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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.

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  • Kweli-1
    World-renowned hip-hop artist Talib Kweli and longtime activist Rosa Clemente speak out from Ferguson on the shooting of Michael Brown, police brutality, hip-hop and more.
    August 22, 2014 | Web Exclusive
  • Ryandevereauxinferguson
    Protests over the fatal police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown have continued for a 10th night in Ferguson, Missouri. Protesters are calling for the arrest of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot the unarmed teenager six times, including twice in the head. According to The New York Times, Attorney General Eric Holder and top Justice Department officials are weighing whether to open a broader civil rights investigation...
    August 20, 2014 | Story
  • 2014-0819_sekou-4
    In Missouri, Ferguson has seen another night of heavy unrest in the ongoing uproar over the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. At least 31 people, including two journalists, were arrested as street clashes erupted between groups of demonstrators and riot police. Police are claiming they came under "heavy gunfire" and that unknown suspects shot two people over the course of the night. The protests came hours after...
    August 19, 2014 | Story
  • Youngpeopleprotestinferguson
    As protests continue in Ferguson, activists are traveling to Missouri to join the movement in solidarity. We speak with one activist who has just arrived to Ferguson from Florida, Phillip Agnew, the executive director of Dream Defenders, a network of youth of color and their allies who engage in nonviolent civil disobedience and civic engagement to bring about social change. "I came here to be part of resistance," Agnew says....
    August 19, 2014 | Story
  • Fergusonpolicing
    As we continue to discuss the developments since the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer, we turn to john a. powell, professor of law, African American studies and ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. "The black community tends be overpoliced and underprotected," powell says. "That’s...
    August 19, 2014 | Story
  • 0818-seg-01-autopsy-v2
    A private autopsy report has found that Michael Brown — the African-American teenager killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri — was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. Meanwhile, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered the National Guard into Ferguson after another night of protests over the shootings. In a statement, Nixon said he chose to activate the National Guard because of "deliberate, coordinated...
    August 18, 2014 | Story
  • Fergusonpolicechiefjackson
    Community outrage grew in Ferguson, Missouri, over the weekend after the police named the officer who shot Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, after withholding his identity for five days. But in naming Wilson, the police also released video footage showing a young man who appeared to be Brown shoplifting a box of cigarillos from a convenience store. The Ferguson police released the video while continuing to withhold all other details about...
    August 18, 2014 | Story
  • Fergusonprotest
    Protests are continuing in Ferguson, Missouri, over the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager who was shot by police on Saturday. But the mood in Ferguson has changed drastically over the past 24 hours. On Wednesday night, the city looked like a war zone as police fired tear gas, stun grenades and smoke bombs. Police arrested at least 10 people, including a St. Louis alderman and two journalists. But last night the mood...
    August 15, 2014 | Story
  • Fergusonpolice
    The Missouri town of Ferguson looks like a war zone as police fire tear gas, stun grenades and smoke bombs to break up a fifth night of protests over the police shooting of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown. At least 10 people were arrested on Wednesday, including St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, who has been posting video online of the protests and who appeared on Democracy Now! earlier this week. An earlier protest faced a...
    August 14, 2014 | Story
  • Michael-brown
    Protesters in St. Louis, Missouri, are demanding justice in a police shooting that killed an unarmed African-American teen. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death in the suburb of Ferguson on Saturday afternoon. Brown was reportedly walking in the middle of the street with his friend when a police officer drove up and ordered them onto the sidewalk. The St. Louis County Police is claiming Brown physically assaulted the officer and...
    August 12, 2014 | Story