Police killed Michael Brown, five years ago


This 17 August 2014 video from the USA says about itself:

Ferguson, Missouri residents determined to fight police violence

In this video, St. Louis residents speak to the World Socialist Web Site about the implications of police violence amid the ongoing protests against police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

By Niles Niemuth in the USA:

Five years after police murder of Michael Brown

Police have killed 5,000 Americans since Ferguson protests

10 August 2019

Friday marked five years since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot at least six times, including once through the top of the head, and left for four-and-a-half hours to die in the street by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. Brown’s father, Michael Brown, Sr. used the grim anniversary to call for a reopening of the investigation into his son’s death. The killer cop has never been charged.

“Justice has not been served”, Brown, Sr. said at a press conference Friday morning outside the St. Louis County Justice Services Center, not far from where Michael Brown was killed. “My son deserved to live a full life. But a coward with a badge… chose not to value his life. My son was murdered in cold blood, with no remorse and no medical treatment.”

Brown’s killing on the afternoon of August 9, 2014 sparked popular protests in the small working class suburb of St. Louis, which were met with a paramilitary police occupation and deployment of the National Guard by a Democratic governor. The scenes of riot police with body armor and military grade weapons, backed by armored vehicles with mounted machine guns and military helicopters, facing down peacefully protesting men, women and children shocked the whole country and the world. Protestors were shot by rubber bullets, bean bags and flash bang grenades. More than a dozen journalists were arrested as they attempted to cover the police crackdown.

Despite volleys of tear gas and the imposition of a curfew, protests continued night after night, demanding that Wilson be charged and arrested for the murder of the African American teenager.

Four months later a grand jury delivered its decision not to indict Wilson, reigniting protests that were again met by a police crackdown and the deployment of more than a thousand National Guard troops. This was followed by President Barack Obama’s Justice Department announcement in March 2015 that it would not bring federal civil rights charges against Wilson, completing the whitewash of Brown’s murder.

The killing of Brown, along with the police murder of Eric Garner, choked to death less than a month earlier on Staten Island in New York City, sparked a nationwide wave of protests demanding an end to police violence. The popular slogans “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” and “I Can’t Breathe!” were taken up by crowds across the country protesting one police killing after another.

Despite popular protests and increased scrutiny in the aftermath of Brown’s killing, US police officers have continued to kill at a rate of more than 1,000 people every year, amounting to more than 5,000 since Brown was gunned down. According to data collected by Mapping Police Violence, police officers were charged in less than 2 percent of all 6,836 killings recorded between 2013 and 2018. In only 0.4 percent of cases (28) during this period was an officer charged, convicted and sentenced.

Police murders that have provoked significant protests since Brown’s death include:

  • The murder of twelve-year-old Tamir Rice (November 2014): Rice was shot within two seconds of police arriving at the park gazebo in Cleveland, Ohio where he was playing with a toy handgun. He died the following day in the hospital. Neither officer involved in the shooting was ever charged.

This 22 November 2019 video shows a Cleveland police officer fatally shooting 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

  • The death of Freddie Gray (April 2015): Gray died after being given a “rough ride” in the back of a Baltimore police van. His killing sparked a social eruption that was suppressed by 2,000 National Guard soldiers. While six officers were charged in his death, none was convicted.

This 27 April 2015 video shows Freddie Gray being placed in the police van where he was killed.

  • The shooting death of Philando Castile (July 2016): Castile, 32, was shot and killed during a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. His murder was live-streamed on social media by his girlfriend to the horror of millions. The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was charged with second degree manslaughter but found not guilty at trial.

This 7 July 2016 video shows a Facebook live stream of the Philando Castile shooting.

  • Little more than a year later, on July 15, 2017, a Minneapolis police officer shot and killed 40-year-old Justine Damond in the alley behind her home. Officer Mohammed Noor, who had fired his gun from the passenger seat of the squad car his partner was driving, was found guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and sentenced in April to 12.5 years in prison.
  • Stephon Clark was shot at least seven times, including multiple shots in the side and back, in his grandmother’s backyard by two Sacramento, California police officers on March 18, 2018. While Clark was holding only a cell phone, the district attorney declined to bring charges and determined that the officers were justified in using deadly force.

This March 2018 video shows police body camera footage of the shooting of Stephon Clark.

The reign of terror has continued this year with at least 544 people shot and killed by police, according to the latest tally by the Washington Post. Under Trump, the police operate without even the fig leaf of federal oversight provided by the Justice Department under Obama. Trump has counseled the police not to be “too nice” when arresting people. …

What unites all of those who are killed or wounded by the police is that they are working class or poor and among the most vulnerable elements in society, including the homeless and those suffering from mental illness.

Since the urban rebellions of the 1960s, police forces across the US have been militarized, with the establishment of SWAT teams and the deployment of armored vehicles to crush any sign of opposition from the working class. Under Obama, record amounts of weapons and equipment were doled out to local police forces by the Pentagon under its so-called 1033 program, which was established by another Democrat, President Bill Clinton.

The fundamental cause of endless police violence is the capitalist system, which the police operate to protect and serve, along with all of the dire conditions it produces for the working class—poverty, social inequality and war. Police killings can be fought only through the unification of the working class in the US and internationally, across all artificial racial, ethnic and national lines, in the fight for a socialist society based on human need and not the profit interests of a rapacious ruling elite, which controls the entire political system and both big business parties.

On Thursday, the Colorado Springs Police Department released bodycam video footage of the police murder of 19-year-old De’Von Bailey. By Friday, a police department spokesperson announced that the two officers responsible for his death will return to active duty, indicating that it is unlikely that any charges will be brought. Bailey was shot to death on August 3. He was the 537th person to be killed by police in the US in 2019, according to records collected by the Washington Post. Thirty-three more people have been killed by cops in the two weeks since his death, bringing the total up to 570: here.

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St Louis, USA police and Ku Klux Klan


This video from the USA says about itself:

St. Louis Police Department Is Built On KKK Roots

16 October 2017

TYT Politics Reporter Jordan Chariton spoke with Tory Russel, the chief of staff to St. Louis Alderman John Collins-Muhammad, about the troubling ties that the St. Louis PD has to the “Veiled Prophet Ball,” an event that has been linked to the Ku Klux Klan.

This video from the USA says about itself:

St. Louis Protests: What a Police Cover Up Looks Like

16 October 2017

TYT Politics Reporter Jordan Chariton spoke with Brother Anthony Shahid, a St. Louis resident who has pushed for transparency from police in the killing of 24-year-old African American Anthony Lamar Smith at the gun of white officer Jason Stockley.

Ku Klux Klan leader shot dead by wife: here.

St Louis, USA protests against police brutality


This video from Missouri in the USA says about itself:

12 October 2017

The REAL reason St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson doesn’t care about cops arresting protesters and press. Cenk Uygur breaks it down on The Young Turks.

“On Tuesday, September 19, Mayor Lyda Krewson postponed her three remaining townhalls across the city. This followed four days of protests met with aggressive police force after the acquittal of former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer Jason Stockley.

She wrote, “[Townhalls] are happening in the streets and in my inbox and on social media right now. We are listening.” Despite her assurances otherwise, many residents interpreted this as their mayor dodging venues meant to hold her accountable to their serious concerns and pain.

So, in this pivotal moment, if Mayor Krewson won’t listen to her constituents in townhalls, who is she listening to? Perhaps it’s her donors. After all, the protests financially impact many of them. For example, both St. Louis Union Station and its parent company Lodging Hospitality Management, which operates hotels and restaurants, made significant donations to Krewson during her campaign.

LHM’s leadership team spoke to the Post Dispatch about significant lost revenue from downtown concerts cancelled in response to the protests around the verdict. Bob O’Loughlin, Chairman and CEO of LHM, also told the Business Journal, “The most important thing is to mobilize the city, county and state to work to carry on with these events and provide safety for people going to them.” Here, it is worth also noting that O’Loughlin sits on the board of the St. Louis Police Foundation along with a handful of other Krewson donors”.

Read more here.

This video from Missouri in the USA today says about itself:

St. Louis Protests In Front of Ferguson Police Department

TYT Politics Reporter Jordan Chariton reports from St. Louis, Missouri.

St Louis USA police oppression


This 27 September 2017 video from Missouri in the USA is called St. Louis police suppress protests against police brutality.

Anthony Lamar Smith killed in St Louis, killer scot free


This 22 September 2017 video from Missouri in the USA says about itself:

“That verdict was a travesty”

Watch: St. Louis workers denounce acquittal of killer cop, crackdown on protests

By Genevieve Leigh and George Gallanis reporting from St. Louis

23 September 2017

Protests in St. Louis against the acquittal of Jason Stockley, the police officer who shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith on camera in 2011, have now entered their second week. Police in riot gear have arrested hundreds of mostly peaceful protesters and journalists in what amounts to a military-style lockdown of the city using pepper spray and tear gas.

WSWS reporters spoke with protesters and St. Louis workers about the verdict and the suppression of protests by the police.

By Niles Niemuth in the USA, 23 September 2017:

The 2011 killing of Anthony Lamar Smith by St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was an open-and-shut case of police murder.

Smith was a 24-year-old African-American who was driving away from police after they burst in on what they claim was a drug deal. Stockley, who is white, was recorded on a dashboard camera saying, “I’m going to kill this motherfucker, don’t you know it.” Less than 45 seconds later, his partner Brian Bianchi rammed their police SUV into Smith’s car. Video of the incident shows that Smith remained in the car and made no attempt to flee.

Stockley jumped out of the SUV and shot Smith five times. Forensic evidence revealed that Stockley fired the “kill shot” from six inches away. The officer then returned to his vehicle, rummaged through a duffel bag and returned to Smith’s car to plant a throwaway gun on the dead victim. Tests showed the gun had only Stockley’s DNA on it.

In addition to his police-issued handgun, Stockley was carrying his personal AK-47 in violation of official department protocol.

St Louis protests: Journalists say they were beaten and arrested by police while covering demonstrations. Exclusive: Journalists tell The Independent about being kicked, pepper sprayed: here.