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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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  • Buttons-ferguson-4
    After the fourth day of protests over Michael Brown’s death, authorities have declared a state of emergency in St. Louis County, drawing worldwide attention. We look at the state of the Black Lives Matter movement and the art world with two participants in the Creative Time Summit alongside the Venice Biennale in Italy. "At the moment we are dealing with Black Lives Matter and the violence against black and brown people in the...
    August 11, 2015 | Story
  • Fergusonprotests
    Michael Brown’s death and the Ferguson protests that followed sparked a national conversation about race and policing that is far from over.
    August 09, 2015 | Web Exclusive
  • Buttons-dubose-2
    Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing has been released on a $1 million bail after pleading not guilty to the murder of Sam DuBose. Tensing, who is white, fatally shot the 43-year-old African-American man on July 19 after stopping him for not having a front license plate. Two additional officers, Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt, have been placed on administrative leave. Meanwhile, new information shows that Officer...
    July 31, 2015 | Story
  • Column_default
    By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan

    A stunning indictment has been handed down in Cincinnati, focusing attention again on police killings of people of color. This is a start for accountability and justice. Cleveland should pay attention. As the thousand people gathered there last weekend said clearly, “Black Lives Matter.”

    July 30, 2015 | Columns & Articles
  • Sam_dubose
    In Ohio, a grand jury has indicted a University of Cincinnati police officer on murder charges for shooting Sam DuBose, an unarmed African-American man. Police officer Ray Tensing fatally shot DuBose on July 19, after pulling him over for not having a front license plate.
    July 30, 2015 | Web Exclusive
  • Blandfuneral_useme
    Hundreds gathered Saturday to remember Sandra Bland at the suburban Chicago church she attended for decades before moving to Waller County, Texas, where she was set to begin a new job but was then discovered dead in her jail cell after a traffic stop escalated into an arrest. The 28-year-old African-American woman’s family members stood before her open casket as they continued to dispute law enforcement claims she hung herself with the liner...
    July 27, 2015 | Story
  • Buttons-storycorp-2
    We feature a video just released by the oral history project StoryCorps called "Traffic Stop," in which Alex Landau, an African-American man, recalls how he was raised by his adoptive white parents to believe that skin color didn’t matter. But when he was pulled over by Denver police officers in 2009, he lost his belief in a color-blind world when he was nearly beaten to death. Alex and his white adoptive mother, Patsy Hathaway,...
    July 27, 2015 | Story
  • Buttons-blacklivesmatterconference-2
    More than a thousand Black Lives Matter supporters converged in Cleveland, Ohio, this weekend for a historic conference to raise national attention about police brutality and other pressing issues, including immigration rights, economic justice and LGBTQ rights. During the opening ceremony, family members of more than 20 African Americans killed by police took to the stage to speak about why they continue to fight for justice. Democracy Now!’s...
    July 27, 2015 | Story
  • Buttons-segmentone-1
    Law enforcement officials in Waller County, Texas, have concluded that the cause of Sandra Bland’s death in police custody was suicide. But Bland’s family and friends dispute claims she was suicidal, and say there is no evidence she previously tried to kill herself before her traffic stop escalated into an arrest. We are joined by Sharon Cooper, who is Sandra Bland’s sister. Also with us is Cannon Lambert, the attorney representing...
    July 24, 2015 | Story
  • Butttons-hd-segmenttwo-brighterpicture
    As a Movement for Black Lives Convening is set to take place this weekend in Cleveland, we discuss the case of Sandra Bland and many others who have died in the custody of law enforcement with the three founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. Patrisse Cullors is the director of Truth and Reinvestment at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, California, and the founder of Dignity and Power Now, a grassroots organization in Los...
    July 24, 2015 | Story