Policing

Did FBI Surveillance in Portland Chill First Amendment Rights?

Last year, protesters marched once again through the streets of Portland, sending a message that putting a Democrat in the White House would not resolve problems with a system of policing and corporate wealth that they saw as fundamentally unfair. "No cops, no prisons, total abolition," they chanted. Some activists, dressed in solid black clothing and masks that may signal a readiness to cause trouble without being readily identifiable, smashed windows at the local Democratic Party headquarters. The event included anarchists, antifascists, communists and racial justice activists.

Homeland Security Agents to Test Body Cams

Agents with a Department of Homeland Security investigative unit will wear body cameras for the first time as part of a six-month pilot program testing the costs and benefits of using the technology in federal law enforcement, the Associated Press reports. The cameras will be used by 55 members of the SWAT-like special response teams at Homeland Security Investigations in Houston, Newark, and New York.

Errors By MN Trainer Potter Preceded Wright Shooting

A Minnesota jury is deliberating manslaughter charges against former Brooklyn Center, Mn., police officer Kim Potter in the April 11 killing of Daunte Wright, 20, who was pulled over for having expired license tags and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror, the Associated Press reports. Potter was training a newer officer, Anthony Luckey. She testified that if she had been alone, she “most likely” wouldn’t have pulled over Wright.

Black People, Asians Disagree on Police Reform

This spring, Black leaders and civil rights activists delivered a message to Asian Americans: We stand with you. Asian American activists and political leaders responded in kind, publicly acknowledging racism faced by Black people. The two groups were reacting to violence aimed at their communities, including the police killing of George Floyd and a spree of anti-Asian attacks. The two groups, which historically have been divided by racial tensions and socioeconomic inequality, promised to cooperate to reduce violence and discrimination against people of color.

Black Police Chiefs Struggle With Reform

A new crop of reformist Black chiefs have had some success changing police departments from within. Others have found it difficult to advocate for both racial equality and the law enforcement community, the Intercept reports. As of June 2020, 21 of the largest 50 police departments in the U.S. were helmed by Black chiefs. A 2016 survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found the overall national figure was just 4 percent.

Texas Family Gets $5M in Wrongful Death Settlement

A Texas county has agreed to pay $5 million to settle wrongful death claims brought by the family of Javier Ambler, a Black motorist who was shot fatally with a stun gun during a traffic stop while cameras with reality TV show “Live PD” rolled, Courthouse News Service reports. The Williamson County Commissioners Court voted to pay $1.6 million dollars with the remaining $3.4 million to be paid by Travelers Insurance.

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