police brutality

Report: Chicago Police Use Excessive Force

by German Lopez

The long-awaited U.S. Justice Department report on Chicago police behavior in Black and brown communities shows cops frequently abuse their monopoly on the use of lethal force, and act out their racist prejudices on the job. “Black youth told us that they are routinely called ‘nigger,’ ‘animal,’ or ‘pieces of shit’ by CPD officers.” Cops use stun guns on kids with regularity, and engage in cover-ups enveloped in a “blue code of silence.”

Young Black Men Again Faced Highest Rate of US Police Killings in 2016

by Jon Swaine and Ciara McCarthy

The number of unarmed people fatally shot by police in the U.S. declined last year, according to data compiled by The Guardian newspaper, but young Black men remain far more likely than whites to die at the hands of cops. Recent moves to keep better track of police lethal police use of force could be undermined by the incoming president Donald Trump, who has balked at withholding funds from local departments that fail to report killings.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 19, 2016

Cop Unions Try to Gut Newark Review Board

If police a union suit succeeds in denying subpoena power to Newark, New Jersey’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, the People’s Organization for Progress may have to relinquish its seat on the body, said POP chairman Larry Hamm. Although Mayor Ras Baraka, who Hamm calls “a friend,” wants to preserve even a weakened board, Hamm said a board without subpoena power “cannot be effective.” POP will stick with the board while the legal battle unfolds, said Hamm, but the best defense against police abuse is the ability to organize in the streets. “We do this because the police demonstrate again and again that they are an instrument of repression in our community.”

Haitians Protest Theft of Election -- Again

For more than a month Haitians have filled the streets to reject an election count that gave U.S.-backed presidential candidate Jovenal Moise 55 percent of the vote in a four-way race. The tally is “totally unacceptable,” said Pierre Labossiere, of the Haiti Action Committee, which backed Maryse Narcisse, the candidate of former president Jean Bertrand Aristide’s party, Fanmi Lavalas --- which was credited with only 8 percent of the vote. The two other major parties also rejected the tally. Who fixed the vote? “The corrupt provisional council, with the help of the UN and the active support of the U.S., France and Canada -- the usual,” said Labossiere. Hillary Clinton’s intervention was key to installing the previous president, Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly.

East Aleppo Liberated from U.S.-Backed Jihadists

Fares Shehabi, an independent member of Syria’s parliament from Aleppo, who is also head of the country’s Chambers of Industry, said the liberation of East Aleppo ended “the largest hostage crisis in history,” dating to the capture of the city by jihadists backed by the West, four and a half years ago. “What we are seeing now is the largest commando hostage release in history,” said Shehabi. He said 1.5 million people from East Aleppo had escaped to safety since 2012, leaving only 100,000 living among the jihadist fighters when the current government offensive began.

Honoring Activists While They Still Live

Inside the Activists Studio, a project of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, strives to “build on the revolutionary journalistic tradition that Mumia represents,” said Robyn Spencer, speaking with BAR producer Kyle Fraser. “The goal is to gather information about one particular historic figure, and then interview that person, after doing intensive research, in a public forum, in a way that highlights their contribution to resistance traditions.”

The Studio did just that, recently, at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where Mumia Abu Jamal introduced the audience to Ramona Africa, Minister of Communications for the MOVE organization, whose comrades and family have been incarcerated and killed by Philadelphia police. “The case of Leonard Peltier really makes my blood boil, that the people running this country have the audacity to call Leonard a murderer, when they have slaughtered Leonard’s people into virtual extinction,” Ms. Africa told the crowd. “The audacity of these people, to get in our face and call us criminal. We would be criminal if we didn’t resist these sick-ass misfits.”

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.
 
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Students are Pulling a Kaepernick All Over America – and Being Threatened for It

by Zaid Jilani and Naomi LaChance

It’s been 70 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that nobody can be compelled to salute or otherwise honor the flag, but students across the country report retaliation for “pulling a Kaepernick” at school events. In parochial schools, constitutional protections carry even less weight. Camden, New Jersey’s Catholic diocese maintains that “free speech, including protests, is not a guaranteed right.”

Murder by U.S. Occupation Forces: Tulsa 2016, Baghdad 2007

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The mayor of Tulsa is promising a “transparent” investigation into the police slaughter of another unarmed Black man, 40 year-old Terence Crutcher.  The U.S. Attorney for Oklahoma is making similar noises, promising to explore whether Crutcher’s civil rights were violated. No justice can come from any of these quarters, because Crutcher’s death is a war crime. Justice begins with an end to the Occupation.

 
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Assuming the Risk of Blackness

by Bryan K. Bullock

The purported “risks” that police voluntarily take are transferred to their Black and brown victims, who have no practical protections.  Legal settlements do not balance the scales. “They only serve to transfer the risk of policing onto the backs of tax payers or unto the insurance policy the municipality may have for such occasions.” Black and brown people “must lead the charge and make concrete, enforceable demands given the stakes at hand.”

Freedom Rider: Police State Fascism

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Black people live under a fascist system, whether the occupant of the White House is a “fascist” or not. For Blacks, the “rule of law” does not exist. “It matters not whether a victim complies, or has hands up, or is armed, or is unarmed, or opens a door, or speaks, or doesn’t, or flees, or stays put, or does or doesn’t resist arrest.” None of the supposedly “non-fascist” politicians will “dare lay a finger on the modern day slave system.”

Obama Prepares to Reinforce the Militarized Police Occupation of Black America

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Barack Obama is “responsible for the biggest escalation in the history of the one-sided war against Black America." He increased militarization of local police 24-fold before banning some kinds of Pentagon weapons transfers, but is now preparing to send more battlefield weaponry to the streets of our cities. “Clinton or Trump will surely build on Obama’s lethal legacy.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 25, 2016

Activists Take the Fight to Cops’ “Doorsteps”

The Fraternal Order of Police is “the most dangerous fraternity in all of America,” said Samantha Masters, spokesperson for the Black Youth Project 100 and Black Lives Matter DC activists that occupied the grounds of the police union’s lobbying operation in Washington, last week. Other activists staged a sit-in at the New York City offices of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. “The people who are protecting these killer cops are police unions,” said Masters. “They ensure there is a blue wall of silence, and that police officers are rewarded for the really horrible acts they commit. We are taking the fight to their doorsteps.”

The Sad Saga of Police Impunity in Baltimore

With yet another acquittal of police involved In the death of Freddie Gray, Blacks in Baltimore are concluding that “there is no ability to hold officers accountable for any criminal conduct when they are performing their duty as an officer,” said Jill Carter, a defense attorney and delegate to the Maryland state legislature. “My greatest fear is that police officers will become more arrogant, more cocky” in the knowledge that they are, in practice, immune to punishment.

Mumia on “Trump’s Triumph”

“The Republican National Convention was not a presidential event, but a celebration of ego, anger and gross wealth,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. Reporting for Prison Radio, he described the GOP gathering, in Cleveland, as “an echo chamber of seething hatreds, mass ego, revenge fantasies and white nationalism.” Trump’s victory over the party establishment “is the political equivalent to a hostile takeover in business. You loot the company and leave it a bankrupt shell.”

Sanders Supporters Going Green

Dr. Margaret Flowers, the Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate from Maryland, is a co-author of a series of letters urging various constituencies to break with the duopoly electoral system. “It’s already happening,” said Flowers, an honorary co-chair of the Green Party’s presidential nominating convention, in August. “For the Jill Stein campaign, it’s just been astronomical. Donations are pouring in, along with volunteers, and social media has really taken off. To me, it’s very gratifying to see that people are not falling for this lesser evil argument that is presented every four years.”

Black Men for Bernie Activist Rejects Democrats

“I have no love relationship with the Democratic Party at this point, for sure,” said Bruce Carter, a former activist with Black Men for Bernie. Carter journeyed to Philadelphia for the Democratic convention – but not to cheer for Hillary. “We want to make sure that people understand that, if there’s going to be a true level of change, it has to come from within communities and the people on the ground”

Brazil’s Coup Government Targets Blacks, Natives, Women, Poor

At about the same time in mid-August, the Olympic Games and the impeachment trial of elected president Dilma Rousseff will begin, in Brazil. The leaders of the so-called “soft coup” against the Workers Party leader have moved quickly to “transform the main institutions in the country, including ministries of human rights and racial equality, women, agricultural development, communications, and culture,” said Maria Luisa Mendonca, director of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights and a professor of international relations at the University of Rio de Janeiro. “We see an increasing repression against social movements, and against indigenous people that are mobilizing in defense of their land,” said Mendonca.

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Micah Xavier Johnson and Gavin Long: Seventeen Reasons

by Paul Street

After having for centuries treated Black people, especially young Black men, as existential dangers to the (white) nation, U.S. rulers act surprised that the day of the Black American Sniper has dawned. There’s nothing complex about Gavin Long and Micah Johnson’s actions. They wanted to “exact Black revenge on, and to set limits to, racist police violence.” If racist police violence continues, expect similar responses.

“Black-on-Black Violence”: Red-Herrings and Mass Gaslighting

by Ken Peeples

In the U.S., homicide is largely segregated by race – except when police are involved. But “white-on-white violence is almost never discussed,” despite the fact that most mass killings involve white perpetrators and mainly white victims. There is a very important difference between intra-Black homicide and police killings of Blacks: “When Black people kill Black people, they go to jail.  This rarely happens with police officers.”

The “Fundamentalism” in Police Operations

by Steve Martinot

Police thinking resembles the circular reasoning of religious zealotry. “Against the pretense of an equality of persons, or equality of races, or a diversity of cultures, the police counterpose the law, but a law that has become the police as a law unto themselves through their impunity.” They command and control the rest of us. In cities and counties, “the police are a more powerful political organization than civilian government.”

Modern Day 'Slave' Patrols and the Ongoing Legacy of Police Terrorizing African/Black Communities

by Solomon Comissiong

The U.S. system of mass Black incarceration cannot reformed, but must be dismantled, root and branch. “The job of the police force in predominately African/black communities is to make sure those communities are contained and kept in a state of constant fear and terror.”

Modern Day 'Slave' Patrols and the Ongoing Legacy of Police Terrorizing African/Black Communities

by Solomon Comissiong

Rulers Shocked by Dallas Attack: Black Folks Keep on Stepping

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Blacks were righteously outraged at two horrific killings, but were then urged to stand down when a lone Black man exacted his own retribution on Dallas police officers. When activists escalated their protests, the powers-that-be and the Black Misleaders that serve them tried to change the subject to gun control. However, the problem of police shootings of Black people is not about gun control, but who controls the police.

Freedom Rider: Why We Need Black Anger

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Cop-worship seemed to be the national religion as the U.S. ruling and talking classes sanctified five Dallas policemen. “Just at the moment when rage was most needed, hand holding, candle light vigils and pleas for calm became the order of the day.” Officiating over it all was the Actor-in-Chief, playing his familiar role as philosopher-preacher (he’s an assassin on Tuesday nights), who has “never used his authority to prosecute even one killer cop.”

World Recoils as U.S. Slave Patrollers Kill in Defense of Empire

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Adebayo

The Bahamas has warned its citizens to be cautious in the U.S., and Black Londoners rallied in solidarity with Black American resistance to racist violence. “Leaders on the African continent, such as, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana as well as the Caribbean and South America, must also stand to account and express their solidarity with the struggle of Africans in America.”

We Must Resist Attempts to Silence Our Voices on Police Violence

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The man who targets people for assassination every Tuesday has no moral authority to counsel Black folk on how to resist oppression. “We know that Obama, the Black Mis-Leadership Class, and the majority of the U.S. public really does not believe in the equal value of all life, and certainly not in the value of poor, working class black life.” We are a peaceful people, but this will not be “a one-sided war.”

Baton Rouge: “Put Those Damn Weapons Down!”

by Bill Quigley 

Militarized cops are running amuck in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hundreds of people protesting the death of Alton Sterling have been arrested and many more had guns pointed at them by riot-geared cops seemingly unconstrained by any notion of law. Protesters, journalists and neighborhood residents are locked up for bogus reasons, unlawful reasons, or no apparent reason at all. The justice system is criminal.

Blacks Pay for Police “Reforms” With Their Lives

by Bryan K. Bullock

The spectacle of wanton police killings of Black people “is carried out in public space, with public dollars, much in the way lynchings were” – a state tactic designed to inflict terror on the targeted population. But the U.S. state is never charged with terrorism. It requires massive quantities of Black suffering to make the slightest impact on the white American mind. Consent decrees and meaningless “reforms” are written in Black blood.

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