Police Violence in America

Notes on police violence

Baltimore police officer caught on body-cam planting drugs

By Matthew MacEgan, 21 July 2017

The release of body-cam footage of police planting drugs prompted the release of a man who has been held in jail since January.

The murder of Justine Damond and police violence in America

By Niles Niemuth, 21 July 2017

While few details have been released, what is known about Damond’s killing provides insight into the social and psychological underpinnings of the epidemic of police brutality in the US.

Notes on police violence

Woman killed by Minneapolis police had called to report a rape

By Matthew MacEgan and Niles Niemuth, 20 July 2017

Minneapolis police officers claim they thought they were being “ambushed” when they shot the 40-year-old yoga teacher through the door of their cruiser Saturday night.

Notes on police violence

Louisiana woman charged with attempted murder after sheriff’s deputy kills her boyfriend

By Aaron Murch and Tom Hall, 19 July 2017

In yet another egregious display of police violence in the US, a sheriff’s deputy in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana shot and killed 27-year-old father of three DeJuan Guillory earlier this month.

Australian woman fatally shot by Minneapolis police officer

By Anthony Bertolt, 18 July 2017

Justine Damond was gunned down by police officer Mohamed Noor in an alleyway after calling 911 to report a suspected assault.

San Diego police unleash K-9 dog on handcuffed man

By Jake Dean, 15 July 2017

There are an untold number of disturbing videos of police officers in the US, without care or remorse, using dogs to attack the individuals they are pursuing.

Notes on police violence

Officer who fatally shot Philando Castile to receive $48,500 in severance pay

By Anthony Bertolt, 13 July 2017

Former St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted last month of all charges related to the killing of Philando Castile last year during a traffic stop.

Notes on police violence

Latest Chicago police killing shrouded in secrecy

By George Gallanis, 11 July 2017

The still unidentified man shot Sunday is the eighth person killed by the Chicago police this year, coming not even one week since the last fatal shooting.

The police murder of Iraq War veteran Brian Easley

By Eric London, 10 July 2017

The murder of Easley exposes the establishment’s ritual worship of veterans as nothing more than propaganda, aimed at building support for wars fought by the poor to enrich the wealthy.

US police out in force for Fourth of July holiday

By Matthew MacEgan, 6 July 2017

The police mobilizations throughout the country, justified by citing the possibility of a terror attack, marked another effort to expand the power of the state in anticipation of social unrest.

Notes on police violence

Chicago police fatally shoot 37-year-old man

By George Marlowe, 5 July 2017

Despite promises of reform from Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago police department continues to kill with impunity, as do police forces across the rest of the country.

Locking Up Our Own, by James Forman, Jr.

New book describes the role of black mayors and police officials in mass incarceration

By Fred Mazelis, 5 July 2017

Forman’s account provides further evidence that the massive growth of the US prison population is rooted primarily in class oppression, not in racial divisions.

Trump administration, Democrats announce local-federal partnership to expand Chicago police force

By Kristina Betinis, 3 July 2017

The greater integration of city and federal policing agencies will do nothing to address the conditions that produce gun violence, rooted in social inequality and mass poverty.

Perjury charges dismissed against Texas police officer who arrested Sandra Bland

By Nick Barrickman, 1 July 2017

Special prosecutors dropped charges against officer Brian Encinia for falsifying reports of his confrontation with Bland, who was found dead days later in her Texas jail cell.

Chicago police officers indicted for covering up murder of Laquan McDonald

By Alexander Fangmann, 29 June 2017

Rather than striking a blow against the Chicago Police Department’s code of silence, the charges against the three officers are an extension of a cover up that extends to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Iraqi-Americans stuck in deportation limbo

By David Brown and Usman Khan, 28 June 2017

The deportation of roughly 200 Iraqi nationals was halted Monday by the Eastern Michigan District Court but, without a further decision, deportations will resume on July 6.

Notes on police violence

Second mistrial for University of Cincinnati cop charged with murder

By our reporter, 26 June 2017

The mistrial of Ray Tensing follows the June acquittals of the officer who killed Sylville Smith in Milwaukee, and the officer who killed Philando Castile in Minnesota.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies kill teenager

By Matthew MacEgan, 24 June 2017

Police claim that Armando Garcia-Muro was struck in the chest by a “skip” round that ricocheted from where it struck the ground after police opened fire on a pit bull.

Notes on police violence

Milwaukee cop found not guilty of August 2016 killing that sparked protests

By Josh Varlin, 22 June 2017

Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown shot Sylville Smith as he was running away, the fatal shot coming when Smith was on the ground and unarmed.

“Mom, please stop screaming because I don’t want you to get shooted”

Video released of Philando Castile’s girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter in patrol car

By our reporter, 22 June 2017

The video from the patrol car is the second video released following the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez for manslaughter in the shooting of Castile last July.

Notes on police violence

Dashcam video of Philando Castile shooting released; Seattle police kill pregnant mother of four

By Matthew MacEgan, 21 June 2017

The dashcam video showing the brutal killing of Castile comes a few days after the officer involved was acquitted of charges of manslaughter.

Officer who fatally shot Philando Castile in Minnesota acquitted on all charges

By Anthony Bertolt, 17 June 2017

Jeronimo Yanez killed Castile last July even though he posed no threat, in a horrific incident captured on video and broadcast live by Castile’s girlfriend.

Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputy fatally shoots 19-year-old after traffic violation

By Christopher Davion, 16 June 2017

The brutal killing of Terry Williams is one of numerous acts of police terror and repression that have occurred under the direction of fascistic Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr.

Immigration raids strike Detroit: Dozens rounded up for deportation to Iraq war zone

By Eric London and Niles Niemuth, 13 June 2017

The decision by the Trump administration to deport refugees to Iraq explodes the claims that the US wars in Iraq and Syria are “humanitarian” interventions aimed at protecting the population.

US Supreme Court sides with police who broke into home and shot sleeping couple

By Shelley Connor, 2 June 2017

The court sided with police in a case of illegal search and entry that resulted in Angel Mendez and his pregnant wife being shot 15 times by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies.

San Diego children left to fend for themselves after immigrant parents arrested by US Border Patrol

By Kevin Martinez, 2 June 2017

Francisco Duarte and Rosenda Pérez were detained last week after living in the US for more than two decades, leaving their 19-year-old son to take care of his three younger siblings.

Chicago police keep nearly 400,000 on a secret watch list

By George Marlowe, 24 May 2017

Far exceeding previous claims, the Chicago police secretly maintain a vast surveillance net covering nearly 15 percent of the city’s population.

Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer acquitted in 2016 killing of Terence Crutcher

By Nick Barrickman, 19 May 2017

Betty Jo Shelby was found not guilty of first degree manslaughter in the shooting of the 40-year-old unarmed father of four last year.

Hundreds of US citizens arrested in joint immigration-police roundup

By Niles Niemuth, 13 May 2017

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents working with local law enforcement agencies have arrested more than 1,300 people since March.

New revelations of brutality and corruption

New York Democrats announce plans to shut Rikers Island prison in a decade

By Sandy English, 9 May 2017

Even if Rikers were to be shut down, the violence, abuse and degradation of inmates would only be redistributed to other locations.

Notes on police violence

Fifteen-year-old high school freshman with BB gun killed by police in San Diego

By Genevieve Leigh, 8 May 2017

The boy, who died on May 6, was shot multiple times by two officers after anonymously calling 911 for a general welfare check on himself.

Trump Justice Department: No charges in police murder of Alton Sterling

By Niles Niemuth, 4 May 2017

Federal prosecutors announced there was “insufficient evidence” to bring civil rights charges against the officers who shot and killed Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Balch Springs, Texas police kill unarmed 15-year-old boy

By Matthew Taylor, 3 May 2017

Jordan Edwards was shot in the head and killed by police in the Dallas suburb as the vehicle he was in was driving away from a party the police had been called to break up.

Inquest continues into death of mentally ill Milwaukee County Jail inmate denied water for seven days

By Christopher Davion, 29 April 2017

Terrill Thomas is one of four inmates who died in the county jail over a 6-month period in 2016.

Trump plans detention force and network of camps for immigrants

By Eric London, 14 April 2017

According to a memo made public by the Washington Post, the total number of immigrants detained will rise to a daily average of 70,000.

Notes on police violence

Video shows Sacramento police beating man for allegedly “jaywalking”

By Kevin Martinez, 14 April 2017

An as yet unidentified officer violently assaulted Nandi Cain Jr., grabbing him by the neck, then throwing him to the pavement and punching him in the face repeatedly.

Florida anti-war protesters attacked, arrested in police provocation

By Matthew Taylor, 10 April 2017

First-hand evidence clearly show that the incident on Friday was provoked by the sheriff’s department in concert with a well-known right-wing provocateur.

Settlement reached in lawsuits against NYPD’s illegal surveillance of Muslims

By Philip Guelpa, 6 April 2017

The settlement of a pair of long-standing lawsuits provides only a fig leaf to cover the NYPD’s extensive surveillance of Muslims and others.

US justice department signals rollback of even limited police oversight

By Niles Niemuth, 5 April 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed a memo Friday ordering an evaluation of the DOJ’s activities concerning the practices of local police forces including compliance reviews and consent decrees.

Notes on police violence

Rare conviction, resignation of officers for police killings in Louisiana and New York City

By Genevieve Leigh, 28 March 2017

The recent conviction and disciplinary actions do not mark a departure from the policy of near complete immunity for killer cops.

Florida prosecutors cover up murder of Darren Rainey, inmate boiled alive

By Matthew Taylor, 21 March 2017

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced last Friday that no charges would be brought against the four prison guards responsible for Rainey’s death in 2012.

Notes on police violence

Alabama police officer cleared in 2014 shooting of man holding wallet

By Kevin Martinez, 16 March 2017

Dashcam video of the shooting released only this month shows Michael Davidson writhing in agony after being shot by a police officer while exiting his car with his wallet in his hand.

ACLU files lawsuit against Milwaukee over traffic stops, stop-and-frisk policy

By Christopher Davion, 14 March 2017

The targeting of minority workers and the poor for harassment is an attack on the entire working class and a warning of the measures to be used against growing opposition.

Off-duty police officer pulls gun and fires at youths, sparking protests in Anaheim, California

By John Andrews, 24 February 2017

Videos show an off-duty Los Angeles police officer drawing a pistol and shooting it during a minor confrontation with a group of young people.

New York police kill Brooklyn teen for pointing a fake gun

By Steve Light, 22 February 2017

A string of shootings by police of people with fake guns has occurred in recent years, including the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Video exposes official lies about police killing in Nashville, Tennessee

By Warren Duzak, 17 February 2017

Police claims that Jocques Scott Clemmons had assaulted the officer who eventually killed him as he left his car during a traffic stop have been shown to be demonstrably false.

Woman forced to give birth on floor of Macomb County, Michigan jail cell

By Nick Rodriguez, 17 February 2017

The disturbing incident, which took place last year but was only recently made public, sheds a stark light on the harsh realities of life confronting the working class.

Cook County, Illinois refuses to charge officer involved in fatal shooting of two

By George Marlowe, 13 February 2017

In what amounts to yet another political cover up of police murders in Chicago, prosecutors claimed that the officer acted in self-defense despite witness testimony to the contrary.

“Blue Lives Matter” law extends safeguards to police in Louisiana

By Aaron Asa, 2 February 2017

Signed last year by Democratic Party Governor John Bel Edwards, the reactionary law is already being used to provide cover for police and impose harsher penalties on the accused.

Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder for killing unarmed man

By Marcus Day, 21 January 2017

Lowell Houser, a 28-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday for fatally shooting and killing an unarmed man earlier this month.

Unanimous US Supreme Court insists on broad immunity for police

By Tom Carter, 18 January 2017

The eight justices on the US Supreme Court complained that lower federal courts are not granting immunity to police officers often enough.

Justice Department report on Chicago police an exercise in damage control

By George Marlowe, 17 January 2017

A report released by the Obama administration’s Department of Justice last week highlights unconstitutional acts of police brutality by the Chicago Police Department.

Notes on police violence

NYPD shoot, kill man holding screwdriver

By Kevin Martinez, 17 January 2017

Police killed Jahlire Nicholson on Friday after he allegedly threatened his mother with a screwdriver. He was the third person killed by the NYPD in less than two weeks.

Illinois man dies after police shootout on commuter train

By George Marlowe, 12 January 2017

Jamal Parks died from a gunshot wound to the head in Deerfield, Illinois, in the midst of a dangerous police shootout aboard a passenger-filled train.

Notes on police violence

Philadelphia to pay $4.4 million to delivery worker shot by police in 2014

By E.P. Milligan, 10 January 2017

Though Phillippe Holland has been awarded a multi-million dollar settlement, the incident has radically altered the young man’s life after being shot in the head and body.

Cleveland to pay $2.25 million settlement over 2011 police killing

By E.P. Milligan, 9 January 2017

While it is clear that the use of lethal force by the officer who shot Daniel Ficker was excessive and illegitimate, criminal charges were quickly ruled out.

Notes on police violence in America

Police kill unarmed man in Chicago, mentally ill man in New York

By Marcus Day, 5 January 2017

In a brutal start to 2017, police shot and killed two people each in Chicago and New York City, while a cellphone video widely shared on Twitter showed a North Carolina school officer body-slamming a teenage girl.

US police killed more than 1,150 in 2016

By Gabriel Black, 4 January 2017

The number of people killed by police every year in the United States exceeds by far those killed by police in every other major capitalist country.

Louisiana police illegally jailed hundreds without charges

By Tom Hall, 30 December 2016

Residents of Evangeline Parish have been subjected to warrantless “investigative holds” lasting days, in flagrant violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.

Justice Department report estimates nearly 2,000 “arrest-related deaths” annually in US

By our reporter, 19 December 2016

The number of police killings, or homicides, recorded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics is more than twice the number reported by the FBI.

Bakersfield, California police shoot unarmed 73-year-old man

By Shannon Jones, 16 December 2016

The shooting of Francisco Serna, who was suffering from dementia, is the latest horrifying episode in the continuing wave of police violence in the United States.

Militarized police deployed to Los Angeles subway system after bomb hoax

By Zaida Green, 16 December 2016

The operation last week mobilized heavily-armed sheriff’s deputies, sniffer-dog squads, and undercover police from the FBI, the LAPD, and the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

Jury deadlocks in South Carolina police murder trial

By John Burton, 6 December 2016

The jury in the trial of former North Charleston police officer Michael T. Slager, who was caught on video firing eight rounds at a fleeing Walter Scott, was discharged Monday after failing to reach a verdict.

US Army Corps postpones confrontation over Dakota Access Pipeline construction

By our reporter, 5 December 2016

The announcement that the US Army Corps of Engineers will not grant an easement for construction essentially puts off a final decision until after Obama leaves office.

Canada’s Resources Minister threatens to use army against pipeline protests

By our reporter, 3 December 2016

The Liberal government has declared it is prepared to use force against those protesting expansion of Canada’s oil pipelines.

Judge allows police to use grenades against Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

By Zaida Green, 2 December 2016

Police will continue to use water cannons, concussion grenades, lead-filled beanbags, and chemical agents against protesters.

North Carolina cop who shot man in back will not be charged

By Shannon Jones, 1 December 2016

Prosecutors ruled the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte “justifiable” despite video footage showing the victim walking backwards with his hands at his sides.

Chicago police kill two over Thanksgiving holiday

By Jessica Goldstein, 28 November 2016

The recent shootings take place one year after the release of dashcam footage of the murder of 17-year-old black youth Laquan McDonald by a Chicago cop.

Police use water cannons on Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

By Kevin Martinez, 22 November 2016

Violence broke out on Sunday night when protesters tried to remove a blockade but were stopped by police using water cannon, tear gas and concussion grenades.

Ohio judge declares mistrial in the murder of Sam DuBose

By Samuel Davidson, 17 November 2016

A former police officer was charged in the death of an unarmed black motorist during a traffic stop.

Cop who killed Philando Castile facing manslaughter charges

By Zaida Green, 17 November 2016

Officer Jeronimo Yanez faces charges of second-degree manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm after shooting Castile seven times during a traffic stop in July.

New York: Rikers Island prison guards found guilty in beating and cover-up

By Sandy English, 1 November 2016

Four guards at New York City’s Rikers Island prison complex were convicted of brutalizing inmate Carl Williams in 2013 and falsifying records.

Latest NYPD killing highlights de Blasio’s history of defending the police

By Isaac Finn, 22 October 2016

The Democratic mayor's routine response to police killings is to seek to appease public anger while defending the NYPD’s egregious actions as the product of insufficient training.

Police killing of mentally ill 66-year-old Bronx, New York woman sparks outrage

By Fred Mazelis, 21 October 2016

The murder of Deborah Danner brought back memories of the 1984 death of Eleanor Bumpurs, another emotionally disturbed elderly woman, at the hands of the police.

Notes on police violence

US police kill thirty people in ten days

By Zaida Green, 12 October 2016

Two-thirds of those identified so far were white, underscoring the fact that police violence in America is fundamentally a class question, affecting poor and working class people of all races.

Los Angeles police kill second man in two days

By Zaida Green, 5 October 2016

The unidentified young man was shot to death just a day after the fatal shooting of another youth, 18-year-old Carnell Snell, Jr.

Video raises questions in 2012 New York police killing of Ramarley Graham

By Sandy English, 5 October 2016

A new surveillance video obtained by the New York Daily News shows paramedics covering and then uncovering the corpse of Ramarley Graham, who was killed by police in 2012.

Death toll mounts in US police killings

By Patrick Martin, 3 October 2016

US police killed at least 19 men last week. Ranging in ages from 18 to 53, the victims were shot, tased or, in one case, beaten and asphyxiated.

Protests continue in El Cajon, California over the police killing of Alfred Olango

By Genevieve Leigh, 3 October 2016

Recently-released video shows an officer firing deadly shots at unarmed Olango less than two minutes after arriving on the scene.

Pasadena police kill father of eight during help call

By Dan Conway and John Andrews, 3 October 2016

Pasadena police officers dispatched to assist with a disturbed man, tased, beat and ultimately asphyxiated Reginald Thomas, Jr., a father of eight, in front of his family.

El Cajon, California police release video showing fatal shooting of Alfred Olango

By Kevin Martinez, 1 October 2016

The videos have been released in an effort to quell dissent, after the San Diego suburb saw three nights of protests and the deployment of riot police.

Notes on police violence

Louisiana police release video of officers killing six-year-old Jeremy Mardis in 2015

By George Gallanis, 30 September 2016

Mardis was shot as he sat in his father’s car when police emptied 18 rounds into the vehicle, severely injuring the unarmed man and killing the boy instantly.

Police kill 30-year-old mentally ill man in El Cajon, California

By Norisa Diaz, 29 September 2016

The killing of Alfred Olango one week after the killing of Keith Lamont Scott has sparked demonstrations in the impoverished San Diego suburb.

US national anthem protests at sporting events continue to spread

By Alan Gilman, 28 September 2016

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem before NFL games, in protest of racial injustice and police brutality, has continued to gain support.

Charlotte police release videos showing Keith Scott with arms down as he was shot

By Tom Carter, 26 September 2016

In an effort to quell ongoing unrest, officials in Charlotte, North Carolina released videos Saturday that show portions of Keith Scott’s fatal encounter with police officers on September 20.

Police kill 23-year-old man in Louisville, Nebraska

By Nick Barrickman, 26 September 2016

Authorities have refused to release information on whether Austin M. Baier had been armed or whether he had in any way threatened deputy Tyler Reiff.

Police violence and the social crisis in America

By Joseph Kishore, 24 September 2016

Both the killing of Keith Scott and the protests that have erupted in Charlotte, North Carolina starkly expose the deep social tensions and class divisions in America.

Protests continue in Charlotte, North Carolina as police refuse to release video of fatal shooting

By David Brown, 23 September 2016

North Carolina’s National Guard deployed on the streets of Charlotte Thursday after the state’s governor declared a state of emergency in response to protests over the latest police killing.

The police murder in Charlotte, North Carolina

By Patrick Martin, 22 September 2016

The police killing and eruption of protests in Charlotte, North Carolina are expressions of seething social tensions and the class divide in America.

Tulsa, Oklahoma police release videos of slaying of unarmed man

By Zaida Green, 21 September 2016

Dashboard and aerial footage show Terence Crutcher surrendering peacefully to police before being shot and left to bleed to death on the road.

Columbus, Ohio 13-year-old gunned down by police

By Shannon Jones, 16 September 2016

A companion to the boy killed by police disputed claims that the victim brandished a weapon, as the wave of officer-involved killings in the United States continues.

Notes on Police Violence

Murrieta, California police caught on video savagely beating unarmed man

By Kevin Martinez, 13 September 2016

Three officers pinned Alejandro Rojo to the ground and yelled “stop resisting” before proceeding to punch and kick him repeatedly.

Baltimore police conducted privately-funded aerial surveillance of city for nine months

By Zaida Green, 10 September 2016

The technology was developed in 2007 for use in the Iraq War, and has now been deployed against the population of a major American city.

Chicago mayor plans to boost size of police force in response to social crisis

By George Marlowe, 9 September 2016

The call for greater policing and an escalation of law-and-order measures comes on the heels of growing public disaffection with the entire political establishment.

Milwaukee Democrats propose to dramatically increase size of police force following Sherman Park protests

By Catherine Long, 7 September 2016

A forthcoming city budget includes funding for an additional 280 officers in the wake of protests and unrest sparked by the killing of Sylville Smith last month.

Chicago police shoot someone every five days

By George Marlowe, 2 September 2016

According to a new report, 92 people have been killed in six years by Chicago police officers, a majority of them in areas of high poverty.

New York police continue to violate court safeguards in surveillance of Muslims

By Isaac Finn, 2 September 2016

According to an oversight organization for the NYPD, police frequently violated court-imposed guidelines as part of the department’s spying on Muslims between 2010 and 2015.

State trooper kills unarmed deaf man in North Carolina

By Shelley Connor, 26 August 2016

Daniel Kevin Harris, a 28-year-old deaf man, was one of at least 20 people killed by police across the US over the last week.

New video shows Los Angeles Police Department officers kill 56-year-old man in jail

By John Andrews, 22 August 2016

A recently released video depicts six officers Tasing and choking to death 56-year-old grandfather Vachel Howard in a Los Angeles jail in 2012.

In bid to quash anger, Chicago cops face firing over Laquan McDonald murder

By Alexander Fangmann, 22 August 2016

The seven cops are among ten recommended for termination in a recent city inspector general’s report issued even as police violence continues.