buzzfeed.com
Two Black Men Were Arrested In Starbucks. Witnesses Say They "Didn't Do Anything."
The men had simply been waiting for another person to arrive before they ordered, their lawyer said. A Starbucks manager phoned the police.
By Julia Reinstein

In a widely circulated video of the incident, at least two people who were present verbally defended the two men and questioned why they were being arrested and handcuffed.

“This is ridiculous,” said one white man to a police officer in the video. “What did they get called for? Because there were two black guys sitting here meeting me? What did they do?”

“They didn’t do anything, I saw the entire thing,” a woman can be heard saying. At least five police officers were present during the arrest, the video shows.

Police have not named the men, and the pair’s attorney, Lauren A. Wimmer, also declined to name them “at this time.”

The two men had gone to the Starbucks to meet Andrew Yaffe, the white man who can be seen in the video questioning the police officers, according to Wimmer.

Yaffe could not immediately be reached for comment, but Wimmer told BuzzFeed News he is a friend of the two men. He runs a real estate development, investment, and management firm, and the men were meeting with him “to discuss potential residential and commercial real estate opportunities in Philadelphia,” she said.

The two men had not ordered immediately upon arriving, as they were still waiting for Yaffe. While they waited for him, “a white female manager who was on duty at the time” asked them to leave, said Wimmer.

When they said they were just waiting for another person to arrive before ordering, she phoned the police, Wimmer said.

“How many times have we sat in Starbucks minding our own business, waiting for a friend to come, and then we order?” Wimmer said.

When Yaffe arrived and found the two men being arrested, he called Wimmer, whom he is also friends with, she said.

The two men were arrested around 5:30 p.m., and were fingerprinted and photographed by police.

Police told Wimmer they had arrested the men for “defiant trespassing.”

latimes.com
Surveillance Video Shows Cop Lied About Why He Pepper-Sprayed Elderly Army Veteran
By Los Angeles Times

Deputy Christian Chamness wrote in a police report that he pepper-sprayed Raymond Davison after the 73-year-old refused orders to move and began to “advance” on him, but a surveillance video contradicted the deputy’s claims.

anonymous asked:

What do you do if you see police brutality? Like I know stand back and film it if you can but then what? What do you do with the film? Is there anything else you can do?

Alright I’m going to answer this for people who document police brutality against themselves and what someone who observes this violence can do. 

1. DO NOT start telling the officer(s) what you are going to do to them. If you start telling them that you know your rights have been violated and you’re going to sue, they aren’t going to cower in fear. Instead, they’re more likely going to arrest you as a means to cover the violations and work to cover up what they did/build their case to WHY they needed to use violence against you. If you were injured and need medical attention tell them “I am in need of medical assistance,” but don’t mention you are recording and documenting with plans to bring this abuse to light. 

2. To people who are victims of police violence and those who witness it: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. When cops are exposed for their misconduct one of their defenses will be that the victims cannot clearly remember the details of the event and therefore the narrative is untrustworthy. If you are the victim, try to remember exactly what happened and document it ASAP. Try to remember important details as much as possible and write it down before you forget everything. Try to answer the place where the abuse happened, who witnessed the abuse, what did the cop(s) do, what did the cop(s) say, and try to timeline the events. Even if you don’t know the names of people who might have witnessed it, try to write down any detailed descriptions about the person.  

If you are a bystander try to film and/or document the incident. Again, don’t try to draw attention to the fact you are filming because cops will go into cover up mode. Also make sure to install and app and set up your phone so that the footage is automatically uploaded to your cloud. This is so you for sure have the footage and if any cop does try to stop you or unlawfully confiscates your phone/deletes your video it’s still there. And try to make sure you get the cop’s name and number. 

Tips for recording the police:

  • Keep calm but prepare yourself if you are confronted by a police officer. 
    If a police officer asks if or why you are recording you have the right to remain silent. The police might tell you that you are “interfering” with the scene, they might demand you move back, they might try to lower your camera down or block it. Remember that you ARE allowed to record police officers and as long as you are not being detained you can walk away.

  • As long as you, the recorder, are not suspected of a crime you do not have to show ID or give them any information. They might try to get your device handed to them or get you to show ID but you can ask “What crime am I suspected of,” and “Am I being detained.” If they say “no,” then you don’t have to give over any of this. 

  • If you have a smartphone, consider downloading an app that will stream and store the recordings offsite. For both Android and iOS you can use apps like Bambuser, Fi-Vo Film, Justin.TV, Ustream, and Vimeo. These live streaming apps will capture both audio and video and (as long as you’re able to get an Internet signal) push the content offsite. If you are in a location with no Internet access, many apps will save the streaming data to your phone, and upload once the device has signal.Here’s some other apps that might come in handy in this situation.

  • Understand the laws in your state when it comes to recording an officer. It’s legal in every state to film the police, they might try to tell you it’s not but it is. However, there are some state with restrictions related to the recording of audio. Some states require two-party consent, and some states aren’t explicitly clear on this so if you are in one of these states or the legislation isn’t clear in your state inform the other parties present that you are recording. 

3. Now what do you do with this documentation? Collect yourself, calm down and then organize your case. When you’re still in a state of shock you might miss crucial information or sound confusing. Use all your documents and notes and thoughts to organize a refined summary of events. If you are taking this to a lawyer they want to see that you can sell this case. By the time you give these notes to a lawyer, your information should include a chronological story or what happened, what you saw, and any potential witnesses. Answer those who, what, when, where, why questions. 

Now, don’t just go to any lawyer. They are already hesitant to pick up cases regarding police violence so be prepared for some rejection. Also, try not to find a lawyer that works with cops or does cases for them - find ones in your state that specialize in handling police misconduct. This will require some questions and research. Here’s a small list of some to help you out, but there are many more out there. Even if you weren’t arrested by the police but experienced abuse, it’s recommended that you report the cop(s). 

4. Another option is to file police complaints. Internal police divisions will RARELY find that their officers did anything wrong but there are other ways you can file complaints. After criminal charges and civil actions have been resolved you can start filing police misconduct reports, if you weren’t charged of a crime and you’re not suing then you can file ASAP. Your area will usually have a citizen review board, an office within your local police department that accepts them, or you can find what your options are by Googling “police complaint [name of town/city].“ 

Look at what the various options are and send the complaint to all of the ones you find within your area. Make sure to see what you have to do when filing a complaint, you might need to fill out certain forms or send over the information you have. Pay attention to what’s needed so your complaint isn’t outright rejected. Note, some areas might require you obtain some forms through the police department. Avoid discussing your case and who is involved at all costs, they might try to convince you that your case has no merit, they might intimidate you, and they might warn the officers involved. 

5. You probably won’t get a quick response from the police department or civilian monitoring agency but it DOES create an official record of the incident and it could become relevant in future cases against the same officer. You can also send the complaints and documentation to your local ACLU and other civil rights groups in your area. Some might even deal exclusively with police abuse.

6. Go public. Note, if you have an attorney, this might not be recommended so talk to them about it but if you’ve filed your complaints or don’t want to do that you can just bring the incident to light. There are websites that take your stories, photos, videos, etc. like Cop Block. Cop Block also has local organizations and they might have websites that direct you how to file complaints specifically in your area. (Here’s the list)

youtube

New Mike Brown Footage Discredits Ferguson Police Account

anonymous asked:

What tends to happen to cops who arrest other cops, especially within their own precinct? Do they even have the jurisdiction to do that? Would the arrested cop be treated like any other person under arrest? Is police brutality a crime, and would an officer be able to arrest another officer for it? Thank you for all your time and hard work!

Internal Affairs is division in a law enforcement agency that investigates incidents and possible suspicions of law-breaking and professional misconducts that are attributed to officers. The IA officer would investigate any misconduct or complaints that the public bring against their fellow officers. The IA division is separate from the other divisions and tries to maintain an unbiased investigation. To the best of the ability of the IA officer, the arrested officer is treated like any other person. Technicality, police brutality is a misconduct and is not a crime itself. If the misconduct has grounds to be proven, then prosecutors can file charges but excessive force is a civil lawsuit and not a criminal one.

slate.com
Video, False Police Report and Cop's History of Misconduct Shows How Departments Protect Bad Cops
Video of Gwinnett County Police Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni punching Demetrius Hollins shows how bad cops cover for each other.

Two Georgia cops were fired on Thursday after video emerged of them very clearly appearing to brutally assault a black motorist. The videos themselves are shocking alone for the amount of pure unprovoked violence the two officers displayed, but there’s more to the story….

Perhaps the most troubling part of this entire incident is that without the video footage, these two officers would still be on the beat instead of facing a criminal investigation. Indeed, Bongiovanni’s false police report – along, potentially, with his own lengthy record of unpunished misconduct charges – points to how the “blue wall of silence” keeps criminally bad police officers on the job….

listen, i’m gonna be honest here, on a flawed and strictly personal level: if the events of the mcu were happening in our world, i would be fucking Terrified of the avengers 

as a civilian in the mcu i wouldn’t have access to a ton of info about Bucky Barnes’ Super Tragic Life Situation? i would just know about the apocalyptic shit that happened in sokovia and i’d be seeing news stories about the avengers just Showing Up in countries they had no right to be in, causing damage, and leaving patting themselves on the back. i get upset hearing about local police misconduct. i wouldn’t be chill in this situation

this straight white 25-30 year old american dude from the 40s marching around the globe with a group of superpowered vigilantes (some ex-military, some enhanced with dangerous superpowers, all heavily armed with nearly unlimited resources) fighting people, possibly without working with local law enforcement or emergency services, without being held responsible by any higher-ups because the secret government organization he was working for turned out to be hydra so he burned that to the ground (making more apocalyptic-looking shit happen in the states) and then decided that he should still get to do that job anywhere he chooses without any systems of accountability or communication with the public in place (short of an eccentric billionaire with a shaky reputation making some statements to the press)

like. would i be on tumblr and twitter and facebook seeing people asking for a donation to their kickstarter to fix their car or their house or pay hospital bills or something because of the events of the avengers, and catws, and aou, and cacw,,,, like would the avengers be paying for that? they’re not working for anyone. they don’t have people they answer to. there’s probably not a complaints department or a number you can call. do i have to personally contact and/or sue tony stark to unfuck my financial situation. how exactly do you handle this? how does this work? who’s paying for damages this would be a mess

and then 117 countries around the world start getting together to say “okay this needs to stop”, so there’s probably some Not Great Press re: the avengers circulating around the world. natasha was a russian spy/assassin and all of her Red Ledger Baggage got dumped onto the internet. + also press re: the Event In Lagos™…and then bucky barnes attacks the people trying to hold the avengers accountable. holy shit. the leader of a nation who was leading the charge re: Avengers & Accountability is murdered by captain america’s best friend. 

i mean, steve knows that bucky is innocent, you and me know that bucky is innocent, but your average citizen probably wouldn’t. then steve goes and physically fights off the people who have been sent to arrest bucky for this–you think those people and the families of those people wouldn’t be publicly not okay with that? there’s a dramatic car chase fight situation involving bucky, steve, sam, And The Son Of The Recently Murdered King of Wakanda, and they’re arrested, and maybe you think the drama is probably over, it’s being dealt with, bUT NO, bucky barnes attacks a bunch of people and escapes and there’s a dramatic helicopter crash and holy shit this is like maybe half of the movie’s plot and things would already be So Tense

like even people who were pro-avengers would probably be like  “holy shit okay but What Is Going On” and this is all Before the fight at the airport in germany and hearing on the news that captain america broke his team of vigilantes out of prison and they are now Hiding Somewhere Among Us…like, we know these people and can empathize with them because we see their stories in a way that prioritizes them and their relationships over the collateral damage but like. this would be such a mess this would be so tense to live through as a civilian and i would be Afraid

youtube

The murder of Fred Hampton.

buzzfeed.com
Above The Law: How Canadian Police Are Rarely Held To Account When Accused Of Misconduct
Canadian police are rarely held to account when accused of breaking the law.
By Bruce Livesey

[…]

Like the United States, Canada has a poor track record of prosecuting police who break the law, despite the emergence in some provinces of agencies specifically designed to investigate police.

BuzzFeed News examined court records, data from police investigatory bodies, and media accounts, and spoke with experts, former police officers, victims, lawyers, and advocates and found that Canadian police who kill, wound, assault, allegedly plant evidence, or are found to have lied in court are rarely held to account. We found many examples of officers who were reprimanded by judges for fabricating testimony, or whose unethical conduct caused charges to be dismissed, and who went on to commit similar acts — and even be promoted.

“It’s like Groundhog Day,” said André Marin, a former Ontario Ombudsman and former head of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), an agency that investigates police in Ontario when they cause injury. “When there is a [police] shooting, everybody freaks out, ‘Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,’ and nothing seems to happen.”

Alan Young, a criminal law professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, agrees. “Basically when it comes to accountability for misconduct, police get a free pass,” he said. “It’s always been that way and it will probably continue that way until somebody wants to champion the issue of police accountability.”

One significant challenge in evaluating the accountability of police in Canada is that no nationwide data exists that accurately tracks how many police officers are accused or investigated for misconduct, what happens when they are investigated, how often they are prosecuted or cleared, and which offenses they are most often accused of committing. But the few statistics that do exist on police accountability paint a bleak picture.

Continue Reading.

10

Never Forget Them

Images from a candlelight vigil for Mike Brown in Boston, MA on August 22, 2014