Posts tagged Police Brutality
Posts tagged Police Brutality
Sal Culosi is dead because he bet on a football game — but it wasn’t a bookie or a loan shark who killed him. His local government killed him, ostensibly to protect him from his gambling habit.
Several months earlier at a local bar, Fairfax County, Virginia, detective David Baucum overheard the thirty-eight-year-old optometrist and some friends wagering on a college football game. “To Sal, betting a few bills on the Redskins was a stress reliever, done among friends,” a friend of Culosi’s told me shortly after his death. “None of us single, successful professionals ever thought that betting fifty bucks or so on the Virginia–Virginia Tech football game was a crime worthy of investigation.” Baucum apparently did. After overhearing the men wagering, Baucum befriended Culosi as a cover to begin investigating him. During the next several months, he talked Culosi into raising the stakes of what Culosi thought were just more fun wagers between friends to make watching sports more interesting. Eventually Culosi and Baucum bet more than $2,000 in a single day. Under Virginia law, that was enough for police to charge Culosi with running a gambling operation. And that’s when they brought in the SWAT team.
On the night of January 24, 2006, Baucum called Culosi and arranged a time to drop by to collect his winnings. When Culosi, barefoot and clad in a T-shirt and jeans, stepped out of his house to meet the man he thought was a friend, the SWAT team began to move in. Seconds later, Det. Deval Bullock, who had been on duty since 4:00 AM and hadn’t slept in seventeen hours, fired a bullet that pierced Culosi’s heart.
Sal Culosi’s last words were to Baucum, the cop he thought was a friend: “Dude, what are you doing?”
In March 2006, just two months after its ridiculous gambling investigation resulted in the death of an unarmed man, the Fairfax County Police Department issued a press release warning residents not to participate in office betting pools tied to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The title: “Illegal Gambling Not Worth the Risk.” Given the proximity to Culosi’s death, residents could be forgiven for thinking the police department believed wagering on sports was a crime punishable by execution.
In January 2011, the Culosi family accepted a $2 million settlement offer from Fairfax County. That same year, Virginia’s government spent $20 million promoting the state lottery.
The raid on Sal Culosi was merely another red flag indicating yet more SWAT team mission creep in America. It wasn’t even the first time a Virginia SWAT team had killed someone during a gambling raid. In 1998 a SWAT team in Virginia Beach shot and killed security guard Edward C. Reed during a 3:00 AM raid on a private club suspected of facilitating gambling. Police said they approached the tinted car where Reed was working security, knocked, and identified themselves, then shot Reed when he refused to drop his handgun. Reed’s family insisted the police story was unlikely. Reed had no criminal record. Why would he knowingly point his gun at a heavily armed police team? More likely, they said, Reed mistakenly believed the raiding officers were there to do harm, particularly given that the club had been robbed not long before the raid. Statements by the police themselves seem to back that account. According to officers at the scene, Reed’s last words were, “Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book.”
Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley was spared a felony conviction on Tuesday over the killing of a 7-year-old girl after a jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared, according to Detroit Free Press.
Weekley shot and killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones on the night of May 16, 2010, as officers executed a search warrant on the duplex her family lived in. The officers entered Stanley-Jones’s home searching for a murder suspect who was later found in the adjacent unit, throwing a flashbang grenade into the room where the girl was sleeping with her grandmother, then shooting her in the head seconds later.
The series of events was partially caught on tape by a camera crew following the officers that night. A&E producer Allison Howard, one of two people who filmed the raid for the show “The First 48,” eventually released that footage of her own accord and now faces charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. Footage shot from outside the house shows officers lobbing a flashbang grenade into the living room. Seconds later a gunshot rings out.
Lawyers for the prosecution cited the footage to claim that Weekley shot the girl from outside, before even walking in to the building. Weekley’s defense insisted it was just a tragic accident and that the girl’s grandmother had attempted to hit the officer’s gun.
Weekley was subsequently charged with felony involuntary manslaughter and careless discharge of a firearm resulting in death, carrying with them the potential for 15+ years in prison. However, both charges failed to stick on Tuesday afternoon, after three straight days of jury deliberations failed to produce a conviction.
signal boost #2 because let’s be for real, had this been the pic of a little white girl surrounded by disney princesses with the words “innocent shot by cop” this would have had thousands of notes in hours, a lifetime movie, book etc. instead, mostly the poc community weeps while everyone else fails to feel as much empathy towards this kind of verdict.
[TW: Police brutality]
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ISTANBUL
To my friends who live outside of Turkey:
I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.
Four days ago a group of people who did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and students. Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least one in every neighborhood! The tearing down of the trees was supposed to begin early Thursday morning. People went to the park with their blankets, books and children. They put their tents down and spent the night under the trees. Early in the morning when the bulldozers started to pull the hundred-year-old trees out of the ground, they stood up against them to stop the operation.
They did nothing other than standing in front of the machines.
No newspaper, no television channel was there to report the protest. It was a complete media black out.
But the police arrived with water cannon vehicles and pepper spray. They chased the crowds out of the park.
In the evening the number of protesters multiplied. So did the number of police forces around the park. Meanwhile local government of Istanbul shut down all the ways leading up to Taksim square where the Gezi Park is located. The metro was shut down, ferries were cancelled, roads were blocked.
Yet more and more people made their way up to the center of the city by walking.
They came from all around Istanbul. They came from all different backgrounds, different ideologies, different religions. They all gathered to prevent the demolition of something bigger than the park:
The right to live as honorable citizens of this country.
They gathered and marched. Police chased them with pepper spray and tear gas and drove their tanks over people who offered the police food in return. Two young people were run over by the tanks and were killed. Another young woman, a friend of mine, was hit in the head by one of the incoming tear gas canisters. The police were shooting them straight into the crowd. After a three hour operation she is still in Intensive Care Unit and in very critical condition. As I write this we don’t know if she is going to make it. This blog is dedicated to her.
These people are my friends. They are my students, my relatives. They have no «hidden agenda» as the state likes to say. Their agenda is out there. It is very clear. The whole country is being sold to corporations by the government, for the construction of malls, luxury condominiums, freeways, dams and nuclear plants. The government is looking for (and creating when necessary) any excuse to attack Syria against its people’s will.
On top of all that, the government control over its people’s personal lives has become unbearable as of late. The state, under its conservative agenda passed many laws and regulations concerning abortion, cesarean birth, sale and use of alcohol and even the color of lipstick worn by the airline stewardesses.
People who are marching to the center of Istanbul are demanding their right to live freely and receive justice, protection and respect from the State. They demand to be involved in the decision-making processes about the city they live in.
What they have received instead is excessive force and enormous amounts of tear gas shot straight into their faces. Three people lost their eyes.
Yet they still march. Hundred of thousands join them. Couple of more thousand passed the Bosporus Bridge on foot to support the people of Taksim.
No newspaper or TV channel was there to report the events. They were busy with broadcasting news about Miss Turkey and “the strangest cat of the world”.
Police kept chasing people and spraying them with pepper spray to an extent that stray dogs and cats were poisoned and died by it.
Schools, hospitals and even 5 star hotels around Taksim Square opened their doors to the injured. Doctors filled the classrooms and hotel rooms to provide first aid. Some police officers refused to spray innocent people with tear gas and quit their jobs. Around the square they placed jammers to prevent internet connection and 3g networks were blocked. Residents and businesses in the area provided free wireless network for the people on the streets. Restaurants offered food and water for free.
People in Ankara and İzmir gathered on the streets to support the resistance in Istanbul.
Mainstream media kept showing Miss Turkey and “the strangest cat of the world”.
I am writing this letter so that you know what is going on in Istanbul. Mass media will not tell you any of this. Not in my country at least. Please post as many as articles as you see on the Internet and spread the word.
As I was posting articles that explained what is happening in Istanbul on my Facebook page last night someone asked me the following question:
«What are you hoping to gain by complaining about our country to foreigners?»
This blog is my answer to her.
By so called «complaining» about my country I am hoping to gain:
Freedom of expression and speech,
Respect for human rights,
Control over the decisions I make concerning my on my body,
The right to legally congregate in any part of the city without being considered a terrorist.
But most of all by spreading the word to you, my friends who live in other parts of the world, I am hoping to get your awareness, support and help!
Please spread the word and share this blog.
For futher info and things you can do for help please see Amnesty International’s Call for Urgent Help
Search tumblr tag “Taksim” and you’ll find the inhumanly actions of such inhuman people.
Here’s is the video link.
the happenings in Gezi Park, Taksim have been shown on TV in my country today and also appeared yesterday in a post featured on tumblr radar but in case you missed the news, here’s a dramatic first hand relation. if you can, please show your support and reblog the post so that people know.
and next time you go to a park take five minutes to slow down and appreciate simple things like free access to open green spaces in your city. it turns out not everyone is as lucky.
PLEASE DON’T IGNORE THESE
people fucking died there
Robert Saylor, a 26-year-old man with Down syndrome, sat in a movie theatre after having watched a movie, acting as if he was going to sit through the movie again without buying another ticket.
That prompted three police officers to kill him.
Friday, a grand jury determined that no crime was committed, even though his death was ruled a homicide.
He was suffocated as three officers struggled to handcuff him and drag him out of the theater. A movie ticket probably costs $11.
The court system is corrupt.
I seriously do not want to live in this world anymore.
Receipts receipts boost boost BOOST!
so my friends found a livestream on facebook (its off now tho) evidently it was a candelight vigil and the cops showed up , people got angry, and the cops went into riot mode
(bold mine) I’m making sure to spread this around this way: It’s not a riot, it’s police violence. Police abuse of power. Calling it a riot legitimizes this police presence as a response.
did you know that around 70 people are killed by police tasering them every year? tasers are regularly used to torture non-compliant suspects and the mentally ill.
Remember, “non-lethal weapon” is branding, not factual.
A Houston police officer shot and killed a one-armed, one-legged man in a wheelchair Saturday inside a group home after police say the double amputee threatened the officer and aggressively waved a metal object that turned out to be a pen.
Police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said the man cornered the officer in his wheelchair and was making threats while trying to stab the officer with the pen. At the time, the officer did not know what the metal object was that the man was waving, Silva said.
She said the man came “within inches to a foot” of the officer and did not follow instructions to calm down and remain still.
“Fearing for his partner’s safety and his own safety, he discharged his weapon,” Silva told The Associated Press.
The Houston Chronicle identified the man as Brian Claunch.
Police had been called to the home after a caretaker there called and reported that the man in wheelchair was causing a disturbance.
The owner of the group home, John Garcia, told the Houston Chronicle that the man had a history of mental illness and had been living at the house about 18 months. Garcia said the man had told him that he lost a leg above the knee and all of one arm when he was hit by a train.
“He sometimes would go off a bit, but you just ignore it,” Garcia told the newspaper.
Silva identified the officer as Matthew Jacob Marin, a five-year veteran of the department. He was immediately placed on three-day administrative leave, which is standard in all shootings involving officers.
Houston police records indicate that Marin also fatally shot a suspect in 2009. Investigators at the time said Marin came upon a man stabbing his neighbor to death at an apartment complex and opened fired when the suspect refused to drop the knife.
On Saturday, Marin and his partner arrived at the group home around 2:30 a.m. Silva said there were several people at the house at the time. The caretaker who called police waited on the porch while the officers went inside, she said.
“It was close quarters in the area of the house,” Silva said. “The officer was forced into an area where he had no way to get out.”
These police shootings of unarmed and disabled individuals are getting entirely out of hand. Since when do you shoot first and ask questions later? It was a group home for the disabled - did he really think they would have guns? I’ve worked for group homes and there are no guns allowed - ever. Something is seriously wrong with some of the officers in this country and it needs to be remedied before more people die.
What the goddamn fuck
What I don’t get is how an officer thought a guy in a wheelchair could stab him…I’m pretty sure the wheels and seat would get in the way before get got in stabbing range. Or here’s a bright idea: go up or down a stairstep. Problem solved, and no one had to die.
Yeah. Also it would seem like stabbing someone in a wheelchair with a pen would be fairly difficult even if the reach issue were solved?
Also? Even if the person is completely successful in stabbing you with a pen - even if they manage to stab through your clothes and wound you - Even if that object had been an exacto knife or a letter opener and could have made a decent wound? It is not a lethal weapon and use of lethal force was completely unreasonable.