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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  • Amy_column
    By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan

    “My name is Kenneth Chamberlain. This is my sworn testimony. White Plains police are going to come in here and kill me.” And that’s just what they did.
    Apr 05, 2012 | Columns & Articles
  • Button-chamberlain-funeral
    In a broadcast exclusive, we reveal the name of the police officer who allegedly killed 68-year-old Kenneth Chamberlain, the retired African-American Marine who was shot dead in his own home in White Plains, New York, in November after he inadvertently triggered his medical alert pendant. Documented in audio recordings, the White Plains police reportedly used a racial slur, burst through Chamberlain’s door, tasered him, then shot him...
    Apr 05, 2012 | Story
  • Trayvon-martin-naacp
    As thousands of people across the country call for justice in the case of Trayvon Martin, we’re joined by Van Jones, longtime anti-police brutality activist and co-founder of ColorOfChange.org, which aims to strengthen Black America’s political voice. He describes fearing for his own safety while wearing a hoodie and discusses the state of race relations under President Obama. "This kind of hits close to home for me. I’m...
    Apr 03, 2012 | Story
  • Button-sanford-police
    Over a month after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead in Sanford, Florida, his gunman George Zimmerman remains a free man despite growing questions over Zimmerman’s claim that he acted in self-defense. A new witness has spoken out saying Zimmerman did not show any signs of injuries after he shot Martin, while another has reportedly alleged police pressured him to change his testimony to match Zimmerman’s story. Meanwhile,...
    Mar 30, 2012 | Story
  • Button-emmit-till
    The killing of Trayvon Martin has drawn comparisons to that of civil rights martyr Emmett Till, who was slain at the age of 14 in Mississippi in 1955. We’re joined by Cynthia Dagnal-Myron, a writer who was taught by Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley. Dagnal-Myron is a former reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and Arizona Daily Star who has also spent over 20 years as a teacher and administrator. Her most recent article for Salon.com...
    Mar 30, 2012 | Story
  • Button-alice-walker
    Pulitzer Prize-winning author, poet and activist Alice Walker joins us talk about the death of Trayvon Martin. "It’s a symptom of our illness," Walker says. "We are a very sick country. And our racism is a manifestation of our illness and the ways that we don’t delve into our own wrecks. ... As a country, we are a wreck. And part of it is that we have never looked to see where we went off the trail. ... [Trayvon...
    Mar 30, 2012 | Story
  • Chamberlain%20family
    As the Trayvon Martin case draws national attention, we look at another fatal shooting of an African-American male that has received far less scrutiny. Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a 68-year-old African-American Marine veteran, was fatally shot in November by White Plains, NY, police who responded to a false alarm from his medical alert pendant. The officers broke down Chamberlain’s door, tasered him, and then shot him dead. Audio of the...
    Mar 29, 2012 | Story
  • Button-cecily-eyesdown
    Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan suffered a seizure when New York City police officers pulled her from the crowd and arrested her as hundreds attempted to re-occupy Zuccotti Park on Saturday to mark six months since the launch of the movement. In her first interview since her arrest, McMillan says she has decided to speak out because of an outpouring of public support. "I have received so many emails and twitters and messages...
    Mar 23, 2012 | Story
  • Hoodie_trayvon2
    Thousands of New Yorkers chanted "we want arrests" as Trayvon Martin’s parents joined them for a protest calling on police to arrest George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed their unarmed 17-year-old son but has yet to be arrested. [includes rush transcript]
    Mar 22, 2012 | Web Exclusive
  • Trayvon-martin_hoodie2
    The parents of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed African-American teenager shot dead a month ago, addressed thousands at a "million hoodie" march in New York City calling for the arrest of his killer. Meanwhile in the Florida town where the murder took place, the Sanford City Commission cast a 3-to-2 no-confidence vote in the police chief. Legislators are talking about changing the state’s gun laws as George Zimmerman, Trayvon...
    Mar 22, 2012 | Story