The family of the black man whose shooting death by police in Charlotte, North Carolina, triggered two nights of riots viewed video of the episode on Thursday, but a lawyer for the family of Keith Scott said it was unclear if Scott was holding a gun when killed.
Not every police shooting of a black man is unjustified. Sometimes law enforcement authorities have no choice but to shoot a criminal suspect who behaves in a way that poses risks — both to police personnel and to civilians.
He was no Trayvon Martin or Tamir Rice, no unarmed innocent gunned down. No, Milwaukee police say Smith was an armed 23-year old with a lengthy arrest record — drugs, weapons, robbery — who bolted from a traffic stop Saturday afternoon. They say he ran a short distance, then wheeled around, gun in hand, refusing orders to drop it. Whereupon the police officer shot and killed him.
Montrell Jackson was the only one of the eight cops killed in Baton Rouge with the maddening and paradoxical distinction of being an African-American man killed in protest of police violence against African-American people.
The funeral of five Dallas police officers slain by a black former Army reservist was a solemn panoply of presidential unity. To comfort a country rocked by two years of police violence against black men, George W. Bush and Barack Obama led the grieving in the summer’s darkest hour.
The Baton Rouge police were given the green light by the FBI to approach this peaceful protest as they would an enemy force. This has been the dangerous pattern of federal law enforcement efforts these past few years: suppressing social movements in coordination with local police departments.
“We have a mandate: to avenge the sufferings of our ancestors, earn the respect of future generations and be transformed in the service of the work. That is what we are in the streets for. We’re going to take as much time as we need.”
Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner with a chokehold in 2014, was acquitted by a jury. Garner was unarmed, and Pantaleo had faced two civil suits previous to the incident related to abuses of power.
Posts on Twitter showed the demonstrators gathered outside the Triple S Food Mart convenience store in Baton Rouge, where, police said in a statement, the man, Alton Sterling, 37, was shot by officers soon after midnight.
The decision to abolish the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) comes a month after a task force released a scathing report recommending a new board to help mend strained relations between Chicago’s police force and the city’s minority communities. The task force report said IPRA was underfunded and staffed by former law enforcement officials whose findings were routinely reversed by the body’s leaders.
In their training, Chicago police officers are presented with scenarios in which they’re confronted by dangerous individuals while other people are nearby. The goal is to eliminate the threat while keeping bystanders safe. Yet over the years, innocent victims have been shot by police.
Long before Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tackled police accountability in an unusual speech before the City Council on Wednesday, demonstrators made it clear there was nothing the embattled mayor could say to calm the situation.
The U.S. Justice Department will open an investigation into the Chicago Police Department after protests over how it handled the case of a black teenager shot by a white police officer, a person familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
It doesn’t matter if she was disrespectful. That would justify discipline, but it emphatically does not justify this child being lifted and flung by a grown man as if she were an inanimate object. If she were white, that would likely go without saying.
Many rank-and-file officers and their superiors have assumed the mantle of victims, complaining that the Black Lives Matter movement disrespects, and even endangers, police. It keeps them from doing their jobs, they say.
Richland County Sheriff’s Department Senior Deputy Ben Fields was fired Wednesday, two days after an altercation between him and a female student at Spring Valley High School was caught on video and posted online.