Mike Brown’s Mom Is Taking Her Son’s Case to the UN in Geneva
Lesley McSpadden, the mother of the 18-year-old boy whose death at the hands of a Ferguson police officer in August sparked weeks of protests, is going to Geneva, Switzerland next month to speak about her son and other victims of police brutality in front of the United Nations.
The trip — which was recently made public by organizers and promoted under the tagline “Ferguson to Geneva” — is meant to make a case, to as wide an audience as possible, that both Brown’s killing and the militarized police response to protesters demanding justice for him, are a matter of human rights.
Does this look right to you? Military weapons ready to be used on it’s own citizens? You can be the most racist fuck in existence, if you think the same can’t happen to your town one day, you’re a bigger idiot than I can possibly fathom. Demand justice for the people of Ferguson! #staywoke #farfromover
Those cops in riot armor beating and tear-gassing protesters in Ferguson didn’t drop out of thin air. As American police continue to receive billions in military-grade equipment free or subsidized by the Pentagon and Homeland Security, they’ve predictably started to act more like a military force in hostile territory than the public’s protectors.
Since Ferguson, police have killed more than a dozen teenagers, half of them black. Some did nothing more than carry a BB gun.
Michael Brown’s death on August 9 was a nationwide wake-up call to the death-by-cop of young minority men at the hands of law enforcement. According to datastretching from 1999 to 2011, African Americans have comprised 26 percent of all police-shooting victims. Overall, young African Americans are killed by cops 4.5 times more often than people of other races and ages.
Since Brown’s death, at least 14 other teenagers—at least six of them African-American—have been killed by law enforcement in a variety of circumstances.
Tamir Rice wasn’t yet a teenager when he was killed on November 22 in a Cleveland, Ohio park. The 12-year-old boy was shot by a police officer after brandishing what turned out to be a BB gun. A call made to police beforehand described Rice as “a guy with a pistol” on a swing set, but said it was “probably fake.” When officers arrived at the scene, they say Rice reached for his toy, though did not point it at them, prompting a first-year policeman to fire two shots at Rice from a short distance.
On Monday night, as the Brown indictment verdict was announced, a local councilor summed these up without getting tangled in blame and legalities:
"Perhaps, after our analysis, we learn that the police officer really did fear for his life and did everything right under the circumstances,” City Councilman Jeffrey Johnson said at a meeting. “But there is something fundamentally broken in our system when a young man can have a legal BB gun, and by the end of that day be killed by a Cleveland police officer.”
On the evening of September 21, police were called to check on reports of trespassers with weapons going into an abandoned home in Terrebonne, Louisiana. Cameron Tillman, a 14-year-old boy was shot dead on the scene by a sheriff’s deputy. His brother, who was there, said he was shot opening the door and was unarmed, but the police said he was armed and that a gun was recovered near his body. It was later reported that the weapon was a BB gun that appeared to be a .45-caliber pistol. The cop was not named, but was identified as an African-American veteran of the division with no prior infractions.
VonDerrit Myers Jr.
VonDerrit Myers Jr. was shot in the head in early October not far from where Michael Brown died two months earlier. The 18-year-old was shot six or seven times in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis after an off-duty police officer fired at him 17 times. Police say Myers charged at the policeman, they wrestled, and then he shot at least three bullets before his gun jammed. Myers had been out on bail in a gun case, but his family claimed he was unarmed and holding only a sandwich in his hand. That night, a crowd of 300 gathered at the scene, and violence broke out: gunshots echoed and police vehicles were damaged. The officer who shot Myers was identified as Jason Flanery, a 32-year-old white patrolman.
After a tire-puncturing spree in late October, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald wasshot dead by a police officer in Chicago. Officers reported to a call about someone breaking into cars in the Archer Heights neighborhood. The teen refused to drop his knife, according to officers, fixed them with “a 100-yard stare,” and walked toward them. That’s when a cop fired at McDonald, killing him.
Few details have been revealed about the shooting of an 18-year-old girl in Long Beach, California last week. Officers were responding to a report of a missing juvenile girl, and found her in the house of Carey Smith-Viramontes. According to police, Smith-Viramontes was armed with a knife and was shot dead by an officer on the scene.
An 18-year-old was killed by police officers after opening fire on a cop with two guns in Kansas City in late October. Jeffrey Holden had reportedly been shooting at houses and passersby before the authorities arrived at the scene. he was listed as a missing person and had two outstanding warrants.
Two armed robbers were killed after holding up a Dollar General Store in Columbus, Ohio in October. Eighteen-year-old Qusean Whitten had jumped from the car he was using to flee the scene and started running when police opened fire.
In early October, 19-year-old Miguel Benton managed to steal an officer’s gun and shoot him twice. Two cops were transporting Benton and another inmate to jail on drug and robbery charges in Georgia when the incident occurred. Another officer shot and killed Benton.
Eighteen-year-old Dillon McGee of Jackson, Tennessee, died after being shot by police officers who claim he was attempting to run them over in a car. On September 26, officers were targeted after approaching a car, driven by McGee, and fired at the driver. McGee was the father of a one-month-old son.
A man welding a baseball bat and a kitchen knife lunged at police officers in his home in Georgia, and was fatally shot in late September. According to the sheriff, 18-year-old Levi Weaver begged the officer to shoot him, and then leapt at him. The officer shot Weaver twice.
A 19-year-old woman was killed in September after an undercover police watched a drug deal go down in Oklahoma City. One of the suspects got in a car driven by Karen Cifuentes and took off, apparently hitting one of the officers who fired then opened fire and killed her.
In August, an 18-year-old was shot and killed by a Dallas police officer after a car crash in a parking lot near a Walmart store. According to police, Sergio Ramos had just robbed a killed an associate when he was confronted by an off-duty cop, reached for the gun in his shorts, and was shot multiple times.
Some 500 anti-police protesters took to Chicago’s streets after a 19-year-old man’s death at the hands of police. On August 24, Roshad McIntosh was being questioned by cops when he began running. Police say he pulled a gun on them, but his family claimed that McIntosh was kneeling on the ground with his hands in the air. Nearly a month later, his mother brought another protest to city hall, demanding answers in her son’s killing.
A mentally ill woman brandishing a power drill was shot dead by an officer after she called 911 and told San Jose dispatchers she had an Uzi. Diana Showman, 19, had come out of her house, ignored demands to put down the weapon, and was shot once. Showman’s parents criticized the officer’s response, saying that the police needed to be better equip to handle mental health issues.
While I could go on and on "in defense of black rage," I detest this assumption that protesters will turn into violent mobs as the latest round of injustice takes hold in Ferguson. They said the same thing about us in Florida when George Zimmerman was let off for the murder of Trayvon Martin. Not a single business was damaged in the aftermath. If anything, the presence of military weapons on the ground in St Louis County is the truly inflammatory statement. This is every Orwellian nightmare come true. #staywoke #farfromover
(All images from pictures reporting about Ferguson, with the exceptions of the Taser diagram and my own screenshot)
I’ve seen many posts about how to protect yourself from tear gas, and your rights as a protester. I’ve also seen photographic evidence of the injuries sustained from protesters, prompting me to gather what information I could about these “less lethal” weapons being used.
Firstly, I’d like to clarify some language. These weapons are only “less lethal”, not “non-lethal”. Many of these weapons have killed in the past, as well as caused permanent, debilitating harm. Secondly, I’m only talking about those weapons I’ve seen used, either from pictures of police enforcement, injuries, or aftermath images(with the exception of TASERs, as I presume the law enforcement are carrying them but have not seen any obvious pictures thereof.)
Lets get started with my ‘exception’- TASERs. These are devices that fire 2 small dart like electrodes, using nitrogen as a propellant, that are connected to the device via wires. These can be fired up to a range of 35 feet. The electrical charge they release causes neuromuscular incapacitation.
That’s what it’s been designed for. In practical use, it has caused 334 deaths, according to Amnesty international, and the manufacturer admits that it can cause difficulties with breathing and can trigger cardiac arrest.
This next section is a combination of a few of the weapons available, but all fall under “chemical weapons” Tear gas/bombs, ‘pepperballs’ and paintball guns, due to what they can be loaded with.
The most common tear gas compound is known as CS, which reacts with the skin and mucus membranes, cause intense pain and burning sensations. This compound is used in tear gas, ‘pepperballs’ and can be used in police-grade paintballs. This, used as a weapon, has been banned from warfare since 1993, and studies have shown that is able to cause pulmonary damage, and damage to the heart and liver. In an enclosed space, if not wearing a gas mask, it can be fatal.
‘Pepperballs’ are balls of solid payloads of a powder-based irritant, such as capsaicin. These projectiles have killed in the past, in particular one woman who was part of a rowdy crowd in Boston, who was hit in the head, leading to these projectiles being banned for that PD.
Paintball guns are generally something we see used on weekends by young people, in a controlled environment, with protective gear, and even then there are injuries. Police in Ferguson have been seen carrying these devices, and after some research, I found what they can be loaded with(besides the fact that impact of an inert ball can hurt badly, or even cause eye injuries). The two examples I found show that they can loaded with capsaicin and PAVA, a stronger and synthetic capasaicinoid. When put in contact with the eyes, mucous membranes, or open wounds caused by other weapons, it is extraordinarily painful, and if breathed in can make breathing difficult and possibly painful.
Smoke grenades pose another threat, as there are types that explode to create an instant cloud, rather than disperse a stream of smoke. They are commonly filled with white phosphorous, with a charge to create the explosion and spread the smoke. Their filler is described as toxic and hazardous, requiring the use of a launcher. Particles of this substance can cause deep burns, while breathing in the smoke can irritate the lungs, eyes, and nose.
Acoustic Riot Control devices can harm, or even permanently rupture, eardrums, while the frequencies given off can cause nausea and dizziness.
Stun grenades can and have in the past, set the surrounding area on fire, can cause 3rd degree burns, and various injuries due to their explosive nature.(Lending strong credibility to the theory that it was not protesters who started the fires around Ferguson)
‘Rubber’ bullets, wooden ‘pellets’ and beanbag rounds are our last stop ladies and gentlemen. For clarity ‘rubber’ bullets are often metal rounds or spheres with a coat of rubber around them, while wooden ‘pellets’ are around the size of a hockey puck. Beanbag rounds are just what they sound like, and all three types have shown significant injuries in the past. Uses in the past have resulted in deaths, from both beanbag rounds and rubber bullets, mostly from internal bleeding and various fractures.
Stop calling this “non-lethal” retaliation, and call it out for what it really is: frilled up violence against American citizens, and the possibility of more deaths to come.
'Not on our soil': US border patrol agent won't be charged over killing of 17-year-old Mexican youth August 11, 2013
US authorities will not bring charges against a US Border Patrol agent who shot dead a Mexican youth suspected of drug trafficking right through the fence insulating the US from Mexico as the Justice Department “lacks jurisdiction” to do it.
US federal authorities announced on Friday that the decision was based on “the facts developed during an independent and comprehensive investigation.” The US Justice Department officials in Washington insist investigators revealed no facts to support federal prosecution for any federal criminal charge.
The incident took place on January 5, 2011, when 17-year-old Ramses Barron-Torres was fatally wounded with a single shot in an early morning incident at the US-Mexico border fence in Arizona’s largest international border town of Nogales.
Border Patrol received a report about drugs being moved across the border. On arrival they pinpointed a man carrying a bundle with alleged drugs who made an escape attempt while his withdrawal was covered by four people who pelted agents with stones from Mexican territory, forcing the agents to take cover.
According to the agents’ report they ordered the stone throwers to stop in Spanish, but one of them, Ramses Barron-Torres, continued with the barrage, so law enforcement simply shot him through the border fence once.
On Friday the US Justice Department officials announced no sufficient evidence has been found to prove this was not self-defense, as claimed by Border Patrol agent.
Besides that, the US authorities also claim lack of jurisdiction to prosecute the agent because the young man was killed on Mexican side of the border.
The US federal criminal civil-rights statute "requires that the victim be in the United States when he was injured" to prosecute the agent, US authorities said Friday.
At the same time the US authorities addressed another fatal incident that took place in 2011 and also involved stone throwing.
Carlos LaMadrid, 19, was shot with four bullets in Arizona’s border town of Douglas on March 21, 2011, and died several hours later in hospital undergoing surgery.
According to Douglas police, LaMadrid was observed loading bundles of drugs into a vehicle and was pursued to the border fence by officers refusing to stop. Having arrived at the border, LaMadrid allegedly jumped out of the car and attempted to escape using a ladder propped against the border fence, while another man was stoning Border Patrol agents with ‘brick-size’ stones, eventually shattering the windshield of the patrol vehicle.
Though no agent was hurt, they returned fire with lethal force ‘regrettably’ killing a suspect.
The agents claim they made five shots at the unidentified man throwing stones, but because LaMadrid happened to be on the firing line, he was wounded with four bullets and died. US federal authorities ruled the agents were acting in self-defense.
The names of the agents involved in both deadly shootings have never been revealed for security reasons.
The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute reports of at least 10 incidents in the past five years when the US border agents fired into Mexican territory, eventually killing six Mexicans.
Last year there were 171 deaths along the US/Mexico border. Now with the new immigration “reform” bill, allocates $47 billion (yes, billion) to “secure” the border with high-tech surveillance, drones & more border patrol agents for what Sen. John McCain calls “the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
There is already absolutely no accountability for the US role in these deaths of immigrants every year. Now with an even more militarized border, immigrants must cross through even more dangerous death zones to cross into the US.
Listen, when I tell yall that the corruption in Ferguson runs deep, it runs DEEEEEP!
When Ferguson 1st hired a PR, it was all white. After backlash from the community and those standing in solidarity with Ferguson protesters, they fired the PR and hired Devin James.
The Mayor states the he and Ferguson officials all knew of James’ past conviction of reckless homicide (he shot and killed an unarmed man) BEFORE signing the contract to hire him.
However, Kathryn Jamboretz of the St. Louis Economic Development (the agency that is paying James’ bills), says no one in the organization knew about James’ past and admits they didn’t do a background check.
The city of Ferguson has now fired Devin James as PR for his past murder conviction.
Meanwhile, Ferguson fires Devin James for his criminal past but wont fire nor arrest Darren Wilson … … … .
*Quick note: I googled Devin James and instantly pulled up his murder conviction*
Machine guns in my hometown. To be specific, several weeks ago, New York Police Commissioner William J. Bratton announced the formation of a new 350-officer Special Response Group (SRG). Keep in mind that New York City already has a police force of more than 34,000 – bigger, that is, than the active militaries of Austria, Bulgaria, Chad, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kenya, Laos, Switzerland, or Zimbabwe — as well as its own “navy,” including six submersible drones.
“[I]f the 4,489 American soldiers killed in combat in Iraq constitute a condition of war, then the killing of 5,000 American civilians by United States police departments ought to be viewed as a war on we the People by our very own government.”