Police Violence in America

Rhode Island: State and Providence police shoot dead unarmed driver trying to escape traffic stop

By John Marion, 13 November 2017

Based on an erroneous tip about another crime, police provoked a high-speed traffic chase that ended in their firing some 40 bullets into a pickup truck and killing Joseph J. Santos.

New York City police officer acquitted of murder charges in killing of Delrawn Small

By Sandy English, 8 November 2017

Isaacs was the first police officer in New York State to be tried under Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2015 executive order.

New York police officers charged with raping teenage suspect in custody

By Daniel de Vries, 4 November 2017

A grand jury indicted two NYPD detectives this week on 50 counts of kidnapping and raping a teenage woman while she was handcuffed in a police van.

Detroit victim of police violence files suit over brutal beating

By Robert Verdine, 2 November 2017

David Bivins is suing for wrongful arrest, assault and battery, negligence, and slander following a brutal attack in a grocery store parking lot by an off-duty police officer.

Los Angeles Police Department set to deploy drones

By Marc Wells, 25 October 2017

The Los Angeles Police Commission voted last week to approve the deployment in the face of overwhelming public opposition.

NFL commissioner announces plans against anthem protests

By Trévon Austin, 12 October 2017

NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell and a number of team owners are taking measures to punish football players who kneel during the anthem.

Notes on police violence

Killing of fleeing man by Salt Lake City police officers ruled “justified”

By Josh Varlin, 10 October 2017

No charges have been brought against the officers who killed Patrick Harmon despite contradictions between the police version of events and bodycam footage.

Trump administration threatens widespread ICE raids in California

By Patrick Martin, 9 October 2017

The threat came in response to the state of California’s enactment of a “sanctuary” law that limits cooperation between state and local police and the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Race, class and the protests against police violence in St. Louis, Missouri

By Genevieve Leigh, 3 October 2017

As part of its efforts to inject racialist politics into the protests against the police officer who killed Anthony Lamar Smith, groups around the Democratic Party held a “white allies only” rally.

Protests over police violence enter third week in St. Louis

By Genevieve Leigh, 2 October 2017

Protesters have held nightly demonstrations throughout the city ever since the acquittal of police officer Jason Stockley for the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith last month.

Chicago launches new fig leaf police oversight agency

By George Marlowe, 2 October 2017

The Chicago Police Department is one of the most brutal in the country, synonymous with police murder and the use of CIA-style “black sites.”

Interview with attorney for family of Anthony Lamar Smith:

Authorities withheld DNA evidence in St. Louis police killing

By Ed Hightower, 25 September 2017

“The whole package of justice in this case, not just the criminal case but in the civil remedies… was compromised.”

Brutal video depicts Huntington Beach, California officer killing Navy veteran

By John Burton, 25 September 2017

The fact that the national epidemic of police violence is now appearing with such virulence in communities such as Huntington Beach demonstrates that the fundamental causes are far deeper than racial discrimination.

The St. Louis police riot

By Niles Niemuth, 23 September 2017

The violent and provocative actions of the police, including the “kettling” and mass arrest of protesters and the fascistic spectacle of cops chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” reveals the real state of class relations in America

“That verdict was a travesty”

Watch: St. Louis workers denounce acquittal of killer cop, crackdown on protests

By Genevieve Leigh and George Gallanis reporting from St. Louis, 23 September 2017

WSWS reporters spoke with workers from St. Louis about police violence, amid ongoing protests against the acquittal of a police officer over his 2011 murder of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Pseudo-left groups push identity politics on seventh day of St. Louis protests

By Genevieve Leigh and George Gallanis reporting from St. Louis, 22 September 2017

A “White Allies Only” protest endorsed by the DSA, Socialist Alternative and Black Lives Matter drew several hundred people on the seventh day of protests against police violence in St. Louis.

Oklahoma City police shoot and kill deaf man

By Matthew Taylor, 22 September 2017

Neighbors who witnessed the killing warned the two cops confronting Magdiel Sanchez that he was deaf and could not understand their orders just before they opened fire.

Hundreds of riot police descend on peaceful protesters in St. Louis

By Genevieve Leigh and George Gallanis reporting from St. Louis, 21 September 2017

Politicians and the mainstream media were silent Wednesday evening as busloads of heavily armed riot police surrounded hundreds of peaceful protesters in St. Louis.

St. Louis Police declare “We’re in control” as crackdown on protests enters fifth day

By Genevieve Leigh, 20 September 2017

St. Louis police officers chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!” as they arrested largely peaceful demonstrators protesting police violence.

Protests continue in St. Louis as police kill eight more in US

By Trévon Austin and Patrick Martin, 19 September 2017

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Justice Center in downtown St. Louis Monday night in a show of support for those who remained jailed after police arrested 123 people on Sunday night.

Police crackdown on hundreds protesting acquittal of killer cop in St. Louis

By Genevieve Leigh, 16 September 2017

Riot police in St. Louis, Missouri arrested 13 people in protests that erupted after the acquittal of the police officer, Jason Stockley, who fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith in December 2011.

Notes on Police Violence

Department of Justice clears officers in death of Freddie Gray

By Trévon Austin, 14 September 2017

The six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray will not face federal civil rights prosecution, the DOJ announced on Tuesday.

Detroit Police stonewall investigation into Taser death of 15-year-old

By Robert Verdine, 9 September 2017

The death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes, shot by a police Taser while riding his ATV, has sparked anger in Detroit.

Notes on Police Violence

Salt Lake City nurse arrested after refusing demand to draw blood from unconscious patient

By Trévon Austin, 2 September 2017

Hospital surveillance and police bodycam footage released this week shows a nurse being unlawfully arrested and assaulted by a police officer.

Notes on Police Violence

Akron, Ohio police claim 17-year-old shot himself in the back of a police car

By Kevin Martinez, 31 August 2017

Relatives of Xavier McMullen want to know how the boy could have had a gun after being handcuffed and taken into custody.

Trump orders resumption of military supplies to local police

By Patrick Martin, 29 August 2017

The program to supply military gear to local police allows the Pentagon to transfer equipment ranging from body armor to tanks, at no cost to the local or state government.

Notes on police violence

St. Louis, Missouri police kill sixth person since May

By Trévon Austin, 26 August 2017

Police shot and killed Kiwi Herring, a transgender woman, after she allegedly slashed an officer with a knife.

Notes on police violence

Ohio police beat man during a traffic stop

By Trévon Austin, 19 August 2017

Video captures a Euclid, Ohio, police officer violently beating a man after a routine traffic stop.

Notes on police violence

Charges dropped against Texas sheriff’s deputies accused of sexually violating woman during traffic stop

By Nick Barrickman, 18 August 2017

Harris County sheriff’s deputies had been facing charges after a 2015 roadside stop resulted in the officers conducting a warrantless cavity search.

Trump, appealing to far-right, considers pardon for Joe Arpaio

By Jake Dean, 17 August 2017

Trump told Fox News he was considering a pardon for the former Arizona sheriff who defied court rulings to witch-hunt immigrant workers.

Baltimore: More videos released showing police officers “manufacturing evidence”

By Adam Soroka, 15 August 2017

The footage came just a week after a previous video showed an officer planting a bag of pills under a pile of garbage in an alley as two other officers looked on.

Miami police expand their use of military-grade vehicles and equipment

By Matthew MacEgan, 11 August 2017

An investigative report provides details about the Miami-Dade Police Department’s expanded and routine use of military-grade vehicles and equipment.

Notes on police violence

US police killings on track to reach all-time high in 2017

By George Gallanis, 9 August 2017

The number of killings as of August 7, 2017 stands at 746 according to killedbypolice.net, an unprecedented amount for the same time in previous years.

ICE agents in California target immigrants who file complaints against employers

By Rafael Azul, 8 August 2017

ICE agents have shown up at California labor dispute cases looking to apprehend undocumented construction workers who have brought claims against their bosses.

Video documents torture of teen in Tennessee jail

By Keisha Gibbs, 3 August 2017

Released in late July, surveillance video shows 18-year-old Jordan Norris being restrained and repeatedly tased while in a Cheatham County, Tennessee jail.

San Diego teacher detained by Border Patrol at internal immigration checkpoint

By Jake Dean, 2 August 2017

Two-thirds of the US population lives in a “Constitution-free zone,” where anyone, including citizens, can be detained and questioned by federal immigration agents.

South Haven, Mississippi police accused of executing auto mechanic in address mix-up

By Matthew MacEgan, 31 July 2017

On Friday, an attorney representing the family of Ismael Lopez contacted the Justice Department to demand an investigation, arguing that the man’s death was an execution and that the officers involved should face criminal charges.

Notes on police violence

Minneapolis police chief resigns over police murder of Justine Damond

By Anthony Bertolt, 24 July 2017

Janeé Harteau, the first female, openly gay, Native American police chief in Minneapolis, had overseen the implementation of a number of reforms that it was claimed would moderate police violence in the city.

Notes on police violence

Baltimore police officer caught on body-cam planting drugs

By Matthew MacEgan, 21 July 2017

The release of body-cam footage of police planting drugs prompted the release of a man who has been held in jail since January.

The murder of Justine Damond and police violence in America

By Niles Niemuth, 21 July 2017

While few details have been released, what is known about Damond’s killing provides insight into the social and psychological underpinnings of the epidemic of police brutality in the US.

Notes on police violence

Woman killed by Minneapolis police had called to report a rape

By Matthew MacEgan and Niles Niemuth, 20 July 2017

Minneapolis police officers claim they thought they were being “ambushed” when they shot the 40-year-old yoga teacher through the door of their cruiser Saturday night.

Notes on police violence

Louisiana woman charged with attempted murder after sheriff’s deputy kills her boyfriend

By Aaron Murch and Tom Hall, 19 July 2017

In yet another egregious display of police violence in the US, a sheriff’s deputy in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana shot and killed 27-year-old father of three DeJuan Guillory earlier this month.

Australian woman fatally shot by Minneapolis police officer

By Anthony Bertolt, 18 July 2017

Justine Damond was gunned down by police officer Mohamed Noor in an alleyway after calling 911 to report a suspected assault.

San Diego police unleash K-9 dog on handcuffed man

By Jake Dean, 15 July 2017

There are an untold number of disturbing videos of police officers in the US, without care or remorse, using dogs to attack the individuals they are pursuing.

Notes on police violence

Officer who fatally shot Philando Castile to receive $48,500 in severance pay

By Anthony Bertolt, 13 July 2017

Former St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted last month of all charges related to the killing of Philando Castile last year during a traffic stop.

Notes on police violence

Latest Chicago police killing shrouded in secrecy

By George Gallanis, 11 July 2017

The still unidentified man shot Sunday is the eighth person killed by the Chicago police this year, coming not even one week since the last fatal shooting.

The police murder of Iraq War veteran Brian Easley

By Eric London, 10 July 2017

The murder of Easley exposes the establishment’s ritual worship of veterans as nothing more than propaganda, aimed at building support for wars fought by the poor to enrich the wealthy.

US police out in force for Fourth of July holiday

By Matthew MacEgan, 6 July 2017

The police mobilizations throughout the country, justified by citing the possibility of a terror attack, marked another effort to expand the power of the state in anticipation of social unrest.

Notes on police violence

Chicago police fatally shoot 37-year-old man

By George Marlowe, 5 July 2017

Despite promises of reform from Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago police department continues to kill with impunity, as do police forces across the rest of the country.

Locking Up Our Own, by James Forman, Jr.

New book describes the role of black mayors and police officials in mass incarceration

By Fred Mazelis, 5 July 2017

Forman’s account provides further evidence that the massive growth of the US prison population is rooted primarily in class oppression, not in racial divisions.

Trump administration, Democrats announce local-federal partnership to expand Chicago police force

By Kristina Betinis, 3 July 2017

The greater integration of city and federal policing agencies will do nothing to address the conditions that produce gun violence, rooted in social inequality and mass poverty.

Perjury charges dismissed against Texas police officer who arrested Sandra Bland

By Nick Barrickman, 1 July 2017

Special prosecutors dropped charges against officer Brian Encinia for falsifying reports of his confrontation with Bland, who was found dead days later in her Texas jail cell.

Chicago police officers indicted for covering up murder of Laquan McDonald

By Alexander Fangmann, 29 June 2017

Rather than striking a blow against the Chicago Police Department’s code of silence, the charges against the three officers are an extension of a cover up that extends to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Iraqi-Americans stuck in deportation limbo

By David Brown and Usman Khan, 28 June 2017

The deportation of roughly 200 Iraqi nationals was halted Monday by the Eastern Michigan District Court but, without a further decision, deportations will resume on July 6.

Notes on police violence

Second mistrial for University of Cincinnati cop charged with murder

By our reporter, 26 June 2017

The mistrial of Ray Tensing follows the June acquittals of the officer who killed Sylville Smith in Milwaukee, and the officer who killed Philando Castile in Minnesota.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies kill teenager

By Matthew MacEgan, 24 June 2017

Police claim that Armando Garcia-Muro was struck in the chest by a “skip” round that ricocheted from where it struck the ground after police opened fire on a pit bull.

Notes on police violence

Milwaukee cop found not guilty of August 2016 killing that sparked protests

By Josh Varlin, 22 June 2017

Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown shot Sylville Smith as he was running away, the fatal shot coming when Smith was on the ground and unarmed.

“Mom, please stop screaming because I don’t want you to get shooted”

Video released of Philando Castile’s girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter in patrol car

By our reporter, 22 June 2017

The video from the patrol car is the second video released following the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez for manslaughter in the shooting of Castile last July.

Notes on police violence

Dashcam video of Philando Castile shooting released; Seattle police kill pregnant mother of four

By Matthew MacEgan, 21 June 2017

The dashcam video showing the brutal killing of Castile comes a few days after the officer involved was acquitted of charges of manslaughter.

Officer who fatally shot Philando Castile in Minnesota acquitted on all charges

By Anthony Bertolt, 17 June 2017

Jeronimo Yanez killed Castile last July even though he posed no threat, in a horrific incident captured on video and broadcast live by Castile’s girlfriend.

Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputy fatally shoots 19-year-old after traffic violation

By Christopher Davion, 16 June 2017

The brutal killing of Terry Williams is one of numerous acts of police terror and repression that have occurred under the direction of fascistic Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr.

Immigration raids strike Detroit: Dozens rounded up for deportation to Iraq war zone

By Eric London and Niles Niemuth, 13 June 2017

The decision by the Trump administration to deport refugees to Iraq explodes the claims that the US wars in Iraq and Syria are “humanitarian” interventions aimed at protecting the population.

US Supreme Court sides with police who broke into home and shot sleeping couple

By Shelley Connor, 2 June 2017

The court sided with police in a case of illegal search and entry that resulted in Angel Mendez and his pregnant wife being shot 15 times by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies.

San Diego children left to fend for themselves after immigrant parents arrested by US Border Patrol

By Kevin Martinez, 2 June 2017

Francisco Duarte and Rosenda Pérez were detained last week after living in the US for more than two decades, leaving their 19-year-old son to take care of his three younger siblings.

Chicago police keep nearly 400,000 on a secret watch list

By George Marlowe, 24 May 2017

Far exceeding previous claims, the Chicago police secretly maintain a vast surveillance net covering nearly 15 percent of the city’s population.

Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer acquitted in 2016 killing of Terence Crutcher

By Nick Barrickman, 19 May 2017

Betty Jo Shelby was found not guilty of first degree manslaughter in the shooting of the 40-year-old unarmed father of four last year.

Hundreds of US citizens arrested in joint immigration-police roundup

By Niles Niemuth, 13 May 2017

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents working with local law enforcement agencies have arrested more than 1,300 people since March.

New revelations of brutality and corruption

New York Democrats announce plans to shut Rikers Island prison in a decade

By Sandy English, 9 May 2017

Even if Rikers were to be shut down, the violence, abuse and degradation of inmates would only be redistributed to other locations.

Notes on police violence

Fifteen-year-old high school freshman with BB gun killed by police in San Diego

By Genevieve Leigh, 8 May 2017

The boy, who died on May 6, was shot multiple times by two officers after anonymously calling 911 for a general welfare check on himself.

Trump Justice Department: No charges in police murder of Alton Sterling

By Niles Niemuth, 4 May 2017

Federal prosecutors announced there was “insufficient evidence” to bring civil rights charges against the officers who shot and killed Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Balch Springs, Texas police kill unarmed 15-year-old boy

By Matthew Taylor, 3 May 2017

Jordan Edwards was shot in the head and killed by police in the Dallas suburb as the vehicle he was in was driving away from a party the police had been called to break up.

Inquest continues into death of mentally ill Milwaukee County Jail inmate denied water for seven days

By Christopher Davion, 29 April 2017

Terrill Thomas is one of four inmates who died in the county jail over a 6-month period in 2016.

Trump plans detention force and network of camps for immigrants

By Eric London, 14 April 2017

According to a memo made public by the Washington Post, the total number of immigrants detained will rise to a daily average of 70,000.

Notes on police violence

Video shows Sacramento police beating man for allegedly “jaywalking”

By Kevin Martinez, 14 April 2017

An as yet unidentified officer violently assaulted Nandi Cain Jr., grabbing him by the neck, then throwing him to the pavement and punching him in the face repeatedly.

Florida anti-war protesters attacked, arrested in police provocation

By Matthew Taylor, 10 April 2017

First-hand evidence clearly show that the incident on Friday was provoked by the sheriff’s department in concert with a well-known right-wing provocateur.

Settlement reached in lawsuits against NYPD’s illegal surveillance of Muslims

By Philip Guelpa, 6 April 2017

The settlement of a pair of long-standing lawsuits provides only a fig leaf to cover the NYPD’s extensive surveillance of Muslims and others.

US justice department signals rollback of even limited police oversight

By Niles Niemuth, 5 April 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed a memo Friday ordering an evaluation of the DOJ’s activities concerning the practices of local police forces including compliance reviews and consent decrees.

Notes on police violence

Rare conviction, resignation of officers for police killings in Louisiana and New York City

By Genevieve Leigh, 28 March 2017

The recent conviction and disciplinary actions do not mark a departure from the policy of near complete immunity for killer cops.

Florida prosecutors cover up murder of Darren Rainey, inmate boiled alive

By Matthew Taylor, 21 March 2017

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced last Friday that no charges would be brought against the four prison guards responsible for Rainey’s death in 2012.

Notes on police violence

Alabama police officer cleared in 2014 shooting of man holding wallet

By Kevin Martinez, 16 March 2017

Dashcam video of the shooting released only this month shows Michael Davidson writhing in agony after being shot by a police officer while exiting his car with his wallet in his hand.

ACLU files lawsuit against Milwaukee over traffic stops, stop-and-frisk policy

By Christopher Davion, 14 March 2017

The targeting of minority workers and the poor for harassment is an attack on the entire working class and a warning of the measures to be used against growing opposition.

Off-duty police officer pulls gun and fires at youths, sparking protests in Anaheim, California

By John Andrews, 24 February 2017

Videos show an off-duty Los Angeles police officer drawing a pistol and shooting it during a minor confrontation with a group of young people.

New York police kill Brooklyn teen for pointing a fake gun

By Steve Light, 22 February 2017

A string of shootings by police of people with fake guns has occurred in recent years, including the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Video exposes official lies about police killing in Nashville, Tennessee

By Warren Duzak, 17 February 2017

Police claims that Jocques Scott Clemmons had assaulted the officer who eventually killed him as he left his car during a traffic stop have been shown to be demonstrably false.

Woman forced to give birth on floor of Macomb County, Michigan jail cell

By Nick Rodriguez, 17 February 2017

The disturbing incident, which took place last year but was only recently made public, sheds a stark light on the harsh realities of life confronting the working class.

Cook County, Illinois refuses to charge officer involved in fatal shooting of two

By George Marlowe, 13 February 2017

In what amounts to yet another political cover up of police murders in Chicago, prosecutors claimed that the officer acted in self-defense despite witness testimony to the contrary.

“Blue Lives Matter” law extends safeguards to police in Louisiana

By Aaron Asa, 2 February 2017

Signed last year by Democratic Party Governor John Bel Edwards, the reactionary law is already being used to provide cover for police and impose harsher penalties on the accused.

Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder for killing unarmed man

By Marcus Day, 21 January 2017

Lowell Houser, a 28-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday for fatally shooting and killing an unarmed man earlier this month.

Unanimous US Supreme Court insists on broad immunity for police

By Tom Carter, 18 January 2017

The eight justices on the US Supreme Court complained that lower federal courts are not granting immunity to police officers often enough.

Justice Department report on Chicago police an exercise in damage control

By George Marlowe, 17 January 2017

A report released by the Obama administration’s Department of Justice last week highlights unconstitutional acts of police brutality by the Chicago Police Department.

Notes on police violence

NYPD shoot, kill man holding screwdriver

By Kevin Martinez, 17 January 2017

Police killed Jahlire Nicholson on Friday after he allegedly threatened his mother with a screwdriver. He was the third person killed by the NYPD in less than two weeks.

Illinois man dies after police shootout on commuter train

By George Marlowe, 12 January 2017

Jamal Parks died from a gunshot wound to the head in Deerfield, Illinois, in the midst of a dangerous police shootout aboard a passenger-filled train.

Notes on police violence

Philadelphia to pay $4.4 million to delivery worker shot by police in 2014

By E.P. Milligan, 10 January 2017

Though Phillippe Holland has been awarded a multi-million dollar settlement, the incident has radically altered the young man’s life after being shot in the head and body.

Cleveland to pay $2.25 million settlement over 2011 police killing

By E.P. Milligan, 9 January 2017

While it is clear that the use of lethal force by the officer who shot Daniel Ficker was excessive and illegitimate, criminal charges were quickly ruled out.

Notes on police violence in America

Police kill unarmed man in Chicago, mentally ill man in New York

By Marcus Day, 5 January 2017

In a brutal start to 2017, police shot and killed two people each in Chicago and New York City, while a cellphone video widely shared on Twitter showed a North Carolina school officer body-slamming a teenage girl.

US police killed more than 1,150 in 2016

By Gabriel Black, 4 January 2017

The number of people killed by police every year in the United States exceeds by far those killed by police in every other major capitalist country.

Louisiana police illegally jailed hundreds without charges

By Tom Hall, 30 December 2016

Residents of Evangeline Parish have been subjected to warrantless “investigative holds” lasting days, in flagrant violation of their Fourth Amendment rights.

Justice Department report estimates nearly 2,000 “arrest-related deaths” annually in US

By our reporter, 19 December 2016

The number of police killings, or homicides, recorded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics is more than twice the number reported by the FBI.

Bakersfield, California police shoot unarmed 73-year-old man

By Shannon Jones, 16 December 2016

The shooting of Francisco Serna, who was suffering from dementia, is the latest horrifying episode in the continuing wave of police violence in the United States.

Militarized police deployed to Los Angeles subway system after bomb hoax

By Zaida Green, 16 December 2016

The operation last week mobilized heavily-armed sheriff’s deputies, sniffer-dog squads, and undercover police from the FBI, the LAPD, and the LA County Sheriff’s Department.