Police Violence in America

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.

Jury deadlocks in South Carolina police murder trial

By John Burton, 6 December 2016

The jury in the trial of former North Charleston police officer Michael T. Slager, who was caught on video firing eight rounds at a fleeing Walter Scott, was discharged Monday after failing to reach a verdict.

US Army Corps postpones confrontation over Dakota Access Pipeline construction

By our reporter, 5 December 2016

The announcement that the US Army Corps of Engineers will not grant an easement for construction essentially puts off a final decision until after Obama leaves office.

Canada’s Resources Minister threatens to use army against pipeline protests

By our reporter, 3 December 2016

The Liberal government has declared it is prepared to use force against those protesting expansion of Canada’s oil pipelines.

Judge allows police to use grenades against Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

By Zaida Green, 2 December 2016

Police will continue to use water cannons, concussion grenades, lead-filled beanbags, and chemical agents against protesters.

North Carolina cop who shot man in back will not be charged

By Shannon Jones, 1 December 2016

Prosecutors ruled the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte “justifiable” despite video footage showing the victim walking backwards with his hands at his sides.

Chicago police kill two over Thanksgiving holiday

By Jessica Goldstein, 28 November 2016

The recent shootings take place one year after the release of dashcam footage of the murder of 17-year-old black youth Laquan McDonald by a Chicago cop.

Police use water cannons on Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

By Kevin Martinez, 22 November 2016

Violence broke out on Sunday night when protesters tried to remove a blockade but were stopped by police using water cannon, tear gas and concussion grenades.

Ohio judge declares mistrial in the murder of Sam DuBose

By Samuel Davidson, 17 November 2016

A former police officer was charged in the death of an unarmed black motorist during a traffic stop.

Cop who killed Philando Castile facing manslaughter charges

By Zaida Green, 17 November 2016

Officer Jeronimo Yanez faces charges of second-degree manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm after shooting Castile seven times during a traffic stop in July.

New York: Rikers Island prison guards found guilty in beating and cover-up

By Sandy English, 1 November 2016

Four guards at New York City’s Rikers Island prison complex were convicted of brutalizing inmate Carl Williams in 2013 and falsifying records.

Latest NYPD killing highlights de Blasio’s history of defending the police

By Isaac Finn, 22 October 2016

The Democratic mayor's routine response to police killings is to seek to appease public anger while defending the NYPD’s egregious actions as the product of insufficient training.

Police killing of mentally ill 66-year-old Bronx, New York woman sparks outrage

By Fred Mazelis, 21 October 2016

The murder of Deborah Danner brought back memories of the 1984 death of Eleanor Bumpurs, another emotionally disturbed elderly woman, at the hands of the police.

Notes on police violence

US police kill thirty people in ten days

By Zaida Green, 12 October 2016

Two-thirds of those identified so far were white, underscoring the fact that police violence in America is fundamentally a class question, affecting poor and working class people of all races.

Los Angeles police kill second man in two days

By Zaida Green, 5 October 2016

The unidentified young man was shot to death just a day after the fatal shooting of another youth, 18-year-old Carnell Snell, Jr.

Video raises questions in 2012 New York police killing of Ramarley Graham

By Sandy English, 5 October 2016

A new surveillance video obtained by the New York Daily News shows paramedics covering and then uncovering the corpse of Ramarley Graham, who was killed by police in 2012.

Death toll mounts in US police killings

By Patrick Martin, 3 October 2016

US police killed at least 19 men last week. Ranging in ages from 18 to 53, the victims were shot, tased or, in one case, beaten and asphyxiated.

Protests continue in El Cajon, California over the police killing of Alfred Olango

By Genevieve Leigh, 3 October 2016

Recently-released video shows an officer firing deadly shots at unarmed Olango less than two minutes after arriving on the scene.

Pasadena police kill father of eight during help call

By Dan Conway and John Andrews, 3 October 2016

Pasadena police officers dispatched to assist with a disturbed man, tased, beat and ultimately asphyxiated Reginald Thomas, Jr., a father of eight, in front of his family.

El Cajon, California police release video showing fatal shooting of Alfred Olango

By Kevin Martinez, 1 October 2016

The videos have been released in an effort to quell dissent, after the San Diego suburb saw three nights of protests and the deployment of riot police.

Notes on police violence

Louisiana police release video of officers killing six-year-old Jeremy Mardis in 2015

By George Gallanis, 30 September 2016

Mardis was shot as he sat in his father’s car when police emptied 18 rounds into the vehicle, severely injuring the unarmed man and killing the boy instantly.

Police kill 30-year-old mentally ill man in El Cajon, California

By Norisa Diaz, 29 September 2016

The killing of Alfred Olango one week after the killing of Keith Lamont Scott has sparked demonstrations in the impoverished San Diego suburb.

US national anthem protests at sporting events continue to spread

By Alan Gilman, 28 September 2016

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem before NFL games, in protest of racial injustice and police brutality, has continued to gain support.

Charlotte police release videos showing Keith Scott with arms down as he was shot

By Tom Carter, 26 September 2016

In an effort to quell ongoing unrest, officials in Charlotte, North Carolina released videos Saturday that show portions of Keith Scott’s fatal encounter with police officers on September 20.

Police kill 23-year-old man in Louisville, Nebraska

By Nick Barrickman, 26 September 2016

Authorities have refused to release information on whether Austin M. Baier had been armed or whether he had in any way threatened deputy Tyler Reiff.

Police violence and the social crisis in America

By Joseph Kishore, 24 September 2016

Both the killing of Keith Scott and the protests that have erupted in Charlotte, North Carolina starkly expose the deep social tensions and class divisions in America.

Protests continue in Charlotte, North Carolina as police refuse to release video of fatal shooting

By David Brown, 23 September 2016

North Carolina’s National Guard deployed on the streets of Charlotte Thursday after the state’s governor declared a state of emergency in response to protests over the latest police killing.

The police murder in Charlotte, North Carolina

By Patrick Martin, 22 September 2016

The police killing and eruption of protests in Charlotte, North Carolina are expressions of seething social tensions and the class divide in America.

Tulsa, Oklahoma police release videos of slaying of unarmed man

By Zaida Green, 21 September 2016

Dashboard and aerial footage show Terence Crutcher surrendering peacefully to police before being shot and left to bleed to death on the road.

Columbus, Ohio 13-year-old gunned down by police

By Shannon Jones, 16 September 2016

A companion to the boy killed by police disputed claims that the victim brandished a weapon, as the wave of officer-involved killings in the United States continues.

Notes on Police Violence

Murrieta, California police caught on video savagely beating unarmed man

By Kevin Martinez, 13 September 2016

Three officers pinned Alejandro Rojo to the ground and yelled “stop resisting” before proceeding to punch and kick him repeatedly.

Baltimore police conducted privately-funded aerial surveillance of city for nine months

By Zaida Green, 10 September 2016

The technology was developed in 2007 for use in the Iraq War, and has now been deployed against the population of a major American city.

Chicago mayor plans to boost size of police force in response to social crisis

By George Marlowe, 9 September 2016

The call for greater policing and an escalation of law-and-order measures comes on the heels of growing public disaffection with the entire political establishment.

Milwaukee Democrats propose to dramatically increase size of police force following Sherman Park protests

By Catherine Long, 7 September 2016

A forthcoming city budget includes funding for an additional 280 officers in the wake of protests and unrest sparked by the killing of Sylville Smith last month.

Chicago police shoot someone every five days

By George Marlowe, 2 September 2016

According to a new report, 92 people have been killed in six years by Chicago police officers, a majority of them in areas of high poverty.

New York police continue to violate court safeguards in surveillance of Muslims

By Isaac Finn, 2 September 2016

According to an oversight organization for the NYPD, police frequently violated court-imposed guidelines as part of the department’s spying on Muslims between 2010 and 2015.

State trooper kills unarmed deaf man in North Carolina

By Shelley Connor, 26 August 2016

Daniel Kevin Harris, a 28-year-old deaf man, was one of at least 20 people killed by police across the US over the last week.

New video shows Los Angeles Police Department officers kill 56-year-old man in jail

By John Andrews, 22 August 2016

A recently released video depicts six officers Tasing and choking to death 56-year-old grandfather Vachel Howard in a Los Angeles jail in 2012.

In bid to quash anger, Chicago cops face firing over Laquan McDonald murder

By Alexander Fangmann, 22 August 2016

The seven cops are among ten recommended for termination in a recent city inspector general’s report issued even as police violence continues.

Facebook livestream

SEP US vice presidential candidate Niles Niemuth discusses the police killing in Milwaukee

By , 17 August 2016

SEP US vice presidential candidate Niles Niemuth spoke in a live interview with WSWS reporter Andre Damon about the class issues behind police violence.

The social roots of unrest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

By Niles Niemuth, 16 August 2016

The growth of poverty and inequality, the eruption of social anger and the build-up of the police forces are interrelated components of the same class dynamic.

Wisconsin governor mobilizes National Guard after eruption of protests over police killing

By George Gallanis, 15 August 2016

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in Milwaukee after protests Saturday night over the killing of 23-year-old Sylville Smith by Milwaukee police.

The Justice Department’s whitewash of police violence in Baltimore, Maryland

By Niles Niemuth, 12 August 2016

The DOJ report on Baltimore is another in a series of investigations that will do nothing to stop the violence meted out by police on a daily basis.

Police violence in Los Angeles continues unabated

By Alan Gilman, 12 August 2016

An unarmed man mistaken for a carjacker, an unarmed homeless man on a bicycle and a 14-year-old youth allegedly engaged in graffiti are the latest victims.

Justice Department investigation of Baltimore police finds rampant abuse

By Nick Barrickman, 11 August 2016

The investigation was requested by Baltimore city officials in the wake of widespread social unrest in the aftermath of the April 2015 police killing of Freddie Gray.

Police seek to cover up murder of 20-year-old man in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 9 August 2016

The official police version of events used to justify the killing of Earl Pinckney, who was bipolar, has been disputed by eye witnesses.

Louisiana sheriff initiates witch-hunt against author of anti-corruption blog

By E.P. Bannon, 9 August 2016

The witch-hunt is an act of intimidation meant to disrupt the lives of anyone who offers the slightest opposition to the criminality entrenched within the American political system.

New York City police commissioner Bratton resigns

By Philip Guelpa and Fred Mazelis, 8 August 2016

The abrupt resignation of the NYPD commissioner comes amid a counteroffensive in response to protests against police brutality and police killings over the past several years.

After the Paul O’Neal murder

Stop the police killings! Unite workers and youth of every race and nationality!

By Jerry White—SEP candidate for US president, 8 August 2016

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White issued the following statement after the release of video showing the brutal police murder of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal.

Chicago police warn of unrest after murder of teen

By Kristina Betinis, 6 August 2016

The July 28 murder of Paul O’Neal is the latest in a series of police killings around the US that have claimed the lives of nearly 700 victims so far this year.

Baltimore County police shoot, kill young mother

By Shelley Connor, 4 August 2016

Days after charges were dropped against the cops in the Freddie Gray murder case, police in the Baltimore area shot Korryn Gaines to death and wounded her five-year-old son.

Texas recorded almost 7,000 deaths in custody since 2005

By Shannon Jones, 30 July 2016

Between 2005 and 2015, an average of 628 people a year died while in the custody of police or state corrections officials.

Maryland state’s attorney clears police officers involved in killing of Freddie Gray of all charges

By Nick Barrickman, 28 July 2016

Prosecutors dropped all charges against the remaining three officers still to be tried for the April 12, 2015 arrest and subsequent death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray.

Notes on police violence in America

North Miami police shoot unarmed man as he lay on the ground

By Isaac Finn, 22 July 2016

Charles Kinsey, the caregiver to an autistic man, was shot as he attempted to calm his patient and explain the situation to officers.

Massachusetts and New Hampshire state troopers arrested for assault on unarmed suspect

By John Marion, 21 July 2016

Video from news helicopters show Richard Simone, Jr. on his hands and knees, not resisting the officers who beat him.

New York City workers discuss police killings, inequality with SEP candidate

By Jerry White and Zac Corrigan, 20 July 2016

On the second anniversary of the police killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, workers spoke with Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate about the class divide in America’s largest city.

Highest ranking officer acquitted in Freddie Gray killing

By Gabriel Black, 19 July 2016

Lieutenant Brian Rice joins a long list of police officers involved in murderous attacks who have been exonerated.

Ex-Marine guns down three police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

By Patrick Martin, 18 July 2016

The attack, five miles from the store where Alton Sterling was killed by police on July 6, is the second multiple shooting of police in the United States in the past 10 days.

Over 80 arrested in weekend police violence protests

By Gabriel Black, 18 July 2016

The protests and arrests come following the police killings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana by police officers.

Fresno video shows police murder of Dylan Noble

By Patrick Martin, 15 July 2016

Two cops fired two shots into the white youth as he stood a few feet away, then two more, including a shotgun blast, as he lay twitching on the ground.

Chicago police SWAT team terrorizes working class neighborhood

By George Marlowe, 15 July 2016

The Chicago Police Department conducted warrantless raids of homes in a neighborhood in the South Side while searching for alleged gunmen.

Obama in Dallas: Platitudes and lies on police killings

By Bill Van Auken, 13 July 2016

To deliver an honest speech, Obama would have had to admit that the epidemic of police killings as well as the shootings in Dallas are either the direct product of or blowback from his administration’s policies.

Immigrants in Los Angeles denounce police repression worldwide

By our reporters, 13 July 2016

Workers and youth from El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico expressed opposition to state violence, poverty and social inequality.

Militarized police forces throughout the US carry out mass arrests

By Isaac Finn, 12 July 2016

Police departments have exploited the killing of five police officers to further curb democratic rights and clamp down on anti-police brutality protests across the country.

Hundreds arrested in US protests against police killings

By Shannon Jones, 11 July 2016

Thousands took to the streets across the United States to voice their outrage over two recent police killings of unarmed black men.

Race, class and police murder in America

By The World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 11 July 2016

The campaign to portray the United States as riven by racial hatred serves definite and reactionary social and political aims.

“I am against something wrong, regardless of what the color of someone’s skin is”

Protesters speak out on police killings

By Nick Barrickman and Matthew Taylor, 11 July 2016

Protesters in Washington DC and Jacksonville, Florida, among the thousands who demonstrated against police killings this weekend, spoke with the World Socialist Web Site.

New video shows off-duty New York cop murdering motorist

By Sandy English, 11 July 2016

A store surveillance video has surfaced that shows the killing of Delrawn Small by off-duty New York Police Department officer Wayne Isaacs at a traffic altercation.

Video exposes Fresno police lies in shooting death of Dylan Noble

By John Burton, 11 July 2016

Noble, an unarmed 19-year-old white youth, was killed by two police officers from Fresno, an impoverished city of about one-half million located in the heart of California’s Central Valley.

Afghan war veteran guns down five Dallas police

By Patrick Martin, 9 July 2016

The Dallas events take place in the context of an unrelenting campaign to portray the police killing of unarmed men in exclusively racial terms.

The police killings in Louisiana and Minnesota: The class issues

By Andre Damon, 8 July 2016

Millions of people around the world have reacted with shock, outrage and revulsion at the latest videos and images of police murder in the United States.

Protests erupt throughout the US against string of police killings

By Tom Hall, 8 July 2016

Philando Castile's fiancée livestreamed the aftermath of the grisly shooting, which occurred during a traffic stop Wednesday evening.

Protests erupt following brutal police killing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

By Tom Hall, 7 July 2016

The grisly execution-style murder is only the latest in an epidemic of police killings which have become a regular feature of American life.

Wisconsin Department of Corrections force-feeds hunger strikers

By Gary Joad, 7 July 2016

The prisoners are protesting solitary confinement.

Family files lawsuit against TSA for violent arrest of teenage cancer patient

By George Gallanis, 5 July 2016

Hannah Cohen, who is partially deaf, blind and paralyzed, was arrested while traveling home from cancer treatment and suffered bruising on her face and bloody cuts on her head.

Notes on police violence in America

Louisiana sheriff uses anti-Semitic slur, threatens to shoot federal prosecutor

By E.P. Bannon, 4 July 2016

Despite the numerous federal probes and empty police reform initiatives, law enforcement continues to assume an increasingly arrogant and thuggish character.

Third Baltimore cop let off in Freddie Gray murder case

By Genevieve Leigh, 24 June 2016

The acquittal of Goodson is the third exoneration of a police officer charged in the killing of the 25-year-old African American man.

Arrest of New York prison guards’ union chief highlights broader nexus of corruption

By Fred Mazelis, 13 June 2016

Norman Seabrook, notorious for defending the brutality of correction officers, is accused of taking a kickback for investing union pension monies into a high-risk hedge fund.

Five New York City Rikers Island prison guards found guilty in beating

By Sandy English, 10 June 2016

A jury convicted guards at the Rikers Island jail complex this week on several counts in the vicious 2012 attack on inmate Jahmal Lightfoot.

Wrongfully convicted Detroit teenager released after eight years in prison

By Tom Hall, 10 June 2016

Prosecutors refused to reopen Davontae Sanford’s case even after the real killer stepped forward only weeks after Sanford’s 2008 conviction.

Notes on police violence in America

DOJ rules out charges against Minneapolis police officers who killed Jamar Clark

By George Gallanis, 3 June 2016

Federal prosecutors determined that the officers were justified in shooting Clark in the back of the head as he was pinned down to the ground.

Baltimore police officer on trial for the death of Freddie Gray found not guilty

By George Gallanis, 24 May 2016

Freddie Gray died in April of last year from severe spinal injuries after being given a “rough ride” in the back of a Baltimore police vehicle.

Leaked video shows police assault on student

Detroit's Cass Technical High School students oppose police brutality, support teachers struggle

By Zac Corrigan, 23 May 2016

A video of an assault by a Detroit Public Schools police officer was widely discussed among students who opposed the attack and connected it to the broader issues of police repression.

San Francisco police chief resigns after cops kill unarmed woman

By David Brown, 21 May 2016

Amid repeated killings and scandals, the city administration looks to make a cosmetic change to its police force.

New York police gun down mentally unstable man in midtown Manhattan

By Daniel de Vries, 20 May 2016

Police fired nine shots at a busy intersection Wednesday morning, killing one and injuring another.

Tampa, Florida area police operate as guardians of Walmart’s profits

By Matthew MacEgan, 16 May 2016

A recent investigation provides details on the extent to which police departments in the Tampa Bay area have become a virtual private security force for the retail giant.

Notes on police violence

Trial begins for second Baltimore police officer charged in death of Freddie Gray

By Nick Barrickman, 13 May 2016

Opening statements and testimony were heard on Thursday in Baltimore Circuit Court in the trial of police officer Edward M. Nero for the April 2015 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

New York Police Commissioner defends NYPD’s use of nuisance laws

By Robert Fowler and Sandy English, 12 May 2016

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton has defended the NYPD’s use of so-called nuisance laws to unconstitutionally search residences and small businesses.

Verizon striker run down as New York cops protect scabs

By Sandy English, 10 May 2016

A Verizon striker was struck by a van carrying scabs from a hotel in the borough of Queens in New York City. Strikers say the vehicle was driven by a uniformed cop.