A staff member of the Community Relations Service mediating at a march in Memphis in 2009. His jacket and hat displayed the Department of Justice seal. (Community Relations Service)
Posted in Analysis Black Lives Matter Civil Rights Pro Publica

How a Key Federal Civil Rights Agency Was Sidelined as Historic Protests Erupted

Launched by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, the Community Relations Service has been without a director and short-staffed during recent unrest. The Trump administration has repeatedly tried to eliminate the agency. by A.C. Thompson and Robert…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Justice News

Poll shows overwhelming US support for police reform, increased accountability.

86% say require police to behave or send them to jail. Among other major changes, large majorities of the American public want clear standards for police misconduct and prosecution of officers guilty of excessive force. by…

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Protestors are tear gassed as the police disperse them near the White House on June 1, 2020 as demonstrations against George Floyd's death continue. (Photo: Roberto Schmidt)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Justice News

IG to investigate violent police clearing of Lafayette Square

“The White House narrative is contradicted by video evidence, eyewitness accounts, and even its own past statements. Frankly, it has no credibility at this point.” — Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) by Andrea Germanos, staff writer…

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U.S. Park Police forces back protesters using batons and pepper spray after some attempted to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square near the White House on June 22, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Tasos Katopodis)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News

Secret Service forces press to leave the White House as police use pepper spray and batons to beat back protesters

“The move to force members of the media off White House grounds is highly unusual,” CNN reported after two of its journalists were removed. by Jake Johnson, staff writer Tuesday, June 23 Without initially offering an…

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Police officers pepper spray a woman next to the Colorado State Capitol as protests against the killing of George Floyd continue on May 30, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo: Michael Ciaglo)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

New Amnesty International map documents ‘shocking extent’ of US police violence against black lives matter protesters

Denying people’s constitutional rights “with physical violence, tear gas, and pepper spray is a hallmark of repression,” said one Amnesty researcher. by Jake Johnson, staff writer Tuesday, June 23   An extensive new report released Tuesday…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Essay The Conversation

From grandfather to grandson, the lessons of the Tulsa race massacre

“More than 1,000 businesses and homes were burned to the ground, scores of black families were herded into cattle pens at the fairgrounds, and one of the largest and most prosperous black communities in the United…

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A police officer prepares to fire rubber bullets during a protest over the death of George Floyd, Friday, May 29, 2020 in Los Angeles. Floyd died in police custody Monday in Minneapolis.
Posted in Black Lives Matter Kaiser Health News News Policing

Fractured skulls, lost eyes: police often break own rules using ‘rubber bullets’

Liz Szabo, Kaiser Health News and Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY and Donovan Slack, USA TODAY and Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY June 19, 2020 Warning: Graphic images and video below. Megan…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Justice News Policing

‘Now is not the time for more studies’: Sanders rips weak GOP bill and demands end to police immunity

“Now is the time to hold racist and corrupt police officers and police departments accountable for their actions.” by Jake Johnson, staff writer Thursday, June 18 Slamming the GOP’s newly unveiled policing reform bill as inadequate…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Columns Policing Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

USA protests by the numbers

It’s not the same as front page news, but I like the fact that your action is part of the collective force for change, more than simply a picture on Facebook.   by Wade Rathke New…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing Racism

In authoritarian tirade, Trump claims Americans ‘want law and order’ policing whether they know it or not. Video

Civil rights advocates slammed the president’s law enforcement executive order as “a band-aid for a bullet wound.” by Jake Johnson, staff writer Tuesday. June 16 Prior to signing an executive order approving law enforcement reforms that…

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A fire broke out Saturday night at a Wendy's fast food restaurant in Atlanta where a now-fired police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, Friday night. (Photo: Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams Justice News

Calls mount for ‘Radical Changes in Policy and Policing’ and the arrest of fired Atlanta officer who killed Rayshard Brooks

The head of CAIR-Georgia demanded actions to “end the systemic oppression and anti-black racism rooted in the Atlanta Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.” by Jessica Corbett, staff writer Sunday, June 14 Local activists and…

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Posted in Columns Community Journalism Justice Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Say their names, too

“A video is worth a thousand lives.” by Wade Rathke Pearl River   For years the tag line on my blogs and podcasts has been, “You take it from here to there.” It’s time to raise…

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Posted in Columns Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Autocrats fall when military support disappears

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   All around the world this is a familiar story, often marking the beginning of the end for dictators, autocrats, and even elected leaders that have outstayed their peoples’ welcome. There’s…

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Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators next to St. John's Episcopal Church outside of the White House, June 1, 2020 in Washington D.C., during a protest over the death of George Floyd. (Photo: Jose Luis Magana / AFP via Getty Images)
Posted in Common Dreams Democracy Investigations Justice News

1,250 former DOJ officials demand investigation into Barr’s involvement in violently dispersing demonstrators near White House

“None of us would ever have considered directing or engaging in such actions to be consistent with our oaths to support and defend the Constitution.” by Julia Conley, staff writer Wednesday, June 10 More than 1,250…

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(Photo illustration by Elizabeth Brown. Photo from Getty Images.)
Posted in Analysis Homelessness

The toll that curfews have taken on homeless Americans

Homeless people across the country have been affected by the curfews. In Los Angeles on June 2, police fired a hard rubber bullet at a homeless man in a wheelchair who was out after curfew, hitting…

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Posted in Abuse of power Analysis The Conversation

Militias evaluate beliefs, action as President threatens soldiers in the streets

Constitutionalists say they fear – a forceful expansion of government power against its people. But most militia groups have been silent. To date, only a few have made any sort of public statement. Members of militia…

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An officer dressed in a military uniform punctures the tires of a car on May 31, 2020 in Minneapolis. (Photo: Global News/Screengrab)
Posted in Black Lives Matter Common Dreams News Policing

Minnesota authorities admit officers slashed car tires during protests; video

“Medics over there. News crews. Random people that were just here to protest and—tires slashed.” by Jake Johnson, staff writer Tuesday, June 9 Minnesota authorities on Monday admitted that state patrol troopers and Minneapolis police officers…

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Screen shot A protester is seen with a placard reading, "I can't breathe" on the fourth straight day of racial justice demonstrations in New York on May 30, 2020. (Photo: Ron Adar)
Posted in Citizen Power Common Dreams Community organizing News The People Speak

New York State classifies use of chokeholds as felony, two weeks into racial justice protests

“Stay in the Streets. It’s Working” “Let’s keep pushing, marching, organizing, and winning for our communities.” by Julia Conley, staff writer Monday, June 8 Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday urged Americans to stay the course in…

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A police officer charges forward as people protest the killing of George Floyd in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on May 31, 2020. (Photo: Samuel Corum)
Posted in Common Dreams Community organizing News Policing Politics

Pushed by national uprising, Democratic lawmakers unveil legislation to overhaul policing

The new measure includes provisions to ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants and limits transfers of military-grade equipment to local law enforcement. by Andrea Germanos, staff writer Monday, June 8 After two weeks of nationwide protests over…

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Posted in Analysis Justice Policing US Military

‘Light Em Up’: Warrior cops when the wars come home

America’s forever wars in distant lands have now come home. by William Astore Monday, June 8 From their front porches, regular citizens watched a cordon of cops sweep down their peaceful street in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rankled…

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Posted in Columns Community organizing Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Don’t be confused about racism and police brutality

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   We stand in solidarity with all protestors against racism and police brutality both in the United States and around the world. At the same time, we need to remember in…

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Posted in Interview Justice Policing Reveal

Keith Ellison talks about police power, protest and George Floyd murder prosecutions

by Reveal staff June 6, 2020 Keith Ellison came of age as an activist fighting police brutality. Now, as the attorney general of Minnesota, he’s prosecuting what may be the most important police brutality case in…

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Demonstrators protest the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer on June 3, 2020 in New York City. (Photo: Spencer Platt)
Posted in Analysis Policing world

The rest of the world sees uprisings, not riots

The United States is paying the price for denying people what Malcolm X called “the right to be a human being.” by Reese Erlich Sunday June 7, 2020 One of Germany’s largest dailies ran the headline…

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People gather outside Trask Worship Center following the memorial service for George Floyd at North Central University on June 4, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Scott Olson)
Posted in Common Dreams Justice News Policing Public Safety

Minneapolis City Council members declare intent to disband Police Department

“Our commitment is to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department and to work toward ending policing as we know it.” by Jake Johnson, staff writer Sunday, June 7, 2020 3PM MST A…

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