Police Violence in America

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.

Notes on police violence in the US

Delaware police shoot wheelchair-bound man a dozen times

By Ed Hightower, 26 September 2015

Officers said the 28-year-old paraplegic man had a gun, a claim unsubstantiated by a bystander video and denied by his family.

Notes on police violence

Family sues over death of inmate in Fishkill, New York prison

By Sandy English and John Marion, 22 September 2015

Prison authorities claimed that Harrell died of an overdose of synthetic marijuana, but an autopsy has shown that he had no chemical substances in his body.

Notes on police violence

Fresno, California police shoot three people in five days

By George Gallanis, 12 September 2015

In less than a week, Fresno police officers have shot three people, killing one.

No charges for police officers who killed unarmed immigrant in Pasco, Washington

By Bryan Dyne, 11 September 2015

Prosecutor Shawn Sant maintained that the three police officers felt threatened because Antonio Zambrano-Montes may have been “armed with a rock.”

Maryland court rules volunteered DNA can be used in other cases

By Trent Novak, 11 September 2015

The ruling established that once DNA has been legally obtained, it can be indefinitely stored for use in unsolved crimes without violating the Fourth Amendment.

Baltimore to pay family of Freddie Gray $6.4 million to avoid civil lawsuit

By Evan Blake, 9 September 2015

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, keenly aware that the city would lose a civil trial brought by the Gray family, is seeking to mitigate further exposures of the corrupt Baltimore Police Department.

Northern Illinois town on lockdown as police manhunt continues

By Kristina Betinis, 3 September 2015

Police have responded to the shooting of an officer with a massive paramilitary manhunt, putting the town of Fox Lake, Illinois on lockdown.

Notes on police violence in America

Man shot to death by police in San Antonio, Texas while trying to surrender

By Nick Barrickman, 3 September 2015

A bystander video shows that Gilbert Flores was shot twice by San Antonio police officers despite raising his hands to surrender.

Notes on police violence in America

Black youth dies in Virginia jail cell after being held four months for alleged $5 theft

By Evan Blake, 31 August 2015

Jamycheal Mitchell’s family asserts that the youth, who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, died from starvation after police failed to transfer him to a mental health facility.

North Dakota authorizes police to use weaponized drones

By John Andrews, 31 August 2015

North Dakota has become the first state to authorize the use of armed drones by local police agencies, part of a growing trend to use unmanned aircraft against the population.

New York cops spied on activists against police violence

By Sandy English, 29 August 2015

Newly released documents show undercover cops took photographs of organizers of protests against police violence last winter and recorded their activities.

State agents to face no penalties for assault on Virginia student

By Joe Williams, 28 August 2015

University of Virginia student Martese Johnson was violently assaulted in March after being falsely accused of having a fake ID.

Autopsy reveals St. Louis police shot teenager Mansur Ball-Bey in the back

By Evan Blake, 22 August 2015

The autopsy results, along with witness testimony, strongly indicate that St. Louis police lied to cover up a brutal murder committed by two of their officers.

New York City lawyers suggest health care provider committed a crime in death of Rikers Island inmate

By Isaac Finn, 22 August 2015

Court documents indicate that New York City will opt out of a contractual obligation to defend the health care provider at Rikers Island.

Hillary Clinton and Black Lives Matter: A revealing confrontation

By Patrick Martin, 22 August 2015

The much-publicized encounter sheds light on the essentially right-wing character of both the Democratic frontrunner and the proponents of identity politics.

Brutal crackdown on protest against police violence in St. Louis, Missouri

By Evan Blake, 21 August 2015

As a crowd of roughly 100 people gathered after police murdered Mansur Ball-Bey, 18, authorities responded by sending a SWAT team in an armored vehicle.

Notes on Police Violence in America

St. Louis police kill 18-year-old, send SWAT teams against demonstrators

By Evan Blake, 20 August 2015

As a crowd began to gather immediately after the shooting, numerous backup police arrived in full SWAT gear and with an armored vehicle, denying protesters the right to assemble.

Albuquerque police officers who killed homeless man to stand trial for murder

By D. Lencho, 19 August 2015

A judge ruled Tuesday in favor of trying two Albuquerque Police Department officers for the shooting death of James Boyd in March 2014.

Ferguson protests continue in defiance of state of emergency

By Evan Blake, 12 August 2015

Protesters demonstrated once again Monday night, and were met by riot police who used pepper spray and arrested at least 22 protesters.

St. Louis County declares state of emergency in crackdown against police violence protests

By Evan Blake, 11 August 2015

Police arrested over 100 demonstrators Monday and shot an 18-year-old near protests commemorating the anniversary of the death of Michael Brown.

Police murder and class rule in America

By Andre Damon, 10 August 2015

The epidemic of police killings in the US is an expression of a diseased society in which unending violence abroad is combined with vast inequality and financial parasitism at home.

Federal agents sent to Baltimore to bolster local police

By Tom Hall, 10 August 2015

Local officials expressed their hope that this close collaboration between federal and local police will become a “permanent fixture” in the city.

One year since the death of Michael Brown

By Andre Damon, 8 August 2015

Last year’s events in Ferguson, Missouri exposed the reign of police violence in the US and the militarized repression with which the ruling class responds to social opposition.

ACLU files lawsuit over handcuffing of Kentucky school children

By Naomi Spencer, 6 August 2015

The spread of police state measures extends into the public schools.

Notes on police violence in America

Dallas man dies after telling deputies he cannot breathe

By Tom Carter, 4 August 2015

A witness said Joseph Sheldon Hutcheson died after sheriff’s deputies put their knees on his back and throat.

Chicago police investigator fired for not covering up police killings

By George Gallanis, 3 August 2015

A supervisor for Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority was fired last month after refusing to alter a report showing that three police officers had unjustifiably killed civilians.

Prosecutor declines to bring charges against Cincinnati cops who lied to protect killer of Samuel DuBose

By Evan Blake, 1 August 2015

The victim’s family has demanded that one of the officers be charged for making false statements on a police incident report.

Notes on police violence in America

Cincinnati cop who killed Samuel Dubose charged with murder

By Evan Blake, 30 July 2015

The indictment of officer Ray Tensing comes three days after hundreds of protesters marched through Cincinnati demanding his arrest.

Notes on police violence in America

Cleveland officer pepper sprays crowd of protesters

By Evan Blake, 28 July 2015

Protesters were denouncing police for arresting a 14-year-old, at which point an officer sprayed a large group of protesters in his vicinity.

Hundreds attend funeral of Sandra Bland

By Evan Blake, 27 July 2015

Bland’s family members urged supporters to continue questioning the official narrative of the 28-year-old’s death in an East Texas jail cell this month.

Selective release of autopsy findings continues whitewash of Sandra Bland killing

By Evan Blake, 24 July 2015

Waller County Prosecutor Warren Diepraam declared categorically Thursday that an autopsy found that Bland’s death was a suicide.

The police murder of Sandra Bland

By Andre Damon, 23 July 2015

The July 13 death of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman, in an East Texas jail cell has once again brought the issues of police violence and attacks on democratic rights to the forefront of political life in the United States.

As Texas officials release violent arrest video

Death of Sandra Bland being “treated like a murder investigation”

By Evan Blake, 22 July 2015

Ongoing revelations regarding the arrest and detainment of Sandra Bland have rendered increasingly suspect police claims that her death in prison was a suicide.

Texas prison death highlights police violence in America

By Andre Damon, 18 July 2015

The unexplained and suspicious death of Sandra Bland is only the latest episode in a wave of police violence and murder in the US.

Notes on police violence in America

Murky death of Sandra Bland points to possible police lynching

By Evan Blake, 17 July 2015

Bland was found hanging in a Texas jail cell on Monday, three days after her violent arrest.

Family of Eric Garner demands criminal prosecution after New York City announces $5.9 million settlement

By Fred Mazelis, 15 July 2015

A key aim of the settlement is to continue the cover-up of Garner’s murder, including the manipulation of the grand jury to protect the police.

Notes on police violence in America

Alabama officers repeatedly use Taser on teenager having seizures

By Evan Blake, 15 July 2015

Police shocked the young woman three times with a Taser as she was having a severe grand mal seizure, causing her to lose consciousness.

Baltimore, Maryland police chief fired under pressure from police union

By Tom Hall, 13 July 2015

Baltimore's mayor caved in to demands by the Fraternal Order of Police that chief Anthony Batts be removed for not responding with sufficient brutality to the April demonstrations.

Notes on police violence

Video shows Philadelphia police ruthlessly beat unarmed youth

By Evan Blake, 11 July 2015

Video shows that police punched and kicked Tyree Carroll dozens of times, beat him with nightsticks and Tazed him at least four times.

Notes on police violence

Prosecutors release documents from Washington police shooting investigation

By Gabriel Black and Jason Melanovski, 4 July 2015

The killing of Antonio Zambrano-Montes in February is just one example of the lethal response of police to the decay of social conditions in the United States.

US Justice Department finds that police provoked unrest in Ferguson

By Kevin Martinez, 3 July 2015

The report concludes that inappropriate military and police tactics alienated and incited crowds peacefully protesting the killing of Michael Brown into violent confrontation.

New York City police officers waited 20 minutes to report shooting of Akai Gurley

By Isaac Finn, 29 June 2015

Officers waited 20 minutes to report the shooting of an unarmed man in one of New York City’s public housing facilities and failed to give medical assistance as he lay dying.

New York City mayor announces plan to hire more police

By Sandy English, 26 June 2015

Mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed to increase the size of the New York Police Department by 1,300 officers, at the cost of $170 million.

New York City claims reforms at Rikers amid further evidence of prisoner abuse

By Fred Mazelis, 25 June 2015

As reports of horrific conditions at the prison continue to mount, the city has agreed to a slate of minor reforms proposed by the Obama Justice Department

Freddie Gray’s death was a homicide, autopsy confirms

By Kevin Martinez, 25 June 2015

The state medical examiner’s office ruled that Gray suffered a “high-energy injury” to his neck and spine after being arrested and given a “rough ride” by Baltimore police.

Special prosecutor brings reduced charges against Albuquerque cops who killed James Boyd

By D. Lencho, 24 June 2015

The reduced charge of second degree murder gives the judge discretion to suspend the sentence if a conviction is reached.

Man shot dead by Massachusetts state trooper was mentally ill, suicidal

By Mike Ingram, 22 June 2015

Santos Laboy’s sister condemned the killing: “They knew he was suicidal. They didn’t have to shoot him like the way they killed him, like a dog.”

Amnesty International: US police laws violate human rights standards

By Andre Damon, 19 June 2015

The international human rights organization Amnesty International said Thursday that laws in all 50 states governing use of force by the police violate international agreements.

The mass killing in Charleston, South Carolina

By David Walsh, 19 June 2015

The impact of endless war and militarism on backward layers of the population in the US is a central driving force behind horrific episodes like the Charleston bloodbath.

Michigan prosecutor finds no wrongdoing in the police killing of unarmed teen

By Nick Barrickman, 19 June 2015

Prosecutors announced Tuesday that Eaton County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jonathan Frost was justified in tasering and shooting to death 17-year-old Deven Guilford at a traffic stop, when the youth refused to show the officer his photo ID.

Grand jury witnesses told not to mention police “chokehold” in Eric Garner case

By Fred Mazelis, 18 June 2015

Newly released details provide further evidence that the grand jury proceeding that exonerated Garner’s killer was rigged.

No witnesses heard cops warn 12-year-old Tamir Rice before killing him

By Nick Barrickman, 15 June 2015

A Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department investigation has revealed new details relating to the police murder of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio last year.

Los Angeles Police Commission cites minor protocol breaches in killing of Ezell Ford

By Dan Conway and John Andrews, 13 June 2015

The commission found that one of the officers involved in the shooting used inappropriate tactics in approaching Ford, but otherwise whitewashed the police killing.

Police killed over 500 people in the US this year

By Tom Hall and Andre Damon, 12 June 2015

American cops have killed more than three people a day over the past six months.

Surveillance video of FBI shooting in Boston leaves unanswered questions

By Nick Barrickman, 12 June 2015

A video showing the killing of Usaama Rahim by members of the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force does nothing to substantiate the official account of the incident.

Inkster, Michigan residents to foot the bill for police beating settlement

By Tyler Van Dyke, 11 June 2015

Residents of the impoverished Detroit suburb will be forced to pay $1.4 million in additional taxes to cover a settlement payment to police brutality victim Floyd Dent.

The death of Kalief Browder

By Andre Damon, 10 June 2015

The young man’s imprisonment and torture stand as an indictment of America’s criminal “justice” system.

Protests follow police terrorizing of teens at Texas pool party

By Tom Hall, 10 June 2015

Officer Eric Casebolt was caught on bystander video attacking a group of high school students at a pool party near Dallas.

Police brutality and social inequality in Baltimore: An indictment of the Democratic Party

By Nick Barrickman and Trent Novak, 4 June 2015

The desperate conditions in Baltimore are the product of decades of pro-business policies pursued by the Democrats at every level of government.

Cleveland prosecutor criticizes “egregious” errors in exoneration of killer cop

By Nick Barrickman, 2 June 2015

In acquitting Michael Brelo, who fired 15 shots at an unarmed couple from point blank range, the judge demanded an almost impossible burden of proof from the prosecution.

US police kill more than two people a day

By Patrick Martin, 1 June 2015

A Washington Post analysis found that at least 385 people were shot and killed by police in the United States during the first five months of the year, an average of 2.6 people each day.

Notes on police violence in America

Judge orders release of photo showing Chicago cops posing as hunters with “suspect” wearing antlers

By Evan Blake, 29 May 2015

The obscene photograph underscores the increasingly criminal and misanthropic outlook of police in the United States.

US establishment shields killer cops

By Andre Damon, 27 May 2015

The Obama administration’s toothless settlement with the Cleveland police is an expression of ruling-class support for the right of police to kill with impunity.

Cop used military “rules of engagement” in 2012 Cleveland killing

By Jerry White, 26 May 2015

Officer Michael Brelo was one of many Iraq and Afghan war veterans whom the Obama administration is encouraging US police departments to recruit.

Judge clears killer cop in 2012 Cleveland, Ohio shooting

By Samuel Davidson and Andre Damon, 25 May 2015

Officer Michael Brelo jumped on the hood of the victims' car and shot them fifteen times through the windshield.

Maryland grand jury announces charges against six cops in killing of Freddie Gray

By Nick Barrickman, 22 May 2015

Gray’s death last month from spinal injuries incurred while in police custody set off an eruption of social anger and the police-military occupation of the city.

Supreme Court sides with San Francisco police officers who shot mentally ill woman

By John Andrews, 21 May 2015

In another decision endorsing police brutality, the Supreme Court granted immunity to officers who shot a mentally ill woman in her home.

New details undermine police account of deadly shootout in Waco, Texas

By Tom Hall, 21 May 2015

Questions are mounting over police claims that biker gangs were solely responsible for the gunfight that killed nine people.

The deindustrialization of Baltimore

By Nick Barrickman, 20 May 2015

While the police murder of Freddie Gray was the trigger, the scope of the social anger that erupted in Baltimore was fueled by decades of economic decay in the once booming industrial port city.

Obama’s paramilitary police

By Andre Damon, 19 May 2015

US President Obama reaffirmed his support Monday for the federal programs that have transferred billions of dollars in military hardware to local police departments.

Albuquerque, New Mexico: Family charges SWAT team drove son to suicide

By D. Lencho, 19 May 2015

According to the family's complaint, the APD SWAT team’s “deployment of force was excessive” and a cause of the mentally ill man’s death.

No charges for police officer who shot Illinois teen twice in the back

By Marcus Day, 18 May 2015

A state prosecutor announced Thursday that he would not bring criminal charges against the Zion, Illinois police officer who shot and killed 17-year-old Justus Howell.

Chicago residents speak on police torture at Homan Square “black site”

By George Marlowe, 18 May 2015

Reporters from the WSWS spoke to workers and youth about recent revelations of torture at Homan Square as well as the decaying social conditions in Chicago.