Police Violence in America

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.

North Carolina Sheriff’s Office concealed killing, ignored repeated allegations of brutality

By Evan Blake, 6 May 2016

A series of exposés by the Raleigh-based News and Observer have uncovered rampant police brutality and misconduct by the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office.

Baltimore police shoot 14-year-old boy

By George Gallanis, 30 April 2016

On Wednesday, Dedric Colvin was shot twice when Baltimore police mistook his BB gun for a pistol.

New York cop convicted of killing Akai Gurley receives no prison time

By Philip Guelpa, 21 April 2016

The police officer who shot and killed a young African-American man in a New York public housing complex has been sentenced to probation and community service.

Protests in Chicago after police kill 16-year-old boy

By George Gallanis, 15 April 2016

Pierre Loury was shot in the chest while climbing a fence in the Homan Square neighborhood of Chicago.

New revelations of violence at Chicago police “black site”

By George Marlowe, 13 April 2016

Internal Chicago police documents reveal violent abuse of detainees at the secret interrogation center in Homan Square.

Chicago mayor’s choice to head police oversaw crackdown on anti-NATO protesters

By George Marlowe, 8 April 2016

Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to appoint Eddie Johnson as police chief exposes the fraud of his so-called “reform” of the police department.

Alabama police gun down bipolar woman after family calls for help

By Shelley Connor, 7 April 2016

Melissa Boarts’ parents called 911 hoping someone would intervene to keep her from harming herself.

Notes on Police Violence

Minneapolis police officers who shot and killed Jamar Clark will not face prosecution

By Kevin Martinez, 1 April 2016

Clark’s shooting last year sparked widespread protests which saw police respond with paramilitary units to break up demonstrations and a protest encampment.

New York prosecutor urges no jail time for killer cop

By Daniel de Vries, 28 March 2016

Brooklyn’s first African American district attorney is pressing for probation for the NYPD officer convicted of killing of Akai Gurley.

Justice Department refuses to prosecute New York police killer of Ramarley Graham

By Steve Light, 19 March 2016

The US attorney for Southern Manhattan has refused to bring civil rights violation charges against the cop who killed Graham in 2012.

Two US prosecutors who covered up police killings lose primary elections

By David Brown, 18 March 2016

Popular anger over efforts to cover up police violence has resulted in county prosecutors for Chicago and Cleveland being defeated in Democratic primaries.

Baltimore school police officers face felony charges for assaulting student

By Nick Barrickman, 10 March 2016

The student, whose name has been withheld from the public, endured injuries to his face and ribs.

Review board: New York police routinely conduct aggressive and illegal home searches

By Philip Guelpa, 8 March 2016

A civilian review board reports that the NYPD systematically violates protections against warrantless home invasions.

US police killings update: Veteran with PTSD shot and killed

By Gabriel Black, 7 March 2016

A veteran suffering from PTSD in Maryland was shot and killed by police last week.

Albuquerque, New Mexico residents protest fatal shooting by US Marshals

By D. Lencho, 4 March 2016

Wide discrepancies exist between the US Marshals’ version of the shooting death of Edgar Camacho-Alvarado and witness accounts.

Fatal police shooting in Raleigh, North Carolina provokes protests

By Kate Randall, 2 March 2016

Witnesses say Akiel Denkins, 24, was unarmed when he was shot in the back seven times as he ran from police.

Police refuse to release video showing shooting of Salt Lake City teenager

By David Brown, 29 February 2016

Protests have erupted in Salt Lake City, Utah after Saturday night’s police shooting of 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed, who was reportedly holding a broomstick when he was critically injured.

Police call for boycott after Beyoncé endorses opposition to police brutality

By Nick Barrickman, 26 February 2016

Police have denounced pop star Beyoncé Knowles following the release of a music video in which the singer apparently endorses the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

New York police used military-grade cellphone surveillance equipment over 1,000 times

By Isaac Finn, 25 February 2016

The NYPD has disclosed documents on its extensive use of a mobile cellphone surveillance device known as “StingRay.”

California State University faculty headed into confrontation with Democrats

By Guillaume Garnier, 24 February 2016

After years of declining real wages accepted by the faculty union, 23,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches are demanding improved living standards.

Illinois inmates terrorized by prison guard unit

By George Gallanis, 22 February 2016

A class action lawsuit has been filed by hundreds of prisoners from four Southern Illinois state prisons over sexual humiliation and other forms of sadistic punishment by guards.

Chicago officer sues estate of teenager he fatally shot

By George Marlowe, 18 February 2016

In an attempt to intimidate any opposition to police brutality, a Chicago police officer is suing the estate of Quintonio LeGrier, whom he fatally shot, for $10 million in damages.

New York police officer convicted of killing Akai Gurley

By Philip Guelpa, 13 February 2016

After two days of deliberations, New York police officer Peter Liang was convicted of manslaughter and official misconduct in the shooting death of Akai Gurley.

New Mexico: Relatives sue sheriff for the fatal pepper ball shooting of 88-year-old

By D. Lencho, 9 February 2016

Last September, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputies fired over 50 rounds of pepper balls at 88-year-old great-grandfather Fidencio Duran.

Albuquerque, New Mexico police murder case moves towards trial

By D. Lencho, 5 February 2016

It has been nearly two years since the March 16, 2014 fatal shooting of homeless camper James Boyd by Albuquerque police officers.

Father of girl killed by Pennsylvania cop charged with murder

By Tom Eley, 2 February 2016

The father of Ciara Meyer is being charged with the murder of his own daughter, who was killed by a constable who arrived to evict the family from their rental apartment.

Pennsylvania police shoot dead 12-year-old girl during home eviction

By Tom Eley, 1 February 2016

The constable had arrived to remove the family from their rental apartment.

Toronto cop found guilty on lesser charge in killing of Sammy Yatim

By Dylan Lubao, 30 January 2016

The media is hailing the conviction of the killer cop James Forcillo on the lesser charge of attempted murder as an “end to police impunity.” It is nothing of the sort.

Manslaughter trial in police killing of Akai Gurley begins in Brooklyn

By Fred Mazelis, 28 January 2016

The incident, in November 2014, followed soon after the killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.

Video shows another unarmed youth killed by Chicago police

By George Gallanis, 16 January 2016

The video, which has been concealed by the Chicago Police Department for three years, contradicts the official findings of the police.

Former city employee sues Albuquerque Police Department officials for obstructing public records requests

By D. Lencho, 15 January 2016

The lawsuit alleges that APD officials instructed public records custodian Reynaldo Chavez to delay, deny, withhold and destroy requested public records.

Pennsylvania constable shoots dead 12-year-old girl during home eviction

By Tom Eley, 14 January 2016

The law enforcement officer was seeking to remove the girl’s family for being less than three months behind in payment for their rental apartment.

FBI arrests mentally ill Rochester man in fabricated ISIS plot

By Josh Varlin, 9 January 2016

The FBI arrested Emanuel Lutchman, a 25-year-old man with a history of mental illness, based on a supposed plot to attack a bar in Rochester, New York, on New Year’s Eve.

Chicago police accused of threatening witnesses of Laquan Mcdonald shooting and falsifying accounts

By George Gallanis, 9 January 2016

Attorneys uncovered further evidence of a cover-up by the CPD while reading through recently released witness statements from the night of the shooting.

Notes on police violence in America

Arresting officer in Sandra Bland death charged with perjury

By Josh Varlin, 8 January 2016

This decision to charge Texas State Trooper Brian Encinia comes about two weeks after the same grand jury refused to indict the Waller County jailers involved in her death.

Chicago attorney resigns after judge rules he concealed evidence in police shooting case

By Alexander Fangmann, 7 January 2016

A Senior Corporation Counsel for the city resigned after a judge sanctioned him and overturned a jury verdict that found in favor of two police officers in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Chicago Mayor Emanuel’s police “reform”: Increased repression and cover-up

By Kristina Betinis, 4 January 2016

In the name of “reform” and in the midst of a deepening political crisis, Emanuel is planning to double the number of tasers employed by the police.

Police officer escapes indictment for shooting unarmed man in Colorado

By Nick Barrickman, 31 December 2015

The exoneration comes two days after an Ohio grand jury decided not to issue an indictment of Cleveland police officers for the 2014 shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

Massive police buildup planned in cities throughout the US for New Year’s Eve

By our reporter, 31 December 2015

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, France in November and the shooting deaths of 14 people in San Bernardino, California earlier this month, US officials have announced massive security buildups in preparation for celebrations set to occur for New Year’s celebrations.

After grand jury whitewash in Tamir Rice killing

More police murders across the US

By Tom Eley, 30 December 2015

Police have taken repeated exonerations, often in the face of overwhelming evidence, as in the murder of Tamir Rice, as a green light for more violence.

Cleveland cop who killed twelve-year-old exonerated

By Tom Hall, 29 December 2015

The decision not to charge Officer Timothy Loehmann for killing Tamir Rice is the outcome of a well-orchestrated campaign by the county prosecutor’s office.

Three shot, two killed by Chicago police in one day

By Kristina Betinis, 28 December 2015

The shootings occur amid a crisis in the city following the exposure of a cover-up by the Emanuel administration of the police murder of 19-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Police suppress protest at Mall of America over recent police killing in Minneapolis

By Matt Rigel and Anthony Bertolt, 28 December 2015

On Wednesday, December 23, riot-clad police cracked down on a demonstration of hundreds of protesters at the Mall of America (MOA) called in response to the recent police killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark.

Notes on police violence in America

Texas grand jury refuses to indict police officers involved in the death of Sandra Bland

By Nick Barrickman and Tom Hall, 24 December 2015

Bland was found dead in a Waller County jail cell in July where she was being held after a traffic stop.

US cops killed more people this year than in 2014

By Tom Hall, 22 December 2015

Despite mass protests against police violence by tens of thousands of people over the past year, the wave of police terror gripping the US has only intensified.

Notes on police violence in America

Four recent police shootings spark outrage

By John Andrews, 21 December 2015

Newly released video recordings that captured two brutal law enforcement shootings starkly demonstrate that police violence and official cover ups continue unabated.

Hung jury in first trial for police killing of Freddie Gray

By Tom Hall, 17 December 2015

Wednesday’s ruling places the prosecutors’ strategy for the other five cases in the Baltimore, Maryland police killing in serious jeopardy.

The International Socialist Organization, police violence and the Democratic Party

By Marcus Day, 16 December 2015

The ISO has sought to obscure the class issues surrounding police murder in Chicago, promote racial politics and prevent a break with the Democratic Party.

Notes on police violence in America

Chicago police officer accused of jamming gun down throat of suspect acquitted

By Gabriel Black, 15 December 2015

A notorious Chicago judge acquitted a veteran police officer Monday of official misconduct and aggravated battery, despite DNA evidence on his gun.

Killing Them Safely: The big business of police tasers

By Kevin Martinez, 15 December 2015

The documentary is a disturbing look at TASER International, the company that has cornered the market for police electro-shock weapons.

Notes on police violence: Los Angeles police fatally shoot man 33 times

By Gabriel Black, 14 December 2015

Nicholas Robertson was shot multiple times, first in the back and then as he lay on the ground trying to crawl away from the police officers.

Defense rests in trial of first police officer charged in killing of Freddie Gray

By Nick Barrickman, 12 December 2015

Typifying the callous approach of the defense was the testimony of Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a forensic pathologist, who coldly asserted that Gray’s death was “just an accident … and accidents happen.”

Two police officers indicted for murder of six-year-old

By Gabriel Black, 12 December 2015

Evidence released after the indictment shows that the six-year-old and his father posed no threat to the police officers.

New video released in 2012 Chicago police killing of Philip Coleman

By David Brown, 10 December 2015

Democratic Party Mayor Rahm Emanuel is leading efforts to diffuse public anger even as new revelations of police brutality continue to emerge.

Illinois state attorney not pressing charges in Ronald Johnson killing

By Gabriel Black, 9 December 2015

A video released Monday shows 25-year-old Ronald Johnson fleeing as he is gunned down by police.

Public meeting in Chicago

The way forward in the fight against police violence

9 December 2015

On December 13, the Socialist Equality Party will hold a public meeting in Chicago on the political lessons of the brutal police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and its cover-up.

US border agents cleared of charges in murder of immigrant Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas

By Toby Reese and Jake Dean, 7 December 2015

Five years after the death of Hernandez-Rojas at the hands of US border agents, the Department of Justice has decided to close the investigation.

Video shows murder by San Francisco police firing squad

By a reporter, 4 December 2015

Widely viewed on the Internet, the video shows a group of police officers opening fire simultaneously on a cornered 26-year-old man.

Chicago police brutality and the Democratic Party

By Jerry White, 3 December 2015

The brutal police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald and the subsequent orchestrated cover-up lift the veil on the reality of class relations and class rule in the United States.

Jury seated in first Freddie Gray police murder trial

By Tom Hall and Nick Barrickman, 3 December 2015

The media and political establishment are preparing for a crackdown on mass protests if the six Baltimore cops charged in the killing of Freddie Gray are acquitted.

Chicago police chief fired as anger mounts over cover-up of police killings

By Patrick Martin, 2 December 2015

Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy in an effort to prevent further damage to his own position.

Trial begins for police officer in Freddie Gray murder

By Andre Damon, 1 December 2015

The trial of officer William Porter in Baltimore, Maryland began as demonstrations continued against the police murder of Laquan McDonald in Chicago.

The conspiracy to cover up the police murder of Laquan McDonald

By Christopher Davion and Kristina Betinis, 30 November 2015

The statements of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other officials are aimed at obscuring their own role in covering up for the criminal actions of police officer Jason Van Dyke.

A police killing and a criminal conspiracy in Chicago, Illinois

By Patrick Martin, 26 November 2015

The brutal police murder of Laquan McDonald was followed by a line-up of the police, the political authorities, the media and the “civil rights” establishment to cover up the crime under a barrage of lies.

“This is a whitewash, that is exactly what this is”

One year since the murder of Tamir Rice, police who killed him are still free

By Samuel Davidson, 26 November 2015

Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was shot dead by Cleveland, Ohio, police on November 22, 2014, as the boy was playing with a toy gun in a park near his home.

Protests erupt in Chicago after release of video showing police murder of 17-year-old

By Nick Barrickman and Joseph Kishore, 25 November 2015

The video release comes more than one year after the brutal killing of Laquan McDonald and in the face of a systematic cover-up by the Chicago Police Department and the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

City of Chicago prepares crackdown on protests in advance of release of police murder video

By Kristina Betinis, 23 November 2015

On November 19, Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama ruled in favor of the release of dash camera video depicting an officer shooting an African-American youth 16 times.

Notes on police violence

Minneapolis police break up protest over killing of 24-year-old Jamar Clark

By Niles Williamson and Stuart Winter, 19 November 2015

Police dressed in military fatigues and armed with riot gear on Wednesday broke up a tent encampment protesting the killing of Jamar, who died Monday night.

Protests erupt after Minneapolis police shoot unarmed man, “execution style”

By Anthony Bertolt, 17 November 2015

According to dozens of witnesses, Jamar Clark was handcuffed and laying on the ground when police officers pinned him down and fired a round into his head early Sunday morning.

Michigan policeman who severely beat motorist Floyd Dent on trial for assault

By Lawrence Porter, 16 November 2015

Melendez’s actions only came to light after the release through Freedom of Information requests of videos that had been hidden by the police with the help of local officials.

Los Angeles Police Department shootings doubled in a single year, report shows

By Dan Conway and Marc Wells, 13 November 2015

LAPD officers are killing nearly two people each month, despite a slowing rate of homicides in the city overall.

US Supreme Court expands immunity for killer cops

By Tom Carter, 12 November 2015

The Supreme Court’s decision reflects the fact that, in the face of rising popular anger over police killings, all of the branches of government are closing ranks behind the police.

Notes on police violence in America

Louisiana cops who killed 6-year-old charged with murder

By Evan Blake, 9 November 2015

Police officers are known to routinely violate civil rights in the impoverished rural community where Jeremy Mardis was killed.

Illinois cop, supposed victim of the “war on police,” exposed as thief and would-be killer

By David Walsh, 9 November 2015

The supposed murder of Joseph Gliniewicz of the Fox Lake, Illinois Police Department, the massive manhunt it generated and the exposure of his death as a suicide is a telling episode.

Number of people killed by police this year in US surpasses 1,000

By Andre Damon, 5 November 2015

Police murders have continued unabated, as has the defense of killer cops by the political establishment, from local prosecutors to the Obama administration.

No details from New York police on X-ray surveillance vans

By Sandy English, 4 November 2015

The NYPD is refusing to release information about the deployment of X-ray vans, which it claims will be used for “counterterrorism” efforts.

Report documents pervasive use of excessive force by US Border Patrol agents

By Marc Wells, 2 November 2015

A recent report exposed hundreds of instances where Taser guns were used by US border agents to terrorize, injure and kill immigrants.

Notes on police violence in America

Judge dismisses manslaughter charges against Texas officer citing position as a federal agent

By Evan Blake, 2 November 2015

Employing the rarely used Supremacy Clause to whitewash a brutal police killing, federal judge Lee Yeakel demonstrated the lengths to which the state will go to shield killer cops.

FBI Director James Comey’s apology for police murder

By Andre Damon, 31 October 2015

The implication of Comey’s argument is that those who expose police brutality serve to promote violent crime and should be suppressed.

Thousands “disappeared” at Chicago Police Homan Square black site

By George Marlowe, 29 October 2015

More than 7,000 people have been detained in the last decade at the Chicago Police Department’s secretive interrogation center.

FBI director says “viral videos” intimidating police in US

By Kate Randall, 28 October 2015

FBI chief Comey attempted to sidestep the inconvenient truth that the cell phone videos he finds so disruptive are catching murderous activity by police across the country.

Notes on police violence

No charges for South Carolina police officer who killed Zachary Hammond

By George Gallanis, 28 October 2015

The exoneration of the cop who killed 19-year-old Hammond, who was unarmed, came one day after video showed another South Carolina officer brutally assaulting a high school student.

FBI director admits use of spy planes over Ferguson and Baltimore

By Tom Hall, 26 October 2015

After admitting the use of surveillance flyovers during police brutality protests, FBI Director James Comey sought to blame public scrutiny of police for a supposed spike in crime.

Florida musician Corey Jones killed by plainclothes officer

By Evan Blake, 22 October 2015

While the police have released limited details of what led to the shooting, they immediately sought to justify the killing by asserting that Jones was armed.

Notes on police violence in America

Federal lawsuit alleges beating and torture of 20 inmates in Sonoma County jail

“They went in like the Gestapo,” attorney charges

By Evan Blake, 16 October 2015

The horrific incident in the California jail detailed in the court filing highlights the increasingly brutal and sadistic actions of US police.

Prosecutor in Cleveland police killing hired “independent” investigators who favor law enforcement

By Samuel Davidson, 15 October 2015

New details further indicate that Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty is seeking to whitewash last year’s police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

Federal court arraigns Arizona Border Patrol agent for murder of Mexican teenager

By D. Lencho, 13 October 2015

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was shot at least 10 times by Border Patrol agents while walking along the Mexican side of the border.

Murder conviction, coerced by New York City police, overturned after 25 years

By Philip Guelpa, 13 October 2015

A conviction that led to New York’s “broken windows” and “stop-and-frisk” policies has been overturned.

The whitewash of Tamir Rice’s killing and the fight against police violence

By Niles Williamson, 13 October 2015

In the face of widespread outrage over the police murder of the 12-year-old Cleveland boy last year, the police and the media have been working tirelessly to justify his shooting.