Tag Archives | Police State

Richland’s $4.1 million police station funded by civil forfeiture

Photo by Steve Wilson

Photo by Steve Wilson.

This won’t come as a surprise for most of our readers. Richland, Mississippi funded a $4.1m police station, higher-end training facilities, and a fleet of Dodge Charger police cars “through civil forfeitures of property and cash seized during traffic stops.”

Steve Wilson via Watchdog.org:

The Mississippi city of Richland has a new $4.1 million police station, a top-level training center and a fleet of black-and-white Dodge Charger police cars.

All of it was paid for through civil forfeitures of property and cash seized during traffic stops of what police say were suspected drug runners on Interstate 20.

Civil libertarians question the constitutionality of civil forfeiture, which has become a key part of revenue for state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide. Under the laws of many states, citizens can be deprived of their property or even cash if police merely suspect the owners to be involved in criminal activity.

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Long Beach Police Officer ID’d in Fatal Shooting of Unarmed 19-Year-Old

Hector Morejon is shown in a family photo with his mother, Lucia Morejon.

Hector Morejon is shown in a family photo with his mother, Lucia Morejon.

Matt Hamilton writes at the LA Times:

A veteran of the Long Beach Police Department was identified Tuesday as the officer who fatally shot an unarmed 19-year-old last month while responding to a reported vandalism, authorities said.

The Long Beach Police Department said Jeffrey A. Meyer, a patrol officer with the department since 1990, opened fire at Hector Morejon in the afternoon of April 23. The department released the information in response to a public records request filed by The Times.

Meyer, who has been removed from field duties, was involved in a police shooting in March 2002, according to a Police Department spokeswoman. The circumstances of the 2002 shooting were not immediately available.

The president of the Long Beach Police Officers Assn., Steve James, opposed the decision by The Times to publish the name of the police officer involved in the shooting.

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Protests Go Global as Ethiopians March Against Police Brutality in Tel Aviv

This post was originally published on Common Dreams. See more of Lauren McCauley’s posts here.

Several thousand people, mostly hailing from Israel’s large Ethiopian population, took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday to protest racism and police brutality against ethnic minorities.

According to reports, marchers blocked highway traffic chanting and bearing signs which read: “A violent policeman must be put in prison” and “We demand full equal rights.”

The protest was sparked by the release this week of a video which shows an Ethiopian-Israeli man in an IDF uniform being beaten by police. Demonstrators are demanding an investigation into the attack and are calling for an end to what they say is an epidemic of brutality against Israel’s minority populations.

During a similar protest in Jerusalem on Thursday night police reportedly unleashed tear gas and stun grenades against demonstrators. As the crowd continued to swell on Sunday, the Times of Israel reported that police are threatening to use force.

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For those of you who say there are no voices leading America, you need to watch 20 mins of Cornel West

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.05.26 PM

For those of you who say there are no moving or powerful voices left in America, you might want to direct your attention to a 20-minute clip of American philosopher and activist Dr. Cornel West speaking in a Manhattan church on April 6th of this year. In it West delivers a dizzying, fiery, and tear-jerking sermon reminiscent of the greatest moments in the tradition of American political speech.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network organized the event, A Call to Act, and it’s no surprise that the Stop Mass Incarceration Network exists or that Dr. West participated. The US now has more prisoners and prisons than any other country on the planet, a fact West is well aware of as he regularly speaks out over the New Jim Crow and to inmates serving time. In fact, the land of the free is now home to more prisons than colleges.… Read the rest

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A Report From Occupied Territory — James Baldwin

"James Baldwin Allan Warren" by Allan warren - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:James_Baldwin_Allan_Warren.jpg#/media/File:James_Baldwin_Allan_Warren.jpg

“James Baldwin Allan Warren” by Allan warren – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Still eerily relevant 49 years later…

James Baldwin via The Nation:

July 11, 1966

On April 17, 1964, in Harlem, New York City, a young salesman, father of two, left a customer’s apartment and went into the streets. There was a great commotion in the streets, which, especially since it was a spring day, involved many people, including running, frightened, little boys. They were running from the police. Other people, in windows, left their windows, in terror of the police because the police had their guns out, and were aiming the guns at the roofs. Then the salesman noticed that two of the policemen were beating up a kid: “So I spoke up and asked them, ‘why are you beating him like that?’ Police jump up and start swinging on me. He put the gun on me and said, ‘get over there.’ I said, ‘what for?’ ”

An unwise question.

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Use Me Instead

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Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

There is, it seems, grace in the world. Appalled at news that North Miami Beach Police were using photos of young black men for target practice and resolved to “put ourselves in the place of those whose humanity is denied,” dozens of clergy and others have offered their own smiling, sacred pictures to police shooters with the hashtag #UseMeInstead.

The effort sprang from an online conversation between Rev. Joy M. Gonnerman and other pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Facebook group about a police practice – now stopped – they saw as “emblematic of a deeper, systematic problem.”  Motivated by “our service to Christ and his call to love our neighbors,” they decided “maybe we ought it make it harder to pull the trigger.”

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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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Inner City Turmoil and Other Crises: Ron Paul’s Predictions for 2015

Never one to mince words, former Congressman Ron Paul says America is now a police state:

If Americans were honest with themselves they would acknowledge that the Republic is no more. We now live in a police state. If we do not recognize and resist this development, freedom and prosperity for all Americans will continue to deteriorate. All liberties in America today are under siege.

Dr Ron Paul.jpg
Dr Ron Paul” by Gage SkidmoreFlickr: Ron Paul. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

It didn’t happen overnight. It took many years of neglect for our liberties to be given away so casually for a promise of security from the politicians. The tragic part is that the more security was promised — physical and economic — the less liberty was protected.

With cradle-to-grave welfare protecting all citizens from any mistakes and a perpetual global war on terrorism, which a majority of Americans were convinced was absolutely necessary for our survival, our security and prosperity has been sacrificed.

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