All Articles Tagged "police"

Clean It Up: Ferguson Judge Dismisses All Arrest Warrants Before 2015

August 25th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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The Ferguson Police Department was so corrupt that yesterday Judge Donald McCullin announced that he was withdrawing every single arrest warrant issued before December 31, 2014.

Judge Donald McCullin, who was appointed to the bench in June, is seeking to restore faith in the city and its authority figures.

With his ruling he said, “These changes should continue the process of restoring confidence in the Court, alleviating fears of the consequences of appearing in Court, and giving many residents a fresh start.”

McCullin’s ruling comes after a report from the Justice Department proved that there was “unlawful bias” against African Americans. The police department previously used arrest warrants “almost exclusively” as a threat to compel payment of fines. A practice that lead McCullin’s predecessor to resign.

As you may well know, the Justice Department performed a thorough investigation into Ferguson policing after 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr.,  unarmed, was shot and killed by former officer Darren Wilson.

Texas Police Officers Channel Aggravation Regarding Current Events With “His Life Matters”

August 16th, 2015 - By Ashley Monaé
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Back in May, Chief Steven Jones (right) and Officer Donald Givens (left) of the Trinity Police Department in Texas took a photo to channel their aggravation with the currents events regarding both police and race relations. It garnered a bit of attention with 400 favorites and retweets. Today, the photo has officially gone viral with 115,000 shares and 25,000 likes thanks to the American Conservatives of Color Facebook group.

A response to the #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter movements, the two police wanted to peacefully share their own point of view and “His Life Matters” was birthed. Givens told CBS that he didn’t “expect the photo to go viral or start a movement, but he’s glad it did.” The now viral photo shows the two men posed together with one hand up with the motto written in black ink on their palms. Recently, Jones and Givens told Fox and Friends that the photo was a joint idea. Chief Jones explained why they took the photo:

“I don’t want to put down law enforcement all together, but there’s so many things that are happening these days that sometimes we can’t stand behind officers that do bad things,” he said. “However, the community and the nation can’t condemn every single officer based on the actions of a few.”

Watch Chief Jones and Officer Givens discuss their “aggravation” with current events regarding the police force.  

True Story: My 16-Year-Old Son Was Arrested

August 3rd, 2015 - By Rich
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Being the mother of two teenage boys is tough, especially in this day and age. Given the most recent sequence of events between young black men and the police, it raises the worry bar a bit. When my boys started venturing out on their own, they got “the talk”. Not the birds & the bees talk. The “How to act when the cops approach you” talk. This has become a mandatory conversation in the majority of households that include young black men. The profiling and possibility of randomly being stopped and searched is very real. People don’t believe it but it happens and will continue to happen. No matter how much you talk and prepare them for a possible encounter, I learned firsthand that it’s a whole different ball game when it actually happens.

My son was out with his friends one afternoon in New York City. They were playing basketball and he decided to ride a Citibike home because it looked like it was going to rain. We live about 12 blocks from where he was coming from so he figured riding the Citibike would help him get home before the rain. He’s black. He was wearing a hoodie. He became an instant target. Being a novice rider, he sometimes rides on the opposite side of the street. But as we all know, the bike riders in NYC rarely adhere to the bike rules and are rarely stopped for their actions by the police. An unmarked car followed my son for about ten blocks before they approached him.
I was at an evening work event and I happened to step out to text a client. The venue I was in had poor service so when I got outside, a series of text messages dropped in. A few were from my mom who was alerting me that my son had not made it home and it was past his curfew He was not answering phone calls or text messages. As a mother, that is an instant red flag. I started calling and texting him and his friends. After a few minutes, I received a call from a “No Caller ID” number. I rarely answer those but given the circumstances, I did. It was an officer from my neighborhood precinct telling me that they had my son in custody for stealing a Citibike. “Don’t bother coming to the station. He will be at court in the morning.” I couldn’t have gathered my things fast enough. I was at that precinct in less than 5 minutes.
When I got there, the arresting officer was standing at the desk. The tone of his voice on the phone was very different now that I was standing in the precinct. First and foremost, my son didn’t steal the Citibike. The bike was legally rented with a Citibike tag. He told them that several times but that didn’t seem to matter. They booked and processed him AFTER checking out the facts. Being booked meant he had to go to Central Booking (the Tombs) and wait to see the judge, like all the other adults that were arrested that night. My son is 16 years old, a minor. According to the courts though, if you are arrested at 16, you are legally considered an adult. That’s some BS because any other time, he’s just a kid. I mean, he can’t even vote!
The officer told me that my son was “well behaved and cooperated with their demands.” Of course he did, he was schooled well. I didn’t care about any of that. I was trying to speak to someone about taking him home. No crime was committed here. Why was my 16 year old teenage son still in custody? Why was he being sent to the Tombs for the night if no crime was committed? I asked several times why couldn’t I take him home? “He has to go through the process.”
My heart sank as I thought about my 16 year old son being held and carted around like a criminal. The officer brought him to the phone and allowed him to call me. I could see him in the holding cell because this particular precinct’s holding section has a lot of glass. I spoke to him and he could see me. I told him that I needed him to stay calm because I couldn’t take him home. I did everything I could not to cry because he could see me and I knew he would freak out. The officer told me that my son was more worried about me and how I was going to react than even being arrested. The officer gave him money and quarters so that he could keep in contact with me wherever they took him. I think they realized that the kid they profiled, was really just that…a kid. Even though he was scheduled to see the judge the next day, there was a small chance that he would have to go to Rikers if he wasn’t seen. The weekend was coming and the officer told me that people don’t stay in the Tombs during the weekend. I panicked.
Sleep was not an option. I waited for him to call me. I called the precinct to find out where he was. If he was okay. I was at court bright and early to find out more information. He wasn’t seen by the judge until almost 4 o’clock the next day, and that was because I was pressing them to bring him upstairs. His legal aid initially refused to discuss the “details of the case” with me because according to the court, he is an adult and in full control of the situation. After one of my “ mom” rants, she realized that I meant business and played her cards a little differently. Now that she sees that this case is BS at its finest, she is helping us get the charges dismissed. When the judge saw the charges, which had been downgraded, she made a face, rolled her eyes, and redirected the case out of criminal court.
We are still fighting to have the charges dismissed because ultimately, no crime was committed. The court dates are pushed back further and further, keeping him in the system even longer. I could pay 5G’s for a lawyer to make it all go away faster but that’s all part of the hustle. This whole court system is a hustle. Keeping people in jail is a business. Everybody gets paid. If for any reason he gets stopped by the police at any given time, he can be arrested and held for even longer because he has alleged “pending charges”.
While I am still livid that this is even a situation we are dealing with, I am grateful because this could have gone very differently. Trayvon Martin had Skittles and a hoodie. Other young men were empty handed. My son was riding a Citibike and wearing the color of his skin.That was enough to make him a suspect to a crime he didn’t even commit.

NYPD Chief Says Hiring Black Cops Is Challenging Because “Many Have Spent Time In Jail”

June 10th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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.

White Officer Charged With Murder In The Shooting Death Of A Black Man

April 7th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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White Officer Charged With Murder In The Shooting Death Of A Black Man

Source: New York Times

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.

 

Mom Arrested After Asking Cops to Teach Her Son a Lesson

March 23rd, 2015 - By Rich
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Feature Image: DNAInfo.com

Last April when 29-year-old mom Tyeesha Mobley caught her youngest son stealing a ten dollar bill from her purse, she decided to teach him an important life lesson and hopefully keep him from seeing the inside of a jail cell in the future by calling the police. Little did she know that that phone call would result not only in her being arrested and allegedly beaten by the police, but her children being abused in foster care. What went so terribly wrong?

According to Mobley, once she made the 911 call, four police officers responded and she met them at a nearby gas station with her children.

“Three of them was joking around with my son,” Mobley told The Huffington Post. One of the officers told her four-year-old son, Keyshawn, that he would “end up in the police car if he kept stealing.”

The fourth officer, however, seemed to be irate about the situation.

According to the young mother’s lawsuit against the New York City Police Department, the unidentified officer complained, “This is not our job. You black b–ches don’t know how to take care of your kids.

“You need to call the kids’ father, not us,” he added. “We can’t raise your kids. Why are you wasting our time? We aren’t here to raise your kid. Why don’t you take your f–king kid and leave?!”

Mobley attempted to do just that, leading Tyleke, 9, and Keyshawn back to their apartment.

“Oh, where do you think you’re going?” Tyeesha says the officer yelled before grabbing her arm and handcuffing her wrists. Mobley asked why she was be being arrested, to which the officer allegedly responded, “If you’re going to say another f–king word I’m going to knock your teeth down your throat.”

The two boys watched their mom arrested; being thrown against the police car with her legs were kicked.

At that time a female officer drove to the scene, rolled down her window and cried out to Mobley’s aggressor, “We are not supposed to act like this.”

His response: “Black b–ches like that. This is how I treat them.”

Later, Mobley was transported from the jail to the hospital to treat the bruises on her legs.

Due to the pending lawsuit, the NYPD will not comment on the arrest, but Mobley’s lawyer, Philip Sporn, told The Huffington Post that she was charged with child endangerment. That charge was ultimately dismissed months later, but far too late for Tyeesha and her boys who were taken into custody by The Administration for Child Services and turned over to a foster parent.

The lawsuit alleges that  during one of her supervised visits with her children, Mobley witnessed the foster mother “forcibly and violently strike, shove, and push Keyshawn through a doorway when it seemed that no one was watching.”

The suit also places blame on the foster mother, who spoke only Spanish, for an injury that Keyshawn suffered while in her care. Allegedly, his right hand was “horribly burned” and the wound was never treated at a hospital.

At first this had all the makings of one of those “See, not all cops are bad” stories that were being pushed in the wake of Ferguson. But what were those three other officers doing while Mobley was being arrested and assaulted?

Would any of this have happened if Tyeesha Mobley weren’t black? She doesn’t seem to think so.

“I didn’t commit any crime. I believe that the officer didn’t like black people.”

“I just didn’t want my kids getting incarcerated,” Mobley said, explaining why she placed the 911 call that April day. “The one person who I thought would help me turned their backs on me.” But maybe there were a few others who turned their backs on Tyeesha and her sons long before those officers did.

As painstakingly hard as it is to agree with someone who seems to be filled with so much hate, where were the other people in Tyeesha’s life who probably could’ve helped to get through to her son, without getting the police involved? Because if anything, as good as her intentions may have been, she appears to have been blind to the plight of black men and their relationship with police over the years. Maybe she was being optimistic, but unfortunately, her story has only built more distrust in a struggle that doesn’t seem to be improving anytime soon. Especially when many people’s first reaction to her story was to question why she trusted the police to handle the situation at all.

Perhaps the 911 call wasn’t necessary. Maybe it was both the wrong place and the wrong time (and maybe a little much for a ten dollar bill out of her own purse). But were the four police officers called to the scene necessary? What was is that Mobley said to the 911 operator to get that kind of response? What were the other three officers doing as Tyeesha was being arrested? Will the fourth officer even be punished for his bad behavior? And how did she manage to get charged with child endangerment when she was clearly just trying to do her best as mother to mold her son into a responsible young man?

Tyeesha and her sons were reunited last summer. The boys are in school and Mobley says the entire family is also in therapy after having suffered the trauma from the arrest and the four months that they were forced to spend apart.

To say that Tyeesha Mobley’s view of the police is damaged after her ordeal would be a vast understatement. The 29-year-old says that these days, she walks in the other direction when she sees an officer on the street; viewing them as “someone out to harm me.”

Her hope is that the lawsuit that she filed in the Bronx Supreme Court will at least let the city know how her family was “destroyed.” One could also hope that much more is taken away from this case…for all sides.

 

What do you think MommyNoire? Should Tyeesha Mobley have called the police on her son? Do you trust that the officers involved will be punished at all?

Target Practice: Outrageous Police Behavior Unearthed After Eric Garner

January 22nd, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

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.

Police Tell Brooklyn Teens To Get Out Of Their Park Slope Neighborhood

October 3rd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

 

 

From BlackVoices

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

August 26th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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ABC News

ABC News

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:


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Tragic News: Man Killed By Police After Running To Them For Help

September 15th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"Jonathan Ferrell"

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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.