Criminalizing the Opposition to Police Shootings

In a disturbing, anti-democratic combination, the federal government is simultaneously trying to bury the number of police shootings happening around the country while criminalizing opposition to this violence. How have we reached a point where the government so blatantly flouts democratic norms? The Guardian reports that the government’s “effort” to document police shootings of civilians… Read More

Unequal Justice

Our system of unequal justice was on further display last week in St. Louis, where police officer Jason Stockley was found not guilty of murdering Anthony Lamar Smith. Stockley was accused of chasing Mr. Smith for three miles, shooting him without provocation, and then planting a gun in Mr. Smith’s car. A recording device inside… Read More

Journalists Sue Chicago Police Over Hidden Records of SWAT Responses to Mental Health Crises

City Refusal to Release Data About SWAT Team Deployments Since Closures of Mental Health Clinics Prompts Suit CHICAGO – Independent journalist Sarah Lazare and community activist Debbie Southorn sued the Chicago Police Department today demanding release of records about Chicago SWAT deployments responding to mental health crises. A copy of the suit can be found… Read More

Mom Sues Cop Who Killed Her Unarmed Son

After repeatedly tazing and beating a man who was begging for his life, Knox County cop shot him twice, committing “intentional homicide” LONDON, KY – A mother today sued in federal court Knox County, a Knox County sherriff’s deputy, and Knox County constable for allowing the deputy to repeatedly taze her unarmed, non-resisting son, beat… Read More

Record Wisconsin Settlement for Police Shooting of Tony Robinson, Jr.

Unarmed Teenager Was Shot by a Madison Police Officer At a news conference this afternoon in Madison, WI, the family of Tony Robinson, Jr. and their attorneys will be discussing the $3.35 million settlement of the case, which exceeds by more than $1 million the previous record in Wisconsin for a police-officer shooting suit. Tony… Read More

Immunity Run Amok

One of the things the 2016 elections laid bare is that ordinary Americans are tired of the powerful protecting and enriching themselves. At the heart of the American ideal of government of the people, by the people, and for the people is that no one is above the law. The United States Supreme Court is… Read More

Racism in Blue

Just before Trump’s inauguration, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Report summarizing its recent investigation of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), which resulted in many important findings. The Report discusses the police department’s pattern and practice of using excessive force, including rampant and unwarranted police shootings, profoundly unethical police practices, and a… Read More

The Truth of the Slager Trial

Remember the bystander video, taken after Walter Scott was stopped by police for having a burnt out taillight bulb? It circulated on the news and social media, showing Mr. Scott’s feeble jog away from the police officer, and Officer Michael Slager firing eight shots at Mr. Scott’s back. At the recent criminal trial against Officer… Read More

The Importance of the Pipeline Protests

A militarized response to a peaceful protest has no place in a civilized democracy. Such a response shows how our government systems often seek to protect the profit interests, at the expense of the marginalized. And that’s what we see as the government tries to shut down the protests at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, although this time the protesters appear to… Read More

Tracking Police Shootings

The federal government has finally decided that tracking national data about police shootings and in-custody police deaths is important. With police shootings regularly devastating communities, understanding the patterns behind the problem is essential to getting a handle on the violence. In theory, beginning next year we will no longer need to count on private tracking… Read More