Tag Archives: police violence

IL: Three Chicago cops indicted in alleged cover-up of Laquan McDonald shooting

Source: Chicago Tribune

"Three current or former Chicago police officers were indicted Tuesday on charges of conspiring to cover up alleged wrongdoing by Officer Jason Van Dyke in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Detective David March and patrol Officers Joseph Walsh, Van Dyke's partner that night in 2014, and Thomas Gaffney were each charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice. … Police dashcam video of Van Dyke shooting the black teen 16 times as he walked away from police while holding a knife has caused a firestorm of controversy and led to calls for major reforms of the Police Department. The accounts of several officers dramatically differed from the dashcam video. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder on the same day in November 2015 that the video was released on the order of a Cook County judge. Van Dyke is still awaiting trial." (06/27/17)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/laquanmcdonald/ct-laquan-mcdonald-shooting-charges-20170627-story.html

Technology alone won't deliver justice for victims of police abuse

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Brittany Hunter

"Chills run down the spine of anyone who has the stomach to watch the footage of Philando Castile’s death last summer. … This damning footage was revolutionary, or at least, it should have been. There was no valid excuse for the officer involved in the Castile case. There was no opportunity for the live stream footage to be altered and there was no reason to believe that the images in the footage misrepresented or misconstrued the situation. Yet, last week Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of all charges in the death of Philando Castile. Now we are left wondering what can be done if technology is not the great equalizer we had hoped. Technology may not be enough to change the trajectory of our criminal justice system, or at least not as rapidly as many activists had hoped. But that does not mean we are without hope altogether." (06/26/17)

https://fee.org/articles/technology-cannot-dismantle-a-system-protected-by-human-fear/

MN: Taxpayers on hook for $3 million settlement in Castile killing

Source: Washington Post

"The mother of Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by a Minnesota police officer last year, has reached a nearly $3 million settlement in his death, according to an announcement Monday by her attorneys and the Minneapolis suburb that employed the officer. The settlement to be paid to Valerie Castile will avoid a federal wrongful death lawsuit stemming from Philando Castile’s death. The 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker was killed by St. Anthony officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop July 6 after Castile told the officer he was armed. Castile had a permit for his gun." (06/26/17)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/philando-castile-family-reaches-3m-settlement-in-death/2017/06/26/1ff9a980-5a6f-11e7-aa69-3964a7d55207_story.html

Law enforcement's dirty little secret

Source: CounterPunch
by David Macaray

"Armchair sociologists tell us that the primary reason cops kill unarmed (or armed but non-threatening) black people is because cops are, at root, 'racists,' and that the reason juries acquit these trigger-happy officers, even when the evidence overwhelmingly supports a guilty verdict, is because the jurors themselves are, at root, racists. Although no one is going to suggest that racial discrimination isn’t alive and well in the U.S., a couple things fly in the face of that 'White cops kill blacks and Latinos because cops are racists' premise: (1) Black and Latino cops regularly engage in this same kind of savagery, and (2) cops also kill, harass, bully, and beat the hell out of their share of white people as well." (06/26/17)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/26/law-enforcements-dirty-little-secret/

MO: White cop shoots black guy; oops, turns out it was another cop

Source: WTSP 10 News

"A black off-duty St. Louis police officer was shot by a white on-duty police officer from the same department who apparently mistook him for a fleeing suspect, according to a statement from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. … Two officers 'challenged the off-duty officer and ordered him to the ground,' the department said. The officer complied and once they recognized him the on-duty officers told him 'to stand up and walk toward them.' At about the same time, another officer who had just arrived on the scene saw what was happening and 'fearing for his safety and apparently not recognizing the off-duty officer, discharged a shot, striking the off-duty officer in the arm.'" [editor's note: The old "fearing for his safety" excuse; as noted in the Philando Castile case, that appears to be a get out of jail free card – TLK] (06/24/17)

http://www.wtsp.com/news/nation-world/white-officer-shoots-black-off-duty-colleague/451829647

The Castile Doctrine: Cops without consequences

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

"On June 16, a jury acquitted St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez of all charges in the 2016 killing of motorist Philando Castile. That acquittal was, in a sense, also a death sentence — not for Yanez, but for future motorists unfortunate enough to encounter cops like him." (06/22/17)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/10888

Lies and damn lies

Source: A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg

"Since Diamond Reynolds livestreamed the aftermath of Castile’s death the cop apologists have been desperately trying to spin the preceding events in a way that justified what Officer Yanez did. Now that the jury has ruled that Yanez wasn’t guilty of manslaughter based on the explanation of the statute that was provided to them, they’re celebrating. Of course, their celebration involves making a great many false claims. One of the worst dens of cop apologists that has popped up on the Internet in recent times is Blue Lives Matters. Whenever an officer is involved in a use of force case the writers of that site are quick to character assassinate the victim, anybody connected to the victim, and anybody who disagrees with their narrative. Not surprisingly, their spin requires a great deal of speculation or outright false claims. On Monday the site posted this article to celebrate Yanez’s court victory. It’s not only a great example of the tendency for cop apologists to revel in death but also a great example of the speculation and false claims their narratives are often based on." (06/22/17)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2017/06/22/lies-and-damn-lies/

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)

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448828/philando-castile-shooting-police-must-display-reasonable-fear

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)

https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/06/dashcam-footage-gives-new-insight-into-philando-castile-shooting/531024/

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)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2017/06/08/the-evils-of-the-drug-war/