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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    We speak with Caroline Brewer of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence about how the killing of Trayvon Martin has brought renewed scrutiny to Florida’s controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, also referred to by critics as the "shoot first" law. Backed by the National Rifle Association, the law expands the right of citizens to claim self-defense in the killing of others. More than 20 states have similar measures...
    March 20, 2012 | Story
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    Michael Moore led hundreds of people from the Left Forum conference to Zuccotti Park on Saturday where hundreds had gathered to reoccupy the park to mark six months since the launch of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which began last September and launched protests around the world that gave voice to "the 99 percent." That night, New York City police officers cleared the park, making at least 73 arrests. Many people reported...
    March 19, 2012 | Story
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    On Saturday, Bahrain arrested and deported two U.S. human rights lawyers, Huwaida Arraf and Radhika Sainath, for their role in recent protests. They were deported Sunday and returned to New York last night. Both Arraf and Sainath are human rights lawyers and members of the Witness Bahrain initiative, which places international observers in the country in the hopes of preventing violence by security forces. Their arrest comes just ahead of the...
    February 13, 2012 | Story
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    The New York City Police Department is under mounting criticism after police shot dead an unarmed teenager inside his own home. Eighteen-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot at close range in his parents’ apartment in the Bronx after being chased into the house by narcotics detectives. Police said they found marijuana in the home and think Graham may have been trying to flush some down the toilet. The NYPD is coming under criticism not only...
    February 08, 2012 | Story
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    Police have arrested more than 400 Occupy Oakland protesters, as well as a number of journalists, in one of the largest mass arrests since the nationwide Occupy protests began last year. When protesters attempted to convert a vacant building into a community center on Saturday, witnesses say police used tear gas, bean bag projectiles and flash grenades. Several hours later, police said some of the protesters broke into City Hall. However,...
    January 30, 2012 | Story
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    As tens of thousands of Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square to mark the first anniversary of the start of the revolution that ended Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade reign, we go to Cairo to speak with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who has reported on the popular uprising since it began. "What happened on January 25th was really an uprising that was 10 years in the making, a growing resistance movement to the Mubarak...
    January 25, 2012 | Story
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    Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous is the central character in the new HBO documentary airing tonight, "In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution." The film chronicles the uprising though the reporting of Kouddous, and it looks at what the protest meant for his uncle, Mohamed Abdel Quddoos, a longtime Egyptian dissident who was arrested dozens of times by the Mubarak regime. We’re joined...
    January 25, 2012 | Story
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    On this eve of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we host a wide-ranging discussion with TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson and author Michelle Alexander about the mass incarceration of African Americans that has rolled back many achievements of the civil rights movement. Today there are more African Americans under correctional control, whether in prison or jail, on probation or on parole, than there were enslaved in 1850. And more...
    January 13, 2012 | Story
  • The New York Times reports how, on Dec. 17, "a linebacker-size officer grabbed the collar of Mr. Devereaux, who wore an ID identifying him as a reporter. The cop jammed a fist into his throat, turning Mr. Devereaux into a de facto battering ram to push back protesters."
    Click here to read the article.
    January 03, 2012 | Web Exclusive
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    Today we look back at 2011, a year that saw the U.S. killing of Osama Bin Laden, the ouster of a dictator in Egypt and the death of one in Libya, the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, and the expansion of the secret U.S. drone war in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Arabian Peninsula. As U.S. troops leave Iraq, thousands of private security contractors remain to guard the U.S. embassy—the largest in the world. The Horn of...
    January 02, 2012 | Story