Police

Katie M. Logan 02-15-2017

Image via RNS/Marvel Comics

During the first few weeks of the Trump administration, we’ve seen increased pressure on Muslim and immigrant communities in the United States.

In the face of these threats, which Marvel superhero might be best equipped to defend the people, ideals, and institutions under attack? Some comic fans and critics are pointing to Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel.

the Web Editors 01-17-2017

Image via ep_jhu/flickr.com

On Jan. 17 the International Association of Chiefs of Police released their National Consensus Policy on Use of Force, a model policy for officers in the U.S. to follow when considering use of deadly force, reports The Washington Post. The IACP’s model policy includes de-escalation for the first time.

“An officer shall use de-escalation techniques and other alternatives to higher levels of force consistent with his training whenever possible and appropriate before resorting to force and to reduce the need for force,” the policy reads.

the Web Editors 01-13-2017

There were more than 400 force reports and over 170 officer related shootings in Chicago from January 2011 to April 2016 that. Not only did the department review, investigate and analyze these police documents, procedures, and trainings, they met with city leaders, community organizers, former police officer, rode along with current officers, and heard from over 1000 community members before making this judgement.

the Web Editors 11-29-2016

Image via Peg Hunter/flickr.com

On Nov. 29 the Morton County Sheriff’s Department announced that it will not allow any more supplies, or potential demonstrators, to reach the campsite where the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters are gathered, reports Reuters. Maxine Herr, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department, said that retailers have been delivering goods to the protesters, and that from now onward law enforcement “will turn around any of those services.”

the Web Editors 11-03-2016

Image via Diego G Diaz/Shutterstock.com

President Obama’s words contradict those of Vicki Granado, the spokesperson for Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“We are not aware that any consideration is being given to a reroute,” she said, following the publication of President Obama’s interview, “and we remain confident we will receive our easement in a timely fashion.”

Image via /Shutterstock.com

The incident seems like a straightforward hate crime: Swastikas sprayed in and around the New Jersey home of an Indian-American running for Congress earlier this month.

But the vandalism is steeped in religious and ethnic irony.

Da'Shawn Mosley 09-28-2016

Image via  /Shutterstock.com

In the U.S. the Freedom of Information Act is a law designed to enable Americans to access government information. But, often, the Freedom of Information Act fails to ensure this basic right. For example, in the case of the Laquan McDonald shooting, the Chicago Police Department denied fifteen Freedom of Information Act requests for the video of the shooting to be released. It wasn’t until many members of the community expressed their concern about the video not being shown to the public, and a city judge ruled in their favor, that the video was finally released. It shouldn’t have taken so much effort to get access to what’s rightfully ours.

the Web Editors 09-22-2016

Police in riot gear, Oakland, Calif. Image via Thomas Hawk/Flickr

The Los Angeles Times reports one man critically wounded and at least seven more injured in the protests, which continued for a second night in the face of growing tensions and anger over police handling of the circumstances of Scott's death. Protesters threw rocks and smashed windows, and police officers in riot gear fired tear gas and nonlethal bullets into the crowd.

the Web Editors 09-19-2016

Screenshot, video released by Tulsa police. Image via OklahomaNews9.

On Sept. 19, the police department of Tulsa, Okla., released dashcam footage of a white officer fatally shooting a 40-year-old unarmed black man. Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by Officer Betty Shelby after his SUV stalled on a street. A stun gun was also used on Crutcher by Officer Tyler Turnbough.

Kathy Kelly 07-12-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Which has ever brought a peaceful future nearer to neighborhoods: weaponized military and surveillance systems, or the efforts of concerned neighbors seeking justice? The United States withholds resources needed for the task of healing the battle scars our country has inflicted on so much of the world. If our fear is endless, how will these wars ever end?

the Web Editors 02-11-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch filed a civil rights lawsuit against Ferguson, Mo. after the St. Louis suburb rejected an agreement with the Justice Department that would have reformed their criminal justice system. “Their decision leaves us no further choice,” Lynch said.

the Web Editors 02-02-2016

Screenshot via Politie/Youtube

The bald eagle has been the symbol of the U.S. for over 200 years.

But we’ve never put an eagle to as good of a use as the Dutch are now: taking down drones. 

In order to remove drones hovering above unauthorized areas, such as airports or political events, Dutch police are training eagles to snatch them out of the air.

We've put a man on the moon. Why haven't we done this yet?

the Web Editors 01-14-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

In an abrupt change, the city of Chicago has made public video footage that documents the shooting death of Cedrick Chatman at the hands of Chicago police. The 17-year-old Chatman was shot and killed while running away from police. The officers claim he turned around and pointed a black object at them, an object which turned out to be a black iPhone box.

the Web Editors 12-07-2015

Dashcam video of police officers pursuing Ronald Johnson, released by Chicago PD on Dec. 7.

Cook County state’s attorney Anita Alvarez announced Dec. 7 that there will be no charges in the death of Ronald Johnson.

Ronald Johnson was shot and killed by Officer George Hernandez. According to Alvarez, Johnson resisted arrest and refused to drop a gun he was holding. Dashcam video of the shooting was also released. Officers had purported it shows Johnson holding a gun, but the images — dark and blurry — are inconclusive.

There is no sound on the video.

Alvarez had said she would make her decision based on "whether there was enough evidence to bring charges against the officer," reports the Chicago-Sun Times, and concluded there was not. 

Johnson’s mother has sued the city and Officer Hernandez, claiming that her son was not carrying a gun.

Read more here.

Jim Wallis 05-04-2015
Protestors in DC march in solidarity with Baltimore. Image via JP Keenan/Sojourn

Protestors in DC march in solidarity with Baltimore. Image via JP Keenan/Sojourners.

Baltimore, like Ferguson, is a parable — a story that can teach us important lessons. It's one in which we should see that we are, for the most part, still missing the most important lessons.

Decades of bad behavior on the part of Baltimore's police force in relation to the black community were brought to light, as in other circumstances of young black men dying at the hands of police. But the parable of Baltimore needs to go deeper.

 
the Web Editors 05-01-2015

1. Officers Charged in Freddie Gray's Death, Ruled a Homicide
“In an unexpected announcement Friday, Baltimore lead prosecutor Marilyn J. Mosby said there is “probable cause” to file criminal charges against police officers in the death of Freddie Gray ...” 

2. How Biased Is Your Feed?
Via Future Journalism Project Media Lab: A new study indicates that news and information gets more biased as it passes through social networks. … And given that half of Facebook and Twitter users consume news via those networks, our consumption and digestion of such “news” could take on that bias.

3. Nepal Earthquake: Up to 15,000 May Have Died, According to Army Chief
Amid public anger at government response to the massive earthquake and threats of disease, the country’s army chief painted a grim estimate of between 10-15,000 likely deaths in the wake of the weekend’s quake.

4. Lawmaker Considers Blocking Baltimore Protesters’ Food Stamp Benefits
“‘That’s an idea, and that could be legislation,’ [Maryland state legislator Patrick McDonough] said in response to a caller who asked if benefits could be revoked from parents of protesters. ‘I think that you could make the case that there is a failure to do proper parenting, and allowing this stuff to happen—is there an opportunity for a month to take away your food stamps?’”

Tom Ehrich 04-29-2015
Photo via REUTERS / Sait Serkan Gurbuz

A child waves at law enforcement officers in Baltimore on April 27, 2015. Photo via REUTERS / Sait Serkan Gurbuz

I enjoy cop shows on television.

My favorite is Blue Bloods, following the “Reagan” family from terrorist threats to homicides to domestic violence.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a cop. Perhaps routine marked by bursts of frenzy, some of it life-threatening. One’s hometown seen through the lens of crime, tragedy, and evil. Low pay, high risk.

I like Blue Bloods because it shows upright law enforcement taking “Protect and Serve” seriously and making brave and ethical choices.

These shows are quite unrealistic, of course. Crime doesn’t get solved that easily or snap decisions made that wisely.

I don’t think, however, that I realized until recently how separated from reality those fictional accounts have been. As police shootings of unarmed citizens go viral, as minorities talk of long-standing police brutality, as we watch guards beating prisoners, and as federal law enforcement engages in creepy surveillance, internal corruption, and the arming of local police as military commandos, the veil is lifted.

Now we see in our own American law enforcement the same brutality and power-madness that have marked corrupt societies we supposedly surpassed, from the secret police in Eastern Europe to uniformed thugs in South America.

I find it confusing. Not the discovery that TV isn’t real, but to see how low we have fallen. Has this brutality been the dark side of police work all along?

03-17-2015
Dear Franklin, The real issue here goes much deeper than obedience to the police or lack thereof.
the Web Editors 03-12-2015
Photo via Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock.com

Police tape in Ferguson, Mo. R. Photo via Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock.com

Early Thursday morning, just hours after the resignation of Ferguson police Chief Thomas Jackson, two officers were shot as they stood guard amidst protests outside the police department in Ferguson, Mo. One officer, a 41-year old from the St. Louis County Police Department, was struck in the shoulder. The other, a 32-year old from nearby Webster Groves Police Department, was hit in the face. Both officers were reported to be in serious, but non-life threatening condition.

As local authorities search for the unidentified shooters, protesters and police have begun to speculate about causes and responsibility.

Tobias Winright 11-05-2014

Across the country, police departments act more like an occupying army than keepers of the peace. 

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