A Texas police chief has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into an arrest of a black beauty pageant contestant/law intern. Carmen S. Ponder, Miss Black Texas USA U.S. Ambassador 2016 and an intern with the Hunt County, Texas, District Attorney’s Office, claims that she was arrested by Police Chief Kerry Crews and called a “black bitch” before spending a night in jail. Ponder’s attorney, Lee Merritt, recounted the events leading up to the arrest on Facebook.
The officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death mostly avoided any legal ramifications after a string of acquittals and mistrials during 2015 and 2016. This lost opportunity for justice was seen as a major hit to the cause of police reform. However, new developments may prove to make sure they don’t walk away completely unscathed.
The Baltimore Sun reports that five Baltimore police officers are due to face internal discipline from the department. Three could be fired.
Nevada may become the second state to require police officers to wear body cameras while they’re on duty.
Dallas Independent School District (DISD) Police are being criticized after a mother accused them of using excessive force to restrain her son.
Betty Jo Shelby has been found not guilty of first degree manslaughter charges connected to the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher.
In another controversial ruling following an equally controversial shooting, the Tulsa, Okla. police officer was apparently “elated” after jurors read the ruling. Meanwhile, Crutcher’s family was escorted out of the courtroom due to their emotional reaction, according to CBS News.
In a “broken windows” fashion, the Chicago Police Department sustains a gang database of its residents. They say this is in efforts to stay ahead on crime. They also seek to punish those on the list to the fullest extent of the law when the opportunity presents itself.
As of last week, CPD and it’s gang database are at the center of a recent lawsuit after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided the home of Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez. This happened after incorrect information about him surfaced through this database, identifying him as a gang member. Not only is the department being hit with a lawsuit, they will also be answering to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about how the database is used. The suit was filed on behalf of BYP100, Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD), and the MacArthur Justice Center.
Simply, the gang database is an excuse to justify further surveillance and excessive force against Black and Brown folks in this very sensitive time regarding citizenship.
Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber’s story about Jordan Edwards’ death has changed with new information. While Haber initially told the press that an officer fired into the car full of teenagers because it was driving in an “aggressive manner,” that wasn’t truly the case.
The New York Times reports that the car Edwards was riding in was actually driving away from the officers before they opened fire and struck him in the head.
Jordan Edwards, 15, was killed in a Dallas-Forth Worth suburb after a police officer shot into a car full of teenagers on Saturday night.
Many of the issues Chicago’s residents have with local police department were established over decades of mistreatment and questionable practices. One of the most egregious examples of which will soon become a part of the Chicago Public School curriculum.