4 times as often as people in New York.

“Chicago has been systematically abusing this practice, for reasons that are not justified by our constitution,” said Harvey Grossman legal director for the Illinois ACLU.

As in New York (and many other places nationwide), the stops disproportionately target people of color. African Americans were subjected to 72 percent of all stops and more stops occur per capita in neighborhoods populated predominantly by people of color. On average, 93.6 per 1,000 Chicagoans were stopped. In Englewood, that number jumps to 266 per 1,000 but around Lincoln/Foster, it’s 43 per 1,000.… Read the rest

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Stingray: A Police Gadget Tracks Phones? Shhh! It’s Secret

I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to disinfonauts to learn that US police forces and various federal agencies can track mobile phones, but for the New York Times it’s front page news (note, the ACLU is all over this; click here for an interactive map showing which police forces have the “secret” Stingray tracking devices):

A powerful new surveillance tool being adopted by police departments across the country comes with an unusual requirement: To buy it, law enforcement officials must sign a nondisclosure agreement preventing them from saying almost anything about the technology.

City of Chicago Emergency Management Surveillance Vehicle

City of Chicago Emergency Management Surveillance Vehicle. Photo: Seth Anderson (CC)

 

Any disclosure about the technology, which tracks cellphones and is often called StingRay, could allow criminals and terrorists to circumvent it, the F.B.I. has said in an affidavit. But the tool is adopted in such secrecy that communities are not always sure what they are buying or whether the technology could raise serious privacy concerns.

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Los Angeles Police Shoot Homeless Man On Skid Row (Video)

Yet again an American police department has needlessly killed one of its citizens, this time in Los Angeles. The following video is disturbing, but it’s important that it be seen and that the people whom the police serve demand a change in how policing is done:

Yahoo News/AFP describes the incident:

Los Angeles police fatally shot a man on Sunday in an incident that was caught on video and circulated widely online, with the department saying officers resorted to deadly force after the man had reached for one of their guns.

The graphic footage, which appeared on Facebook, shows a violent altercation between a man and several officers in LA’s “Skid Row,” an area near downtown where many homeless people live.

The video appears to show the man flailing at officers as they try to subdue him.

A voice yelling “Drop the gun!” can be heard before several shots ring out and several onlookers cry out in alarm.

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Homan square is the blackest of the black holes: New Revelations About CPD ‘Black Site’

On Wednesday, the Chicago Police Department responded to a Guardian exposé detailing CIA style interrogation tactics at the building on the 3300 block of West Fillmore Street with a typical “nothing to see here” attitude, calling NATO demonstrator Brian Church’s allegations of torture and abuse “false,” and blaming the death of another detainee, John Hubbard, on an accidental heroin overdose.

Aaron Cynic writes at Chicagoist:

New stories of abuse and interrogation tactics reminiscent of now freed police torturer Jon Burge however, continue to make national headlines. Kory Wright, a now 29 year old man living in Bronzeville, told The Intercept’s Juan Thompson of his 2006 experience with several others at the Homan facility:

For six hours, a sweaty Wright sat zip-tied to a bench with no access to a restroom, a telephone or water. “They strapped me — like across, kind of — to a bench, and my hands were strapped on both sides of me,” he says.

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Chicago Police Detain Americans at Abuse-Laden ‘Black Site’

Spencer Ackerman writes at the Guardian:

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
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A Call to Militant Empathy

swong95765 (CC BY 2.0)

swong95765 (CC BY 2.0)

Peijman Kouretchian, writing at the Metta Center for Nonviolence, from December:

The streets look like war. Two NYPD police officers were just “assassinated” apparently as revenge for the Eric Garner chokehold death. This is the first major physical attack on actual police officers after the Ferguson riots ignited the #blacklivesmatter movement. Though this was just the act of one troubled person and doesn’t represent the mostly physically nonviolent movement that has been going on, it is absolutely paramount to be clear on what principles we are aligned with as we fight for justice.

Recently I became certified as a Kingian Nonviolence (a system of conflict reconciliation built on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) trainer. The protests bring to mind two important principles from what I learned:  “Avoid internal violence of the spirit, as well as external physical violence,” and “Attack systems of injustice, not individuals within those systems.”

When protests breakout there is often an abundance of rage.

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Open-Carry Activists Police the Police—With Guns Of Their Own

Another Texas police story, but this one has a different spin: open carry gun rights activists are aggressively policing the police, often with armed confrontations, per this report at Daily Beast:

On any given night in Arlington, Texas, a group of open-carry activists turned self-appointed cop-watchers can be found walking by the side of the road, in safety-yellow reflector vests with cameras pointed at police. They carry “FILM THE POLICE” signs, and sometimes, in a habit that’s become of increasing concern to the officers being watched, they’re carrying guns of their own.

New Hampshire Open Carry 2009.jpg

Photo: Lucio Eastman (CC)

These armed activists’ mission—ostensibly to hold the police accountable by recording every interaction—has found new meaning in light of recent deaths of unarmed citizens like Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Indeed, members of the Texas group have adopted the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” cry popularized during protests of the men’s deaths.

The group is led in part by Kory Watkins, an Olive Garden bartender trainer and a bandwagon activist who also presides over Open Carry Tarrant County (OCTC).

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America’s Dirtiest Cops: Cash, Cocaine and Corruption on the Texas Border

police badgeIt sounds like a reality TV show: America’s Dirtiest Cops. In fact it’s an expose on Texas Border police corruption by Rolling Stone:

he temperature was nearing triple digits when Jonathan Treviño strapped on his bulletproof vest, slipped his .40-caliber Glock into his ankle holster and got ready to go to work. It was Thursday, July 26th, 2012, one of those summers in South Texas when the hot air settles on the Rio Grande Valley like a blanket. The Gulf breeze was already sticky as Treviño climbed into his unmarked Chevy Tahoe and started it up.

Treviño was a police officer in Mission, a bustling city of 80,000 on the Texas-Mexico border. Part of a flourishing bilingual metropolitan region with five international bridges, Mission also sits firmly in on e of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s 28 HIDTAs, or High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas – smuggling hot spots where the federal government spends an extra $240 million a year battling narcotics.

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Refusing To Wage War

"Critics of police violence, all those who call for demilitarized law enforcement and an acknowledgement of America’s institutional racism, are, yet again, but with even more self-righteous ferocity, declared the enemy." (Photo: The All-Nite Images/flickr/cc)

“Critics of police violence, all those who call for demilitarized law enforcement and an acknowledgement of America’s institutional racism, are, yet again, but with even more self-righteous ferocity, declared the enemy.” (Photo: The All-Nite Images/flickr/cc)

Robert C. Koehler writes at Common Dreams:

And so we grieve over another national tragedy.

Two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot — assassinated — as they sat in their patrol car this past weekend. Let the needlessness of their deaths rip our hearts open. Let the humanity come first.

“Now is a moment for empathy and deep listening.”

The words are from a statement issued by #BlackLivesMatter, a grassroots movement emerging this year over the spate of police killings of young men of color. The murder of the officers is part of the same tragedy. Black lives matter. Blue lives matter. All lives matter. Any thinking that embraces less than this is part of the problem, not the solution.

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