Tag Archives: Police

Dad Calls Cops on Son to Teach Him a Lesson, Cops Shoot Son Dead

This story is sad on so many levels…

Gawker

A father’s attempt to teach his son a lesson for taking his truck without permission ended in tragedy Monday after a local police officer shot the teenager dead.

James Comstock told the Des Moines Register he called the police on his son Tyler after the latter took the former’s truck in retaliation for refusing to buy him cigarettes.

Ames Police Officer Adam McPherson reportedly spotted the lawn care company vehicle and pursued it onto the Iowa State University campus, where a brief standoff ensued after Tyler allegedly refused orders to turn off the engine.

McPherson eventually fired six shots into the truck, two of which struck Tyler who was later pronounced dead.

The official report claims the action was necessary in order “to stop the ongoing threat to the public and the officers.”

Tyler’s dad says he was unarmed at the time.

“So he didn’t shut the damn truck off, so let’s fire six rounds at him?” exclaimed Gary Shepley, Tyler’s step-grandfather. “We’re confused, and we don’t understand.”

James said his son had his fair share of minor troubles with the law, and was distraught over a recent breakup with his girlfriend, but was in the process of turning his life around, and was working on obtaining his GED at Des Moines Area Community College.

“He was a smart kid. He made his own computers. He was interested in IT,” James told the Register.

The family’s demands for answers got even louder following the revelation that a member of the Ames police department suggested twice that officers call off the chase.

“He took off with my truck. I call the police, and they kill him,” James said. “”It was over a damn pack of cigarettes.”

McPherson is currently on paid leave pending the results of his department’s investigation.

9 Comments

Filed under Police Misconduct

Why ‘stop and frisk’ is worse than NSA surveillance

New York Police Department officers monitor a march against stop-and-frisk tactics used by police on February 23.If my boys, who are now in their 40′s had lived during these times in NYC there is an overwhelming chance that they would have been stopped and frisked several times.  Today my  sons and daughters are professionals in their chosen fields, but would they have had that chance in today’s NYPD environment?

The New York Civil Liberties Union has published data that show African Americans and Latinos are the prime targets of the Stop and frisk programs.

The Compass - Marc Ambinder

My black friends in New York, particularly those who don’t live in the fancier precincts of Manhattan, have been harassed by the NYPD in a way that I, as a white guy, will never experience.

They’ve been stopped and frisked, for reasons known only to the officers. Almost every young black male I know has a story to tell.

The news today that a federal judge found this deliberate policing policy to be unconstitutional is a welcome one.

If you have never been stopped and frisked by a cop, it might not seem like a big deal.

So you lose, what, a few minutes of your time. You get frisked, there’s nothing on you, and you get sent on your way. It’s like the TSA.

Except that it’s not. It’s an encounter between powerless citizens and highly empowered police officers. It is scary. The confrontations are often aggressive, which is entirely appropriate from the perspective of the police officer: The person might be carrying. You’ve been singled out for your proximity to a place where a crime might be committed and because of the way you look, the way you move, the route you take. Your attitude towards the police will harden.

I think the NYPD is by and large an incredible organization and that its policing strategies have made New York City immeasurably safer; the city’s minority residents live with much less fear than ever before. But I think the “stop and frisk” policy is overzealous and counter-productive. And I think, in a small but tangible way, the practice harms those who come into contact with it.

The NSA’s surveillance capabilities and even its bulk collection programs do not damage or degrade Americans’ rights; they do not harm our ability to participate in the political process. (I think the FBI’s policies are MUCH more worrisome on that end.) To me, the symbolic harm is enough. I want the bright line to exist to prevent potential abuses by unsavory politicians.

There are many, many important debates to have about civil rights and liberties. Because of the NSA’s size, scope, and reach, I would be very concerned if the potential for willful abuse, and by extension, the potential to do something tangibly bad to Americans (and other innocents) was more than negligible. But it is negligible. Figuring out how to make sure NSA does everything right is important, but there is not one iota of evidence that the over-collection, even if it was broad, was (a) willful (b) not immediately reported and (c) ever detected by the Americans whose data passed through computers it shouldn’t have.

Yes, it would make me feel weird if I knew that an analyst somewhere was able to read my email; yes, I am totally and resolutely in favor of strong oversight procedures that are recognized by everyone as legitimate; but all the same, I am not being stopped by the police, or tortured, or arrested, or asked not to write something, or harassed, or, really, impacted in any way by that over-collect.

We have to make distinctions between what gives us the willies and what hurts or harms us. We have to make distinctions, fine ones, within topics; the NSA is not the CIA is not the FBI is not the NYPD.

Torture is evil. False wars are evil. Companies manipulating the data they collect to make you buy things and vote for people — that’s pretty wicked, too. What NSA does is not remotely close to that. To circle back to the point that’s obvious: They’re the government. They personify executive power. Our skepticism ought to be higher. I totally agree. But at the same time, we should not invent a caricature of what NSA does in order to polarize the debate about it. The facts don’t warrant that, just in the same way that the facts about the history of intelligence collection should absolutely force us to be vigilant.

In the scheme of things, the stop and frisk policy is a greater threat to civil rights than the NSA’s bulk collection programs.

5 Comments

Filed under NYC Stop & Frisk Laws

Two white Texas officers fired for beating black woman over $150 fine

Keyarika “Shea” Diggles accuses Jasper police officer of brutality

Did the police officers forget that there was a surveillance camera in the room?  Did they even care?  Probably not.  After all, the incident did occur in Jasper, Texas.

The Raw Story

Two police officers in Texas have been fired after they were caught on video beating a woman who was being arrested for an unpaid traffic ticket.

In an interview with KBMT last week, 25-year-old Keyarika “Shea” Diggles said that Jasper Officer Ricky Grissom was polite at first, allowing her to call her mother from the police station to raise the $150 needed to pay the fine.

But Grissom eventually became impatient and cut off the call.

“He said, ‘I’ve been waiting here all this time when I could have been out patrolling, waiting on you. This is stupid,’” Diggles recalled. “He just went to cussing. And then I was like, ‘Well, you don’t have to yell at me.’”

Video obtained from the Jasper Police Department shows Grissom pushing Diggles up against a wall before Officer Ryan Cunningham comes from behind and slams her head against a counter top. Diggles is then forced to the ground and dragged by her ankle into a nearby cell.

“The amount of force used was abominable,” attorney Cade Bernsen, who is representing Diggles,told Yahoo News. “She got her hair pulled out, broke a tooth, braces got knocked off… it was brutal.”

On Monday, the Jasper City Council dismissed Grissom and Cunningham. A charge of resisting arrest against Diggles was also dropped.

In a famous 1998 case, an African-American man named James Byrd Jr. died after being tied to the back of a pickup drug and dragged and decapitated by at least two white supremacists in Jasper. And in last year, the city’s first African-American police chief, Rodney Pearson, was fired by the majority-white city council. He is now suing.

“It’s a different part of the world, man, it’s crazy,” Bernsen explained to Yahoo News.

Watch this video from KBMT, broadcast May 29, 2013.

3 Comments

Filed under African-Americans, Police Brutality

Texas Police Tase Overweight Asthmatic to Death in Drug Raid That Uncovers No Drugs

Yet another sad casualty of the war on drugs

Alternet

On May 16th, Forth Worth police entered the home of Jarmaine Darden, 34, in search of cocaine. The raid, which does not appear to have uncovered any cocaine,  ended with the 34-year-old father dead after police tased him multiple times.

Family members told CBS 11 that the 350-pound man, who’d been asleep on the couch when police came in, couldn’t drop to the ground on his stomach as officers commanded because he suffered from asthma.

“They physically pulled him off the couch because, like I said, he was asleep. They pulled him off the couch and they tried to put him on his stomach. He can’t breathe on his stomach. He don’t even lie on the bed on his stomach,” said Donna Randle, the mother of victim Jarmaine Darden, 34. 

According to what witnesses told CBS 11, Darden stopped breathing and died after police tased him the second time. An investigation into the incident is underway.
Tasers are supposed to save lives by allowing police to de-escalate dangerous situations without using their guns. But critics say they are over-used and can prove deadly, most often by causing cardiac arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, including in otherwise healthy individuals. Hundreds of incidents of death or injury have been reported, leading to multiple lawsuits against police departments and Taser International, a manufacturer of the weapon.
Ironically, police officers have sued the company in the past for taser injuries suffered  during training sessions. 

 

Comments Off

Filed under Taser Incidents, War on Drugs

Police Chief Calls Out Armed Protest Threat In Washington DC

Think Progress

A July 4 march encourages gun advocates tocarry loaded rifles into Washington, DC and knowingly break the law. Although described as a nonviolent “act of civil obedience,” organizer Adam Kokesh implied a threat of violence if “the government chooses to make it violent.” He encourages participants to peacefully submit to law enforcers but underlines that point with, “We are truly saying in the SUBTLEST way possible that we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.”

Since Friday, more than 2,000 people have RSVPed to the march to “put the government on notice.”

In a local news channel interview pointed out by Politico, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier explained that this is an open disregard for DC law:

[W]hen you cross with firearms and you’re not in compliance with the law now you’re talking about a criminal offense and there’s going to be some action by police. Obviously there has been no permit filed by the organizer and we’ve not made contact with the organizer yet. But we will, and we’ll make sure they understand that if they want to pass through the District of Columbia with loaded firearms as long as they are in compliance with the firearms laws for transportation of firearms to the District, we’re all for it. But passing into the District of Columbia with firearms is a violation of the law and we’ll have to treat it as such.

Whether Lanier’s warning invigorates or extinguishes the protest remains unclear.

Kokesh’s plans, along with a series of other open carry protests, undermines arguments made by the National Rifle Association against gun violence prevention. The NRA claims that it is unfair of the government to strengthen background checks or ban assault rifles for law-abiding citizens. Yet this protest plans to purposely break the law.

That point is missed by Kokesh. Open carry is illegal in the District, but Kokesh wants to aim his message at the federal government for attempting modest background checks supported by gun owners and non-gun owners alike.

 

1 Comment

Filed under 2nd Amendment, NRA

NYPD: It’s too hard looking for gay-bashers

NY-Knicks

I would suspect that some members and officials of the NYPD have the same mindset as the alleged gay-bashers, hence their original statement that it would be “too hard to find them”...

America Blog

Two gay men were reportedly attacked, apparently for walking arm in arm, outside a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden in NYC on Sunday.

The police originally told the victims, one of whom suffered a broken nose, that it would be hard identifying the suspects since so many people were wearing Knicks shirts at the time.

Once word got out about the crime, the NYPD changed its tune and announced on Tuesday that it was looking for the suspected gay-bashers.

I’ve witnessed this kind of behavior before from the police in Washington, DC.  They have ample incentive for trying to get you not to file a crime report.  First, there’s an incentive to have crime go down, and one of the easiest ways to have crime go down is not to file a report at all.  So you’ll have police finding crafty ways of trying to convince victims not to file a

Two gay men were reportedly attacked, apparently for walking arm in arm, outside a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden in NYC on Sunday.

The police originally told the victims, one of whom suffered a broken nose, that it would be hard identifying the suspects since so many people were wearing Knicks shirts at the time.

Once word got out about the crime, the NYPD changed its tune and announced on Tuesday that it was looking for the suspected gay-bashers.

I’ve witnessed this kind of behavior before from the police in Washington, DC.  They have ample incentive for trying to get you not to file a crime report.  First, there’s an incentive to have crime go down, and one of the easiest ways to have crime go down is not to file a report at all.  So you’ll have police finding crafty ways of trying to convince victims not to file a report.

Another reason police don’t like to file crime reports is that if they catch a suspect, the paperwork, and the time it takes to get them in the system, and process them, is also a pain.   If you don’t catch the bad guy, you don’t have to work extra hours processing the bad guy.

And finally, if they’re going to through all that extra work to process arrestees, they’d rather do it for a “real” criminal, a murderer, rather than someone who beats the f out of gays.

In big cities, the system, and its incentives, sadly can work against victims (and against good police officers themselves).

Fortunately, NYPD seems finally interested in working on this crime.

(h/t Liberaland)

1 Comment

Filed under NYPD

5 dead after shooting in Seattle’s Federal Way suburb, police say

Our elected lawmakers are scared to death of the NRA, so sadly, this sort of thing will be happening ad infinitum

MSNBC News

Five people were killed in a shooting at an apartment complex near Seattle late on Sunday, including a suspect who was shot by officers, police said.

Officers were called to a shooting in progress at around 9:30 p.m. local time (12:30 a.m. ET) emergency call from the complex in Federal Way, which is between Seattle and Tacoma, police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock said.

Gunshots were still being heard when officers arrived at the complex, she said.

“As officers assessed the scene two males could be seen in the parking lot injured,” Schrock said in a statement.  “An officer attempted to rescue the men, and as the (police officer) approached, one of the males on the ground reached for a weapon.”

This led to police officers firing on the suspect. Three men were confirmed dead in the parking lot, and a woman and another man were found dead in a nearby apartment, police said.

No officers were injured in the incident.

While there was no word on what caused the gunfire, police said they did not think another shooter was on the loose.

Comments Off

Filed under Gun Violence

Nebraska Cops Chase Down Man Filming Their Police Brutality

nebraska-police

PoliticusUSA

Omaha, NE police not only used excessive force while performing arrest, but they also entered a home without a warrant to confiscate video, and knocked over a woman in a wheelchair.

A young man in black can be seen filming Omaha police officers using excessive force with his phone. The suspect’s brother was filming the abuse, and shouting at the officers, “That’s abuse. It’s abuse. It’s abuse,” and at one point telling an officer to, “get your knee off his neck.” As more officers arrive, police start chasing the brother in what appears to be an attempt to confiscate his phone.

According to PINAC, “Omaha police displayed an unbridled street gang brazenness when they chased a man who was video recording them abusing his brother into a private home, confiscating his phone and arresting him to ensure their actions would never see the light of day…Police also arrested a third brother inside the home they entered without a warrant, not to mention they knocked over a woman in a wheelchair.”

The Omaha police managed to use excessive force while arresting someone, then chased the person filming their conduct into a home, which they entered without a warrant, confiscated his video of the incident, charged him with disorderly conduct/obstructing police, and just for the sake of karma, knocked over a woman in a wheelchair.

Most law enforcement officers are decent people who perform dangerous jobs to the best of their ability, but it’s videos like this one that make all cops look bad. The Omaha police conspired with the local media to make sure that the video shot by the brother was not mentioned in any news reports, but their attempted cover up was thwarted by a neighbor who filmed the whole incident from a second story window.

 Bad cops may be able to hide their brutality from the local press, but they can’t hide from YouTube.

Let this be a lesson to all who abuse their power. The cameras are everywhere, and we’re watching.

1 Comment

Filed under Police Brutality, Police Misconduct

Jury Finds Occupy Wall Street Protester Innocent After Video Contradicts Police Testimony [Updated: VIDEO]

Police were kettling protesters on 29th Street using orange nets when they arrested Michael Premo.

I found this interesting and decided to share…

The Village Voice

In the first jury trial stemming from an Occupy Wall Street protest, Michael Premo was found innocent of all charges yesterday after his lawyers presented video evidence directly contradicting the version of events offered by police and prosecutors.

Premo, an activist and community organizer who has in recent months been a central figure in the efforts of Occupy Sandy, was one of many hundred people who took part in a demonstration in Lower Manhattan on December 17 of 2011, when some protesters broke into a vacant lot in Duarte Square in an attempt to start a new occupation.

After police broke up the action in Duarte Square, hundreds of protesters marched north,
playing a game of cat and mouse with police on foot and on scooters, who tried to slow and divide the column of marchers. At 29th Street near Seventh Avenue, police finally managed to trap a large number of marchers, kettling them from both sides of the block with bright orange plastic netting. After holding the crowd in the nets for some time, a few people managed to escape, and police rushed in to the crowd with their hands up. In the commotion, Premo fell to the ground and attempted to crawl out of the scrum. (Covering the march, I was also kettled on this block for a time, though I only witnessed Premo’s arrest from a distance.)

In the police version of events, Premo charged the police like a linebacker, taking out a lieutenant and resisting arrest so forcefully that he fractured an officer’s bone. That’s the story prosecutors told in Premo’s trial, and it’s the general story his arresting officer testified to under oath as well.

But Premo, facing felony charges of assaulting an officer, maintained his innocence. His lawyers, Meghan Maurus and Rebecca Heinegg, set out to find video evidence to contradict it. Prosecutors told them that police TARU units, who filmed virtually every moment of Occupy street protests, didn’t have any footage of the entire incident. But Maurus knew from video evidence she had received while representing another defendant arrested that day that there was at least one TARU officer with relevant footage. Reviewing video shot by a citizen-journalist livestreamer during Premo’s arrest, she learned that a Democracy Now cameraman was right in the middle of the fray, and when she tracked him down, he showed her a video that so perfectly suited her needs it brought a tear to her eye.

Continued here…

1 Comment

Filed under Occupy Wall Street

Christopher Dorner: cabin fire was not intentional, say police

I’ve been hesitant to write about this story due to some unresolved ambivalence on my part.

On one hand, I recognize completely that Christopher Dorner coldly murdered four people.  There is absolutely no justification for such actions by a sane and rational human being.  The question remains, however, was he sane and rational?  It seems to me Dorner had some serious psychological issues…yet…there was no talk of his psychological state.  Only that a big black ex-Navy sniper was running wild killing police officers.

This tweet summed it all up for me:

The Guardian

Sheriff’s office confirms pyrotechnic teargas canisters were launched into cabin but ‘we didn’t intend to burn it down’

Police have confirmed they started the blaze that engulfed Chris Dorner’s cabin but said the use of pyrotechnic canisters had not been intended to cause a fire.

“It was not on purpose. We didn’t intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr Dorner out,” John McMahon, a spokesperson for San Bernardino sheriff’s department, told a news conference on Wednesday night.

The admission followed speculation and controversy over whether authorities started the blaze to trap and kill a fugitive who had killed four people and terrorised police in a bloody vendetta against California‘s law enforcers.

Forensic scientists have not yet positively identified the human remains recovered from the cabin following Tuesday’s siege but McMahon said his department had little doubt they belonged to Dorner, 33, a former LAPD officer. “We believe that this investigation is over at this point.”

Link to video: Christopher Dorner: ‘police discuss burn plan’ – audio

 

The LAPD stood down from high alert and resumed regular policing, marking the end of a week-long drama of shootouts, chases and the biggest US manhunt in living memory.

Riverside police buried officer Michael Crain, 34, a father of two gunned down last week, to the accompaniment of bagpipes after a funeral cortege was led by police motorcycles.

The San Bernardino sheriff’s department named the deputy who died in Tuesday’s siege as Jeremiah MacKay, 35, a married veteran of the force with a seven-year-old daughter and four-month-old son.

Witnesses filled in details of Dorner’s dramatic bid to escape the mountains of San Bernardino, where he had holed up for five days, but key questions were left unanswered.

A sheriff’s department spokesman declined to explain how deputies missed Dorner while he hid apparently for five days in a cabin five minutes’ walk from the command centre that was used to direct a dragnet of 200 officers.

In desperation authorities drummed up a $1m reward for information leading to his capture, thought to be the largest bounty in California’s history.

The search around the mountains east of LA had been winding down on Tuesday when two housekeepers entered the cabin. Dorner tied them up and made off in a stolen purple Nissan. One of the housekeepers freed herself and alerted authorities.

Fish and wildlife department officers intercepted the vehicle and gave chase. Dorner shot and hit their vehicle but caused no injuries. He crashed, then commandeered a silver Dodge Ram pick-up belonging to Angelus Oaks resident Rick Heltebrake. Dorner pointed a rifle at Heltebrake’s head and ordered him out.

“I did not feel like he wanted to hurt me,” said the local camp ranger. “It was clear I wasn’t part of his agenda and there were other people down the road that were part of his agenda. Unfortunately he found them and now we have one less sheriff’s deputy in San Bernardino.”

Dorner briefly shook off his pursuers by overtaking two school buses and leaving the highway, said Patrick Foy, a spokesman with the fish and wildlife department, but other units found him after he again crashed. He fled on foot to the nearest rental cabin and was swiftly surrounded.

Swat teams lobbed traditional teargas canisters into the cabin but as Dorner kept firing they switched to pyrotechnic ones. “It does generate a lot of heat. We introduced those canisters into the residence and a fire erupted,” said McMahon. Such devices were called burners, he said.

The spokesman’s insistence that the blaze was not intentional appeared to be put in question by an exchange between deputies at the scene during the scene. The exchange was heard on a police scanner and published by the journalist Max Blumenthal.

“We’re gonna go ahead with the plan with the burner. Like we talked about,” said one deputy. Minutes later another deputy’s voice said: “The burner’s deployed and we have a fire.” Social media buzzed with claims that police had sought to burn Dorner alive.

1 Comment

Filed under LAPD