Police

State of Emergency in Charlotte: 'Release Dash Cam...Video ASAP'

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.

White Tulsa Police Officer Fatally Shoots Unarmed Black Man

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.

The Netherlands Recruits Eagles to Take Down Drones

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?

Videos Released of Police Shooting of Cedrick Chatman

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.

Dashcam Video Released; Chicago Will Not Press Charges in Shooting Death of Ronald Johnson

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.

The Parable of Baltimore

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.

 

Weekly Wrap 5.1.15: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

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?’”

How Ferguson and Now Baltimore Are Altering Our Perception of Law Enforcement

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?

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