Shaun King

Bloody, Strapped to Chair, Video Shows Police Tasering Matthew Ajibade in the Testicles Before Death

It is now abundantly clear that Matthew Ajibade was murdered by police in Savannah, Georgia. For over 10 months, police and prosecutors have concealed the video evidence of his murder not only from the public, but from Ajibade's closest friends and family members. His death in police custody was ruled a homicide by coroners, but the whole of Savannah's government has colluded in covering up a sadistic and brutal murder of a beloved artist and photographer who was a student at Savannah College of Art and Design.

Keep reading...Show less

The Police Killing of Pre-Teen Tamir Rice Wasn't Reasonable, It Was a Heartless Murder Backed By Lies

On November 22, 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by Cleveland Police while he was playing in his local neighborhood park. Now, a full 11 months after his death, prosecutors who claim they're still investigating the case have started leaking random "expert" reports they commissioned, stating that the murder was reasonable.

Really? What the hell does reasonable mean? Because this shooting was anything but reasonable.

2. Between 2010 and 2012, multiple police departments including the New York Police Department refused to hire Officer Timothy Loehmann. Just five months after he was hired by the Independence Police Department, he was fired. In the months that followed, Loehmann applied for new police jobs in Akron, Euclid, and Parma Heights, Ohio, and was turned down by each of them.

Then, in September 2013, Loehmann failed the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department written entrance exam, with a failing score of 46 out of 100. Note: 70 is the minimum score allowable for entrance. Mind you, this was after he had already served as a police officer for five months and been terminated.

3. The Cleveland Police Department was criminally negligent when it hired Officer Timothy Loehmann without checking his work history and the devastatingly relevant recommendations from his previous supervising officers, in which they detailed the exact deficiencies that would eventually lead to the death of Tamir Rice.

The Cleveland Police Department now admits it failed to check Loehmann's background when they hired him. Their response, giving one supervising officer a two-day suspension and another officer a write-up in his file, amounts to a proverbial "oopsie."

Two Cleveland police supervisors who hired the officer who later shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice have been disciplined.

Lt. Gail Bindel and Sgt. Edwin Santiago "failed to adequately supervise and review an applicant's background investigation" and were found guilty of administrative charges including neglect of duty, according to documents.

Bindel was suspended for two days, and Santiago received a written reprimand, according to the letters dated July 9.

4. Apparently not knowing they were being filmed when they spoke to their police union reps and supervising officers the day of the shooting, the officers who killed Rice made egregiously false claims about what happened.

a. To create an atmosphere of intimidation, police falsely stated that Tamir Rice was sitting at a picnic table with several other people right before he came and confronted them.

This was never true. Nobody else ever sat at that table with Rice or could've been mistaken as such. The 911 calls never said such a thing either. It's a total fabrication. Here he is just three seconds before the police pull up and shoot him.

Here's the false report from the day Rice died—before police knew a video existed.

Police were responding to reports of a male with a gun outside Cudell Recreation Center at Detroit Avenue and West Boulevard about 3:30 p.m., Deputy Chief of Field Operations Ed Tomba said.

A rookie officer and a 10-15 year veteran pulled into the parking lot and saw a few people sitting underneath a pavilion next to the center.

b. Police then falsely claimed that right before they shot Rice, he pulled a very real-looking BB gun out on them. In fact, this was the headline and the dominant narrative of the day Rice died. The video had not yet been released, so it really ruled early on.


The police chief and police union spokesperson both came out publicly to back this claim.

It's a complete fabrication.

The rookie officer saw a black gun sitting on the table, and he saw the boy pick up the gun and put it in his waistband, Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Jeffrey Follmer said.

The officer got out of the car and told the boy to put his hands up. The boy reached into his waistband, pulled out the gun and the rookie officer fired two shots, Tomba said.

First, see the actual video for yourself.

Now that you've seen it, the lies told by police are obvious.

Notice that they said they saw the scene so well, that they saw a gun on the table next to Rice. However, they also said they saw multiple other people sitting there as well.

Let me get this right: oYu saw imaginary people, but also saw a six-inch gun on the table?

Also, the officers claimed they repeatedly told Rice to put his hands up but he refused. Except he was shot in .792 seconds from the time the door to the police car opened.

Demonstrate that with your own voice and the stopwatch on your phone. How many times can you say, "Put your hands up" in .792 seconds. Now imagine saying it, giving them time to comply, and shooting someone. The Cleveland Police are claiming this all took place in .792 seconds. It's a physical impossibility.

5. Nothing could be more important than this: Tamir Rice did not pull a gun out on police. Not only that, but the day he died, police brought the gun out, showed how it did not have a bright neon tip, and stated that police, in a short period of time, could not tell the difference.

Except that when Rice was shot, they never saw the tip of the gun in the first place. This is a false flag, a ruse, a concoction, a fabrication.

6. Few outlets have honestly reported how heinous the crucial minutes were that followed police shooting Tamir Rice in the stomach. Mind you, he survived until the next day, but after Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice, he and his partner, Officer Garmback, completely ignored him.

Even after discovering that the gun was definitively a BB gun, they didn't hold his hand, attend to the gaping hole that ripped through his stomach and intestines, or comfort him in any way whatsoever. When Rice's 15-year-old sister arrived on the scene and saw her brother dying, they tackled her and locked her in the police car parked right next to Rice's body.

They continued to ignore Rice as he bled out on the snow for four minutes. In fact, the officers who killed Rice never tended to him. It wasn't until an FBI agent arrived on the scene that the boy received an ounce of attention or compassion.

Here's a second-by-second timeline of what happened.

0:00 - 0:07 :: We see Rice sitting at the park tables, hanging out, alone. His sister, who is also at the park, is out of sight of the camera.

0:08 - 0:16 :: We see Rice get up from table and begin calmly walking toward what we soon see is the police car.

0:17 :: The police car, driven by Officer Frank Garmback, first comes to a full stop, just feet away from Tamir Rice.

0:18 :: Within one second of the car stopping, Officer Timothy Loehmann opens his door and shoots Tamir Rice in the stomach without even fully getting out of the vehicle.

0:18 :: Tamir Rice is seen falling down from being shot.

0:20 :: Officer Timothy Loehmann, having gotten out of the passenger side, twists his ankle and falls down. Officer Garmback gets out of the driver's side of the vehicle.

0:20 - 1:40 :: Officer Loehmann literally stands behind the vehicle and massages his ankle for 80 seconds.

1:01 :: Officer Garmback can be seen using his radio to call dispatch.

NOTE :: Tamir Rice fought for his life in the hospital until the following day.

1:41 :: Tajai Rice, Tamir's 14-year-old sister, who was in the restroom when the shooting happened, is seen running to him from the left side of the screen.

1:44 :: Tajai Rice is tackled by Officer Frank Garmback.

1:46 :: Officer Loehmann comes over to assist Garmback.

1:48 - 2:45 :: Officer Loehmann stands by Tamir but does nothing at all.

1:51 - 3:00 :: Garmback and a new officer attempt to subdue Rice's 14-year-old sister, Tajai.

NOTE :: A cell phone video was just released from this exact point in time.

3:01 :: Visiting officer attempts to lift Tajai off the ground and carry her, and she fights back. Her little brother is dying just feet away from her.

3:22 :: Apparently handcuffed, the police lock Rice's sister, Tajai, in the back of the police car.

3:37 - 4:10 :: All three officers on the scene can be visibly witnessed just standing around, talking, away from Rice, as he fights for his life. None of them is remotely interested in him, nor do anything to care for him or offer any type of aid. His sister is locked in the car as he suffers alone.

4:01 :: A black sedan is seen pulling up. We later learn this is an FBI agent who was in the neighborhood and heard the call in his car.

4:07 :: The plain-clothes FBI agent walks briskly onto the scene, speaks quickly to the officers, and immediately goes to Rice.

4:17 :: The FBI agent crouches down to Rice and is not seen getting back up for several minutes.

In essence, the FBI agent did exactly what the officers on the scene, or any decent human being would've done. Zero rationale whatsoever exists that could ever explain why the Cleveland Police officers completely ignored Tamir Rice. He was a kid who was bleeding to death.

Imagine for a moment a scenario in which you would shoot someone in the stomach and ignore their well-being for four minutes. Did you do it? Now, could you think of doing such a thing to a person that you cared about or wanted to live? I didn't think so.

7. After they shot Tamir Rice, lied about it, and ignored him as he fought to survive, police confirmed what they truly thought about this sweet boy in the days and weeks that followed. They called him a menace, stated that he looked like a man (the photo above was taken the month before he was killed), and that he caused his own death. In all of this, they have confirmed just how truly awful they are as people.

Perhaps the only people who could look at these facts and determine that what happened to Tamir Rice was "reasonable" would be fellow law enforcement officers. In fact, the only person who was reasonable on that day was Tamir.

Keep reading...Show less

Definition of White Privilege: Nine People Killed, 20 Shot, No Murder Charges, Everyone Released

If you are not yet familiar with the term white privilege, here's your introduction to it

Keep reading...Show less

Texas 9th-Grader Makes Clock to Show Engineering Teacher, Gets Arrested for Making a 'Bomb'

Ahmed Mohamed, a ninth-grader in Irving, Texas is an engineering whiz. For fun, he makes workable gadgets and rudimentary electronics. Basically, he is what we dream an American ninth-grader will be in 2015, as our nation lags behind the world in math and science education.

Keep reading...Show less

The Picture NYPD Used to Arrest James Blake Was of Respected Australian Designer Sean Satha

Let me try to unravel this incompetent mess.

Keep reading...Show less

Vicious Conservative Bashing of Black Lives Matter Is a Dangerous Proposition

Over the past few weeks, conservative opinion toward the Black Lives Matter movement has taken a harsh and ugly turn. It has never been supportive, but now it has taken a decidedly strong bent toward dehumanization, dishonesty, and dangerous accusations that run the risk of getting one of us killed.

Keep reading...Show less

Not Only Was Tennis Star James Blake Innocent, So Was the Other Black Man NYPD Said He Looked Like

Everything about this story is off.

On September 9, the New York Police Department assaulted and arrested James Blake—the former No. 4-ranked tennis player in the world—outside of his midtown Manhattan hotel as he was headed to the U.S. Open.

This isn't about truth. This is about public relations, and the NYPD is incredibly good at PR. Let me explain.

Before NYPD Commissioner William Bratton ever spoke to the officer who assaulted James Blake, he publicly declared that the case had nothing at all to do with race. How did he come to that conclusion? Did he just have a hunch? Was it because the officer simply said it had nothing to do with race? If so, that's not enough.

We now know that Officer James Frascatore has had half a dozen use of force and racial profiling complaints filed against him. So actually, commissioner, you should reconsider what might have happened here. According to both Blake and an eyewitness who saw it, he was treated like a violent criminal.

“I was standing there doing nothing — not running, not resisting, in fact smiling,” Mr. Blake said, explaining that he thought the man might have been an old friend. Then, he said, the officer “picked me up and body slammed me and put me on the ground and told me to turn over and shut my mouth, and put the cuffs on me.”

A man who sells newspapers near the entrance to Grand Central Terminal said he watched the police rough up Mr. Blake. “They were real aggressive, like he robbed a bank,” the man, Charlie Sanders, 55, said. “They were shoving him around.”

What we do know is this: Had that not been James Blake, the tennis star, being roughed up by police, if he were some other innocent black man? He might still be in jail right now.
Keep reading...Show less

Race, Love, Hate, and Me: A Distinctly American Story

Over the past 72 hours I have been attacked with lies by the conservative media, lies that have been picked up by the traditional media and spread further. I have kept silent at the advice of friends and mentors, but I will do so no longer.

The reports about my race, about my past, and about the pain I’ve endured are all lies. My mother is a senior citizen. I refuse to speak in detail about the nature of my mother’s past, or her sexual partners, and I am gravely embarrassed to even be saying this now, but I have been told for most of my life that the white man on my birth certificate is not my biological father and that my actual biological father is a light-skinned black man. My mother and I have discussed her affair. She was a young woman in a bad relationship and I have no judgment. This has been my lived reality for nearly 30 of my 35 years on earth. I am not ashamed of it, or of who I am—never that—but I was advised by my pastor nearly 20 years ago that this was not a mess of my doing and it was not my responsibility to fix it. All of my siblings and I have different parents. I'm actually not even sure how many siblings I have. It is horrifying to me that my most personal information, for the most nefarious reasons, has been forced out into the open and that my private past and pain have been used as jokes and fodder to discredit me and the greater movement for justice in America. I resent that lies have been reported as truth and that the obviously racist intentions of these attacks have been consistently downplayed at my expense and that of my family.

I adored my mother so much then, that I just didn’t have the nerve to ever bring these things up to her. I was a child and loved our care-free relationship. She had been married and divorced several times and by the time I was in second grade she was raising my brother and me as a single mom. By the time I reached middle school, I fully identified myself not even as biracial, but just as black. Of course, that was an oversimplification of my story, but that was what made sense at that time. Adults who loved and knew me, on many occasions sat me down and told me that I was black. As you could imagine, this had a profound impact on me and soon became my truth.

Every friend I had was black, my girlfriends were black, I was seen as black, treated as black, and endured constant overt racism as a young black teenager. Never have I once identified myself as white. Not on forms, not for convenience or privilege, and not for fun and games, have I ever identified myself as white. I was never a white guy pretending to be black. Not once, ever, did it occur to me that I was being phony or fraudulent or fake. Quite the opposite—I always believed I was living the truest form of my self.

My freshman year in high school, another student and I got into a huge fight at a football game. The fight ended up setting off a powder keg of racial tensions at our school. The school paper back then referred to me as black and him as white. We were suspended for three days and while we were out, racial tensions boiled over so much that hundreds of white students staged a walkout because they had just been banned from wearing Confederate flags.

When I returned to school from that suspension, the collective anger of the racist white students was focused on me daily. Dozens of my close friends experienced this racist hate alongside me and it broke us down in the worst ways. I was consistently called nigger, spat on, had a jar of tobacco spit thrown in my face, forced into fights, and on two different occasions chased by pickup trucks attempting to maul us. In 2007, one of the students in one of those trucks wrote me a beautiful, moving apology for calling me a nigger and more on that scary dark night. I published it back then.

In March of 1995, it all boiled over and a racist mob of nearly a dozen students beat me severely, first punching me from all sides, then, when I cradled into a fetal position on the ground they stomped me mercilessly, some with steel-toed boots, for about 20 seconds.  That day changed the entire trajectory of my life. Thankfully, multiple credible, unbiased eyewitnesses to this traumatic day have come out publicly and spoken on my behalf in the past 48 hours. A few days after I was assaulted, I was at home recovering when a group of rednecks literally pulled up in my driveway at night, but were chased off by a neighbor with a big flashlight. That neighbor just posted his memory of it.

I had fractures in my face and ribs, but most badly damaged was my spine. I ended up having three spinal surgeries and missed 20 months of school over it. My entire family endured this deeply painful time in my life ranging from the surgeries, the brutal recovery, physical therapy, and professional counseling. It was rougher than my words will ever do justice. Many people have said that in the police report it listed me as white—as if I checked the box and that was some deep admission. Today, that officer admitted to the New York Times that I never said I was white, but that he assumed so when he saw my mother. He and the school badly mishandled my case. We sued the school system for years because of their mishandling of it. They fought it tooth and nail and my mother and I eventually just gave up on it.

Rev. Willis Polk, a local pastor, and my best friend's father, visited and prayed with me often during those surgeries. I became a Christian during my recovery. I was baptized and preached my first sermons as a high school teenage minister in the black church. Rev. Polk, his son Willis, and I toured HBCU’s together in 1996 and we knew that Morehouse College in Atlanta was the only place for us. We loved it.

Again, this wasn’t me sneaking into Morehouse as an undercover white man. I was 17 and my racial identity was fully formed. I knew who I was. I wasn’t appropriating or faking, but living out my life. During this entire time, my mother and I had an unspoken understanding about my race. Her past, in a sense, was taboo for me, and I had honestly moved on from even wanting to know the details of who she slept with in January of 1979. I sincerely didn’t care and had compartmentalized it deep in my mind and moved on the best I could.

To be clear, I received a full academic and leadership scholarship to attend Morehouse College based on my grades and my leadership skills. I love Morehouse. It helped me heal from the brokenness of my past and my very best friendships and bonds were formed there. When I was forced to leave Morehouse to have yet another spinal surgery, I lost that scholarship and was then offered a scholarship from Oprah Winfrey when I returned to complete my studies. She wanted it to be for “diamonds in the rough” and that was pretty much who I was at that point. I didn’t apply for it. Nobody does. The college selects brothers who need it and I was, very gratefully, chosen for it.

Since finishing Morehouse nearly 15 years ago, I have consistently and publicly shared my complicated story as an interracial child, facing the pressures of racism in an environment that lacked little intelligence or compassion about it. A part of this story has always been that I never chose to be black/interracial. Not only was it chosen for me by birth, but white students and staff fundamentally rejected me. Furthermore, the black community, my peers, their parents, and local black leaders, seeing that I was, in essence, a kid without a community, embraced me in the deepest, most soul-soothing ways. My wife, who has been with me since we were both in high school, has walked with me through this every step of the way and shared her story here earlier today.

Outside of my mother’s home, as a kid I lived a deeply black experience. Black families invited me to attend vacation Bible school. I attended black family reunions where old people would come up and pinch my cheeks and tell me who I looked like in their family. I went to black skate parties, black block parties/festivals, and did so not as a white intruder, but as a Karl Kani wearing, widely welcomed, light-skinned black kid. I soaked up every moment I had as I was fully, unabashedly loved, even doted upon, by black families throughout central Kentucky. It was a refuge for me and also a rite of passage of sorts. In high school I joined exclusively black achievers groups. With scholars I love and respect to this day at the University of Kentucky, I attended and helped plan King Day events, and just lived my life.

Until this past week, never has anyone asked me who my father was during these 35 years of mine. It occurs to me now that I’ve never asked anyone that question either. It’s an odd question, and, in my case, has a complicated, deeply personal answer, but one that I have actually seen lived out many other times. I have walked other people very close to my wife and I through what it is like to find out that the person you believed was your father actually isn’t. This is a pretty common thing.

I now see pictures of all of our young children, distant relatives, and even people who I am not actually related to spread across the internet in an attempt to shame us somehow. This is disgusting. I want to be clear. I love my family. I have never, not once, hidden or been ashamed of my family. They are my biggest supporters and defenders and always have been. Most of the pictures people have shared to prove that I am white actually came from my own social media accounts that I have shared to hundreds of thousands of people. It’s all a farce.

Not one person behind these reports has remotely good intentions—quite the opposite, in fact. Since these articles have been released, my family and I have received constant death threats and nonstop racist harassment. Multiple members of my family have been harassed and we now have been forced to take extra security measures for our safety.

This was the goal... divide and conquer. But I will not allow it to define or distract me for one more day and hope that all of you reading this will move on with me. I have promised my wife, kids, extended family, and friends that this will be the last time I talk about this publicly for a long time. My work has never been about me and I've never made a big deal about my race. I've actually tried hard to avoid ever making a big deal out of it and have, instead, simply tried to do good work that matters. I'm eager to get back to the cause that concerns me most.

My focus will continue to be ending police brutality. I believe it is the pre-eminent civil rights issue of modern America and that, together, we can fight against it effectively.

Keep reading...Show less

Guess What Happened When Heavily Armed White Men Roamed the Streets of Ferguson

Late Monday night/early Tuesday morning, a group of heavily armed white men calling themselves "Oath Keepers" showed up soon after police left and began patrolling the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, guns and white privilege on full display. Mind you, peaceful protestors were arrested eight hours before this for simply filming the police and two reporters were just charged with multiple crimes for not leaving a McDonald's quickly enough.

Keep reading...Show less

Psychologist Openly Admits He Trains Police Officers to Shoot First and Ask Questions Later

For years, to any observer of police brutality, the idea that officers were shooting people first and asking questions later was a foregone conclusion. Such a practice, while blatantly obvious, seemed too unethical, too harsh for police to ever admit.

Well, here it is. All of the proof we ever needed. Not only are American police, from coast to coast, shooting first and asking questions later, they are being trained to do so in seminars by a psychologist who openly promises them that he'll testify on their behalf if anything ever goes wrong. He's already done it nearly 200 times.

It's actually big business. A quick scan of Dr. Lewinski's website has him teaching large workshops in Chicago, San Antonio, Orlando, and in other big cities across the country. Can't make it to his conferences, don't worry, he'll come to your department, and offer your officers a certificate on how they are basically allowed to shoot first and ask questions later. He charges $1,000 an hour for his testimony and is, unsurprisingly, willing to testify for hours on end.

Hell, his whole company is named Force Science Institute—as in the use of force by police. This business is so lucrative that it's all he does. Experts are denouncing his work as phony and dangerous, but police departments could not care less.

An editor for The American Journal of Psychology called his work “pseudoscience.” The Justice Department denounced his findings as “lacking in both foundation and reliability.” Civil rights lawyers say he is selling dangerous ideas.

“People die because of this stuff,” said John Burton, a California lawyer who specializes in police misconduct cases. “When they give these cops a pass, it just ripples through the system.”

This is why we say "Black Lives Matter."

Dr. Lewinski is basically training police to shoot before making a full assessment of the true threat. Because of this philosophy, it leans on the implicit bias within each and every officer. It's why officers in New York fired 41 shots at Amadou Diallo when he was pulling out his wallet. It's why Officer Dante Servin blew Rekia Boyd's head off when he saw her boyfriend pull out a cell phone.

It's why police officers killed 123 people in July, a high for 2015.

It's despicable and the more it happens, the richer Dr. Lewinski gets. I had always suspected some type of profit motive was behind the wholesale killing of Americans by police. Now we don't need to speculate. After all, it's the job for the Force Science Institute to keep this practice growing.

Keep reading...Show less

How To Be Filmed Murdering a Man, Cover It Up, Be Free On Bail, And Ask For Your Job Back

How to achieve what's posed in the headline? Be a police officer.

Only in America could a man do what Officer Ray Tensing did—be filmed blowing a man's head off, be filmed telling at least 21 lies about what led to him blowing said man's head off, be charged with murder, strongly condemned by the prosecutor, and then be free in a few hoursto ask for his job back. Yes, he asked for his job back.

It is this video, and this video alone, that caused Officer Ray Tensing to be charged with murder.

He was not caught in the vehicle. He was not dragged. He was not about to be run over.

In the video, Tensing claims these things, over and over and over again, and even feigns injury and pain from the dragging. His two fellow officers can be heard saying that they saw it as well. All lies. Incredibly, the DA decided not to press charges against these two additional officers, claiming that they participated fully in the investigation.

So incredible are Tensing and his union that they are actually claiming, in spite of the glaring video evidence, that he was fired from his job "without cause."

The grievance said, "Officer Tensing was terminated on 7/29/2015 without just cause for an on-duty fatal shooting. While Officer Tensing was indicted on a charge of murder, the indictment is not a conviction. Officer Tensing was also denied his due process rights of a pre-disciplinary hearing under the contract."

The grievance asked for Tensing to be reinstated immediately and "is to be made whole for all back pay and benefits including but not limited to sick time, vacation time, holidays, shift differential, pension contributions etc. afforded under the current contract."

But the truth is even uglier than this. Officer Ray Tensing is receiving support and monetary pledges from all over the country. Somehow, in spite of his heinous crime and unethical attempts at covering it all up, he is now some type of folk hero.

Ray Tensing is now free on bail, after only a few hours in jail. This is despicable.

This is America. 2015.

Keep reading...Show less

The Video of Police Killing of Sam Dubose Is Apparently so Bad Cincinnati Is Preparing for Riots

After a routine traffic stop by a University of Cincinnati Police Officer, Sam Dubose ended up dead with his face blown off. The officer was wearing a body camera, but the city refuses to release in the video. In the meantime, everybody who sees it is deeply disturbed, including the citywide police chief.

But here's the thing.

All studies indicate that in nearly 99% of instances of police killing someone, even in the most egregious circumstances, "something appropriate" doesn't actually happen and officers are let off.

Let's keep pushing for the release of this video. We must never assume that justice will happen on its own, but must fight for it daily.

Keep reading...Show less

Armed Confederate Supporters Interrupt Black Child's Birthday Party With Racial Slurs, Death Threats

I kid you not, it feels like we are going back in time in America.

In an Atlanta suburb this past weekend, Melissa Alford (a black woman) and her family were hosting an outdoor birthday party in Douglasville, Georgia, when a convoy of seven large pickup trucks donning Confederate flags interrupted the party and pulled into the grass. The occupants then called them niggers and threatened them with violence, according to multiple eyewitnesses, who also stated that the men actually flashed guns at them:

This is crazy! This is happening on our watch and the police didn't do a damn thing about it because they claimed they didn't see any laws being broken.

What the hell?

Keep reading...Show less

14: The Number of Times Sandra Bland Asked Why She Was Being Arrested Without an Answer

On July 10, Sandra Bland was confronted, assaulted, and arrested by police in Waller County, Texas, near the campus of Prairie View A&M University. On Tuesday evening, footage (seen below) of this encounter with Officer Brian Encinia was released. In it, many conclusions can be drawn and determinations can be made, but none are clearer than the indisputable fact that Sandra Bland asked the officer FOURTEEN times why she was being arrested without once receiving a respectable answer of any kind.

Keep reading...Show less

One Month Later, Exposing Baltimore Police Lies In the Death of Freddie Gray

Last month we exposed many of the ugly lies about Freddie Gray being spread by conservatives—ranging from the lie that he broke his neck jumping from a window while evading police to the lie that he had a spinal surgery in the weeks before he was killed stemming from a car accident.

LIE: The arrest of Freddie Gray was lawful.

TRUTH: Everything about the arrest of Gray was unlawful.

Sadly, we will never fully understand what happened on April 12, because Gray never spoke another word again after he emerged from the police van that day and died one week later from his injuries.

The police claim, in their own timeline, that they chased and subdued Gray (and another unnamed man), but never gave any legal reason for doing so other than making eye contact with them.

The Baltimore police commissioner, Anthony Batts, has already said clearly that "there is no law against running." What law, then, did Gray break to be pursued and arrested in the first place? It is not legal to simply look at a man and assume it must be a criminal.

Furthermore, while police claim that Gray was carrying an illegal knife at the time of his arrest, two facts about this need to be clarified:

1. The police themselves claimed to have found the knife after they hadchased, caught and cuffed him.

In charging documents, prosecutors say three officers were on patrol near Gilmor Homes when Gray spotted them and began to run.

Prosecutors say the officers chased Gray and soon caught him. They say the officers held him down, handcuffed him, and found the knife.

The officers "substantially found a knife clipped to the inside of his pants pocket," prosecutors wrote in the documents. "The blade of the knife was folded into the handle. The knife was not a switchblade and is lawful under Maryland law."

2. While officers contend that the knife was indeed a switchblade, Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby and her team said strongly that it isn't. Either way, the illegal pursuit and arrest took place before they found the knife.

LIE: Officer Garrett Miller, under oath, stated in his initial police report that Gray was arrested without force or incident. The report is below.

Police report where Garrett Miller claims, under oath, that Freddie Gray was arrested without force or incident.
attribution: Police Report from Garrett Miller
Police report where Officer Garrett Miller claims, under oath, that Freddie Gray was arrested without force or incident.
TRUTH: Nothing about this arrest was normal.

Witness Kevin Moore, who also filmed the arrest, said that police had Freddie folded up like "a piece of origami" and that the "heels of his feet were in his back" and that officers had their "knees on his neck" and that Freddie was "asking for an inhaler" and "telling them he couldn't breathe."

Harold Perry, another witness, said,

"I heard this boy hollering and screaming," said Harold Perry.

Perry said he heard the commotion near his home in the 1700 block of Presbury St. where the arrest occurred.

"You're hurting my neck! You're hurting my neck! Get your knee out my back!", Perry recalled.

Perry claims in an exclusive interview with WUSA9 that police shouted at Gray to "shut the f--- up."

See Harold Perry's interview starting at 1:08 in the video below.

The video below shows Gray in clear pain after he is arrested. He is screaming and his legs do not appear to be working. The people filming the video are clearly angry because they see him in pain as well and wonder if his legs are broken.

Starting at 1:41 in the video below, another onlooker filmed the arrest of Gray. In this video, his legs are limp, dangle in an unnatural motion, and he appears to be in serious pain.

LIE: The police released the following timeline, which was deliberately misleading and missing key pieces of information, following the death of Gray.
8:39:12 a.m., Sunday, April 12

At the corner of North Avenue and Mount Street in Baltimore, a police officer makes eye contact with two individuals, one of them Gray. Both individuals start running southbound as officers begin pursuing them.

8:39:52 a.m.

One unit (officer) says "I got him" at 1700 Presbury Street, two blocks south of North and Mount.

8:40:12 a.m.

An officer says we've got one and confirms the address of 1700 Presbury, where Gray gave up without the use of force, according to Rodriguez. One officer took out his stun gun but did not deploy it, he said.

8:42:52 a.m.

Gray asks for an inhaler. Police request a "wagon" to transport him.

8:46:02 a.m.

The van's driver says he believes Gray is acting "irate" in the back, according to Rodriguez

8:46:12 a.m.

At the corner of Mount Street and Baker Street, an officer asks the vehicle driver to stop so they can finish paperwork. At that point, Gray is placed in leg irons and put back in the wagon. Police interviewed several witnesses in the community with regard to that specific stop, Rodriguez said. The videos that were filmed by bystanders show events similar to what Rodriguez describes happens at this point.

8:54:02 a.m.

The wagon clears Mount Street and heads southbound towards central booking.

8:59:52 a.m.

The van's driver asks for an additional unit to "check on his prisoner [Gray]," Rodriguez said.

Another individual is arrested and a wagon is requested.

Before the wagon leaves, there is "some communication" with Gray, according to Rodriguez.

They then travel to the police department's western district with Gray and the other suspect in the wagon. The two are separated by a metal barrier had no physical contact.

9:24:32 a.m.

A medic is called.

TRUTH: Beyond being deliberately vague, at least five critical pieces of information are missing from this misleading timeline.

1. Police claimed that at 8:46 AM they stopped the van to shackle Freddie Gray because he was acting irate. However, in newly released videos taken by a bystander at that stop, not only is Freddie not speaking, he's not moving whatsoever. He's the opposite of irate.

2. The police made another stop that they failed to mention and only admitted to after a private security camera confirmed it. Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis admitted this in a press conference,
Last week, Davis said there were three stops — one to put leg irons on Gray, the second “to deal with Mr. Gray” for an unexplained reason and the third to pick up another prisoner.

The new stop “was discovered from a privately owned camera,” Davis said, and came between the first and second stops. He did not elaborate.

Here is the video of that stop:

3. In this video, police appear to be placing Freddie Gray on his stomach in the back of the police van. Mind you, his legs are shackled and his hands are cuffed behind his back. Beyond being against policy and protocol because of how dangerous it is, Freddie had already, according to their own timeline, communicated that he had asthma and could not breathe.
Joseph L. Giacalone, a retired New York Police Department detective sergeant who trains law enforcement, said, "You would never put a detainee struggling to breathe face down because that never promotes free breathing."
4. At 8:59 a.m, during a stop, Freddie Gray told Officers Ceasar Goodson and William Porter that he needed medical care but they did nothing.
Goodson radioed for support from other officers to “check on the status of his prisoner”, said Mosby. He then made a third stop at Druid Hill Avenue and Dolphin Street at 8.59 a.m.. He and Officer William Porter inspected Gray. Mosby said Porter asked the 25-year-old if he needed medical care, and Gray “indicated at least twice he was in need of a medic”.

Yet Goodson and Porter still did not request medical care, the state’s attorney said. Despite moving Gray from the floor of the van to the bench, Porter once again failed to restrain Gray with a seatbelt. And despite Gray’s obvious distress, Goodson chose—“in a grossly negligent manner,” said Mosby—to respond to a separate arrest nearby.

5. Officers Goodson, Porter, and now Alicia White all observed Gray completely unresponsive at their fourth stop. Officer White spoke to Gray and he did not respond.
Goodson and Porter again inspected Gray, this time with Sergeant Alicia White. They “observed Mr Gray unresponsive on the floor of the wagon,” yet did not act. White “spoke to the back of Mr Gray’s head” and when he did not respond “she did nothing further despite the fact that she was advised that he needed a medic,” said Mosby.

“She made no effort to look or assess or determine his condition,” said Mosby. Gray, laid out on the floor of the wagon and not answering, was ignored.

“Despite Mr Gray’s seriously deteriorating medical condition, no medical assistance was rendered or summoned for Mr Gray at that time by any officer,” said Mosby. He was once again not restrained with a seatbelt in the back of the van as Goodson made the last leg of his journey to the police department’s western district headquarters.

LIE: Police leaked to The Washington Post that the man arrested and placed in the van behind a separate partition was a 38-year-old under protective order who claimed Gray was deliberately trying to injure himself in the van. They also claimed they couldn't reveal his identity.

TRUTH: Not only did the police blatantly lie about the identity of this man, who turned out to be 22-year-old Donta Allen, he openly came out to blast the lies in several interviews after the fact. Here he flat-out denies that he ever claimed Gray was intentionally trying to injure himself and says that he never heard him say anything. Furthermore, you must remember that police already stated in their reports to the prosecutor that Gray was completely unresponsive BEFORE this man was loaded into the van. This was a deliberate misinformation attempt.

Keep reading...Show less

3 Disturbing Questions Concerning This Video of an Officer Drop-Kicking a Black Man In the Face

Everything about this video is wrong, awful, illegal, and disgusting. That's Lateef Dickerson on his hands and knees in front of Dover, Delaware, police officers.

1. This video was filmed almost two years ago. The police refused to release it. It was only released after the ACLU filed multiple lawsuits and a federal judge forced them to release it.

What sincere justification exists for concealing this video for two years?

2. In March of 2014 a grand jury declined to indict Officer Webster for any crime whatsoever.

Did this grand jury see the video that we see now? If not, why? If so, how in the world could they not have indicted Webster for assault?

3. Even with the video, Officer Webster almost escaped justice for this crime. Nonetheless, it's clear that the video is the only reason new charges were filed and Webster was arrested.

What national standards need to be in place concerning law enforcement videos such that departments are not able to conceal them for years at a time? Had this video been released immediately, the officer would've likely been arrested immediately.

Keep reading...Show less

How the NYPD Is More Humane to Coyotes Than African-Americans

This morning I saw a weird headline in the New York Times that really piqued my interest: "Coyote Roams Upper West Side, With Officers in Pursuit." Of course, I had to click it and see if it was a joke. It wasn't. A wild coyote had somehow found its way into Manhattan and was roaming the streets.

Keep reading...Show less

White Students at Texas High School Blame Society for Inspiring Their Racist Rap Promoting Lynching

Two white female students at Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas recorded and released a song with dangerous and offensive lyrics about black, Latino and Asian-American students. As the anger boils out of control in the school, the staff was forced to send the email below to parents.

Keep reading...Show less

The Police Killing Video Chicago Has Paid $5 Million for Us Not to See

On October 20, 2014, something so egregious, so awful, so unjust took place on the streets of Chicago that the city, already in a deep deficit, is paying a family $5 million for us to never see evidence of. On that night, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, surrounded by officers who were waiting for a Taser, was shot 16 times.

It was filmed on a dash cam, but for the past six months, Chicago has done everything in its power to keep that video private. Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, the family attorney, Michael Robbins, said:

Keep reading...Show less

Newly Revealed Records Show Just How Disturbingly Racist Many Ferguson Officials Truly Were

While it was already known that at least three Ferguson, Missouri, employees in the court system and police department regularly exchanged racist emails with one another, Friday, after a records request from the Washington Post, the actual emails were finally revealed.

What they show is a deeply disturbing strain of racism that was socially acceptable among essential government employees who not only interacted with African Americans consistently in the majority black town of Ferguson, but were in positions of power in which they could make life miserable for the people they clearly disdained.

These several emails that were discovered are obviously not the extent of their racism, but just a symptom of it. What does it say about Captain Henke, who ran the day-to-day affairs of the police department, that he sent and regularly received racist emails? When Sgt. Mudd and Mary Ann Twitty sent messages just to Captain Henke, what did they know about him that gave them the knowledge that he would be comfortable with such nastiness?

Was Darren Wilson, who reported to Mudd and has his arm around Twitty in this photo, a lone ranger that was unaware of their racism?

After President Obama was first elected in 2008, on November 14, 2008, Captain Rick Henke sent an email stating, "We shouldn’t worry about him being president for very long because what black man holds a steady job for four years.”

On March 1, 2010, Mary Ann Twitty sent the following email to Captain Henke and Sgt. Mudd, entitled "Last Child Support Cheque":

Today be my daughters 18th birthday.

I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment!
Month after month, year after year, all dose payments.

So I called my baby girl, Lakeesha to come to my house, and when she get here I say to her, "Baby girl, I want you to take dis cheque over to yo momma house and tell her dis is be the last check she ever gettin from me, and I want you to come back and me the spression on yo mama face.

So my baby girl took the cheque over to her momma.

I be anxious to hear what she say and about the 'spression on her face. Baby girl walk through the door, I say "Now what yo momma say bout that??

"She say to tell you that you ain't my daddy and watch the 'spression on yo face!!!"

On April 9, 2011, Twitty forwarded the email with the picture of Ronald Reagan feeding a chimp with the caption, "Rare photo of Ronald Reagan babysitting Barack Obama in early 1962."

In May 2011, Sgt. Mudd forwarded an email to Twitty that she then forwarded to others. It stated:

A black woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital [for] pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.
On June 7, 2011, Sgt. Mudd sent an email comparing dogs to welfare recipients. It stated:
Last week I went to sign my dogs up for welfare. At first the lady said, "Dogs are not eligible to draw welfare." So I explained to her that my dogs are mixed in color, lazy, can't speak English, and have no friggin clue who their Daddies are. They expect me to feed them, provide them housing and medical care. So she looked in her policy book to see what it takes to qualify. My dogs got their first checks Friday. Damn this is a great country.
More disgusting emails were sent between employees are detailed here.
Keep reading...Show less

3 Members of Florida Department of Corrections Found to Be in KKK; Arrested For Murder Plot

No need to pinch yourself, it really is 2015. According to the Orlando Sentinel:

Two current and one former prison employee who all belonged to the KKK planned to kill a black inmate as he was released in retaliation for a fight, officials said Thursday.

Keep reading...Show less

Shocking Dash Cam Video Shows Detroit Police Brutally Beating Innocent Man

Floyd Dent is an amazing man. He has worked his entire adult life, from age 20-57, for Ford Motor Company in suburban Detroit. Never a day in his life has he been in trouble with the law. Loved by his family and community, he's about as upstanding of a citizen as a man could be.

So, when the Michigan State Police in Wayne County, outside of Detroit, trailed Floyd's car, suspecting him of purchasing drugs, what happened next may be the most preposterous case of police brutality in modern American history.

Keep reading...Show less

LAPD Kill Unarmed Mentally Ill Veteran on TV -- And Their Defense Won't Shock You

He went for his waistband. Yeah, it's so strange how much unarmed men, confronted by police with guns drawn, seem to LOVE digging in their waistband. Police claimed that they thought they saw Brian Beaird do this over and over again, but as you watch the video below, you won't see anything like this—which is probably why the City of Los Angeles just agreed to pay his family $5 million. In essence, Los Angeles, which refused to prosecute the three officers who fired 21 shots at Beaird, are forcing the taxpayers to cover it.

Keep reading...Show less

VIDEO Released Showing Alabama Police Paralyzing Innocent Grandfather from India

The video was just released of an elderly grandfather being slammed to the ground so hard by an Alabama police officer that it severed his vertebra and paralyzed the man. As you will see in the video, the police then attempt to force the man to walk and believe he's resisting arrest when his legs won't work - not knowing that they broke his neck.

Keep reading...Show less

State's Police Department Killed More People Than Germany and Britain Combined

With just 59,000 residents, the city of Pasco police department in Washington state has shot and killed four people in the past six months—more than police in the entire United Kingdom, which has over 64 million citizens, in the past three years combined. In fact, Pasco police are on pace to have more police shootings than Germany, with 80 million citizens, over the current 12 month period.

Keep reading...Show less

Teenage Girl Shot & Killed by Police; Eyewitness Exposes a Key Police Lie

Joyriding in what may have been a stolen car, a group of teenage girls were fired upon by Denver police, killing 17 year old Jessica (Jessie) Hernandez. Her autopsy report shows that she died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The problem, is, though, that the in initial police statements after the Jessie's death, police made it out like they shot and killed Jessie after she deliberately hit an officer with the car, breaking his leg. Here's the account from the police chief the night of the shooting,

Exactly one week before this shooting, another 17 year old teenage girl, Kristiana Coignard, was shot and killed by police in Texas.

Keep reading...Show less

The 13-Year-Old Boy Who Grew Up In a Georgia Prison

This is the first part of a six-week series on Michael "Little B" Lewis. 

Shaun King at Morehouse

Soon after moving to Atlanta in August 1997, I began hearing stories on the news and in church about a 13-year-old boy named "Little B." His story had gripped the city and was regularly on the nightly news and on the front page of the AJC. They said he murdered a dad in cold blood in front of his kids on Jan. 21, 1997. I didn't know if it was true or not, but I was immediately struck that it seemed like every politician and newscaster hated his guts. I haven't heard the word used since, but I never forgot hearing him called a "super predator" on television. What does that even mean?

When I finally saw Michael "Little B" Lewis for the first time, I couldn't believe it. He wasn't even five feet tall, weighed less than 100 pounds, and looked about as nonthreatening as a sixth grader possibly could. He wasn't a bully. He was a pipsqueak in the truest sense of the word. A wee lad.

He had grown up just about a mile from Morehouse, in the shadows of the Georgia Dome, in a neighborhood called the Bluff. As students we were told where it was and that we should never go near it. The epicenter for the Atlanta drug trade, it was the most dangerous neighborhood in the city and one of the most dangerous communities in the country.

I would eventually become a mentor at John F. Kennedy Middle School in the Bluff" the following year. On my first day there a girl had her face cut with a razor and the reigning Teacher of the Year, a former Canadian League football player, told me if he had it to do all over again he'd never have become a teacher and that I should find another profession while I had the chance. He literally told me that I should consider finding another school to mentor in because he had grown to think he really wasn't helping anyone there. Two weeks later, the principal had a heart attack and I started mentoring at the elementary school around the corner, but I've always felt a deep connection to that neighborhood.

I was always surprised to find people actually living in most of these homes.
It was the roughest neighborhood I had ever seen. Dudes sold drugs openly on the street, every other house looked completely uninhabitable but actually had folks living in it, addicts and fiends roamed the streets like the Walking Dead. As an outsider, it felt like this entire area of town had been completely abandoned by anyone who could actually do anything about it. The people there, though, always treated me like gold.

On the side of a raggedy apartment building that Little B used to live in, graffiti covered the plaster with the words, "The Bluff Nigga. Welcome to Hell." The only church in the center of the community had been abandoned and burned out for at least the 15 years I saw it.

No boy typified and demonstrated the system's failure of Atlanta more than Michael Lewis. For me, he is the Bluff. The living, breathing product of a community that a world-class city like Atlanta felt easier to abandon than rescue, Michael's boyhood descended into a grade-A clusterfuck. Instead of accepting him as the boy Atlanta made, he would soon be cast into a perpetual state of punitive abyss, apparently forever.

I don't know if Michael killed that man in January 1997. It's possible though I have serious doubts. What I do know is that in the years before that night, Michael had been abandoned, by his parents, his school, social services, the community, and his extended family long before that fateful January day. The idea that we live in a nation willing to try a prepubescent 13-year-old sixth grader as an adult (mind you, the state didn't think he was old or responsible enough legally to drive, vote, serve in the military, buy cigarettes or alcohol or lottery tickets) and banish him to an adult penitentiary for the rest of his life is despicable.

Michael Lewis - 15 years into his sentence
Michael has grown up in prison. As far as we know, he has spent more continuous time incarcerated, now in a supermax prison designed for death row inmates, than any person starting his sentence as a 13-year-old in prison in our entire country.

I'm going to spend the next six weeks sharing everything I know about Michael Lewis, his case, the Bluff, Atlanta, city politics, the education system, the social service system, the drug trade, and how Michael found himself caught right in the middle of it all as an abandoned orphan on the streets, fighting for his own survival. I'm going to go back as far as I can and tell the whole story. I hope you'll take the journey with me.

Check back at for future stories about Michael Lewis. 

Keep reading...Show less

Savannah Man Dies In Restraining Chair While In Police Custody

This past New Year's Day, Matthew Ojibade, 22, of Savannah, Georgia,s uffered a manic episode resulting from his ongoing struggles with bipolar disorder. His girlfriend called police to help intervene and take him to the hospital. When they arrived, she gave the police his prescription medication, which was noted in the police report, and requested again that he be taken to the hospital.  

Keep reading...Show less
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by