Black Man Shot Seven Times In US ‘Handcuffed’ To Hospital Bed

Demonstrators march through the city during a protest in New York, August 24, 2020 against the shooting of Jacob Blake who shot in the back multiple times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, prompting community protests.  TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP
Demonstrators march through the city during a protest in New York, August 24, 2020 against the shooting of Jacob Blake who shot in the back multiple times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, prompting community protests. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

 

Jacob Blake is shackled to his hospital bed even though he is paralyzed after US police shot him repeatedly in the back, his father said Friday.

“Why do they have that cold steel on my son’s ankle?” Blake Sr., who visited his son in the hospital Wednesday, said in an interview on CNN.

“He can’t get up, he couldn’t get up if he wanted to.”

African American Blake, 29, was shot over the weekend by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin and has no movement from the waist down.

The latest shooting of a black man by a white officer has triggered a new national uproar over police violence against people of color in America.

“This is an insult to injury,” said Justin Blake, an uncle of the younger Blake. “He is paralyzed and can’t walk and they have him cuffed to the bed. Why?”

People attend the "Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks" protest against racism and police brutality, on August 28, 2020, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Eric BARADAT / AFP
People attend the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” protest against racism and police brutality, on August 28, 2020, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Eric BARADAT / AFP

 

Blake Sr. said his son told him he can feel pain in his legs but that he himself is not sure if the pain is actually coming from his legs.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said he was baffled as to why Blake is tied to his bed.

“I would have no personal understanding why that would be necessary,” Evers told reporters Thursday.

“I would hope that we would be able to find a more, a better way to help him … in recovering. That seems counterintuitive. It seems to be bad medicine.”

 

AFP

George Floyd Said Officers Would ‘Kill’ Him In New Recording Transcript

These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP
These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP

 

 

George Floyd said he couldn’t breathe more than 20 times, called out for his children and late mother and said officers would “kill” him before he died in Minneapolis police custody, new evidence showed.

Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death has unleashed a massive wave of protests against systemic racism and police brutality in the United States and inspired demos across the world.

Video of his death went viral and showed Floyd shouting “I can’t breathe” and calling for his mother as he suffocated.

But transcripts of the police officers’ body camera footage, filed Tuesday in Minnesota state court by Thomas Lane, one of the officers involved in Floyd’s death, has revealed new details about his final moments.

When the officers first arrested him, Floyd begged them not to put him in the police car, telling them he was claustrophobic and in physical distress.

As they tried to force him into the car, Floyd cried out that he couldn’t breathe and was “going to die in here.”

Later, according to the transcript, he said, “Momma, I love you. Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.” He called for his mother and children several more times.

Throughout his arrest, Floyd said “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times. The officers can be heard telling him to “relax,” and that he was doing “fine” and “talking fine.”

At one point, as Floyd insisted they were going to kill him, officer Derek Chauvin shouted, “Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

– ‘I can’t breathe’ –
According to the transcript, Floyd’s last words were, “They’re going to kill me. They’re going to kill me. I can’t breathe.”

The transcript was submitted Tuesday by Lane to have the charges that he aided and abetted in Floyd’s murder thrown out by a judge.

He and the other three officers involved — Chauvin, Tou Thao and Alexander Kueng — were all fired from the Minneapolis police force one day after Floyd’s death and charged in his murder. They each face up to 40 years behind bars.

Chauvin, who knelt on the handcuffed 46-year-old’s neck, faces second and third-degree murder charges.

Thao and Kueng, like Lane, have been charged with aiding and abetting a murder.

The bystander video of Floyd’s death stunned and horrified Americans, igniting protests and riots in cities across the country and sparking a national debate on racism and police violence.

Floyd was detained for the minor charge of attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill, and while in handcuffs, two of the officers held him down on the street while Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck and the fourth officer stood watch.

 

-AFP

Police Stun Americans – By Taking A Knee With Protesters

A New York City police officer takes a knee during a demonstration by protesters in Times Square over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer at a rally on May 31, 2020 in New York. Bryan R. Smith / AFP
A New York City police officer takes a knee during a demonstration by protesters in Times Square over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer at a rally on May 31, 2020 in New York. Bryan R. Smith / AFP

 

They are images that surprised and moved Americans: police officers taking a knee alongside protesters in the most widespread civil unrest to rock the nation in decades — and in doing so embracing an anti-racism gesture denounced by President Donald Trump.

As Trump pushes for a crackdown on often violent protests over the death of George Floyd, police officers from New York to Los Angeles to Houston are making gestures of solidarity with demonstrators incensed at the latest case of an unarmed black man dying while in police custody.

“I took off the helmet and laid the batons down. Where do you want to walk? We’ll walk all night,” Chris Swanson, the white sheriff in Flint, Michigan, shouted to a group of protesters on Saturday.

Then Swanson did just that, setting off walking with them, to cheers. He even posed for a selfie with a young black protester, and gave the thumbs up sign.

In Des Moines, Iowa, police chief Dana Wingert took a knee before a crowd of demonstrators along with other officers and explained it this way: “Us joining them in a symbolic way, that’s the least we can do.”

Anti-racism demonstrators across the country have embraced the gesture made famous by former quarterback Colin Kaepernick who began kneeling during pre-game renditions of the national anthem in 2016, to protest police brutality against blacks and other minorities.

Kaepernick was ostracized by the NFL over his kneeling protest, which earned him and likeminded athletes condemnation and insults from conservatives including Trump.

Now, the police are emulating the protesters emulating the quarterback turned civil rights activist.

A man screams with emotion as he sees a policeman take a knee while hundreds protest the death of George Floyd next to the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP
A man screams with emotion as he sees a policeman take a knee while hundreds protest the death of George Floyd next to the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP

 

In an intense scene captured on camera Monday in New York, the city’s white police chief Terence Monahan knelt and clenched hands with protest leaders, arms raised high, as a way to show support and shared outrage at Floyd’s death.

“Moments like that are how I know we will find a way through,” tweeted the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, in response.

Similar scenes have played out in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia — as well as in the capital Washington.

Leading politicians have adopted the gesture, from Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden to the mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, who dropped to a knee along with a line of officers as they mingled with demonstrators near city hall on Tuesday.

‘We are here with you’

The nationwide protests over Floyd’s death on May 25 have seen police charge against and fire tear gas or rubber bullets at protesters — a minority of whom have engaged in looting and vandalism in the most widespread racial unrest to hit America in decades.

A New York City police officer takes a knee during a demonstration by protesters in Times Square over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer at a rally on May 31, 2020 in New York. Bryan R. Smith / AFP
A New York City police officer takes a knee during a demonstration by protesters in Times Square over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer at a rally on May 31, 2020 in New York. Bryan R. Smith / AFP

 

In some cases, the police outreach appears wholly genuine — a case of individuals pledging their solidarity with the anti-racism cause, and seeking an absolution of sorts for police abuses past.

At other times, the kneeling has served to defuse soaring tensions — raising the question of whether it is more of a de-escalation tactic.

Outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington on Monday evening, for instance, a line of police standing nose to nose with protesters took a knee as they were heckled by the screaming crowd.

In Los Angeles also, a line officers were being shouted at by protesters before finally taking a knee, one by one, some of them smiling as they got to the ground.

“You want to take a knee? We’ll take a knee with you because we are here with you,” the leader of the unit says. As he rises he shakes hands with a protester and urges the group to refrain from violence to protect the city.

In Washington, a police spokesman told AFP the decision to kneel outside the Trump hotel was “organic in the moment and was not a scripted technique.”

He also said police were “not facing disciplinary action” for embracing what is seen by many as a gesture of defiance to authority — even if video footage from a day earlier appeared to show one officer yanking a kneeling subordinate back to his feet.

Private Autopsy Shows George Floyd Suffocated To Death, Says Lawyer

These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP
These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP

 

An autopsy arranged by the family of George Floyd shows he was suffocated by a US policeman, rather than dying from pre-existing heart problems as claimed by the official ruling, their lawyer announced Monday.

“Independent medical examiners who conducted an autopsy of Floyd Sunday determined that asphyxiation from sustained pressure was the cause of death,” Ben Crump said.

Aleccia Wilson, Director at Autopsy and Forensic Sciences at the University of Michigan, said she had examined Floyd’s body.

“The evidence is consistent with mechanical asphyxia as the cause of death, and homicide as the manner of death,” she told a news conference.

Floyd died on May 27 after a policeman knelt on the 46-year-old African American’s neck for almost nine minutes. Floyd became unresponsive after almost three minutes.

A bystander video of the incident, which came after Floyd was detained on a minor charge of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, sparked a nationwide uproar over police brutality and protests and rioting in more than 140 cities.

The policeman who held his knee to Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on Friday and charged with third degree, or unintentional murder, based on an initial official autopsy that said Floyd died not of asphyxia but of “underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.”

Floyd’s family took issue with that conclusion and have demanded Chauvin be charged with first degree murder, and that three other officers at the scene be arrested and charged as complicit with murder.

Wilson and another autopsy expert, Dr Michael Baden, said they disagreed with the official report, only the summary of which has been released as part of the court document for Chauvin’s arrest.

“The autopsy shows that Mr Floyd had no underlying medical problem that caused or  contributed to his death.”

“He was in good health,” Baden said.

“I wish I had the same coronary arteries that Mr Floyd had that we saw at the autopsy,” he added.

US Policeman Who Kneeled On George Floyd’s Neck Charged With Third-Degree Murder

These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP
These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP

 

A Minneapolis policeman accused of killing unarmed African-American George Floyd by kneeling on his neck was taken into custody Friday and charged with third-degree murder, officials said.

Derek Chauvin is one of four officers who were fired shortly after an explosive video emerged showing a handcuffed Floyd lying on the street as an officer identified as Chauvin pinned his knee to Floyd’s neck for at least five minutes on Monday.

The death of the 46-year-old Floyd has sparked days of sometimes violent demonstrations in Minneapolis and other US cities over police brutality against African-Americans.

So far, hundreds of shops have been damaged and a police station set on fire.

“Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in custody,” Hennepin county prosecutor Mike Freeman told reporters.

“Chauvin has been charged… with murder and with manslaughter,” he added, specifying to reporters that the charge was third-degree murder.

US Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota applauded Chauvin’s arrest, calling it “the first step towards justice.”

Racism cannot be ‘normal’

In the graphic video footage, Floyd is seen saying that he can not breathe. Eventually he went silent and limp, and he was later declared dead.

Protests swelled after federal authorities said Thursday that they were making the case a top priority but announced no arrests at that time.

Overnight, demonstrators broke through law enforcement barriers to overtake the Minneapolis police station where the four officers blamed for Floyd’s death were based.

A fire broke out and soon became an inferno that engulfed the structure.

Minnesota’s national guard announced that 500 troops were being deployed Friday for peacekeeping amid signs that the anger was nowhere near dissipating.

President Donald Trump blasted local officials and labelled the protesters “thugs,” threatening a harsh crackdown.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted.

“Just spoke to (Minnesota) Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Twitter concealed that tweet, saying it violated its policy on glorifying violence.

Former president Barack Obama said Friday he shared the “anguish” of millions of Americans over Floyd’s death and that racism cannot be “normal” in the United States.

“It can’t be ‘normal,'” Obama, the first black US president, said in a statement.

“If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must do better.”

George Floyd: Protesters Burn Down Police Station In Minneapolis

Flames rise from the cleaners shoop near the Third Police Precinct on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Kerem Yucel / AFP
Flames rise from the cleaners shoop near the Third Police Precinct on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Kerem Yucel / AFP

 

Hundreds of troops deployed to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul early Friday after a third night of rioting over police brutality against African Americans left hundreds of shops damaged and a police station on fire.

After the angry demonstrations spread overnight to multiple US cities, from New York to Phoenix, President Donald Trump blasted local officials and labelled the protestors “thugs” and threatened a harsh crackdown.

Black leaders continued to express outrage over the videotaped death of George Floyd, 46, while handcuffed on the ground and in custody of Minneapolis police on Monday. He died after one officer kneeled on his neck for more than five minutes.

“People are angry they are frustrated because this is not the first police killing they have seen around the country,” Al Sharpton, a prominent black rights activist, told MSNBC.

Trump indicated he would counter more street violence with more troops on the streets.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump tweeted.

“Just spoke to (Minnesota) Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Twitter concealed that tweet, saying it violated its policy on glorifying violence.

Police station set ablaze

Overnight demonstrators broke through law enforcement barriers to overtake the Minneapolis police station where the four officers blamed for Floyd’s death were based.

A man walks past a liquor store in flames near the Third Police Precinct on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Kerem Yucel / AFP
A man walks past a liquor store in flames near the Third Police Precinct on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Kerem Yucel / AFP

 

A fire broke out and soon became an inferno that engulfed the structure.

The state’s national guard announced the 500 troops were being deployed Friday morning for peacekeeping amid signs that the anger was nowhere near dissipating.

“Our troops are trained to protect life, preserve property and ensure people’s right to peacefully demonstrate,” said Major General Jon Jensen of the Minnesota National Guard.

‘Please choose peace’

Protests broke out in several cities across the country, including New York, where dozens of protestors were arrested; Phoenix, Memphis, and Denver.

In Louisville, Kentucky, seven people were hit by gunfire at a protest on Thursday over the death of Breonna Taylor — a black woman who was shot after police entered her home in March.

One of those wounded was in critical condition, according to the Louisville Metro Police Department. It is not yet clear who fired the shots.

Police urged protestors to “please choose peace,” posting a video message from a member of Taylor’s family asking those in the streets to “go home and be safe and be ready to keep fighting.”

But more protests were expected Friday, including in Washington and Houston, where Floyd’s family is.

Video evidence

Pressure mounted on Minnesota officials to arrest the four officers blamed for Floyd’s death.

A video shows that after being detained on a minor, non-violent charge of using a counterfeit banknote, he was handcuffed, pinned to the ground and one officer held his knee tightly to Floyd’s neck for more than five minutes until he went limp.

Floyd’s family demanded the officer be arrested for murder, but local and federal law enforcement officials said Thursday they still needed to investigate the case thoroughly.

“The Department of Justice has made the investigation in this case a top priority,” said Erica MacDonald, the US federal attorney for Minnesota.

“To be clear, President (Donald) Trump, as well as Attorney General William Barr, are directly and actively monitoring the investigation in this case.”

But Sharpton said Friday that video of Floyd’s death was strong enough to support arresting the officers, who have been fired from the Minneapolis police.

“The tape is more than enough to establish probable cause .. to make an arrest. There is no reason these four policeman have not been arrested by now.”

Meek Mill Takes On Police Brutality As He Performs At BET Awards

Meek Mill performs onstage at the 2018 BET Awards held at Microsoft Theater on June 24, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. PHOTO: Leon Bennett / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Rapper Meek Mill, free after a controversial jail sentence, returned to the stage on Sunday with a vigorous attack on police brutality as he premiered a song at the BET Awards.

The awards of Black Entertainment Television, broadcast live from Los Angeles, recognise the best of African American music and film and the blockbuster “Black Panther” won Best Movie.

Mill was one of the night’s most memorable performers as he debuted his song “Stay Woke.” The 31-year-old rapper in April won his freedom five months after a judge jailed him over violations of probation stemming from a 2008 arrest, a decision that triggered protests charging that it was overly harsh and racially biased.

Mill performed “Stay Woke” on a set designed as a street scene in his native Philadelphia — a neighbourhood that is unkempt yet also full of life with children playing.

Police swarm onto the scene with force and a shot is heard. The song pauses and a little girl who was jumping rope is revealed to have been killed, her body then draped with an American flag.

“How can I pledge allegiance to the flag / When they killing all our sons and dads?” Mill raps. The singer Miguel contributes the chorus, which says, “Though it was designed for us to lose / Nothing, nothing, nothing’s impossible / Believe it, we’re still undefeated.”

Nicki Minaj put on the racist and perhaps most physically gruelling performance of the night as she sported a skin-tight latex red dress, emerging with a dancing squad from a smoke-filled Chinese archway for her martial arts-themed song “Chun-Li.”

She crawled while twerking on stage and spread her legs to the sky in a medley that transitioned to her song “Rich Sex” and also featured YG, 2 Chainz and Big Sean.

While many of the music awards were presented off camera, hard-living trap trio Migos won Best Group and the R&B singer and emerging feminist icon SZA took Best New Artist.

Honouring ‘Spiderman,’ young activist

The BET Awards presented a special “humanitarian heroes” award to six people including Mamoudou Gassama, the Malian migrant in Paris who saved a child hanging off a balcony by scaling an apartment block with his bare hands.

Gassama, who smiled and saluted the crowd in Los Angeles, was nicknamed “Spiderman” and awarded French residency even though he was in the country illegally.

Other award recipients included Naomi Wilder, the 11-year-old who gained wide attention with her poised speech before the March for Our Lives in Washington urging more attention to violence against women of color, and Anthony Borges, the high school student in Parkland, Florida who took five bullets as he rescued 20 classmates during the February massacre.

Award presenter John Legend, the singer known for his left-wing activism, contrasted the winners’ actions with the politics of President Donald Trump’s administration including separations of migrant children from arrested parents.

“We honour these heroes and thank them for giving us hope and reminding us that everyone has an opportunity to do something extraordinary,” Legend said.

“Black Panther,” the superhero movie about a fictional African king that has become the third highest-grossing film ever in North America, unsurprisingly took the top prize for cinema.

Actor Jamie Foxx, the BET Awards’ host, made a subtle dig at Trump as he hailed the film: “We don’t need a president right now, because we’ve got a king.”

AFP

IGP Orders Immediate Reorganisation Of SARS Nationwide

File photo

The Nigeria Police Force in reaction to the recent trends in social media with calls for scrapping SARS #ENDSARS the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has ordered the reorganisation of the squad across the country.

The IGP in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood has directed immediate reorganization on SARS across the nation and investigation into all allegations and complaints raised.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Nigerian Celebrities Join In Calls For End To Police Brutality

“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris concerned with public interest and the need to reposition the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) for more efficiency and effective service delivery to all has directed the immediate re-organisation of the SARS nationwide and instant investigation into all the allegations, complaints and infractions levelled against the personnel of the Special Anti Robbery Squad across the country by the IGP X-Squad of the Force,” the statement read in part.

The statement said further that, in the new arrangement, a Commissioner of Police is now the overall head of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad nationwide under the Department of Operations, Force Headquarters Abuja.

“The Police Zonal Commands, State Commands and Divisions will continue to operate anti-crime units/sections, crime prevention and control squads and teams imperative to prevent and detect crimes and criminalities in their Area of Responsibilities, and other crack squads necessary to sustain law and order and protection of life and properties in their Area of responsibilities (AOR).

“Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) will now exist and operate in the State and Zonal Commands under the Commissioner of Police (F-SARS) at the Force Headquarters.

“A Federal SARS Commander of a Rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and not below Superintendent of Police (SP) will be in charge of FSARS in State and Zonal Commands across the Country. All Commissioners of Police have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to comply with this directive with immediate effect and warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives. The IGP X-Squad has been mandated to go round the Commands and Police Formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance and apprehend any erring police officer,” the statement read.

He, however, emphasised that the SARS have been doing very well in fighting violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnappings and cattle rustling in the country in the recent time resulting in reduction of incidents of the mentioned violent crimes nationwide.

Aggrieved members of the public who have any complaint in the past or present of violation of their rights by any SARS personnel anywhere in the country are to report through any of the following channels for investigation and further actions.

IGP X-SQUAD

0902 690 0729 – CALLS 0903 227 8905 – SMS 0903 562 1377 – whatsapp

Email: [email protected]

 

FORCE PUBLIC COMPLAINT BUREAU

07056792065 Calls/SMS/whatsapp 08088450152 Calls/SMS/whatsapp

 

PUBLIC COMPLAINT RAPID RESPONSE UNIT (PCRRU)

08057000001 – Calls Only 08057000002 – Calls Only

08057000003 – SMS & whatsapp only   Twitter: @PoliceNG_PCRRU

www.facebook.com/PolicePCRRU

#EndSARS: Nigerian Celebrities Join Campaign To End Police Brutality

As #EndSARS continue to dominate Twitter Trends, Nigerian celebrities and artistes have joined voices with Nigerian citizens voicing their opinion on social media.

The trend emerged on Saturday when various individuals took to the social media to condemn the operation of narrating their experience of police brutality. The victims claimed that SARS disregard for human lives has culminated in the lives of many innocent victims.

READ ALSO: Police Announces Complaint Lines As #EndSARS Causes Twitter Storm

While calling for an end and reformation to the operation of the squad, they accused SARS of maltreating and torturing innocent citizens at will.

Due to the increased outcry on social media, Nigerian artistes Simi, Adekunle Gold, DJ Spinal, Don Jazzy, Falz, and other celebrities including Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Omojuwa and the former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili among others joined voices to call for the end of SARS.

See tweets below:

 

Families Condemn Police Brutality In California

FILE PHOTO: Mark RALSTON / AFP

James de la Rosa was unarmed when four police officers in the rural Californian town of Bakersfield ended his life in a hail of bullets by the roadside.

At the age of 22, he had never picked up a single conviction, but initial police reports justified the killing by saying he had reached into his waistband after being chased by police and crashing.

“I’m broken”, sobs his mother Leticia as she visits his grave in a local cemetery three years after the killing, cradling a picture of her beaming son in happier times.

“No money, nothing in this world, will bring me back my son. I think of James everyday. I live in the house he was living in. He was a good kid, he had a bright future.”

A family lawsuit alleged that De la Rosa had his hands in the air when an officer first tried to taser him and then other officers opened fire, shooting him five times in the head, groin and other areas.

The family settled on a $400,000 compensation deal after it emerged that an officer had “tickled” De la Rosa’s dead body — but many other victims’ families feel they have never seen justice.

Far from the media spotlight on flashpoints like Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, at least 29 people have been shot by police in Kern County, where the oil production hub of Bakersfield is located, since 2013.

“In recent years, Kern County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed considerably more people than law enforcement agencies in areas of equivalent population sizes,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a recent report.

“And the Bakersfield Police Department had the highest rate of police homicides per capita of the country’s 60 largest police departments.”

– Shootings, beatings, dog attacks –

The report described “a disturbing pattern of shootings, beatings and canine attacks” by police and sheriff’s deputies, especially targeting unarmed suspects.

Families of the dead say the real toll over the period covered by the report is 38 — and more than once a month in 2015 — although Mark Nations, a lawyer for the sheriff’s office, told AFP that year was an anomaly.

“We have not had an in-custody death since then. I can tell you there was a spike in incidents in the sense that there was not much going on before that and not much after that,” he told AFP.

The Bakersfield Police Department, involved in at least four deaths since 2016, refused to comment, citing an ongoing investigation by California’s public prosecutor.

The ACLU says the level of lethal violence directed at Hispanics and African Americans in Bakersfield by the predominantly white police force is out of proportion to the level of local crime.

Peter Bibring, the group’s director of police practices for California, has noted that a small number of officers in Bakersfield have been involved in two deaths or more.

One officer was present during the deaths of De La Rosa and two other victims — Jorge Ramirez and Jason Alderman.

Alderman, a 29-year-old father of two, met his end after being caught leaving a fast food joint he had just burglarized, in August 2015.

He was about to escape, having found nothing worth stealing, when he was gunned down by police who later said he had raised his car jack, which they thought was a rifle.

– ‘Wild West’ –

A surveillance video showed he had been crouching to get through a window when he was propelled back by the gunfire.

Ramirez, a 34-year-old father of five, was on probation when he agreed four years ago to lead officers to a suspect. But the operation ended in a bloodbath on a parking lot and he was riddled with police bullets.

“He was expecting the police to take care of him instead of killing him,” his father, Jorge Ramirez Sr, told AFP, adding that he was haunted by the image of his son’s death.

Academics and campaigners describe Kern County as poverty-stricken and blighted by drug abuse, more the cultural twin of rural Texas than liberal Hollywood or high-tech Silicon Valley.

Oil producers and farm owners say locals, have disproportionate influence with police, who have a historical culture of impunity.

“It’s very Old Wild West here,” said Josth Stenner, an activist with civil rights group “Faith in the Valley.”

Police in Kern County and Bakersfield have said they are prepared to implement any reforms suggested by the California prosecutor.

But De la Rosa’s brother Joe Arambulo says public trust will not be restored until police can prove they are equipped to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.

“They don’t give these guys the right training. It’s a lot of broken families, mothers’ lost sons, sons’ lost fathers,” he told AFP.

“When I see an officer, I worry about my kids.

AFP

IGP Warns Against Police Brutality

IGP Warns Against Police BrutalityThe Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has warned men and officers of the Police against the use of fire arms and official powers to intimidate and violate the fundamental human rights of suspects and Nigerians, in the course of executing the mandate of the Police.

Mr Ibrahim issued the warning in Makurdi, at a three-day human rights sensitization workshop for Divisional Police Officers serving in Benue state.

The training was facilitated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC and PRAWA.

The IGP advised participants to be civil in their official conduct and not portray the Police force and the Nigerian government as dictatorial.

He was represented at the three-day workshop by the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 4, Mr Oshodi Agboola.

Ondo Residents Protest Road Accident

OndoAngry residents of Ilaramokin, a town located along Akure- Ilesa highway near Akure, the Ondo state capital, have taken to the streets to protest the alleged shooting of a resident in the town.

Trouble started when a commuter bus hit a motorcyclist on the highway.

This led to the instant death of the passenger on the motorcycle while the rider sustained serious injuries.

The accident sparked off protest by the residents who are calling for speed breakers to be constructed on the highway to limit the rate of road accidents.

However, the protest turned awry when men of the Police arrived the scene as the protesters claimed that Policemen had shot five of the protesters in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

The Ondo State Police Command, however, gave a different account of the incident.

“Some irate youths went to the scene and descended heavily on the occupants of the vehicle as well as the driver, damaging the vehicle.

“So we needed to be there and we were right there, tried to prevail on them, asking them to be calm but unfortunately they went against us and descended heavily on our people.

“Our own brand new patrol vehicle was burned to ashes, our boys had to scamper for safety,” said the Ondo State Police PRO, Femi Joseph.

The Police said that peace efforts were on as they continue their investigation into the cause of the accident that triggered the burning of the bus, a barricaded highway and a traffic jam.