Cop watch link dump

Cop watch link dump

Blog post for people to post links to stories about police brutality and violence. Trigger warning for police violence and sexual violence.

For a while I have thought it would be good for someone to have a blog on libcom dedicated to keeping track of police violence.

However, in the absence of anyone volunteering to do that I thought I could put up this blog post and then anyone can post links with short summaries in the comments below as a kind of repository of news of police brutality and abuse of their power.

Even though I have no faith in the police as an institution there to protect us in any way, I have been shocked by the sheer number and sheer outrageousness of police abuses recently that it has prompted me to actually post this up.

So, please post your links and summaries below, and if somebody wants to take on contributing this sort of thing to libcom on a running basis please let me know.

Posted By

May 14 2012 18:15


Attached files


Sep 21 2012 12:22
Mr Hughes insisted it was not actually a joke, and that he was merely pointing out to the audience that more civilians died in police custody than officers did in the line of duty.

However, it prompted an inspector from Greater Manchester Police to walk out in disgust.

Comedian Steve Hughes apologises for 'tasteless comment' about police officers killed in Hattersley

Sep 23 2012 09:45

Police officer shoots and kills one armed, one legged man in wheelchair in a group home, because he waved a pen at him.

Caiman del Barrio
Sep 23 2012 20:48

Protestors associated with Occupy Oakland shut down a council meeting in support of the Justice for Alan Blueford Campaign:

More on Blueford from this (horribly cold) page:

Wikipedia wrote:
The high school senior was approached by patrolling officers just after midnight and ran, provoking an officer to chase him. Blueford allegedly pointed a gun at the officer who then fired four shots, three which hit Blueford and one which hit his own foot. The shot to the officer's foot was initially blamed on the teen, and police were referring to the incident as a shoot-out between the two men, until it was discovered the officer had shot himself. Community is waiting for evidence connecting gun found at the scene to Blueford

Sep 24 2012 10:54

The cop who killed Ian Tomlinson is now being sued for carrying out a racist attack on a 12-year-old black girl:

August 20, 2012 - Four LAPD cops hold down a skateboarder for skating on the wrong side of the street and punch him in the face, breaking his nose and cheek bone:

August 23, 2012 - Michigan police shoot mentally ill homeless man 46 times as he walks away from them:

Oct 3 2012 09:38

Tunisian civil society is rallying in support of a young woman who was raped by police officers in what they say is part of a broader assault on women's rights by religious conservatives.

There is widespread outrage after 27-year-old victim was summoned by the investigating judge on Wednesday to face charges of "indecency" from the two men accused of raping her, in what many argue is an attempt by the authorities to intimidate her.
The young woman and her fiancé had been "apprehended" by police on September 3 in Ain Zaghouan, suburb of Tunis.

In an interview with the French news organisation France 24 published on Thursday, her fiance said the couple was arrested in their car.

They demanded money from him, handcuffed him, and took his partner in the back of their car where they raped her, he said...


Oct 2 2012 13:53

video link in the link

The video shows a crowd of blue-shirted police officers standing in the middle of a street, around a car. Someone on the left appears to throw something resembling silly string or a liquid on the cops. An officer in a white shirt rushes out of the crowd and goes after a woman with long, dark hair and a black T-shirt.

Her back is to the camera so it is unclear if she was saying anything to him. The officer appears to punch her in the face and then hit her in the back of the head. She falls to the ground where two officers apprehend her and lead her off. As she passes the camera, blood can be seen streaming down her face.

Oct 4 2012 00:04

Number of deaths in police custody 1969-2011

Who Polices The Police?

(52minutes/UK/2012/Ken Fero/Migrant Media)

Sean Rigg dies in a caged area in Brixton Police Station in August 2008 and the Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) are called in to investigate. Sean's family are shocked at the death and this soon turns to anger when the government appointed IPCC begin to make error after error in its inquiry - is it incompetence or collusion? Sean's family begin a four year struggle to investigate the death themselves and in the process ask 'Who Polices The Police?'

The film is a blow-by-blow account of their journey as they question the police officers accounts, visit the crime scene, speak to witnesses, examine evidence. Harrowing footage emerges that show the last moments of Sean's life. The family watch in horror. The conclusion they come to -

Sean died at the hands of the police.
Using powerful testimonies, poetry and a political analysis of police violence the film explores the tactics of the IPCC and, through the family of Sean Rigg, challenge its claim that it is independent of the police. Meanwhile the deaths the IPCC oversees continue.

Protecting the image of the police becomes an alter on which hundreds of people that have died in police custody are sacrificed. The IPCC administer last rites and no officers are ever successfully prosecuted for their crimes. In the film the facts of political appointments and ex-police officers leading the investigation teams are exposed. The might of the state is challenged by one family.

'Who Polices The Police?' builds fragments of reality, of memory and of resistance into a powerful document about a struggle for justice.

Oct 5 2012 13:37
A New York police detective shot and killed an unarmed man, whose hands, a witness said, were on the steering wheel of his Honda, after he had been pulled over early Thursday for cutting off two police trucks on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, the authorities said.

The shooting, which occurred at 5:15 a.m., was the latest in a series of episodes in which police officers fatally shot or wounded civilians. While the Police Department had explanations in the other instances, it could not immediately provide one for the shooting on Thursday.

Oct 6 2012 15:41
The 27-year-old coffee barista died in April after being struck by an NYPD squad car that began chasing him as he swiped paver stones in the predawn light at his Brooklyn housing project.

Now his mom’s being chased anew, hounded by a collection agency hired by the city with a cruel final demand, the Daily News has learned.

The city has ordered her to pay the $710 cost of repairing the police car that killed her boy.

i find this one hard to believe, will try to follow it.

e2a: update (already):

On Friday, the law firm handling the collection effort said it had formally dropped the effort. Paul J. Browne, a spokesman for the Police Department, said his agency did not send out the letter and referred the matter to the city’s Law Department.

“We don’t know any instance where we send letters like that,” he said. “I’m not sure how it came out.”

Kate Ahlers, a spokeswoman for the Law Department, said the notice had been sent in error after her department received a referral from a unit of the Police Department. “We regret that Mr. Robinson’s family received a collection notice,” she said in a statement, adding, “We recognize that this involves a tragic case.”

Oct 8 2012 09:57

October 3: in Baltimore, a man's death in police custody is determined as homicide, after police initially claimed he choked on drugs

Oct 16 2012 15:58
The video, posted online on Sunday night by, shows Officer Vega punching the head and body of Ehud Halevy, 21, and another officer from the 71st Precinct, Yelena Bruzzese, battering Mr. Halevy with a baton for more than two minutes last week as he tries to fend off the blows.

According to a criminal complaint, the officers said Mr. Halevy had attacked them, causing one to suffer a sprained wrist, during an encounter on Oct. 8 in the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults on East New York Avenue in Crown Heights. Mr. Halevy was charged with a felony count of assault on police officers.

But the seven-minute video seems to contradict the officers’ account: It does not show Mr. Halevy striking either officer, though he does pull away from Officer Vega, using an arm to push off the officer and break free. The video was taken by a surveillance camera in the center’s lounge.

Oct 25 2012 21:05
An NYPD officer was charged in a bizarre plan to kidnap his girlfriend, and possibly up to 100 other women, and cook them.

Officer Gilberto Valle has been an NYPD officer for 6 years.

The NYPD has not commented on his arrest, only saying he's been suspended without pay.

Valle is described as quiet by his neighbors, but investigator say he wanted to be a kidnapper and cannibal. He's charged with conspiracy to abduct, torture, rape, cook and eat women.

Nov 12 2012 15:59

Police in Kent have arrested a man for posting a picture of him burning a poppy on Facebook.

No really, it’s not a joke.

A tweet alerted us to the story.

Kent 999s @Kent_999s

AYLESHAM nr Dover: An Aylesham man has been arrested tonight after posting a picture of a burning poppy on Facebook.
11 Nov 12

The story has been confirmed by This is Kent:

POLICE have tonight arrested an Aylesham man after a picture of a burning poppy was posted online.

Kent Police say the man has been held on the evening of Remembrance Sunday on suspicion of malicious telecommunications after the image of the poppy was posted on a social networking site.

The suspect is tonight in police custody awaiting interview.

Nov 12 2012 16:27

The former British police spy Mark Kennedy is being accused of making fake claims after leaked documents indicated he was the source behind claims that French activists were learning to make homemade bombs.

Ten French leftwing activists are under investigation over an alleged terror plot to overthrow the state in a case that has convulsed France and drawn criticism from human rights lawyers.

Leaked documents seen by the Guardian reveal how claims against some of the activists, including the suggestion they discussed and "practised" building improvised explosive devices (IED)s, came from the British police unit Kennedy worked for.

The French authorities are not pursuing charges on this element of the inquiry. Instead, the activists are under formal investigation for allegedly sabotaging high-speed train lines with metal hooks, after damage to lines in November 2008 caused delays for thousands but no casualties. Accused of targeting the SNCF railway as the ultimate symbol of the French state, they deny all charges against them.

Kennedy, a police spy who used the alias Mark Stone during the seven years he was undercover, met French campaigners at least twice; once in the south of France and again in New York.

He is a discredited figure in the UK, where he has admitted to having sexual relationships with female activists.

His bungled operations led to the quashing of 20 convictions against activists and there are more potential miscarriages currently under review. Senior judges said he had arguably been acting as an agent provocateur.

Kennedy's role in the inquiry into the French anti-capitalists could jeopardise what is the most high-profile legal case on leftist activism in recent years. It is known as the "Tarnac affair" after more than a hundred French police in balaclavas swooped on the tiny rural village of Tarnac in November 2008, arresting anti-capitalists who were living on a communal farm and running a village shop. In a vast media operation, Nicolas Sarkozy's government and French authorities alleged they were a cell of dangerous subversives intent on anarchist armed insurrection to overthrow the state.

Dec 3 2012 18:47

Sarasota, Florida - The video seems to show a Sarasota police officer slamming a homeless man into a wall. It was captured by a surveillance camera on October 6.


This isn't the first time Sarasota Police have been caught on tape abusing a suspect. In 2009, an officer kicked a handcuffed man while he was down. And last August, an officer repeatedly punched a man in the face.

video at the link

Dec 20 2012 08:56
Dec 23 2012 14:30

California cop shoots unarmed man eleven times

The day after prosecutors cleared a police officer for shooting a man eleven times and killing him, attorneys representing the victim released a graphic video showing the shooting.

The San Joaquin Country district attorney’s office concluded that California Police Officer James Moody had been legally justified in shooting 34-year-old Ernesto Duenez Jr., but the video might bring the case back to court.

On June 8, 2011, the officer ordered Duenez to get out of his pickup truck, which was parked in the driveway of his house. Duenez was on parole and was wanted in connection with a domestic-violence incident that occurred earlier that day. When the man exited his vehicle, Officer Moody immediately opened fire, shooting 13 times and riddling the man with 11 bullets in 4.2 seconds as he rolled on the ground.

Duenez was shot once in the head, eight times in his body and twice in his extremities. Four of these shots occurred while he was already on the ground. He died shortly thereafter from gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen.

While the officer was firing his gun, the victim’s wife ran out of the house, screaming at the officer and subsequently crying over her husband’s dead body.

Moody claims he shot the victim because he saw Duenez holding a knife. An 8-inch knife with a 4-inch blade was later found in the bed of the truck, but Duenez was not carrying it at the time of the shooting. The footage also shows the victim’s foot getting stuck in the seatbelt while he was trying to exit the vehicle.

The camera footage contradicts the story told by the officer, showing a situation in which Duenez posed no threat to the police.

“This is more barbaric than even the Oscar Grant shooting,” Oakland attorney John Burris, who filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Even though Duenez was a known gang member who had violated his parole by failing a drug test, prosecutors claim he was in the wrong by fatally shooting the unarmed man.

Rosemary Duenez, the victim’s mother, agreed to release the video in response to the court decision to clear the officer of the crime. After Burris showed it to her, the 58-year-old woman said she hopes the video will garner support from others.

“As heartbreaking as it is, people need to see what happened,” she told the Chronicle. “They need to know what we see, and what we’re fighting for.”

Video of the shooting

Jan 9 2013 19:58

January 2013, USA: woman wins $1.5 million in damages after being raped at work by a robber and not believed by police, who instead accused her of robbing her employer. Trigger warning for sexual violence:

Redwinged Blackbird
Jan 16 2013 04:34

recent write up of action rally thing in Liberal Madison, WI I attended...

Chilli Sauce
Jan 28 2013 10:19

Starving asylum seeker choked for shoplifing a sandwich.

Police brutality combined with private security brutality (and even some brutality thrown in by a regular Sainsbury's employee and a passerby).

CCTV footage here:

CCTV reveals store's treatment of teenage shoplifter

A teenage asylum seeker has said he feared he was going to die after he was pinned to the ground, grabbed around the neck and restrained by five people in a Sainsbury's supermarket after he stole a sandwich.

Amine Ahnini, from Algeria, who was 18 at the time of the incident in May last year, was challenged by a security guard as he left the Canterbury store with a sandwich and a few other food items. He admitted he had not paid for them, saying he was starving and had no money.

While there are no official figures, Data is not routinely collected but there is anecdotal evidence from charities and police forces that there has been a rise in thefts linked to hunger.

Ahnini agreed to go back into the store with the guard and return the items. CCTV footage shows that after he had put the food down the guard grabbed him and pushed him to the ground. Other employees and a member of the public helped the guard restrain him. The guard said he acted because he feared the 18-year-old was going to assault him.

"The security guard had his hands around my neck, I couldn't breathe and thought I was dying," said Ahnini. "My arms and legs were pinned down so I couldn't move. All I could think about was getting the guard's hands off my neck so I could breathe again so I bit his hand."

Police were called and arrested Ahnini. He was convicted of theft and assault by Canterbury magistrates last November and in December was ordered to do community service, pay £100 compensation to the guard and £250 towards court costs. He is appealing against the convictions.

The prosecution's case was that Ahnini became aggressive when challenged by the guard, threatened him and pushed him. Ahnini denies this.

When police viewed the CCTV footage their log states: "The IP [injured party] is shown to use force to pick up and throw the suspect to the floor and appears to show the IP is holding the suspect around the neck as he alleges." A later police log entry states: "It is felt that a further statement would be required from the IP as the original one is of insufficient detail in terms of the justification for the level of force used etc." Police took photographs of the injuries to Ahnini's neck at the police station. He said he collapsed at the police station and was checked over by a custody nurse who said he was all right.

He added: "I suffered a lot of trauma in Algeria and have a very big scar on my neck from an accident I had while trying to escape from there. I've been given medication to help me with this trauma but I get very nervous when people touch me. When the security guard put his hands round my neck I was scared the scar would open up again. My parents were arrested and taken away in Algeria and I had a lot of nightmares about it. The nightmares had faded but since this incident they have come back and I'm getting flashbacks about what happened to me when I was restrained.

"I stole the food because I was starving and had no idea all these bad things would happen. I don't even have enough money to eat so don't know how I'm going to pay the money the court has asked for. If I'd known all this was going to happen I never would have done this. It would have been better to starve."

Vaughan Jones, chief executive of Praxis, a charity working with vulnerable migrants, expressed concern about the incident and said that an increasing number of their clients were experiencing hunger and using food banks.

"No one would condone anyone committing crime but we have to understand the circumstances of people who find themselves in this situation. The state should be able to deal sensitively with these cases but increasingly the state is bypassing its duty and its responsibility."

A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said: "Where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that someone has taken goods without paying in-store security officers and store colleagues have a statutory right to stop that person. In some circumstances – and always when violence has been used – the police may also be called. The police will then decide whether, given the evidence, it is in the public interest to prosecute. In this case, the offender was prosecuted, and was found guilty of assault and theft. "

Sainsbury's employs security guards trained and licensed by the Security Industry Authority. However, they do not receive training in physical intervention. (Door supervisors for businesses such as pubs and clubs licensed by the authority do have this training.)

An SIA spokesman said "only training packages which avoid the neck are approved by us".

He added: "Any forceful restraint can lead to medical complications, sudden death or permanent disability especially where situational and individual risk factors are present. Although some of the above is lawful, under certain circumstances, such interventions will require high levels of justification and training."

Asked about Ahnini's treatment in custody, a Kent police spokesman said: "Generally speaking, all our custody staff are fully trained professionals and work to a set of high standards. Kent police follows strict custody guidelines and is subject to regular internal and external inspections. We deal with all injury and illness cases according to risk to ensure those in need of urgent medical attention receive the most appropriate response.

With regard to the police's request for a further statement from Sainsbury's to justify the level of force used on Ahnini, the police spokesman said: "It is not necessarily common practice to ask witnesses to complete additional statements, but is perfectly reasonable to expect a supervisor to seek to get the best evidence for every allegation of a criminal offence. Sometimes this means additional statements are taken."

Feb 10 2013 06:24
A 23-year-old man who was beaten by three Denver police officers after he questioned their authority to search the trunk of his car says the Justice Department has decided not to charge any of the officers with civil-rights violations stemming from the case.

Alexander Landau tells The Denver Post that representatives of the department and the FBI told him Friday there was insufficient evidence to bring federal charges.

pic at the link

Feb 10 2013 09:02

An off duty cop kills a woman for shoplifting in Texas.

Feb 15 2013 18:55
A Queens grand jury voted to not indict a decorated detective who fatally shot an unarmed driver during a highway traffic stop last year, the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, said on Thursday.


In the ensuing encounter on the side of the road, a single shot was fired into the car, killing the driver, Noel Polanco, 22. A police officer had ordered those inside the car to show their hands; a passenger has said that Mr. Polanco had his hands on the steering wheel when he was shot by the detective, Hassan Hamdy.

Detective Hamdy’s lawyer has said that Mr. Polanco had reached down to the floor of the car, and that the detective believed that he was reaching for a gun. No weapon was found in the car, although a small power drill was found on the floor of the driver’s side.

Feb 17 2013 21:15
The car barreled down a county road at more than 100 mph before it slammed into a Mitsubishi Galant, killing one woman, seriously injuring another and hurtling a child through the windshield.

At the wheel of the speeding vehicle: an on-duty Florida Highway Patrol trooper.

FHP found the trooper, Detrick McClellan, at fault in the horrific crash, fired him, and cited him with three traffic violations.

But when his case came up in court, the trooper who issued the citations wasn't there. Another trooper in attendance said that though he couldn't represent the agency, he would not object to dismissing the tickets, and the judge did just that.

McClellan walked out with no consequences, and even got handshakes from his fellow law enforcement officers.

"If the FHP allows it to stand, what they're saying is the law does not apply to us, even if we kill people," said Dennis Kenney, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and a former Florida police officer.

Caiman del Barrio
Feb 18 2013 14:57

Cops asphyxiate a cinema-goer with Downs over the price of a cinema ticket:

Feb 20 2013 11:06

Man brutally beaten by Philadelphia police found not guilty:

Feb 20 2013 15:30
A 10-year-old boy attending a Tularosa, N.M., Intermediate School’s Career Day expected it to be fun and educational, but instead he ended up in the emergency room.

The boy, identified as R.D., blacked out after receiving 50,000 volts of electricity when struck by a police officer’s Taser gun.


The lawsuit claims police officers drove their patrol cars onto the intermediate school campus, where Webb asked a group of boys which one would like to clean his patrol unit.

R.D. raised his hand to say he did not want to clean the police officer’s car.

Webb then said, according to the lawsuit, “Let me show what happens to people who do not listen to the police.” He then “shot his Taser gun at the boy’s chest,” said the family’s attorney Shannon Kennedy of the Kennedy Law Firm of Albuquerque.

Bedridden and on oxygen, Lona Varner of El Reno, Oklahoma, was zapped by police using Taser guns after she acted in an “aggressive” manner in her bed. Officers showed up at Varner’s residence after her grandson, Lonnie Tinsley, called 911 seeking medical assistance for his grandmother. But instead of helping the 86-year-old woman, police officers Thomas Duran and Joseph Sandberg Tasered her, causing her to pass out. “Don’t Taze my granny!” Tinsley says he shouted at the officers, who also are accused of stepping on Varner’s oxygen hose.