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Cop Who Killed Rekia Boyd Out of ‘Fear’ Found Not Guilty on All Counts

Apr. 21 2015

Dante Servin, the Chicago police detective who was off-duty on the March 2012 night that he shot and killed 22-year-old Rekia Boyd with an unregistered firearm, was cleared on Monday of all charges. Servin fired over his shoulder, from his car, with a 9mm semi-automatic, into an alley where Boyd and her friends were walking, unarmed, with their backs turned to him. He hit Boyd in the back of her head and killed her.

Servin maintains—and the judge ruled—that he was justified: that Boyd’s boyfriend Antonio Cross raised a cell phone that seemed, at the time, to be a gun. Servin has insisted that he did this out of fear, and “felt threatened” after telling Boyd and her three friends to quiet down.

In the video taken after he left the courtroom, Servin, without making eye contact with the camera, goes on some absolutely chilling shit: “Any police officer especially would have reacted in the exact same way I reacted,” he says. “I’m glad to be alive. I saved my life that night.”

Rekia Boyd’s mother, giving her statement, disagrees: “They just found this man not guilty on all counts, and he blew my daughter’s brains out in the alley,” she says.

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Police abuse their wives, girlfriends, and family members four times more than the national average.

Research suggests that family violence is two to four times higher in the law-enforcement community than in the general population. 

This is a higher rate than the NFL has.

Two studies have found that at least 40 percent of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to the 10 percent of families in the general population. A third study of older and more experienced officers found a rate of 24 percent, indicating that domestic violence is two to four times more common among police families than American families in general.

What makes this even worse is that officers who are found guilty of domestic violence are unlikely to be fired, arrested, or referred for prosecution.

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Freddie Gray not the first to come out of Baltimore police van with serious injuries

(by Doug Donovan and Mark Puente, photo credit: Jenna Erb) 

Relatives of Dondi Johnson Sr., who was left a paraplegic after a 2005 police van ride, won a $7.4 million verdict against police officers. A year earlier, Jeffrey Alston was awarded $39 million by a jury after he became paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a van ride. Others have also received payouts after filing lawsuits.

Johnson was a 43-year-old plumber who was arrested for public urination. He was handcuffed and placed in a transport van in good health. He emerged a quadriplegic.

Before he died, he complained to his doctor that he was not buckled into his seat when the police van “made a sharp turn,” sending him “face first” into the interior of the van, court records state. He was “violently thrown around the back of the vehicle as police officers drove in an aggressive fashion, taking turns so as to [intentionally] injure Mr. Johnson who was helplessly cuffed,” the lawsuit stated.

For some, such injuries have been inflicted by what is known as a “rough ride” — an unsanctioned “technique" in which police vans are driven to cause “injury or pain” to unbuckled, handcuffed detainees, former city police officer Charles J. Key testified as an expert five years ago in a lawsuit over Johnson’s subsequent death.

In 1997, Jeffrey Alston became paralyzed from the neck down in a van after being arrested. Alston said he told the officers he couldn’t breathe, but they refused to give him an inhaler for asthma.

Read the full BaltimoreSun article here

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Hundreds Protest in Baltimore, No Police Yet Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death

Apr. 26 2015

TRNN reports from protests against police brutality and impunity in the death of 25-year old African American Freddie Gray

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Freddie Gray and the Legacy of Slavery in Baltimore Policing

Apr. 26 2015

Historian Gerald Horne says the police culture that allows violence with impunity grew out of the slave patrols, which like today, used force to defend the economic order.

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NYPD KILLS ANOTHER UNARMED MENTALLY ILL MAN 

A police officer fatally shot an unarmed man during what police are calling a “violent struggle” in the East Village on Saturday. The shooting happened around 1:45 p.m. yesterday at what the Times refers to as “a supportive housing complex for people with mental illnesses” on E. 6th Street near Avenue A.

The 22-year-old victim, whom the Post has identified as Felix David, was the suspect in a robbery last Thursday at City College. 

Cops tracked him down to the East Village facility, and say David fled out a window on the sixth floor and down a fire escape. Although David was unarmed, cops say that “a struggle ensued between the suspect and the two detectives.” This ‘violent struggle’ involved a police radio, which David allegedly grabbed from one of the officers and used to strike both detectives on the head, causing lacerations.

During this one detective drew his firearm and fired once, striking David in the torso. He was taken to Beth Israel Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Both officers were taken to Bellevue with bruises and lacerations; both are in stable condition. Police add that the investigation is ongoing.

This shit is getting tiring

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They suck our blood like vultures. And when you see the Blacks react, since the people who do this aren’t there, they react against their property. The property is the only thing that’s there and they destroy it. And you get the impression over here that because they are destroying the property where they live, that they are destroying their own property. No. They can’t get to the man, so they get at what he owns. This doesn’t say it’s intelligent. But whoever heard of a sociological explosion that was done intelligently and politely? And this is what you’re trying to make the black man do. You’re trying to drive him into a ghetto and make him the victim of every kind of unjust condition imaginable. Then when he explodes, you want him to explode politely. You want him to explode according to somebody’s ground rules.
—  Malcolm X
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In Freddie Gray’s Neighborhood, Residents Say Police Harassment is Constant

Apr. 24 2015

Lifelong residents say they can’t even stand outside on a summer day