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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  • Policebrutality3
    In a major new report, the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations details a global crackdown on peaceful protests through excessive police force and the criminalization of dissent. The report, "Take Back the Streets: Repression and Criminalization of Protest Around the World," warns of a growing tendency to perceive individuals exercising a fundamental democratic right — the right to protest — as a threat...
    October 10, 2013 | Story
  • Michelle_alexander_1
    "Justice for Trayvon" protests are planned in more than 100 cities this weekend as activists seek federal charges against George Zimmerman and the repeal of "Stand Your Ground" laws in Florida and dozens of other states. We speak with Michelle Alexander, a law professor at Ohio State University and author of the best-selling book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." Alexander says...
    July 17, 2013 | Story
  • Operationghettostorm1
    According to a recent study, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his killer is not unique. In "Operation Ghetto Storm," the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) found at least 136 unarmed African Americans were killed by police, security guards and self-appointed vigilantes in 2012. Overall, one black person was killed in an extrajudicial shooting every 28 hours. We speak with Kali Akuno, a longtime MXGM...
    July 17, 2013 | Story
  • New_york_protester
    Civil rights groups are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman after he was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. A petition launched by the NAACP gathered more than 225,000 signatures in the first few hours after Zimmerman was acquitted, temporarily causing the group’s website to crash. The Justice Department responded Sunday that it is continuing to evaluate...
    July 15, 2013 | Story
  • Fruitvale-1
    Watch Democracy Now!'s interview with the director of the feature film, "Fruitvale Station," which opens in theaters nationwide this week. "I've seen these kind of things happen before, instances of police brutality and instances of urban violence, and people riot and rally," Ryan Coogler told Democracy Now! when we spoke to him at the Sundance Film Festival. "I felt that myself, as an artist and as a...
    July 12, 2013 | Web Exclusive
  • Stop_and_frisk
    A historic trial is underway challenging the New York City Police Department’s controversial "stop-and-frisk" policy as unconstitutional and unfairly targeting people of color. Recent data shows the vast majority of the five million people stopped and frisked by the NYPD over the past decade are African American or Latino, with nearly 90 percent neither ticketed nor arrested. We play secretly recorded police tapes heard in the...
    April 04, 2013 | Story
  • Ryan_coogler-fuitvale
    "Fruitvale" tells the story of Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old Bay Area resident who was shot dead by a transit police officer in Oakland on New Year’s Day in 2009. On Saturday, the film won both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. First-time, 26-year-old director Ryan Coogler accepted the prizes at the Sundance awards ceremony. [includes...
    January 28, 2013 | Story
  • Fruitvale-1
    It was four years ago this month that Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African American, was shot to death by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer on New Year’s Day in Oakland, California. Portraying the last day of his life, the new dramatic film "Fruitvale" has become one of the most talked-about films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. We’re joined by the director, 26-year-old first-time filmmaker Ryan Coogler,...
    January 25, 2013 | Story
  • Chamberlain_vigil
    We turn now to the latest in the police killing of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., the 68-year-old African-American Marine veteran who was shot dead by police inside his own home in White Plains, New York. Steve Hart, the White Plains police officer accused of calling Chamberlain the "N-word" shortly before Chamberlain was shot dead, has been suspended without pay. Earlier this month, Chamberlain’s family filed a $21 million civil...
    July 24, 2012 | Story
  • Diaz_anaheim
    Police in the California city of Anaheim are facing allegations of murder and brutality after fatally shooting two Latino men over the weekend and firing rubber bullets at crowds of protesters. On Saturday, Anaheim police shot and killed 24-year-old Manuel Diaz after he reportedly ran away from a group of officers who confronted him in the street. Diaz was unarmed. Hours after his death, a chaotic scene broke out when police fired rubber...
    July 24, 2012 | Story