Category: Police Brutality

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A police car in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Cops Shoot, Kill Man for ‘Acting Bizarrely’

© Flickr/ John Liu

23:17 10.11.2015(updated 23:18 10.11.2015) 

Officers were called to the scene in Lake Balboa shortly after 1:00 PM over reports of the man acting strangely, though no specifics were given other than the fact that he was in the roadway.


LAPD Lieutenant John Jenal says a police helicopter flew overhead as officers arrived on the scene and used Tasers on the man “in an effort to de-escalate the situation,” before shooting at him with beanbag rounds.


The man, who is described as Latino and in his mid-30s, apparently did not comply, so they shot him to death. The department is now looking into whether he was on drugs, under the influence of alcohol, or had mental health issues.


Activists, critics, and residents of Los Angeles have asserted that his mental health is likely something that should have been considered before using lethal force on him.


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Members of the Anonymous Army, with their signature Guy Fawkes masks, gather in front of the White House during their protest in Washington, November 5, 2015. © Gary Cameron

Anonymous-inspired activists are taking to the streets across the globe as the Million Mask March circles the world. Hiding behind symbolic Anonymous masks, the demonstrators are protesting censorship, government corruption, and police brutality.

05 November 2015

22:30 GMT

People have started gathering at New York City’s Union Square.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter


22:04 GMT

In Washington, DC, participants chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot” while marching down the street.



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This three image combo made from video taken by a Spring Valley High School student on Monday, Oct, 26, 2015, shows Senior Deputy Ben Fields trying to forcibly remove a student from her chair after she refused to leave her high school math class, in Columbia S.C. The Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation Tuesday after Fields flipped the student backward in her desk and tossed her across the floor.

© AP Photo This three image combo made from video taken by a Spring Valley High School student on Monday, Oct, 26, 2015, shows Senior Deputy Ben Fields trying to forcibly remove a student f…


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A deputy who flipped a disruptive student out of her desk and tossed her across her math class floor was fired on Wednesday. The sheriff called his actions “unacceptable,” and said videos recorded by her classmates show the girl posed no danger to anyone.

“What he should not have done is throw the student,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said. “Police officers make mistakes too. They’re human and they need to be held accountable, and that’s what we’ve done with Deputy Ben Fields.”

Civil rights groups immediately praised the firing of Fields, a veteran school resource officer and football coach at Spring Valley High School. Calls for swift action rose almost immediately after the videos of Monday’s arrest appeared on the Internet, and the sheriff suspended the deputy without pay before firing him altogether.

Lott praised the FBI for agreeing to investigate whether civil rights were violated, and school district officials for promising to review how police are used for discipline.



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Officer drags Girl from desk Slams student on floor Video School Cop Slams Girl video






Who Is Ben Fields, the Police Officer Filmed Flipping a Spring Valley High School Student?


Polly Mosendz


Richland County Sheriff's Department Officer Senior Deputy Ben Fields is pictured with Karen Beaman, principal of Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary School after receiving Culture of Excellence Award at Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina, on November 12, 2014. A South Carolina sheriff has asked federal authorities to investigate Field's arrest of a high school student, after video showed him slamming the girl to the ground and dragging her across a classroom.© Richland County Sheriff’s Department/Reuters Richland County Sheriff’s Department Officer Senior Deputy Ben Fields is pictured with Karen Beaman, principal of Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary School after…The police officer filmed flipping over and dragging a black female student at a South Carolina high school this week has a history of being sued after violent encounters, and as of Tuesday, he is facing an investigation by the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice over the videotaped incident after it went viral online.

Ben Fields, the Richland County sheriff’s senior deputy who was caught on video during the incident at Spring Valley High School, joined the sheriff’s department in 2004 and became a school resource officer in 2008, assigned to two schools in Richland School District Two.

A year prior, Carlos and Tashiana Martin had filed a suit against Fields, another deputy and the county’s sheriff over an October 2005 incident. According to the suit, Carlos Martin claimed Fields questioned him in an apartment parking lot as to whether he was the “cause of excessive noise complained of by a resident” in Martin’s neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina. Martin said he was not, as he had been driving home from work. In their interaction, Martin referred to Fields as “dude,” agitating the officer, the lawsuit states.



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U.S. Attorney General to Allow Police Depts to Keep the Number of Citizens they Kill a Secret


U.S-attorney-general-keep-police-killings-secretWashington, DC – In complete reversal of course from the stated position of her predecessor, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the federal government shouldn’t mandate police departments to report lethal shootings of civilians.

Lynch’s statements diverge drastically from her predecessor Eric Holder, who left the position in April of this year. Former Attorney General Holder is on record calling the lack of official data on police shootings “unacceptable,” with him labeling the collection of this data a “first step” in improving ever deteriorating police-community relations.

Back in January, Holder said,

“I’ve heard from a number of people who have called on policymakers to ensure better record-keeping on injuries and deaths that occur at the hands of police. I’ve also spoken with law enforcement leaders – including the leadership of the Fraternal Order of Police – who have urged elected officials to consider strategies for collecting better data on officer fatalities. Today, my response to these legitimate concerns is simple: We need to do both.”

The about-face by Lynch reveals an utter contempt for the civil rights of American citizens while pandering to the Fraternal Order of Police’s default position.

“One of the things we are focusing on at the Department of Justice is not trying to reach down from Washington and dictate to every local department how they should handle the minutia of record keeping, but we are stressing to them that these records must be kept,” she said at the Washington Ideas Forum, hosted by AtlanticLIVE and the Aspen Institute.

Lynch’s implication that she is attempting to uphold state’s rights is a completely ridiculous notion that has absolutely no validity in reality. Furthermore, “stressing how records must be kept” is akin to asking really nicely, as the records are given to the Department of Justice, by police agencies, on a completely voluntary basis currently.

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Owasso Police Lt. Michael Dwain Denton striking suspect with shotgun butt - (Dashcam screencap)

An Oklahoma cop has been charged with felony assault after beating a suspect with the butt of a shotgun while other officers held him down, Tulsa World is reporting.

Owasso Police Lt. Michael Dwain Denton, 49, has been suspended and faces assault and battery with a deadly weapon and reckless conduct with a firearm following a high speed car chase on June 14, caught on a police cruiser dash cam.

In the video, officers can be seen warily approaching a truck driven by a suspect identified as Cody Matthews.

With fellow officers aiming their weapons at the truck, one officer breaks the driver-side window using his baton. Denton can then be seen entering the picture and using the barrel of his shotgun to strike Matthews in the face before officers drag the man out of the vehicle.


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Cecily McMillan, who faces up to seven years in prison, was immediately handcuffed and ‘whisked away’

– Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Cecily McMillan arrives at court in New York at the start of her assault trial. (Photo: Andrew Gombert/EPA)

Cecily McMillan—the 25-year-old Occupy Wall Street organizer who was allegedly sexually assaulted and brutalized by a police officer at Zuccotti Park, is facing up to seven years in prison after—in what her supporters say is a cruel twist—she was convicted Monday afternoon of “felony assault” of the very police officer she says is her perpetrator.

“This threatens a chilling effect over protest movements going forward,” said Stan Williams, media coordinator for Justice for Cecily, in an interview with Common Dreams. “I am so sad and raw right now.”

After four weeks of trial and just three hours of jury deliberation, the verdict was issued Monday afternoon, and Judge Ronald Zweibel immediately remanded McMillan into custody pending sentencing, rejecting her lawyer’s requests for bail.

The courtroom, which was packed with McMillan’s supporters and approximately 50 police officers, erupted into cries of “Shame!” as McMillan was handcuffed. According to Williams, people who stood up were pushed down and told to be quiet, yet the crowd “continued to shout and yell.”

“You could see Cecily over the heads of police officers who lined the front of the courtroom,” he added. “She looked upset and in shock over the verdict. Then she was whisked away.”

Williams said the scene was “extremely triggering” given the brutality of the March 2012 incident around which the trial orbited. According to a statement from Justice for Cecily,

[O]n March 17, 2012, Cecily’s attendance at Zuccotti was a point of party, not protest. It was St. Patrick’s Day and as a McMillan, she vowed for this one occasion to put down the bullhorn and pick up the beer. Cecily swung by the park to pick up a friend on her way to a nearby pub. Minutes later, she was sexually assaulted while attempting to leave Zuccotti in compliance with police evacuation orders. Seized from behind, she was forcefully grabbed by the breast and ripped backwards. Cecily startled and her arm involuntarily flew backward into the temple of her attacker, who promptly flung her to the ground, where others repeatedly kicked and beat her into a string of seizures.

McMillan is described by her supporters as “a 25-year-old organizer” who “has been politically active for over a decade — most notably in the Democratic Socialists for America, the anti-Scott Walker mobilization, and Occupy Wall Street.”

She earlier rejected a deal from prosecutors, in which she would plea guilty to second-degree assault of a police officer in exchange for a recommendation from prosecutors for no prison time.

McMillan’s supporters have slammed Judge Zweibel for imposing a gag order on her lawyers and showing strong favor to the prosecution.

McMillan will soon be on her way to Rikers Island, said Williams.

According to The Guardian, “Hers is believed to be the last of more than 2,600 prosecutions brought against members of the movement, most of which were dismissed or dropped.”

McMillan’s supporters say McMillan will fight the verdict in an appeals court. According to Williams, there will be a rally Monday evening at Zuccotti Park, and there is a separate fund being collected for her commissary costs.

In a statement immediately following the verdict, Justice for Cecily declared:

We recognize that, as poorly as Cecily has been treated these past two years, she was lucky enough to have an amazing support system comprised of representation from the National Lawyer’s Guild and Mutant Legal, as well as significant financial help from supporters of Occupy Wall Street and a team of ten who tirelessly worked to bring her case to light and support her through this trying time. It’s harrowing to imagine how many unfortunate people encounter this system without the resources Cecily had, though we know countless innocent people are forced to plea to felonies and ruin their lives every day in this building.

Reactions and reports are being posted on Twitter:

Below is an exclusive Democracy Now! interview with McMillan.



Exclusive: OWS Activist Cecily McMillan Describes Seizure, Bodily Injuries in Arrest by NYPD



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Dog shot and killed by Sulphur police officer
Family photo via Huffington Post


April 30, 2014

According to Tuesday’s KPLC 7 News, a Sulphur, La., police officer fatally shot a 14-month-old dog on Monday morning after being called out to investigate a call about two suspicious men who were trespassing.

Though the police officer has stated that the dog bit him, a witness to the traumatic scene has a different version of what took place at the parking lot of the Southwest Daily News. The young dog, named “Arzy Kensington,” had been tied to a fence near a box truck which Brandon Carpenter, 28, and Logan Laliberte, 21, had taken shelter in when it started to rain.

According to Eric Midkiff, circulation manager at the Southwest Daily News, the officer who had been called out to the scene to investigate a possible trespassing, interacted briefly with the dog before firing the fatal shot. Midkiff described what he saw to the Huffington Post:

The dog was rubbing up against the cop,

He would rub the dog’s back and then push him away. All of a sudden, he just jumped down and shot the dog in the head.”

He added:

That dog did not bite that officer,”

“The dog was wagging his tail, his tongue was hanging out.”

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NYPD Twitter campaign backfires, thousands of negative tweets

NEW YORK Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:18pm EDT


A pedestrian walks past a line of New York Police Department (NYPD) cars parked at Times Square in New York, October 18, 2011. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

A pedestrian walks past a line of New York Police Department (NYPD) cars parked at Times Square in New York, October 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Hershorn


(Reuters) – A New York Police Department campaign to burnish its image via social media instead produced a flood of pictures of apparent police brutality and tweets critical of the force being shared at a rate of thousands an hour.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said on Wednesday he would continue and expand the NYPD Twitter campaign a day after it backfired, triggering an outpouring of negative images including police violence at New York’s Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, an NYPD officer pointing a gun at a dog, and an officer asleep in a subway car.

“The reality of policing is that oftentimes our actions are lawful, but they look awful,” Bratton told a news briefing at New York City Hall.

“Most of those photos that I looked at are old news,” said Bratton, appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to take over from Ray Kelly, who served for 12 years under de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg.


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NYPD commissioner welcomes attention from disastrous #myNYPD hashtag

FILE - In this May 1, 2012, file photo, a police lieutenant swings his baton at Occupy Wall Street activists in New York. This photo is among the many put on Twitter in response to a New York Police Department request for Twitter users to share pictures of themselves posing with police officers. The NYPD sent a tweet on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, saying it might feature the photographs on its Facebook page. The responses soon turned ugly when Occupy Wall Street tweeted a photograph of cops battling protesters with the caption

This file photo, from May 2012, shows a police lieutenant swinging his baton at Occupy Wall Street activists in New York. It was recirculated Tuesday in response to a police hashtag that went awry. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

The New York Police Department’s attempt at using social media to connect with constituents on Tuesday went…well, let’s say awry.

An initial tweet asked people to post photos of themselves with police officers along with the hashtag #myNYPD. Obviously this went poorly, because obviously it was going to go poorly, because these things can really only go poorly (we’ll get back to that in a moment). In response, people sent in lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of photos of New York police officers doing violent things to people. (Like the photo at the top of this post. It’s almost two years old, but thanks to the #myNYPD hashtag, it has been everywhere over the last 24 hours.)

William J. Bratton, the police commissioner, said he isn’t too bothered by the reaction:

“I kind of welcome the attention,” Bratton said Wednesday as the negative tweets kept coming nearly 24 hours after cops invited the cyber-submissions….

“Most of the pictures I looked at, they’re old news,” Bratton said, tossing previous NYPD administrations under the patrol car. “They’ve been out there for a long time.”

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Protesters descend on Albuquerque City Hall to decry deadly shootings

Published time: April 08, 2014 03:59

Downtown Albuquerque (Photo from

Downtown Albuquerque (Photo from

Protesters filled Albuquerque City Hall on Monday evening, forcing the city council to clear its legislative agenda and turn the podium over to citizens furious with police over a spiking number of fatal shootings.

City Council President Ken Sanchez told the Albuquerque Journal that more police officers would be assigned to make sure the meeting was peaceful, and that the meeting would be adjourned if tempers flared, but said the council is mulling legislation that would create more oversight over the department.

We need to make some dramatic changes,” he said. “We’re confronting a crisis situation at this time.”

Tension have been building between police and the public for years. Wynema and Michael Gonzagowski told Cindy Carcamo of the Los Angeles Times that, upon moving to Albuquerque, friends warned them to avoid the police. They did not take those warnings seriously until they watched police fatally shoot their neighbor, Alfred Lionel Redwine on March 25.

I’ve never been scared of crops, but out here, the cops terrify me,” said Michael, age 39. “They treat you like you’re out looking to cause trouble every time they talk to you.”

Chief Eden said in a press conference that Redwine brandished a weapon and shot at police during a standoff at a public housing complex, forcing the officers to return fire. Wynemda Gonzagowski disagreed, telling the Times that Redwine had surrendered to police with his arms out when he was hit.

They didn’t warn him, they didn’t tell him to freeze and get on the ground or to put his hand behind his hand,” she said.


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