NPR: Judge Tosses Case Against Alabama Officer Accused Of Injuring Indian Man


NPR news reported this account of police misconduct, the video which clearly shows someone not resisting in any way….

A federal judge in Alabama has thrown out a civil rights case against a former Madison, Ala., police officer accused of using excessive force on an unarmed Indian man last February. Sureshbhai Patel, who was 57 years old at the time, suffered serious injuries.

Patel had been walking around his son’s neighborhood during a family visit to the United States. Police received a call about a “skinny black man” in the neighborhood. Parker said that Patel, who does not understand English, did not obey his commands. The confrontation, in which Parker is seen slamming Patel to the ground and falling on top of him, was caught on video.

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Wash. Post: Prosecutors will seek murder charges against Georgia officer who shot an unarmed, naked black man

The  Washington Post reported that a Police Officer killed a “Anthony Hill, an Afghanistan war veteran who was naked and unarmed when he was killed.” The article continued on stating that…

Prosecutors in DeKalb County, Ga., will seek a criminal indictment of the police officer who in March 2015 fatally shot Anthony Hill, an Afghanistan war veteran who was naked and unarmed when he was killed.

DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said Thursday that he will recommend a criminal grand jury indict Officer Robert Olsen on two counts of felony murder, two counts of violation of an officer’s oath, aggravated assault and making a false statement.

“Our decision is that we’re going forward on an indictment,” James said. “Ultimately it is going to be up to a grand jury as to whether or not Officer Robert Olsen is charged with felony murder.”….


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Chicago Tribune: Family of woman accidentally shot by Chicago police files lawsuit

The  Chicago Tribune recently reported that a lawsuit has been filed by a women who was shot and killed by police fire in Chicago. The article reports that:

The lawsuit says Bettie Jones was inside the building in the 4700 block of West Erie Street when she was fatally struck. The officer’s response to a domestic dispute involving her neighbors, Quintonio LeGrier, 19, and his father, Antonio, was “an excessive use of force,” the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit contradicts a law enforcement source who told the Tribune last week that the officer said he had gotten to the second-to-top step of the two-flat’s front porch when LeGrier came running out of the building, swinging a bat, before the officer opened fire. LeGrier also was killed.

Larry Rogers Jr., who is representing the Jones family, said the officer was about 20 feet away when he opened fire.

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NYT (caught on tape) Prison Brutality at Clinton Correctional: Getting the Story

The New York Times reported on a case where an inmate died at the hands of prison guards; watch the video here:

From our earliest visits to Clinton Correctional Facility, we heard stories from inmates about a fellow prisoner they claimed had been murdered. They didn’t have a name for him, or even a year, and the details differed in parts. But the central narrative was always the same: An inmate was pushed down a flight of stairs by guards and then so savagely beaten he died.

At first, we weren’t sure whether these accounts were fact or legend, but weeks later, as we were thumbing through a stack of state reports on prison deaths, there it was, just as we’d been told: an account of Leonard Strickland’s death.

For the next four months, we crisscrossed the state, visiting prisons in search of inmates who witnessed what had happened on Sunday morning, Oct. 3, 2010. We knocked on the doors of officers and civilian prison workers and spent two weeks at a civil trial, listening as the guards involved testified to their version of events. Our work culminated in a Page 1 Times story on Dec. 14.

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Video Shows Gang of Cops Beat 2 Non-violent Men for Walking Across the Street

Alternet: Austin, TX — A group of friends,  Jeremy Kingg, Lou Glen, Matt Wallace, and Rolando Ramiro were walking home Early Friday morning when they crossed the street in a manner unfit for a police state.

“We were walking across the street, the sign said ‘do not walk,’ but lights were already turning yellow and streets were blocked off, so we kept walking,” Ramiro says.

“[Police] flashed their flashlights at us, asked us to show them our IDs. Matt and Jeremy said to f— off,” noting that the street was barricaded so the ‘crime’ of Jaywalking was a moot point when cars are unable to drive down the street.

However, the half-dozen officers attempting to assert their authority over group did not approve of Wallace and Kingg’s tone, so they felt a gang beating was in order.

All of the sudden, multiple Austin cops coming running from their bicycles and proceed to start punching, kneeing, and kicking two young men…..

Read the rest of the article at Alternet

LATimes: Report on fatal shooting of unarmed black man is sharply critical of Pasadena police

An independent consultant’s report on the 2012 fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by Pasadena police officers sharply faulted the department’s investigation of the controversial killing, as well as the officers’ tactics.

The redacted document was released Tuesday after a yearlong legal battle during which the police officers union fought to keep its contents private.

Kendrec McDade, 19, was shot seven times after a 911 caller falsely reported that the Azusa High graduate was carrying a gun when he and a friend stole a laptop. The caller eventually pleaded guilty to falsely reporting a criminal offense, and the district attorney’s office cleared Officers Jeff Newlen and Matthew Griffin of wrongdoing in the shooting.

But according to the Office of Independent Review Group, Pasadena police failed during their investigation to determine whether witnesses could corroborate or refute the officers’ claims that McDade had been clutching at his waistband as he fled from their squad car.

The consulting group also faulted the department for not conducting a separate internal affairs investigation into the tactics used by the officers, for waiting 36 hours before interviewing them and for providing the pair with video recordings of the aftermath of the shooting before their interviews — an action that “is likely to distort pure recall either consciously or subconsciously,” the report said.

Read more at the LA Times

The Atlantic: Pleading for the Fourth

In her solo dissent from a case at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor chose to be blunt about the ruling’s implications. “By sanctioning a ‘shoot first, think later’ approach to policing, the Court renders the protections of the Fourth Amendment hollow,” she wrote of her colleagues’ 8-1 decision in Mullenix v. Lena to shield a police officer from liability for shooting a man during a high-speed chase.

Mullenix is neither a high-profile case on the Court’s docket nor a landmark decision in its jurisprudence. But Sotomayor’s dissent from it adds to what has become an increasingly prominent theme of her tenure: the Fourth Amendment’s constraints on law enforcement, and a skepticism toward those who try to stretch them.

This particular case centered on the death of Israel Leija, Jr., who was shot and killed by Chadrin Mullenix, a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety, during a high-speed pursuit on Interstate 27 near Tulia, Texas, in 2010. The chase began when a local police officer attempted to arrest Leija on an outstanding warrant in Tulia. Leija fled, leading officers on an 18-minute, high-speed pursuit. During the chase, Leija called the local police dispatcher and, in what the dispatcher interpreted as a state of intoxication, warned that he had a gun and would shoot officers pursuing him….Read the rest of the article at The Atlantic

Wash. Post: Uneven Justice, Police Killings and Mixed Verdicts

“Society is loath to convict cops who kill, so civil court is often the best place for victims’ families to get results. But there, some get millions, and some get nothing.” Read the whole store here: Uneven Justice – Fatal shootings by police lead to a wide range of settlements for families… “The Washington Post tracked civil lawsuits filed by 46 families after fatal shootings in which the officers were criminally charged. Most families received awards, with a median value of $1.2 million. The amounts ranged from $7,500 to $8.5 million.”

The article details several police killings. In all of these cases, civil and/or criminal charges were brought but the results were drastically different depending on the victim. The Washington Post is now maintaining a database, the number of people killed this year by police at 838 as of the publishing of this article. Although thousands are dead, the Washington Post reports, few police officers are prosecuted. Indeed, “[m]ost of the time, prosecutors don’t press charges against police — even if there are strong suspicions that an officer has committed a crime. Prosecutors interviewed for [the aforementioned] report say it takes compelling proof that at the time of the shooting the victim posed no threat either to the officer or to bystanders.” Lay this against the backdrop of police killing of Jeremy Mardis, just six years old….

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Seattle Times: Seattle cop who punched handcuffed woman won’t face federal prosecution

The Seattle Times reported that Federal prosecutors say they will not charge a Seattle police officer who punched a handcuffed, intoxicated woman during an arrest in June 2014.

In a letter to Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes wrote that her office will not seek an indictment against Officer Adley Shepherd, who has been on paid leave since the June 22, 2014, incident.

The decision opens the door for the department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) and its newly formed Force Investigation Team to review the incident to determine whether Shepherd should be disciplined.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg last year determined his office would not seek state felony charges against Shepherd, 39, a 10-year department veteran, for punching Miyekko Durden-Bosley while she was in the back of his police cruiser.

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