Posted in Columns Policing Public Policy Wade Rathke

Banning dispersants

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   Bjorn Skogquist was a former mayor of one of the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburbs some fifteen miles away, when he was a young man. He did a couple of terms and went…

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Posted in Analysis Black Lives Matter Civil Rights Policing Politics The Conversation

Federal agents sent to Kenosha, but history shows militarized policing in cities can escalate violence and trigger conflict

Sending in the feds to quell unrest often increases conflict on the ground, as it did this summer in Portland, Ore. Nathan Howard/Getty Images by  Angélica Durán-Martínez, University of Massachusetts Lowell August 31 The U.S. Justice…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

Trump plans Kenosha visit despite calls to stay away

‘Photo-Op for white nationalist president isn’t helpful,’ says Wisconsin Dem In a letter to Trump on Sunday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers warned the president’s visit “will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

Amid violence in Portland, Biden and progressive critics emphasize that continued chaos is result of ‘Trump’s America’

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has consistently called for peaceful protests and condemned violence, but still faces accusations that he’s allowed Trump to claim the “law and order” mantle. by Julia Conley, staff writer Sunday, August…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

Video shows officers in unmarked vehicles surround, arrest activists in Kenosha for the crime of… trying to serve free food

When traveling from out of state with an AR-15 is not treated as a crime, but “filling up gas cans for your food truck” leads to immediate arrest. by Kenny Stancil, staff writer Friday, August 28…

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Protesters hold signs during a demonstration against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 26, 2020. Two people were shot dead and a third injured on the night of August 25 as anti-police protesters clashed with armed vigilante groups during a third night of demonstrations over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. (Photo: Kamil Krzaczynsky/AFP via Getty Images)
Posted in Analysis Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Policing Racism Right Wing Militias

Far-right militias and white supremacist groups infiltrating US police departments for years, says Brennan Center for Justice

The study comes amid unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the latest high-profile police shooting of a Black man and the shooting deaths of two protesters by an alleged far-right militia member. by Julia Conley, staff writer…

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Kenosha Sheriff David Beth (r) speaks at a news conference on August 26, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In addition to Beth, the ACLU is also calling for immediate resignation of Kenosha, Wisconsin chief of police Daniel Miskinis (l). (Screenshot from photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing Racism

ACLU demands immediate resignation of Kenosha Police Chief, Sheriff, and Mayor

The actions of the city’s top law enforcement officials, said the group, “uphold and defend white supremacy, while demonizing people who were murdered for exercising their first amendment rights and speaking out against police violence.” by…

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A man on the ground was shot during the third day of protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020. (Screenshot. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Police Killings

17 year old fires on Kenosha residents protesting police shooting of Jacob Blake, killing two; video. Suspect arrested, charges filed

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes warns that the danger posed by white militias has been ignored for far too long. by Kenny Stancil, staff writer Wednesday, August, 26 Two people were killed and one injured overnight…

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A boy sits on his father's shoulders while holding a sign on August 24, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Photo: Brandon Bell)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

Jacob Blake’s father says his son is paralyzed below waist after being shot from behind by Kenosha Police

Marches and demonstrations have been held nationwide demanding justice for the 29-year-old father of six, who is Black. by Jessica Corbett, staff writer Tuesday, August 25 Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man whom police shot in…

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Protesters march near the Minneapolis 1st police precinct during a demonstration against police brutality and racism on August 24, 2020 in Minneapolis. (Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Police Killings Racism

Mass demonstrations and marches erupt nationwide to protest police shooting of Jacob Blake

Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old father of six was shot multiple times in the back at point-blank range by a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer as three of his children watched from the back seat of his car….

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Posted in Common Dreams Justice News

Prohibited from holding police officer to account, federal judge calls on Supreme Court to overturn ‘Qualified Immunity’

“Those who violate the constitutional rights of our citizens must be held accountable. When that day comes we will be one step closer to that more perfect Union.” by Julia Conley, staff writer Friday, August 7…

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Posted in Columns Policing Racism Wade Rathke

US police roots spring from slavery

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   We would all love to simply believe that the police are there, and have always been there, as the slogan goes, “to serve and protect.” Jill Lepore, the noted Harvard historian…

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Demonstrators face police armed with military equipment at a recent racial justice protest. (Photo: Amnesty International USA)
Posted in Analysis Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

Amnesty International report details human rights violations by US police during racial justice protests

‘The World Is Watching’ The use of force detailed in the report “is ultimately a symptom of the very issue that started these protests: unaccountable police violence.” by Julia Conley, staff writer In a report titled…

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A father, left, and his son, who was detained in an American hotel and faced expulsion to Honduras. (Carolina Guerrero for ProPublica and The Texas Tribune)
Posted in Asylum Deportation ICE Pro Publica

Her rapist threatened to make her “disappear.” Instead of asylum, ICE put her in a hotel and sent her back.

Thousands of migrant children — including babies — have been expelled by the Trump administration since March. Some have been held in hotels without access to lawyers or family. Advocates say many are now “virtually impossible”…

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Heavily armed riot police, Portland (Shutterstock)
Posted in Analysis Black Lives Matter OtherWords Policing

I was tear gassed in Portland — and not just by Feds

Police departments are over-militarized at the local level, too. Here’s one way to change that. By Robert P. Alvarez July 30, 2020 The smell of tear gas is hard to describe, but it’s horrifying. It pinched…

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A federal agent in Portland, Oregon during a demonstration on the night of July 24, 2020. (Photo: Jake Borden)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

Oregon Governor says Federal Agents are leaving Portland on Thursday; BUT: DHS, White House says not yet ‘The withdraw is conditional’

“The federal occupation of our community has brought a new kind of fear to our streets.” by Eoin Higgins, staff writer Wednesday, July 29   An immediate withdrawal of federal forces in Portland, Oregon appeared unlikely…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

Amid fears of a defeated Trump who won’t go willingly, Warren calls on Cabinet officials to end deployment of federal agents against protests

“This is an urgent matter for American democracy and for the safety of Americans peacefully protesting in their communities.” by Eoin Higgins, staff writer Wednesday, July 29 Specifically citing President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

‘This Is…Kidnapping’: Video shows plainclothes NYPD officers throwing protester Into unmarked van

“Our civil liberties are on the brink,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “This is not a drill. There is no excuse for snatching women off the street and throwing them into unmarked vans.” by Jake Johnson, staff…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Civil Rights Justice News Pro Publica

“Defendant shall not attend protests”: In Portland, getting out of jail requires relinquishing Constitutional Rights

A dozen protesters facing federal charges are barred from going to “public gatherings” as a condition of release from jail — a tactic one expert described as “sort of hilariously unconstitutional.” by Dara Lind July 28,…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News

Real answers demanded after Barr dodges on government authority to aim ‘intrusive surveillance tools’ at protesters

“The public needs to know whether Attorney General Barr thinks President Trump can conduct mass surveillance of protesters without congressional authorization.” by Jessica Corbett, staff writer Tuesday, July 28 An exchange about government spying powers between…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

Jayapal tears into William Barr at Oversight hearing

“Mr. Barr… I’m starting to lose my temper.” by Eoin Higgins, staff writer Tuesday, July 28 A fiery exchange during Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing between Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Attorney General William Barr over the…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Congressional Oversight News

Six mayors demand congress block federal agents from US cities

‘Unacceptable, Un-American, and Unconstitutional’ “This provocation is resulting in direct physical harm to our communities and must end.” by Eoin Higgins, staff writer Tuesday, July 28 Six mayors from around the country sent a letter to…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter News Policing The Conversation

4 lawsuits that challenge Trump’s federal agents in Portland test issues other cities will likely face

Federal officers using large amounts of tear gas against protesters in Portland, Oregon on July 21. John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images by  Sarah J. Adams-Schoen, University of Oregon President Donald Trump has announced that the…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

Massive protests in Portland continue, this time with “Wall of Vets” backing up protesters

“If the state of Oregon does not have standing to prevent this unconstitutional conduct by unidentified federal agents running roughshod over her citizens, who does?” by Jessica Corbett, staff writer Saturday, July 25   After a…

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