Police Brutality Topics

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Democracy Now! has documented scandals of police brutality across the country. Scroll through the stories below to see our coverage of the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and protests calling for the arrest of the officer who shot him. In New York City we reported on the death of Eric Garner after police placed him in a chokehold as he repeatedly told them, "I can’t breathe!" The encounter was recorded by an onlooker using his smartphone. We have also documented the killing of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a 68-year-old Marine veteran shot by police inside his own home after he mistakenly set off his LifeAid medical alert pendant. In 2011-2012 we covered the police crackdown on the Occupy movement, and spoke to Scott Olsen, who survived two tours in Iraq but nearly died when he was hit with a police projectile at an Occupy Oakland protest. We also interview loved ones of police victims, and feature conversations with advocates like Michelle Alexander, author of the best-selling book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

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    Oakland police stormed the Occupy Oakland protest encampment outside City Hall just before 5:00 a.m. PDT. Police lobbed flash grenades and reportedly fired tear gas. Initial reports say at least 70 people have been arrested and the police tore apart the protest camp. We get a live report from the park by legal observer Marcus Kryshka. Nearly 2,500 people have now been arrested in protests since the start of Occupy Wall Street movement on...
    October 25, 2011 | Story
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    Princeton University professor and renowned civil rights activist Cornel West was arrested Friday afternoon during a demonstration in Harlem against alleged racial profiling by the New York City Police Department. West joined a protest against the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, which critics say disproportionately targets people of color. New York City police carried out 600,000 such searches last year, with 87 percent of the targets...
    October 24, 2011 | Story
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    From Buenos Aires to Toronto, Kuala Lumpur to London, hundreds of thousands of people rallied on Saturday in a global day of action against corporate greed and budget cutbacks, demanding better living conditions and a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources. Protests reportedly took place in 1,500 cities, including 100 cities in the United States—all in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement that launched one month ago in...
    October 17, 2011 | Story
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    It was a month ago today that Occupy Wall Street began in Manhattan’s Financial District. The protest encampment based at Zuccotti Park remains and continues to grow despite last week’s threatened eviction by the City of New York. On Saturday, thousands of protesters marched from Zuccotti Park to Times Square, the heart of New York’s media, tourism and entertainment district. Earlier in the day, about two dozen people were...
    October 17, 2011 | Story
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    Occupy Wall Street protesters are celebrating in Manhattan’s Financial District today after successfully defying orders to evacuate the encampment they have held for nearly four weeks. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had said Zuccotti Park — renamed Liberty Plaza by protesters — would have to be cleared by 7:00 a.m. following a request by its owners that it be cleaned. Thousands of people began congregating in the...
    October 14, 2011 | Story
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    Speaking from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, attorney Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights says New York City’s efforts to displace Occupy Wall Street protesters in order to clean the park violates their First Amendment rights and would have led to a major confrontation. "Apart from the illegality of it, it was just too massive," Ratner says. "It would have been a bloodbath. The idea that they were...
    October 14, 2011 | Story
  • October 9th is a day that will not soon be forgotten in Egypt. Chaos and bloodshed engulfed the streets of Cairo in some of the worst violence the country has seen since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak eight months ago. Read Democracy Now!'s Sharif Abdel Kouddous' report on the latest developments for The Nation.
    October 11, 2011 | Web Exclusive
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    We speak with Iraqi-American singer-songwriter and activist Stephan Said, who joined Occupy Wall Street after working with the the antiwar movement since the 1990s. "I have been raised an all-American guy who had to deal with the fact that my family was being bombed in the first and biggest war of globalization," says Said. "I had to realize from the very beginning that the only way to stop it was to create this movement that...
    October 11, 2011 | Story
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    As the nation marked Columbus Day on Monday, indigenous groups led a rally at Occupy Wall Street exposing the history behind Christopher Columbus and the impact his "discovery" had on the Americas. "We’re here to say that Columbus is not a day," said Roberto "Múcaro" Borrero of the United Confederation of Taíno People. "We’re here to join with other people’s voices in saying there needs to...
    October 11, 2011 | Story
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    "The moral clarity of this movement is what I think has moved people to get up and walk and be in motion," says Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation magazine. "And what’s so interesting to me is—I was here last Wednesday for the march to Foley Square—that so many groups, which have been trying to get some energy, are finding the spark in here and coming together." [includes rush transcript]
    October 11, 2011 | Story