Excessive Force

All of the people listed below lost their lives when they encountered law enforcement who erroneously thought the victim was reaching for a weapon.

Marquis Jones -- Jordan Baker -- Zikarious Jaquan Flint -- Jonathan Ferrell -- Kimani Gray -- Leon Ford -- Malissa Williams -- Timothy Russell -- Tyler Comstock -- Anton Barrett -- Kendrec McDade -- Ramarley Graham -- Rekia Boyd -- Wendell Allen -- Alonzo Ashley -- Aiyana Jones -- Danroy Henry -- Steven Eugene Washington -- Victor Steen -- Kiwane Carrington -- Oscar Grant -- Tarika Wilson -- James Brissette -- Kathryn Johnston -- Sean Bell -- Ronald Madison -- Travares McGill -- Timothy Stansbury Jr -- Deandre Brunston -- Kendra James -- Orlando Barlow -- Ousmane Zongo -- Patrick Dorismond -- Amadou Diallo -- Tyisha Miller

Police involved shooting statistics are hard to come by, many of the articles on this page address this troubling issue.

The CHP’s Thug Life: Justice for Marlene Pinnock

CHP Beating

Sikivu Hutchinson: There is no question that a video with an older defenseless white woman lying prone on the ground being knocked senseless by an officer of color (or a white cop, for that matter) would’ve had the entire nation up in arms demanding the officer’s immediate termination and prosecution.

DA Jackie Lacey Should Investigate Lygagate

Jackie Lacey 375

Jasmyne Cannick: The LAPD had determined that based on Gaines’ wearing expensive designer suits and shirts, his many credit cards, and lavish spending habits that he was engaged in some kind of misconduct and had him under investigation.

LAPD’s Lygagate Draws Investigation Calls

Lygagate

Jasmyne Cannick: Law enforcement agencies including the LAPD are always encouraging us to say something if we see something. Someone saw something and they said something and sadly the LAPD did nothing–that is until it was breaking news.

LAPD Detective Wishes He Could Have Killed More of ‘Them’

Detective Frank Lyga

Jasmyne Cannick: Lyga is proof that the LAPD still employs, harbors, and aids and abets many of the same racist officers it had 20 years ago. They’ve just moved up in the ranks and aren’t necessarily today’s beat cops. But they’re still there.

California Supreme Court Rules for Police Transparency

Police Transparency

Peter Bibring: There’s no reason that shootings should be anonymous, and this week’s ruling rightly makes clear that even general evidence that officers might face retaliation isn’t enough to withhold information; there must be a specific threat of violence.

A Civilian Review Board for the LA County Sheriff’s Department

Civilian Review Board

Even with the creation of an Office of the Inspector General, there remains a need for a high-level body of nonpolitical leaders, who are held in high regard by the community and can focus exclusively on the time consuming task of LASD oversight.

Police Shoot Unarmed Black Man, Again

Keivon Young2

Sharon Kyle: So now I’m intrigued and confused. If he was mistaken for the murder suspect, why would he have to cop a plea and why is he behind bars, and why haven’t the bullets been removed and oh yeah – why was he shot in the first place?

Warrior Cops

warrior cops

Jamala Rogers: Since police have these super toys, they feel compelled to use them resulting over-reactions and over-kill such as botched raids and deadly encounters with innocent citizens.

California: The Thrill Is Gone

kelly thomas

Jim Rhodes: The police, an institution I was so proudly once part of, has, in some cities, degraded to tools of the ruling elite.

Dis-membering Stonewall

stonewall

Rev. Irene Monroe: The Stonewall Riot started on the backs of working class African American and Latino queers who have been bleached from its written history.

Rodney King Dead: How He Put Police Brutality on the Map

rodney king

David Love: It is ironic that Rodney King died on the day that Rev. Al Sharpton led a march to protest New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “stop and frisk” policy.

Gay May

Carl Matthes: Obama kicked public awareness/acceptance of marriage equality into high gear. The covers of the nation’s major magazines competed for which could best portray Obama’s historic announcement.

“4 Winds” People’s Power Car and Bike Caravan — May 1st

we are la

For May 1st, 2012 Occupy Los Angeles is organizing around a “4 Winds” People’s Power Car and Bike Caravan through the urban sprawl of Los Angeles that will culminate in Direct Action in and around the Financial District

Feeding Off Latino Misery

Willie Velásquez

Rudy Acuña: As a group Latino politicos have not been especially progressive. Indeed, they have been less than courageous when it comes to police brutality and capital punishment.

Medical Self Defense and the Black Panther Party

Alondra Nelson

In her new book, Columbia professor Alondra Nelson documents the multifaceted (and under-reported) health activism of the Panthers.

Can Civilians Arrest Cops?

pepper spray

Jeff Norman: Maybe the top cops and mayors of other American cities should visit Los Angeles, enjoy a few bong hits with Chief Beck and discuss how to treat peaceful demonstrators humanely.

Occupy the Bill of Rights

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Stephen Box: The students who witnessed the pepper spray assault began to chant “Shame on you!” while maintaining their distance.

Occupy Wall Street Shut Down

police brutality

Sharon Kyle: In a surprise sweep in New York City, while many of the Occupiers were asleep, the New York City Police Department entered the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park and cleared it out.

Occupy the Winter of Our Discontent

tax fairness

David Swanson: Above all: stay! Continue to hold public space! Grow, and rotate people. No single person need stay forever. But the 99% of the 99% that cheers from the sidelines needs to get into the squares and parks.

Civil Disobedience as a Strategy for the Occupy Movement

tom hayden on keith olbermann

Tom Hayden: If there’s enough people and they all sit down and say “We want to appeal to a jury of our peers, which is our Constitutional right,” that’s something that should make the decision makers take pause because I don’t think juries are going to convict these people.

Why Libertarians Should Not Scorn Occupy Wall Street

occupy wall street

Wendy McElroy: Protesters have been maced, beaten, and arrested by the police for peacefully exercising their right to free assembly and free speech. Libertarians who put their disapproval first and foremost are missing the proper emphasis.

Occupy Portland Is Born with Ten Thousand Strong

occupy portland

Shamus Cooke: It should be no surprise that a city dubbed “Little Beirut” by President Bush Senior — due to the large protests against him — began its “occupation” on a level on par with Wall Street.

Baca Must Go

lee-baca-wide

Peter Eliasberg: The voices have been there for years, if you were listening – horrific stories of abuse of inmates at Los Angeles County jails; not by other inmates, but by the deputies guarding them.

London’s Youth Are Falling Down

london riots

Mariah Adin: Let this serve as a warning: of the danger of creating a class of young people who have no stake in society, and thereby have nothing to lose by destroying it.

China Needs Martin Luther King

mlk memorial

David Love: As America awaits the August 28 opening of the King National Memorial in Washington, D.C., this is a perfect time to reflect on the leader’s accomplishments, legacy, and commitment to justice, equality and nonviolent social change.

Cops Are Missing the Bad Guys While Profiling the Black Guys

Joe Morgan

David Love: Reading 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today made me angry, not because the subject matter was brand new to me, but because it was far too familiar – not only as a black man, but also as a human rights advocate who worked with police brutality victims and their families back in the 1990s, and decided to go to law school as a result.

State Department Approved Export of U.S.-Made Tear Gas to Egyptian Gov’t

tear gas

Marian Wang: The American-made tear gas used to disperse pro-democracy protestors in Egypt earlier this week was sold to the country after government review.

Another Mexican National Allegedly Shot by Border Patrol

arturo sarukhan

Andrea Nill: Regardless of which side is right, the incident presents yet another disturbing case of what appears to be excessive force.

Pheasant Season in New Orleans

lower 9th

Megan E. Paredes: A lack of return of city services to the Lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood whose residents are mostly African American, is symbolic of a lack of motivation to help a culture in crisis.

Van Jones, Man on a Mission

Van Jones is one of the founders of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a non-profit organization based in Oakland, CA. Before Van Jones joined the Obama Administration, he was one of the founders of The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, an organization that started as a vehicle for the fight for fair treatment by the police but broadened its reach to human rights for all.

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