Archive for the 'police abuse' Category

Kelly Thomas Verdict Was Just and Proper

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

If you are an Average American, that is. If you are a halfway decent human being, you might be crying in despair at humanity, or cursing God/Allah/Yahweh/Vishnu. But if you are the Average American, you will sleep fine tonight, like you have always slept, in the face of countless acts of police brutality – including plunder, robbery, rape, child abuse, and even murder.

Kelly Thomas was a schizophrenic and homeless man living in Fullerton, CA. In July of 2011, he was approached by police for questioning in connection with vehicle vandalism while in downtown Fullerton. Police escalated the situation (as they are prone to do). Some 6 officers were involved in this encounter with a homeless man, who had at that point committed no theft, violence, or any other crime. Mr. Thomas was subject to a brutal beating, during which Officer Manuel Ramos put on latex gloves, balled his fists, and said to Mr. Thomas, “You see these fists? They are getting ready to fuck you up.” Another officer principally involved in the beating was Jay Cicinelli. Mr. Thomas died from his injuries at a hospital several days later.

The incident, including Ramos’ blatant threat, was captured on video. Mr. Thomas can be seen on video being beaten and pleading for his life. He says “Dad, help me… They’re killing me,” repeatedly. He says, “Sir, please… okay…okay…” repeatedly. He says “Help me…help me god…” repeatedly. He also apologizes, but was murdered by police nevertheless. (More here.)

If an ordinary person had put on gloves, and said “These fists are going to fuck you up,” then proceeded to beat a person to death, a first-degree murder charge and conviction would be swiftly in order. In the case of hallowed police officers, charges were filed only after extensive public outcry, and even then, the most severe charge was that of second-degree murder against Ramos. Cicinelli and Ramos went on trial, and were acquitted on January 14, 2014, of all charges – including excessive force (more here and here). Of course, inherent in that conclusion by the jury is the unspoken declaration that in America, it is not excessive to beat a helpless and mentally ill detainee to death for merely being accused of suspicious activity.

This ruthless beating and murder would certainly seem horrendous to a human being of integrity, but of course, the Average American is not a human being of integrity. The Average American has, for decades, cheered on the various acts of police violence against students, disabled old men, children, among other completely innocent parties. The cops were doing their job – to hell with it if some innocent person was murdered in the process. The cops are heroes – so be it if they have to kill a child or two to “keep us safe.”

A less loathsome breed of the Average American insists that the poor victim should not have been beaten to death, but that some lesser form of force ought to have been employed to obtain compliance. Equally innate in this sentiment is the idea that people who have committed no theft, violence, or crime, nevertheless should obey a cop’s every command. Freedom is not of the utmost concern, justice is not of the utmost concern, safety is not of the utmost concern; blind obedience is. This morally degenerate standard exists for almost no one in society, save police.

The rationale behind the defense of Cicinelli and Ramos was that Mr. Thomas died not at their hands, but due to asphyxiation and heart problems arising from complications of alleged drug use. Keep in mind that when ordinary mortals commit crimes, it is a well-established legal principle that they take their victims as they find them. If an ordinary man punches another man in the face, and the victim unexpectedly dies because he happened to have a thin skull, no court would exempt the aggressor from the crime on the basis that the victim died from complications arising from a thin skull due to drug use or any other reason – the aggressor would be held to account regardless. However, have the aggressor don a uniform and a badge, and the story becomes quite different. His act of violence is treated almost like an act of nature, and everything else but his holy act is to blame – the victim’s mental illness, his resistance to abject humiliation and physical torture, his pre-existing conditions, etc. Such is the double standard the Average American allows the policeman.

The Average American has long been comfortable with double standards for cops – both legal and cultural. Cops can murder, rape, and pillage with impunity, both from a legal and moral standpoint. When they murder, rape, and pillage – it is for the sake of public safety and order. Thus, they are protected from legal consequences, as well as moral judgment.

The kind of worship the Average American lavishes upon police is similar to that of deification; police essentially can do no wrong. If they murder a petty criminal, it’s justified because he was a criminal. If they murder an innocent person, it was a mere “mistake,” and justified because police were “doing their job.” The only other entity accorded such moral leniency in the face of repeated, intentional, malicious violence, is God. Indeed, the mentality Americans have toward police is virtually indistinguishable from that of, “God works in mysterious ways.”

Because in America, a cop is likened to God, the Average American cares not that police lionization and immunity has resulted in the “Land of the Free” having the highest incarceration rate, both per capita and in sheer numbers, in the entire world. For the same reason, the Average American actually thinks it’s quite wonderful that their infallible demi-gods have steadily acquired weapons they should not possibly ever need for domestic purposes, including drones, tanks, and grenade launchers, while ordinary citizens are increasingly restricted and regulated in firearms ownership. As it should be, perhaps – who are lowly mortals to question the motivation of gods?

If you are the Average American, you are perfectly comfortable with this verdict because you, Average American, defend the system at all costs. In the past, people may have suggested to you the absurd proposition that justice and policing ought not be a coerced institution of monopoly by government, and should be conducted on a voluntary basis. You laughed at this “idealistic” nonsense, insisting that voluntary policing and freedom of choice in justice systems would surely lead to chaos and violence. As if police murdering people in the street with impunity isn’t chaos and violence. As if your precious government system of policing and “justice” isn’t simply a permanent monopoly of systemic violence that by definition perpetuates, and even encourages chaos and violence.

But this is no matter, because “the system isn’t perfect, but it’s the best there is. God bless democracy, freedom, and civility.” The police must murder to save lives. They must use violence to prevent violence. They must break the law in order to enforce it. Freedom isn’t free. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

 

Kelly Thomas Verdict Was Just and Proper is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Seabrook Police Laugh as They Assault Individual

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

I came across the video above on the YouTube channel “Mike Berg.” According to the description:

Published on Jan 6, 2014

Charged with a DWI, I tried explaining that I wasn’t drunk and they could be out catching actual criminals. Then after being in the cell for a while waiting for a bail bondsman, I was taken out and brought in the booking room to call for a ride. After calling a ride, I was told I could take my phone that I called from and my wallet. As soon as I grabbed my wallet from the table, the officer with the glasses came at me saying he never told me I could take my stuff and choked me against the wall, then tried to grab the wallet from my pocket. Once he got the wallet and my phone, this is what happened. There was no lawsuit due to the fact I found a lawyer and the lawyer took the tapes and disappeared for 2 years, until I finally tracked him down and got it back. Now I think its to late to do anything with it even though I have a permanent lump on the back of my head, chipped teeth and brain injuries, but I’ll be talking to a lawyer soon; we’ll see what happens.

The video is quite telling even though there is no audio. It appears that while officers are escorting who I believe to be Mike Berg, some dialog is exchanged that results in Mike being slammed into the wall. At that point, he seems to lose his balance, possibly dazed from the slam, and falls to the ground. Though Mike is out of the camera’s view, what you can see is another officer using, what I believe to be, mace on Mike. Though it is unclear on the video if Mike ‘deserved’ to be maced, what is clear is that the officer is clearly not in danger (being attacked, or struggling with Mike) and is in fact laughing with fellow officers. This leads me to believe that Mike was maced for the mere enjoyment of the police. See the video for yourself.

[UPDATE] It seems two officers have been placed on administrative leave for this incident, read more here.

[UPDATE 2] Here’s a meme going around the internet as to the names of one of these officers

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Seabrook Police Laugh as They Assault Individual is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Cop Caught Testalying By Supreme Court

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Dirty Cop Dave Early Outed By US Supreme Court – Caught Testalying Under Oath

Withrow v. Williams 507 U.S. 680 (No.91-1030) http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-1030.ZO.html

Sergeant David Early of the Romulus, Michigan police department testified that Robert Allen Williams, Jr. was not under arrest when Williams volunteered information that lead to his conviction for a double murder.

Williams appealed his conviction, costing him years in prison while the appeals made their way through the courts and costing the city and state governments hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and support Early’s abuse of authority or cover-up the officer’s abuse of Williams’ constitutional rights.

The US Supreme court noted in the very first paragraph of its ruling for the Williams, “One officer, Sergeant David Early, later testified that Williams was not under arrest at this time, although a contemporaneous police report indicates that the officers arrested Williams at his residence.”

At issue was whether or not the police officer violated the rights of the defendant. The court ruled that the officer had and Williams’ conviction was overturned.

Clearly, as the US Supreme Court noted about the “contemporaneous police report,” Sergeant Early was lying under oath.

Police Misconduct occurs when an officer violates someone’s constitutional rights. This misconduct can subject the officer and the police department to both civil and criminal penalties: It is a crime for one or more persons acting under color of law willfully to deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242). “Color of law” simply means that the person doing the act is using power given to him or her by a governmental agency (local, State, or Federal). A law enforcement officer acts “under color of law” even if he or she is exceeding his or her rightful power. The types of law enforcement misconduct covered by these laws include excessive force, sexual assault, intentional false arrests, or the intentional fabrication of evidence resulting in a loss of liberty to another.

Disgraced officer Early took a self-described “early retirement” from the police department and moved as far away as he could from the state of Michigan, relocating in Thailand, from where extradition is often difficult if not impossible. The two-year statute of limitations for perjury ran out while Early was building a website about how comfortable his life was in Thailand, (www.davearly.com) while living off the taxpayer dollars.

 

 

Cop Caught Testalying By Supreme Court is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Cops 258 – Constitution 0 (Videos in Link)

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be stopped and questions 258 times over 4 years while working…at the private property on which you work? Apparently, according to TheRoot.com, one guy can tell you how it feels…

 Well, that’s what Miami Gardens, Fla., store owner Alex Saleh is trying to figure out. One of the employees at his store, 207 Quickstop, Earl Sampson, has been stopped and questioned 258 times, searched more than 100 times and arrested and tossed in jail countless times, the Miami Herald reports.

According to Saleh, Sampson, other employees and even his customers have been repeatedly stopped and frisked by Miami Gardens police, sometimes as often as three times a day.

Most of them, the Herald reports, are like Sampson. In two words: poor and black.

Saleh couldn’t take the constant harassment anymore and ended up installing 15 video cameras in his store—not to protect himself from criminals, but from the police.

What these videos reveal is shocking, the Herald reports. Read more and view videos…

 

Cops 258 – Constitution 0 (Videos in Link) is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Boy Suffers Horriffic Facial Injuries After “Falling”

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

 

According to HuffPost:

Marissa Sargeant admits her 14-year-old son did a bad thing when he allegedly shoplifted, but she doesn’t think he deserved to be roughed up by cops during his arrest.

The arrest happened last Tuesday when the boy — whose name has not been released — allegedly shoplifted goods from a Walmart in Tullytown, Pa., with two adult relatives.

She doesn’t deny the charges, but said the arresting officers beat the teen so bad, he has a broken nose and two swollen eyes.

“What he did was wrong. He was coerced by a 19-year-old. He does know better,” she said, according to the New York Daily News. “The picture speaks a thousand words.”

Note that the article quotes District Attorney David Heckler:

“Heckler told Philly.com that his office may interview eyewitnesses and possibly review footage of the incident taken on a police dashboard camera before proceeding further.”

Read More…

According to the county website, the number to reach Heckler’s office is 215-348-6344.

 

 

Boy Suffers Horriffic Facial Injuries After “Falling” is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Police Accountability Tour Stops in Skokie

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Earlier this week, Pete and Garret took a trip just north of the Police Accountability Tour stop in Chicago to followup on an incident in Skokie, Illinois that occurred this past Spring, but did not receive attention until earlier in October. On March 10, Cassandra Feuerstein of Chicago was arrested on a DUI charge in Skokie and was in the custody of the village’s police force when michael_hart1she sustained a serious injury to her face. Requiring reconstructive surgery, the installation of a titanium plate, and resulting in persistent numbness and vision problems, Cassandra sustained the injury as a result of being shoved face-first into a concrete bench by Skokie officer Michael Hart. Why was it that such a serious injury required seven months for there to be action taken?

Only after a civil suit was filed and the video of the incident released publicly was Michael Hart’s status with the department changed, as he was placed on desk duty. Following the video’s publication, there was public outcry for criminal charges to be filed, which they finally were approximately two weeks later. At that time, Hart was suspended, with pay, as the trial is pending.

alvarez_anita_policeabuseThe person responsible for prosecuting Hart is state’s attorney Anita Alvarez, who is infamous for both advocating the criminalization of video recording the police, as well as suggesting that three youths who had confessions coerced out of them and were exonerated for the rape and murder of a woman may have still been culpable despite DNA evidence tying the crime to a known serial murderer. One cannot expect a monopolistic service such as police and courts to police themselves, but it is clear from the rhetoric Alvarez and others involved employ that they cannot simply sweep the incident under the rug.

At the police station and village hall, the specter of the incident hung over those involved. Knowing that many eyes are watching, it is more difficult for Hart’s colleagues to shield him from accountability, as has disturbingly been the case as the thin blue line has protected abusive police in Chicago in the past.

UPDATE: Michael Hart has resigned from the Skokie police department on November 15, after learning that the department was seeking to have him fired.

Police Accountability Tour Stops in Skokie is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Police Accountability Tour’s First 24 Hours in Detroit

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

On Sunday morning, a black Tahoe with IDEAS ARE BULLETPROOF and NO MASTERS NO SLAVES emblazoned on its sides, and COPBLOCK.ORG on its rear cruised out of Keene, New Hampshire, headed for the Motor City in Michigan. Piloting the truck, I was scheduled to pick up Pete Eyre from the airport that evening after the day’s ride West. Detroit is the sixth of nine cities being visited on the in-progress 2013 Police Accountability Tour. Pete and fellow videographer Jacob Crawford began the tour in Austin, Texas, at the Police Accountability Summit hosted by the Peaceful Streets Project. The tour continued in New York City before going global with an extended stop in Cape Town, South Africa. Returning to Jacob’s home town of Oakland, California, ideasbulletprooftruckPete continued solo on to Denver, Colorado before reaching our present location in Detroit.

Each city has its own unique issues with monopolist police services. Detroit is known for having historically overzealous law enforcement, which has been the subject of so many internal investigations that the US Department of Justice was tasked to oversee reformation efforts in the early aughts. Even with state and federal oversight of government mismanagement, the city is still plagued with some of the most violent neighborhoods in dpd_protestthe nation, where many police officers refuse to patrol and 911 response times are disturbingly long, not uncommonly taking upwards of an hour.

While the state’s solutions to these crimes have consistently failed and even exacerbated the problem, the folks of Detroit have some assistance on the ground documenting the issues and challenging police brutality in legal land. The local publication Voice of Detroit, edited by Diane Bukowski, chronicles much of the police abuse and unaccountability in recent years. The investigative journalism featured at VoD is both revealing and shocking, covering high-profile police abuse cases such as the killing of seven year old Aiyana Jones, and the troubling pasts of the city police chief and his highest ranking colleagues.

dcapb_logoAlso working to assist the people against police violence is the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, first organized in October of 1996. While also sharing content through a radio program and blog, the DCAPB’s 10-point mission statement demonstrates their commitment to solving problems that do not self-correct or are even acknowledged by the above-the-law enforcers. Pete reached out to the organizers from DCAPB and we plan on meeting up with them during the remainder of our stay here to learn more. Here are some admirable excerpts from their mission statement:

4. We demand that the City of Detroit require the Detroit Police Department to file an annual report of citizens’ complaints against the Department, and that reports of all citizen complaints be available to the public. This report should be comprehensive and include the following: a) complaints filed by intermediaries or witnesses to police brutality, b) fatalities at the hands of police officers, and c) the disposition of all cases of citizen complaints – summarized and compiled in a single document that is available to the public. Citizens who file a complaint should be kept informed of the progress in their investigation. The outcome of all investigations should immediately be made public. The monthly tabulation of crime in the city should be made available to the citizens of Detroit through the libraries and the Department’s web-site.

5. We demand that the City of Detroit require accountability from the Detroit Police Department in the application for, receipt of, and allocation of funds from the State and Federal governments, and that such funds not be used in discriminatory ways, and that no funded programs violate human and Constitutional rights of Detroit citizens…

6. We demand that the City of Detroit facilitate community-based conflict resolution and mediation initiatives. The Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality is developing a “Peace Zones for Life Program” that will address this cause. Our plan will include methods that will allow the citizens’ options to submit their grievances for resolution by their neighbors or persons whom they trust; thereby, remaining outside the police/criminal justice system and eliminating conflict within our communities.

The DCAPB lists many accomplishments since its twelve year existence, including assisting in the exoneration of unjustly convicted individuals incarcerated by the state’s misdirected criminal justice system. They also played a role in initiating the federal government’s investigation into corruption and abuse in the city’s police force, as well as successfully blocking the issuance of tazers, often used as pain compliance devices, to any of the departments uniformed officers.

On the agenda for myself, Pete, and others interested in 2013_10_28_detroittmcproliferating police accountability last evening was a visit to the Threat Management Center, a security service provider whose employees are committed to the safety of all people in their neighborhoods. On a previous expedition to visit their office earlier in the year, Pete produced an iconoclastic video of his interview with service’s founder. Established by Dale Brown in 1994, the Threat Management Center’s toll-free number has replaced 9-1-1 for many in Detroit. The private service provides faster response times and a commitment to nonviolent conflict resolution that goes above and beyond the detached, self-interested standards of city police, who are trained to value their own lives first above those of others in the community. The Threat Management Center takes the opposite approach, with all of their employees following a strict code of conduct and utilizing the best modern technology to hold themselves and others accountable at all times. Though they carry a variety of defensive tools, employees only openly display their carry of non-lethal tools, concealing any firearms, and the organization is gearing up to move in the direction of carrying zero lethal weapons by the start of the new year. Regarding the use of firearms, employees are only permitted to draw a firearm if they confirm the presence of a firearm on an aggressor, and are prohibited from ever being the first to fire a shot.detroit_tmcdaytime

While the Threat Management Center has many paying clients to whom they provide defense instruction, bodyguard protection, as well as regular neighborhood patrols, their services are not only afforded to those with the capital to cover the costs of the well-equipped security. Because of their professionalism and commitment to nonviolence, and using the absolute minimal amount of force necessary to deescalate situations, the Threat Management Center is able to foster community connections that the untrustworthy police cannot, and in doing so they are creating a model for all stateless, community safety projects to emulate. The Center also offers complimentary classes for law enforcement officers, which often uncomfortably challenges the reactionary tendencies trained into law enforcers.

Embedded below is a playlist of videos from our inspirational three hour conversation with Dale, where he lays out the guiding principles that led him to found the Threat Management Center and his goals to see the model spread to every town and city where people require safety services not being provided by monopolist institutions.

Police Accountability Tour’s First 24 Hours in Detroit is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Man to Sue Police After Being Shot While Walking Home Holding His Shorts

Friday, August 30th, 2013

I’m not even surprised by stories like this anymore. I mean, of course law enforcement officials are let off the hook when they shoot people for ridiculous things, such as carrying a pair of shorts. It would be unreasonable to expect a gang  of thieves and murderers to hold themselves and their fellow gang-members accountable for actions that create victims, as they have become dependent on creating their livelihoods by destroying others’. – Kate

Ed Krayewski published the following article at Reason.com earlier today.

It’s a strange case, but James Weyant says he wasn’t disruptive or intoxicated, though he had taken his ill-fitting shorts off to smoke a cigarette, when a police officer shot him in an alley on his way home, according to a federal lawsuit he’s filing over the April incident in Altoona, Pennsylvania. He insists he was properly covered, when, via the Altoona Mirror:

Police Officer Mark Sprouse drove into the alley. Weyant said he changed directions to avoid the car, not initially recognizing it as a police cruiser.

The cruiser came to a stop next to him, and Sprouse got out of the cruiser with his gun drawn.

Weyant alleged that the officer gave no commands and that no words were exchanged. The officer then fired his gun, the bullet hitting Weyant in the right armpit and shoulder area.

The officer, it is charged in the lawsuit, threw Weyant against a fence and handcuffed him, then would not let him sit down even though he began to “bleed profusely.”

Authorities, however, cleared Sprouse:

Blair County District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio said in June that Sprouse was investigating the “suspicious actions of a civilian in a dark alley” when the officer was confronted by a man holding black underwear that appeared at the time to be a weapon.

The review of the case by the district attorney was followed by a similar review by Altoona Police Department Shooting Review Board, Freehling said. The board included representatives of the police department and the Fraternal Order of Police and found Sprouse had followed departmental polices [sic] and procedures.

You can add black underwear to the list of things cops might mistake for a gun. Weyant’s attorney say they are suing for violations of his Fourth Amendment rights.

Man to Sue Police After Being Shot While Walking Home Holding His Shorts is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Radley Balko’s “Rise of the Warrior Cop” Book Tour

Sunday, August 11th, 2013
radley-balko-rise-of-the-warrior-cop-copblock

“Rise of the Warrior Cop” author Radley Balko

Radley Balko, who many of us know and love (unless you’re a corrupt or heavy-handed police employee), may be coming to your area to speak about his book Rise of the Warrior Cop.

If you’re in or around any of these towns, I encourage you to go and meet Radley, then listen, think, and act.

  • August 17, 2:20pm, Austin, Texas, Police Accountability Summit, sponsored by Peaceful Streets Project: Speech and book signing.*
  • August 24, 1pm, Libertas Found,  5430 West Chester Rd., West Chester, Ohio: Book signing. Sponsored by the Ohio Libertarian Party.
  • August 29, 7pm Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, Utah: Speech and book signing, sponsored by Students for a Sensible Drug Policy at the University of Utah.
  • September 03, noon, University of Memphis Law School, Memphis, Tennessee: Speech, book signing. Sponsored by the University of Memphis Federalist Society.
  • September 05, Time TBA, Indy Reads Books, Indianapolis, Indiana: Book signing, sponsored by the Marion County Libertarian Party.
  • September 18, 6:15pm, Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Avenue, Angel Reading Room, Chicago, Illinois: Speech, panel discussion, and book signing. Co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union Illinois, Chicago Alliance against Racist and Political Repression, Illinois Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, Mansfield Institute for Social Justice & Transformation (Roosevelt University), National Lawyers Guild (Chicago), People’s Law Office, Project NIA, TruthOut, Women’s All Points Bulletin
  • September 26, Time, Location TBA, Bloomington, Indiana: Speech and book signing. Sponsored by
  • October 15, Time, Location TBA, Mobile, Alabama: Speech and book signing. Sponsored by the Mobile Federalist Society.
  • October 17, Time TBA, Independence Institute, Denver, Colorado: Book forum. Sponsored by the Independence Institute.
  • October 21, Time TBA, University of Colorado Law School, Boulder, Colorado: Speech and book signing. Sponsored by the University of Colorado Federalist Society.

For those of you in Nashville, DC, or Philly I’m sorry to say that you may have missed your chance – Radley passed through in July.

*Jacob Crawford and I have plans to interview Radley next weekend in Austin (as part of our first stop on the Police Accountability Tour). Do you have any specific questions you’d like us to ask?
.

Head over to Radley’s personal site, The Agitator for a more extensive list of related content, including book reviews, book excerpts, and video interviews. The video above was one identified by Radley as “really great.”

 

Radley Balko’s “Rise of the Warrior Cop” Book Tour is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

The Peaceful Streets Project Police Accountability Summit

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

This post was written by Antonio Buehler, co-founder of the the Peaceful Streets Project.

The Peaceful Streets Project will be holding their 2nd Annual Police Accountability Summit on Saturday, August 17th at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, Texas. The summit will be a celebration of the people who have been coming together to fight police abuse throughout the country, a place where victims of police abuse can come together to gain strength through community, and an educational experience that will leave participants with an arsenal of peaceful direct action tactics to use against criminal cops, as well as a greater appreciation for the struggle we are engaged in.

Last year’s summit was a great success and put into motion a chain of events that exposed the criminal nature of the Austin Police Department and other police departments throughout the country, forced police to alter their tactics, and emboldened activists throughout the country to stand up to criminal cops. Over the past year the Peaceful Streets Project has led over a dozen Know Your Rights training sessions, provided a platform for scores of victims of police abuse to tell their stories, organized over 100 cop watches, and grown from a local effort in Austin into a national movement with over a dozen chapters from Manchester (NH) to Honolulu (HI).

This year’s summit is going to be even better than last year’s! The 2nd Annual Peaceful Streets Project Police Accountability Summit will be an entertaining, educational and empowering experience for the community, and will serve as a celebration of our wildly successful year in the struggle against police abuse. We will be bringing in activists, speakers and entertainers from all over the country for this powerful event.

Headlining the event is keynote speaker Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party and long-time police accountability activist. In an attempt to aid African-American victims of police brutality and racial prejudice, Seale and the Black Panther Party pioneered the practice of cop watch by following police officers in their community, often times carrying rifles. As part of his speech, Seale will talk about how the camera is now a more powerful weapon against police abuse than the rifle was then.

The second keynote speech will come from Radley Balko, writer for the Huffington Post and author of Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Force. Other speakers include Carlos Miller of PhotographyIsNotACrime.com, Pete Eyre of CopBlock.org and Antonio Buehler and John Bush, co-founders of the Peaceful Streets Project. Entertainers include B. Dolan who will perform Film the Police and Tatiana Moroz who will perform a song written for the Peaceful Streets Project.

Other activities will include a panel on family pets killed by law enforcement, a debate over whether we should try to reform the police or abolish them, Know Your Rights training, tactics for filming police and a movie screening. Food and refreshments will be provided, and there will be free childcare on site for families who attend.

Learn more about the summit at: http://peacefulstreets.com/summit-2013/
Help support us by donating at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/2nd-annual-peaceful-streets-project-police-accountability-summit

Antonio Buehler

The Peaceful Streets Project Police Accountability Summit is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights