Black Alliance For Peace Condemns Trial Of Black Activist Dedan Waciuri

North Carolina – After a number of delays and questionable prosecutorial behavior in their attempts to force a plea-deal because of the weakness of their case, Dedan Waciuri, a resident of Greenville, North Carolina is scheduled to be tried December 7th in the city of Greenville on two charges: “damage to government property” and “inciting a riot.” These charges stem from a protest organized in Greenville on May 31, 2020, in relation to the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and police violence directed at members of the Black community in general.

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP), a national anti-war and human rights organization believes that the charges against Dedan, a member of BAP’s Coordinating Committee, are a blatant attempt to send a message to the Black communities in Eastern North Carolina that resistance to oppression and the fight for human rights will result in confronting the full weight of the power of the state.

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Police Launch Third Militarized Raid Against Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders

The RCMP arrested 15 people on Thursday November 18 as the land defence struggle against the construction of the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory in northern British Columbia continues. Gidimt’en land defender Sleydo’ says: “[The RCMP] came with intent and the ability to kill people and seriously harm people.” Those arrested included two Elders, a journalist and three legal observers.

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We Urgently Need A Transformative Approach To Public Safety

On Tuesday, October 26, Black Lives Matter joined fellow civil rights leaders to engage with and discuss tangible policy proposals to transform current approaches to public safety with senior officials from the White House and the Department of Justice.

While we appreciate the invitation to speak and discuss solutions, we call on the White House to be courageous as it moves towards Executive Action to move us towards the kind of transformation that this moment demands — the kind of transformation that the spirits of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Dijon Kizzee, Wakiesha Wilson, Andrew Joseph III, and so many others demand. A transformational approach to public safety requires that we not expend energy tinkering around the edges of a fundamentally unjust system, but we upend it and dare to imagine and build new systems that invest deeply in resources: like youth programs, good jobs, mental healthcare, housing…resources that actually make our communities safe.

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What We Know About The RCMP’s Resource Extraction Protection Unit

The RCMP’s “Community-Industry Response Group” (C-IRG) could also be described as a resource extraction protection unit. It’s militarized responses to land defenders at Fairy Creek, Wet’suwet’en, or, most recently, Gidimt’en Checkpoint, have demonstrated which side of “community” versus “industry” the group is on. Here’s what we know:

According to the RCMP:

“The Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG) was created in 2017 to provide strategic oversight addressing energy industry incidents and related public order, national security and crime issues.”

The RCMP adds: “The C-IRG uses a measured approach in facilitating the peaceful resolution of public disorder issues. They proactively engage all stakeholders through open communication and meaningful dialogue.”

This would not describe the experiences of Indigenous land and environmental rights defenders on their territories in Canada.

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Thousands Of Police Killings Are Unreported

The New York Times and other outlets report that most police killings in this country are “mislabeled.” The sanitized language is worse than an understatement because it implies that these murders are categorized improperly due to ordinary human error. In fact, there is a long and sordid history of covering up these crimes. The initial coroner’s report for George Floyd, whose murder was witnessed by millions of people, reported drug use and underlying health conditions as the causes of death.

According to a report in the Lancet , between 1980 and 2018 police in the U.S. killed an estimated 30,800 people. This number is 17,000 more than reported by the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), which is a misclassification rate of 55%. The deaths of Black people are the most likely to be undercounted, with 5,670 deaths missing out of an estimated 9,540.

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Some Schools Remove Police, Others Continue Sending Students To Police

Chicago – In January 2019, a cell phone video from inside Marshall High School on Chicago’s West Side was posted to Facebook. It shows a student, then-16-year-old Dnigma Howard, at the bottom of a staircase, and two Chicago Police officers trying to handcuff her. One of the officers fires his Taser at Dnigma as she’s on the ground.

Now, more than two years and a $300,000 settlement with the school district later, many Chicago schools have opted to remove police from their hallways. At the same time, newly released body camera video sheds light on what happened to Dnigma, and data from the US Department of Education shows some schools send huge numbers of their students like her to the police.

It all started at about 9:45 a.m. on January 29, 2019.

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Horgan’s Fairy Creek Excuses Betray Citizens

The NDP government can’t keep dodging responsibility for the debacle at Fairy Creek — or the much bigger questions about the RCMP’s role in the province.

Especially as increasing RCMP resources — with provincial government approval — are devoted to shutting down protests, frequently by Indigenous people.

Last week, the BC Supreme Court refused to extend an injunction against protesters blocking logging, citing RCMP civil rights’ abuses — facilitated by the provincial government — in enforcing the court order.

The dispute is about old-growth forests on southern Vancouver Island. Protesters blocked licence-holder Teal-Jones from logging in late 2020.

On April 1, BC Supreme Justice Frits Verhoeven granted the company an injunction preventing the protesters from blocking roads or interfering with company operations.

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LA Sheriff’s Department Needs To ‘Curb Influence Of Problematic Subgroups’

The long anticipated report on the deputy gangs inside the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was released on Friday, Sept. 10.  And it has a lot to say.

The 230-page report by the nonprofit RAND Corporation was commissioned by the LA County Board of Supervisors, who are fed up with the deputy gang issue, and it contains a list of interesting conclusions about what needs to be done about the problem of deputy cliques that has plagued the nations largest sheriff’s agency for approximately half century.

“At their worst,” the authors write, these “sub-groups encourage violence, undermine the chain of command, and gravely harm relationships with the communities that LASD is dedicated to serve.”

And, because these deputy gangs/cliques/subgroups have existed for so many decades, the report’s authors admit that efforts to change this deputy subgroup culture will likely be met with “internal resistance.”

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Biden’s DOJ Sleight Of Hand On Police Reform

Police killing Black and Brown people hasn’t let up even though the public’s attention may have been diverted from it as a constant nationwide tragedy for which the federal government shares responsibility. Despite this, the feds have been working hard on reformism that will outfit the Democrats with something to campaign on in the next presidential election.

The radically spontaneous uprisings in response to the murder-by-cop of George Floyd in Minneapolis that rocked the entire country during the spring and summer of 2020, compelled a response from the feds. Any response by the feds, however, can’t address the root causes of the problem. So Biden’s DOJ is doing it’s part to dress up the empire in a costume of genuine responsiveness to police reform.

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‘They Saw Me And Thought The Worst’

As Sojourner Gibbs pulled out of her parking space at a Sam’s Club in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, one afternoon last summer, she felt the familiar, sickening symptoms of diabetic shock. Weakness, confusion. She began to sweat and shake uncontrollably. And then, Gibbs said, panic set in.

Her car lurched forward a few feet. She slammed on the brakes. The groceries she had just purchased for her family’s Juneteenth barbecue jostled in the back. People started honking their horns. A concerned woman walked up to her car. “I’m a diabetic! I need help!” Gibbs yelled.

The woman called 911. Dispatcher notes show a report of a “Black female sitting/screaming” in a gold Ford Expedition. “Appears scared.” Moments later: “Needs EMS.”

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‘Finding Kendrick Johnson’ Reveals FBI’s Complicity In Coverup Of Black Child’s Murder

Millions of people in the United States believe the justice system—from the cops in the street right on up to the judges in the courthouse—is fair and unbiased. Millions of people also believe systemic racial and class biases are relics of a bygone era washed away by progressivism, the election of the First Black President, and the great healer called Time.

But those millions of people need to wake up and watch Jason Pollock’s documentary, “Finding Kendrick Johnson” (2021), for a healthy and horrifying dose of reality.

The film begins with Kendrick Johnson, a 17-year-old Black student, who was found dead in 2013 inside a rolled-up mat that was propped up against a little-used wall in the gymnasium of Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia.

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‘Chilling The Press Has Consistently Outraged Me’

The last photographs Tirado took with her camera before she was shot in the face with a rubber-jacketed bullet show Minneapolis police aiming at her during the Black Lives Matter protests in response to the killing of George Floyd. Her lawsuit argues that her civil rights were violated by the police and city, but if she wins, it has broader implications for journalists in a time of police violence against the press.

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Controversy Mounts Over The Use Of Gunshot Detection Sensors

On a humid afternoon in late August, dozens of activists gathered at an intersection in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood to protest the Police Department’s use of ShotSpotter, the gunshot detection system. Days before, news broke that the city had quietly extended its multimillion-dollar contract with the company, outraging residents and some councilmembers.

Alyx Goodwin, one of the event’s organizers, pointed to a light pole bristling with what looked like microphones. They were acoustic sensors used by ShotSpotter to pick up the sound of gunfire and alert police. 

“Once you see one, you start to notice them more,” said Goodwin, who works as a deputy campaign director for the Action Center on Race and the Economy, an advocacy group.

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Chicago Passes Union-Backed Bill For Civilian Oversight Of Violent Cops

In July, Chicago’s city council passed a modified version of police accountability legislation that activists have spent years fighting for, backed by major public sector unions and Black labor leaders.

Though stripped of some of its stronger measures, the new law is one of the most prominent pieces of police reform legislation to pass since last year’s uprisings after George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police. A civilian commission will now be empowered to pick the head of the police investigatory body and change the rules and policies under which the police operate.

In Chicago, the law reflects increasing public scrutiny about how the police function. The city has seen a string of high-profile revelations of police killings, brutality, and general misconduct targeting Black and Latino people.

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Black Lives Matter DC Responds To Brutal Beating Of Black Man By Officer

On Sunday August 1, 2021 we were alerted to a video of a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer brutally punching Kimon Johnson in the head in Southeast D.C. This kind of brutality is not new for MPD, in the District of Columbia, and certainly not near Good Hope Rd. and 16th St. Southeast, but it is always unacceptable. It mirrors the experience of Derrick “Quan” Johnson at almost the same location on December 26, 2019. Quan was also not charged for the original stop or the second retaliatory one. Like Quan, we are so very glad he is still alive.

As we predicted, his response to this brutal incident Chief Contee did little more than give a measured response at the August 9, 2021 press conference. As we explained when he was confirmed and have since learned about his complicity in the misconduct by the Gun Recovery Unit (Jumpouts) against almost only Black people, we could hardly expect more from him.

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