Tag Archives: police violence

US police killing of Black people should see America in international court

An international report by human rights experts from around the world has called for the US to be taken to the International Criminal Court over the police killings of African Americans.

The 100-page report details the ongoing catalogue of murders and brutality that is systemic to the US and continues as part of its legacy of slavery and the racist white supremacists attitudes and practices it gave birth to.

The report highlights:

  1. violating its international human rights obligations, both in terms of laws governing policing and in the practices of law enforcement officers
  2. tolerating an “alarming national pattern of disproportionate use of deadly force not only by firearms but also by Tasers” against Black people
  3. operating a “culture of impunity” in which police officers are rarely held accountable
  4. police routinely subjecting African-Americans to torture

Six dead within 24 hours of Chauvin murder verdict

Within 24 hours of the guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd six more people were killed by police, not all of whom were Black. Thos deaths follow the US police killing of Daunte Wright just 10 miles away from the trial as the court was sitting.

From the US News and World Report:

A 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio.

An oft-arrested man in Escondido, California.

A 42-year-old man in eastern North Carolina.

The deaths, in some cases, sparked new cries for justice. Some said they reflect an urgent need for radical changes to American policing — a need that the Chauvin verdict cannot paper over. For others, the shootings are a tragic reminder of the difficult and dangerous decisions law enforcement face daily.

An unidentified man in San Antonio.

Another man, killed in the same city within hours of the first.

A 31-year-old man in central Massachusetts.

more

US police killing of Ma’Khia Bryant

On Tuesday last week a Black teenage girl Ma’Khia Bryant was shot dead by police in an instant in Columbus, Ohio.

Cops were called to a fight outside her foster home. In the body-cam release by the police the teenager is seen lunging at someone with what appears to be a knife. She lunges at a second and the officer – Nicholas Reardon – shouts “Hey! Hey! Get down! Get down!” and then shoots her dead as the chaotic scene unfolds.

After the four shots are discharged, a shocked onlookers shouts: “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!”

The officer replies with his explanation: “She had a knife. She just went at her.”

Another neighbour verbally accosts the officers: “Do you see why Black lives matter? Do you get it now?”

Nope, they don’t get it. Sure, she has what looks like a knife but why didn’t;t the policeman shoot in the legs, why shoot to kill?

The same question could be asked of many many other murders carried out by the police. That’s to say, as far as Black people are concerned they deem it as always the preferred option to shoot to kill.

The fact that Ma’Khia was a child has been deliberately lost by the media and the defenders f the police who prefer to describe her as “a big woman’, “out of control” etc.

Her treatment in life and death is the same as that experienced by other black girls, who are often held to adult standards in the weird racist ‘adultification’ that goes on in America.

For more on the racist adultification of Black girls read what Dr. Jamilia Blake, a co-author of the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality report and a psychology professor at Texas A&M University has to say.

There have also been a number of recent incidents of children as young a five being handcuffed and brutalised by police in the US.

…and another US police killing: Andrew Brown Jr ‘execution’

Then there was the killing at the hands of the police of Andrew Brown Jr. in North Carolina.

This from CNN:

Andrew Brown Jr., 42, was fatally shot by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies in Elizabeth City on Wednesday when they attempted to serve him with an arrest warrant, the sheriff’s office said.

Few details — and no video — have been released publicly about the shooting.

In dispatch audio from that day, first responders can be heard saying a man had gunshot wounds to the back. A copy of his death certificate says he died as a result of a gunshot wound of the head.

On Monday afternoon, after an earlier delay, Pasquotank County Attorney Michael Cox showed Brown’s family and attorneys a short clip from one deputy’s body camera that family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said showed an “execution.”

And it isn’t just Black people being killed. Brown people are disproportionate targets also. Adam Toledo – just 16 years old – was shot dead by Chicago police as he raised his hands. more

Solidarity with Sarah Everard and the women’s movement – kill the bill

Sarah Everard was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by a serving policeman from an elite unit, and now a vigil of solidarity and respect for her has been violently attacked by the same police.

Calls for Met police commissioner Cressida Dick to resign have been met by obfuscation and denial by the Met and politicians as usual have failed to rise to the occasion, preferring to let thuggish police off the hook.

Unfortunately Anna Birley, on of the organisers at Reclaim These Streets, is not calling for Dick’s resignation either in the mistaken belief that because she’s a woman she will be sympathetic to this rebirth of a miltant womens movement.

“We are a movement of women seeking to support and empower other women, and as one of the most senior women in British policing history, we do not want to add to the pile-on,” said Birley.

“We do want her to meet with us. We were hugely disappointed that she put out a statement yesterday without talking to any of the people who were organising the vigil and had such a difficult experience with the Metropolitan police force.”

But the police are our of control. If anyone doubts that, then the scenes at Clapham Common should have removed any such doubts.

Thankfully Sisters Uncut has a much better approach than Birley:

But things are about to get a whole lot worse with new legislation currently before parliament to give the police even more powers, specifically to further encroach on the right to protest.

Sarah Everard must not have died in vain

Put bluntly, the proposed new laws would put greater sanction on defacing statues than on violence against women.

The bill will allow the police to decide which protests will be allowed and which will not, on the spurious basis of whether the protest might be disruptive. But of course the ourpose of many protests is to be disruptive to some degree.

Essentially the Tory government hated the Black Lives Matter protests and those by Extinction Rebellion and now they want revenge by outlawing peaceful protests.

The Tories are playing with fire. Police credibility was already rock-bottom among wide swathes of society, not least among Black people.

Recent events have extended that dismay to many millions of women (and men) who watched on TV screens in disgust as women were manhandled, kicked and punched by male police officers.

The Tories want the police to have more powers to harass and jail black people and Muslims, target Gypsies and Travellers and to silence protesters.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – just like the Covid legislation – is being rammed through parliament with hardly any debate to stop protests like those for Sarah Everard.

Attack on right to protest

All vestige of democratic control over the police is being removed to be replaced with carte blanche for police to decide which protests are allowed and which are not.

There will be a new trespass law to target Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups, with clauses citing “unauthorised encampments”for closure without providing alternatives.

Homeless people will also be swept up in the legislation if they are sleeping rough in what could also be defined as unauthorised encampments’

As we reported several weeks ago, the legislation also includes more draconian stop and search provisions that mean anyone previously guilty of knife crime offences can be stopped and searched without reason, but how are the police meant to work out who these people are – unless of course they are going to assume that all Black kids are knife carriers.

This is a recipe for even more racial profiling and oppressive policing of Black youth and others. All this is in addition to the clampdown on protests.

And its not as if the police don’t already have huge powers to restrict protests.

The 1986 Public Order Act already allows the likes of home secretary Priti Patel to curb protests that may involve “serious disruption”. But the new bill goes much further, allowing the home secretary to “make provision about the meaning” of the phrase.

Tories and Met police are sexist and racist

The Tories want to stop protests that they don’t like, while claiming to be in favour of democracy. They are liars and hypocrites.

We have to make sure that Sarah Everard’s murder leads to real change in this country.

Far from the police being a reflection of society, they represent the worst of society in their outsized sexism and racism.

There are protests taking place today to defend the right to protest and to demand an end to violence against women and action from the government. The proposed legislation contains no mention of violence against women.

The issue of who polices the police and who can you turn to for protection as a women or Black person when the police are sexist and racist throws big questions about the type of society we live in and the limits of our so called democracy.

The government’s words of condolence to Sarah Everard’s family mean nothing unless they are forced to make a change. For that to happen we need to stay on the streets – and the fight for women’s rights requires the support of all of us, as does the fight for racial justice.

Racist police handcuff and pepper-spray 9-year-old Black girl

A 9-year-old girl was handcuffed and pepper-sprayed by racist cops but still none of them have been disciplined, as the racist impunity of law enforcement in the US continues.

Sadly this is apart and parcel of the everyday racist violence from police that Black people continue to suffer in the US.

On Friday, January 29, several officers from the Rochester police department responded to a family disagreement. Instead of resolving the dispute, the responding officers quickly escalated the situation and it ended with police hand-cuffing and pepper-spraying a nine-year-old girl. 

Here’s what we know: 

Three RPD officers pepper-sprayed a child. The child’s mother, Elba Pope, called the police for a domestic dispute. When the police arrived, Pope’s daughter was experiencing a mental health emergency. Bodycam footage shows officers tackling the nine-year-old to the ground before placing her in handcuffs and later pepper-spraying her in the back of the squad car. 

The situation called for trauma-informed care, not state-sanctioned violence. The bodycam footage reveals a pattern of historically anti-Black racism within the Rochester Police Department.  Last year, Daniel Prude, a Black man experiencing a mental health emergency was murdered by RPD, which we only discovered months later because his family demanded the footage be released. RPD has a long history of violent racism, police brutality, and attempted cover-ups. In a very similar situation — a family member calling for help — officers responded with excessive force instead of community care. 

The implication that a Black child should have the capacity to respond calmly while being handcuffed, pepper-sprayed, and berated by a gang of police officers is unacceptable. It’s infuriating that multiple police officers (grown men and women) would brutally attack a child. 

We stand in solidarity with the families traumatized by the Rochester police department, and the Black community in Rochester as they demand justice after the violent assault of a 9-year-old child experiencing a mental health crisis. Every officer involved is guilty of prioritizing violence before community care. 

We demand justice.

Release the names of the officers involved 

Terminate all officers who responded to the scene 

Ban the practice of handcuffing children 

Ban the use of chemical weapons by RPD: prohibit the use of CS gas (tear gas), PepperBalls, and any chemical weapon that threatens the health and safety of community members  

Add your name to the petition demand justice now! 

Below is the letter we will send to the Mayor of Rochester, Lovely Warren& Police Chief Cynthia Harriot-Sullivan.

Sign the Petition against racist police:

Dear Mayor Lovely Warren & Police Chief Cynthia Harriot-Sullivan: 

I’m standing in solidarity with the families traumatized by Rochester police officers, the Black community in Rochester, and Color of Change to demand justice for the 9-year-old girl who was handcuffed and pepper-sprayed by officers on Friday, January 29th. The criminalization of Black children and the irresponsible use of state-sanctioned violence on our communities will not be tolerated. 

We demand justice, 

Release the names of the officers involved 

Terminate all officers who responded to the scene 

Ban the use of chemical weapons by RPD: prohibit the use of CS gas (tear gas), PepperBalls, and any chemical weapon that threatens the health and safety of community members 

If police officers are protected by anonymity, internal investigations, and paid administrative leave they will continue to harm Black people with impunity.  

We demand that the Rochester Police Department is held accountable publicly. Your community demands immediate changes and we won’t stop fighting until you move towards our collective vision of safety and dignity. 

Sincerely 

[Your Name]

Thanks to the Color of Change (sign the petition):

https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/care_not_cops/?t=3&ak_proof=1&akid=49080%2E8946524%2EVBRuzG#

Video: the everyday horror of America’s racist police violence – enough!

More racist American police violence. It never stops so we must keep up the fight until it does.

Kenosha cop who shot Jacob Blake in the back faces no charges

Rusten Sheskey, the police officer in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, who shot Jacob Blake sparking off days of protests which led to white supremacist vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse shooting dead two BLM protesters, will not be charged with any crime.

The news was announced by Kenosha County district attorney Michael Graveley. The announcement was greeted with dismay by Blake family members.

“This decision failed not only Jacob and his family but the community that protested and demanded justice,” said the family’s lawyer, Ben Crump.

The white policeman who shot Blake several times in the back after attending a domestic incident with other officers, has left Blake semi-paralysed and he will never walk again.

Expected protests on Tuesday, many businesses had been boarded up and National Guardsmen were stationed at the court house.

Sheskey has been on administartive leave since the shooting, on full pay. So while he has been on holiday, another Black family has been grieving as a result of racist police violence in the US.

Rittenhouse was arraignment today also, and pleaded not guilty to the six charges against him, which included first degree intentional homicide.

In the protests that turned into an anti-police uprising, the armed Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, was seen colluding with police and even after he killed two protesters was able to depart the scene with no intervention from the police.

Minneapolis police killing of Dolal Idd and raid shows their brutal racism

The shooting dead by police of Dolal Idd last Wednesday in Minneapolis was the first since the murder of George Floyd by the same police force.

Police have released a body cam video they say shows that Mr Idd fired first, but he shows no such thing.

All that is seen in the video is the man’s car window blowing out, but that shot could equally have come from the other side of the car as it could from within the vehicle. The police claim a firearm was found in the car.

No further body cams have been released by the police to help to clarify the situation.

Following the killing, police officers descended on the family home of Mr Idd in a raid that has left the Somali-American family shell shocked.

The police forced their way into the home screaming orders, putting teenagers into handcuffs as well as Dolal’s father Bayle Gelle when he came rushing down the stairs after hearing his wife screaming.

The only ones not put into cuffs were the young children. The police did not say what they were searching for and it was only as they were leaving the home that they saw fit to inform the family that Dolal had been killed by police.

The killing by police of Dolal Idd
Raid by militarised police on the family home

Tottenham protesters demand justice for Black youth assaulted by police

Two hundred people turned out to protest in Tottenham this Saturday (19 December) against the violent assault on Black children in Tottenham by police last Tuesday.

The event was organised by local activists and supported by Tottenham BLM, Enfield BLM, Haringey Stand Up To Racism, Haringey Extinction Rebellion and BLMM.

The mixed crowd heard from Andrew Boateng (his son was assaulted by police while on a charity ride for a community-police charity), Deliah Mattis (Enfield BLM), Sasha (from UK Black Panther), Vivek Lehal (from Stand Up To Racism), Tottenham activists Ken Hinds and Gary McFarlane, Nathaniel from the the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, local black activists Empress (and AAPRP member), to name a few.

Local Labour councillor Matt White also spoke and sent solidarity greetings of support from the Labour group on Haringey Council.

Local MP David Lammy was absent (again).

Tottenham police backtrack – admit boy punched, no mention of headlock

Further statement from Detective Chief Superintendent Treena Fleming, North Area BCU Commander:

“I am deeply sorry for the upset and distress that our communities and residents have felt when viewing the video footage that is circulating on social media in relation to a young person being punched by a police officer on West Green Road, outside Parkview School on Tuesday, 8th December.

“No-one wishes to see such encounters escalate to the point where any members of the community or police officers are injured. This type of situation is distressing for all involved, both for the public and the police, and I sincerely apologise to the young persons and others who witnessed this incident.

“The videos that are circulating on social media are moments in time during a much longer incident and as distressing as these individual clips may appear I would respectfully ask that we allow the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) the time and space to thoroughly consider all of the information available. I do understand the need for our communities to be clear on what happened during the incident but this will only be established with an independent and fulsome investigation where all available material is viewed and scrutinised. I hope our communities understand that for all parties involved it would be unfair of me to comment any further on the incident itself until that process has taken place by the IOPC.

“Two of the officers involved in the incident have been redeployed away from frontline policing operations.

“My Senior Leadership Team and I are committed to strong community relations and engagement. We will continue to reach out to community leaders and members to hear your views and work with you all to move forward from this incident.

“I absolutely acknowledge the strength of community feeling about this particular incident, especially from our youngsters and parents on the Borough. It is right that we are held fully accountable for our actions, which is the reason why we voluntarily referred the public complaint to the IOPC and they are conducting an independent investigation. We fully support this.

“While this takes place I am determined to continually improve the policing service that we provide to you all locally, particularly involving the use of stop and search. I therefore want to bring forward, without delay, our plans to ensure more community scrutiny of such powers and to involve community representatives in our training.”

Press release from the IOPC:

For immediate release: 16 December 2020
 
Appeal for witnesses following the use of force on a 16-year-old boy in West Green Road, Tottenham

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating the use of force by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) police officers on a 16-year-old boy in Tottenham, north London.

The use of force by officers occurred outside Parkview School in West Green Road, N15 around 4.45pm on Tuesday, 8 December. During the incident, the boy sustained facial injuries and was subsequently taken to hospital. Three officers suffered injuries during the altercation. Two of the officers were taken to hospital and subsequently discharged.
Our investigation follows a voluntary referral from MPS on 11 December, after a formal complaint was made alleging the boy was assaulted by a police officer.

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said: “We are aware of the significant community concerns raised as a result of this incident and have decided to independently investigate the complaint about the boy’s interactions with the police.
“Our independent investigation is in its early stages and in the coming days we will establish the scope of the investigation. We have already started gathering evidence, including mobile phone footage posted on social media, police officers’ body-worn video and eye-witness accounts.
“It is our job to oversee and investigate any complaints made about the police independently and impartially.

If you were in the area that evening and saw this incident, please get in touch with us. We are aware of a number of people nearby who may have photographed or filmed the incident on their mobile phones and would ask that they please come forward to help us with any information they may have.

“We will be investigating the police force’s use of stop and search tactics during this incident and whether the actions of those officers were appropriate, proportionate and followed approved police policies.
“We will also investigate if racial profiling or discrimination played a part in the incident.

“I would also stress that we are independent and make our decisions entirely independently of the police.”

Did you see anything? If so, witnesses can call 0300 303 5735 or email westgreenroad@policeconduct.gov.uk

ENDS

Protest at Tottenham police station on Saturday 19 December 12 noon, Tottenham High Road

Tottenham police now admit the black boy at the centre of the videos was punched by a police officer, although there is no mention of the headlock or the alleged kicking of a youth on the ground – so are the media that parroted the initial lies in the first statement going to issue an apology to the boys and the wider the community?

The authorities will now try and drag out the IOPC investigation and hope everyone forgets about this appalling incident – make sure that doesn’t happen by joining the protest on Saturday 12 noon at Tottenham police station (19 December)

Tottenham march to demand justice for Black youth, protest 19 Dec

Black Lives Matter Movement is calling for another protest at Tottenham police station to demand the sacking of violent police and the release of body cam videos to the public, following the attack by police officers on Black children in Tottenham last Tuesday 8th December.

Met police claims that three officers were injured in an incident outside Park View School in Tottenham have been condemned as ‘pure fiction’.

Ken Hinds, Chair of Haringey Independent Stop and Search Monitoring, viewed the body cams and expressed concerns about the police statement that was released to the public.

Another video has emerged (see below) that shows the police officer who featured prominently in the first public video, acting in a bullying manner and pushing members of the public and then holding a youngster in a dangerous headlock and then repeatedly punching him in the head.

https://secureservercdn.net/160.153.137.14/d29.586.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/copsintottenham_3.mp4
Is it police practice to hold someone in a headlock and punch them in the head?

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIpkQQohtUH/

On Friday the 11 December Hinds attended a meeting called by Borough Commander Treena Fleming at which the body cam footage was shown.

The police statement said they were attacked and had to make a circle around the officer who was conducting the stop and search. The children were described in threatening tones as “four males”, when in fact they were kids picking up certificates from their former school.

The 16-year-old who was assaulted by the police was in hospital for several hours following the incident.

The youth taken to hospital by the police was subsequently held overnight at the police station.

Because of the seriousness of the incident, the borough commander enabled members of the monitoring group to view camera footage. It was followed by a ‘Gold meeting’ at which the police held talks with local councillors and other community stakeholders.

Local MP David Lammy was meant to have attended the Gold meeting but did not appear.

Body cam videos expose police lies

Local BLMM activist Gary McFarlane said: “The officer seen punching the Black youngster in the video took himself to the hospital as part of a ploy to build a false narrative – a narrative that is pure fiction but has since been repeated by the media as if it were the truth, when in fact it is a pack of lies.”

From the Guardian to the Evening Standard, the media has parroted the police statement uncritically, saying the video “appears to show” the officer punching the teenager, as if somehow that isn’t what the video shows.

Fleming said that the original video recorded by a witness only shows a  “snapshot in time and the wider context is not immediately obvious”.

But the wider context is the police launching an attack on defenceless children – one fought back in defence of the youth in the headlock. The children were at the school to pick up GCSE certificates and were conversing outside the gates when the police attacked them.

The teenagers are now all on bail, with the youth at the centre of the police violence left traumatised by the assault.

The Met lead on stop and search, Commander Jane Connors, held a meeting with community advocates on Monday, at which urgent answers will be sought about the routine use of force during stops and why the Met routinely handcuffs Black youth when they stop and search them.

Four youngsters were arrested by the police and have been released on bail, but it is the police that should be under arrest and charged with assault as well as misconduct in public office given the allegations related here.

Activists are planning a protest at Tottenham police station next weekend in order to keep up the pressure on the police and to demand justice for the youth.

BLMM demands the immediate release of all body cam footage into the public domain and the immediate sacking of all the police officers involved in the assault and the ongoing cover up.

More Tottenham police outrages: Taser report delayed, man dies in canal after chase

In disturbing developments that has just leaked out, the finding of a report into Jordan Walker Brown, who was tasered by Tottenham police and fell off a wall as a result and is now in a wheel chair for the rest of his life, has been delayed. The report was meant to have been released this month but has now been moved to January.

That incident was followed by the wrongful detention of Black youth out cycling with his Dad for a police-community charity. Huugo Boateng was injured by police in that incident.

Since then a man died after ending up in the River Lea canal after being chased by Tottenham police.

All money can be sent to Community Against Violence c/o Ken Hinds. More details to follow.

Download social media promos/flyers below:

Police attack Black child – urgent march on Tottenham police station

Police attack on a black child outside ParkView School in Tottenham has caused outrage in the community.

The policeman violently attacked the 16-year-old last night (Thursday 10th December) with repeated punches to the face.

The violent racist incident happened outside Park View School on West Green Road, Tottenham.

The borough commander is being contacted by local councillors and local police monitoring will be viewing the body cam later today.

Two officers were involved in the violent assault – one who did the punching seen in the video and another who just stood by and watched.

The cop who perpetrated this violent assault must be sacked immediately and the other officer present at minimum immediately suspended.

This police must be held to account TODAY!

Police attack black child – join today’s protest march to demand justice NOW!

Meet at 2pm Friday December 11th at Park View School, West Green Road N15 3QR.

March to Tottenham Police station. Bring banners, make a noise! No justice, no peace.

Violent racist police out of our communities!

The summer witnessed numerous protests outside Tottenham police station against their racist stop and search harassment of Black youth.

This just in from Councillor Khaled Moyeed: