Police kill unarmed African American about car licence plate

This video from Ohio in the USA says about itself:

Samuel Dubose: Family demands transparency after man killed by university police officer

22 July 2015

The family of Samuel Dubose rallied outside Cincinnati City Hall, demanding transparency after he was shot and killed by University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing.

From Vox.com in the USA:

University of Cincinnati police kill unarmed black man during routine traffic stop

by German Lopez on July 23, 2015, 10:20 a.m. ET

A Cincinnati traffic stop over a missing front license plate turned deadly on July 19 when a campus police officer shot an unarmed black man in the head.

University of Cincinnati (UC) police officer Ray Tensing, who is white, fatally shot Samuel Dubose, a 43-year-old black man, after a brief struggle during the traffic stop. The shooting has once again highlighted racial disparities in police use of force — an issue that’s become a matter of national protests and debates since the police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last August.

Dubose was stopped for missing a front license plate

Tensing, who has five years of experience in law enforcement, stopped Dubose around 6:30 pm when he noticed Dubose’s car didn’t have a front license plate. Tensing asked for a driver’s license, but Dubose handed him a bottle of alcohol, police said at a news conference. Tensing then asked Dubose to step out of the vehicle, at which point a struggle ensued at the door of the car.

The vehicle began moving forward, and Tensing was knocked to the ground, NBC News’s M. Alex Johnson reported. He fired a single shot at Dubose, hitting him in the head and killing him. The car rolled for about a block before it crashed, police said, according to CNN’s Ralph Ellis, Don Melvin, and David Shortell.

Tensing was reportedly wearing a body camera. But police won’t release footage from the device until the investigation is complete.

Mayor John Cranley said at a news conference that the city’s police department will work with UC to update and improve training and policies on use of force. “As a general matter, a pullover related to a license plate should not in a normal course of events lead to lethal force … as it has in this case,” he said.

UC has an agreement with the Cincinnati Police Department to help patrol areas around the campus.

The university police department’s use of force procedure states that campus officers “should not discharge a firearm at or from a moving vehicle except as the ultimate measure of self-defense or defense of another when the suspect is using deadly force,” according to CNN.

City police and Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters are investigating the shooting. Tensing is on administrative leave with pay while the investigation continues.

Black suspects are much more likely to be shot and killed by police

police shooting by race

Joe Posner/Vox

An analysis of the available FBI data by Vox’s Dara Lind shows that US police kill black people at disproportionate rates: They accounted for 31 percent of police shooting victims in 2012, even though they made up just 13 percent of the US population. Although the data is incomplete, since it’s based on voluntary reports from police agencies around the country, it highlights the vast disparities in how police use force.

Black teens were 21 times as likely as white teens to be shot and killed by police between 2010 and 2012, according to a ProPublica analysis of the FBI data. ProPublica reported: “One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring — 185, more than one per week.”

Subconscious racial biases, known as implicit biases, may explain the disparities. Studies show, for example, that officers are quicker to shoot black suspects in video game simulations. Josh Correll, a University of Colorado Boulder psychology professor who conducted the research, said it’s possible the bias could lead to even more skewed outcomes in the field. “In the very situation in which [officers] most need their training,” he said, “we have some reason to believe that their training will be most likely to fail them.”

There were several high-profile police killings in the past year involving black men and boys. In Ferguson, Darren Wilson killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. In Ohio, police killed 22-year-old John Crawford and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in separate shootings after mistaking toy guns for actual weapons. In New York City, NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner by putting the unarmed 43-year-old black man in a chokehold.

This November 2014 video from the USA is called Why it’s so rare for police to be prosecuted for killing civilians.

Cops can legally shoot when they reasonably perceive a threat

Police only need to reasonably perceive a threat to legally fire — and the threat doesn’t have to be actually present.

Two Supreme Court decisions in the 1980s, Tennessee v. Garner and Graham v. Connor, set the legal framework for determining when deadly force by cops is reasonable.

Constitutionally, “police officers are allowed to shoot under two circumstances,” David Klinger, a University of Missouri St. Louis professor who studies law enforcement officers’ use of force, said in August. The first circumstance is “to protect their life or the life of another innocent party” — referred to as the “defense of life” standard by police departments. The second circumstance is to prevent a suspect from escaping, but only if the officer has probable cause to think the suspect poses a dangerous threat to others.

The logic behind the second circumstance, Klinger explained, comes from Tennessee v. Garner. That case involved a pair of police officers who shot a 15-year-old boy as he fled from a burglary. (He’d stolen $10 and a purse from a house.) The court ruled that cops couldn’t shoot every felon who tried to escape. But, as Klinger said, “They basically say that the job of a cop is to protect people from violence, and if you’ve got a violent person who’s fleeing, you can shoot them to stop their flight.”


The key to both of the legal standards — defense of life and stopping a fleeing violent felon — is that it doesn’t matter whether there is an actual threat when force is used. Instead, what matters is the officer’s “objectively reasonable” belief that there is a threat.

That standard comes from the other Supreme Court case that guides use-of-force decisions: Graham v. Connor. This was a civil lawsuit brought by a man who survived his encounter with police officers but was treated roughly, had his face shoved into the hood of a car, and broke his foot — all while suffering a diabetic attack. The court didn’t rule on whether the officers’ actions had been justified, but said police couldn’t justify their conduct solely based on whether their intentions were good. They had to demonstrate that their actions were “objectively reasonable,” given the circumstances and compared with what other police officers might do.

What’s “objectively reasonable” changes as the circumstances change. “One can’t just say, ‘Because I could use deadly force 10 seconds ago, that means I can use deadly force again now,'” Walter Katz, a California attorney who specializes in oversight of law enforcement agencies, said in August.

In general, officers are given a lot of legal room to use force without fear of punishment. The intention behind these legal standards is to give police officers leeway to make split-second decisions to protect themselves and bystanders. And although critics argue that these legal standards give law enforcement a license to kill innocent or unarmed people, police officers say they are essential to their safety.

This October 2014 video from the USA says about itself:

Why recording the police is so important

Dashcams and bodycams are intended to prevent police brutality. But do they help when police control the footage?

Little girl stops fundamentalist hate preacher

This video from the USA says about itself:

1st Grader Backs Down Homophobe Street Preacher

29 June 2015

Zea faces down a fire and brimstone street preacher, at a festival in Columbus, the day after the SCOTUS marriage equality ruling.

Comfest is a family-friendly, free, community music festival.

This was not a march, or a political event. The preacher was accosting festival goers, including other families with children. His rhetoric, before being confronted by a small girl, was graphic, and bigoted. He was escorted out by police a short time later. Zea was not there to protest. She volunteers at Comfest every year, and was on her way to spend her volunteer tokens on pizza.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with simple pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture

The incident has since been turned into a T-shirt

Adam Withnall

Wednesday 01 July 2015

A seven-year-old girl has inspired hundreds of thousands of people and been immportalised in a T-shirt after she confronted a hate preacher with a simple pro-LGBT gesture.

In an incident captured on camera by her father at a community festival in Ohio, Zea Bowling can be seen silently holding up a rainbow flag to a preacher yelling about “sodomy and brimstone”.

Ryan Bowling, Zea’s father, said he had told her about the US Supreme Court‘s majority decision to uphold same-sex marriage the day before.

And he said that when she heard the preacher, she “was shocked as to why he would bother to come to [the community festival] just to be so mean”.

In the video, people can be heared cheering on Zea as she confronts the preacher, and other onlookers approach to give her a high-five.

Mr Bowling said the preacher was “visibly deflated when he saw her coming”, and he can be seen turning away during the video.

The moment has been viewed more than 200,000 times since footage was uploaded by Mr Bowling, and he told Raw Story the crowd at the time had been “passionately on her side, right away, shockingly so”.

“People actually cried. I almost didn’t film it. It was pretty powerful, and I was trying not to be in my phone. Somebody I didn’t know sniffled pretty loudly, and I realized I might be missing something kind of important.”

Mr Bowling has since provided a link underneath the video to an Ohio clothing maker who has turned the viral moment into a T-shirt.

Designed by Zachary Traxler and adorned with the text of the 14th Amendment, proceeds will go towards Zea’s family and an LGBT charity.

12-year-old killed by Cleveland, USA, police, update

This video from the USA says about itself:

11 June 2015

Tamir Rice: Judge Rules There Is Evidence to Charge Cleveland Cops

A judge said Thursday that enough evidence exists to charge two white policemen in the fatal shooting of a 12-year-old black boy who was holding a pellet gun, a largely symbolic ruling because he can’t compel prosecutors to charge them.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

United States: Video raises doubts over police killing of boy of 12

Monday 15th June 2015

INVESTIGATORS have questioned a police officer’s claim to have warned a black 12-year-old boy three times before shooting him dead.

Cleveland officer Timothy Loehmann said that he ordered Tamir Rice three times to raise his hands, but that the boy reached for an apparent pistol in his waistband, which turned out to be an airsoft replica.

But surveillance video footage shows Mr Loehmann firing two shots within two seconds of his police car skidding to a stop near the boy.

Cuyahoga County detectives investigating the incident wrote that, based on witness interviews, it was unclear whether Mr Loehmann had shouted anything to Tamir from inside the car before opening fire.

Prosecutor Tim McGinty said he had decided to release the investigative file now in the interests of transparency and facilitating changes to police procedures.

No witnesses heard cops warn 12-year-old Tamir Rice before killing him: here.

Laws governing the use of force by police in every state in the US, as well as the federal government, do not comply with international human rights agreements, Amnesty International said Thursday: here.

US police killings headed for 1,100 this year, with black Americans twice as likely to die. Guardian investigation finds 547 people killed by law enforcement so far in 2015 as Obama’s call for ‘appropriate oversight’ continues to go unheeded: here.

Bird-friendly gardens not attracting more predators

This video from California in the USA says about itself:

18 February 2014

Redondo Beach resident Carl Leach talks about his bird friendly garden and reasons why you should build one.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Do Bird-Friendly Yards Attract More Predators?

As more bird enthusiasts replace their lawns with bird-friendly plantings like trees and shrubs, they might be concerned about attracting nest predators into the area. Though nest boxes can be equipped with predator guards, most open cup nests, like those of Northern Cardinals and American Robins, cannot be.

Researchers from The Ohio State University and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology investigated whether there was a link between woody vegetation (i.e., trees and shrubs) and predator activity by conducting a study in several Ohio neighborhoods. The researchers surveyed for common nest predators in backyards, and looked for a relationship to the amount of woody vegetation. Common nest predators at the studied sites in Ohio included Eastern gray squirrel, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Blue Jay, and domestic cat (among others).

What they found was unexpected. Even though many nest predators use woody vegetation, bird-friendly landscaping did not attract predators. Yards and neighborhoods with more mature trees and shrubs were no more likely to have high predator activity than yards without. Their findings suggest that increasing the amount of shrubbery and trees in suburban yards does not encourage increased activity of nest predators. So with that in mind, feel free to check out our tips for landscaping for nesting birds.

Reference: Malpass, J.S., Rodewald, A.D., and Matthews, S.N. 2015. Woody cover does not promote activity of nest predators in residential yards. Landscape and Urban Planning 135: 32-39.

There are two species of hawks responsible for most of the predation on feeder birds: the Cooper’s hawk and the slightly smaller Sharp-shinned hawk: here.

Warblers are amazing spring birds, but they’re not always the easiest to see in your yard. If you meet their needs for the right food, water, shelter and nesting sites, however, you can be successful attracting warblers to the backyard.

Related articles

US police shoot twelve-year-old, give no medical aid

This video from the USA says about itself:

Video shows Tamir Rice shooting aftermath

7 January 2015

Extended video released Wednesday showed Cleveland police forced the 14-year-old sister of Tamir Rice to the ground after police shot her brother at Cudell Recreation Center Nov. 22.

By Nick Barrickman in the USA:

Cleveland police gave 12-year-old Tamir Rice no medical aid after shooting him

10 January 2015

Newly-released video footage of the November 22 police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice shows Cleveland police officers providing no medical aid to the child as he lay on the ground dying. The video clip also shows the same police tackling and handcuffing Tamir’s 14-year-old sister as she attempted to run to her brother’s side.

Tamir Rice was shot on November 22 by rookie Cleveland Police Department (CPD) officer Timothy Loehmann as the child played in a park with a toy gun. In addition to shooting the youth in less than two seconds after arriving at the scene, the new extended video shows Loehmann and partner Frank Garmback standing by and talking between themselves while Tamir lay dying. The child, who was shot in the abdomen and died nine hours later, received no medical assistance from the police until an FBI officer arrived on the scene several minutes later.

After roughly 90 seconds, the video shows Tamir’s 14-year-old sister attempting to run to her brother’s aid, at which point officer Garmback aggressively tackles, handcuffs, and throws the visibly distraught teenager into the back of his police car.

“This has to be the cruelest thing I’ve ever seen on video,” stated Walter Madison, an attorney for the Rice family.

“This video shows in crystal clear HD that the responding officers acted inappropriately and recklessly,” said another family attorney, Benjamin L. Crump. “The family is outraged that rather than comfort a sister coming to the aid of her dying brother, the officers instead manhandled and tackled her, cuffed her and thoughtlessly tossed her in the back of a patrol car,” Crump added. The Rice family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Cleveland Police Department.

Neither of the two officers involved in the incident have faced serious repercussions for their murderous behavior. Timothy Loehmann, the officer who shot Tamir, has a long history of mental instability, and had received a string of rejections when applying for work at other police departments before he was hired by the CPD. Cleveland officials have announced that the county’s Sheriff’s department will be leading an investigation into the killing, headed by an official with long-standing ties to the CPD.

The video corroborates statements made last month by Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother. “I noticed my son laying down on the ground, and I went charging and yelling and everything at the police because they wouldn’t let me through,” she said. “Then I saw my daughter in the back of the police car as I was trying to get through to my son. The police told me to calm down or they would put me in the back of the police car. … The police was just standing around and wasn’t doing anything.” Samaria said that police had given her a choice to “either … stay with the 14-year-old, or … go with the 12-year-old.”

The Northeast Ohio Media Group, which first released the video, noted that officials for the city of Cleveland had initially fought to keep the footage from the public. The video’s release comes amid numerous allegations of police brutality by the CPD. A Cuyahoga County medical examiner ruled earlier this week that the death of Tanisha Anderson, a 37-year-old mother, was a homicide due to “sudden death associated with physical restraint in a prone position.” Police had slammed the woman’s head into the pavement, causing her to black out and stop breathing, while little was done to revive her.

On Thursday, a Cuyahoga County judge issued a ruling that called for the reinstatement of two CPD officers who had killed two unarmed suspects in a hail of bullets after they had engaged the officers in a car chase. A Justice Department investigation into the Cleveland Police Department, issued last month, noted that the CPD engaged in “a pattern or practice of the use of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” The methods used by CPD included the “unnecessary and excessive use of deadly force … shootings and head strikes with impact weapons” and “unnecessary, excessive or retaliatory use of less lethal force including tasers, chemical spray and fists.”

The killing of Rice was just one of a surge of police killings which contributed to mass protests against police brutality throughout the globe last year. The killing came just days before a St. Louis, Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the August killing of unarmed youth Michael Brown. That killing led to mass outrage, as National Guard units were deployed throughout the region in order to repress peaceful protests against the killing.

The author also recommends:

Police killings in America: The class issues
[05 December 2014]

A response filed last Friday by the city of Cleveland to a lawsuit by the family of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed November 22 by police while playing with a pellet gun, has prompted widespread outrage for callously blaming Rice for his own death: here.

Child killed for playing with toy pistol

Tamir Rice

By Samuel Davidson in the USA:

Twelve-year-old boy killed by police in Cleveland, Ohio

24 November 2014

A 12-year-old boy who was playing with a fake pistol in a playground was shot and killed by police in Cleveland over the weekend.

Tamir E. Rice died early Sunday morning, after being shot in the stomach Saturday afternoon by Cleveland police officers. Tamir had gone to the park with his sister and a friend, and the children were playing with a toy pistol.

A caller to 911 twice told the dispatcher that the gun was “probably fake” and that it didn’t look real. The caller also told 911 that the person with the gun was “probably a juvenile” who was playing on the swings. The caller ended the call by again saying he didn’t think the gun was real.

Police sent to the park claim that they ordered the youth to raise his hands and when he instead reached in his waistband to hand the officers the gun they shot twice, with at least one shot hitting the youth in the stomach. The youth never pointed the gun at the police.

Tamir was taken to a nearby hospital, but his condition continued to decline overnight and he died early Sunday morning.

The two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave but are receiving full pay. Their names have not yet been released, but one is described as a rookie with less than a year’s service and the other as a 10-year veteran of the force. It was the rookie cop who shot and killed Tamir.

See also here.

Police kill man holding toy gun in California: here.