Black woman shot to death for asking for help in a white neighborhoodNovember 7, 2013
Last Saturday morning at around 2:30am 19-year-old Renisha McBride got into a car accident in Dearborn Heights, a predominately white Detroit suburb. Because her cell phone battery was dead, she went to nearby home for assistance. That might seem like the reasonable and understandable thing to do, but it was the biggest mistake of McBride’s short life.
The unnamed person who answered the door didn’t offer to help the stranded teen out, instead the Dearborn Heights resident fatally shot McBride in the head.
Weirdly, Dearborn Heights police initially told McBride’s family that her body was found dumped in another area of town, but they’ve since changed their story, saying she was shot in self-defense on the homeowner’s front porch. Naturally, Michigan is a Stand Your Ground state — sound familiar?
As Rania Khalek points out: Even if that’s the case, and there’s reason to believe it’s not, the shooter still failed to call 911 after shooting an unarmed woman in the head, instead leaving her their to die. Does that sound like the behavior of a law-abiding gunowner who made a tragic mistake?
No. No it does not.
Police have asked Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for charges to be filed against the unnamed resident who shot McBride. We’ll see how well that pans out.
Source

Black woman shot to death for asking for help in a white neighborhood
November 7, 2013

Last Saturday morning at around 2:30am 19-year-old Renisha McBride got into a car accident in Dearborn Heights, a predominately white Detroit suburb. Because her cell phone battery was dead, she went to nearby home for assistance. That might seem like the reasonable and understandable thing to do, but it was the biggest mistake of McBride’s short life.

The unnamed person who answered the door didn’t offer to help the stranded teen out, instead the Dearborn Heights resident fatally shot McBride in the head.

Weirdly, Dearborn Heights police initially told McBride’s family that her body was found dumped in another area of town, but they’ve since changed their story, saying she was shot in self-defense on the homeowner’s front porch. Naturally, Michigan is a Stand Your Ground state — sound familiar?

As Rania Khalek points out: Even if that’s the case, and there’s reason to believe it’s not, the shooter still failed to call 911 after shooting an unarmed woman in the head, instead leaving her their to die. Does that sound like the behavior of a law-abiding gunowner who made a tragic mistake?

No. No it does not.

Police have asked Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for charges to be filed against the unnamed resident who shot McBride. We’ll see how well that pans out.

Source

On April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released the classified Collateral Murder video to the public.  

The video shows an Apache helicopter indiscriminately firing on a dozen people, including two Reuters staff, in Baghdad. Later in the footage, rescuers, including two children, were also targeted. 

The footage was leaked to WikiLeaks by Pfc. B. Manning, who has been in prison for 1046 days. Manning’s detention conditions have been found to be “cruel, inhuman & degrading” by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Mendez. 

"The most alarming aspect of the video to me was the seemingly delightful bloodlust the aerial weapons team happened to have." - Manning

Watch the full Collateral Murder video here.

1 million civilians dead, 37,000 American soldiers dead or injured — And we’ve learned nothing from the Iraq debacle
March 19, 2013

After 10 years, $2 trillion spent, an estimated 1 million civilians casualties, and almost 37,000 U.S. troops deceased or injured, one of the biggest enduring stories of the Iraq War has to be how little the debacle changed anything in the United States (or, arguably, in Iraq).

Today, on the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion, America still has a massive, fiscally unsustainable defense budget; Congress still teems with lawmakers who fervently supported the Iraq War and who never admitted their mistake in promoting the WMD lies; the foreign policy establishment is still dominated by Iraq War proponents who never acknowledged their misjudgments and/or their willingness to suppress inconvenient information; the Washington press corps is still populated with reporters who failed to ask serious questions about the case for war; and the opinion news sphere is still promoting those who got the Iraq War flat wrong. And while there are some vague rumblings about the possibility of changed foreign policy outlooks, the fact remains that the Afghanistan War escalation, the intensifying drone war and the unauthorized Libya War suggest that the Iraq conflict’s lesson about the perils of “nation building,” “preemptive war” and blowback are still largely ignored.

To appreciate how little political fallout the Iraq War generated, consider how different the reaction was to American history’s most recent antecedent to the Iraq conflict. A generation ago, a similarly misguided war of choice in Vietnam resulted in such a fervent political backlash that a president was forced to opt against running for reelection, a slate of anti-war legislators was swept into Congress, and pro-Vietnam War Sen. Thomas Dodd and Gulf of Tonkin Resolution architect Sen. William Fulbright were voted out of office. At the same time, the leading voice in the establishment media dared to adversarially report fundamental flaws in the pro-war argument, to the point where it has become a mark of shame to admit you publicly backed the conflict.

To be sure, the reaction gap between Vietnam and Iraq can be explained, in part, by the fact that the former invasion generated more casualties, and by the fact that the former also involved mass conscription. That particular method of raising a fighting force tends to spread a war’s blood-and-guts consequences more widely through the population — and therefore creates the potential for a bigger political backlash — than a fighting force that is all volunteer.

However, that’s not the whole story. The other factor that explains the reaction gap between Vietnam and Iraq is a change in the political system. Simply put, in the last decade, that system has become almost completely impervious to any kind of consequences for bad decisions. Over time, such a lack of accountability has created a self-fulfilling feedback loop. With the public seeing no consequences for wrongdoing, the expectations of consequences, or feelings that they are even necessary, slowly but surely disappear.

This reality, of course, does not just define foreign affairs in the post-Iraq world. It is evident everywhere. From a refusal to prosecute a single banker connected to the financial meltdown, to the refusal to hold oil companies accountable for environmental destruction, to the refusal to hold education “reformers” responsible for the failure of their destructive policies, the modern era has taught us in myriad ways that there is no such thing as accountability for the politically connected.

In learning that lesson over and over and over again, most Americans have slowly come to accept that sad reality as immutable. Indeed, so accepting are we that few even flinch anymore when those who missed the financial crisis still appear on our televisions as financial experts, when those who have harmed America’s education system appear on our televisions as education specialists, or when still-unapologetic Iraq War cheerleaders appear on our televisions as Credible Foreign Policy Voices.

Today was very hard… I had to choose the color of the casket that I wanted.

Carol Gray, mother of 16-year-old Kimani Gray who was shot seven times & killed by the NYPD on March 9.

His murder has sparked unrest & large protests in Flatbush, which of course have been met with mass arrests, brutality & even more violence by the NYPD. Gray’s younger sister was one of the people arrested earlier this week.

Chicago homocide rate 2013 already at 42 before end of JanuaryJanuary 31, 2013
A bloody weekend in which seven people were killed and six wounded has put an abrupt end – at least for now – to hopes that Chicago was at least putting a lid on its frightening homicide rate.
With a few days left in the month, the nation’s third-largest city now finds itself on the cusp of its deadliest January in more than a decade. The news comes just after Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy had announced that after several violent months, Chicago had seen a drop in homicides at the end of 2012 and for the first few weeks of 2013.
Police say the homicide rate is a reflection of the city’s gang problem and a proliferation of guns. (Read below for our thoughts on this minimal explanation) Chicago has for years tried to cut off the flow of guns. It has what city officials have called the strictest handgun ordinance in the U.S. But police officials say more needs to be done and that penalties for violating gun laws should be stiffer.
Among those killed over the weekend was 34-year-old Ronnie Chambers, who was shot in the head with what police believe was an assault weapon. Such guns are banned in Chicago but can be purchased legally in the suburbs or nearby states. Chambers is the fourth child of Shirley Chambers to fall victim to gun violence.
"I’d pray for God to protect Ronnie and keep him safe day and night," Shirley Chambers told the Chicago Sun-Times.
With the weekend shootings, Chicago now has 40 homicides – the exact same number as last January. With a few days left in the year, the city could reach its deadliest January since 2002, when it had 45 homicides in the first month.
Chicago’s homicide count eclipsed 500 last year for the first time since 2008, but last week, McCarthy announced recent figures showing homicides had dropped. The city saw a 16 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2012 and a 22 percent drop in the first weeks of January.
McCarthy wants lawmakers to increase jail time for those who are caught with illegal weapons, including for felons who aren’t allowed to have them and for so-called straw purchases, in which people buy guns for others who aren’t supposed to have them.
Chicago’s handgun ordinance bans gun shops in the city and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes with a handgun. The city passed the restrictions in July 2010 after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an outright ban that Chicago had for 28 years.
Chicago leads the nation in guns seized by police, and recently police have started displaying the guns each week to offer a visual reminder of the awesome firepower that is on the city’s streets as they push for tougher gun laws. First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger said Monday that last year’s total of 7,400 is nine times as high as the number seized in the nation’s largest city, New York, and three times as high as in its second-largest, Los Angeles.
So far this year, Chicago officers have taken 574 firearms, Wysinger said Monday.
Wysinger called the spate of shootings “frustrating” for the department. But he said the number does not mean there are problems with changes the department has made to combat crime, particularly a strategy to focus on gang members and gang activity.
"Without this gang violence reduction strategy this weekend could have been a lot worse than it was," he told reporters.
McCarthy last week noted that New York finished 2012 with 418 homicides, a record low. He said New York’s stiffer penalties for gun violations help. McCarthy has repeatedly mentioned Plaxico Burress, the NFL football player who spent 20 months in prison on a gun charge after accidentally shot himself, as an example of New York’s tough gun laws.
"We are doing the same exact things New York is doing," said McCarthy, a former high ranking member of that city’s police department. "What is different is the reasonability of the New York gun laws."
Source
This was published before Hadiya Pendleton, the girl who performed at the Inauguration, was shot & killed on Tuesday in Chicago.
Most articles about the violence in Chicago never even mention the influence poverty has on these murders that occur in communities of color. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor wrote a great piece we’ve posted before called "Poverty pulls the trigger." She wrote:
"Simplistic explanations for serious issues help to produce simplistic solutions that make for good sound bites but do nothing to actually address the real problem of crime and violence in poor and working-class communities of color. For example, a recent report made it clear that these murders are concentrated in the poorest and most-segregated neighborhoods in the city.
In fact, it would be more descriptive and accurate to describe the wave of violence in Chicago as “poverty-on-poverty” or “segregated-on-segregated” crime because that is the actual source of the tensions that have boiled over and led to the heightened murder rate in the city.
While Rahm Emanuel recently described the Chicago economy as “booming,” in the two-thirds of the city that is predominantly Black and Brown, there is an economic depression.”
One of Rahm Emanuel’s simplistic solutions is to put 200 more cops on Chicago’s streets.

Chicago homocide rate 2013 already at 42 before end of January
January 31, 2013

A bloody weekend in which seven people were killed and six wounded has put an abrupt end – at least for now – to hopes that Chicago was at least putting a lid on its frightening homicide rate.

With a few days left in the month, the nation’s third-largest city now finds itself on the cusp of its deadliest January in more than a decade. The news comes just after Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy had announced that after several violent months, Chicago had seen a drop in homicides at the end of 2012 and for the first few weeks of 2013.

Police say the homicide rate is a reflection of the city’s gang problem and a proliferation of guns. (Read below for our thoughts on this minimal explanation) Chicago has for years tried to cut off the flow of guns. It has what city officials have called the strictest handgun ordinance in the U.S. But police officials say more needs to be done and that penalties for violating gun laws should be stiffer.

Among those killed over the weekend was 34-year-old Ronnie Chambers, who was shot in the head with what police believe was an assault weapon. Such guns are banned in Chicago but can be purchased legally in the suburbs or nearby states. Chambers is the fourth child of Shirley Chambers to fall victim to gun violence.

"I’d pray for God to protect Ronnie and keep him safe day and night," Shirley Chambers told the Chicago Sun-Times.

With the weekend shootings, Chicago now has 40 homicides – the exact same number as last January. With a few days left in the year, the city could reach its deadliest January since 2002, when it had 45 homicides in the first month.

Chicago’s homicide count eclipsed 500 last year for the first time since 2008, but last week, McCarthy announced recent figures showing homicides had dropped. The city saw a 16 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2012 and a 22 percent drop in the first weeks of January.

McCarthy wants lawmakers to increase jail time for those who are caught with illegal weapons, including for felons who aren’t allowed to have them and for so-called straw purchases, in which people buy guns for others who aren’t supposed to have them.

Chicago’s handgun ordinance bans gun shops in the city and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes with a handgun. The city passed the restrictions in July 2010 after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an outright ban that Chicago had for 28 years.

Chicago leads the nation in guns seized by police, and recently police have started displaying the guns each week to offer a visual reminder of the awesome firepower that is on the city’s streets as they push for tougher gun laws. First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger said Monday that last year’s total of 7,400 is nine times as high as the number seized in the nation’s largest city, New York, and three times as high as in its second-largest, Los Angeles.

So far this year, Chicago officers have taken 574 firearms, Wysinger said Monday.

Wysinger called the spate of shootings “frustrating” for the department. But he said the number does not mean there are problems with changes the department has made to combat crime, particularly a strategy to focus on gang members and gang activity.

"Without this gang violence reduction strategy this weekend could have been a lot worse than it was," he told reporters.

McCarthy last week noted that New York finished 2012 with 418 homicides, a record low. He said New York’s stiffer penalties for gun violations help. McCarthy has repeatedly mentioned Plaxico Burress, the NFL football player who spent 20 months in prison on a gun charge after accidentally shot himself, as an example of New York’s tough gun laws.

"We are doing the same exact things New York is doing," said McCarthy, a former high ranking member of that city’s police department. "What is different is the reasonability of the New York gun laws."

Source

This was published before Hadiya Pendleton, the girl who performed at the Inauguration, was shot & killed on Tuesday in Chicago.

Most articles about the violence in Chicago never even mention the influence poverty has on these murders that occur in communities of color. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor wrote a great piece we’ve posted before called "Poverty pulls the trigger." She wrote:

"Simplistic explanations for serious issues help to produce simplistic solutions that make for good sound bites but do nothing to actually address the real problem of crime and violence in poor and working-class communities of color. For example, a recent report made it clear that these murders are concentrated in the poorest and most-segregated neighborhoods in the city.

In fact, it would be more descriptive and accurate to describe the wave of violence in Chicago as “poverty-on-poverty” or “segregated-on-segregated” crime because that is the actual source of the tensions that have boiled over and led to the heightened murder rate in the city.

While Rahm Emanuel recently described the Chicago economy as “booming,” in the two-thirds of the city that is predominantly Black and Brown, there is an economic depression.”

One of Rahm Emanuel’s simplistic solutions is to put 200 more cops on Chicago’s streets.

New Mexico teen suspected of killing family was planning Walmart massacreJanuary 23, 2013 
The New Mexico teen accused of killing his parents and three siblings over the weekend is now reported to have been planning to continue his rampage at the local Walmart. He envisaged the massacre ending with a shootout with police and his own death.
Investigators are still trying to put together 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego’s actions on Saturday night. They have discovered several guns, including an AR-15 assault rifle and a .22 caliber pistol, though no owner to match them, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
Griego was ready to drive to the superstore, with the loaded weapons already packed into his family’s car. 
The teen’s plan was thwarted after he allegedly called a friend to tell him of his intention to go on a killing spree in Wal-Mart. The friend convinced him to meet at a local chapel, where he stayed for several hours, eventually admitting to a church guard that his family had been killed. 
The guard took the boy home, calling police as soon as he laid eyes on the gruesome scene at Griego’s house.
Griego was arrested and faces two charges of murder and three of child abuse resulting in death. 
New Mexico authorities say that prior to the shooting, Griego had never had a run-in with the law.
Source

New Mexico teen suspected of killing family was planning Walmart massacre
January 23, 2013 

The New Mexico teen accused of killing his parents and three siblings over the weekend is now reported to have been planning to continue his rampage at the local Walmart. He envisaged the massacre ending with a shootout with police and his own death.

Investigators are still trying to put together 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego’s actions on Saturday night. They have discovered several guns, including an AR-15 assault rifle and a .22 caliber pistol, though no owner to match them, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Griego was ready to drive to the superstore, with the loaded weapons already packed into his family’s car. 

The teen’s plan was thwarted after he allegedly called a friend to tell him of his intention to go on a killing spree in Wal-Mart. The friend convinced him to meet at a local chapel, where he stayed for several hours, eventually admitting to a church guard that his family had been killed. 

The guard took the boy home, calling police as soon as he laid eyes on the gruesome scene at Griego’s house.

Griego was arrested and faces two charges of murder and three of child abuse resulting in death. 

New Mexico authorities say that prior to the shooting, Griego had never had a run-in with the law.

Source

Grand jury indicts man in Jordan Davis shooting on first degree murder; faces life in prisonDecember 16, 2012
A Florida grand jury has indicted a man on a first-degree murder charge in the death of a teenager following an argument over loud music coming from the teen’s car.
The Florida Times-Union reports officials in the state attorney’s office said Thursday they won’t be seeking the death penalty against 46-year-old Michael David Dunn. He was initially charged with second-degree murder.
Dunn is accused of the Nov. 23 shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.
Officials say Dunn parked next to the vehicle where Davis was sitting with three other teens. Dunn complained about the loud music and they stared arguing. Dunn told police he thought he saw a gun and fired eight or nine shots into the vehicle.
Grand jurors also added three counts of attempted murder.
Source

Grand jury indicts man in Jordan Davis shooting on first degree murder; faces life in prison
December 16, 2012

A Florida grand jury has indicted a man on a first-degree murder charge in the death of a teenager following an argument over loud music coming from the teen’s car.

The Florida Times-Union reports officials in the state attorney’s office said Thursday they won’t be seeking the death penalty against 46-year-old Michael David Dunn. He was initially charged with second-degree murder.

Dunn is accused of the Nov. 23 shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

Officials say Dunn parked next to the vehicle where Davis was sitting with three other teens. Dunn complained about the loud music and they stared arguing. Dunn told police he thought he saw a gun and fired eight or nine shots into the vehicle.

Grand jurors also added three counts of attempted murder.

Source

Why are NYPD murders on the rise?November 2, 2012
It was 5 a.m. on October 4, and 22-year old Noel Polanco was driving himself, a co-worker and a friend home from his job at a nightclub in Queens when he was pulled over on a highway median by an unmarked vehicle.
It turned out that Noel had cut off a police car belonging to the Emergency Services Unit, a division of the New York Police Department tasked with responding in “high-crime areas.” Officers approached the car with rifles out, shouting at the driver to put his hands up. Within seconds, Officer Hassan Hamdy had fired one round through the open passenger window at the driver, killing Polanco, a U.S. Army Reservist.
"There was no time to put your hands up at all," front-seat passenger Diane DeFerrari told the New York Post. “They shot in front of my face. Had I moved an inch, it would probably have been me.”
As DeFerrari told the New York Times, “This is all a case of road rage on behalf of the NYPD—that’s all this is.”
New York City has already paid out close to half a million dollars in claims against Hamdy for civil rights violations. The Polanco killing was so clearly unjustifiable that even NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly—breaking from past practice—called for a grand jury investigation.
This incident is only the latest in a string of murders committed by the New York Police Department this year. According to the Stolen Lives Project, 2012 saw 19 police killings, compared to 13 the year before. At this rate, the NYPD is on track for an increase of almost 70 percent in its murder rate, compared to last year.
In September, an NYPD officer shot and killed Reynaldo Cuevas, a 20-year old bodega worker, as he was fleeing his Bronx store which was being robbed. In the same 24 hour period, the police killed Walwyn Jackson in his Queens home. And in late September, Emergency Service Unit cops killed Harlem resident Mohammed Bah in his apartment doorway.
Jackson and Bah were among several cases in which the victims of the NYPD were mentally ill or troubled individuals—whose family members had called for help, but ended up on the receiving end of police violence instead. In March of this year, Shereese Francis, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was killed when four police officers attempted to subdue her by piling on top of her and literally suffocating her to death.
In the wake of the Polanco and Bah killings, NYPD officials transferred the head of the elite Emergency Service Unit. But this is clearly a long way from real justice given the scale of the killings. At least 221 people have been killed by the NYPD since the well-known 1999 case of Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo, gunned down in a hail of 41 bullets in the entranceway to his apartment building as he reached for his wallet.
"Why should a mother have to bear such pain and bury her loved one?" asked Juanita Young, whose son, Malcolm Ferguson, was killed by Bronx police in 2000. "We call for help and our sons end up dead. Who are we supposed to call if police come and our loved ones are carried out in a body bag?"
The tragic reality is that family members have yet to see any kind of apology from the police, let alone any serious steps to address the crisis of police homicides. Instead, the police take pains to justify their actions while the death toll climbs. “Instead of progression, this is regression,” said Amadou Diallo’s mother, Katiadou Diallo, at a protest of about 300 people outside City Hall in the wake of the murder of Mohammed Bah, also originally from Guinea.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
WHAT’S BEHIND this recent jump in NYPD murders? Policing in communities of color is intensifying increased racial and class polarization. Repression is a constant feature of an unequal society, and with poverty, cuts to social programs and joblessness continuing to take a toll, racist police violence as a means of social control has accompanied this immiseration.
Despite a continued decline in crime, police are encouraged to view themselves as patrolling a literal war zone. New York City has the lowest crime rate among the nation’s biggest cities, as measured by the FBI. According to one report, there were 515 killings citywide last year, compared with 2,245 in 1990, and murders are down by 18 percent.
Yet hostile attitudes on the part of the police are ramping up. “Every single day, our lives are in danger. Everybody out here is in danger,” a Brooklyn cop told a reporter for Reuters. Meanwhile, a hysterical New York Daily News editorial in July, headlined “Stop and Frisk—or Die,” fueled the climate for heavy-handed policing in the wake of an officer injured by gunfire in a public housing stairwell. “Now, let’s play a mental exercise designed to illustrate how insanely close the city has come to judicially mandated lawlessness…[i]t is clear that police are targeting the right places for their most intense enforcement efforts.”
But the day-to-day experience for people of color in New York City is of relentless police abuse and harassment, and that has been intensified by a push to meet quotas on stop-and-frisks—the NYPD’s racial profiling policy—and for a higher numbers of arrests.According to the New York Times, “The data show the initiative is conducted aggressively, sometimes in what can seem like a frenzy…feeding the department’s appetite for numbers.”
Full article

Why are NYPD murders on the rise?
November 2, 2012

It was 5 a.m. on October 4, and 22-year old Noel Polanco was driving himself, a co-worker and a friend home from his job at a nightclub in Queens when he was pulled over on a highway median by an unmarked vehicle.

It turned out that Noel had cut off a police car belonging to the Emergency Services Unit, a division of the New York Police Department tasked with responding in “high-crime areas.” Officers approached the car with rifles out, shouting at the driver to put his hands up. Within seconds, Officer Hassan Hamdy had fired one round through the open passenger window at the driver, killing Polanco, a U.S. Army Reservist.

"There was no time to put your hands up at all," front-seat passenger Diane DeFerrari told the New York Post. “They shot in front of my face. Had I moved an inch, it would probably have been me.”

As DeFerrari told the New York Times, “This is all a case of road rage on behalf of the NYPD—that’s all this is.”

New York City has already paid out close to half a million dollars in claims against Hamdy for civil rights violations. The Polanco killing was so clearly unjustifiable that even NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly—breaking from past practice—called for a grand jury investigation.

This incident is only the latest in a string of murders committed by the New York Police Department this year. According to the Stolen Lives Project, 2012 saw 19 police killings, compared to 13 the year before. At this rate, the NYPD is on track for an increase of almost 70 percent in its murder rate, compared to last year.

In September, an NYPD officer shot and killed Reynaldo Cuevas, a 20-year old bodega worker, as he was fleeing his Bronx store which was being robbed. In the same 24 hour period, the police killed Walwyn Jackson in his Queens home. And in late September, Emergency Service Unit cops killed Harlem resident Mohammed Bah in his apartment doorway.

Jackson and Bah were among several cases in which the victims of the NYPD were mentally ill or troubled individuals—whose family members had called for help, but ended up on the receiving end of police violence instead. In March of this year, Shereese Francis, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was killed when four police officers attempted to subdue her by piling on top of her and literally suffocating her to death.

In the wake of the Polanco and Bah killings, NYPD officials transferred the head of the elite Emergency Service Unit. But this is clearly a long way from real justice given the scale of the killings. At least 221 people have been killed by the NYPD since the well-known 1999 case of Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo, gunned down in a hail of 41 bullets in the entranceway to his apartment building as he reached for his wallet.

"Why should a mother have to bear such pain and bury her loved one?" asked Juanita Young, whose son, Malcolm Ferguson, was killed by Bronx police in 2000. "We call for help and our sons end up dead. Who are we supposed to call if police come and our loved ones are carried out in a body bag?"

The tragic reality is that family members have yet to see any kind of apology from the police, let alone any serious steps to address the crisis of police homicides. Instead, the police take pains to justify their actions while the death toll climbs. “Instead of progression, this is regression,” said Amadou Diallo’s mother, Katiadou Diallo, at a protest of about 300 people outside City Hall in the wake of the murder of Mohammed Bah, also originally from Guinea.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

WHAT’S BEHIND this recent jump in NYPD murders? Policing in communities of color is intensifying increased racial and class polarization. Repression is a constant feature of an unequal society, and with poverty, cuts to social programs and joblessness continuing to take a toll, racist police violence as a means of social control has accompanied this immiseration.

Despite a continued decline in crime, police are encouraged to view themselves as patrolling a literal war zone. New York City has the lowest crime rate among the nation’s biggest cities, as measured by the FBI. According to one report, there were 515 killings citywide last year, compared with 2,245 in 1990, and murders are down by 18 percent.

Yet hostile attitudes on the part of the police are ramping up. “Every single day, our lives are in danger. Everybody out here is in danger,” a Brooklyn cop told a reporter for Reuters. Meanwhile, a hysterical New York Daily News editorial in July, headlined “Stop and Frisk—or Die,” fueled the climate for heavy-handed policing in the wake of an officer injured by gunfire in a public housing stairwell. “Now, let’s play a mental exercise designed to illustrate how insanely close the city has come to judicially mandated lawlessness…[i]t is clear that police are targeting the right places for their most intense enforcement efforts.”

But the day-to-day experience for people of color in New York City is of relentless police abuse and harassment, and that has been intensified by a push to meet quotas on stop-and-frisks—the NYPD’s racial profiling policy—and for a higher numbers of arrests.According to the New York Times, “The data show the initiative is conducted aggressively, sometimes in what can seem like a frenzy…feeding the department’s appetite for numbers.”

Russell Tribunal on Palestine Part II – Rachel Corrie

October 8, 2012

Perhaps the most emotionally charged talk was the short one given by parents of Rachel Corrie, Cindy and Craig Corrie. Rachel was an American activist who was run over and crushed to the death by an Israel Defense Forces armored bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003. Cindy and Craig Corrie spoke briefly about the incident, although I imagine most people in the audience were familiar with the general details. They focused more on how Israel and United States have responded to the incident since, which really highlights the level of self-aware complicity of the United States government. The official United States position on the death of Rachel Corrie is that “there has not been a thorough, credible and transparent investigation into Rachel’s case.” The United States refuses to investigation the death independently and has yet to do anything else, at all, to bring about justice for Rachel Corrie or closure for her parents.

Because they had no other options, Craig and Cindy Corrie brought about a civil case against Israel for the murder of their daughter. They sued for one symbolic U.S. dollar. On August 28, an Israeli judge determined that Israel acted against Rachel Corrie in an act of war and therefore Israel has no culpability in Rachel’s case. The military investigator testified that “there are no more citizens in Gaza and that Israel is at war with everyone in Gaza, including peace activists”.  The implications are this, if you are anyone willing to stand up to Israel in the face of egregious human rights violations, prepare to die.

At least 22 Palestinians have also been confirmed as being murdered while protesting non-violently. Needless to say, their families too have received not so much as an apology from Israel as their deaths are fully protected by Israel’s undemocratic law.

- Robert

Check out our other posts on the Russell Tribunal here.  

Bronx community mourns man shot dead by NYPDSeptember 8, 2012
Earlier today, 20-year-old Bronx Resident, Reynaldo Cuevas was shot and killed by an NYPD officer outside the bodega where he works. According to witnesses, Cuevas had tripped while attempting to escape an armed robbery inside the bodega. Immediately after, a 42nd precinct officer shot his gun, killing Cuevas, who was later dragged by the officer some 20-feet along the sidewalk.
Afterwards community members took to the streets in anger, later marching to the nearby precinct and ending the evening on the corner where Cuevas was shot.
The shooting occurred just one block away from where unarmed 19-year-old Jateik Reed was recently beaten by 42nd precinct officers.
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We posted about this recent NYPD murder here. NYPD is a racist, violent gang wreaking havoc on the city, murdering the innocent & getting away with it. 

Bronx community mourns man shot dead by NYPD
September 8, 2012

Earlier today, 20-year-old Bronx Resident, Reynaldo Cuevas was shot and killed by an NYPD officer outside the bodega where he works. According to witnesses, Cuevas had tripped while attempting to escape an armed robbery inside the bodega. Immediately after, a 42nd precinct officer shot his gun, killing Cuevas, who was later dragged by the officer some 20-feet along the sidewalk.

Afterwards community members took to the streets in anger, later marching to the nearby precinct and ending the evening on the corner where Cuevas was shot.

The shooting occurred just one block away from where unarmed 19-year-old Jateik Reed was recently beaten by 42nd precinct officers.

Source

We posted about this recent NYPD murder here. NYPD is a racist, violent gang wreaking havoc on the city, murdering the innocent & getting away with it. 

Trigger Warning: Violence, Police Brutality, Murder

VIDEO: Surveillance camera captures moment that Bronx bodega worker, 20, is fatally shot by NYPD after masked gunmen stick up Morrisania shop

The NYPD was responding to the armed robbery when a cop and the fleeing shop worker fatally collided, police said. The loot: $700 in cash, scratch-off lottery tickets and Newport cigarettes. ‘He didn’t have his hands up and they shot him,’ the victim’s cousin said. ‘They didn’t say nothing. They just shot him. He was just trying to run away because he was scared.’

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7 killed, 24 injured in Chicago shootings in 48 hoursAugust 27, 2012
At least seven people, including a teenager, have been killed and 24 others wounded in a string of shootings in Chicago in the past two days, police officials say.
Two people were killed in separate shootings across the city on Saturday. Gunmen also shot four people dead on Friday, among them an 18-year-old boy, identified as Aaron Gaithan. Police said that a total of 24 people were injured in the attacks, adding that several of the injured are in critical condition. In another incident, a young man was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds inside a vehicle in the city’s South Side on Sunday. Authorities said most of the attacks happened in the south and west of Chicago, where gun violence is epidemic. On Thursday, nineteen people were shot in seven attacks in the city. Thirteen of the victims were shot within a half-hour period.
Chicago officials have been battling a sharp increase in shootings and homicide. The city’s murder rate has increased 29 percent year-over-year as of this month. 
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7 killed, 24 injured in Chicago shootings in 48 hours
August 27, 2012

At least seven people, including a teenager, have been killed and 24 others wounded in a string of shootings in Chicago in the past two days, police officials say.

Two people were killed in separate shootings across the city on Saturday. Gunmen also shot four people dead on Friday, among them an 18-year-old boy, identified as Aaron Gaithan. 

Police said that a total of 24 people were injured in the attacks, adding that several of the injured are in critical condition. 

In another incident, a young man was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds inside a vehicle in the city’s South Side on Sunday. 

Authorities said most of the attacks happened in the south and west of Chicago, where gun violence is epidemic. 

On Thursday, nineteen people were shot in seven attacks in the city. Thirteen of the victims were shot within a half-hour period.

Chicago officials have been battling a sharp increase in shootings and homicide. The city’s murder rate has increased 29 percent year-over-year as of this month. 

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