Posts Tagged: police state

Link

Man Calls Cops To Report Vandals At His Home, They Show Up And Kill Him

47-year-old Daniel Martin Jr. of Lawton Oklahoma was shot and killed by police in March after he called 911 to report vandals outside of his house.

The police responsible for the murder have been cleared of any wrong-doing by an internal investigation, and the death has been ruled “justified”.

When Mr. Martin spoke with the 911 dispatcher he warned them that he had a gun, and that he would be carrying it just in case the vandals were to break into his home.

However, somewhere this message got lost in translation, because when Martin opened his front door for the police, someone shouted “gun,” and Lawton police officers Elijah Garcia and Anthony Edwards fired multiple rounds, News Oklahoma reported.

Recordings later obtained of the exchange between the dispatcher and the police show that the police were warned that the victim would have a gun. …

Link

Actress Danièle Watts Wrongfully Detained After Being Mistaken for a Prostitute

Actress Danièle Watts was wrongfully detained under the suspicion that she was a prostitute after being affectionate with her husband in Studio City, California.

Many will remember Danièle Watts from her role as “Coco” in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ or her current role as Martin Lawrence’s daughter in ‘Partners.’

Watts was dressed in a t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes when she was approached by police who believed her to be a prostitute. When she refused to show the ID, she then handcuffed by multiple officers and detained. …

Link

Man Tries to Inform Cops that his Son is Autistic, So he is Assaulted, Tased, and Arrested

“I stated, ‘I’m his father, and just wanted to tell you he’s autistic.’ He turned around and said, ‘Leave or you’ll be arrested!’ He started walking towards me and said ‘you’re under arrest.’ I said, ‘for what?’, I kept saying over and over all I wanted to do was tell you he’s autistic. He just replied, ‘you’re under arrest.’”

All charges have been dropped against Roy Sherman, the man who was tased, arrested and charged with assaulting a deputy, all for trying to inform officers his son was autistic during a routine traffic stop in Marion County, Florida CopWatch reports. …

Link

It’s Time to Get Rid of the Cops

There’s been a lot of talk recently about de-militarizing the police. That’s good, and a lot of the ideas for reform are steps in the right direction[1]. However, what these proposals often forget is that the only way to truly de-militarize an occupying force is to remove them altogether. Our conversation about de-militarizing the police needs to become a conversation about abolishing the police.

At least 400 people a year – though likely a lot more – are killed by police, and plenty beyond that face violence that is life-threatening, even if not life-ending. Certainly, part of the problem has to do with particular cops who are especially bad, and part of it has to do with a toxic culture of police solidarity. More fundamentally, though, police lawlessness is just the inevitable result of the structural factors at play.

Police are different from the rest of us in that they’re officially placed above the law. There are certain things that they can do that ordinary citizens can’t, and when they do things that even they’re not supposed to do, they’re given a lot of leeway. As in, the paid-leave-for-brutalizing-innocent-people kind of leeway. Which is exactly what we should expect from a legal monopoly that ultimately answers only to themselves.

Of course, that’s just if we focus on the ways cops can use force deemed even too excessive for their job descriptions. Even when they strictly obey lawful orders, though, it’s still pretty bad. The classic argument against standing armies is just as strong against a standing police force. It puts a ready weapon in the hands of every politician who wants to wage war on the public. Just by doing their jobs as foot soldiers in wars on drugs, guns, prostitution, and other victimless crimes, police throw increasing numbers of people into cages. …

Link

NYPD Cops Arrest Mom Who Was Waiting For Family To Return From Restroom

The NYPD arrested a mother who was standing alone outside an NYC restaurant after she told them she was just waiting for her family to return from the restroom. 

Chaumtoli Huq was standing alone outside a Ruby Tuesday’s in Times Square in July when New York City police officers told her to move. She says she wasn’t in anyone’s way, she wasn’t blocking the sidewalk — she was just waiting for her husband and two young children, 6 and 10, to come outside after using the restroom. 

That’s when the cops arrested her.

DNAinfo, which first reported on the arrest, says Huq “said the officers pinned her against the wall, prompting her to say, ‘I can’t move, I can’t move.’”

Huq told The New Civil Rights Movement in an email conversation that police pushed her “against the wall of Ruby Tuesday, and I screamed ‘Help,’” as this image, taken by a bystander, shows. …

Link

9 years on...Blackwater, white militias & community empowerment. Breaking The Set interview

Two weeks ago the NRA’s Cam Edwards show stupidly praised a racist armed white vigilante group called the Algiers Point Militia  that killed black men and bragged with  impunity about it after Katrina. Abby Martin of Breaking The Set and Media Roots has been the only journalist and the news program to cover the controversy outside of the pro/anti-gun lens.  She talked to Malik Rahim and myself about how we took up arms in self defense of a wider community against the racist attacks in Algiers from the white militia. This is the part of the story that is often left out of the narratives and is quite painful to relive for both of us.  Some of the men who also took up arms to defend their community were targeted and almost killed by these vigilantes including Malik.  The story is more complicated because the other white man from Texas  who took up arms later became an informant for the FBI.

These are not stories of heroes and architects as much as decades of political organizing histories, principles, personal relationship and sheer fear out of necessity that lead to these actions. With serious consequences of PTS that we have all carried from those days. …

Link

"It was horrifying to watch," OU students demanding answers after on-campus arrest

NORMAN, Okla. – A video showing officers restraining and arresting a suspect on the University of Oklahoma campus has students demanding answers.

Norman police officers say they had to resort to drastic measures to get a man in handcuffs and into custody.

Monday afternoon, hundreds of students walked by what started as a man’s run in with Norman police, until they heard screaming.

“He’s screaming for his life,” said Blake Wilson, who pulled out his camera and started filming the incident.

Students say the officers kneed the man multiple times and others say they saw officers taze him.

To some, it seemed excessive. …

Link

Stop and seize

Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes

After the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the government called on police to become the eyes and ears of homeland security on America’s highways.

Local officers, county deputies and state troopers were encouraged to act more aggressively in searching for suspicious people, drugs and other contraband. The departments of Homeland Security and Justice spent millions on police training.

The effort succeeded, but it had an impact that has been largely hidden from public view: the spread of an aggressive brand of policing that has spurred the seizure of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from motorists and others not charged with crimes, a Washington Post investigation found. Thousands of people have been forced to fight legal battles that can last more than a year to get their money back. …

Link

Eyewitness: Laredo Police Knew it was a BB Gun Before Firing 80 Rounds Into Schizophrenic Man

An eyewitness to the 80 rounds that police put into Jose Garza, a mentally ill man armed with a BB gun, came forward Wednesday with damning information that contradicts the official account of events. “He was sitting down, and he woke up after several commands, because he had headphones on and he was asleep. As he stood up, the police officers began firing.”

“There’s a dead person in front of them. That’s somebody’s brother, somebody’s son. I think that’s where the community became outraged,”

An eye witness to the fatal shooting of 30 year old Jose Walter Garza in Laredo, Texas, on Saturday has decided to speak out against the police account of the evening, and what he has to say deeply discredits the official story.

On Saturday, police arrived at the Santa Maria Gateway Truck Stop around 1:45am, after receiving a call of a man with a gun.

Six officers opened fire on the schizophrenic man approximately five minutes after arriving on scene.  While police will not confirm the number of shots fired, the family has spoken out saying he was shot at least 80 times, and that his injuries were so severe that they have decided to cremate him as he no longer has a face. …

Link

EXCLUSIVE: Bronx man claims police brutality caught on camera following search

23-year-old Santiago Hernandez says he was assaulted by up to half a dozen uniformed NYPD officers after he was stopped and frisked in the Melrose section of the Bronx.

It happened on August 18th at about 6 p.m.

"I turned around and put my hands up," said Santiago Hernandez, the alleged brutality victim.

Santiago Hernandez says he did exactly what the officer asked him to do. He was waiting to meet a friend outside 428 E. 157th Street when officers asked to search him. 

"Did she say why she was searching you?" Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett asked.

"No," Hernandez said.

Hernandez says the officers claimed they were investigating a noise complaint. When the search came up empty, he says he asked the officers why he had been searched. 

And with that, he says, one of the officers grabbed his arm and slapped on handcuffs. 

"I’m like, ‘Miss what you doing? You are hurting my arm,’" Hernandez said. …