Police Violence in America

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.

Facebook livestream

SEP US vice presidential candidate Niles Niemuth discusses the police killing in Milwaukee

17 August 2016

SEP US vice presidential candidate Niles Niemuth spoke in a live interview with WSWS reporter Andre Damon about the class issues behind police violence.

The social roots of unrest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

By Niles Niemuth, 16 August 2016

The growth of poverty and inequality, the eruption of social anger and the build-up of the police forces are interrelated components of the same class dynamic.

Wisconsin governor mobilizes National Guard after eruption of protests over police killing

By George Gallanis, 15 August 2016

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in Milwaukee after protests Saturday night over the killing of 23-year-old Sylville Smith by Milwaukee police.

The Justice Department’s whitewash of police violence in Baltimore, Maryland

By Niles Niemuth, 12 August 2016

The DOJ report on Baltimore is another in a series of investigations that will do nothing to stop the violence meted out by police on a daily basis.

Police violence in Los Angeles continues unabated

By Alan Gilman, 12 August 2016

An unarmed man mistaken for a carjacker, an unarmed homeless man on a bicycle and a 14-year-old youth allegedly engaged in graffiti are the latest victims.

Justice Department investigation of Baltimore police finds rampant abuse

By Nick Barrickman, 11 August 2016

The investigation was requested by Baltimore city officials in the wake of widespread social unrest in the aftermath of the April 2015 police killing of Freddie Gray.

Police seek to cover up murder of 20-year-old man in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 9 August 2016

The official police version of events used to justify the killing of Earl Pinckney, who was bipolar, has been disputed by eye witnesses.

Louisiana sheriff initiates witch-hunt against author of anti-corruption blog

By E.P. Bannon, 9 August 2016

The witch-hunt is an act of intimidation meant to disrupt the lives of anyone who offers the slightest opposition to the criminality entrenched within the American political system.

New York City police commissioner Bratton resigns

By Philip Guelpa and Fred Mazelis, 8 August 2016

The abrupt resignation of the NYPD commissioner comes amid a counteroffensive in response to protests against police brutality and police killings over the past several years.

After the Paul O’Neal murder

Stop the police killings! Unite workers and youth of every race and nationality!

By Jerry White—SEP candidate for US president, 8 August 2016

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White issued the following statement after the release of video showing the brutal police murder of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal.

Chicago police warn of unrest after murder of teen

By Kristina Betinis, 6 August 2016

The July 28 murder of Paul O’Neal is the latest in a series of police killings around the US that have claimed the lives of nearly 700 victims so far this year.

Baltimore County police shoot, kill young mother

By Shelley Connor, 4 August 2016

Days after charges were dropped against the cops in the Freddie Gray murder case, police in the Baltimore area shot Korryn Gaines to death and wounded her five-year-old son.

Texas recorded almost 7,000 deaths in custody since 2005

By Shannon Jones, 30 July 2016

Between 2005 and 2015, an average of 628 people a year died while in the custody of police or state corrections officials.

Maryland state’s attorney clears police officers involved in killing of Freddie Gray of all charges

By Nick Barrickman, 28 July 2016

Prosecutors dropped all charges against the remaining three officers still to be tried for the April 12, 2015 arrest and subsequent death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray.

Notes on police violence in America

North Miami police shoot unarmed man as he lay on the ground

By Isaac Finn, 22 July 2016

Charles Kinsey, the caregiver to an autistic man, was shot as he attempted to calm his patient and explain the situation to officers.

Massachusetts and New Hampshire state troopers arrested for assault on unarmed suspect

By John Marion, 21 July 2016

Video from news helicopters show Richard Simone, Jr. on his hands and knees, not resisting the officers who beat him.

New York City workers discuss police killings, inequality with SEP candidate

By Jerry White and Zac Corrigan, 20 July 2016

On the second anniversary of the police killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, workers spoke with Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate about the class divide in America’s largest city.

Highest ranking officer acquitted in Freddie Gray killing

By Gabriel Black, 19 July 2016

Lieutenant Brian Rice joins a long list of police officers involved in murderous attacks who have been exonerated.

Ex-Marine guns down three police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

By Patrick Martin, 18 July 2016

The attack, five miles from the store where Alton Sterling was killed by police on July 6, is the second multiple shooting of police in the United States in the past 10 days.

Over 80 arrested in weekend police violence protests

By Gabriel Black, 18 July 2016

The protests and arrests come following the police killings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana by police officers.

Fresno video shows police murder of Dylan Noble

By Patrick Martin, 15 July 2016

Two cops fired two shots into the white youth as he stood a few feet away, then two more, including a shotgun blast, as he lay twitching on the ground.

Chicago police SWAT team terrorizes working class neighborhood

By George Marlowe, 15 July 2016

The Chicago Police Department conducted warrantless raids of homes in a neighborhood in the South Side while searching for alleged gunmen.

Obama in Dallas: Platitudes and lies on police killings

By Bill Van Auken, 13 July 2016

To deliver an honest speech, Obama would have had to admit that the epidemic of police killings as well as the shootings in Dallas are either the direct product of or blowback from his administration’s policies.

Immigrants in Los Angeles denounce police repression worldwide

By our reporters, 13 July 2016

Workers and youth from El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico expressed opposition to state violence, poverty and social inequality.

Militarized police forces throughout the US carry out mass arrests

By Isaac Finn, 12 July 2016

Police departments have exploited the killing of five police officers to further curb democratic rights and clamp down on anti-police brutality protests across the country.

Hundreds arrested in US protests against police killings

By Shannon Jones, 11 July 2016

Thousands took to the streets across the United States to voice their outrage over two recent police killings of unarmed black men.