Police Violence in America

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.

New torture allegations from Chicago “black site”

By David Brown, 16 May 2015

Further allegations have surfaced of sexual abuse and torture by the Chicago Police Department at the secret Homan Square interrogation facility.

Lawyers detail horrific and illegal conditions of Baltimore arrest victims

By Ed Hightower, 15 May 2015

City police arrested hundreds of innocent people on April 27 and crammed them into crowded cells for days, with little or no access to medical care, food or legal counsel.

Notes on police violence in America

Nineteen-year-old Indiana man dies while in police custody

By Lencho Moro and Matthew MacEgan, 15 May 2015

As of May 15, an estimated 423 people have been killed by police officers in the US so far this year.

No charges in Madison, Wisconsin police killing of unarmed youth

By Niles Williamson, 13 May 2015

The killing of teenager Tony Robinson by Madison police officer Matt Kenny on March 6 had generated student walkouts and protests by thousands of workers and youth.

Los Angeles police shoot unarmed homeless man

By Tom Carter, 11 May 2015

The LAPD is suppressing a video of the May 6 shooting of 29-year-old Brendon Glenn.

Obama administration moves to bolster police in Baltimore

By Jerry White, 8 May 2015

In a visit to the city where Freddie Gray was killed, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch praised the Baltimore cops as the “hardest working police officers in America.”

FBI spy planes used in police-military operation against Baltimore protests

By Thomas Gaist, 7 May 2015

At least two surveillance aircraft equipped with high-tech infrared sensors patrolled above the mass protests in Baltimore last month.

Police quickly suppress spontaneous protests after arrest in Baltimore

By Evan Blake, 5 May 2015

The crackdown on city residents demonstrates the reality behind all the talk of reforming the police department after the indictment of six cops for the murder of Freddie Gray.

Baltimore rally against police brutality encourages illusions in Democrats

By Nick Barrickman and Jerry White, 4 May 2015

The response to the eruption of anger over the police murder of Freddie Gray has combined repression with the cultivation of a new layer of careerists steeped in identity politics.

“It is a war zone”

Baltimore workers and youth speak out

By our reporters, 4 May 2015

Residents spoke about what it is like living in Baltimore, describing a situation of everyday police violence and economic desperation.

Violent arrests of protesters follow charges against Baltimore cops in murder of Freddie Gray

By Jerry White, 2 May 2015

The prosecutor’s action was a highly political decision, made in close consultation with the Obama administration, as protests in the city expanded and a wave of solidarity demonstrations spread across the country.

The role of the Maryland’s “Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights”

By Joe Williams, 2 May 2015

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has sought to divert popular anger over the police killing of Freddie Gray by claiming that the investigation of Gray’s death is hampered by a controversial law known as the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR).

Capitalism, the working class and the fight against police violence

By Joseph Kishore, 1 May 2015

The military-police mobilization in Baltimore, Maryland has laid bare the class divide in America and the bankruptcy of the entire political system.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio defends mass arrests of demonstrators

By Evan Blake, 1 May 2015

Police arrested 143 people in New York City at Wednesday’s protest against police violence.

Protests continue as Baltimore police conclude investigation into death of Freddie Gray

By Tom Eley, 1 May 2015

Details of the internal police investigation, including previously unseen video footage, are being kept from the public.

Notes on police violence in America

Victoria, Texas police kill 25-year-old father with PTSD outside his home

By Zaida Green, 1 May 2015

At least 388 people have been killed by the police in the United States since the beginning of the year.

Protests grow in Baltimore in defiance of police-military siege

By Jerry White, 30 April 2015

Even as 3,000 National Guard troops and cops occupied the city, protests against police violence and poverty grew in Baltimore and around the country.

Hundreds protest shooting of Detroit man by federal officer

By Shannon Jones, 30 April 2015

About 200 workers and young people assembled on the west side of Detroit Tuesday to protest the killing of 20-year-old Terrance Kellom

Thousands of national guard troops occupy Baltimore

By Jerry White, 29 April 2015

Despite claims by the state’s national guard chief that “this is not martial law,” the city of 622,000 is under siege by heavily armed troops, military vehicles and helicopters.

The social eruption in Baltimore, Maryland

By Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore, 29 April 2015

The eruption of mass anger in Baltimore, Maryland over the police murder of Freddie Gray, and the subsequent military-police takeover of the city have revealed the reality of social life in America.

National Guard deployed in Baltimore after anger erupts over police killing

By Jerry White, 28 April 2015

The inflammatory statements of Baltimore officials make clear that the murderous actions of the police reflect the contempt for the city’s workers felt by the entire political establishment.

Federal agent kills 20-year-old Detroit man in front of family

By Shannon Jones, 28 April 2015

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent working with the Detroit police shot and killed Terrence Kelom inside his home on the west side of Detroit Monday.

City of Chicago offers payouts for police brutality and torture

By George Marlowe, 28 April 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has backed an absurdly small $5.5 million reparations fund for victims of torture under former police commander Jon Burge.

Democrats step up repression against protests over police killing of Freddie Gray

By Nick Barrickman, 27 April 2015

Protests over the weekend were the largest demonstrations against police violence in Baltimore, Maryland since Gray succumbed last week to injuries sustained upon his arrest.

Baltimore residents speak out against police killing

By our reporters, 27 April 2015

The widespread anger in Baltimore is an expression of the growing popular outrage against police violence throughout the US.

Maryland governor sends state troopers as protests mount over police murder of Freddie Gray

By Barry Grey, 25 April 2015

With the protests growing and moving from the local police precinct to downtown Baltimore, Democratic officials are raising the red herring of “outside agitators.”

Grand jury exonerates killer cops in Dallas

By our reporter, 25 April 2015

The whitewash of this killing is only the latest in a series of police homicides in which the perpetrators have been exonerated despite video or eye witness evidence of murder.

The police murder in Baltimore

By Andre Damon, 24 April 2015

The horrific police murder of Freddie Gray encapsulates the brutal and exploitative character of social relations in America.

Protests mount in Baltimore over police killing of Freddie Gray

By Evan Blake and Andre Damon, 23 April 2015

The killing of Freddy Gray is the latest in a wave of police murders throughout the United States.

Judge acquits Chicago police officer who killed unarmed woman in 2012

By George Marlowe, 22 April 2015

The courtroom erupted in outrage after a Cook County judge threw out all charges against police officer involved in a fatal shooting of Rekia Boyd.

Notes on police violence

Man dies after arrest by Baltimore police

By Shannon Jones, 21 April 2015

25-year-old Freddie Gray died one week after police officers broke his spine.

National Guard referred to Ferguson protesters as “enemy forces”

By Gabriel Black, 18 April 2015

National Guard officers referred to demonstrators exercising their constitutionally protected right to assemble as “adversaries” and “enemy forces.”

Tulsa, Oklahoma deputy who shot unarmed man charged with manslaughter

By Evan Blake, 14 April 2015

Charges were filed Monday against Robert Bates for the killing of Eric Harris, as the victim's family denounced the shooting and subsequent brutal actions of police.

Hundreds attend funeral for South Carolina man killed by cop

By Evan Blake, 13 April 2015

The funeral of Walter Scott took place the same day as a report that only eleven police officers had been convicted in connection with the thousands of police killings since 2005.

California police caught on video beating man after chase

By Zaida Green, 11 April 2015

After surrendering peacefully, Francis Pusok was shocked with a Taser twice and struck 58 times by police.

Killer cop in South Carolina shooting had history of brutality

By Andre Damon, 10 April 2015

The North Charleston, South Carolina police department exonerated Michael Slager after he repeatedly used a Taser on an innocent and unarmed man in 2013.

Police murder in South Carolina

By Joseph Kishore, 9 April 2015

A video released Tuesday shows police officer Michael Slager shooting unarmed Walter Scott in the back—the latest in an unending series of police murders in the US.

Lawyer for suspect in shooting of Ferguson cop says confession was coerced

By Tom Hall, 2 April 2015

The March 11 shooting of the police officers has been used to discredit opposition to police brutality.

Notes on police violence in America

Dashboard camera captures shocking beating of Detroit-area auto worker

By Tom Hall, 27 March 2015

Floyd Dent was grabbed from his car and savagely beaten during a routine traffic stop in January.

Philadelphia police shot nearly four hundred people over the past eight years

By Evan Blake, 25 March 2015

The Justice Department’s report on the Philadelphia Police Department is the latest in a series of documents revealing rampant police violence in cities throughout the country.

Reign of police violence continues with killing of unarmed teen in Cleveland

By Gabriel Black, 23 March 2015

Brandon Jones had allegedly broken into a grocery store and was carrying out a few boxes of cigarettes and some coins when police cornered and shot him.

Philadelphia cops cleared in killing of 26-year-old

By Gabriel Black, 21 March 2015

The Philadelphia District Attorney announced Thursday that no charges will be brought against two police officers who stopped and killed Brandon Tate-Brown in December.

Mass protests at University of Virginia after honors student beaten by state police

By Tom Hall, 20 March 2015

Thousands of students gathered Wednesday night to protest the beating of Martese Johnson, a student at the University of Virginia, by state police outside an off-campus bar.

Federal court upholds Virginia’s solitary confinement policy

By Joe Williams, 19 March 2015

A federal appeals court upheld the state’s practice of automatically placing all death row inmates in solitary confinement until their execution.

Notes on police violence in America

Video shows police gunning down mentally ill Texas man

By Evan Blake, 18 March 2015

Officers shot the schizophrenic and bipolar man within seconds of arriving at his house, claiming they felt threatened by the screwdriver he was holding.

Police arrest man in shooting of Ferguson police officers

By Nick Barrickman and Andre Damon, 16 March 2015

Despite a lack of evidence, St. Louis County authorities sought to associate Wednesday’s shooting with ongoing demonstrations against police violence.

1,600 people attend funeral for 19-year-old killed by police in Madison, Wisconsin

By Eric London, 16 March 2015

The funeral followed days of protests against police violence in which thousands of people participated.

New York Police Department caught whitewashing police crimes on Wikipedia

By Mark Witkowski, 16 March 2015

The NYPD’s rewriting of Wikipedia entries on police violence—including pages for Sean Bell, Eric Garner and Michael Brown—is part of a larger effort at disruption and surveillance on social media.

Hunger strike by UK asylum seekers

By Barry Mason, 16 March 2015

An estimated 30,000 migrants and asylum seekers, nearly one-third of them women and children, are being detained indefinitely in Britain while their immigration status is resolved.

Media, politicians seize on Ferguson shooting to blackguard protests against police violence

By Andre Damon, 14 March 2015

The wounding of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri is being used to delegitimize mass anger over the unending wave of police killings in America.

Police launch manhunt in Ferguson, Missouri after officers wounded

By Andre Damon, 13 March 2015

The Obama administration used Wednesday’s shooting to restate its support for the police in the face of ongoing demonstrations against police killings.

UN torture investigator barred from US prisons

By Matthew MacEgan, 13 March 2015

A UN official lashed out at the US government for barring him from investigating federal prisons, as well as for being the only nation that sentences children to life in prison without parole.

The fight against police violence in Madison, Wisconsin

By Andre Damon and Niles Williamson, 12 March 2015

In this video, students and workers in Madison speak about the significance of the ongoing wave of state-sanctioned police killings in the United States.

Shootings in Georgia and Colorado continue wave of police violence in US

By Niles Williamson and Andre Damon, 11 March 2015

On Monday, a Georgia police officer shot and killed 27-year-old Anthony Hill, who was naked and unarmed at the time, and was apparently suffering from a mental illness.

Protests continue in Wisconsin following police killing of Anthony Robinson

By Eric London and Niles Williamson, 11 March 2015

A World Socialist Web Site reporting team spoke with demonstrators at a rally in Madison, Wisconsin.

Police killings and the collapse of democracy in America

By Andre Damon, 10 March 2015

In working-class communities across the United States, police brutalize and kill with impunity, demonstrated once again in the killing of Anthony Robinson in Madison, Wisconsin.

Students protest Madison, Wisconsin police killing

By Niles Williamson, 10 March 2015

As many as 3,000 high school and college students converged inside the state capitol Monday afternoon to protest the police murder of unarmed teenager Anthony Robinson.

The Justice Department report on Ferguson police: An indictment of American capitalism

By Andre Damon, 7 March 2015

The report documents systematic and wanton brutality, violence and outright criminality on the part of police in Ferguson, Missouri.

Notes on police violence in America

Report finds FBI undercounts police killings by half

By Tom Hall, 7 March 2015

The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that an average of 928 people a year were killed by police from 2003 to 2011, more than twice the level reported in the FBI’s official reporting.

Justice Department report documents criminal abuse by Ferguson police

By Evan Blake, 6 March 2015

The report states that police in the St. Louis, Missouri suburb unlawfully arrest, beat, and taser residents.

Mayoral candidates silent on secret Chicago police prison

By Kristina Betinis, 6 March 2015

While more victims of police torture at Homan Square have come forward, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his liberal Democratic challenger, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, have said nothing.

Obama Justice Department: No charges against Ferguson killer cop

By Andre Damon, 5 March 2015

The decision not to bring charges against Darren Wilson exposes the fraud of the Obama administration’s supposed sympathy for the victims of police violence.

Protests follow LAPD shooting of homeless man on Skid Row

By Kevin Martinez, 4 March 2015

The victim of the latest police killing in the US has been identified as Charley Saturmin Robinet, a 39-year-old French immigrant.

Cleveland court filing alleges Tamir Rice caused his own death

By Tom Hall, 4 March 2015

The city’s filing alleges that the 12-year-old, shot dead by police while playing with a pellet gun, caused his own death by failing “to exercise due care to avoid injury.”

The police killing in Los Angeles

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 4 March 2015

Police killings are only the most visible expression of the brutality of social relations in the United States.

In wake of latest atrocity

Obama administration whitewashes police killings

By Andre Damon, 3 March 2015

The trivial recommendations by the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing amount to a green light for police violence and murder.

Millions view video showing police murder of homeless man in Los Angeles

By John Burton, 3 March 2015

The video shows multiple LAPD officers shooting the man while he is pinned to the ground.

Chicago’s Abu Ghraib

By Andre Damon, 27 February 2015

The Guardian newspaper has revealed the existence of a “black site” on the West Side of Chicago, where police detain, beat and torture prisoners.

Notes on police violence in America:

Independent autopsy finds Zambrano-Montes was shot twice from behind

By Evan Blake, 27 February 2015

The ongoing revelations of the killing in Pasco, Washington have renewed protests against police brutality and wanton killings of unarmed people across the US.

The human rights disaster in America

By Andre Damon, 16 February 2015

The government’s human rights rhetoric is not only at odds with American imperialist foreign policy, it is belied by the reality of life within the United States itself.

Notes on police violence in America

Indian grandfather partially paralyzed by Alabama police beating

By Tom Hall, 14 February 2015

57-year-old Indian national Sureshbhai Patel required spinal surgery after he was slammed into the ground by Madison police.

Study says US jails have become “massive warehouses” for the poor

By Tom Hall, 13 February 2015

A report by the Vera Institute of Justice compares American jails to debtors’ prisons and “de facto mental hospitals” housing prisoners unable to pay onerous fees.

Brooklyn grand jury indicts cop who shot Akai Gurley

By Sandy English, 12 February 2015

Peter Liang, the New York City police officer who shot Brooklyn resident Akai Gurley last November, will face charges of manslaughter.

Mayor announces bulletproof vests for New York City cops

By Fred Mazelis, 11 February 2015

A nonstop campaign is being waged to change the subject from police violence to the supposed criminality of protests against police violence.

Norfolk police chief apologizes for K9 attack as brutality cases mount

By Ed Hightower, 10 February 2015

Police in Norfolk follow the national trend of attack first, ask questions later.

Notes on police violence in America

Video shows Baltimore school cop beating 13-year-old girl with baton

By Tom Hall, 5 February 2015

The school officer struck Diamond Neals on the forehead and pepper sprayed her two cousins.

New police unit in New York: The ruling elite prepares for class struggle

By Fred Mazelis, 2 February 2015

Last week’s announcement of a new militarized police force to counter social unrest exposes the role and character of the administration of Democratic Party Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Lawsuit challenges use of pepper spray in Birmingham, Alabama schools

By Shelley Connor, 2 February 2015

Police in Birmingham City Schools used pepper spray on students 300 times between 2006 and 2011, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s lawsuit.

Police murders and the criminalization of protest in America

By Andre Damon, 31 January 2015

The official response to protests across the US against police murders has been repression, the whitewashing of killer cops, and the linking of political opposition to terrorism.