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.

Police Abuse Driven by Primal Instincts

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Charles D. Hayes: What is happening when we witness an officer beating on someone who is clearly no longer resisting is that emotion has taken over and the incident is running on instincts being driven by hormones.

An Insider’s View of the LAPD

Cheryl Dorsey

Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: “LA wouldn’t fare much better than New York in terms of disproportionate rates of stops and frisks and use of force when dealing with black and brown young men.”

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

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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.

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.

Police Shoot Unarmed Black Man, Again

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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

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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.

Dis-membering Stonewall

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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.

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.

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.

Can Civilians Arrest Cops?

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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 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

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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

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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.

Baca Must Go

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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.