Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both responded to the death of Terence Crutcher over recent days. Upon seeing the video, both candidates expressed regret over his death. Although both Clinton and Trump concede that this particular instance was a tragedy, the candidates have very different understandings of the underlying issues behind police brutality.
Since 2004, Chicago has spent $642 million on police-related legal claims. Between 2012 and 2015, the City paid out a total of $210 million to settle police misconduct lawsuits, many on the receiving end of the settlements were Black and Brown folks. This is now the same city that will be hiring more police officers, putting more Black and Brown Chicagoans at risk. There is no nice way to say this, but Chicago is wasting its time – and money – hiring more police officers.
The recent deaths of police officers have spurred a legal backlash in many states, with so called “Blue Lives Matter” legislation that would qualify negative interactions with police by civilians or protesters as a hate crime. This legislation has recently come to Chicago, with a proposed expansion to the Hate Crime Ordinance which would treat crimes committed against police, firefighters and first responders as hate crimes.
The senseless murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile this week have drawn increased attention to the ways that police officers interact with people of color, specifically Black men. This video from StoryCorps highlights the ways that popular ideas about being “post-racial” or not “seeing” race at all don’t actually fix these issues. Instead, it leaves Black people especially vulnerable to police brutality.
A new bill in Indiana could put a dent on police accountability through police recordings.
House Bill 1019, authored by Republican Rep. Kevin Mahan, seeks to restrict public records requests for law enforcement recording by allowing police departments to decide whether video footage of officers—including body cameras and dashboard cameras—will be released. If police deny access, the next step would be to sue the agency.
Tuesday night was President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 13, 2016
Appropriate for the moment, his speech was retrospective, examining the work he was able to accomplish, and some of his shortcomings, over the past eight years.
“If they had taken one moment to look and survey the scene, they would have seen that none of the kids were running away because none of them felt that they were in any danger,” Blow said on CNN Tonight. “Before you shoot somebody, you need to take a breath to say, ‘Let me assess the situation, let me not jump out with my hand on the trigger and shoot somebody at point-blank.’”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is hoping to provide new policing procedures as the city’s law enforcement agency continues to find itself under public scrutiny.