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.

Image Credit: flickr.com/ep_jhu
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  • Cecilymcmillancase
    An Occupy Wall Street activist has been found guilty of assaulting a New York City police officer in a trial that critics say should have been about the police assaulting her. Cecily McMillan was arrested in March 2012 as protesters tried to re-occupy Zuccotti Park, six months after Occupy began. McMillan was convicted of deliberately striking Officer Grantley Bovell with her elbow, leaving him with a black eye. McMillan says she swung her arm...
    May 06, 2014 | Story
  • Apd-shooting-1
    Outrage is growing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after the latest incident in a spate of police shootings. Video footage captured by a police helmet camera shows officers killing James Boyd, a homeless man who appeared to be surrendering to them at a campsite where he was sleeping. Boyd is seen picking up his belongings and turning away when officers deploy a flash grenade and then fire six live rounds at him from yards away. The Albuquerque...
    April 01, 2014 | Story
  • Olsen
    Scott Olsen survived two tours in Iraq but almost died when he was hit with a police projectile at an Occupy Oakland protest in 2011. He was hospitalized in critical condition with a fractured skull, a broken neck vertebrae and brain swelling. At the time of the shooting, Olsen was wearing fatigues and a Veterans for Peace T-shirt. Moments after he was shot, police fired a bright flash grenade at a group of Occupy protesters who attempted to...
    March 21, 2014 | Story
  • De-blasio-bratton
    New York City’s newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the city will drop its appeal of a ruling by a U.S. district court that found the New York City Police Department’s controversial "stop-and-frisk" program unconstitutional and settle an ongoing lawsuit. In August, Judge Shira Scheindlin criticized the police for relying on a "policy of indirect racial profiling" that led officers to routinely stop...
    January 31, 2014 | Story
  • Stopandfriskreplacethumb
    A sweeping set of changes to the New York City Police Department’s controversial "stop-and-frisk" program has been put on hold. In August, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin found the program unconstitutional, saying police had relied on a "policy of indirect racial profiling" that led officers to routinely stop "blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white." While she did not...
    November 01, 2013 | Story
  • Greyson-loubani1
    As Egypt sets a date for ousted President Mohamed Morsi to stand trial for inciting the murder of protesters and the Muslim Brotherhood calls for mass demonstrations, we speak with two people who witnessed one of the bloodiest massacres of Morsi supporters by Egyptian state forces. Acclaimed Toronto filmmaker John Greyson and emergency room medical doctor Tarek Loubani were in Cairo on August 16, en route to a humanitarian mission in Gaza,...
    November 01, 2013 | Story
  • Column_default
    By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan

    Elsa Cruz filed a federal lawsuit in New York this week, months after police shot her husband dead.

    October 23, 2013 | Columns & Articles
  • Mrs._bah
    As the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation holds protests in several cities today, we bring you the shocking story of Mohamed Bah, a 28-year-old college student from the African nation of Guinea. He was shot dead by New York City police officers on September 25, 2012. Police arrived at Mohamed Bah’s apartment after his mother, Hawa Bah, called 911 because she thought he was...
    October 22, 2013 | Story
  • Mrs_cruz
    On May 26, Elsa Cruz called 911 because she was worried her husband, Samuel Cruz, had stopped taking his medication for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Police from New Rochelle, New York, soon arrived. By the time they had left, Cruz had been shot dead. Police claimed he lunged at officers with a knife. Cruz was a 48-year-old artist from Puerto Rico. The Cruz family is filing a lawsuit against the New Rochelle Police Department today. We...
    October 22, 2013 | Story
  • Memphis_police_car
    The civil rights lawsuits filed by the families of Samuel Cruz and Mohamed Bah, both murdered by police after family members called 911 for medical assistance, include a call to train police how to handle crisis intervention and how to respond to calls for help with people who are emotionally disturbed. Unlike the 2,500 communities in over 40 states, New York City and New Rochelle police do not have crisis intervention teams designed by mental...
    October 22, 2013 | Story