Police Brutality Topics

15014376865_f88ac2eeb4_o

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
Newest First | Oldest First
  • Baltimore-freddie-gray-vietnam-war-1968-protests-1
    As protests continue in Baltimore and around the country over the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, we are joined by one of the leading longtime activists in the country, Tom Hayden, who is no stranger to police and protest. In 1968, Hayden was a major organizer of demonstrations against the Vietnam War during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He became one of the Chicago 8 and was convicted of crossing state lines to start...
    April 30, 2015 | Story
  • Baltimore-freddie-gray-protests
    Democracy Now! reports from the streets of Baltimore, where an overnight curfew has taken effect following Monday’s riots sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African-American man who died of neck injuries suffered in police custody. Tuesday night, police in riot gear fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters who defied the curfew when it began at 10 p.m. At least 10 people were arrested. But overall, the Baltimore Police...
    April 29, 2015 | Story
  • Baltimore
    For the second time in six months, National Guard troops have been deployed in response to police brutality protests. Baltimore erupted in violence Monday night over the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African-American man who died of neck injuries suffered in police custody after he was arrested for running. Police say at least 27 people were arrested as cars and stores were set on fire, and at least 15 officers were injured. Baltimore...
    April 28, 2015 | Story
  • Freddie-gray-baltimore-police-killing-3
    Protests in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray have entered their fifth day. The 27-year-old African-American man died Sunday from spinal injuries, one week after Baltimore police arrested him. His family and attorney say his voice box was crushed and his spine was "80 percent severed at his neck." A preliminary autopsy report showed Gray died of a spinal injury. Video shot by a bystander shows Gray screaming in apparent agony...
    April 23, 2015 | Story
  • South-carolina-scott-shooting-protest-black-lives-matter-2
    Protests were held from coast to coast on Tuesday in a day of action against police violence and racial profiling. The protests came as the sheriff’s reserve deputy, who fatally shot Eric Harris in Oklahoma, turned himself in to authorities. Robert Bates said he thought he was using his Taser instead of his gun when he killed Harris earlier this month. Bates is a wealthy insurance executive and heavy donor to the Tulsa Police Department,...
    April 15, 2015 | Story
  • Filmingpolice
    Over the past week, video of police killings of unarmed African Americans in South Carolina and in Oklahoma has led to charges against the officers who fired the fatal shots. Meanwhile, 10 sheriff’s deputies have been suspended in California after a news helicopter filmed them kicking and punching a suspect as he lay face down in the desert after a chase. As video proves decisive in holding police accountable for abuses nationwide, we...
    April 14, 2015 | Story
  • Black-lives-matter-protest
    Cries of "Black Lives Matter" continue to ring out across the country after new police killings of unarmed African Americans. Over the weekend in South Carolina, the funeral was held in North Charleston for Walter Scott, the black man who fled a traffic stop and was fatally shot in the back by police officer Michael Slager. Video of the incident taken by a bystander forced the police to retract its initial defense of Slager and see...
    April 14, 2015 | Story
  • Orta_aunt_background_release
    Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner’s fatal chokehold on Staten Island, has been released from jail after his aunt and lawyers were interviewed on Democracy Now!
    April 13, 2015 | Web Exclusive
  • Mumia-abu-jamal-scott-slager
    Imprisoned journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal has spoken out from a prison infirmary about the police killing of Walter Scott in South Carolina. Abu-Jamal, who is seriously ill at SCI Mahanoy, rose from his infirmary bed to record the commentary after a fellow prisoner wheeled in a TV so he could watch coverage of the shooting. In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we air an excerpt from Abu-Jamal’s Prison Radio commentary...
    April 10, 2015 | Story
  • Walter-scott-police-slager-shooting-south-carolina-1
    Democracy Now! co-host Juan González discusses how video of the Walter Scott killing echoes other videos of police shootings, such as Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Eric Garner in New York City. "People wonder why the Black Lives Matter movement has grown and spread so rapidly across the country," González notes, "when people are seeing these videos where people who are shot and not even given immediate aid." González writes...
    April 10, 2015 | Story