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justice can’t breathe

12/04/14 1 Comment



timely cartoon by bill bramhall responding to the recent eric garner decision (via the ny daily news). if you agree with the message, what would you like to see done to resuscitate the legal system?


some people believe that america is so post-racial that things like racial harassment and profiling are a thing of our dark past (“i mean, our president is black!”). sadly, that is not the case. in new york city alone, racial discrimination is a city-sanctioned, festering reality affecting over 1,800 people a day. this figure comes in form of the police dept’s stop-and-frisk policy, which allows officers to stop and search people they deem suspicious.  now, the standard of suspicious is tenuous enough on its own.  however, the policy is further complicated by the nypd’s propensity for applying it to racial minorities.

in the video above “the hunted and the hated”, director russ tuttle gives viewers a multi-layered look at stop-and-frisk from the perspective of citizens and police officers.  even with the statistics and testimonials that you’ll see and hear in the film, maybe the most damning aspect of it is the recorded audio of a police stop and one between two officers.  from naacp prez ben jealous:

“The tape brings to light what so many New Yorkers have experienced in the shadows at the hands of the NYPD. It is time for Mayor Bloomberg to come to grips with the scale of the damage his policies have inflicted on our children and their families. No child should have to grow up fearing both the cops and the robbers.”

and donna lieberman, executive director of the new york civil liberties union:

“This audio confirms what we’ve been hearing from communities of color, again and again. They are repeatedly subjected to abusive and disrespectful treatment at the hands of the NYPD. This explains why so many young people don’t trust the police and won’t help the police. It’s not good for law enforcement and not good for the individuals who face this harassment.”

what do you think about stop-and-frisk?  have you or someone you know been subject to it before?

video and quotes via the nation. also check out nytimes for more.

the hunted and the hated: a look at the nypd’s stop-and-frisk policy

10/12/12 3 Comments

woman, unhappy with care at hospital, dies in jail

03/28/12 1 Comment


Anna Brown wasn’t leaving the emergency room quietly.

She yelled from a wheelchair at St. Mary’s Health Center security personnel and Richmond Heights police officers that her legs hurt so badly she couldn’t stand.

She had already been to two other hospitals that week in September, complaining of leg pain after spraining her ankle.

This time, she refused to leave.

A police officer arrested Brown for trespassing. He wheeled her out in handcuffs after a doctor said she was healthy enough to be locked up.

Brown was 29. A mother who had lost custody of two children. Homeless. On Medicaid. And, an autopsy later revealed, dying from blood clots that started in her legs, then lodged in her lungs.

She told officers she couldn’t get out of the police car, so they dragged her by her arms into the station. They left her lying on the concrete floor of a jail cell, moaning and struggling to breathe. Just 15 minutes later, a jail worker found her cold to the touch.

Officers suspected Brown was using drugs. Autopsy results showed she had no drugs in her system.

Six months later, family members still wonder how Brown’s sprained ankle led to her death in police custody, and whether anyone — including themselves — is to blame.

There seems to be no simple answer.


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