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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  • Chamberlainautopsy
    A grand jury met Wednesday to consider whether charges should be filed in the police shooting of retired Marine Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., who was killed when police, responding to a false alarm from his LifeAid medical-alert pendant, burst into his White Plains apartment, tasered him and shot him dead on November 19, 2011. Lawyers for Chamberlain’s family say newly revealed documents show the White Plains police violated their own taser...
    April 12, 2012 | Story
  • Amys_column_default_640x360_2014
    By Juan Gonzalez

    The former Marine shot by cops in his apartment died from a single bullet that entered his right arm and ripped through both lungs, according to an autopsy report obtained by the Daily News. The lawyer for Kenneth Chamberlain’s family said the autopsy contradicts the police account of his death.

    April 11, 2012 | Columns & Articles
  • Chamberlainjr
    Thursday is the birthday of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., the former Marine who was killed in his own home in White Plains, New York, by police after they were called when he accidentally activated his medical alert system. Chamberlain would have turned 69 years old. Today, a grand jury is set to begin reviewing evidence to see if the police committed a crime. We air part two of our recent interview with Kenneth Chamberlain’s son, Kenneth...
    April 11, 2012 | Story
  • Button-cirelli
    Democracy Now! co-host Juan Gonzalez has obtained a photograph of White Plains Police Officer Anthony Carelli, the officer alleged to have fired the two shots that killed Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., the 68-year-old former Marine whose medical alert button accidentally summoned police to his apartment last November. The police union has blasted the release of the officer’s name, saying he deserves the right to a fair and impartial inquiry....
    April 06, 2012 | Story
  • Amys_column_default_640x360_2014
    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.
    April 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...
    April 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...
    April 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,...
    March 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...
    March 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...
    March 30, 2012 | Story