Tag Archives: police violence

The unwritten law that helps bad cops go free

Source: National Review
by David French

“If you watch carefully, two salient facts should emerge. First, Philando Castile was quite literally following the police officer’s instructions when he was shot. The officer asked for his license and told him not to reach for his gun. Castile reached for his license while verbally assuring the officer that he was not reaching for his gun. The officer shot him anyway. The second fact overwhelmed the first. The officer panicked. His terror is palpable. The man went from conducting a relatively routine traffic stop to shrieking and firing in a matter of seconds. Part of this is understandable. Life can change in a flash, and when we’re in a state of ultimate distress, few of us can be as composed as SEAL Team Six. When I saw that palpable panic, I immediately knew why he was acquitted. The unwritten law trumped the statutes on the books. The unwritten law is simple: When an officer is afraid, he’s permitted to shoot. Juries tend to believe that proof of fear equals proof of innocence.” (06/22/17)


Video: The murder of Philando Castile

Source: The Atlantic

“Dashcam footage seen by investigators and members of the courtroom during the trial of former police officer Jeronimo Yanez was made public on Tuesday, shedding new light on the shooting of 32-year-old Philando Castile. Yanez was previously accused of second-degree manslaughter after he repeatedly shot Castile at a traffic stop in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, but was acquitted of all charges on Friday. Defense attorneys argued that Yanez feared for his life after Castile informed him he had a gun in the car for which he had obtained a legal permit.” [Flash video] (06/20/17)


The evils of the drug war

Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

“If several adults went into a school and sexually assaulted 900 children most people wouldn’t even wait for a trial, they would grab the pitchforks and torches. But when the adults are wearing badges the behavior is suddenly seen as excusable in many people’s eyes. Oftentimes when officers commit such heinous crimes they receive no punishment, which encourages more wicked people to seek a job in law enforcement.” (06/08/17)


NJ: Video shows cops kicking burning innocent bystander after chase

Source: Hoboken Patch

“A video shows New Jersey cops kicking a burning man who was determined to be an innocent bystander following a police chase this weekend …. Referring to the video, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez thanked those who filmed the incident she would ‘like the public to know that we welcome their help.’ … She said investigators have reviewed the video and believe ‘with certainty’ that the man is a bystander from West New York who suffered burns — not Leo Pinkston, the individual pursued by police.” (06/08/17)


NV: Las Vegas police officer will be charged in killing of unarmed man

Source: Los Angeles Times

“A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer will be criminally charged in the death of an unarmed black man last month outside the Venetian casino, authorities said Monday. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Kenneth Lopera was expected to be charged with involuntary manslaughter and oppression under the color of office — each count carrying a maximum sentence of four years in state prison. … 40-year-old Tashii Brown approached Lopera and an unidentified officer at a coffee shop at the Venetian. Brown was described as acting erratically and told officers he was being chased. But then he took off and Lopera ran after him — activating his body camera in the process. What his video captured — as did other surveillance footage — was Lopera, who has said he thought Brown was trying to hijack a vehicle, firing his Taser seven times. He then punched Brown and administered a chokehold once he was lying on his stomach. When Brown was subsequently unresponsive, CPR was administered and he was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.” (06/05/17)


OH: Cleveland PD fires cop who got away with murdering 12-year-old

Source: Business Insider

“The Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice has been fired, city officials told media on Tuesday. The officer, Timothy Loehmann, had been on the force for less than a year before the November 2014 shooting. Loehmann’s partner Frank Garmback, who had been driving the police cruiser in the moments leading up to the shooting, has also been suspended without pay for 10 days. The disciplinary action against both officers comes more than a year after Cleveland settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the Rice family for $6 million. A grand jury declined in 2015 to indict both officers in Rice’s death.” (05/30/17)


Bahrain: Police open fire, murdering one at sit-in protest

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Bahraini police have opened fire during a raid on a sit-in near the home of the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom’s most prominent Shia cleric, activists say. The UK-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy said one protester had been killed in the incident in Sheikh Isa Qassim’s hometown of Diraz. … Last June, the authorities stripped Sheikh Qassim of his Bahraini citizenship, leaving him stateless and at risk of deportation at any time and prompting supporters to protest outside his home. The latest court case had increased tensions in the country, which has been wracked by unrest since security forces crushed pro-democracy protests mainly led by Shia during the Arab Spring in 2011.” (05/23/17)


OK: Jury acquits killer cop, nullifies law against murdering unarmed motorists

Source: New York Daily News

“A jury has declared police officer Betty Jo Shelby not guilty of manslaughter after she shot and killed Terence Crutcher. After hearing closing arguments in Shelby’s trial Wednesday morning, jurors had deliberated since noon, taking just over nine hours to arrive at the verdict for the killing that sparked nationwide outrage. … In their closing arguments, prosecutors noted that the other officers around her knew it was a ‘bad shoot’ after she killed the unarmed man. Shelby stopped after seeing Crutcher, a 40-year-old father of four, in the middle of a road on Sept. 16, opening fire after he refused commands to lie down. The officer, 43, has claimed she believed that the motorist, whose hands were seen up in video of the shooting, may have been reaching into his car for a gun.” (05/17/17)


CA: Cops claim teen they killed was holding a BB gun

Source: NBC 4 New York

“Officers shot and killed a teenager in the parking lot of his high school in San Diego Saturday morning after the teen called police to check on him and then allegedly pulled out a BB gun and pointed it at the officers. According to San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Acting Homicide Capt. Mike Holden, the 15-year-old boy called police asking officers to conduct a welfare check on a minor — himself — near Torrey Pines High School (TPHS) in Carmel Valley just before 3:30 a.m. …. Holden said that as the officers got out of their patrol car, the teenager pulled a gun out of his waistband ‘and pointed it directly at one of the officers.” (05/07/17)


TX: Police department fires cop who murdered teenager

Source: Buzzfeed News

“A suburban Dallas police department fired the officer who shot and killed a black teenager as he was leaving a house party on Saturday night, officials announced Tuesday. Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old freshman at Mesquite High School, died after Balch Springs Police Officer Roy Oliver fired multiple rounds with his rifle into the car he was riding in. The car was filled with five teenagers, including Jordan’s two brothers, who were trying to leave an end-of-the-year party that had become unruly after cops arrived.” (05/03/17)