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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  • Garner
    A grand jury has reportedly cleared the New York City police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. A father of six, Garner died after police wrestled him to the ground and pinned him down.
    December 03, 2014 | Web Exclusive
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    As protests continue over the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the United States is facing pressure internationally over its failure to put a halt to police brutality. In a new report, the United Nations Committee Against Torture expresses deep concern over the "frequent and recurrent police shootings or fatal pursuits of unarmed black individuals." The Committee also criticizes a number of other U.S. practices on...
    December 03, 2014 | Story
  • 1202_seg2_handsupwalkoutv2
    Responding to the protests in Ferguson and cities nationwide, President Obama has announced several new actions: a new task force to come up with concrete steps for "building public trust" in police forces nationwide; a $263 million "community policing initiative," which includes $75 million to provide body cameras for around 50,000 police officers; and an executive order that will tighten rules on the provision of...
    December 02, 2014 | Story
  • Amys_column_default_640x360_2014
    By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan
    “As long as justice is postponed we always stand on the verge of these darker nights of social disruption.” So said Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech on March 14, 1968, just three weeks before he was assassinated.
    November 27, 2014 | Columns & Articles
  • 2014-1118_seg1_ferguson-3
    Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in advance of the grand jury’s pending decision in the Michael Brown shooting case. On Monday, Nixon issued an executive order to activate the state’s National Guard in response to what he called "the possibility of expanded unrest." Nixon cited the protests in Ferguson and the St. Louis area since Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was killed by police officer Darren...
    November 18, 2014 | Story
  • October22_police_brutality
    "From Ferguson to NYC, Stop Police Brutality" was the chant by parents of police victims and their allies who marked a national day of protest.
    October 22, 2014 | Web Exclusive
  • Booker
    As Denver faces a string of police brutality cases, a federal jury has awarded a historic $4.6 million in damages to the family of a homeless preacher killed while he was in the booking area of the Denver jail. Marvin Booker died after he was grabbed and then piled on by a team of officers who handcuffed him, put him in a chokehold and tasered him. The coroner ruled his death a homicide, but prosecutors declined to charge the deputies...
    October 17, 2014 | Story
  • Jesse_williams_ferguson
    When Democracy Now! was in St. Louis to report on Ferguson October, we spoke with Grey’s Anatomy actor and activist Jesse Williams, who joined thousands in calling for police accountability and justice for Michael Brown.
    October 13, 2014 | Web Exclusive
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    Since the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown two months ago, protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, have defied a militarized crackdown and taken to the streets to call for the arrest of police officer Darren Wilson, who shot him. Their efforts have made Ferguson the ground zero for the movement against police brutality and racial bias. Democracy Now! was there this weekend when thousands of people traveled to St. Louis to take part in...
    October 13, 2014 | Story
  • S2-ferguson-october
    Demonstrations over the police killing of an unarmed teenager in St. Louis, Missouri, continued for a second night ahead of a national weekend of action in nearby Ferguson over the police killing of Michael Brown two months ago. Organizers have invited the Brown family to take part. Dr. Cornel West and actor Harry Belafonte are also among those expected to attend the events, which include a mass march and a planned act of civil disobedience....
    October 10, 2014 | Story