“Turn your phone off and walk away.”
Nyle Fort, a research assistant at Princeton University, was walking home when a voice from a megaphone boomed out “Stop running or I’m going to shoot you!” The threat came from an unmarked police car, according to Fort:
Police violence affects all of us regardless of color. (Photo by Sid Hastings/Associated Press)
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In recent months, particularly after the graphic video of Albuquerque police – in a military style assault – shot and killed James Boyd for unlawful camping, the national media in the US has been picking up on the overlapping stories of police brutality and misuse of force, police militarization, and the inability/refusal of our system to hold police to account under the same laws they are allegedly enforcing. So – at the end of this brief comment on the national breadth and depth of this issue – I am putting out a call for those who read here to join me in an effort to try and DO something about the issues with which we are concerned.
Now that the mainstream media’s ear has been attuned to this issue – we are seeing more and more stories of such abuses of force and authority revealed as they are reported upon. But the issue is not new nor is it isolated to these particular instances. It is a long-standing, exponentially growing problem of national scope and significance. The police culture has changed – to where they in fact view citizens as “an enemy” among whom they patrol. Shoot to kill is not an accident – it has become normalized WITHIN the structure of authority – or “the system.”
It still does not fit with the theory or the rhetoric of how we expect our laws to operate. But the fact is the militarization of police across the nation is a fait accompli that has been building to this point since the “tough on crime” political rhetoric of national politicians in the late 1960s. It was never about policing – it was always about power.
Police in Utah arrested a man for video recording a conversation they were having with his mother before arresting his mother for failing to disperse the area after her son’s arrest, sending her into diabetic shock as they were walking her from the patrol car to the jail.
That led to Vernal City police dragging her handcuffed, unconscious body into the booking room and plopping it down where they stood around smiling as if it was all some kind of joke.
“I freaked out,” said her son, Coty Tabbee, 27, who had just been transported to the booking room in another patrol on disorderly conduct and interfering charges after he stood up for his right to record on a public sidewalk.
“They just didn’t care,” he said. “They just stood around watching, smiling.”
A New Orleans police officer turned off her body cam before opening fire on a man who had escaped from her a week earlier.
Lisa Lewis shot the man in the forehead during a traffic stop, then shot at him again as he ran away, according to the lawyer of the man who remains hospitalized. He was wanted on warrants.
Not only did she turn off the camera, the department tried its best to downplay Monday’s incident, which they initially reported to the media as posted below:
Randy Credico, the challenger to Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York’s upcoming primary election, was arrested, handcuffed and jailed Thursday for video recording two plainclothes police officers aggressively arresting a man – only days after the NYPD issued a memo to officers stating recording is allowed.
Credico began recording video on his cell phone after witnessing two men without badges aggressively stopping an older black man at the Van Cortland Park subway station in the Bronx. Credico, who has spoken out against New York City’s “stop-and-frisk” policy, was on his way to a campaign interview when he saw the older gentleman being arrested.