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 More Racist Things Ferguson Officials Did http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/more-racist-things-ferguson-officials-said-justice-department <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Today the Justice Department released <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/full-justice-department-reports-ferguson-darren-wilson" target="_blank">its&nbsp;scathing 105-page&nbsp;report</a> on Ferguson's&nbsp;pervasive&nbsp;discrimination against black residents. The report included references to blatantly racist emails&nbsp;from local officials: One said&nbsp;Obama wouldn't last in office because he's black; another attached a photo&nbsp;of bare-chested group of women, apparently in Africa, captioned "Michelle Obama's High School Reunion." The DOJ found plenty of other evidence of racial bias; below&nbsp;are a few examples. (We're making our way through the report and will add to the list.)</p> <p>One black Ferguson resident told Justice Department officials about his interaction with a Ferguson police officer, in which the officer told him "N*****, I can find something to lock you up on":</p> <div class="DC-note-container" id="DC-note-206115">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/notes/loader.js"></script><script> dc.embed.loadNote('//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department/annotations/206115.js'); </script><p>Ferguson city officials and police interviewed by the DOJ "nearly uniformly" said that it was due to a lack of "personal responsibility," not the failure of the law, that African-American members of the Ferguson community were disproportionately targeted by law enforcement:</p> <div class="DC-note-container" id="DC-note-206127">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/notes/loader.js"></script><script> dc.embed.loadNote('//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department/annotations/206127.js'); </script><p>The DOJ found that Ferguson officials commonly dismissed tickets for friends, showing a "double standard grounded in racial stereotyping":</p> <div class="DC-note-container" id="DC-note-206123">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/notes/loader.js"></script><script> dc.embed.loadNote('//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department/annotations/206123.js'); </script><p>Ferguson police routinely used Tasers "where less force&mdash;or no force at all&mdash;would do." Almost 90 percent of the time cops used force, it was against African Americans, and often they used unnecessary force against people with mental health disabilities:</p> <div class="DC-note-container" id="DC-note-206144">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/notes/loader.js"></script><script> dc.embed.loadNote('//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department/annotations/206144.js'); </script><p>All of the police canine attacks reviewed by the DOJ targeted black residents, including a 14-year-old boy who was hiding in a storage closet. The dog bit his arm, causing puncture wounds:</p> <div class="DC-note-container" id="DC-note-206206">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/notes/loader.js"></script><script> dc.embed.loadNote('//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department/annotations/206206.js'); </script><p>A white resident who has lived in Ferguson for 48 years told DOJ officials that it felt like Ferguson's policing and court system is "designed to bring a black man down." In other interviews, several black residents talked about Ferguson's "long history of targeting blacks for harassment and degrading treatment"&mdash;some talked about changing their commute to work to avoid Ferguson or moving out of the state altogether as a result:</p> <div class="DC-note-container" id="DC-note-206256">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/notes/loader.js"></script><script> dc.embed.loadNote('//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department/annotations/206256.js'); </script><p>The DOJ called out the following emails sent by Ferguson officials as "illustrative" of racial bias:</p> <div class="DC-note-container" id="DC-note-206208">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/notes/loader.js"></script><script> dc.embed.loadNote('//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department/annotations/206208.js'); </script><p>Justice Department officials also found evidence that the Ferguson Police Department tolerated sexual harassment by male officers (h/t <a href="http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2015/03/ferguson_police_tolerate_sexual_harassment_of_female_officers_justice_department.php" target="_blank"><em>River Front Times</em></a>):</p> <div class="DC-note-container" id="DC-note-206253">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/notes/loader.js"></script><script> dc.embed.loadNote('//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department/annotations/206253.js'); </script></body></html> Politics Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Ferguson Wed, 04 Mar 2015 20:40:23 +0000 Jaeah Lee 271381 at http://www.motherjones.com Here Are the Justice Department's Full Reports on Darren Wilson and the Ferguson Police Department http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/full-justice-department-reports-ferguson-darren-wilson <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Wednesday, the Justice Department released its <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/here-are-more-details-about-dojs-investigation-ferguson" target="_blank">highly anticipated&nbsp;report</a> unveiling patterns of racial discrimination among officers and officials from Ferguson, Missouri.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here is the full report on the police department:&nbsp;</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department.js", { width: 630, height: 540, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1681210-doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210/doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department.pdf">DOJ Report on Ferguson Police Department (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1681210/doj-report-on-ferguson-police-department.txt">DOJ Report on Ferguson Police Department (Text)</a> </noscript> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">The department also chose not to pursue charges against O</span>fficer<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">&nbsp;Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown last August.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Here's the full report on the Michael Brown shooting investigation:&nbsp;</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1681211-doj-report-on-shooting-of-michael-brown">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1681211-doj-report-on-shooting-of-michael-brown.js", { width: 630, height: 540, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1681211-doj-report-on-shooting-of-michael-brown" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1681211/doj-report-on-shooting-of-michael-brown.pdf">DOJ Report on Shooting of Michael Brown (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1681211/doj-report-on-shooting-of-michael-brown.txt">DOJ Report on Shooting of Michael Brown (Text)</a> </noscript> <p>Read some of our previous coverage <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/darren-wilson-ferguson-police-officers-shoot-unarmed-black-men" target="_blank">here</a> and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/10-insane-numbers-ferguson-killing" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Politics Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:19:48 +0000 Edwin Rios and Jaeah Lee 271371 at http://www.motherjones.com Ferguson Official Stated President Obama Wouldn't Last Long "Because What Black Man Holds a Steady Job for Four Years” http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/here-are-more-details-about-dojs-investigation-ferguson <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>New details have emerged about the Justice Department's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/03/justice-department-ferguson-police" target="_blank">forthcoming report</a> finding patterns of racial discrimination among officials and police officers in Ferguson, Missouri. Among the findings is an email saying that Barack Obama wouldn't last long as president because he's black and data showing that for years, traffic stops, use of force, petty crime charges, and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/ferguson-st-louis-police-tactics-dogs-michael-brown" target="_blank">affronts by police canines</a> disproportionately targeted the city's black residents.</p> <p>Here are more findings as reported by&nbsp;the <em>Associated Press</em>'s <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/7-clear-ways-ferguson-police-violated-the-constitution-according-to-the-justice-department/" target="_blank">Eric Tucker and <em>PBS NewsHour</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <ul><li>Ferguson's black drivers were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to be stopped and searched, according to records over two years. Black drivers were also 26 percent less likely to be found in possession of contraband.</li> <li>According to the police department's internal records concerning force, 88 percent of those cases involved force against blacks. All 14 canine bite incidents involved blacks.</li> <li>Blacks were 68 percent less likely than others to have their cases dismissed in municipal court. An arrest warrant was more likely to be issued for blacks.</li> <li>The Justice Department found that the court uses petty crime charges to pad the city's budget. As of December 2014, 16,000 out of Ferguson's 21,000 residents have outstanding warrants for minor violations, including traffic tickets.</li> <li>A 2008 message in a municipal email account stated that President Barack Obama would not be president for very long because "what black man holds a steady job for four years."</li> <li>Over a six-month period in 2014, 95 percent of inmates who spent more than two days in the Ferguson jail were black.</li> <li>Petty offenses disproportionately target black citizens. 95 percent of all "Manner of Walking in Roadway" charges were against blacks.</li> </ul></blockquote> <p>The DOJ's full report is expected as early as Wednesday.</p></body></html> Politics Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Ferguson Wed, 04 Mar 2015 02:15:07 +0000 Jaeah Lee 271326 at http://www.motherjones.com The Cop Who Choked Eric Garner to Death Won't Have to Pay a Dime in Damages http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/police-misconduct-payments-eric-garner-nypd <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>When police officers kill unarmed citizens <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/darren-wilson-ferguson-police-officers-shoot-unarmed-black-men" target="_blank">they are rarely charged,</a> let alone convicted of a crime. The victims' families often turn to civil complaints against the police, as is currently the case in New York City, Cleveland, and Los Angeles, where wrongful death and other civil rights claims filed in the wake of officer-involved killings could result in payouts tallying in the millions of dollars. Still, the police officers involved are likely to suffer no financial pain. That's because in the vast majority of such cases, whether they are settled or go to court, the officers don't pay a dime.</p> <p>New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/nyregion/scott-stringer-comptroller-seeks-eric-garner-settlement.html?_r=0" target="_blank">currently reviewing</a> civil claims brought by the family of Eric Garner, the 43-year old Staten Island man who died in July 2014 after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a chokehold. The $75 million worth of claims include wrongful death, assault, pain and suffering, and negligent hiring and training by the NYPD. But if the city decides to settle the case with the Garner family, a spokesperson for the comptroller told <em>Mother Jones</em>, Pantaleo will pay nothing.</p> <p>Instead, taxpayers will shoulder the cost. Between 2006 and 2011, New York City paid out $348 million in settlements or judgments in cases pertaining to civil rights violations by police, according to&nbsp;a <a href="http://www.nyulawreview.org/sites/default/files/pdf/NYULawReview-89-3-Schwartz.pdf" target="_blank">UCLA study</a>&nbsp;published in June 2014. Those nearly 7,000 misconduct cases included allegations of excessive use of force, sexual assault, unreasonable searches, and<strong> </strong>false arrests. More than 99 percent of the payouts came from the city's municipal budget, which has a line item dedicated to settlements and judgments each year. (The city did require police to pay a tiny fraction of the total damages, with officers personally contributing in less than 1 percent of the cases for a total of $114,000.)</p> <p>This scenario is typical of police departments across the country, says the study's author Joanna Schwartz, who analyzed records from 81 law enforcement agencies employing 20 percent of the nation's approximately 765,000 police officers. (The NYPD, which is responsible for three-quarters of the cases in the study, employs just over 36,000&nbsp;officers.) Out of the more than $735 million paid out by cities and counties for police misconduct between 2006 and 2011, government budgets paid more than 99 percent. Local laws indemnifying officers from responsibility for such damages vary, but "there is little variation in the outcome," Schwartz wrote. "Officers almost never pay."</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/art_2.jpg"></div> <p>Even if the Garner family were to take its case to court and prevail, the chances of Pantaleo paying are extremely remote. The 34 cases in the study where New York City officers paid some amount were all resolved with settlements, Schwartz notes, not with judgments in court, which few such cases ever reach.</p> <p>Moreover, Pantaleo remains protected from financial liability despite that he was the subject of at least three civil rights lawsuits before the death of Garner. <a href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/07/chokehold_cop_was_defendant_in.html" target="_blank">One case</a>, in 2013, involved two men from Staten Island who alleged that Pantaleo and three other officers unlawfully stopped and ordered them from their vehicle, then pulled down their pants and "touched and searched their genital areas, or stood by while this was done in their presence." The city paid a $30,000 settlement to the plaintiffs, while the officers paid nothing. Two other lawsuits stemming from a 2012 incident alleged that Pantaleo and other NYPD officers falsely arrested&nbsp;and imprisoned two men, according to federal court records. (Both of those cases are pending.)</p> <p>Families of unarmed victims shot dead by police have recently filed claims in Cleveland, where police killed <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/family-tamir-rice-12-year-old-shot-cop-files-wrongful-n262661" target="_blank">12-year-old Tamir Rice</a> over a pellet gun, and in Los Angeles, where officers shot <a href="http://local.nixle.com/alert/5326443/" target="_blank">25-year-old Ezell Ford</a> three times after he allegedly tried to reach for an officer's gun. According to Schwartz's study, Cleveland and LA both paid out millions in police misconduct claims between 2006-11. (See table below.) During that same period, St. Louis&mdash;which has become a focal point for police brutality ever since an unarmed <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/darren-wilson-grand-jury-decision-ferguson-police-prosecutions" target="_blank">Michael Brown was gunned down</a> in the suburb of Ferguson in August 2014&mdash;paid out&nbsp;$2.7 million for civil rights claims against police. (The city did not provide Schwartz with details on how much if any of that sum officers were required to pay.) Brown's parents are considering filing a wrongful death claim but remain undecided about doing so, their attorney Anthony Gray told <em>Mother Jones</em>.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/kgbdB/5/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>In the past, the Supreme Court has ruled that police officers should be afforded "qualified immunity" from civil rights claims brought by citizens&mdash;the risk of legal exposure could deter officers from carrying out their duties, the court has held&mdash;except in cases where an officer has violated "clearly established law." Yet, in other cases the Supreme Court has ruled that municipalities should not be liable for damages incurred by its employees, and that punitive damages can't be awarded against cities. In a 1981 majority opinion, Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1981/06/27/us/local-governments-gain-damage-suit-protection.html" target="_blank">stated that</a> if municipalities were held liable for civil claims, it could lead to tax hikes or "a reduction of public services for the citizens footing the bill. Neither reason nor justice suggests that such retribution should be visited upon the shoulders of blameless or unknowing taxpayers." But in Schwartz's view, cities requiring so few officers to pay even for punitive damages "goes against the spirit of that decision."</p> <p>And the full extent of the costs to taxpayers remains unclear, she notes. Out of the 140 municipal, county, and state law enforcement agencies that Schwartz requested records from, only 44 provided extensive data, as detailed in the table below. While additional police departments provided some information on misconduct, the data either did not specify civil rights cases or was too incomplete to analyze.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="2750" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/JaI4c/2/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p></body></html> Politics Charts Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Thu, 22 Jan 2015 11:00:08 +0000 Jaeah Lee 268206 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch John Boehner React to What Obama Said About Gay Marriage http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/watch-john-boehner-react-what-obama-said-about-marriage-equality <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/BrowserPreview_tmp-8.gif"></p> <p>When President Obama celebrated the rapid advances of marriage equality across the country during <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/01/watch-live-video-president-obamas-2015-state-union-right-here" target="_blank">his State of the Union</a> address on Tuesday night, House majority leader John Boehner, the highest-ranking Republican in Congress, remained seated, unamused.</p> <p>Here's what Obama said: "I've watched Americans beat back adversity from the Gulf Coast to the Great Plains; from Midwest assembly lines to the Mid-Atlantic seaboard. I've seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home."</p> <p>Here's how Boehner reacted:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1cR3FXj3riY" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Share your favorite Boehner reactions in the comments below.</p></body></html> Politics Wed, 21 Jan 2015 04:03:01 +0000 Jaeah Lee 268541 at http://www.motherjones.com New Yorkers Disapprove of Cops Turning Their Backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/new-yorkers-disapprove-cops-turning-their-back-mayor-deblasio <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A new public opinion poll shows that an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers&mdash;nearly 80 percent&mdash;believe police union leader Patrick Lynch was "too extreme" in saying that the mayor's office <a href="http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/pbas_pat_lynch_blood_on_many_h.html" target="_blank">had blood on its hands</a> for supporting the Mike Brown and Eric Garner protests. The poll comes amid persisting tensions between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD officers, and union leaders, which came to a head after two cops were shot and killed in Brooklyn on December 20. The <a href="http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/new-york-city/release-detail?ReleaseID=2124" target="_blank">Quinnipiac University poll</a>, published Thursday, showed that 69 percent of New Yorkers disapproved of police officers turning their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio as an act of protest during the funerals of <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/01/04/374910787/new-york-prepares-for-slain-officers-funeral" target="_blank">recently slain</a> officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.</p> <p>The poll also revealed stark racial divides in New Yorkers' opinions on the mayor's handling of relations between the police and the community: 62 percent of black respondents approved, while 63 percent of white respondents disapproved. They were similarly divided on who they believed was at fault for the ongoing tensions between de Blasio and the NYPD: 69 percent of black voters blamed police; 61 percent of white voters blamed the mayor.&nbsp;</p> <p>Read the full results <a href="http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/new-york-city/release-detail?ReleaseID=2124" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></body></html> Politics Crime and Justice Fri, 16 Jan 2015 02:14:25 +0000 Jaeah Lee 268346 at http://www.motherjones.com Even Before the Charlie Hebdo Massacre, Religious Hatred Was What the French Feared Most http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/france-religious-ethnic-tensions-charlie-hebdo-massacre <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In a sense, many in France saw it coming. The <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/01/charlie-hebdo-shooting-paris" target="_blank">massacre</a> carried out by masked gunmen on Wednesday at the satirical newspaper <em>Charlie Hebdo</em> appears to have fulfilled widespread fears: According to a <a href="http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/10/16/middle-easterners-see-religious-and-ethnic-hatred-as-top-global-threat/" target="_blank">Pew Research Center poll</a> from last October, French citizens viewed religious and ethnic hatred&mdash;along with the gap between the rich and poor&mdash;to be the world's greatest threat:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Dangers-5.png"></div> <p>Citizens of the United Kingdom and Germany also saw religious and ethnic hatred as a prime danger, while that category topped the list in most countries surveyed in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.</p> <p>In France&mdash;a constitutionally secular country with <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4385768.stm" target="_blank">an estimated 5 million</a> Muslims and a <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4405620.stm" target="_blank">recent history</a> of violence rooted in ethnic strife&mdash;the Pew findings suggest persistent concerns about rising tensions and Islamic extremism, as these results from <a href="http://www.pewglobal.org/2011/07/21/muslim-western-tensions-persist/" target="_blank">its 2010 survey</a> show:</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2011-Muslim-West-01.png"></div> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2011-Muslim-West-03.png"></div> <p>In the wake of the <em>Charlie Hebdo </em>killings, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/world/europe/paris-attack-reflects-a-dangerous-moment-for-europe.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=a-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">some</a> <a href="http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/1/7/france-charlie-hebdo.html" target="_blank">suspect</a> <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30717728" target="_blank">that</a> the incident is likely to speed up <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/05/14/in-europe-sentiment-against-immigrants-minorities-runs-high/" target="_blank">the spread</a> of anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant sentiment in France and the rest of Europe, particularly among far-right groups like France's National Front.</p> <p>"This is a dangerous moment for European societies," Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King's College London, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/world/europe/paris-attack-reflects-a-dangerous-moment-for-europe.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=a-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">told the <em>New York Times</em></a>. "With increasing radicalization among supporters of jihadist organizations and the white working class increasingly feeling disenfranchised and uncoupled from elites, things are coming to a head."</p></body></html> Politics Charts International Top Stories Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:00:07 +0000 Jaeah Lee 267751 at http://www.motherjones.com How Fox News Ran With Bogus Testimony Given to the Ferguson Grand Jury http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/ferguson-grand-jury-witness-40-fox-news <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On December 8, St. Louis County Prosecutor&nbsp;Robert McCulloch released additional details about the grand jury documents his office made public last month after no charges were brought against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. As a result, more details have come to light showing that the testimony of one particular grand jury witness was a sham&mdash;testimony that was repeatedly touted by Fox News' Sean Hannity and other pundits who defended Wilson and the grand jury's decision.</p> <p><em>The Smoking Gun </em><a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/unmasking-Ferguson-witness-40-496236" target="_blank">reported this week</a> that after it pieced together the identity of "Witness 40" using the latest information from McCulloch's office, 45-year-old St. Louis resident Sandra McElroy confirmed that she was indeed that witness. Her role in the grand jury proceedings had already gained notoriety in part for her <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/6-revelations-grand-jury-documents" target="_blank">journal entry recounting</a> Wilson's confrontation with Brown, which was submitted as evidence and included some bizarre and racially charged comments.</p> <p><em>TSG</em>'s<em> </em>report added to a picture of <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/12/16/witness_40_michael_brown_football_player_witness_unreliability_history_of.html" target="_blank">inconsistencies</a> <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inconsistency-the-only-constant-with-evidence-in-michael-brown-case/2014/11/25/6e3bc702-7450-11e4-bd1b-03009bd3e984_story.html" target="_blank">with</a> McElroy's testimony, such as why she had been in Ferguson that day. (An explanation that started out as her visiting an old friend <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1370820-grand-jury-volume-18.html" target="_blank">later changed</a> to her taking "a random drive to&nbsp;Florisant" because she needed to "understand the Black race better.") And while her account to investigators about the violence that occurred on August 9 hewed closely to <a href="http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/source-darren-wilson-says-michael-brown-kept-charging-at-him/article_d2cf8b20-c517-592b-96ba-77d8a5f46fef.html" target="_blank">Wilson's version</a> of events, during her testimony prosecutors <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1382811-grand-jury-volume-15-witness-40-testimony.html#document/p182/a194160" target="_blank">noted that</a> details from video footage and maps of the area didn't jibe with her claims. Moreover, <em>TSG</em> dug up documents detailing McElroy's involvement in a&nbsp;2007 kidnapping case in St. Louis County, in which she gave testimony that police later determined was "<a href="http://www.thesmokinggun.com/file/ferguson-witness-40?page=11" target="_blank">a complete fabrication</a>."</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2014/12/ferguson-grand-jury-witness-40-fox-news"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Crime and Justice Media Top Stories Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:00:07 +0000 Jaeah Lee 266781 at http://www.motherjones.com Rumain Brisbon Is Just the Latest to Be Shot Dead by a Cop Over a Phantom Gun http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/police-shootings-rumain-brisbon-phantom-guns <!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-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/master_AP184422984320.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A student at a "die-in" protest at the University of Michigan on Wednesday</strong> <em>Ann Arbor News</em>, Patrick Record/AP</div> </div> <p>Last week, 34-year-old father of four Rumain Brisbon <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/04/phoenix-police-officer-fatally-shoots-unarmed-black-man-in-struggle" target="_blank">was shot and killed</a> by a police officer at an apartment complex in north Phoenix. The <a href="http://gawker.com/phoenix-police-release-name-of-officer-who-shot-unarmed-1669141771" target="_blank">officer</a>, 30-year-old Mark Rine, approached Brisbon's SUV while investigating a suspected drug deal. <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2014/12/03/phoenix-police-officer-shooting-greenway-abrk/19837919/" target="_blank">According to police officials</a>, after Brisbon stepped out of his car and Rine ordered him to show his hands, Brisbon reached for his waistband. Then Rine drew his gun, and Brisbon fled. After a short chase the two engaged in a struggle, with Rine firing two shots into Brisbon's torso. Rine later said that he thought he'd felt a gun in Brisbon's pocket, but it turned out to be a vial of oxycodone, a pain reliever. Rine <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/phoenix-officer-who-killed-unarmed-rumain-brisbon-identified-n265171" target="_blank">has since been placed</a> on desk duty pending an internal investigation.</p> <p>Brisbon's death is just the latest example of police killing suspects&mdash;often black men&mdash;over guns that aren't actually there. And scientific research has shown that unconscious racial bias can be a factor in these situations. As Chris Mooney <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/science-of-racism-prejudice" target="_blank">wrote recently</a>, in an experiment testing whether an object such as a wallet or a soda can be mistaken for a gun, "police are considerably slower to press the 'don't shoot' button for an unarmed black man than they are for an unarmed white man&mdash;and faster to shoot an armed black man than an armed white man."</p> <p>Below are 10 other cases since 2006 in which an officer<strong> </strong>shot a suspect after mistaking some other object for a gun. Two of the victims in this list (which is <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men" target="_blank">hardly comprehensive</a>) were white, one was Latino, and seven were black. As is <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/darren-wilson-grand-jury-decision-ferguson-police-prosecutions" target="_blank">common with police shootings</a>, few of the officers faced charges, and none of them were convicted of a crime.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/cane_shutterstock_168520190_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-520294p1.html" target="_blank">Photobac/Shutterstock</a></div> </div> <p><strong>Date:</strong> February 25, 2014<br><strong>Location:</strong> Clover, South Carolina<br><strong>Race of victim:</strong> White<br><strong>What happened:</strong> Terrance Knox, a county deputy sheriff, stopped Bobby Canipe, a 70-year-old white man,&nbsp;for driving with an expired license tag on a highway north of Clover. Officials said that Canipe stepped out of his car and began walking toward Knox while holding a cane, which Knox said he thought was a gun. Knox fired six shots, one of which hit Canipe in the chest, injuring him. Prosecutors <a href="http://www.heraldonline.com/2014/08/14/6233370_york-county-deputy-who-shot-elderly.html?rh=1" target="_blank">declined to charge</a> Knox in August 2014, saying that the shooting was "without question accidental."</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/wii_shutterstock_164793206_1.jpg"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1301668p1.html?cr=00&amp;pl=edit-00" target="_blank">Stefano Tinti/Shutterstock</a></div> </div> <p><strong>Date:</strong> February 14, 2014<br><strong>Location:</strong> Euharlee, Georgia<br><strong>Race of victim:</strong> White<br><strong>What happened:</strong> Officer Beth Gatny and another officer were serving a search warrant for the father of Christopher Roupe for a probation violation. When the officers knocked on the door of the family's home, Gatny said she thought she heard "the action of a firearm" before the door opened, and drew her weapon. When Roupe, 17, opened the door, Gatny opened fire, killing him, later saying that she thought she'd seen him holding a pistol. Roupe's family members said he was holding a Nintendo Wii game controller. A Bartow County grand jury declined to indict Gatny in July.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/cell_shutterstock_129038348_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-112072p1.html" target="_blank">Kostenko Maxim/Shutterstock</a></div> </div> <p><strong>Date:</strong> May 8, 2011<br><strong>Location:</strong> North Little Rock, Arkansas<br><strong>Race of victim:</strong> Black<br><strong>What</strong> <strong>happened:</strong> North Little Rock police officer Vincent Thornton and two other officers chased <a href="http://www.arktimes.com/arkansas/racial-bias-in-police-shootings/Content?oid=3437831" target="_blank">Henry Lee Jones Jr.</a>,<strong> </strong>in the Silver City Courts housing projects after responding to a domestic-violence complaint. "As he charged toward me and put his shoulder down&hellip;I saw a light-colored object I believed to be a gun," in Jones' hand, Thornton, then a 28-year veteran of the force, later testified.&nbsp;The object was a cellphone; Thornton shot Jones,&nbsp;a black 20-year-old, in the upper back, lodging a bullet between Jones' lungs, severing his spinal column, and leaving him paralyzed. Jones died two years later. In May 2014, a federal court jury cleared Thornton of charges, deeming his use of force reasonable.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/foil_shutterstock_62870998_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-628330p1.html" target="_blank">Joe Hamilton Photography/Shutterstock</a></div> </div> <p><strong>Date:</strong> July 5, 2010<br><strong>Location:</strong> Miami<br><strong>Race of victim:</strong> Black<br><strong>What happened:</strong> Rookie Miami police officer Joseph Marin and his partner pulled over DeCarlos Moore, whom they suspected of driving a stolen vehicle. Moore stepped out of his car, and the officers ordered Moore to put his hands on his vehicle, according to a report by a civilian investigative panel. When Moore reached for a shiny object inside his car, Marin shot Moore in the head, killing him. Police investigators discovered that the shiny object was rock cocaine wrapped in tin foil (and that the car was not stolen). The State Attorney's office declined to prosecute Marin in May 2011, and in 2013, the independent panel also exonerated Marin. Moore was one of <a href="http://wilson.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/congresswoman-wilson-on-us-department-of-justice-civil-investigation" target="_blank">seven black men killed</a> by Miami police in an eight-month period, eventually prompting a civil rights investigation by the US Department of Justice.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/ipod_shutterstock_235751731.jpg"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-2569621p1.html?cr=00&amp;pl=edit-00" target="_blank">Vdovichenko Denis/Shutterstock</a></div> </div> <p><strong>Date:</strong> March 12, 2010<br><strong>Location:</strong> Nashville, Tennessee<br><strong>Race of victim:</strong> Black<br><strong>What happened:</strong> Around 11 a.m., Metro Police Canine Officer Joe Shelton was responding to call about a burglary <a href="http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/tennessee/tnmdce/3:2010cv00589/47973/46" target="_blank">and ended up chasing</a> <a href="http://www.wkrn.com/story/12130652/suspect-shot-killed-by-metro-officer" target="_blank">40-year-old suspect Reginald Dewayne Wallace</a>. As he caught up to Wallace<strong> </strong>and grabbed him, the two engaged in a struggle. When Wallace reached into his pocket and pulled out a shiny object, Shelton fired three times, thinking it was a weapon. The object turned out to be a silver iPod he allegedly stole from the home. Wallace died of his wounds two hours later at a hospital. Wallace's family members sued the government of Nashville and the officer for damages and deprivation of civil rights. The Nashville Metro Police told <em>Mother Jones</em> that Shelton is still serving in the department and did not face disciplinary action for Wallace's death.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/phone.png"><div class="caption">Andrey Lipinskiy/Shutterstock</div> </div> <p><strong>Date:</strong> July 13, 2009<br><strong>Location:</strong> Los Angeles<br><strong>Race of victim:</strong> Black<br><strong>What happened: </strong>Two LA County deputy sheriffs pulled up to the car of <a href="http://homicide.latimes.com/post/woodrow-player-iii/" target="_blank">Woodrow Player III</a> around 9 p.m., believing he matched the description of a man who had reportedly threatened people with a gun. Player fled, and in the foot chase that ensued pointed a "dark object" at the deputies, which they thought was a gun, according to the sheriff's office. The deputies shot and killed Player, who was 22. Investigators later found a cellphone next to Player's body. Player's family filed a wrongful death suit against the department; in September 2011 a jury <a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/09/deputies-exonerated-in-2009-shooting-death.html" target="_blank">exonerated</a> the deputies. The LA County Sheriff's department told <em>Mother Jones</em> that an internal investigation found the deputies did not violate any department policy, and that both still serve on duty there.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/lighter_shutterstock_234036829.jpg"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1816907p1.html" target="_blank">studioloco/Shutterstock</a></div> </div> <p><strong>Date:</strong> March 1, 2008<br><strong>Location:</strong> Los Angeles<br><strong>Race of victim:</strong> Black<br><strong>What happened:</strong> At about 7 p.m., several officers from the city's South Traffic Division saw a gray truck that was speeding in the Hyde Park area&nbsp; crash into a palm tree. According to the police account, when Officer Jose Campos approached the truck on foot, Maurice LeRoy Cox, 38, who was driving the truck, reached into the glove compartment and threatened to kill the officers if they didn't move away. Cox stepped out of his truck and pointed what looked like a gun at the officers before running away, police said. Other officers shot at Cox as the chase led to a bank parking lot. Cox died shortly thereafter of his wounds. Police later recovered a cigarette lighter power adapter on the scene. Cox's wife filed a $10 million claim against the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD officers for civil rights violations, battery, and negligence. In November 2010, a LA Superior Court jury <a href="http://www.canyon-news.com/artman2/publish/woodland-hills/Jury_Sides_with_Cop_In_Wrongful_Death_Lawsuit_printer.php" target="_blank">ruled in favor</a> of Campos.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/mic_shutterstock_184751906.jpg"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-454480p1.html" target="_blank">grigiomedio/Shutterstock</a></div> </div> <p><strong>Date:</strong> February 27, 2008<br><strong>Location:</strong> Los Angeles<br><strong>Race of victim:</strong> Latino<br><strong>What happened:</strong> Around 7 p.m., LAPD motorcycle officers in the Van Nuys neighborhood pulled over Julio Eddy Perez in a 1997 burgundy Saturn for a traffic violation. After the officers approached the car and had a brief conversation with Perez, Perez drove off and a chase ensued. Byron San Jose, a 25-year-old Latino who was riding in the backseat, jumped out of the car as it slowed down. San Jose walked toward the officers holding a "black metal object," and one officer hit San Jose with the front of his motorcycle.&nbsp;The other officer,&nbsp;Derek Mousseau, fired several shots, killing San Jose. The aspiring rapper had been carrying a two-foot-long microphone stand. San Jose's family later sued the LAPD and Mousseau for use of excessive force, asking for $750,000 damage compensation. The family lost the suit in November 2010.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/keys.png"><div class="caption">victoriaKh/Shutterstock</div> </div> <p><strong>Date:</strong> November 30, 2006<br><strong>Location:</strong> San Antonio<br><strong>Race of victim:</strong> Black<br><strong>What happened:</strong> Joseph Fennell and Coby Taylor were walking to work when a San Antonio police officer drove onto the sidewalk, blocking their path. Officer Robert Rosales, who was investigating a string of robberies, ordered them to put their hands in the air and move toward a fence. Police officials later said Rosales stopped Fennell, 24, and Taylor, 20, because they both matched the description of a robbery suspect: a short black man in his 20s. Fennell pulled his hands out of his coat pocket; he was holding a set of keys, which prompted Rosales, who mistook the keys for a gun, to shoot. The bullet grazed Fennell's forehead. In 2007, a grand jury declined to indict Rosales, and the City Council approved an $80,000 settlement for Fennell. An internal probe into the incident did not result in disciplinary action, the <em>San Antonio Express-News</em> reported.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/glasses_shutterstock_222213991_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1728566p1.html" target="_blank">nanD_Phanuwat/Shutterstock</a></div> </div> <p><strong>Date:</strong> June 6, 2006<br><strong>Location:</strong> San Francisco<br><strong>Race of victim</strong>: Black<br><strong>What happened</strong>: Three San Francisco police officers, John Keesor, Michelle Alvis, and Paul Morgado <a href="http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Alvis-v-Espinosa-Cert-Petition.pdf" target="_blank">entered a town house</a> near Lake Merced after responding to a call about suspected trespassing. After apprehending one man and finding a knife near him, they found another man, Asa B. Sullivan, hiding in a dark attic. Police said that Sullivan had stretched out his arms holding a "cylindrical object" when the officers confronted him and refused to cooperate, prompting the three officers to shoot and kill Sullivan. The object was an eyeglasses case. Sullivan's family sued the SFPD for entering the building without a warrant and using excessive force. Eight years later, a federal court <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Family-of-man-killed-by-S-F-police-loses-lawsuit-5810235.php" target="_blank">declined to charge</a> the officers, ruling that they had acted reasonably and did not violate Sullivan's rights. The <em>San Francisco Chronicle </em>reported in May 2009 that Alvin was placed on desk duty after the shooting incident. SFPD told <em>Mother Jones</em> that the officers were still serving on duty, but declined to disclose whether they'd faced disciplinary action related to the case, saying it was confidential.</p></body></html> Politics Crime and Justice Guns Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:15:05 +0000 Jaeah Lee 266086 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's the Pentagon's Report of Michael Brown's Autopsy http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/heres-dods-report-michael-browns-autopsy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>After Michael Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9, his body was inspected three separate times: Once by the St. Louis County Office of the Medical Examiner; once, at the request of Brown's family, by outside expert Dr. Michael Baden; and one more time by the Department of Defense's Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, at the request of the US Department of Justice. The DOD's report, released by the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office on December 8, is below:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1376572-dod-medical-examiners-report-of-michael-brown">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1376572-dod-medical-examiners-report-of-michael-brown.js", { width: 630, height: 630, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1376572-dod-medical-examiners-report-of-michael-brown" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1376572/dod-medical-examiners-report-of-michael-brown.pdf">DOD Medical Examiner's report of Michael Brown (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1376572/dod-medical-examiners-report-of-michael-brown.txt">DOD Medical Examiner's report of Michael Brown (Text)</a> </noscript></body></html> Politics Civil Liberties Top Stories Ferguson Tue, 09 Dec 2014 00:36:27 +0000 AJ Vicens and Jaeah Lee 266181 at http://www.motherjones.com