Police Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Police Corruption News Stories in Major Media
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What was your first reaction when you saw the video of the white cop kneeling on George Floyd’s neck while Floyd croaked, “I can’t breathe”? If you’re white, you probably muttered a horrified, “Oh, my God” while shaking your head at the cruel injustice. If you’re black, you probably leapt to your feet, cursed, maybe threw something (certainly wanted to throw something), while shouting, “Not @#$%! again!” Then you remember the two white vigilantes accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery as he jogged through their neighborhood in February, and how if it wasn’t for that video emerging a few weeks ago, they would have gotten away with it. And how those Minneapolis cops claimed Floyd was resisting arrest but a store’s video showed he wasn’t. And how the cop on Floyd’s neck wasn’t an enraged redneck stereotype, but a sworn officer who looked calm and entitled and devoid of pity. I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. So, maybe the black community’s main concern right now isn’t whether ... a few desperate souls steal some T-shirts or even set a police station on fire, but whether their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers will be murdered by cops or wannabe cops just for going on a walk, a jog, a drive.
Exactly 10 years ago this week, the FBI warned of the potential consequences — including bias — of white supremacist groups infiltrating local and state law enforcement, indicating it was a significant threat to national security. In the 2006 bulletin, the FBI detailed the threat of white nationalists and skinheads infiltrating police in order to disrupt investigations against fellow members and recruit other supremacists. The bulletin was released during a period of scandal for many law enforcement agencies throughout the country, including a neo-Nazi gang formed by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who harassed black and Latino communities. Similar investigations revealed officers and entire agencies with hate group ties in Illinois, Ohio and Texas. Much of the bulletin has been redacted, but in it, the FBI identified white supremacists in law enforcement as a concern, because of their access to both “restricted areas vulnerable to sabotage” and elected officials or people who could be seen as “potential targets for violence.” The memo also warned of “ghost skins,” hate group members who don’t overtly display their beliefs in order to “blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes.” “At least one white supremacist group has reportedly encouraged ghost skins to seek positions in law enforcement for the capability of alerting skinhead crews of pending investigative action against them,” the report read. In the 10 years since the FBI’s initial warning, little has changed.
Dozens of journalists covering anti-racism protests that have rocked the US have reported being targeted by security forces using tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray. In many cases, they said it was despite showing clear press credentials. The arrest of a CNN news crew live on air on Friday in Minneapolis, where unarmed black man George Floyd died at the hands of police, first drew global attention to how law enforcement authorities in the city were treating reporters. On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked his embassy in Washington to investigate the use of force by police against an Australian news crew as officers dispersed protesters there. It comes after dozens of attacks on journalists and media crews across the country over the weekend were reported on social media. In total the US Press Freedom Tracker, a non-profit project, says it is investigating more than 100 "press freedom violations" at protests. About 90 cases involve attacks. On Saturday night, two members of a TV crew from Reuters news agency were shot at with rubber bullets while police dispersed protesters in Minneapolis. In Washington DC, near the White House, a riot police officer charged his shield at a BBC cameraman on Sunday evening. On Friday night, Linda Tirado, a freelance photojournalist and activist, was struck in her left eye by a projectile that appeared to come from the direction of police in Minneapolis. She has been permanently blinded in that eye.
Images of tense encounters between protesters and police officers piled up over the weekend, as authorities intensified their efforts to quell nationwide uprisings, using rubber bullets, pepper pellets and tear gas in violent standoffs that seared cities nationwide. But some officers took different actions, creating contrasting images that told another story about the turbulent national moment following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in police custody in Minneapolis. From New York to Des Moines to Spokane, Wash., members of law enforcement — sometimes clad in riot gear — knelt alongside protesters and marched in solidarity with them. The act has become synonymous with peaceful protests in recent years after football player Colin Kaepernick knelt as part of his protests against police brutality on unarmed black citizens. A video circulating widely on Facebook captured two people in uniform joining a kneeling crowd in Queens. “Thank you!” cheered members of the crowd. The officers remained as a circle of people began to chant names of black Americans killed in infamous recent cases. “Trayvon Martin!” they called. “Philando Castile!” Cheers erupted, too, in the Iowa capital as Des Moines officers took a knee behind a police barricade. Acceding to the demands of protesters brought a rebuke in some places. In downtown Washington, a black officer who knelt was yanked from the crowd by his supervisor, and he returned standing to the line forming to hold back the demonstrations.
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As images of police officers in riot gear clashing with protesters in response to the death of George Floyd proliferated from across the country, a very different theme emerged from several cities. Instead of lining up in opposition to the protesters, some police officers joined them. "I never thought of anything else, to be honest," Camden County Police Chief Joseph Wysocki told ABC News. For Camden, New Jersey, a city that had long been known for high crime rates, the police demonstrating alongside protesters in an ultimately peaceful event was not just a one-day phenomenon, but the continuation of years of efforts to bridge ties with residents since 2013, when the county police department took over public safety from the city's police agency. "We were basically able to start a new beginning," Dan Keashen, communications director for Camden County, told ABC News. That new beginning included an emphasis on everyday community policing. "It's a community, and we're part of the community. It's not us policing the city; it's us, together," Wysocki said. When officials in Camden learned plans for a demonstration were coming together, the police were able to get involved and join in because of the community ties they had made. Following the protests on Saturday, images of Wysocki walking with demonstrators, holding a banner reading, "standing in solidarity," spread across social media. So, too, did images of police officers in Santa Cruz, California, Norfolk, Virginia, and other cities.
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A Michigan sheriff joined protesters in Flint Township on Saturday, putting down his weapon and saying, "I want to make this a parade, not a protest." Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson spoke with demonstrators who were met by police officers in riot gear. "The only reason we're here is to make sure that you got a voice - that's it," Swanson said. "These cops love you - that cop over there hugs people," he said, pointing to an officer. He was speaking to the crowd protesting police brutality and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. He smiled and high-fived people in the crowd, who responded by chanting, "walk with us!" So, he did. "Let's go, let's go," Swanson said as he and the cheering crowd proceeded. "Where do you want to walk? We'll walk all night." Flint has drawn national attention for its water crisis, which began in 2014, when city and state officials switched the city's water supply to save money. It exposed residents to dangerously high levels of lead and resulted in more than a dozen lawsuits. But Saturday's event offered a welcome contrast to violent confrontations in cities across the country. On Friday Swanson addressed George Floyd's death via a Facebook post. "I join with the chorus of citizens and law enforcement officials alike, calling for the swift arrest and prosecution of each police officer involved in this appalling crime," he wrote. "The actions we witnessed on that video destroy countless efforts to bolster community policing efforts across our nation, and erode trust that is painstakingly built."
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The nationwide anti-police brutality protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in the US have been marked by widespread incidents of police violence, including punching, kicking, gassing, pepper-spraying and driving vehicles at often peaceful protesters in states across the country. The actions have left thousands of protesters in jail and injured many others, leaving some with life-threatening injuries. From Minnesota to New York, Texas, California, Washington DC and many places beyond, from small towns to big cities, police officers have demonstrated just how problematic law enforcement is in the US, drawing condemnation from international groups as well as domestic civil rights organizations. Numerous incidents of police violence have been exposed in disturbing videos and press accounts in recent days. Officers in a police SUV drove at a crowd of protesters in Brooklyn. A police officer was caught on camera violently shoving a woman to the ground during a demonstration. The woman, Dounya Zayer, was taken to hospital and said she suffered a seizure and concussion. An officer yanked a facemask from an African American man who was standing with his hands in the air, then pepper-sprayed him in the face. In Buffalo ... two officers shoved a 75-year-old man to the ground. A video showed the man hitting his head on the ground, causing his blood to spill on the sidewalk. He is now gravely ill in hospital. Frequently journalists have been met with the same aggressive policing as demonstrators. Police attacked journalists “at least 140 times” in the last four days of May. In most cases ... no action has been brought against officers or police departments.
Note: While some policemen are standing with protestors, as reported in this ABC News article, this revealing article shows how police are trained to be violent. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
As thousands of protesters converged in Brooklyn on Monday evening, NYPD scanners picked up a bit of radio chatter. After a police dispatcher noted protester movement near the 77th Precinct, a voice on the same channel replies clearly: “Shoot those motherfuckers.” Just as clear was the immediate response: “Don’t put that over the air.” The radio message was yet another indicator that police see protesters as enemies to combat rather than the citizens they are sworn to protect. [It] was also a sign of how emboldened police have become in calling for violence, and how little they seem to fear repercussions. Officers have responded to protests prompted by anger at police violence ... with yet more violence and, mostly, no consequence. Over the last several days, NYPD officers have beaten protesters with nightsticks, ripped off masks to pepper-spray them at close range, [and] driven their vehicles into crowds. The abuse has been enabled by laws that shield officers from accountability and by barriers to police oversight — as well as by city leaders who have long allowed police to operate with impunity. In response to the police crackdown, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea expressed his pride as he congratulated his officers for their actions. Mayor Bill de Blasio ... continued his long-held practice of defending police misconduct in the face of indisputable evidence and attempted to shift the blame to protesters. Officials have responded to pressure for greater police transparency [by] making everything from complaints of misconduct to the findings of internal reviews, to body camera footage largely inaccessible to the public.
Note: While some policemen are standing with protestors, as reported in this ABC News article, another revealing article shows that the large majority of attacks on journalists came from police and not protestors. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
As protests and unrest continued in Minneapolis following the killing of George Floyd, people are questioning the identity of a man filmed smashing windows. Footage emerged of the white man, dressed all in black, and in gloves and boots, calmly smashing the windows of an auto parts store with a large hammer. His face is obscured by an expensive-looking gas mask and he is also holding an open black umbrella — although it was not raining. Twitter quickly christened him 'Umbrella Man'. As he methodically smashes the windows of the Minneapolis branch of AutoZone, video shows that he is confronted by two people, apparently trying to stop him, before he turns and walks quickly away. A small group follows him and he tries to snatch the phone of the person filming. Someone yells: "Are you a f***ing cop?" Twitter users have accused him of being everything from an undercover police officer, to part of Antifa, to a white supremacist, or an agent provocateur there to incite violence that would ultimately trigger a widespread riot. The incident was recorded before fires were started. Minnesota’s attorney general Keith Ellison even chimed in, tweeting: “This man doesn’t look like any civil rights protester I have ever seen. Looks like a provocateur. Can anyone ID him?” A popular theory that went viral identified a specific police officer from neighbouring St Paul by name, based on screenshots of a series of text messages purportedly from a former partner. The identity of 'umbrella man' continues to be a subject of speculation and rumour.
Note: Watch the umbrella man video here. A tweet you can see in this article suggests it was a policeman in the video. Read an excellent but disturbing article on how recent protests are being infiltrated by militias and other groups intent on causing trouble. Here's another example of an undercover police officer discovered among protestors in Oakland, CA several years ago. A member of the WTK team who lives in Minneapolis has a friend who was putting out fires during the riots only to then have uniformed police chase them away and restart the fires.
A black Miami doctor was handcuffed outside his home last week while on his way to hand out tents to the city’s homeless during the coronavirus outbreak. Security footage appeared to show a police sergeant handcuffing Dr. Armen Henderson, an internal medicine physician at the University of Miami Health System, as he was placing camping tents in his van. According to Henderson, the officer asked him what he was doing and if he was littering – Henderson told him he lived there. “At some point, he got upset with what I was saying and he handcuffed me,” Henderson [said]. The officer then walked him over to the police car and pointed his fingers at him, all while not wearing a mask. Henderson’s wife, Leyla Hussein, came out of the house with identification to prove they both lived there. Incidents like these underscore why black communities often distrust law enforcement. Only about a third of blacks say local police, “do an excellent or good job in using the appropriate force on suspects,” according to a 2016 Pew Research Center study. After fatal police shootings of black men such as Walter Scott and Alton Sterling, [a] study found that black people were, in fact, more likely to be stopped by police. “If you’re black or a minority, you’re significantly more likely to be arrested if they stop you,” Ted Miller ... who led the study, [said]. In 2019, another study ... revealed black men were 2.5 times more likely than white men to be killed by the police.
Note: Read about a 26-year-old black woman who was an EMT needlessly shot to death in her home and the purely racist murder of 25-year-old jogger Ahmaud Arbery. When will it stop? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is ... directing residents to stay home to avoid a larger outbreak of the coronavirus. Authorities have charged at least two people in recent days with violating bans on public gatherings of more than 10 people – an offense that could result in a year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both. Hogan says arrest for coronavirus offense sends 'great message.' The governor’s declaration mirrors a struggle across the country to enforce a patchwork of new stay-at-home orders, social-distancing directives and quarantines. Some people have found themselves under arrest for violating coronavirus regulations. In Hawaii, violators of the stay-at-home order face some of the stiffest penalties on the books to date: fines of up to $5,000 and a year in jail. Police in Honolulu have issued dozens of citations and made at least two arrests. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has [called] for visitors from heavily-infected states and cities to self-isolate for 14 days or risk 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. [In Florida] checkpoints have been set up on interstate highways. Violators could be fined up to $500, jailed up to 60 days, or both. Washington State ... residents are invited to complete online forms detailing suspected violations by local businesses operating when they should be closed. The state threatens violators with citations, suspension notices, revoked business licenses – even criminal charges. Some states that order out-of-staters to quarantine themselves for 14 days have drawn complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union for violating travelers' rights.
Note: Meanwhile in Sweden with no lockdown policies, no one is being arrested and the country has not spiraled out of control as predicted. Is it worth saving thousand of lives with these severe policies at the cost of hundreds of millions being plunged into poverty worldwide? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
A new generation of technology such as the Beware software being used in Fresno has given local law enforcement officers unprecedented power to peer into the lives of citizens. But the powerful systems also have become flash points for civil libertarians and activists, who say they represent a troubling intrusion on privacy, have been deployed with little public oversight and have potential for abuse or error. “This is something that’s been building since September 11,” said Jennifer Lynch ... at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “First funding went to the military to develop this technology, and now it has come back to domestic law enforcement. It’s the perfect storm of cheaper and easier-to-use technologies and money from state and federal governments to purchase it.” Perhaps the most controversial and revealing technology is the threat-scoring software Beware. Fresno is one of the first departments in the nation to test the program. As officers respond to calls, Beware automatically runs the address. The searches return the names of residents and scans them against a range of publicly available data to generate a color-coded threat level for each person or address: green, yellow or red. Exactly how Beware calculates threat scores is something that its maker, Intrado, considers a trade secret, so it is unclear how much weight is given to a misdemeanor, felony or threatening comment on Facebook. The fact that only Intrado — not the police or the public — knows how Beware tallies its scores is disconcerting.
Note: Learn more in this informative article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
As white supremacists have carried out a growing number of deadly attacks in recent years, the FBI has come under mounting criticism for its failure to address the threat posed by far-right extremist ideologies, whose adherents account for most of the politically motivated violence in the U.S. At the same time, the bureau has also been heavily criticized for devoting large resources to surveilling political dissent by groups and individuals, often of color, who pose no threat but are critical of the government because they oppose official immigration policies or demand police accountability. The FBI’s preoccupation with policing nonviolent critical ideologies while neglecting to investigate ideologies tied to real, and increasing, violence was perhaps best captured in an infamous 2017 threat assessment report warning law enforcement agencies of the supposed rise of a “black identity extremist” movement targeting police. The black identity extremism category was a product of the FBI’s imagination. Last year ... bureau officials told legislators that they were doing away with a set of earlier domestic terrorism categories in favor of four larger ones. The FBI’s fictional black identity extremists would now be lumped together with white supremacists under a new “racially motivated violent extremism” category. That false equivalence made it virtually impossible for the public to know whether the FBI was devoting resources to investigating real threats of racist violence or social and racial justice groups critical of government.
Note: Read a revealing essay on COINTELPRO, the FBI program that targeted civil rights and anti-war activists from 1965-1975. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
When the editor of a weekly paper approached me about writing a regular column about local politics, the first thing I asked her was: “Are you sure you know what you’d be getting yourself into?” I wrote just six pieces before the column was canceled. Two centered on the need for police accountability in a city traumatized by the memory of officers standing by as neo-Nazis beat residents in the streets. In a column published in May, I mentioned a photograph taken in August 2017 of an officer with his arms around James Napier, of the neo-Confederate group the Highwaymen, and Tammy Lee of the American Freedom Keepers militia. Lee’s caption read: “You should know the police escorted us and worked days with us 2b there.” The image of a Charlottesville officer with his arm around a member of a white supremacist militia was to me a perfect illustration of a department choosing to ignore the community it serves. I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was when I received a letter from the attorney for the local Southern States Police Benevolent Association, sent on behalf of the officer in the picture. One of the remarks the letter quoted and claimed to be “odious” and defamatory was taken directly from the after action report, commissioned by the city. Despite the editor’s best efforts on my behalf and the absence of any follow through on the threat of a defamation suit, the paper’s owners did not want to continue to run my column.
San Diego has installed thousands of microphones and cameras in so-called smart streetlamps in recent years as part of a program to assess traffic and parking patterns throughout the city. However, the technology over the last year caught the attention of law enforcement. Today, such video has been viewed in connection with more than 140 police investigations. Officers have increasingly turned to the footage to help crack cases, as frequently as 20 times a month. Police department officials have said that the video footage has been crucial in roughly 40 percent of these cases. Privacy groups have voiced concerns about a lack of oversight, as law enforcement has embraced the new technology. Groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, have pushed city councils across the country to adopt surveillance oversight ordinances that create strict rules around using everything from license plate readers to gunshot-detection systems to streetlamp cameras. San Diego’s smart streetlamp program started around 2016. Three years later, it’s still unclear what the data will ultimately be used for. Right now, only the police department has the authority to view the actual video footage. This arrangement has disturbed Matt Cagle, technology and civil liberties attorney with the ACLU. “This sounds like the quote, ‘just trust us’ approach to surveillance technology, which is a recipe for invasive uses and abuse of these systems,” he said.
Law enforcement groups, including the FBI, have been monitoring opponents of a natural gas infrastructure project in Oregon and circulated intelligence to an email list that included a Republican-aligned anti-environmental PR operative, emails obtained by the Guardian show. The South Western Oregon Joint Task Force (SWOJTF) and its members were monitoring opponents of the Jordan Cove energy project, a proposal ... to build the first-ever liquefied natural gas export terminal on the US west coast, as well as a new 232-mile pipeline that would carry fracked natural gas to the port of Coos Bay. Jordan Cove opponents have raised concerns about the project’s significant environmental impacts. An email distribution list associated with the taskforce included addressees in the FBI, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Justice (DoJ), the National Forest Service (NFS), Oregon state police (OSP), and various Oregon municipal police and sheriffs departments. But some of its recipients are outside any government agency, most notably Mark Pfeifle, the CEO of the political consultancy Off The Record Strategies. Pfeifle was previously a Bush administration PR adviser. Pfeifle previously described his work with law enforcement at Standing Rock during a 2017 presentation to oil, gas and banking executives. “A lot of things that we were doing were being done to put a marker down for the protesters. And, ‘OK, if you’re going to go protest somewhere? There’s going to be consequences from it.’”
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As a Chicago police officer, Shannon Spalding worked undercover in some of the toughest parts of the city -- only to discover some of the most dangerous criminals were fellow police officers. She risked her life to stop them. Soon after joining the Chicago Police Department in 1996, Spalding drew an assignment in one of the most violent neighborhoods in the city. To survive, Spalding leaned on veteran cops like Ronald Watts. In 2006, a decade after Spalding was trained by Watts, she had a new assignment in the narcotics division. "I was the undercover. I would go out, I would make the controlled narcotics purchases," Spalding explained. Her partner, Danny Echeverria, would swoop in and make arrests. But during police interviews, something strange started happening. "People would say … 'I can't believe you're going to arrest me when one of your own is actually running the narcotics trade,'" said Spalding. [She] learned Watts and his crew would plant drugs on residents of the Ida B. Wells projects and extort cash. Spalding and her partner would eventually learn Watts' bad deeds had been going on for years. [They] would spend years undercover investigating Ronald Watts and his team. In February 2012, Sgt. Ronald Watts and one of his officers, Kallat Mohammed, were arrested after being caught robbing a drug courier of $5,200. That courier was Spalding's informant and was wearing an FBI wire. Both Watts and Mohammed were convicted. Watts was sentenced to 22 months and Mohammed received an 18-month sentence. Aided by that investigation, more than 60 people wrongfully arrested by Watts and his team have now been exonerated.
Note: The article fails to mention how the police went after Spalding. Watch a riveting CBS video showing this and more on the depths of corruption in the Chicago police department. And if you think it's only Chicago, think again. As Spalding stated when asked about the police code of silence, "You never, ever go after a fellow officer." Though 60 innocent victims were freed from jail, many of the officers who committed these crimes are still on the police force. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
Police are violating no “clearly established rights” when they steal someone’s property after seizing it with a legal search warrant and, therefore, can’t be sued in federal court, an appeals court ruled Wednesday. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to reinstate a suit against Fresno police by two people whose homes and business were searched in 2013 during a gambling investigation. After the search, three officers signed an inventory sheet saying they had seized about $50,000. But the two owners, Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian, who operated automatic teller machines ... said the officers had actually taken $276,000 - $151,000 in cash and $125,000 in rare coins - and pocketed the difference. Darrell York, Jessop’s and Ashjian’s attorney, said police and a city attorney denied that a theft occurred. Even if Kumagai and his fellow officers stole money and coins from Jessop and Ashjian, the appeals court said, the owners could not sue in federal court to get their money back. Such a suit would require proof that their constitutional rights were violated, the court said, and suits against police must clear the additional hurdle of showing that those rights were “clearly established.” “The allegation of any theft by police officers - most certainly the theft of over $225,000 - is undoubtedly deeply disturbing,” Judge Milan Smith said in the 3-0 ruling. “Whether that conduct violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, however, is not obvious.”
Note: Read about "civil asset forfeiture" used by police to steal money and other private property for their departments. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing police corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Thousands of California law enforcement officers have been convicted of a crime in the past decade, according to records released by a public agency that sets standards for officers in the Golden State. The revelations are alarming, but the state’s top cop says Californians don’t have a right to see them. In fact, Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned two Berkeley-based reporters that simply possessing this never-before-publicly-released list of convicted cops is a violation of the law. The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training — known as POST — provided the information last month in response to routine Public Records Act requests from reporters. When [California Attorney General Xavier] Becerra’s office learned about the disclosure, it threatened the reporters with legal action unless they destroyed the records. The documents provide a rare glimpse at the volume of officer misconduct at a time of heightened interest over police accountability. The list includes cops who trafficked drugs, cops who stole money from their departments and even one who robbed a bank wearing a fake beard. Some sexually assaulted suspects. Others took bribes, filed false reports and committed perjury. A large number drove under the influence of drugs and alcohol — sometimes killing people on the road. The Berkeley journalists chose not to publish the entire list until they could spend more time reporting to avoid misidentifying people among the nearly 12,000 names in the documents.
Philando Castile, Walter Scott and Sandra Bland were all pulled over by police in routine traffic stops. All are dead. In an effort to curb racial profiling, North Carolina became the first state to demand the collection and release of traffic stop data. University of North Carolina professor Frank Baumgartner took a look at that data and wrote a book on the subject titled, "Suspect Citizens." Baumgartner analyzed 22 million traffic stops over 20 years ... and found that a driver's race, gender, location and age all factor in to a police officer's decision to pull over a vehicle. The data showed that African Americans had been stopped twice as often as white drivers, and while they were four times more likely to be searched, they were actually less likely to be issued a ticket. The study also highlighted that whites were more likely to be found with contraband than blacks or Hispanics. "There's a way that police interact with middle-class white Americans and there's a way that people in the police forces interact with members of minority communities, especially in poorer neighborhoods," Baumgartner said. Police discretion is a power that's been backed by the U.S. Supreme Court for decades. Baumgartner believes that's largely because the court looks like him, a white man. Philando Castile was stopped 46 times according to police records, racking up a total of $6,000 in fines. "When we look at some of these infractions, they're trivial. It's not keeping us any safer," Baumgartner said.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.