Justice department investigating fatal police shooting of Loreal Tsingine – Jamiles Lartey Saturday 30 July 2016 15.02 EDT


Tsingine, a Native American, was killed by officer Austin Shipley in late March as fatal shootings of Native Americans by police have increased in 2016

In body-camera footage, Loreal Tsingine is seen getting up and walking toward an officer with a small pair of scissors in her left hand, and another officer quickly approaches her from behind.

The Justice Department will investigate the police shooting of a Native American woman in Arizona, a spokesman said on Friday, a day after footage released by the Winslow police department raised concerns about racial bias in the fatal shooting.

The department’s civil rights division will review the local investigation into the March 27 shooting death of Loreal Tsingine, spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said.

Tsingine, 27, was shot and killed by the Winslow police officer Austin Shipley in late March after officers suspected her of shoplifting in a local store and confronted her. Silent body-camera footage, first obtained by the Arizona Daily Sun, shows a police officer trying to restrain Tsingine then shoving her to the ground and finally drawing a gun on her as she approaches him.

In the video, Tsingine gets up and walks toward Shipley with a small pair of medical scissors in her left hand, and another officer quickly approaches her from behind. Shipley draws his gun and directs it at Tsingine, and the footage is cut off before he fires the fatal shot.

The shooting was ruled justified by the Maricopa County attorney’s office last Friday.

Tsingine’s aunt, Floranda Dempsey, said her niece was 5ft tall and weighed 95lbs. “They should have been able to subdue her with their huge size and weight,” she said. “It wasn’t like she came at them first. I’m sure anyone would be mad if they were thrown around.” She added a question: “Where were the tasers, pepper sprays, batons?”

The family filed a $10.5m wrongful death lawsuit against the city at the beginning of the month, claiming that “the city of Winslow was negligent in hiring, training, retaining, controlling and supervising” the officer who killed Tsingine.

Shipley’s training records show two of his fellow officers had serious concerns that he was too quick to go for his service weapon, that he ignored directives from superiors, and that he was liable to falsify reports and not control his emotions.

A day before Shipley’s training ended, nearly three years ago, a police corporal recommended that the Winslow police department not retain him.

“They were warned he was likely to hurt someone back in 2013 or so, by another commanding officer,” Floranda said. “It’s unbelievable as to why he was still allowed to wear a badge.”

Floranda said watching the video shocked her and made her angry, and that all she saw was “a bully who got angry for getting his ego squashed” by a small Native American woman.

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Dallas Activists Try to Balance Solidarity With Police While Voicing Their Concerns – By Josh Dawsey and  Erin Ailworth July 10, 2016 11:12 a.m. ET


Even as they gather to mourn, police, residents still on edge after fatal shooting of five officers

Parishioners of First Baptist Church in Dallas gather Sunday to pray for the five police officers killed.

Parishioners of First Baptist Church in Dallas gather Sunday to pray for the five police officers killed. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

DALLAS—Like many Texans, Shannon Marshall is licensed to carry a gun. And, like many black Americans after the shooting death of Philando Castile in Minnesota, she’s worried about what that could mean in an encounter with police.

“I get terrified every time I get pulled over,” said Ms. Marshall, 31, who marched in the protest against police brutality Thursday night that ended with the killing of five police officers. “I mean, what do I need to say, what do I need to do? Is it a good cop day or a bad cop day?”

Ashley English, an assistant professor at Texas Christian University, says the question facing Dallas is a simple one: “Can we remember the lives of the fallen [officers] and still remember there’s a problem here?”

(See a graphic on the recent history of deaths involving police.)

On Sunday, Dallas attempted an answer. Pastors prepared to confront and comfort a tense and weary city in mourning at services across the city. Activists planned to regroup Sunday to find a way to air grievances against police, while also showing solidarity with them.

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Second Video Suggests Alton Sterling Was Not Holding Gun During Police Shooting – By Margaret Hartmann July 7, 2016 12:41 a.m.


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In video of the shooting of Alton Sterling early on Tuesday morning, Baton Rouge police are heard shouting “he’s got a gun” before firing the shots that ended the 37-year-old black man’s life. Officers were responding to a report that a man fitting Sterling’s description had pulled a gun on someone outside the Triple S Food Mart, and Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said on Wednesday, “When officers arrived, Sterling was armed and the altercation ensued that resulted in the loss of his life.”

Now a second video of the shooting has emerged, and it appears to show that Sterling did not have a gun in his hand when he was shot by police. Abdullah Muflahti, who owns the convenience store and was friends with Sterling, shot the video on his phone and shared it with the Daily Beast. Warning: The image and video below are graphic.

The second video shows more clearly what happened after police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake tackled Sterling and pinned him to the ground. One of the officers has his knee on Sterling’s left arm. Sterling moves his right arm, but his hand isn’t visible. The camera shakes as multiple shots are fired. When it refocuses, Sterling’s chest is bloody, and his arms are splayed out, hands apparently empty. A few seconds later, one of the officers pulls an object from Sterling’s right pants pocket. Police have not confirmed that it was a gun.

Muflahti says there was no “altercation” before police tasered and tackled Sterling, and he denies that he was brandishing a gun. “He didn’t even tell me about anything, he usually tells me,” Muflahi said. “He’s not that type of person. It would have been a very big problem to pull his gun out.” WAFB has obtained a recording in which the dispatcher tells police “he pulled a gun on a complainant and told him he couldn’t be around there.”

WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

The incident was also captured by the store’s surveillance cameras. Muflahi says he refused to turn the footage over without a warrant, but police seized it anyway. “I told them i would like to be in the store when [they took it],” he explained. “They told me they didn’t want me to see the footage.”

Both officers were wearing body cameras, but police say they came loose during the struggle. East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillary Moore III said he was present when the officers were interviewed by the police department on Wednesday, and both “believe they were completely justified in using deadly force.”

James Durdin, Salamoni’s father-in-law, told the New York Daily News that Black Lives Matter protesters, hundreds of whom turned out on Tuesday, are using the situation to promote an anti-police agenda. “It burns my you-know-what when it’s – usually the black people – that try to make an agenda out of this,” Durdin said. “What I’d like to see is them with no police at all, so they can know what it’s like not to have them … The majority of (cops) would never be abusive. Does anyone give a you-know-what about that? We’ll have social chaos (without cops).”

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Cleveland police shooting of Tamir Rice: what we know about the 12-year-old’s death – Updated by German Lopez on December 28, 2015, 2:30 p.m. ET


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On November 22, 2014, Tamir Rice was throwing snowballs and playing with a toy pellet gun in a Cleveland park when a police car rolled into the snowy field. Within two seconds of getting out of his squad car, officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed the 12-year-old. The officer has claimed he thought the pellet gun was a real firearm.

On Monday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced there will be no criminal charges filed against the officers involved. McGinty said that while there was evidence of miscommunication between a 911 dispatcher and the police officers, there was not enough evidence to suggest that the cops had cleared the very high bar for criminal charges in police shooting cases. Ultimately, a grand jury decided to file no charges, as McGinty said he recommended.

The Rice shooting has garnered widespread attention, elevated by the Black Lives Matter movement that has protested racial disparities in law enforcement’s use of force following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. With tensions already high in Cleveland, the outcome of the grand jury hearings could decide whether the situation escalates as it did in Ferguson or Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.

Article continues:

http://www.vox.com/2014/11/24/7275297/tamir-rice-police-shooting

Chicago Police Shoot And Kill Mother Of 5, College Student – BY PATRICK SMITH DEC 26, 2015 2:25 PM


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CREDIT: Screenshot/NBC 5, Chicago

Chicago police shot and killed two people early Saturday morning after responding to what they called a domestic disturbance call.

According to NBC 5, police fatally shot Quintonio Legrier, a student at Northern Illinois University, after responding to a call from Legrier’s father. Family at the scene say that police were called after Legrier threatened his father with a baseball bat.

However, Janet Cookery, Legrier’s mother, said her son suffered from mental illness. “He was having a mental situation. Sometimes he will get loud, but not violent,” Cookery told WLS-TV in Chicago.

Police shootings of people suffering from mental illness are a common occurrence. According to a Washington Post investigation, police shot and killed 124 people “in the throes of mental or emotional crisis” in the first six months of 2015. That accounted for nearly one-fourth of all police shootings in the first half of the year.

People around the victims often find themselves in danger as well. On Monday, a Georgia man attempting help his son who was in distress was fatally shot by police.

The second victim in Chicago, Bettie Jones, was a mother of five who lived in the same apartment building as Legrier and his father. Witnesses say she was shot in the neck shortly after opening the door for police. Jones’ daughter said she found her mother on the ground after being awoken by three gunshots.

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First These Cops Shot 140 Bullets at a Black Couple. Then They Complained About Reverse Racism.


And a federal judge just shut them down.

The windshield of the car driven by Timothy Russell on the night of November 29, 2012. Following a high-speed chase, Cleveland police officers fired 140 shots at Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams.AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk, Pool

Today, a federal judge threw out a yearlong case centering on a peculiar claim: When non-black cops shoot and kill black people in Cleveland, they face stiffer repercussions than black cops who kill black people. Nine police officers—eight white, one Latino—claimed that they were subjected to “reverse discrimination” and “mental anguish” after a controversial 2012 incident in which they killed two unarmed African Americans in a fusillade of nearly 140 bullets. The suit, filed just days after a Cleveland police officer shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, alleged that the officers were singled out due to their race and were unfairly punished while the state investigated the shooting. Their claim of victimization, ruled Judge James Gwin in response to the city’s request for summary judgment, was “illogic.”

The events behind the case occurred on the night of November 29, 2012. According to the Ohio Bureau of Investigation’s report on the incident, a plainclothes officer named John Jordan saw a black man and a black woman sitting in a parked car in East Cleveland. He suspected they were “involved in illegal drug activity,” so he called in the vehicle’s license plate. The dispatcher told him it was “clean,” but Jordan decided to search the vehicle anyway, he later admitted to investigators. When the car’s driver, 43-year-old Timothy Russell, drove away, Jordan followed and pulled him over for failing to use a turn signal. When the officer got out of his unmarked car, Russell took off.

In the space of 18 seconds, 13 cops fired nearly 140 rounds at the car. One officer jumped on the hood and shot through the windshield at least 15 times.

Another officer saw Russell’s car speeding by. As it passed, he heard a loud bang, which he later said sounded like a gunshot. He sped after the car and other police cars soon joined in pursuit. The chase lasted 25 minutes and at one point involved at least 62 police cars. All the while, the suspects’ car backfired intermittently. Some officers noticed this but did not radio this information to others.

The police finally cornered the car in a middle school parking lot. After shouting for Russell to stop the vehicle, an officer fired at both Russell and his passenger, 30-year-old Malissa Williams. In the space of 18 seconds, 13 cops fired nearly 140 rounds at the car. One officer, Michael Brelo, emptied the magazine of his Glock 17, reloaded, jumped onto the hood after everyone else stopped shooting, and shot through the windshield at least 15 times, firing a total of 49 rounds. Russell and Williams were each shot more than 20 times. Both were unarmed.

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http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/12/cleveland-police-russell-williams-reverse-racism-discrimination

 

Why Did It Take More Than a Year to Charge the Officer Who Shot Laquan McDonald? – By Leon Neyfakh November 2015


A former prosecutor, now running to be Cook County state’s attorney, decries Chicago’s crawl to justice.

 Kim Foxx. Photo courtesy Friends for Foxx


Kim Foxx.
Photo courtesy Friends for Foxx

One of the central players in the aftermath of Laquan McDonald’s death at the hands of a Chicago police officer has been Anita Alvarez, the Cook County state’s attorney. Alvarez, who was elected as the county’s top prosecutor in 2008, was tasked with investigating McDonald’s death and deciding whether to bring charges against Jason Van Dyke, the officer who shot him. It took Alvarez a full 13 months to make that decision, and now that Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder, many are asking what took so long. The National Bar Association has gone so far as to call for Alvarez’s resignation, saying in a statement that “it is unacceptable that it took over a year to file these charges.”

Alvarez’s decision-making during the investigation of Van Dyke holds special relevance in light of the re-election contest she faces in March. Among her challengers is Kim Foxx, a former prosecutor in Cook County who is running on a reform platform, and who has not been shy about condemning her old boss’s handling of the McDonald case.

I spoke to Foxx by phone about how she would have approached the Van Dyke investigation differently, why police officers seem to escape accountability so often, and how public opinion about how prosecutors should do their jobs has shifted in recent years. Our conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.

Laquan McDonald was killed more than a year ago. Why did it take so long for charges to be filed against the officer who shot him?

It did not need to take 13 months for this case to come to a resolution. I worked as a prosecutor here in Cook County for 12 years, and had the benefit of reviewing cases in our felony review unit, and I can tell you this was what we would consider to be a slam dunk. It’s not a matter of whodunit. You know who did it. You had a videotape and a vantage point that clearly shows where Laquan was in relation to the officer. You had eyewitnesses, both civilian and police. You had the autopsy report, which was available within days. So this wasn’t difficult. This was a case that really just sits in your lap. It is a false narrative to suggest that this case was so highly complex that it takes 13 months. That is a false narrative. It is a lie. There are special things you have to do when you’re looking at a police shooting. There is an extra layer of due diligence that you have to do. But that doesn’t take months.

So what I would say is it took 13 months because they were waiting for the heat of Ferguson to die down. Laquan McDonald was killed in October of ’14, which was two months after Ferguson. This was a case that was eerily similar to that one, and the state’s attorney’s office didn’t want the heat.

Article continues:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2015/11/laquan_mcdonald_kim_foxx_on_why_anita_alvarez_mishandled_the_jason_van_dyke.html