Tag: police abuses

GOP Senator Tim Scott Further Exposes Racial Profiling by Police in Courageous Testimonial

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) shakes hands with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) at a news conference on criminal justice reform, Oct. 1, 2015. (GARY CAMERON / REUTERS)

article by Laura-Barron Lopez via huffingtonpost.com

WASHINGTON ― In the course of one year as an elected official, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) was pulled over seven times by law enforcement. Another time, a Capitol Police officer demanded that Scott show him his ID because the special pin on Scott’s suit jacket ― a pin assigned to United States senators ― evidently wasn’t enough.

Scott shared these stories and more Wednesday evening during a roughly 18-minute speech on the Senate floor. He is the only black senator in the Republican conference, and one of just two in the upper chamber.

His speech on Wednesday was the second in a series of three in response to a lone gunman killing five police officers in Dallas last week, as well as the police shootings of Alton Sterling, who was killed outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile, who was shot during a traffic stop in Minnesota. Scott delivered his first speech on Tuesday and plans to deliver the final one Thursday.

“This speech is perhaps the most difficult, because it’s the most personal,” Scott said during his Wednesday remarks.

Scott’s address on Wednesday came after four other senators urged their colleagues to take a vote on criminal justice reform ― something many lawmakers say is badly needed.

“There is a deep divide between the black community and law enforcement ― a trust gap,” Scott said. “We cannot ignore these issues. Because while so many officers do good ― and we should be very thankful in support of all those officers that do good ― some simply do not. I’ve experienced it myself.”

Scott said he chose to talk about his encounters with police, experiences that left him feeling humiliated and “very scared,” because he’s heard people trying to paint Castile and Walter Scott ― a black man who was killed by a police officer in South Carolina last year while running away ― as criminals.

“OK, then,” Scott said. “I will share with you some of my own experiences.”
Continue reading “GOP Senator Tim Scott Further Exposes Racial Profiling by Police in Courageous Testimonial”

Wrongfully Arrested Ohio Man Arnold Black is Awarded $22 Million After Cop Beats Him, Locks Him in Closet for 4 Days

Arnold Black was awarded $22 million after cops wrongfully detained him, beat him and locked him in a closet for four days.
Arnold Black was awarded $22 million after cops wrongfully detained him, beat him and locked him in a closet for four days. (FOX8 CLEVELAND)

article by Meg Wagner via nydailynews.com

An Ohio man who was beaten by a drunk cop and left locked in a closet for four days without food, water or access to a bathroom was awarded $22 million in court.

Arnold Black sued East Cleveland police over his 2012 detainment, saying a pair of officers mixed up his car with that of a suspected drug dealer and wrongfully took him into custody. One of the cops reeked of alcohol — and punched Black for “messing up” his night at the bar, according to the lawsuit.

“The officer … grabbed me like this,” Black told Fox 8 while motioning with his hands. “And he held me up, and — Boom! — I just remember getting hit.”

Black said he was driving through the city in his green pickup truck in April 2012 when officers Jonathan O’Leary and Randy Hicks pulled him over and asked him where they could find drug dealers in East Cleveland.  The pair said they were hunting for a green truck carrying a load of cocaine — and Hicks, who was slurring his speech and reeked of booze, seemed upset that Black wasn’t the suspected drug dealer, the lawsuit alleged.  “I was at a bar with friends. You messed up my night,” Hicks told the driver.

The cop with the blood-shot eyes and cloudy coordination punched Black in the head, handcuffed him and then punched him again, the lawsuit alleged.  O’Leary, who did not appear to be drunk, stood back and did nothing to atop the attack.

The duo carted Black off to jail, but instead of sticking him in a cell, they locked him in a storage closet, Black said. Continue reading “Wrongfully Arrested Ohio Man Arnold Black is Awarded $22 Million After Cop Beats Him, Locks Him in Closet for 4 Days”

Obama: Black Lives Matter Activists Have Legitimate Concerns

President Barack Obama at a White House event on criminal justice reform moderated by The Marshall Project. (PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Thursday that the Black Lives Matter movement has “legitimate” concerns, and indicated it was unfair to portray its activists as opposed to law enforcement. At the same time, Obama called on activists to recognize that police officers have a tough job.

Obama said activists are drawing attention to a legitimate concern about whether African-Americans are treated unfairly in specific jurisdictions or are subject to excessive force more frequently. He added that the “overwhelming majority of law enforcement is doing the right thing and wants to do the right thing.”

His comments came at an event at the White House on criminal justice reform that was moderated by The Marshall Project.

“We as a society, particularly given our history, have to take this seriously,” Obama said of the fact that African-Americans are treated unfairly by the criminal justice system. “The African-American community is not just making this up, and it’s not just something being politicized. It’s real, and there’s a history there.”

Obama also said it was important to recognize that the criminal justice system is a reflection of society.

“We as a society, if we are not investing in opportunity for poor kids, and then we expect just the police and prosecutors to keep them out of sight and out of mind, that’s a failed strategy. That’s a failure on our part as a whole,” Obama said. “If kids in the inner city are not getting treatment and opportunity, that’s as much of a problem as if it’s happening to our kids, and we’ve got to think of all our children in that same way.”

The president also addressed “All lives matter,” the frequent response to the “Black lives matter” refrain, saying that organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement were not suggesting black lives are more important than others, but rather that some things happen in black communities that wouldn’t be tolerated in other communities.

“I think everybody understands all lives matter,” Obama said. Everybody wants strong and effective law enforcement, he said, and nobody wants to see police officers hurt who are doing their jobs fairly.

article by Ruby Mellen and Ryan J. Reilly via huffingtonpost.com

Loretta Lynch Unveils $20,000,000 Program to Expand Cop Body Cameras

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Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, speaks at a press conference on April 28, 2014 in New York City. (ANDREW BURTON/GETTY IMAGES)

Just a week on the job, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Friday unveiled a $20 million pilot program to expand the use of police body cameras for “transparency” amid nationwide protests over law enforcement treatment of suspects, according to NBC News.

“Body-worn cameras hold tremendous promise for enhancing transparency, promoting accountability, and advancing public safety for law enforcement officers and the communities they serve,” Lynch said in a press release, notes the television news outlet.

The move follows protests over allegations of police brutality in black communities across the nation following several high profile deaths, including Michael Brown by a white officer in Ferguson, Mo., the killing of a homeless man on Los Angeles’ Skid Row and most recently the spinal injury while in police custody that led to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, the report says.

NBC says the program includes $17 million in competitive grants for cameras, $2 million for training and technical assistance, and $1 million for evaluation.

Police departments around the nation have begun equipping officers with the cameras, with encouragement from the Obama administration, which has asked Congress for increased funding for the cameras, notes NBC.

A day after Lynch announced the program, the Democratic National Committee at its quarterly meeting on Saturday in San Francisco, Calif., supported the program and passed a resolution calling for reform of the criminal justice system and community investment.

“[S]ince Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, we have witnessed over a dozen high profile officer-involved shooting cases and the loss of dozens more unarmed black men and women whose names we do not see in headlines or hashtags,” the resolution reads in part. “We can no longer endure the pain, heartbreak and destruction.”

article by Lynette Holloway via theroot.com

Yahnick Martin Receives $50K Settlement After NYPD Conducted Stop-And-Frisk and Ruined His Christmas

Yahnick Martin (pictured) got sweet reparation from the New York City Police Department after they  mistakenly slapped him with cuffs, hauled him off to jail, and had him leave his gift-filled van unattended and running on a Brooklyn street back in 2011. Now the city Law Department is reportedly forking over $50,000 to settle a federal lawsuit he filed against “New York’s finest” because the van and all of its gifts were stolen, ruining his family’s Christmas, according to the New York Daily News.

On December 23, 2011, Martin was reportedly sitting in a rented van waiting for his wife, who had dropped off a Christmas present to a friend. Martin, a real estate agent and father of three, was  smoking a cigar in his van when Officer Roman Goris and a few colleagues pulled up to his vehicle.  The “Men in Blue” claimed they smelled marijuana wafting in the air.

Goris asked Martin to exit the vehicle and patted him down which was a justifiable action according to court records.  The officer then went a step further and removed a lighter and Martin’s wallet from his person which a judge found to be unjustifiable.

When Martin spoke his mind about the harassment he was placed in cuffs.

As the officers hauled Martin away, he begged them to please allow him to secure his van which was filled with his children’s car seats, clothing, cell phones, his wife’s purse and Christmas gifts.

Martin’s pleas fell on deaf ears.

“That’s too bad. You should have thought of that before being a smartass,” a policeman responded to Martin’s request, according to the court records, states the New York Daily News.

When the van was eventually found, it was stripped and all of its contents were stolen.

Martin was given disorderly conduct summonses which were eventually dismissed.

Meanwhile Goris was mandated by the courts to contribute $500 toward Martin’s settlement and docked eight days pay for abusing his power and conducting an unwarranted stop-and-frisk move.

article by Ruth Manuel-Logan via newsone.com

Cleveland Police Cited for Abuse by U.S. Department of Justice

A memorial for Tamir Rice, shot by the Cleveland police. (TY WRIGHT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)

CLEVELAND — The Justice Department announced on Thursday that a nearly two-year civil rights investigation into the Cleveland Police Department had found a pattern of “unreasonable and unnecessary use of force” that resulted in dangerous and reckless behavior by officers, pointing out the kinds of problems that have angered black residents here and touched off demonstrations across the country in recent weeks.

The abuses cited in the report included excessive use of force by the police involving not just firearms, but also less-than-lethal weapons like Tasers, chemical spray and fists, which were sometimes used for retaliation. The report also said the police had used excessive force against mentally ill people and employed tactics that escalated potentially nonviolent encounters into dangerous confrontations.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in a sign of the Obama administration’s growing concern about contentious police shootings and other use of force — and with demonstrations in New York; Ferguson, Mo.; and elsewhere — traveled to Cleveland on Thursday to announce the findings himself. The city has been roiled by the fatal shooting last month of a 12-year-old African-American boy by a rookie police officer.

“Accountability and legitimacy are essential for communities to trust their police departments,” Mr. Holder said, “and for there to be genuine collaboration between police and the citizens they serve.”

Continue reading “Cleveland Police Cited for Abuse by U.S. Department of Justice”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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