Police Violence in America

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.

New pamphlet on police killings from Mehring Books

By Shannon Jones, 31 January 2015

The War Comes Home: Race, Class and Police Violence in America examines the connection between the growth of police violence and the expanding powers of the repressive military/intelligence apparatus.

Notes on police violence in America

Police shoot and kill teenage girl in Longview, Texas police station

By Evan Blake, 30 January 2015

The incident follows the police shooting of 16-year-old Jessica Hernandez in Denver, Colorado this week.

No further prosecution for policeman who killed Detroit seven-year-old

By James Brewer, 30 January 2015

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office announced they would not pursue a third trial against Officer Joseph Weekley for the death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones.

Denver police shoot and kill sixteen-year-old girl

By Tom Hall, 29 January 2015

Denver officers responding to a “suspicious activity” complaint fired several rounds into a car carrying 16-year-old Jessica Hernandez and four of her friends.

St. Louis police gun down another teenager

By Kevin Martinez, 23 January 2015

An eyewitness account contradicted officers’ claims that the young man was holding a pistol.

Notes on police violence in America

Video shows New Jersey police killing man as he attempts to surrender

By Tom Hall, 23 January 2015

Officers shot Jerame Reid nine times as he got out of a car with his hands raised.

Report: No federal charges against Ferguson, Missouri cop who killed Michael Brown

By Andre Damon, 22 January 2015

The Obama administration’s decision not to pursue civil rights charges against Darren Wilson is only the final act in the drive to shield Darren Wilson from prosecution.

Miami begins “virtual policing” of residents

By Matthew Taylor, 22 January 2015

The Miami Police Department has rolled out a mass public surveillance system consisting of 25 high-definition cameras spread throughout the city.

The murder of Akai Gurley and police repression in New York City public housing

By Isaac Finn, 21 January 2015

The cop who killed Gurley last November was conducting a “vertical patrol,” a regular NYPD tactic, with his gun drawn.

New York City Mayor de Blasio vows to veto law outlawing police chokeholds

By Sandy English, 17 January 2015

De Blasio’s statement followed the publication of a report showing that officers that used chokeholds on residents received little or no punishment.

Notes on police violence in America

Detroit area police caught on video beating handcuffed suspect

By Tom Hall, 16 January 2015

The police chief of Grosse Pointe Park declared that the beating was justified after a seven-minute recording surfaced on Facebook.

One day after Albuquerque cops charged with murder, another fatal police shooting

By D. Lencho, 15 January 2015

The latest incident brings the number of officer-involved shootings since 2010 to 42, with 29 of them fatal.

Murder charges filed against Albuquerque cops who killed James Boyd

By D. Lencho, 14 January 2015

Albuquerque Police Department officers have never before faced criminal charges for a shooting.

Cleveland police gave 12-year-old Tamir Rice no medical aid after shooting him

By Nick Barrickman, 10 January 2015

Police tackled and handcuffed the boy’s 14-year-old sister as she attempted to run to her brother’s side.

New York police continue counteroffensive with arrests of protesters and work slowdown

By Sandy English, 9 January 2015

New York police arrested protesters in Grand Central Station as the NYPD continued its slowdown in summonses for minor crimes.

Police brutality and impunity in Ontario

By Carl Bronski, 9 January 2015

A 48-year-old Ontario mother who was brutally beaten by a police officer was exonerated in court last month.

Cleveland, Ohio woman’s death at hands of police ruled a homicide

By Samuel Davidson, 9 January 2015

Tanisha Anderson died after a police officer slammed her head on to the pavement with his knee on her back.

Notes on police violence in America

Missoula, Montana police accused of fabricating story after officer kills man “execution style”

By E.P. Bannon, 8 January 2015

The attorney for the victim’s family claims that almost all of the details of the official police story are false.

Ferguson grand juror seeks to speak out against rigged procedure

By Gabriel Black, 7 January 2015

The grand juror claims that prosecutor Robert McCulloch twisted evidence in favor of Darren Wilson, deliberately muddled the law and misrepresented jurors’ views.

Legal attack on Minnesota protest against police murders

By Jonas Boquist, 7 January 2015

In a further drive to punish and criminalize dissent, a Minnesota city attorney is seeking to prosecute protesters and compel organizers to pay the costs for the police mobilization.

Police kill man holding toy gun in California

By Gabriel Black, 6 January 2015

Police killed a 32-year-old man in San Francisco Sunday who was allegedly brandishing an airsoft gun.

Second New York cop funeral provides platform to muzzle opposition

By Daniel de Vries, 5 January 2015

The political mobilization behind the police continued at the funeral for the second slain officer on Sunday.

Police counter-offensive continues in New York

By Daniel de Vries, 31 December 2014

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was greeted with boos and jeers Monday as he addressed a ceremony for 900 graduating police cadets at Madison Square Garden.

A political mobilization of the American police

By Patrick Martin, 29 December 2014

The funeral Saturday for a policeman shot to death in New York City was used to intimidate widespread popular opposition to police brutality and violence.

Notes on police violence in America

By Matt Rigel, 29 December 2014

Horrifying police violence against civilians has become a central feature of American society.

Police shooting of teen provokes protests in Berkeley, Missouri

By Nick Barrickman, 27 December 2014

After the killing of Martin, protests broke out at the scene near Ferguson, with police arresting several demonstrators.

Arrests for social media posts follow NYPD shootings

By Matthew MacEgan, 27 December 2014

Several people have been arrested for allegedly making “threatening” statements, either verbally or on social media, in many states, including New York, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Massachusetts and Vermont.

The New York shooting and the bid to outlaw opposition to police violence

By Andre Damon, 24 December 2014

The police, media and politicians have seized on the shooting of two cops in Brooklyn last weekend to denounce any opposition to police violence as illegitimate.

New York City mayor calls for a halt to protests against police violence

By Andre Damon, 23 December 2014

In a press conference Monday, Mayor De Blasio called on residents to report anyone making “unacceptable” remarks about police.

Parents of US toddler injured in SWAT raid face $1 million in medical bills

By Tom Hall, 23 December 2014

Officials in Habersham County, Georgia are refusing to pay for 18-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh’s medical expenses after he was critically injured by a flash-bang grenade during a no-knock SWAT team raid.

New York City police pledge “wartime” response to killing of two officers

By Sandy English, 22 December 2014

The killing of two police officers in New York City this weekend has been followed by a near-mutinous response from the city’s police department, with demands for a crackdown on protests against police violence.

Prosecutor in Michael Brown case knowingly presented false testimony favorable to Ferguson cop

By Andre Damon, 22 December 2014

The revelation underscores the fact that the grand jury proceeding that failed to indict Darren Wilson was a legal fraud.

National Guard called up in response to Milwaukee protest over police violence

By Kristina Betinis, 22 December 2014

The activation of the National Guard is in anticipation of protests over a decision on whether or not to indict a Milwaukee police officer who killed unarmed Dontre Hamilton.

Obama “task force” on policing: A cover for militarization

By Andre Damon, 20 December 2014

Far from preventing police murders and holding the culprits accountable, Obama’s panel will seek to acclimate the population to an increasingly violent and militarized police force.

US Department of Justice to sue New York City over conditions at Rikers Island jail

By Sandy English, 19 December 2014

The DOJ in New York has filed a motion in federal court to join a suit against New York City over brutality and civil rights violations against youth in the Rikers Island prison complex.

Mass arrests at Eric Garner protest in London

By Paul Mitchell, 16 December 2014

The mass arrests at the Westfield demonstration reflect the nervousness of the ruling elite in the face of any form of dissent.

Tens of thousands join protests against police killings in the US

By Joseph Kishore, 15 December 2014

Protest organizers, including Al Sharpton, sought to channel popular anger over police violence behind the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.

Protesters in Washington, DC denounce police killings

By a WSWS reporting team, 15 December 2014

More than 10,000 protesters from many different states attended the demonstration against police killing in Washington, DC on Saturday.

New York City protest fills streets of Manhattan

By a WSWS reporting team, 15 December 2014

Outraged workers and youth denounced systemic police violence at a mass demonstration in New York City.

Torture, police killings and the militarization of America

By Bill Van Auken, 12 December 2014

The release of the CIA torture report in the midst of nationwide protests over US police killings has exposed a corrupt system in which state criminals at every level enjoy absolute impunity.

After being exposed, undercover cop draws gun on protesters in California

By Evan Blake and Gabriel Black, 12 December 2014

On Wednesday night, two plainclothes police officers dressed as protesters were exposed during a demonstration against police brutality in Oakland, California.

Protests over police killings continue in Northern California

By Evan Blake and Gabriel Black, 10 December 2014

Police cracked down on a third night of protests in Berkeley, California on Monday night, leading to the arrest of over 150 protesters.

Orlando, Florida police sergeant shoots unarmed man

By Matthew MacEgan, 10 December 2014

Orange County Sergeant Robert McCarthy fired three shots through a windshield at an unarmed man who witnesses said was holding his hands up.

Race, class and police violence in America

By Joseph Kishore, 9 December 2014

In response to popular anger over police violence in the US, the Obama administration has strengthened the apparatus of repression while deploying the practitioners of identity politics to obscure the basic class issues at stake.

Los Angeles police gun down man at busy Hollywood intersection

By John Burton, 9 December 2014

LAPD officers shot and killed a man allegedly carrying a small knife at an intersection in the heart of the Hollywood “Walk of Fame,” stunning tourists.

Brooklyn workers and young people condemn police violence

By a WSWS reporting team, 9 December 2014

Workers in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East Flatbush spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about police violence and social conditions for the working class.

Obama administration seeks to contain anger over whitewash of police killings

By Patrick Martin, 8 December 2014

The use of racial politics is a key part of the effort to obscure the social and political issues involved in the killing of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

The CIA torture report and the crisis of legitimacy in the United States

By Tom Carter, 8 December 2014

From CIA torture abroad to unrestrained police violence at home, the American ruling class is facing a deep crisis of political legitimacy, with revolutionary implications.

Tear gas, rubber bullets used against protests over police brutality in Berkeley, California

By our reporters, 8 December 2014

Police fired tear gas at a peaceful protest late Saturday evening, hitting both demonstrators and passersby.

“Community-oriented policing”: A cover for the militarization of police in the US

By Nick Barrickman, 8 December 2014

"Community policing" has served as a key facilitator for militarization, as well as the spread of community-based police informers.

Report on Cleveland exposes national epidemic of police killings and abuse

By Thomas Gaist, 6 December 2014

The Cleveland Department of Police “endorses” the excessive use of extreme and deadly force by its officers, according to a report by the Department of Justice.

Cleveland police seek to justify shooting death of 12-year-old boy

By Samuel Davidson, 6 December 2014

From the moment Tamir Rice was shot, the police and media have sought to present the killing as a “tragic death,” while placing responsibility on the boy’s parents and family.

Protests continue over decision not to charge cop who killed Eric Garner

By our reporters, 6 December 2014

Details have begun to emerge about the background of the police officer who choked Garner to death, and the rigged character of the grand jury that decided not to bring charges.

Police shooting of unarmed man in Phoenix, Arizona sparks protests

By Charles Abelard, 6 December 2014

In Phoenix, Arizona, 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon was shot dead in yet another police confrontation, setting off more protests against police violence.

Police killings in America: The class issues

By Joseph Kishore, 5 December 2014

Once again, a police officer has been let off without charges for killing an unarmed man on the streets of an American city.

Protests erupt over decision not to indict cop who killed Eric Garner

By a WSWS reporting team, 5 December 2014

Police in New York City carried out mass arrests after thousands of people participated in protests, as outrage builds over police killings in the United States.

The Obama administration and disappeared Mexican students

By Marc Wells, 5 December 2014

The disappearance of 43 students in Mexico is the product not only of policies pursued by the Peña Nieto government, but those of Washington as well.

Anger follows New York grand jury’s failure to indict cop who killed Eric Garner

By Sandy English, 4 December 2014

The latest grand jury exoneration comes less than two weeks after a similar decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Hundreds of police killings go unreported

By our reporter, 4 December 2014

National statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation underreport police killings in the US by 25 percent or more.

Obama’s paramilitary police: The “war on terror” comes home

By Andre Damon, 3 December 2014

The ongoing militarization of local police forces is a major component of the assault on democratic rights in the United States.