When Indianapolis Metropolitan police arrived at the scene of a robbery early Tuesday morning, they saw a man standing in front of a home with a gun. It wasn’t until after one of the officers fired that they learned the many they thought was a robbery suspect was the homeowner.
Police departments and their supporters can defend their actions all they want. They can even try and lean on the old and tired excuse that police shootings of unarmed people of color are a rarity. They’d be wrong, but they can still try. But one thing they can’t do, is tell people that they shouldn’t be afraid of police. Not after incidents like the one a young black boy in New Jersey experienced which could’ve easily escalated and resulted in his arrest or worse, death.
According to WABC-TV, Legend Preston, 10, was playing with a basketball by his house in Newark, New Jersey when the ball rolled out into the street. He went after it, only to see police officers running towards him with their guns drawn. Out of fear, he ran.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson is currently in a position where he must command the trust of the public and the loyalty of the officers he presides over. In an effort to try and maintain that balance, Johnson wrote and sent a letter to the department’s rank-and-file officers stating that he is looking to fire eight of the ten officers who were on the scene for Laquan McDonald’s shooting death.
We’re getting to a point where police in America use fear as the primary tool to enforce the law. Some would likely argue that we’re already there.
Instances of police making civilians feel completely helpless are never easy to watch. The same goes for a video that appeared on Twitter showing a Washington D.C. officer pinning a young woman against a car with her feet dangling below her off of the ground.
There have been varying levels of concern about the criminalization of Black women and children since 23-year-old Korryn Gaines was killed by Baltimore Police in her own apartment while holding her 5-year-old son. Similarly, conversation about excessive police violence has erupted following the video release of Paul O’Neal’s murder at the hands of Chicago Police.
A new law was passed in Illinois to make it mandatory that driving classes teach students what to do if they’re pulled over by police. Because we all know that when these situations escalate, it’s almost always the civilians fault, right?
According to ABC 7 Chicago, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the law into effect this past week and it’s meant to keep teens from panicking and raising red flags if they’re ever stopped by police.
*TW: We have chosen not to share or promote the videos but there are explicit descriptions below.*
Nine different police videos were released on Friday showing the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal on July 28 after he allegedly stole a vehicle.
A Virginia jury found former Portsmouth Officer Stephen Rankin guilty on a charge of voluntary manslaughter after shooting an unarmed William Chapman last year. The jury had the option to charge him with murder, but elected for a lesser charge after deliberating for two days, according to CBS News.
Charles Kinsey was only doing his job when he went off to find an autistic patient that had wandered off from a group home. When they were approached by police, he did everything that he was told to do and then some by lying on his back and putting his hands in their air. Despite all of this, North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda still shot him .
Kinsey has filed a federal lawsuit against Aledda on claims of a wrongful arrest and more, including officers determining that he wasn’t armed and still not administering any medical assistance and leaving him handcuffed. According to the Miami Herald, Kinsey and his attorneys are seeking a jury trial, unstated monetary physical, emotional and mental damages.
Due to a series of events that are hard to believe outside of a complex movie script, a man was wrongly profiled and arrested for the death of his cousin, one of the six Baton Rouge officers killed on July 17.