Black People Killed by Police Twice as Likely to Be Unarmed as White People


An investigation by The Guardian has found that Black and Latino people killed by police are more than twice as likely to be unarmed than white people.

From The Guardian:

Black Americans are more than twice as likely to be unarmed when killed during encounters with police as white people, according to a Guardian investigation which found 102 of 464 people killed so far this year in incidents with law enforcement officers were not carrying weapons.

An analysis of public records, local news reports and Guardian reporting found that 32% of black people killed by police in 2015 were unarmed, as were 25% of Hispanic and Latino people, compared with 15% of white people killed.

The findings emerged from a database filled by a five-month study of police fatalities in the US, which calculated that local and state police and federal law enforcement agencies are killing people at twice the rate calculated by the US government’s official public record of police homicides. The database names five people whose names have not been publicly released.

The Guardian’s statistics include deaths after the police use of a Taser, deaths caused by police vehicles and deaths following altercations in police custody, as well as those killed when officers open fire. They reveal that 29% of those killed by police, or 135 people, were black. Sixty-seven, or 14%, were Hispanic/Latino, and 234, or 50%, were white. In total, 102 people who died during encounters with law enforcement in 2015 were unarmed.

Read more at The Guardian.

Photo: The Guardian

Nine Police Deputies Fired Over the Death of Matthew Ajibade


A Georgia police department has fired nine sheriffs over the Jan. 1st death of Matthew Ajibade.

Ajibade, 22, was found dead in his Chatham County, Ga. cell after being arrested during a bipolar episode. During his arrest, he was handcuffed to a chair and tasered by officers.

The firings come after a probe led by Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The Chatham County District Attorney’s Office is still determining whether charges will be brought.

Read more at Huffington Post.

Update: South Carolina Police Officer Charged With Murder After Shooting Black Man In Back

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 7.01.30 PM

North Charleston, S.C. police officer, Michael T. Slager, has been charged with murder. Slager claimed that during a traffic stop, Walter L. Scott took his stun gun and that he shot Scott in self-defense. The story would have stopped there if a video of the incident had not been recorded by an on-looker.

The video shows Scott running away as Slager fired eight shots into his back. After shooting Scott, Slager can be seen dropping an object near Scott’s body. He then radioed that he shot Scott for taking his taser.

“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong and if you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision,” Mayor Keith Summey told the press.

*Update*: The Justice Department has announced that the FBI will investigate the shooting, reports the Washington Post.

Read more at the New York Times.

Photo: New York Times/Screenshot

The Police Killed More Than 100 People In March


In total, 290 people have been killed during police encounters since the beginning of 2015. The tally kept by the website Killed By Police is much higher than the vastly incomplete FBI statistics. For comparison, the UK has only seen 52 police killings since 1900, reports Shaun King. Yes, since 1900.


h/t Think Progress and Killed By Police


Photo: Ferguson, Missouri/Wikimedia Commons

Georgia Police Kill Naked, Unarmed Man Suffering From Bipolar Disorder

anthony hill

Chamblee, Ga. police shot and killed Anthony Hill Monday night. Hill, who was unarmed and naked, suffered from bipolar disorder.

According to the New York Times, police were called with reports “about a man acting deranged, knocking on doors and running naked.”

The police department claims that Hill was shot after attempting to charge at the officer and ignoring requests to stop. The officer has been placed on administrative leave and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is examining the shooting. The officer did have the option of using a taser but Cedric L. Alexander, the DeKalb County deputy chief operating officer for public safety, said that he did not know whether the officer used the taser or not.

Hill was very active on social media and often discussed his struggles with the disorder. He was also a musician and an Air Force veteran.



His death highlights the intersections between race, mental health and police brutality. Alexander told the public that officers do receive training in dealing with mentally ill citizens but it is clear that training didn’t prevent the death of Anthony Hill.

Read more at the New York Times.

Photo: Anthony Hill/Facebook

The Shooting of Tony Robinson: What You Need To Know

Tony Robinson

Nineteen year-old Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. was shot by Madison, Wisconsin police officer Matt Kenny on Friday, March 6th. Since Friday night, demonstrations have swelled in Madison, with Robinson’s family and community members demanding answers.

Robinson’s death comes just after the DOJ released a scathing report on the city of Ferguson’s racist policies. The DOJ also announced that they would not pursue charges against Darren Wilson, the officer responsible for Mike Brown’s death. The DOJ outcome seems to be representative of Duke University sociologist, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, findings that we have moved into an era of there being “racism without racists.”

1. Who was Tony Terrell Robinson, Jr?:

Tony was a recent high school graduate. It has been reported that Robinson suffered from anxiety, depression, ADHD. There’s a larger conversation to be had about policing and the intersections of race and mental health.

2. Robinson appears to have been shot in his own home:

Police claim that Kenny was responding to a domestic disturbance report when he shot and killed Robinson. Kenny is said to have forced his way inside of Robinson’s home after hearing a disturbance and fired shots after Robinson attempted to attack him.

3. The officer responsible was cited for the shooting of a Black man in 2007:

Matt Kenny shot and killed Ronald Brandon in 2007. Kenny was eventually exonerated from any wrong doing.

4. Wisconsin is the worst place for Black Americans in the county:

No, that is not an hyperbole. A study determined that Black Americans fair worse in the state of Wisconsin than any other state in the Union. Milwaukee also has the distinction of incarcerating the highest amounts of Black men in the country.

5. What’s happening in response:

Young, Gifted and Black, a youth organization, has led the organizing surrounding Robinson’s death. Hundreds of people participated in a demonstration at Madison’s capitol building today.


6. Why is this important?

Because Black lives matter.


Photo: Facebook

Chicago Police ‘Black Site’ Exposed

Homan Square

For roughly 40 years, the Chicago Police have run a ‘black site‘. The off-the-books Homan Square facility has been a place of torture and where prisoners were “disappeared.”

From the Guardian:

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.

Read more at the Guardian

Photo: Screenshot/Guardian

Officer That Assaulted Arizona Black Professor Has Resigned

From Colorlines:


Stewart Ferrin, a 25-year-old Arizona State University police officer, resigned Monday after a lengthy controversy following his violent arrest of ASU professor Ersula Ore last May, the Arizona Republic reported. And he did so in dramatic fashion.

In a letter he wrote to ASU police chief Mike Thompson, Stewart wrote that the 7 1/2 months he spent on paid administrative leave from his job, “caused great financial stress and emotional anguish,” by preventing “lateral opportunities” with other prospective employers, and possibilities for more training and promotions within the agency he currently served. 

Last May, Ferrin stopped Ore, who’s a professor in the university’s English department, for jaywalking. Video eventually showed that Ferrin and other officers strongarmed Ore, and eventually threw her to the ground.

What started as a volatile incident between the professor and the police officer soon became a lengthy legal and political drama. While ASU initially backed Ferrin, and said he hadn’t violated any policies that evening, Ore meanwhile was charged with resisting arrest and other crimes. She pleaded guilty to charges of resisting arrest, and is currently serving a nine-month probation sentence, the Phoenix New Times reported. Investigators with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office also all subsequenty concluded that Ferrin was guilty of no wrongdoing, the Phoenix New Times reported. 

Read more at Colorlines

Photo: GoFundMe

St. Louis Police Allegedly Beat Man After Turning Off Dash Cam

stlouis police

From The Root:

18-year-old Cortez Bufford was on the ground, surrounded by St. Louis cops last April following a traffic stop when officer Kelli Swinton, reportedly told her fellow officers: “Hold up. Hold up, y’all. Hold up. Hold up, everybody, hold up. We’re red right now, so if you guys are worried about cameras, just wait.”

Swinton allegedly turned off the dash cam. Four of those St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers are now facing a lawsuit filed by Bufford who claims that the cops used excessive force including kicking and Tasering the teen, according to the Daily Mail.

Joel Schwartz, Bufford’s attorney, claims that the teen was left with abrasions on his face and back and several hospital bills.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that officer Swinton may face disciplinary actions for reportedly turning off the dash cam. 

The dash cam video footage from the incident was not released after the April 10 incident as the city was still reeling from the killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer, the Daily Mail reports.

Read the entire story at The Root 

Photo: Screenshot

Breaking: Officer Indicted in Shooting Death of Akai Gurley


From NY1:

Law enforcement sources tell NY1’s Dean Meminger that rookie officer Peter Liang has been indicted in the shooting death of Akai Gurley.

Gurley was shot to death in a dark stairwell at the Pink Houses in East New York on November 20.

Investigators say rookie officer Peter Liang was holding his gun in the same hand he was using to open a door when the gun went off, hitting Gurley, who was unarmed.

The NYPD calls the shooting an accident.