All Articles Tagged "police"
There’s a lot of talk surrounding diversity — or lack there of — in the police force and how employing more minorities could combat police misconduct. The problem is though, according to New York Police Department chief William Bratton (above behind the microphones), is that many Black men are not eligible to become cops because of their criminal record.
“We have a significant population gap among African-American males because so many of them have spent time in jail and, as such, we can’t hire them,” Bratton is quoted in an interview with The Guardian.
Responding to widespread protests against several high-profile Black deaths at the hands of police, police departments augmented efforts to recruit non-white officers. However, a handful of hurdles are making the employment of Black police officers challenging. These obstacles include budget restrictions and the tense rapport between cops and the Black community.
Bratton also pointed out another glaring hurdle: too many Black men have been incarcerated. The NYPD chief admitted that this is a result of the controversial “stop-and-frisk” tactics, a practice that was ruled unconstitutional in 2013, which disproportionately targeted African Americans and Latinos.
As a result, Bratton said the “population pool [of eligible non-white officers] is much smaller than it might ordinarily have been”.
A convicted felon’s application is automatically tossed aside. Candidates who are guilty of domestic violence or dishonorably charged from the military also get rejected. Summonses, on the other hand, don’t automatically rule out an applicant, but they are taken into account during the vetting process.
Blacks are more likely to be taken in for low-level crimes, such as drinking on a stoop or smoking a joint, thanks to a strategy known as “broken windows.”
“Blacks and Hispanics [in NYC] received the vast majority of summonses for scores of common offenses, such as disorderly conduct (88%), loitering (89%), spitting (92%) and failure to have a dog license (91%),” according to NY Daily News.
“If [Bratton] didn’t stop people for nothing, he might have a bigger pool to hire from,” said Rochelle Bilal, vice-chair of the National Black Police Association and a former Philadelphia police officer. “It is a net that he set out for them.”
Though Bratton agreed to nix stop and frisk, broken windows, he says, is here to stay.
Robert Gangi, an anti-broken windows advocate, said jailing minorities for seemingly innocuous crimes hinders recruitment: “…The antagonism in the black community toward the police is a principal factor in why so few black men want to become police officers.”
In a follow up, the Daily News reports that Bratton says the article online is a “total misrepresentation” of what the Guardian printed. Nonetheless, he says the issue with Black men and their criminal history is the case.
“That’s well known… That’s not a byproduct of stop-and-frisk,” he said.
Michael Slager, a White police officer in South Carolina has been charged with murder after video surfaced of him shooting and killing an unarmed man who was running away.
According to CNN, Slager, of the North Charleston Police Department, was arrested Tuesday for shooting and killing 50-year-old Walter Scott on Saturday. If found guilty he could face up to life in prison or death.
The interaction between Slager and Scott began when the officer stopped Scott for driving with a brake light being out. Police say Slager and Scott were outside of the car, with Slager’s gun drawn, because Scott tried to grab his stun gun.
The latter part of the altercation was caught on video. In it, we see a Black man, Scott, break away from Slager. Something falls and the officer fires eight shots as Scott, who appears to be unarmed, drops to the ground. The same video shows Slager picking up the object that fell to the ground and dropping it near Mr. Scott’s body.
Instead of turning this video over to the police, the Scott family attorney sent it to the New York Times.
North Charleston mayor, Keith Summey told reporters earlier today during a press conference that “as the result of that video and the bad decision made by our officer, he will be charged with murder. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. And if you make a bad decision–don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street–you have to live by that decision.”
Walter Scott has been described by his family as a good man who was about to get married. Anthony Scott, Walter’s brother told a CNN affiliate that the family was willing to go to any length to ensure that his brother can rest in peace.
Anthony also told The New York Times that his brother was not a violent man and he probably ran because he owed child support and had been arrested 10 times for failing to pay it.
“He has four children; he doesn’t have some type of big violent past or arrest record. He had a job; he was engaged. He had back child support and didn’t want to go to jail for back child support.”
Slager said initially though his former attorney David Aylor that he followed appropriate policies and procedures.
The Justice Department, FBI and S.C. Law Enforcement Division are all reviewing the evidence of this case.
The New York Times reports that like Ferguson, North Charleston has a population of 100,000 African Americans, making up about 47 percent of the residents. Whites makes up 37 percent. Yet, the police department is 80 percent White, according to data collected in 2007, the most recent available.
The police report for the death said that officers performed CPR and delivered first aid to Mr. Scott. But the video shows that for several minutes after the shooting Mr. Scott laid face down with his hands cuffed behind his back. When the second officer arrived he put on blue medical gloves and attended to Mr. Scott but did not perform CPR. A third officer arrived with a medical kit but still did not perform CPR.
Mr. Scott is the 300th person killed by police this year, of 311 total. A person has been killed every day in the month of April.
Killing unarmed men, using photos of black suspects for target practice, the new focus on police brutality is revealing a lot of skeletons in these officer’s closets.
NYPD officers in patrol cars trailed a group of black teens walking through Park Slope and told them over their loudspeakers to “get out of the neighborhood,” a resident who witnessed the incident said.
The incident happened Sept. 22 about 2:45 p.m. on Ninth Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, witness Sara Bennett said at a 78th Precinct Community Council meeting Tuesday night.
“I was really really upset and disturbed, not by the kids, but by the way the police were yelling at them to get out of the neighborhood,” Bennett told police at the meeting. She said there were about five or six kids in the group and they appeared to be about 16 years old. The police had the dome lights on the top of their squad cars illuminated, but their sirens were off, Bennett said.
Commanding Officer Capt. Frank DiGiacomo told those present at the meeting that he wasn’t aware of the specific incident. However, he confirmed that his officers routinely try to move large groups of young people out of the neighborhood because clusters of teens have created problems recently at the Atlantic Center Mall.
Read more about police patrolling black teens at BlackVoices.com
“It Still Bothers Me”: Mother Incorrectly Pulled Over At Gunpoint By Police As Her Kids Watch On In Fear
Kametra Barbour was driving down the road with four young children (including her kids and godchildren), minding her business on August 9 when she was pulled over by the police. While you would think she was being pulled over for a simple traffic stop, police actually stopped her because they thought she was a criminal they were trying to chase down the highway outside of Dallas.
According to ABC News, police officers were driving in Forney, Texas looking for four black men in a beige or tan Toyota. The driver was reportedly waving a gun out of the window. But when officers lost the suspects, they mistook Barbour’s car as the one they were searching for.
Too bad her car is a burgundy Maxima that instead of holding four men, held four kids under the age of 10 in it.
A dashcam caught police stopping Barbour and shouting orders at her and the kids:
“Driver, let me see your hands! Everybody stick their hands out the window!”
Once Barbour was told to get out of the car with her hands up, she was handcuffed. The entire time she was being apprehended, her main concern was for her kids. She wanted to know what she did wrong and was worried that her children would be frightened by the situation.
“Oh my God, you will terrify my children!”
Very soon after that, police realized they had stopped the wrong people and that the criminals they were seeing were actually kids (“Do they look young to you?”). But by that time, her worried 6-year-old son exited the car with his hands up, worried for his mother: “Are we going to jail?”
Officers let him know that they weren’t, but it was too late. The children inside the car were crying and very freaked out about everything they were seeing.
Officers have apologized to Barbour, but felt that under the circumstances, they handled the situation appropriately considering who they thought they were looking for…
“The officers acted accordingly and professionally based on the information they were given … and they adjusted their methods accordingly when the situation presented itself to be otherwise.”
But Barbour says that every time she thinks of the situation, she gets upset all over again.
“I need you to make sure that you have all the facts because you can’t just say, ‘Okay, I’m sorry’ and I’m over it. I can’t. Every time I listen to or hear or think about it, it bothers you. I can’t just say, ‘Okay, I’m fine. It’s not a big deal.’ It is.”
So crazy. Check out the video for yourself below:
In absolutely heartbreaking news, Jonathan Ferrell, a young man from North Carolina, was killed by the police while running to them for help.
This tragedy began after a woman called the police because a man she did not recognize was repeatedly ringing her bell. When she realized the man was not her husband (she assumed it would have been him), she called the cops. A police statement said the man stayed outside of her home in an attempt to gain her attention for a reason unknown in the moment.
They now know that man was 24 year old Jonathan Ferrell and he was knocking on the woman’s door because he was trying to get help after being in a serious car accident, according to WPTV. This was apparently the closest home to the accident.
When police got close to the scene, it is believed that Ferrell ran towards them to get help. However, one officer used his stun gun and missed and another officer, Randall Kerrick, pulled out his gun and fired at Ferrell. He was shot several times and died on the scene.
Officer Kerrick has been charged with voluntary manslaughter meaning he used excessive force in self-defense, or carried out the act without intent to kill. The initial police statement also used words like “charged” and “Advanced” to describe how Ferrell reacted to seeing them. However, he had no gun and there was seemingly no reason to believe he was going to cause any harm. A statement released later in the day said that Kerrick “did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.”
Kerrick turned himself in on Saturday and was held on $500,000 bond. He, along with the other two officers on the scene, are on paid leave.
What a sad tragedy that also leaves you enraged. A man who was looking to receive help from the police was ultimately killed by them.
Jonathan Ferrell attended Florida A&M University and was engaged to be married.
Our condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Nurturing by nature, black women try and hold it down for our brothers who are racially profiled, tirelessly advocating when the unjustifiable killings of our black sons, brothers, fathers or friends occurs. But what about the sisters who are helpless victims in cases where their death was in vain, and could have been prevented had it not been for racism. Racism in this country seems to be getting more blatant – a suffocating, thick-as-pound-cake cloud that looms over black folk, and weighs on our hearts as we try to go about our daily lives and make sense of senseless acts. Let us not forget about our sisters – the ones who fell prey to the injustices of the world. Let us remember the black women who died unjustly too.
Last June, Tiffany Rent, a 31-year-old Chicago woman was shocked three times with a stun gun by police outside of a Walgreens store. The incident came during a dispute over a parking ticket, which Rent didn’t believe that she deserved, so she tore it up, refused to show the officer identification and got back into her car. Rent says Officer Reginald Pippen then threatened to arrest her and stuck his arm in her window, shocking her three times with his taser, reports News One. Did I mention that Rent was 8 months pregnant at the time and that her two children were in the backseat, completely hysterical over what they’d witnessed?
According to The Chicago Sun-Times, Rent says the other two officers who were with Pippen, Ronald Forgue and Dennis Smith “laughed and mocked” her as she cried out in pain during the assault. Following the incident, Rent was taken to a nearby hospital and she later filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago. Last week the City and Rent reached a decision in which the South Side mom will receive $55,000.
The City’s settlement attorneys say that the agreement “is not, in any way, an admission of wrongdoing by the City or any officers involved” and Pippen still maintains that he wasn’t aware of Rent’s pregnancy. The case is still being reviewed by the Independent Police Review Authority.
Despite all of the craziness that occurred one month prior, Rent gave birth to a healthy baby boy last July.
What are your thoughts on this incident?
Okay, Short Dog must have really been “on one” to run from the cops.
Some nosy person had the good sense to get it all on tape and send it in to TMZ. In the clip, Too Short is seen speaking to police officers early Wednesday morning. He was pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence and was asked to step out of the car. The police gave him a field sobriety test and according to TMZ, before he ran, they told him they were going to have to take him in on a DUI charge.
That didn’t sit too well with Short because after pretending to have a civil conversation, Short took off running!
But here’s the thing: he got nowhere real fast. The rapper tripped on the sidewalk and the cops were on him like white on rice. So embarrassing.
Bless his heart. Even if he hadn’t tripped, it didn’t look like he was going to get too far in his little spring.
To add insult to injury, the police also found drugs in his car and added a drug possession charge to the list. I wonder if they’ll hit him with “attempting to flee an officer” charge as well.
Some of these rappers, no matter their age, just don’t learn. At some point, you’ve got to know you’re too old for the bull.
By the way, Too Short did tweet about it:
Take a look at the video…and laugh. Nothing else we can do (by the way, the TMZ link actually has a better version than the video below they posted on YouTube)!
Now when someone like MC Hammer is arrested, you know something in the milk might not be clean.
The former rapper turned businessman was arrested Friday night in Dublin, CA for obstruction an officer, according to CNN.
He was taken to the Santa Rita jail where he was booked and release for not only obstruction but also for resisting an officer. The Dublin police department says that Hammer was driving with an expired registration in a vehicle where he wasn’t the registered owner.
However, since social media is the perfect outlet for celebrities to let people know what’s going on with them, Hammer took to Twitter to address the situation. He says he was racially profiled and he is not pleased:
A department spokesman said when the officer asked Hammer questions, he became argumentative and refused to answer questions.
Now, we don’t know the full truth is but can anyone remember the last time MC Hammer got into legal trouble, besides the bankruptcy situation from years ago? People do have mental lapses and it often results in bad situations but this sounds a littlr weird.
Hammer was cited and will have to appear in court next month; police will then decide whether or not they’ll file charges against him.