Showing posts with label policing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label policing. Show all posts

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Memphis Grizzlies release statement on the death of Tyre Nichols

The NBA's Memphis Grizzlies released the following statement on the death of Tyre Nichols after the release of the video footage showing the brutal beating he endured at the hands of Memphis Police officers:

Thursday, January 27, 2022

St. Louis County appoints first Black police chief

A man who has served for 42 years in the St. Louis County Police Department was named police chief Tuesday, becoming the first Black chief in the department's history.

Kenneth Gregory, 70, has served as interim chief of the department for the last six months. The St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners appointed him chief after a four-hour closed meeting, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Police board chair Brian Ashworth said commissioners believe the department has stabilized and grown since Gregory was named acting chief July 30.

Gregory said 42 years ago no one would have considered "that a man that looks like me" would be the department's chief.

Gregory has worked in or led almost every St. Louis County police unit during his career.

He was named interim chief after former Chief Mary Barton resigned Aug. 6 when she agreed to drop a discrimination complaint against the county in exchange for a $290,000 settlement.

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Booker says he's "not giving up" on police reform after talks collapsed

Senator Cory Booker explained to "Face the Nation" just why talks fell apart and the road ahead to meaningful change in policing.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sen. Cory Booker: Qualified immunity needs to be changed

Sen. Cory Booker (R-N.J.) on Sunday said lawmakers are “making meaningful progress” in police reform negotiations, adding that he remains focused on eliminating qualified immunity.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Rodney Harrison: First African American NYPD Chief of Detectives

The New York City Police Department announced the appointment of Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison. The appointment makes Harrison the first black person to hold the role since the force's founding almost 200 years ago.

Chief Rodney Harrison currently serves as Chief of Patrol, playing a central role in the creation and roll-out of Neighborhood Policing to every precinct across the City. He will now serve as Chief of Detectives, overseeing the prevention, detection and investigation of crime, bringing a decade of experience supervising investigations and crime fighting prowess to build the strongest possible cases against perpetrators of criminal activity.

"Serving as Chief of Patrol has been a tremendous privilege. Through Neighborhood Policing, we have transformed how the NYPD works with community members, grounded in building strong relationships of mutual respect, toward our shared mission of safety," Harrison said.

Chief Rodney Harrison currently serves as Chief of the Patrol Services Bureau where he has overseen the bureau's Neighborhood Policing implementation. Chief Harrison began his career with the NYPD as a police cadet in June 1991. A year later, he became a police officer and patrolled the 114th Precinct in Astoria, Queens. In 1994, he was assigned to the Narcotics division and then promoted to Detective in 1995. Harrison later worked in various commands in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South and Patrol Borough Brooklyn North—including the 71 Detective Squad, 73 Detective Squad and 73 Precinct—and Patrol Borough Bronx. He served as executive officer of 47 Precinct. He has also served as commanding officer of the 28 and 32 Precincts. He was promoted to Deputy Chief while serving in the Internal Affairs Bureau and then held assignments in Patrol Borough Staten Island and Patrol Borough Brooklyn North. He then became the Chief of Detectives of Brooklyn North overseeing all investigations, before being appointed Chief of Patrol.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Chicago cop cited for racist and threatening Facebook posts

An oversight agency for the Chicago Police Department has cited a veteran officer for more than 60 rule violations, including openly advocating for civil war and Facebook posts that that it deemed to be racist, Islamophobic or threatening.

A 95-page report obtained by the Chicago Tribune shows that the Civilian Office of Police Accountability sustained 62 allegations of rule-breaking against Officer Brian J. Hansen.

"There can be no doubt, based on PO Hansen's Facebook activity and vehicle decals, that PO Hansen cannot live out this mission," the investigators wrote.

Most of the allegations involved Facebook comments Hansen posted between 2015 and 2017, according to the report.

"Alarmingly, PO Hansen also openly advocated for 'civil war,' encouraged people to settle their differences through violence, and even publicly supported the 'code of silence,'" the report said.

Among posts he shared was one of a cartoon boy urinating on the word "Allah" and one referring to African-American children as "wild African kids."

The agency said Hansen argued that his off-duty comments were protected by the First Amendment.

But it said the police department's general order prohibits officers from using social media to post content that's "disparaging to a person or group based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other protected class."

The report noted that officers can be fired for bigoted speech without violating the First Amendment. The agency also said that police officers are subject to greater First Amendment restraints than most other citizens.

Since August, the 25-year veteran has been stripped of his police powers and assigned to paid desk duty, according to the report. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has up to three months to make a recommendation on Hansen's employment to the Chicago Police Board. The board will ultimately decide Hansen's future with the department.


Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Sen. Cory Booker Statement on Department of Justice Review of Consent Decrees

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) issued the following statement after the Department of Justice announced a review of federal consent decrees with law enforcement agencies across the country:

“As mayor of Newark, I began as a skeptic of federal law enforcement consent decrees as we worked proactively to address long-standing issues with the Newark Police Department, working with the ACLU and residents to increase transparency and seek reforms. But I learned through my experience that these agreements can provoke meaningful changes in policing practices that improve public safety and fight crime while building trust between communities and police departments, ensuring fair enforcement of laws, and protecting civil rights. State and local police departments play a critical role in protecting our citizens and the vast majority of police officers do an incredible job in tough circumstances. Consent decrees, where necessary and properly constructed and implemented, can help keep officers and citizens safe, and improve life in the communities they serve.

“I’m deeply concerned that Attorney General Sessions’ announcement for a Department of Justice review of federal civil rights agreements with law enforcement would undermine the principle of equal justice for all Americans. I fear that this announcement paves the way for a retreat from accountability and oversight of allegations of systemic civil rights abuses. This would be a tremendous setback to both the efforts of our communities’ to fight crime and America’s ongoing commitment to fulfilling the promises of our Constitution. We need a Justice Department that takes seriously its charge to faithfully and vigorously enforce the nation’s civil rights laws and ensure that no one is above the law.”

Friday, January 13, 2017

DOJ unveils police reforms in Baltimore

Nearly two years after Freddie Gray's death in police custody led to protests, Baltimore and the US Justice Department agreed to terms Thursday on sweeping police reforms that include cameras in all police transport vans.
The 227-page consent decree comes after the Justice Department monitored Baltimore's policing methods for more than a year after the 2015 death of Gray, who suffered a fatal injury while being transported in a police van.
    "We now require cameras in those vans," Mayor Catherine Pugh said.
    "We want to make sure that individuals are transported singularly and that they're strapped into those vans correctly and that people are not harmed in that process."
    But the troubled police department's problems went beyond its transport of prisoners.

    Read more: DOJ unveils police reforms in Baltimore

    Saturday, October 15, 2016

    Ben & Jerry's issues statement in support of Black Lives Matter

    Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's has released the following statement in support of Black Lives Matter:

    Why Black lives matter.

    Black lives matter.

    They matter because they are children, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers.

    They matter because the injustices they face steal from all of us — white people and people of color alike. They steal our very humanity.

    Systemic and institutionalized racism are the defining civil rights and social justice issues of our time. We’ve come to understand that to be silent about the violence and threats to the lives and well-being of Black people is to be complicit in that violence and those threats.

    We ask you to join us in not being complicit.

    There is good news: the first step in overcoming systemic racism and injustice is to simply understand and admit that there is a problem. It’s trying to understand the perspective of others whose experiences are different from our own. To not just listen, but to truly understand those whose struggle for justice is real, and not yet complete.

    Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP, said it best when reacting to the recent police shooting in Charlotte, NC. He said, “Our objective is simple: to ensure justice-loving people act toward justice, with all evidence, and that we stand together and act from a place of power and love, rather than out of fear and anger.”

    It’s been hard to watch the list of unarmed Black Americans killed by law enforcement officers grow longer and longer. We understand that numerous Black Americans and white Americans have profoundly different experiences and outcomes with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. That’s why it’s become clear to us at Ben & Jerry’s that we have a moral obligation to take a stand now for justice and for Black lives.

    We want to be clear: we believe that saying Black lives matter is not to say that the lives of those who serve in the law enforcement community don’t. We respect and value the commitment to our communities that those in law enforcement make, and we respect the value of every one of their lives.

    But we do believe that — whether Black, brown, white, or blue — our nation and our very way of life is dependent on the principle of all people being served equal justice under the law. And it’s clear, the effects of the criminal justice system are not color blind.

    We do not place the blame for this on individual officers. Rather, we believe it is due to the systemic racism built into the fabric of our institutions at every level, disadvantaging and discriminating against people of color in ways that go beyond individual intent to discriminate. For this reason, we are not pointing fingers at individuals; we are instead urging us to come together to better our society and institutions so that we may finally fulfill the founding promise of this country: to be a country with dignity and justice for all.

    All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter.

    We ask people to be open to understanding these issues, and not to reflexively retreat to our current beliefs. Change happens when people are willing to listen and hear the struggles of their neighbor, putting aside preconceived notions and truly seeking to understand and grow. We’ll be working hard on that, and ask you to as well.

    - Your friends at Ben & Jerry’s


    Friday, July 08, 2016

    Black Lives Matter doesn't make black people dislike cops, bad cops do.

    By George L. Cook III [EMAIL]

    After the tragic shooting in Dallas of 11 police officers, 5 of whom dead there were those who jumped at the chance to blame BLM (Black Lives Matter). Some going as far as to say the shooters were BLM members which we now know is false.

    But even those who didn't go that far keep pushing the idea that it's BLM's anti-police rhetoric that leads to the hate of police in minority communities. Now President Obama and the likes of Al Sharpton have also been blamed for ginning up anti-police feelings.

    If you subscribe to that theory, then you must believe that millions of black men enjoyed their mistreatment, harassment, and belittling, at the hands of police and didn't think to be upset until someone told them to do so. Cause you know, black people never think of anything on their own.


    Black men and their communities don't need any group or individual to tell them to mistrust or dislike the police, bad cops are doing a great job of making sure that happens. Decades of abusive police patrolling black and brown neighborhoods leads to decades more of hate and mistrust toward the police, even the good ones. Many young black boys grow up wanting to be cops until they are mistreated themselves or see an older family member harassed by the police. They now view people they once saw as heroes as a threat and not someone to run to for help. That's not the fault of BLM at all.

    Almost every black man can tell you of a police encounter where they feared they might die or get arrested for doing nothing wrong. I remember one of the times I was stopped for no reason. I was home on leave from the US Army and a cop pulling me over because he thought I didn't belong in "his"town. He, of course, used the old tried and true excuse of there being a B&E and my car matching the description as a reason for the stop. He went off on a tangent about how I should get a job and do something with my life without knowing who I was at all as three more police cars pulled up around me. How do you think I felt seeing that? After running my license (for 30 minutes, LOL) and seeing I was clean, the officer was obviously upset and told me he was letting me go although I hadn't done anything, to begin with for him to have to let me go. No apology, no I'm sorry for the inconvenience or anything, he just handing me back my papers and walked off. My distrust of the police is no fault of BLM.

    All black men know that whether in a sweat suit or a business suit any mundane encounter with the police can be their last. How do you think that makes a black man feel toward police. That again is not the fault of BLM.

    Trust and respect are earned not given. When ALL police treat everyone with dignity, politeness, and respect that they afford white Americans, then they will be viewed and treated differently. Police have to remember that you get back what you put out. So if you want to act as an occupying force, you will be handed like one.

    To be clear I am talking about bad cops here who abuse the right to wear a badge, not those that truly act like all lives matter. If all police behaved that way groups like Black Lives Matter would not exist.

    George L. Cook III AfricanAmericanReports.Com

    Wednesday, May 11, 2016

    Federal grand jury indicts Michael Slager in shooting of Walter Scott

    A federal grand jury this week indicted former North Charleston officer Michael Slager on charges of violating a civil rights law and misleading investigators in Walter Scott’s death, a rare measure in police shootings that gives authorities another route to reach a conviction.

    Chief among the three charges is a count of deprivation of civil rights under the color of law. Public officials are barred under the federal statute from using their powers to violate people’s “rights, privileges or immunities.” The indictment alleges that Slager was acting with his authority as a policeman when he used unreasonable force — a violation of the Constitution — by shooting Scott five times from behind.

    He also was indicted on counts of using a firearm in a violent crime and obstruction of justice. He’s accused of telling state investigators that Scott was coming at him with his own Taser when he fired. A video showed Scott running away.

    The grand jury first met nearly a month ago and handed down the indictment Tuesday. It was made public Wednesday.

    Slager, 34, is expected to be arrested again under a federal warrant. He has been free on bail since January in the state’s murder case. An arraignment was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in U.S. District Court in downtown Charleston.

    Read more: Federal grand jury indicts Michael Slager

    Monday, May 09, 2016

    Ferguson swears in first African American police chief

    The city of Ferguson, Missouri, swore in Delrish Moss as its first African-American police chief on Monday.

    Friday, April 15, 2016

    7 stark findings on Chicago police treatment of blacks and Latinos

    The report of a Chicago task force investigation into the culture and practices Chicago Police Department contains some disturbing revelations ( these are probably not revelations to the black and brown people of Chicago though.). The report states that the Chicago Police Department's "own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color."

    Here are seven findings from the disturbing report:


    1. Blacks are shot at alarming rates.

    2. City has a sad history of false arrests and wrongful convictions.

    3. Those sworn to protect instead often mistreat.

    4. Many cops view people of color as perps.

    5. Combating racial bias is not a department priority.

    6. There is no accountability.

    7. Police stops make matters worse.

    Read more about this disturbing report here: 'No regard': 7 stark findings on Chicago police treatment of blacks and Latinos

    Tuesday, December 22, 2015

    No indictment in Sandra Bland case

    A grand jury has decided not to indict anyone in the case of Sandra Bland, whose death in police custody raised questions of excessive force and the role of race.

    The grand jury met for more than eight hours Monday.

    "After reviewing all the evidence in the death of Sandra Bland, a Waller grand jury did not return an indictment in the death of Bland, nor were any indictments returned against any employee of the Waller County Jail," said Darrell Jordan, a special prosecutor handling the case.

    The grand jury will reconvene in January to consider other indictments.

    Read more; Grand jury decides against indictments in Sandra Bland case

    Sunday, June 14, 2015

    Georgia cop speaks out against bad cops and speaks up for the good ones

    Billy Ray Fields, an African American police officer in Georgia has posted a video doing something that can quickly ease tensions between African American communities and cops. Fields admits that there are bad cops and hopes that they are kicked off the force. What's sad is that he also admits that speaking out could hurt his career although he also speaks up for good cops. Check out the video below.

    Tuesday, June 02, 2015

    Sen. Booker wants police departments to track shootings after Ferguson and Baltimore

    Police departments would be required to report to the Justice Department any time law enforcement officers are involved in shootings or are the victims of an attack leading to serious injury or death under legislation introduced Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.

    The legislation was introduced in response to a series of killings of unarmed black men by police officers in cities such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, as well as a spate of attacks on police officers, such as the murders of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu of New York City, who were shot and killed while sitting their patrol car in Brooklyn in December.

    "Our legislation is vital to ensuring we have the data required to make good decisions and implement reform measures that are balanced, objective, and protect the lives of police officers and the public," said Booker (D-N.J.), who introduced the bill with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

    Under the bill, states would be required to report the gender, race, ethnicity, and age of each person shot, injured, or killed; when the shooting occurred; the number of officers and civilians involved; whether the civilian was armed; and what force was used.

    Read more: Booker wants police departments to track shootings after Ferguson and Baltimore

    Saturday, December 06, 2014

    Body cameras protect both civilians and the police.

    First let me say that I have a deep respect for most of the people that police our neighborhoods and understand that they perform a necessary and at times dangerous job. It's a job I want no part of as I'm sure that cops see people at their worst and have to deal with some overwhelming situations. To those good cops who protect us, THANK YOU.

    In light of the tragic deaths of both Eric Gardner and Michael Brown at the hands of the police many have suggested that police officers wear body cameras, and several departments such as Newark NJ and New York City are instituting pilot programs.

    For some reason some cops and or their unions seem to be against the idea and think it will drastically affect how cops do their jobs. They say cops will be so worried about what they can and can not do that many will simply stop policing or be too busy over thinking a situation to do their jobs. They believe cops would do this to avoid being caught in any wrongdoing on camera.

    My response to that is if you are doing things the right way, what are you afraid of? If you are following police procedures and treating all citizens with respect why would having to wear a camera bother you at all.

    Police should keep in mind that body cameras also help THEM. There are many instances where the cameras showed that the police were in the right, and video has exonerated them. I see no reason why GOOD cops would have a problem wearing a body camera.

    I also realize that a body camera doesn't solve everything. Those cops determined to do wrong will simply shut the camera off and depend on the fact that far too many District Attorneys and grand juries give them the benefit of the doubt. There must be punishment for those who don't have the cameras on when interacting with the public for this to work.

    I think body cameras are a good idea and as long as cops are acting as officers and not overseers they will have nothing to worry about when wearing one.

    George L. Cook III