Police State


"It Was Panic": An Interview With the Baltimore Teacher Who Witnessed the Beginning of the Baltimore Riots

By Andrew Gruttadaro

While CNN was reporting on a teen-led, Purge-styled attack on police on Monday at Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore, Meghann Harris, 25, was there. And after seeing the media's tunneled focus on the fires and violence that erupted as citizens of Baltimore protested the death of Freddie Gray, she took to Facebook to explain what she saw that day:


Your Right to Record Law Enforcement

April 24, 2015


Baltimore’s violent protesters are right: Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy

by Benji Hart
April 28, 2015

As a nation, we fail to comprehend Black political strategy in much the same way we fail to recognize the value of Black life.

We see ghettos and crime and absent parents where we should see communities actively struggling against mental health crises and premeditated economic exploitation. And when we see police cars being smashed and corporate property being destroyed, we should see reasonable responses to generations of extreme state violence, and logical decisions about what kind of actions yield the desired political results.

I’m overwhelmed by the pervasive slandering of protesters in Baltimore this weekend for not remaining peaceful. The bad-apple rhetoric would have us believe that most Baltimore protesters are demonstrating the right way—as is their constitutional right—and only a few are disrupting the peace, giving the movement a bad name.

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We support Direct Action and resistance in Baltimore

We support the protesters who get things done in Baltimore.


Police Reform Is Impossible in America

Donovan X. Ramsey

In recent weeks, the White House has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening "community policing" around the country. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has coalesced around the same theme, releasing a report days ago with recommendations for community policing measures to be adopted nationally. The suggestions for building better "relationships" and boosting "trust" are comprehensive but, for a national crisis brought on by the killing of unarmed black people, there's one thing conspicuously absent from the public policy solutions: the acknowledgement of racism.

The New Testament says that faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Well, in the absence of data to support excessive policing and police brutality in communities of color, it appears that America has just stepped out on faith.


Abolish the Police. Instead, Let’s Have Full Social, Economic, and Political Equality.

Mychal Denzel Smith
The Nation
April 9, 2015

A few weeks ago, there was a shooting at my apartment building. A total of five shots were fired resulting in, thankfully, zero injuries. I was home when it happened, but live on the third floor, away from the shooter’s target. The kids downstairs, who hang out in the hallway pretty much everyday, drinking, smoking, talking shit, and selling weed, had some of their beef meet them at home. That night, I remember hearing one of them scream, “They shot me bro!”—though it seems it was probably the shock of the gunshots plus the shattering of glass from the building’s front door that made him believe he was hit. It was frightening.


Ferguson and the Criminalization of American Life

by David Graeber
March 19, 2015

The Department of Justice's investigation of the Ferguson Police Department has scandalized the nation, and justly so. But the department's institutional racism, while shocking, isn't the report's most striking revelation.

More damning is this: in a major American city, the criminal justice system perceives a large part of that city's population not as citizens to be protected, but as potential targets for what can only be described as a shake-down operation designed to wring money out of the poorest and most vulnerable by any means they could, and that as a result, the overwhelming majority of Ferguson's citizens had outstanding warrants.


The Lesson From Ferguson: Riots Work

By Justin King @Justinkingnews
Mint Press News
March 16, 2015

After a cop killed an unarmed teenager, riots broke out. After the grand jury failed to indict the cop and the police tear gassed innocent protesters, riots broke out. Now that the tear gas and smoke has cleared, Americans are coming to a shocking conclusion: the riots worked.

In scores of cities across the country the same scenario has played out: a cop kills an unarmed person in a blatantly unjustified shooting, the officer says the magic words of “I feared for my life,” and he gets away with murder. Possibly the most interesting thing is that Mike Brown’s death, while unjustified, was probably the most excused by the media. His death was the only one that wasn’t completely in vain. Why? Because the citizens of the community rioted.


The Thin Blue Line Is a Burning Fuse: Why Every Struggle Is Now a Struggle against the Police


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.


FBI Withheld Details of Assassination Plot of Occupy Houston Movement to Save Informants

By Courthouse News
February 11, 2015

The FBI was right to withhold records about an alleged murder plot targeting the leaders of Occupy Houston, to protect its informants, a federal judge ruled.

Plaintiff Ryan Noah Shapiro is a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research includes “the policing of dissent … especially in the name of national security” and “examining FBI and other intelligence agency efforts to preserve domestic surveillance capabilities while simultaneously subverting the Freedom of Information Act,” according to his MIT profile.

Shapiro sent the FBI three Freedom of Information Act requests in early 2013, asking for records about “a potential plan to gather intelligence against the leaders of [Occupy Wall Street-related protests in Houston] and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership [of the protests] via suppressed sniper rifles.”


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