MoJo Author Feeds: Jaeah Lee | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/authors/90086 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Here Are 13 Killings by Police Captured on Video in the Past Year http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/police-shootings-caught-on-tape-video <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/policevidmaster2.jpg"><div class="caption">Screenshot from police video of the shooting of Jason Harrison in Dallas on June 14, 2014. Harrison's family obtained the footage in a civil rights lawsuit and <a href="http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2015/03/family-releases-video-of-dallas-police-fatal-shooting-of-mental-patient.html/" target="_blank">chose to publicize it</a>.</div> </div> <p><br><span class="section-lead">From Ferguson last</span> summer to Baltimore this spring, police killings of unarmed black men under questionable circumstances have sparked outrage, civil unrest, and a heated national debate about policing in the United States. As <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men" target="_blank"><em>Mother Jones</em></a> <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/09/08/how-many-police-shootings-a-year-no-one-knows/" target="_blank">and</a> <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/another-much-higher-count-of-police-homicides/" target="_blank">others</a> have reported, there isn't sufficient data available for determining how many people are shot to death or otherwise killed by police each year, or how the issue might be trending. But more such incidents appear to be getting captured on video than ever before, due in part to the ubiquity of cellphone cameras. The footage&mdash;not only from cellphones, but also surveillance cameras, dashboard cameras in police cars, and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/chest-and-dash-cams-ferguson-police-abuse" target="_blank">police-worn body cameras</a>&mdash;has caused a tectonic shift in public awareness.</p> <div><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/millionsmarchcrop.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More MoJo coverage on police shootings: </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-275306"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-investigation-cleveland-police"> It&acirc;&#128;&#153;s Been 6 Months Since Tamir Rice Died, and the Cop Who Killed Him Still Hasn't Been Questioned</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-275031"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-cuyahoga-county-investigation-cousin"> The Tamir Rice Killing: "I Feel So Disgusted With the City of Cleveland."</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258221"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men"> Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274706"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/05/john-crawford-tamir-rice-ohio-police-shooting-deaths"> 2 Shootings Caught on Camera, 2 Young Black Victims, Zero Charges</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-268206"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/01/police-misconduct-payments-eric-garner-nypd"> The Cop Who Choked Eric Garner to Death Won't Pay a Dime</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-272236"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/03/philadelphia-police-officer-involved-shootings"> Philly Cops Shoot and Kill People at 6 Times the Rate of the NYPD</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258621"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/darren-wilson-ferguson-police-officers-shoot-unarmed-black-men"> Here's What Happens to Police Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men </a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> </div> <p>Below are 13 videos of fatal police encounters recorded between March 16, 2014, and April 4, 2015. Most of the suspects killed were black. A majority of the suspects were unarmed. In three cases, the suspects killed reportedly had serious mental-health problems&mdash;which may have been known to the police&nbsp;in at least two of those cases at the time of the shootings.</p> <p><em>Mother Jones </em>has contacted law enforcement officials about the status of these 13 cases: Investigations are ongoing in eight of them. In one case, now six months old, the two officers involved <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-investigation-cleveland-police" target="_blank">still haven't been questioned by investigators</a>. Officers in the five other cases have been absolved of wrongdoing via local or state proceedings. (One of those five cases is currently under review by the US Department of Justice.) Three of the 24 officers total who were involved in the 13 cases are currently facing criminal charges.</p> <h3 class="subhed">WARNING: The videos below contain graphic footage that some viewers may find disturbing.<br> &nbsp;</h3> <p><strong>Suspect killed:</strong> James Boyd<br><strong>Race: </strong>White<br><strong>When: </strong>March 16, 2014<br><strong>Where: </strong>Albuquerque, New Mexico<br><strong>Footage from:</strong> Police-worn body camera</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6tpAZObNZfI?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> James Boyd, a homeless man who reportedly <a href="http://www.abqjournal.com/376262/news/james-boyds-dark-journey.html" target="_blank">suffered</a> from mental illnesses for years, <a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fkrqe.com%2F2014%2F03%2F24%2Falbuquerque-mayor-apd-chiefs-justification-of-shooting-a-mistake%2F" target="_blank">was shot</a> by Albuquerque police officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez after a standoff over Boyd's hillside encampment in March 2014. Randi McGinn, the special prosecutor <a href="http://krqe.com/2015/04/16/da-appoints-well-known-trial-lawyer-as-special-prosecutor-in-boyd-shooting-case/" target="_blank">appointed to take over the case in April 2015,</a> told <em>Mother Jones </em>that she is likely to pursue homicide charges, originally <a href="http://krqe.com/2015/04/09/da-brandenburg-disqualified-from-james-boyd-case/" target="_blank">brought by the district attorney</a>, and will make a determination in the next few weeks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed: </strong>Richard Ramirez<br><strong>Race:</strong> White/Hispanic<br><strong>When: </strong>April 14, 2014<br><strong>Where: </strong>Billings, Montana<br><strong>Footage from: </strong>Police dashboard camera</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UJ2yNZTbvpg?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Richard Ramirez was in the back of a car that was <a href="http://newstalk955.com/billings-police-officer-keightly-talks-about-the-ramirez-shooting-audio/" target="_blank">pulled over</a> by officer Grant Morrison. Morrison later <a href="http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/coroner-s-jury-rules-ramirez-shooting-a-justifiable-homicide/article_b6219619-e740-57b1-b8f5-4512c2713036.html" target="_blank">testified</a> that, after he ordered the passengers to put up their hands, Ramirez repeatedly dropped his left hand. Morrison stated that he thought Ramirez&mdash;who'd been identified as <a href="http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/richard-ramirez-inquest-calls-placed-during-robbery/youtube_b838373b-0f8e-5dcc-a5ed-005248a3a779.html" target="_blank">a suspect</a> in an armed robbery the prior night&mdash;was reaching for a gun, so he shot him three times. Ramirez was unarmed. (In February 2013, Morrison <a href="http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/billings-officer-in-fatal-shooting-also-shot-killed-man-in/article_31f840c2-c717-11e3-a230-0019bb2963f4.html" target="_blank">shot and killed another man</a> while on duty, and was cleared of any wrongdoing.) In January 2015, a <a href="http://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/46/4/46-4-201.htm" target="_blank">coroner's jury</a> ruled the action a justifiable homicide.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed: </strong>Jason Harrison<br><strong>Race:</strong> Black<br><strong>When: </strong>June 14, 2014<br><strong>Where: </strong>Dallas<br><strong>Footage from:</strong> Police-worn body camera</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QMfupZ64T1M?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Harrison's mother <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/17/jason-harrison-shooting-v_n_6887242.html" target="_blank">called</a> police saying that her son was off his medication and acting out, and requested help to get him to a hospital. When <a href="http://www.dallasobserver.com/news/grand-jury-declines-to-charge-dallas-cops-who-shot-mentally-ill-man-holding-a-screwdriver-7182223" target="_blank">Dallas police officers</a> John Rogers and Andrew Hutchins arrived at the front door, Harrison's mother stepped out, letting the officers know that her son was bipolar and schizophrenic. When Harrison came to the door, the officers told him to drop a screwdriver he was holding, and shot him when he failed to comply. According to <a href="http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2015/03/family-releases-video-of-dallas-police-fatal-shooting-of-mental-patient.html/" target="_blank">the <em>Dallas Morning News</em></a>, the officers' attorney said that they feared for their lives, because killing someone using a screwdriver would be "pretty easy. It'll only take one blow." In April 2015, a grand jury <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/23/us/dallas-jason-harrison-shooting-grand-jury-decision/" target="_blank">decided</a> not to indict the officers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed:</strong> Eric Garner<br><strong>Race:</strong> Black<br><strong>When:</strong> July 17, 2014<br><strong>Where: </strong>Staten Island, New York<br><strong>Footage from: </strong>Bystander's cellphone</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_OxM9pWGsaQ?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> In July 2014, police <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/03/the-policies-behind-eric-garner-s-death.html" target="_blank">approached</a> Eric Garner on a Staten Island street <a href="http://time.com/3016326/eric-garner-video-police-chokehold-death/" target="_blank">after</a> Garner had broken up a fight, and then started questioning him about selling loose cigarettes. NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo wrapped his arm around Garner's neck from behind in a takedown maneuver and held Garner on the ground as Garner repeatedly said, "I can't breathe." Garner was <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/nypd-arrest-suspect-suffers-heart-attack-dies-hospital-24632255" target="_blank">later pronounced dead</a> at the hospital. In December 2014, a grand jury decided <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/police-misconduct-payments-eric-garner-nypd" target="_blank">not to indict Pantaleo</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed:</strong> John Crawford III<br><strong>Race:</strong> Black<br><strong>Where: </strong>August 5, 2014<br><strong>Where:</strong> Beavercreek, Ohio<br><strong>Footage from:</strong> Walmart surveillance camera</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/64doDjNg8ts?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Crawford, 22, <a href="http://wdtn.com/2015/04/28/crawford-family-attorney-people-they-want-answers/" target="_blank">was walking</a> around in a Walmart holding a BB gun that had been for sale on the store's shelves. <a href="http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local/officers-describe-moments-before-john-crawford-sho/nhhft/" target="_blank">Responding</a> to a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/26/walmart-ohio-shooting-charges-911-calller-john-crawford" target="_blank">911 call</a> about a man waving a gun, Beavercreek officer Sean Williams and Sergeant David Darkow arrived at the Walmart. The officers later told investigators that Williams opened fire after Crawford failed to comply with their orders to drop the gun. A grand jury decided in September 2014 not to indict the officers. The US Department of Justice launched a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/john-crawford-tamir-rice-ohio-police-shooting-deaths" target="_blank">review</a> of the case last September, which is ongoing, a DOJ spokesperson confirmed to <em>Mother Jones</em>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed:</strong> Dillon Taylor<br><strong>Race:</strong> White<br><strong>When:</strong> August 11, 2014<br><strong>Where:</strong> Salt Lake City<br><strong>Footage from:</strong> Police-worn body camera</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/o1UjKqzVDCw?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Dillon Taylor, his brother, and his cousin <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/08/us/fatal-police-shooting-accounts.html?_r=0" target="_blank">were outside</a> a convenience store and allegedly matched the description from a 911 call about three men, including one brandishing a gun. Officer Bron Cruz confronted the trio and began following Taylor, who initially walked away with his back toward Cruz. Taylor then turned around and kept walking backward, and had both hands in his waistband, according to Cruz. Cruz said he thought Taylor had a gun, and he repeatedly yelled at Taylor to get his hands out, before firing two shots. Taylor was unarmed. In September 2014, the Salt Lake City District Attorney <a href="http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58472404-78/taylor-cruz-hands-gill.html.csp" target="_blank">determined</a> the shooting was justified.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed: </strong>Kajieme Powell<br><strong>Race:</strong> Black<br><strong>When:</strong> August 19, 2014<br><strong>Where:</strong> St. Louis<br><strong>Footage from: </strong>Bystander's cellphone</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/19xTHNAaDHM?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> A bystander's cellphone video <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/20/kajieme-powell-shooting_n_5696546.html" target="_blank">shows</a> Powell, 25, walking around outside a corner grocery store after allegedly stealing energy drinks and pastries. As he paced back and forth, a police car pulled onto the sidewalk just up the street and two police officers got out. Powell, who was brandishing a knife, began to approach the officers (whose names <a href="http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-police-turn-over-kajieme-powell-shooting-case-to/article_fc0dab65-aa70-5380-b495-e73fd6afefc9.html" target="_blank">have not been</a> released), telling them to shoot him. After a pause, he took another step toward the officers and they opened fire. St. Louis Metro police chief Sam Dotson <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/08/the-killing-of-kajieme-powell/378899/" target="_blank">later stated</a> that Powell "came at the officers" while gripping the knife. In February, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department did not request charges when it <a href="http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/prosecutor-gets-kajieme-powell-case-police-seek-no-charges-against-officers" target="_blank">handed off</a> its investigation to the circuit attorney's office, whose probe is ongoing, a spokesperson confirmed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed:</strong> Tamir Rice<br><strong>Race:</strong> Black<br><strong>When:</strong> November 22, 2014<br><strong>Where:</strong> Cleveland<br><strong>Footage from:</strong> Surveillance camera</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xIvQVU_pmBg?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Rice, 12, was playing in a local park when someone <a href="http://www.wkyc.com/story/news/local/cleveland/2014/11/24/listen--911-caller-reports-tamir-rice-incident/19479083/" target="_blank">called 911</a> and reported that a person, "probably a juvenile," was waving a gun around that was "probably fake." Police officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback pulled up to Rice in their patrol car and Loehmann got out and shot Rice almost instantly. No charges have been filed in the case. As <em>Mother Jones </em>first reported last week, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department, which <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-cuyahoga-county-investigation-cousin" target="_blank">took control</a> of the case in January, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-investigation-cleveland-police" target="_blank">has yet to interview the two officers</a> in its ongoing investigation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed: </strong>Jerame Reid<br><strong>Race:</strong> Black<br><strong>When:</strong> December 30, 2014<br><strong>Where:</strong> Bridgeton, New Jersey<br><strong>Footage from:</strong> Dashboard camera</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0gxbCg5_jk?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Reid was a passenger in a car that was <a href="http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2015/01/watch_authorities_release_dashcam_footage_in_bridg.html#incart_m-rpt-1" target="_blank">pulled over</a> for allegedly running a stop sign. Officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley approached the car, and despite verbal warnings from the officers, Reid opened his door and reportedly got out of the car with his hands up, after saying "I ain't doing nothing. I'm not reaching for nothing, bro," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/21/jerame-reid-video_n_6517794.html" target="_blank">according to the Associated Press</a>. Both Days and Worley shot him. The officers <a href="http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2015/01/bridgeton_residents_complaints_pile_up_against_off.html" target="_blank">were placed</a> on paid administrative leave <a href="http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/bridgeton-millville-police-departments-undergoing-command-changes/article_9b1a4228-f65d-11e4-831f-bfa4ca523e87.html" target="_blank">pending</a> the investigation, and Reid's family <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/2083892-reid-estate-civil-rights-suit" target="_blank">has filed</a> a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against the city of Bridgeton. (Days is also <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/28/jerame-reid-new-jersey-police-shooting-protests" target="_blank">facing</a> a separate <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/2083893-shakera-brown-v-bridgeton-days" target="_blank">lawsuit</a> for alleged rape.)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed: </strong>Antonio Zambrano-Montes<br><strong>Race:</strong> Hispanic<br><strong>When:</strong> February 10, 2015<br><strong>Where:</strong> Pasco, Washington<br><strong>Footage from:</strong> Bystander's cellphone</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y-0uqFTBclo?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> After responding to a call of a man throwing rocks in a grocery store parking lot, three Pasco police officers <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/pasco-police-fired-17-times-rock-throwing-man-hit-him-n313001" target="_blank">tried to arrest</a> Zambrano. They pursued him on foot, shooting at him as he ran, and they fired at close range as he turned around to face them. In the video, his hands appear to have been empty. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-washington-police-shoot-man-20150211-story.html" target="_blank">Officers</a> Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright, and Adrian Alaniz <a href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/03/11/259418/justice-dept-probe-sought-of-police.html" target="_blank">were placed</a> on paid leave, and an investigation is <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/pasco-washington-community-awaits-answers-shooting-n358891" target="_blank">ongoing</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed:</strong> Charly Keunang<br><strong>Race</strong>: Black<br><strong>When:</strong> March 1, 2015<br><strong>Where:</strong> Los Angeles<br><strong>Footage from:</strong> Bystander's cellphone</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vxyy8mMh2JM?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Six police officers <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0308-lapd-protest-20150308-story.html" target="_blank">were responding</a> to a 911 call about an alleged robbery and assault on LA's Skid Row, in which Keunang was reportedly a suspect. During a struggle with police, Keunang, who <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-skid-row-shooting-profile-20150330-story.html#page=1" target="_blank">reportedly suffered</a> from mental health problems,<strong> </strong>allegedly reached for an officer's gun, prompting several officers to open fire. The three officers who fired their guns&mdash;Sergeant Chand Syed, and Officers Francisco Martinez and Daniel Torres&mdash;have been reassigned to administrative duty and an internal police department investigation <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-skid-row-claim-20150430-story.html" target="_blank">is ongoing</a>, the LAPD confirmed to <em>Mother Jones.</em> Keunang's family has filed a $20 million civil claim against the city.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed:</strong> Phillip White<br><strong>Race</strong>: Black<br><strong>When: </strong>March 31, 2015<br><strong>Where: </strong>Vineland, New Jersey<br><strong>Footage from: </strong>Bystander's cellphone</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dEe6IECjXh0?rel=0" width="640"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Responding to a call of a man acting erratically, police handcuffed and restrained the 32-year-old White. According to investigators, White <a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Officials-Reveal-New-Details-on-Vineland-Man-Who-Died-While-in-Police-Custody--298359361.html" target="_blank">became unresponsive</a> and received CPR in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, where he eventually died. Police <a href="http://www.thedailyjournal.com/story/news/local/2015/03/31/prosecutor-investigating-death-man-police-custody/70733530/" target="_blank">called</a> it an "in-custody non-shooting death," but witnesses on the scene said the officers beat White and that a police dog bit him in the face. An investigation by the Cumberland County prosecutor's office is <a href="http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2015/04/watch_new_video_appears_to_show_vineland_police_pu.html" target="_blank">ongoing</a>. The officers in the case, Louis Platania and Rich Janasiak, are both on administrative leave, according to news reports.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Suspect killed:</strong> Walter Scott<br><strong>Race</strong>: Black<br><strong>When: </strong>April 4, 2015<br><strong>Where:</strong> North Charleston, South Carolina<br><strong>Footage from:</strong> Police dashboard camera and bystander's cellphone</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ym4tE0SQCZY?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>What happened:</strong> Dashboard camera <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/michael-slager-walter-scott-murder-charge" target="_blank">footage</a> showed Scott running away from his vehicle after North Charleston police officer Michael Slager pulled Scott over for a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/walter-scott-traffic-stop-police-shootings" target="_blank">broken brake light</a>. In the following minutes, recorded on a bystander's cellphone, Slager caught up to Scott in an open field, and after a short struggle, Scott, who was unarmed, broke free and began to run away. Slager then shot Scott multiple times from behind. Slager <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/08/michael-slager-fired_n_7026924.html" target="_blank">was fired</a> from his job and <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/13/us-usa-police-idUSKBN0N424820150413" target="_blank">faces</a> a felony murder charge.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Politics Video Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories police Wed, 20 May 2015 10:15:14 +0000 AJ Vicens and Jaeah Lee 275231 at http://www.motherjones.com It’s Been 6 Months Since Tamir Rice Died, and the Cop Who Killed Him Still Hasn't Been Questioned http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-investigation-cleveland-police <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>When the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department made its first public comments on Tuesday about its ongoing investigation into the death last November of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-cuyahoga-county-investigation-cousin" target="_blank">it provided few details</a>. Nearly six months since Cleveland police fatally shot Rice at a community center park where he had been waving around a toy gun, questions are mounting as to why the investigation has taken so long, especially given explicit <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/01/extended_tamir_rice_shooting_v.html" target="_blank">surveillance footage</a> of the shooting and the <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/12/cleveland_police_officer_who_s.html" target="_blank">troubling</a> police record of the officer who pulled the trigger.</p> <div><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/millionsmarchcrop.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More MoJo coverage on police shootings: </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-275306"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-investigation-cleveland-police"> It&acirc;&#128;&#153;s Been 6 Months Since Tamir Rice Died, and the Cop Who Killed Him Still Hasn't Been Questioned</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-275031"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-cuyahoga-county-investigation-cousin"> The Tamir Rice Killing: "I Feel So Disgusted With the City of Cleveland."</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258221"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men"> Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274706"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/05/john-crawford-tamir-rice-ohio-police-shooting-deaths"> 2 Shootings Caught on Camera, 2 Young Black Victims, Zero Charges</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-268206"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/01/police-misconduct-payments-eric-garner-nypd"> The Cop Who Choked Eric Garner to Death Won't Pay a Dime</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-272236"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/03/philadelphia-police-officer-involved-shootings"> Philly Cops Shoot and Kill People at 6 Times the Rate of the NYPD</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258621"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/darren-wilson-ferguson-police-officers-shoot-unarmed-black-men"> Here's What Happens to Police Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men </a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> </div> <p><em>Mother Jones </em>has learned that the two officers involved in the shooting&mdash;Timothy Loehmann, who fired the shots, and Frank Garmback, who drove the police car&mdash;still have not been interviewed by investigators from the sheriff's department. According to an official familiar with the case, investigators have made more than one attempt to interview Loehmann and Garmback since the Cleveland Police Department handed over the case in January. (Read more about why the sheriff's department took over the investigation <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-cuyahoga-county-investigation-cousin" target="_blank">here</a>.)</p> <p>A county official familiar with the case told <em>Mother Jones </em>that the criminal investigation is focused solely on Loehmann. Garmback, who pulled the police car to within a few feet of Rice right before Loehmann stepped out and shot Rice almost instantly, is currently not under criminal investigation by the sheriff's department, the official said.</p> <p>In the surveillance footage, both Loehmann and Garmback can be seen standing around after the shooting while Rice lies bleeding on the ground. About a minute and a half after the shooting, Garmback can be seen tackling Rice's 14-year-old sister as she tries to run to her wounded brother. Four minutes go by during which Loehmann and Garmback make no attempt to give Rice first aid. An FBI agent in the area then comes to the scene and begins to tend to Rice before an ambulance arrives to take him to the hospital (where he died the next day).</p> <center><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="373" id="nyt_video_player" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000003464054&amp;playerType=embed" title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" width="480"></iframe></center> <p>Michael P. Maloney and Henry Hilow, the two attorneys representing the officers, declined to comment to <em>Mother Jones </em>about the officers' participation in the investigation, saying it would be inappropriate to do so while the investigation was ongoing.</p> <p>Whether Garmback could also potentially face criminal charges is a complex question, says Seth Stoughton, a law professor at the University of South Carolina who studies policing. Stoughton says that he would expect prosecutors to at least consider the possibility, adding that both officers' actions in the wake of the shooting also raise stark ethical questions: "The Tamir Rice shooting was a use of horrible tactics," he says. "It was a ludicrous way to approach a scene where you've been told that there is a person with a gun who has been aiming it at bystanders. I would expect the officers would park at a safe distance and walk up, using cover and concealment, and try to initiate communication at a distance. That's the 'three Cs' of tactical response."</p> <p>It remains unclear why, in the minutes after both Rice and his sister lay on the ground, the officers did not tend to Rice. According to Stoughton&mdash;who previously served as a police officer himself for five years&mdash;a fundamental principle of policing is that once a threat has been eliminated and a scene secured, an officer's first priority is to aid an injured person. "At that point, the officer and his medical kit might be the only thing between the suspect and death," he says. "It's not only an ethical requirement but almost certainly a departmental imperative to do what they can to save the life of the suspect. The failure to do that is really disturbing."</p> <p>In Stoughton's opinion, such inaction could potentially rise to the level of criminal charges, depending on departmental policy, state law, and other circumstances. He adds: "There's nothing in the video suggesting that there was a threat that would justify the officers in doing anything other than rendering aid to Tamir Rice."</p> <p>In the statement to reporters on Tuesday, Cuyuhoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney said that his investigators had examined "thousands of pages of documents" and that "a majority of our work is complete." According to an official familiar with the investigation, those documents include Rice's autopsy report, a 911 call transcript, cellphone records, transcripts of interviews with witnesses, and the training records of both police officers.</p> <p>The documents also include Loehmann&rsquo;s mental-health records, as well as disciplinary records from both the Cleveland Police Department and the Independence Police Department, where he'd served until December 2012. A deputy chief's letter from Loehmann's personnel file there said that during firearms qualification training Loehmann was "distracted" and "weepy," according to a <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/12/cleveland_police_officer_who_s.html" target="_blank">report</a> on <em>Cleveland.com</em>. It also said that Loehmann "could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal."</p> <p>The sheriff's investigation is expected to conclude in the coming weeks, an official familiar with the work confirmed. In the meantime, Rice's grieving family members felt they could no longer wait for closure. They'd been paying to preserve the boy's body, the <em>Washington Post</em> <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/05/13/six-months-after-shooting-tamir-rices-family-has-him-cremated/" target="_blank">reported</a> on Wednesday, waiting until the legal investigation was complete, in case an additional medical examination was needed. Late last week the family decided to cremate Rice, the family's attorney told the <em>Post</em>. "What everyone needs to understand is that Samaria Rice is a mother first," the attorney said. "Whether in life or death, her instinct is to take care of her child. Him not being put to final rest was just physically, emotionally, psychologically unsettling to her."</p></body></html> Politics Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories police Fri, 15 May 2015 10:00:07 +0000 Jaeah Lee 275306 at http://www.motherjones.com The Tamir Rice Killing: "I Feel So Disgusted With the City of Cleveland." http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-cuyahoga-county-investigation-cousin <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Nearly six months after 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot to death by Cleveland police, the&nbsp;Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department gave its first press conference on Tuesday about its ongoing criminal investigation. In a brief statement, Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney told reporters that his team had "poured over thousands of pages of documents, and conducted numerous search warrants and interviews with witnesses." Investigators have also taken 3D scans from the Cuddell Recreation Center grounds, where Rice died, and reviewed all surveillance footage from the surrounding area, Pinkney said. He also said that "a few more witnesses need to be interviewed and more forensic evidence needs to be collected," and that "a majority of our work is complete." Pinkney declined to take any questions and said he would provide no deadline for when the investigation would end.</p> <p>Following Pinkey's statement, reporters huddled around a woman named Latonya Goldsby, who said she was a cousin of Rice. Goldsby wept as she told reporters that Rice's family had no idea that the sheriff would be delivering the statement&mdash;the agency's first since taking over the investigation in January&mdash;until seeing it described on the news Monday night. She said that she rushed to the press conference expecting the sheriff to announce plans to charge the officers involved in Rice's death. "My family is very disappointed with how this investigation has transpired," she said. "There is no transparency in Cleveland." She added: "I feel so disgusted with the city of Cleveland for not showing some type of compassion to my family. We had to bury a 12-year-old kid." <em>[<strong>Updated May 12, 12:55 p.m. ET; </strong>original story starts below.]</em></p> <p>On Tuesday, nearly half a year since 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed at a community center park by a Cleveland police officer, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department will make its first public statement about the progress of its criminal investigation. Sheriff Clifford Pinkney will review the timeline of the investigation from the day Rice was shot until present, and what remains to be done, according to a county official familiar with the case. Citing the ongoing investigation, Pinkney's office says he plans to take no questions from the media following the statement.</p> <p>The sheriff's department has remained quiet about the investigation ever since taking it over from the Cleveland Police Department in January, despite <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/john-crawford-tamir-rice-ohio-police-shooting-deaths" target="_blank">mounting questions</a> about how long the process has taken in light of explicit <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/01/extended_tamir_rice_shooting_v.html" target="_blank">video footage</a> of the killing and the <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2014/12/cleveland_police_officer_who_s.html" target="_blank">troubling</a> police record of Timothy Loehmann, the officer who fired the fatal shots. The few details about the investigation that have come to light so far have been via <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/02/city_of_cleveland_responds_to.html" target="_blank">court filings</a> <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/04/cleveland_officers_ask_to_halt.html" target="_blank">issued</a> as part of the Rice family's wrongful death suit against the city of Cleveland. Last week, Loehmann and fellow officer Frank Garmback <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/04/cleveland_officers_ask_to_halt.html" target="_blank">filed a motion</a> in that case seeking to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.</p> <p>The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department declined to comment on the record about the two officers' role in the ongoing criminal investigation.</p> <div><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/millionsmarchcrop.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More MoJo coverage on police shootings: </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-275306"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-investigation-cleveland-police"> It&acirc;&#128;&#153;s Been 6 Months Since Tamir Rice Died, and the Cop Who Killed Him Still Hasn't Been Questioned</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-275031"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/05/tamir-rice-cuyahoga-county-investigation-cousin"> The Tamir Rice Killing: "I Feel So Disgusted With the City of Cleveland."</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258221"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men"> Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274706"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/05/john-crawford-tamir-rice-ohio-police-shooting-deaths"> 2 Shootings Caught on Camera, 2 Young Black Victims, Zero Charges</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-268206"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/01/police-misconduct-payments-eric-garner-nypd"> The Cop Who Choked Eric Garner to Death Won't Pay a Dime</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-272236"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/03/philadelphia-police-officer-involved-shootings"> Philly Cops Shoot and Kill People at 6 Times the Rate of the NYPD</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258621"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/darren-wilson-ferguson-police-officers-shoot-unarmed-black-men"> Here's What Happens to Police Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men </a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> </div> <p>Political infighting may have been a factor in the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/john-crawford-tamir-rice-ohio-police-shooting-deaths" target="_blank">prolonged process</a>: After Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson asked the county to take over the investigation in early January, the sheriff's department <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/01/mike_dewines_office_might_have.html" target="_blank">requested</a> help from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/cityhall/index.ssf/2015/01/cleveland_mayor_frank_jackson_43.html" target="_blank">against</a> Jackson's wishes. DeWine had previously said that a 2012 police shooting involving another officer, Michael Brelo, revealed a "<a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/02/dewine_points_to_a_systematic.html" target="_blank">systemic failure</a>" at the Cleveland PD. Brelo <a href="http://www.wkyc.com/story/news/local/cleveland/2015/05/08/brelo-verdict-not-expected-until-may-18th-or-later/27001719/" target="_blank">currently faces</a> voluntary manslaughter charges for shooting and killing two unarmed black suspects during a car chase, and a verdict is expected this month. (Thirteen officers <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/04/cleveland_police_officer_refus.html" target="_blank">were involved</a> that case, but Brelo was the only one charged.) The handover of the Rice case also coincided with the start of a new Cuyahoga County executive's term.</p> <p>Still, particularly against the backdrop of ongoing national news about officer-involved killings, the pace of the Rice investigation has been troubling, says Ayesha Bell Hardaway, a<strong> </strong>law professor at Case Western Reserve University and a former Cuyahoga County assistant prosecutor. "The lapse of time from Tamir's death until now has been too great," she says, adding that "the public's confidence in the police department and the city of Cleveland is hanging in the balance."</p></body></html> Politics Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories police Mon, 11 May 2015 20:31:39 +0000 Jaeah Lee 275031 at http://www.motherjones.com 7 Charts Explaining Baltimore's Economic and Racial Struggles http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/baltimore-race-economy-charts <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In the wake of Baltimore's upheaval, President Obama, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/04/baltimore-orioles-freddie-gray" target="_blank">among</a> <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/nonviolence-as-compliance/391640/" target="_blank">others</a>, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/watch-president-obama-talk-about-whats-happening-baltimore" target="_blank">reminded</a> the country that the city's long-standing economic inequality was beneath the response to Freddie Gray's death. "This is not new," Obama said. "This has been going on for decades."</p> <p>In a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/04/upshot/an-atlas-of-upward-mobility-shows-paths-out-of-poverty.html?abt=0002&amp;abg=1" target="_blank">new study</a> published this week, a group of Harvard economists quantified Baltimore's problem with economic mobility. Of the 100 largest counties in the country, they found, Baltimore was where children in low-income households faced the worst odds in terms of upward mobility, followed by Mencklenburg, North Carolina; Hillsborough, Florida; Orange, Florida; and Cook, Illinois.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/03/upshot/the-best-and-worst-places-to-grow-up-how-your-area-compares.html?rref=upshot&amp;abt=0002&amp;abg=1" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/upshotMap630_0.jpg"></a> <div class="caption"><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/03/upshot/the-best-and-worst-places-to-grow-up-how-your-area-compares.html?rref=upshot&amp;abt=0002&amp;abg=1" target="_blank"><strong>Check out <em>The Upshot</em>'s interactive map of the Harvard study findings. </strong></a></div> </div> <p>That's just one of many sobering measures of life for some in Baltimore, as the <em>Washington Post</em>, <em>FiveThirtyEight</em>, and others have pointed out in recent days. Here are a few examples:</p> <p>Life expectancy in 15 Baltimore neighborhoods, including <a href="http://health.baltimorecity.gov/sites/default/files/47%20Sandtown.pdf" target="_blank">the one</a> where Freddie Gray lived, is shorter than in North Korea, according to an <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/30/baltimores-poorest-residents-die-20-years-earlier-than-its-richest/" target="_blank">analysis</a> by the <em>Washington Post</em>. In eight Baltimore neighborhoods, the life expectancy rate is worse than in Syria.&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/baltimore-life500.jpg"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/30/baltimores-poorest-residents-die-20-years-earlier-than-its-richest/" target="_blank">Christopher Ingraham/Wonkblog</a></div> </div> <p>Baltimore teens between 15 and 19 years old face poorer health conditions and a bleaker economic outlook than those in economically distressed cities in Nigeria, India, China, and South Africa, according to <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/30/heres-one-way-baltimore-teens-are-worse-off-than-poor-youths-in-nigeria-and-india/" target="_blank">recent research</a> at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Teens in Baltimore, along with Johannesburg, saw the <a href="http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(14)00352-8/pdf" target="_blank">highest prevalence</a> of sexual violence, substance abuse, depression, and PTSD. They were also most likely to <a href="http://www.vocativ.com/culture/society/baltimore-poverty/" target="_blank">report</a> witnessing community violence.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-05%20at%2012.54.35%20PM.png" style="max-width:630px;"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.vocativ.com/culture/society/baltimore-poverty/" target="_blank">Vocativ</a></div> </div> <p>In 2014, Baltimore&mdash;a city where the unemployment rate (8.1 percent) is nearly <a href="https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MDBALT5URN" target="_blank">one and a half times</a> than the <a href="http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000" target="_blank">national rate</a> (5.5 percent)&mdash;had one of the largest gaps between the rich and poor in the country, <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports2/2015/03/city-inequality-berube-holmes" target="_blank">according</a> to the Brookings Institution. The typical Baltimore resident in the bottom fifth of earners made $13,588 in 2013, whereas those in top 5 percent made an average of $166,924 that year.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="815" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/762an/2/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>In 2010, Baltimore had Maryland's <a href="http://www.citylab.com/crime/2015/04/the-long-fuse-behind-the-violence-in-baltimore/391634/" target="_blank">highest rate</a> of arrests for marijuana possession, and Maryland had one of the highest such arrest rates in the country, according to a 2013 <a href="http://www.aclu-md.org/uploaded_files/0000/0470/aclu_marijuana_in_md_report_whitecover.pdf" target="_blank">report</a> by the American Civil Liberties Union.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-05%20at%2011.40.34%20AM_0.png"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.aclu-md.org/uploaded_files/0000/0470/aclu_marijuana_in_md_report_whitecover.pdf" target="_blank">American Civil Liberties Union, 2010</a></div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Baltimore incarcerates a greater portion of its population than New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles County, <a href="http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/10-06_rep_baltbehindbars_md-ps-ac-rd.pdf" target="_blank">according</a> to the Justice Policy Institute. It also has one of the highest inmate populations in the country, according to the latest available Bureau of Justice Statistics <a href="http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/jim10st.pdf" target="_blank">data</a>.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-05%20at%2012.04.33%20PM.png" style="max-width:630px;"><div class="caption">Justice Policy Institute</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When it comes to income inequality between blacks and whites, Baltimore is not alone. As <em>FiveThirtyEight</em> <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/how-baltimores-young-black-men-are-boxed-in/" target="_blank">reported,</a> this racial disparity is common in cities where at least 10 percent of the population is black.&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/casselman-datalab-baltimore-1-2.png" style="max-width:630px;"><div class="caption"><a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/how-baltimores-young-black-men-are-boxed-in/" target="_blank">Ben Casselman/<em>FiveThirtyEight</em></a></div> </div></body></html> Politics Charts Crime and Justice Economy Income Inequality Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Baltimore Protests Wed, 06 May 2015 10:20:06 +0000 Edwin Rios and Jaeah Lee 274761 at http://www.motherjones.com 2 Shootings Caught on Video, 2 Young Black Victims, and Zero Charges Against the Police http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/john-crawford-tamir-rice-ohio-police-shooting-deaths <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>While all eyes were on the unrest in Baltimore last week following Freddie Gray's death in police custody, many miles away Gov. John Kasich of Ohio <a href="http://www.governor.ohio.gov/Portals/0/04.27.15%20Kasich%20Signs%20Executive%20Order%20Creating%20Ohio%20Collaborativev2.pdf" target="_blank">announced</a> a new advisory board intended to improve ties between police and communities across his state. The initiative,&nbsp;one <a href="http://www.ptb.state.il.us/" target="_blank">among</a> a <a href="http://www.in.gov/isp/2632.htm" target="_blank">few</a> in the country, comes as Ohio authorities continue to face questions about two controversial police killings of black people. Unlike in Baltimore, where six officers were charged on Friday with crimes including manslaughter and murder, none of the officers involved in the recent killings in Ohio has faced criminal prosecution, despite video footage raising stark questions in both cases about the use of lethal force.</p> <p>A grand jury <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/09/24/no-indictments-after-police-shoot-and-kill-man-at-an-ohio-wal-mart-justice-dept-launches-investigation/" target="_blank">declined</a> to indict the two officers involved in the fatal shooting last August of 22-year-old John Crawford at a Walmart in Beavercreek, a predominantly white suburb of Dayton. Crawford allegedly brandished a rifle in a store aisle, and when Cleveland police officer Sean Williams and his partner, Sergeant David Darkow, came upon Crawford, Williams quickly fired two shots. The officers <a href="http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local/officers-describe-moments-before-john-crawford-sho/nhhft/#__federated=1" target="_blank">later told</a> investigators that Crawford had ignored commands to drop the weapon, which turned out to have been a BB gun <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/09/25/ohio-wal-mart-surveillance-video-shows-police-shooting-and-killing-john-crawford-iii/" target="_blank">for sale</a> on a store shelf. A US Department of Justice review of the case is <a href="http://www.wlwt.com/news/cincinnati-civil-rights-activists-call-for-charges-in-deaths-of-john-crawford-tamir-rice/32741884" target="_blank">pending</a>.</p> <p>In Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department continues to investigate the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who'd been playing with a toy gun in a park near his home last November. Responding to a <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-tamir-rice-911-call-20141126-htmlstory.html" target="_blank">911 call</a> about someone pointing a pistol that was <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-tamir-rice-911-call-20141126-htmlstory.html" target="_blank">"probably fake</a>," Cleveland PD officers drove up to the scene, where surveillance camera footage <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/01/extended_tamir_rice_shooting_v.html" target="_blank">showed</a> one of the officers, Timothy Loehmann, shooting Rice almost instantly upon arrival. The other officer then tackled and restrained Rice's sister when she tried to run over to her dying brother. More than five months since Rice's death, the investigation has not been completed, despite the explicit video evidence and Loehmann's <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/12/03/officer-who-shot-12-year-old-tamir-rice-displayed-dismal-handgun-performance-in-exercise/" target="_blank">dubious record</a> as a police officer.</p> <p>"Half a year is an extremely long time," says Ayesha Bell Hardaway, a professor at Case Western Reserve University and a former Cuyahoga County assistant prosecutor, especially given the video, the details of the 911 calls, and "the questions raised about Officer Loehmann's fitness for duty."</p> <p>Lewis Katz, a Case Western Reserve professor specializing in criminal law, feels that "the case is clear-cut." And he says that he expects Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty to bring charges soon. (McGinty is <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/04/cuyahoga_county_pr_osecutor_re.html" target="_blank">in the midst</a> of a prosecution against another Cleveland officer for a 2012 police shooting in which two unarmed people were killed, a case expected to end shortly.)</p> <p>Shortly after Rice's death, the Justice Department <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/05/us/justice-dept-inquiry-finds-abuses-by-cleveland-police.html" target="_blank">released</a> the findings of a two-year civil rights investigation into the Cleveland Police Department, which revealed a pattern of "unreasonable and unnecessary use of force." Nevertheless, when Rice's family filed a wrongful death suit against Cleveland, city attorneys <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/02/city_of_cleveland_responds_to.html" target="_blank">responded</a> suggesting that Rice was responsible for his own death because he'd failed "to exercise due care to avoid injury." The statement drew <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/03/02/tamir-rice-family-attorney-says-unbelievable-that-city-of-cleveland-court-filing-blames-tamir-for-his-own-death/%20%20http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/02/city_of_cleveland_responds_to.html" target="_blank">outrage</a>; Cleveland's mayor later <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/cityhall/index.ssf/2015/03/cleveland_mayor_frank_jackson_50.html#incart_story_package" target="_blank">apologized</a> for the insensitivity and revised the language. City attorneys have <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/04/cleveland_officers_ask_to_halt.html" target="_blank">since asked</a> to halt the Rice family's lawsuit until the criminal investigation is complete. But Rice's family <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/05/tamir_rices_family_opposes_cit.html" target="_blank">opposed</a><strong> </strong>the request on Monday, arguing that doing so would risk "the loss of critical evidence" because key witnesses could move away or become less reliable over time.</p> <p>Following the announcement of murder charges in Baltimore on Friday, civil rights activists <a href="http://www.wlwt.com/news/cincinnati-civil-rights-activists-call-for-charges-in-deaths-of-john-crawford-tamir-rice/32741884" target="_blank">called on</a> the Ohio attorney general <a href="https://www.change.org/p/ohio-attorney-general-mike-dewine-prosecute-tim-loehmann-for-the-shooting-and-killing-of-tamir-e-rice" target="_blank">once again</a> to bring charges against the officers involved in killing Rice and Crawford. "Public pressure seems to have certainly played a role in Baltimore," Hardaway says. "As much as I want to resist the urge to compare what has happened in Baltimore with what has yet to happen in Cleveland," she says, "I'm concerned by the fact that the same transparency is not taking place in Cleveland."</p> <p>Ohio's new 12-member police advisory board, comprised of law enforcement officials and community members, will set standards governing the use of deadly force and the hiring and recruiting for police departments across the state. But it remains to be seen what changes the board will bring, says Seth Stoughton, a law professor at the University of South Carolina who studies the regulation of police. "Typically states haven't exercised a tremendous deal of control over local police agencies," he says, and it's rare for states to step into matters of police discipline.</p> <p>"Policing is fundamentally local," agrees David Harris, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Strengthening ties between police and communities requires building long-term relationships, and "difficult, sustained efforts to communicate and help each other," he says. "Those efforts cannot be done through state-wide rule making, however well intentioned it might be."</p> <p>Building trust in a community like the one where Rice was killed may be particularly challenging after a plodding investigation, whatever the result. Rice's mother recently <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/05/04/as-investigation-enters-fifth-month-tamir-rices-mother-has-moved-into-a-homeless-shelter/" target="_blank">moved</a> to a homeless shelter to get out of the neighborhood where her son died. She and her family still await closure, and not only with the legal investigation. "Because it is unknown whether there may need to be an additional medical examination," a family court filing <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/05/tamir_rices_family_opposes_cit.html" target="_blank">stated</a>, "the body of Tamir Rice has not [been] put to rest."</p></body></html> Politics Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories police Tue, 05 May 2015 10:25:05 +0000 Jaeah Lee 274706 at http://www.motherjones.com How Many Like Baltimore's Freddie Gray Have Been Killed in Police Custody? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/04/61-percent-people-who-died-custody-were-killed-cops <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For many in Baltimore, Freddie Gray's death was shocking but came as little surprise. It was only a matter of time, some <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/28/what-you-really-need-to-know-about-baltimore-from-a-reporter-who-lived-there-for-30-years/" target="_blank">said</a>, before Baltimore erupted the way Ferguson, Missouri, did last summer. While <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men" target="_blank">no one knows</a> exactly how many Americans die in police custody each year, limited data gathered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics starts to give some sense of scale: At least 4,813 people died while in custody of local and state law enforcement between 2003 and 2009, according to the latest available report, published in 2011. Sixty-one percent of those deaths were classified as homicides.</p> <p>As I <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men" target="_blank">reported</a> last August in <em>Mother Jones</em>, the BJS collects data on what it calls "<a href="http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ard0309st.pdf" target="_blank">arrest-related deaths</a>" that occur either during or shortly after police officers "engage in an arrest or restraint process." The agency <a href="http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&amp;tid=82" target="_blank">reports</a> that 41.7 percent of those who were deemed to have been killed by police while in custody were white, 31.7 percent were black, and 20.3 percent were Hispanic. (Others died from intoxication, suicide, or by accidental, natural, or unknown causes.)</p> <p>But you could be forgiven for suspecting that's not the full picture: There were an estimated 98 million arrests in the United States by local, state, and federal law enforcement from 2003 to 2009, according to FBI statistics. Fifteen states, plus the District of Columbia, did not consistently report deaths in police custody during that period&mdash;and Maryland, along with Georgia and Montana, didn't submit any records at all.</p> <p>In other words, as the turmoil in Baltimore continues, what the data seems to tell us at this point is just how much we still don't know.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Crime and Justice Top Stories Wed, 29 Apr 2015 10:00:08 +0000 Jaeah Lee 274416 at http://www.motherjones.com These Baltimore Teens Aren't Waiting Around for Someone Else to Fix Their City http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/baltimore-teens-police <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Since protests sprang up across Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray's death last week and turned increasingly <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/baltimore-readies-for-saturday-protest-of-freddie-grays-death/2015/04/25/8cf990f2-e9f8-11e4-aae1-d642717d8afa_story.html" target="_blank">violent</a> on Monday night, cleanup crews and residents&mdash;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/following-riots-baltimore-residents-unite-clean-city" target="_blank">including kids</a>&mdash;have been working to repair the city. But long before the protests for Gray there were teens like Diamond Sampson, a Baltimore high school student who three years ago started working with a group of peers on the <a href="http://theinnerharborproject.org" target="_blank">Inner Harbor Project</a>, an effort to defuse tension between Baltimore's youth and its police.</p> <p></p><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/baltimorecops2.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More coverage of the protests in Baltimore. </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-274411"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/how-baltimore-riots-began-mondawmin-purge"> Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn't Start the Way You Think</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274366"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/watch-president-obama-talk-about-whats-happening-baltimore"> Obama: It's About Decades of Inequality</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274361"> <li><a href="/mojo/2015/04/rand-paul-baltimore-riots-absentee-fathers"> Rand Paul: Blame Absentee Fathers</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274496"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/what-martin-luther-king-thought-about-urban-riots"> What MLK Really Thought About Riots</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274351"> <li><a href="/mojo/2015/04/following-riots-baltimore-residents-unite-clean-city"> Photos: Residents Help Clean Up</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274326"> <li><a href="/mixed-media/2015/04/baltimore-orioles-freddie-gray"> Orioles Exec: It's Inequality, Stupid</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274391"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/baltimore-teens-police"> These Teens Aren't Waiting Around for Someone Else to Fix Their City </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274386"> <li><a href="/mixed-media/2015/04/athletes-celebrities-call-end-violence-baltimore"> Ray Lewis: "Violence Is Not the Answer"</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274331"> <li><a href="/mojo/2015/04/bloods-and-crips-baltimore-protests"> Bloods and Crips Want "Nobody to Get Hurt"</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> <p>Sampson says she's felt disheartened by the violence, but she sympathizes with the anger and frustration. Part of why the peaceful protests first spiraled out of control on Saturday, she says, is that some people walking by them shouted, "Black lives didn't matter"&mdash;a detail that she feels the media overlooked.</p> <p>Sampson was one of the first teens to be recruited by Inner Harbor Project founder Celia Neustadt, who grew up in Baltimore and was one of four white students in her own high school class. After going on to graduate from Pomona College,&nbsp;Neustadt returned to the city to start the initiative, with Sampson as her first recruit. Since then, dozens of Baltimore teens have joined and helped conduct "trainings" for the Baltimore Police Department's Inner Harbor unit. They've often walked the harbor&mdash;a tourism destination and popular hangout for inner-city teens&mdash;as self-declared "peace ambassadors," wearing matching blue T-shirts and watching out for trouble: If a cop and a teen start arguing, they move in to help mediate. The group now has formal partnerships with local businesses and the police.</p> <p>The current unrest pains Neustadt: "I know kids who saw the protests as an opportunity to, as my kids say, 'act a fool.' They thought this was an opportunity to take out anger on the city without consequences. Our work is front and center right now. There are so many young people in this city with nothing to lose."</p> <p>In the days to come, the Inner Harbor Project's members are planning to use their social networks to try to stop agitators and recruit future youth ambassadors. In conversations with friends, Sampson says there's been talk about human rights for black teens and even a new civil rights movement. Whether or not that takes shape, she adds, "there's something going on, greater than our generation can realize."</p></body></html> Politics Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Baltimore Protests Tue, 28 Apr 2015 19:59:46 +0000 Jaeah Lee 274391 at http://www.motherjones.com Finally, a Podcast That Explores the Travails of Being a Muslim Woman in America http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/04/goodmuslimbadmuslim-podcast-muslim-american-women <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Zahra Noorbakhsh was 12 and attending Farsi school in California when a teacher told her that if she didn't start wearing the hijab, her mother might burn in hell. So she tried it. But a trip to Blockbuster proved mortifying: "Everyone was staring at me and I just kept speaking in English really loudly&mdash;'Hey, Dad, I want to get <em>Monster Truck Bloopers</em>!'&mdash;so I didn't sound like a huge foreign freak."</p> <p>That's one of the tales she revisits with cohost <a href="http://tazzystar.blogspot.com/p/who-am-i.html" target="_blank">Tanzila "Taz" Ahmed</a> in their new podcast, <a href="http://www.goodmuslimbadmuslim.com/" target="_blank"><em>#GoodMuslimBadMuslim</em></a>. Comedian <a href="http://www.zahracomedy.com/" target="_blank">Noorbakhsh</a> befriended Ahmed, an activist and writer, on a road trip promoting <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Love-InshAllah-Secret-American-Muslim/dp/1593764286" target="_blank"><em>Love, InshAllah</em></a>, an anthology about the secret love lives of Muslim American women. They began teasing each other about which one was "the bad Muslim," took their discussions of cultural mores to Twitter, and later began recording them.</p> <p>The resulting monthly podcast is a fun, sassy exchange, part <em>Wayne's World</em>, part <em>Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul</em>. You might catch the ladies issuing a fatwa against bacon, inventing cheesy Muslim pickup lines (<a href="http://tazzystar.blogspot.com/2015/02/so-much-going-on-in-life.html" target="_blank">"You've hijacked my heart"</a>), and sharing tips on how to survive your "conservative, gun-toting, libertarian" in-laws. But jokes aside, they address the uniquely confusing contradictions of how Muslim American women are expected to behave. Noorbakhsh prays but drinks and eats pork, and admits to having had sex before her marriage&mdash;to an atheist. Ahmed won't touch booze or pork, but she seldom prays, and recalls her parents berating her for wanting to dye her hair pink and go to punk shows.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="150" scrolling="no" src="http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/59851/37735275" style="border: solid 1px #dedede;" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Just four episodes in, the podcast is earning press attention (NBC News called it <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/are-you-good-or-bad-muslim-these-two-will-help-n302866" target="_blank">"side-splitting"</a>) and praise from listeners looking for fresh voices. "For women from these backgrounds to be talking openly about private subjects is a big deal," notes the Iranian-born comedian <a href="http://www.mazjobrani.com/" target="_blank">Maz Jobrani</a>, who once had Noorbakhsh on stage as a guest performer. ("I totally bombed," she recalls.)</p> <p>The timing is apt, too, as horrors committed in the name of Islam fuel new resentments. Noorbakhsh, a self-declared "loudmouth," points out that unabashed conversations are key to busting stereotypes. With her comedy act and now the podcast, "everybody was like, 'Oh, you're going to get death threats.' No, actually just a lot of essays and wiki links from atheists telling me I'm confused. And celebratory email! So I'm doing a lot of reading, not a lot of dying."</p></body></html> Media Interview Media Religion Top Stories Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:30:06 +0000 Jaeah Lee 272856 at http://www.motherjones.com How Much Money Does Gun Violence Cost in Your State? http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/how-much-money-does-gun-violence-cost-in-your-state <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/gun-violence-cost-mininav_0.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-272651"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/true-cost-of-gun-violence-in-america"> What Does Gun Violence Really Cost?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-273001"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/charts-show-cost-price-gun-violence-america"> 16 Charts That Show the Shocking Cost of Gun Violence in America</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-272956"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/survivors-of-gun-violence"> This Is What It's Like to Survive a Gunshot</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-273341"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/methodology-gun-violence-data-ted-miller"> Methodology: the Data Behind Our Investigation</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-273371"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/video-data-cost-of-gun-violence"> Watch: The Total Cost of Gun Violence&acirc;&#128;&#148;in 90 Seconds</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> </div> <p>Our ongoing investigation of gun violence, which costs the United States <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/true-cost-of-gun-violence-in-america" target="_blank">at least $229 billion a year</a>, includes data on the the economic toll for individual states. Wyoming has a small population but the highest overall rate of gun deaths&mdash;including the nation's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/survivors-of-gun-violence" target="_blank">highest suicide rate</a>&mdash;with costs working out to about $1,400 per resident.&nbsp;Louisiana has the highest gun homicide rate in the nation, with costs per capita of more than $1,300. Among the four most populous states, the costs per capita in the gun rights strongholds of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/nra-alec-stand-your-ground" target="_blank">Florida</a> and Texas outpace those in more strictly regulated California and New York. Hawaii and Massachusetts, with their relatively low gun ownership rates and tight gun laws, have the lowest gun death rates, and costs per capita roughly a fifth as much as those of the states that pay the most.</p> <p><strong>Learn more about what's behind these costs&mdash;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/video-data-cost-of-gun-violence" target="_blank">explained here in 90 seconds</a>&mdash;and see our data on all 50 states below the map:</strong></p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/chart-6-gun-mobile-630.jpg"></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="530" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/flCpj/3/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>For more of </em>Mother Jones'<em> reporting on guns in America, see all of our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/topics/guns" target="_blank">latest coverage here</a>, and our award-winning <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/special-reports/2013/12/newtown-shooting-one-year-later" target="_blank">special</a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/special-reports/2012/12/guns-in-america-mass-shootings" target="_blank">reports</a>.</em></strong></p></body></html> Politics Charts Crime and Justice Economy Guns Health Top Stories Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:15:07 +0000 Mark Follman, Julia Lurie, and Jaeah Lee 273986 at http://www.motherjones.com Driving While Black Has Actually Gotten More Dangerous in the Last 15 Years http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/04/north-carolina-traffic-stops <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Walter Scott's death in South Carolina, at the hands of now-fired North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, is <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/walter-scott-traffic-stop-police-shootings" target="_blank">one of several</a> instances from the past year when a black man was killed after being pulled over while driving. No one knows <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/walter-scott-traffic-stop-police-shootings" target="_blank">exactly how often</a> traffic stops turn deadly, but studies in Arizona, Missouri, Texas, Washington have consistently shown that cops stop and search black drivers at a higher rate than white drivers. Last week, a team of researchers in North Carolina found that traffic stops in Charlotte, the state's largest city, showed a similar racial disparity&mdash;and that the gap has been widening over time.</p> <p>The researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill <a href="http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/TrafficStops/Reports2014/Charlotte-Report.pdf" target="_blank">analyzed</a> more than 1.3 million traffic stops and searches by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers for a 12-year period beginning in 2002, when the state began requiring police to collect such statistics. In their analysis of the <a href="http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/traffic.htm" target="_blank">data</a>, collected and made public by the state's Department of Justice, the researchers found that black drivers, despite making up less than one-third of the city's driving population, were twice as likely to be subject to traffic stops and searches as whites. Young black men in Charlotte were three times as likely to get pulled over and searched than the city-wide average. Here's a chart from the <em>Charlotte Observer</em>'s <a href="http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article18289739.html" target="_blank">report</a><strong> </strong>detailing the findings:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-14%20at%2010.00.43%20AM.png" style="width: 400px; height: 401px;"><div class="caption">Michael Gordon and David Puckett, <em>Charlotte Observer</em></div> </div> <p>Not only did the researchers identify these gaps: they showed that the gaps have been growing. Black drivers in Charlotte are more likely than whites to get pulled over and searched today than they were in 2002, the researchers found. They noted similar widening racial gaps among traffic stops and searches in <a href="http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/TrafficStops/DrivingWhileBlack-BaumgartnerLoveEpp-August2014.pdf" target="_blank">Durham</a>, <a href="http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/TrafficStops/Reports2014/Raleigh-2015.pdf" target="_blank">Raleigh</a>, and <a href="http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/traffic.htm" target="_blank">elsewhere</a> in the state.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-14%20at%2012.43.40%20PM.png" style="height: 311px; width: 400px;"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/TrafficStops/Reports2014/Charlotte-Report.pdf" target="_blank">Frank Baumgartner, Derek Epp, and Kelsey Shoub</a></div> </div> <p>Black drivers in Charlotte were much more likely to get stopped for minor violations involving seat belts, vehicle registration, and equipment, where, as the <em>Observer</em>'s Michael Gordon <a href="http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article18289739.html" target="_blank">points out</a>, "police have more discretion in pulling someone over." (Scott was stopped in North Charleston due to a broken brake light.) White drivers, meanwhile, were stopped more often for obvious safety violations, such as speeding, running red lights and stop signs, and driving under the influence. Still, black drivers&mdash;except those suspected of intoxicated driving&mdash;were always more likely to get searched than whites, no matter the reason for the stop.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-14%20at%2012.19.36%20PM.png" style="height: 263px; width: 400px;"></div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202015-04-14%20at%2011.46.31%20AM.png" style="height: 182px; width: 400px;"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/TrafficStops/Reports2014/Charlotte-Report.pdf" target="_blank">Frank Baumgartner, Derek Epp, and Kelsey Shoub</a></div> </div> <p>The findings in North Carolina echo those of a <a href="http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/january_february_2014/ten_miles_square/driving_while_black048283.php?page=all" target="_blank">2014 study</a> by researchers at the University of Kansas, who found that Kansas City's black drivers were stopped at nearly three times the rate of whites fingered for similarly minor violations.</p> <p>Frank Baumgartner, the lead author of the UNC-Chapel Hill study, told <em>Mother Jones</em> that officers throughout the state were twice as likely to use force against black drivers than white drivers. Of the estimated 18 million stops that took place between 2002 and 2013 in North Carolina that were analyzed by Baumgartner's team, less than one percent involved the use of force. While officers are required to report whether force was encountered or deployed, and whether there were any injuries, "we don't know if the injuries are serious, and we don't know if a gun was fired," he says.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Charts Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:50:05 +0000 Jaeah Lee 273646 at http://www.motherjones.com