Police State


Or Does It Explode: How Police Brutality Created a Violent Backlash

He wasn't the first. He won't be the last.

by Nicholas Powers
The Indypendent
July 12, 2016

In the cellphone video, Black Lives Matters protesters held hands up in a gesture of innocence as they marched. The screen spins, goes dark. Then screams. Then running. You don’t even hear the gunshots.

The news confirmed our fears. Micah Johnson, a Black military vet had targeted cops in revenge for police murders of Black people. He shot eleven, killed five and wounded two. He also killed an illusion. Carried away with the bodies was the mirage of indefinite impunity. If politicians refused to hold police accountable for terrorizing us, Black populist rage will spill out of the courts into protests. Spill again into riots. And find its way to a mind that sees violence as the answer.


How The RNC Turned A Private University Into Police Barracks

In the months leading up to the Republican National Convention, students at Case Western Reserve University were not particularly concerned about the impact the RNC would have on the campus at large. The university is, after all, five miles away from downtown Cleveland, where the majority of events would be taking place, and where protesters and heavily-armed police were expected to crowd the streets during the nomination of lightning-rod candidate Donald Trump. But last month, when an anonymous faculty member alerted law student Amanda King and undergraduate Makela Hayford exactly how involved the university would be in the convention, they were shocked.

“He told us that there would be 1500 police living on our campus,” King told Gothamist. ”At that moment, we had no idea who they would be, what they were doing, and the university was not telling us anything about it.”


Black Lives Matter 'occupation' of L.A. City Hall enters fourth day

Ben Poston
July 15, 2016
LA Times

Chanting “this is what democracy looks like,” several dozen Black Lives Matter demonstrators spent Friday on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall for a fourth day as they demanded the firing of Police Chief Charlie Beck in protest of a fatal police shooting.

Members of the group said they did not plan to leave until they received a meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti, or until Beck was fired. They referred to the sit-in it as an “occupation.”

About 100 people stayed on the steps of City Hall overnight Thursday, said Melina Abdullah, a Cal State L.A. professor and prominent member of Black Lives Matter who organized a news conference at 1 p.m. in front of City Hall.

She said Beck and police commissioners have been unwilling “to hold the police force accountable for what they do to black communities.”


How Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer Are Teaming Up With the NYPD to Push Police Militarization

The Urban Areas Security Initiative appears to be a slush fund for surveillance of activists and police militarization.

By Sarah Lazare
June 8, 2016

Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton are teaming up with the NYPD to request high levels of funding for a federal “counter-terror” program that is directly bankrolling the militarization of police forces nationwide. To secure the funds, they are invoking the threat of terrorism and exploiting the climate of fear and incitement that has come to define the 2016 election cycle.


The Near Certainty of Anti-Police Violence

By ignoring illegitimate policing, America has also failed to address the danger this illegitimacy poses to those who must do the policing.

Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Atlantic

Last month, the Obama administration accused Donald Trump of undercutting American legitimacy in the eyes of the world. Trump’s call to ban Muslims wasn’t just morally wrong, according to Vice President Joe Biden, it called “into question America’s status as the greatest democracy in the history of the world.” President Obama followed Biden by asserting that Trump’s rhetoric “doesn’t reflect our democratic ideals,” saying “it will make us less safe, fueling ISIL’s notion that the West hates Muslims.” His point was simple—wanton discrimination in policy and rhetoric undercuts American legitimacy and fuels political extremism. This lesson is not limited to Donald Trump, and it applies as well abroad as it does at home.


A Riot for Every Police Murder

From MTL Counter-info

On the night of Monday, April 11, a demonstration in Montreal in response to the second police killing in under two weeks attacked the SPVM. Sandy Tarzan Michel, an Anishinabe man, was murdered by police on the anishnabeg reserve in Lac Simon, Quebec, last Wednesday, April 6. Police shot him several times after running him over with a police cruiser. Sandy’s nineteen year-old brother was also assassinated by police in Lac-Simon in 2009.

After Sandy was murdered, other people who live on the reserve confronted local police and tried to block the entry of provincial police (the Sûreté du Québec) who were called to assist the local force, leading to three arrests. When someone is killed by police in Quebec, a different police agency is called in to “investigate”, and the SPVM has since received the assignment in Lac Simon.


Chicago Cover-Up Deepens as 80 Minutes of Footage Confirmed Missing

'You can say it's corruption and cover-up, but at the end of the day, without a culture of white supremacy, things like this wouldn't be real.'

by Sarah Lazare
December 4, 2015
by Common Dreams

Chicago's cover-up scandal is deepening after city officials were forced to release additional surveillance footage of the deadly shooting of 17-year-old African American Laquan McDonald by a white officer—and it showed an unexplained 80-minute gap covering the time the teenager was killed.


The Thin Blue Line Is a Burning Fuse

Why Every Struggle Is Now a Struggle against the Police

by CrimethInc

It should have come as no surprise yesterday when the grand jury in St. Louis refused to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who murdered Michael Brown last August in Ferguson, Missouri. Various politicians and media outlets had labored to prepare the public for this for months in advance. They knew what earnest liberals and community leaders have yet to acknowledge: that it is only possible to preserve the prevailing social order by giving police officers carte blanche to kill black men at will. Otherwise, it would be impossible to maintain the racial and economic inequalities that are fundamental to this society. In defiance of widespread outrage, even at the cost of looting and arson, the legal system will always protect officers from the consequences of their actions—for without them, it could not exist.


An FBI Informant Seduced Eric McDavid Into a Bomb Plot. Then the Government Lied About It.

Trevor Aaronson, Katie Galloway
November 19, 2015
The Intercept

IT WAS A SWELTERING DAY in the summer of 2004, and Eric McDavid, then 26 years old, was in Des Moines, Iowa, for an annual gathering of self-described anarchists.

McDavid had come from his parents’ home outside Sacramento, train-hopping the 1,700-mile journey and scavenging for food where he could, including in dumpsters. An idealistic young man with a shaved head and a thick red beard, McDavid had been drawn to activism following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when his parents gave him a copy of Michael Moore’s book Dude, Where’s My Country? McDavid began to attend protests in the San Francisco area, eventually gravitating toward anti-government views.


Why Did Chicago Activists Shut Down an International Police Conference?

By Kaleb Autman and Amani Howard
October 31, 2015

On Oct. 24, a number of activist groups came together to shut down the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference in Chicago. The conference shutdown lasted over four hours, after which more than 66 protesters were arrested.

The IACP conference, which took place at Chicago's McCormick Place convention center, had more than 16,000 attendees, including police chiefs from all across the world.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy had the nerve to invite this conference to Chicago after they closed 50 public schools and half of our mental health centers. These officials have continuously showed us that they don't care about Black lives and voices. They should have known we were going to do something about it.


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