Archive for the 'police brutality' Category

Man With BB Gun Shot 60+ Times by Laredo Police, Witnesses Question Police Narrative

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Ismael Valdez shared the information below via CopBlock.org/Submit with the statement: “PLEASE HELP US EXPOSE THE MURDERERS IN LAREDO POLICE DEPARTMENT!!!” Though the incident he addresses – the shooting of Jose Walter Garza – was touched on recently here at CopBlock.org, his post is much more thorough than was the original as it includes video interviews of witnesses. This information deserves to be shared to help focus accountability on the killers who wore Laredo police badges.

Date of Interaction: 08/30/2014
Individuals Responsible: Half of Laredo Police Department
Phone: 956-795-2800

On August 30, 2014 at around 1:45AM Laredo Police employees murdered 30-year-old Jose Walter Garza.

Jose Walter Garza was a local schizophrenic, homeless man. He had at least 30 previous arrests by Laredo Police. Earlier that day/night, Laredo Police Officers had confiscated a pellet gun from Jose Walter but did not arrest him. At 1:45 AM, somebody called 911 and reported a man armed with a gun at “Gateway Truck Stop”

Over two dozen cruisers arrived, and at least 6 police officers, 5 of them armed with AR-15s, fired between 60-80 rounds at Jose Walter Garza sending truck stop clients running and diving for cover.

According to LPD and local media:

  • LPD attempted to negotiate for over 5 minutes.
  • Jose Walter pointed the weapon at police officers.

According to the truck stop’s Chief Financial Officer ‘Victor Trevino’ and Gate Guard ‘Julio Cesar Gonzales’ :

The gate guard, Julio, encountered a Wal-Mart bag outside the truck stop with what appeared to be a gun. Julio inspected the gun and found out it was a pellet gun. Jose Walter came back outside after buying some cigarettes, and Julio told him he had to put away the gun or leave. Jose Walter borrowed a lighter from Julio and complied with his demands. Jose Walter sat down outside the truck stop and kept drinking his bottle of wine while listening to headphones. Eventually, as Julio is patrolling the truck stop he runs into Jose Walter again. Jose Walter requests to borrow a phone charger from him, but Julio said he got preoccupied assisting truckers that he forgot to return with the charger. Julio states he did not call the police on Jose Walter because he was not being disruptive or bothering anyone. He says he was in the guard shack when he saw police officers arrive through the camera. He says he went outside to investigate and noticed the cops were already pointing their weapons at Jose Walter. Jose Walter was facing away from the cops (possibly passed out drunk) and had ear phones on. Julio then went around and informed 2 police officers the gun was fake. Both police officers told him to stop interfering or they would arrest him. Julio said he was planning on running in and taking the gun away from Jose Walter since he knew it was fake but he was scared of getting shot. He says the police didn’t negotiate and before he got to warn anymore officers the gun was fake, they riddled Jose Walter with bullets. Julio says Jose Walter NEVER pointed the gun at officers. Julio states the officers kept firing after Jose Walter’s body hit the ground. 2 officers can be seen fist bumping in the video and 1 of them took a picture. According to Julio, more officers were high fiving and fist bumping each other outside camera angle. Julio saw Jose Walter’s face blown off and says he has gone through mental trauma.

Julio Cesar Gonzales/Gate Guard Interview – Spanish (English subtitles available)

Laredo Police employees held a press conference and denied Hector Cubillos (the man who interviewed the guard and CFO) and us entrance. Half a dozen to a dozen of protesters, including myself, have assembled at crowded intersections and outside the police department.

Victor Trevino, the CFO, backs up the gate guard’s story and claims his customers report the same story.

Editors Note: If you know more about this incident please speak up. Comment on this story, reach out to the creator of the Youtube videos, who clearly is working for transparency, or reach out to known police accountability groups. If you wear a Laredo police badge and know what happened wasn’t right – align your actions with your thoughts. That – not remaining silent – is heroic.

Known Texas-Based Police Accountability Groups

Man With BB Gun Shot 60+ Times by Laredo Police, Witnesses Question Police Narrative is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

“Rehab” – A Song Against Police Brutality [Music Video]

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The content below was created and shared by Gregory Crimson via CopBlock.org/Submit to help share ideas through the medium of music. It is also included on the page CopBlock.org/Music.

Hi, My name is Gregory, and I really admire what you guys are doing. Your page has had a very strong effect on me and I felt that I had to contribute in some way. I wrote a song and made a music video called “Rehab”.

The song is about these “bad” cops abusing helpless people. I understand that due to the nature of their work, the police have a tough job. I also believe that it is their responsibility and in their own interest that they themselves make an effort to rid their ranks of these savage individuals who give them a bad name.

Lets try to rid society of these violent elements with a badge. Jimi Hendrix once said:

Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.

I hope that my music can in some way, help somebody out there. Thank you so much and keep up your great work.

Best regards. Gregory

Buy this song on ITUNES NOW!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rehab-single/id919285248

Connect with Gregory Crimson:

copblock-banner-320x90-music

“Rehab” – A Song Against Police Brutality [Music Video] is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Granville, WV Police Employees Grind Face of Terminally Ill Man On Pavement, Threaten Videographer

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

This incident has been shared by many people via CopBlock.org/Submit and most-recently, by Joshua Harwood, who write the excellent write-up below, which was originally posted to EnterTheAwesome.com

Date of Incident: September 6, 2014
Individuals Responsible: Unknown
Outfit: Granville Police Department
Phone: (304) 599-5080

What this video shows is a man named Jeff Bane in Granville, West Virginia being “detained” for over 9 minutes with his head and neck being kneeled upon by an officer of the law. What I find almost as amazingly depressing as this video, are the comments to the video on YouTube.

They immediately side with the police, saying “We don’t know what he might have done before filming started”

To which I say, who cares? He has been subdued by 3 officers for 9 minutes and who knows how long before the video picks up on it. Get him cuffed, put him in the cruiser, and go get him arraigned and put in a cell. That’s your job. That’s it. Even if he “resisted” arrest, you don’t get to punish him for that. A judge and jury has that job.

But here’s the thing… According to his nephew Josh, Jeff Bane was trying to get his children away from the road and someone called the police on him. The ever intrepid and tenacious The Dominion Post (Who I’d argue sided with the police so hard that the article itself is probably plagiarized from the police report) Jeff “appeared to be under the influence of narcotics”. From this point the police then decided to “restrain” him.

jeffrey-bane-police-abuse-copblock

Here’s a fact about Jeff though: He’s terminally ill. As in, he is dying. The disease is called Huntington’s Disease. It is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle movement and cognition. The list of symptoms on Wikipedia reads as follows:

“jerky, random, and uncontrollable movements called chorea.[2] Chorea may be initially exhibited as general restlessness, small unintentionally initiated or uncompleted motions, lack of coordination, or slowed saccadic eye movements.”

Hmmm. That almost matches the description of someone who “appeared to be under the influence of narcotics”, doesn’t it? But surely the police officers took the time to ascertain the nature of Jeff’s behavior, right? Surely, these men who wield so much authority over our daily lives took that fact to bear and did their due diligence, right? So how did Jeff end up in this situation? Because they fucking didn’t.

If they did, they would know what you and I now know: That Jeff’s movement’s were sporadic and jerky because he couldn’t control them. That “resisting” you see him doing in the video? He had no control over it. And the officers wouldn’t listen to him trying to explain. But what they DID do was kneel on a grown man’s neck and head with all of their body weight for nearly 10 minutes, in front of his children. His children had to watch him plead for someone, anyone, to help him. If you don’t find all that heartbreaking, you may have been Vice President somewhere between 2000-2008.

This is what Jeff Bane looked like when the police were finished grinding his face into the pavement (note his hospital gown):

jeffrey-bane-kidnapped-caged-copblock

We only know this because a wonderful person named Sara Bostonia had more compassion and care for her fellow man than any of these officers combined. She stopped and is the person who recorded the footage. Upon seeing this, the officers began feeling guilty and ceased their actions. JUST KIDDING! An officer makes it a point to cross the road and intimidate her for yelling at them to stop what they are doing.

For the woman there’s a borderline 1st Amendment violation.. For Jeff, there’s a possible 4th, 8th and 14th Amendment violation. And the entire account was caught on video.

Yet all these so called Patriots® and Freedom Lovers© are saying shit like “Well if he hadn’t done something wrong he wouldn’t be in this situation!”

Well you don’t KNOW that! It could have gone either way, he did something or didn’t, but behavior like this MUST be checked and called out whenever it occurs. Lest it be you or I in the same situation as this man without a single pretext for this kind of detainment.

And I’ll add this: the growing militarization of our domestic police force makes it even more imperative to quash this reaction where ever it rears it’s head. It is our duty -not just as US citizens, but of the human race- to stand up and let it be known that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

Contact the Granville Police department and ask if this behavior is acceptable.
Ask WBOY and WDTV why they appear to be ignoring this.

Ask questions and get mad. I’m mad as hell.

– Joshua Harwood

___________________________

The police involved have since claimed that they believed Jeffrey to be intoxicated – even if that were true, it does not justify their brutality.

Will those responsible be held accountable?

A Justice for Jeffrey Bane Facebook page has been created: https://www.facebook.com/Justice4JeffreyBane

Here’s video of Jeffrey walking with his kids just prior to being manhandled by Granville’s “finest.” Clearly his behavior didn’t warrant the “service” he was given.

Granville, WV Police Employees Grind Face of Terminally Ill Man On Pavement, Threaten Videographer is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Looking for Justice – My Son Was Killed By Chicago Police

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

The content below was shared via CopBlock.org/Submit by Panzy, the mom of 15-year-old Dakota Bright, who was killed by a Chicago police employee.

Date of Incident: 11/08/12
Individual Responsible: Unknown
Outfit: Chicago Police Department, 3rd District
Phone: 312-747-5530

This is my son, Dakota Bright. He was killed November 8th, 2012 at the age of 15 by a Chicago police officer who claimed to be in fear for his life. Dakota was shot in the back of his head and then he was handcuffed and left laying in a backyard for 4- to 5-hours.

As Korvell Curry wrote at uhurunews.com:

CPD officials released the reason for Dakota staying on the scene for so long was to “find” the very gun that Dakota allegedly pointed at an officer.
The officer’s name was never released.
As Dakota’s life was taken away before his time, his family cannot get any type of cooperation from any city officials or of course CPD officials.
The result of this fatal crime carried out on this teenager leaves a very big hole in Dakota’s family that can never be filled.
Panzy Bright, Dakota’s mother, has been protesting and speaking out on her son’s murder by the true killers and gangsters of the Chicago Police Department.

The ambulance was flagged off so he was denied medical attention that may have saved his life. There was no gun on him at all.

If that was not enough they taunted my family – they treated us like we are the criminals yet this officer gets to live his life as if nothing happened.

I constantly see pictures of the young men killed, it makes me sad but it also makes me made because my 15-year-old child’s life was taken by one of these monsters and yet he gets no justice.

Panzy Edwards and Dakota Bright, prior to him being Killed by a Chicago Police Employee

Panzy and Dakota Bright, prior to him being Killed by a Chicago Police Employee

From Jennifer Delgado’s write-up Marchers protest police shooting that killed teen at ChicagoTribune.com:

About 3:30 p.m that day, he was returning to his grandmother’s place when Grand Crossing District officers approached him, police and family said.

Officials said they ordered Dakota to drop the gun in his hand, but he started to run. Dakota then turned and pointed the weapon at them, authorities said, prompting officers to fire in his direction. A weapon was found at the scene, authorities said.

Police sources said Dakota was a gang member who had been arrested for robbery and aggravated battery to a police officer, though his family denies that he was involved in a gang. His family also said Dakota never had a gun and someone planted a weapon at the scene.

“My cousin was a normal, regular teenager,” said Lenard Clark, 29. “He didn’t deserve what he got.”

Many in the neighborhood said police in the area operate in a state of fear. They also wondered why officers shot Dakota in the head.

Editors Note: A petition at Change.org, started by Panzy, already has over 1,100 signatures. Clearly though, people signing a document is not enough to change the perverse incentives inherent in the policing institution, that itself is based on double standards. Real change will occur only when those responsible are held accountable for their actions. That starts with each of us, not buying into claims of authority put-forth by strangers who themselves subsist on theft.

In her quest for justice, Panzy was encouraged to reach out to known police accountability groups in her area, in the hope that some involved could add capacity, ideas, and traction.

Known Illinois-Based Police Accountability Groups

 

 

Looking for Justice – My Son Was Killed By Chicago Police is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Nevada Police Have Received $11.8M Worth of Military Gear

Saturday, September 20th, 2014
FergusonPolice 210x300 Nevada Police Have Received $11.8M Worth of Military Gear

Nobody really saw much of a difference.

After the heavy-handed and overzealous response to protesters by Ferguson police put the militarization of police in a national spotlight, it is becoming increasingly apparent just how much of a dotted line the boundary between the police and military has become over the past few years.

As Las Vegas’ CBS affiliate reports, Nevada police departments have been doing their share of feeding at the trough of leftovers generated by Washington’s perpetual wars over the past 20+ years:

“RENO, Nev. (AP) – Law enforcement agencies in Nevada have accumulated $11.8 million worth of military gear from the Pentagon through a surplus program under increasing scrutiny since the police response to protests over the killing of an unarmed Missouri teenager.

Defense Department records show over the past 17 years Nevada officers have received about 300 semi-automatic rifles, a half dozen mine-resistant and armored vehicles, three helicopters and a pair of grenade launchers.

PoliceRocketLauncher 300x300 Nevada Police Have Received $11.8M Worth of Military Gear

Picture Taken BEFORE the National Guard Troops Arrived in Ferguson

Tod Story, head of the American Civil Liberties Union in Nevada , says the militarization of local police sends the wrong signal to communities where officers are supposed to protect residents, “not assault them.”

Washoe County sheriff’s spokesman Bob Harmon says the Huey helicopter worth nearly $1 million they obtained in 1997 has helped save many lives during rescue and firefighting missions.”

 

Thanks for reading. Nevada Police Have Received $11.8M Worth of Military Gear is a post from Nevada Cop Block

Tim Reynolds, Independence, Mo. Police Employee, Puts Teen in ICU

Friday, September 19th, 2014

This incident was shared via CopBlock.org/Submit by multiple people concerned about the treatment of a teenager by an aggressive police employee.

Date of Interaction: 09/14/2014
Outfit: Independence, MO Police Department
Individual Responsible: Tim Reynolds
Phone: (816) 325-7300

Bryce Masters, a 17-year-old was in critical condition after Tim Reynolds, employed at the Independence, MO police employee used excessive force against him on Sunday, September 14th.

Masters was stopped due to a non-crime – the tags on the vehicle he was driving. When Reynolds ordered Masters to roll down his window, Masters stated, “I can’t roll down my window, it’s broke”- something a witness, Curtis Martes, collaborated as having heard.

After Masters opened the door of his car, Reynolds tased him and pulled him roughly pulled him from the vehicle. Masters head slammed off the pavement, and Reynolds kneeled on him.

AR-140919196.jpgMaxW315MaxH315

Bryce Masters

David Lohr wrote at the HuffingtonPost that:

“You could tell the kid was going into convulsions,” witness Michelle Baker told Fox4kc.com. “[The cop] turned him over and his head was dangling … and he had blood coming out.”

Masters was transported to CenterPoint hospital, where he reportedly remains listed in critical condition Monday, with swelling in his brain.

This situation involving Bryce Masters has a similarity with another well-known instance of police employee abuse – that of the killing of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police employees Jay Cicinelli, Kenton Hampton, Manny Ramos, Joe Wolfe, James Blatney, and a sixth colleague – as his father, like Kelly’s, is a police employee. The institutionalized violence of the police apparatus is now so great that even the previously protected class are seeing their own loved owns fall victim.

Now, employees of a bigger gang – the FBI – are investigating. Just another public relations move to quell justified discontent at the “service” provided by Tim Reynolds and his colleagues running damage control at the Independence Police outfit? We’ll see…

Tim Reynolds, Independence, Mo. Police Employee, Puts Teen in ICU is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

The Police State Goes Mainstream

Friday, September 19th, 2014

This post was shared via CopBlock.org/Submit and was originally made live at PowerfulPrimates.com by Jesse Herman. Connect with him via Twitter, Facebook or Google+ And if you’re so-inclined,  subscribe to Youtube.com/PowerfulPrimates, where the video, and other related content, is housed.

The police state gained steam in the 1980′s through the drug war, and unwinnable war against the American people, which was then accelerated by Bush and Clinton in the 90′s.

Then came 911 and as we slowly see drug laws loosening, anti-terrorist laws and force are blanketing the landscape making the anti-drug war look like a gentle massage to Bush and Obama’s terrorist approach of bending over uncle sam and raping him while recording it for syndication on your favorite fearporn outlet.

Post 911 brought a new world and quickly militarized the police force to look like your favorite GI Joe characters.

Events like Occupy Wall Street saw the rise of some mainstream media outrage as the good cops of the good ol’ days were hard to find, replaced by the bully hopped up on steroids and assault rifles.

The Boston Bombings resulted in police swarming the streets with militarization and while it disturbed some, on the mainstream scale it was hailed as a victory, where ‘Murica defeated the terrorists.

Then other incidents popped up like with Christopher Dorner, where it was shoot at whoever we damn well please and ask questions later. Or more fitting, “don’t ask questions at all mother fucker.”

Now finally, finally after the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, the national media at large has asked, “what and the holy fuck!?”

The focus by many has been on race but for anyone paying attention, it is all about state vs. citizen. The government vs. the individual.

double-standards-theft-taxation-you-own-yourself-think-and-govern-yourself-copblock-library

Solutions

The Police State Goes Mainstream is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Unnamed Saratoga Springs, UT Police Shoot Man Multiple Times From Behind, Killing Him

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Tony Ekins shared this content via CopBlock.org/Submit about 22-year-old Darrien Hunt who was shot and killed by still-unidentified men wearing badges of the Saratoga Springs, UT police department.

Date: September 10, 2014
Aggressors: two still-unidentified police employees
Outfit: Saratoga Springs, UT Police
Phone: 801-766-6503
Address: 1307 N. Commerce Dr., Saratoga Springs, Utah 84045

This is a case involving rural Utah town where police once again gun down a man wearing a sword on his back. Police said he lunged at them with his sword. But autopsy shows he was shot in the back running from police.

When his mother went to identify his body, the police declined and said to her, “the body is brown with an afro.” Definitely worth looking into and sharing with the stop-police-brutality network.

I live in Utah and these guys are going to get away with it if we don’t come together and let them police know we are here to protect our rights.

A write-up about the incident by Brian West and Nkoyo Iyamba at KSL.com noted:

Randall Edwards, an attorney for the Hunt family, said Saturday that an independent autopsy was performed at the family’s request. He says it shows that Darrien Hunt was shot “numerous times, all from the rear.”

“This is consistent with statements made by witnesses on the scene, who report that Darrien was shot to death while running away from police,” Edwards said in a statement. “It would appear difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile these facts with a story that Darrien was lunging toward the officers when he was shot.”

Supposedly, the Utah County Officer Involved Shooting Protocol Team is leading an independent investigation – but how unbiased can an investigation be from those folks, who, like the killers, subsist on stolen money and perceived legitimacy?

Also, as was disclosed on September 16th – six days after the shooting death of Darrian, those involved haven’t even been interviewed by investigators. What a joke!

From a write-up on TheGuardian.com by Jon Swaine:

After several days of silence Tim Taylor, the chief deputy attorney for Utah county, said in a statement on Saturday: “When the officers made contact with Mr Hunt, he brandished the sword and lunged toward the officers with the sword, at which time Mr Hunt was shot.”

However, Taylor confirmed to the Guardian on Monday that Hunt was in fact alleged to have lunged at the officers outside a bank several dozen yards away from where he ultimately died. While it was outside the bank that Hunt was first “shot at” by police, Taylor said, it was not clear whether he was struck on that occasion.

Hunt then headed north and was shot several more times before eventually collapsing outside the Panda Express, according to Taylor. He said it was not clear if there were any further threatening moves. “Whether or not the individual lunged again at point two, the other location, I don’t know about that,” Taylor said.

Randall Edwards, an attorney for Hunt’s family, said in an email late on Monday: “This appears to be a major change in the official story”.

Edwards said over the weekend that the family’s private autopsy had found Hunt was shot six times from behind. He was hit once in a shoulder, once in the back, once in an elbow, twice in a leg and once in a hand, according to the attorney.

“The shot that killed Darrien, which was straight in the back, did not have an exit wound,” Edwards told the Guardian. “It raises the question as to how you can lunge at someone and be shot in the back at the same time.”

Darrien Hunt and family, before men wearing badges killed him.

Darrien Hunt and family, before men wearing badges killed him.

If you were in the area during the time of the incident and witnessed, or captured any of the scenes that unfolded, please step forward.

Or, if you work with the triggermen and have information that hasn’t yet been made public, do the right thing. You know, if Darrien were your son, you’d seek accountability.

Unnamed Saratoga Springs, UT Police Shoot Man Multiple Times From Behind, Killing Him is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Justice for Terry Groessel – Killed By Dallas Police Employees Jankowski and Herczeg

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

This story was submitted by a relative of Terry Groessel, who was the third person killed by Dallas police employees in two weeks. It was shared, in an effort to put-forth a version of events that didn’t originate from the shooters or their friends, via the form at CopBlock.org/Submit.

The family has started a GoFundMe campaign to to raise money to start a lawsuit against the Dallas Police Department.

_______________________

On the morning of 8/21, I received a text from my cousin asking me to call her. When I did, she explained that she just got word that Dallas Police Department shot and killed our Uncle Terry Groessel the night before at the Grand Hotel in Dallas.

Dallas police employees stated that the police were in the parking lot of the Grand Hotel scanning license plates, looking for stolen vehicles. They believed, for some reason, that Terry’s truck was stolen (had they scanned his plates, they would have immediately found out that it was NOT stolen).

Terry was living at the hotel at the time. Many news articles were attempting to justify his murder by slandering his name and listing his past crimes (including being a registered sex offender for having a 17-year-old girlfriend 20 years ago). He paid his time for his crimes, and was a changed man.

However, by 3:30 PM on 8/21, the story changed to “suicide.”

Related corporate news story: Dallas police say shot that killed suspect in officer-involved shooting was self-inflicted by Claire Cardona at DallasNews.com

According to the police, we’re supposed to believe that the 20+ bullets shot at him didn’t end his life! but that a final shot by his own handgun was what ended his life. This is absolutely a lie, and my family has found two witnesses that say it was more like 40-60 bullets that Dallas police employees shot at him, it sounded like fireworks, and the police were 5-6 feet away from him while shooting (NOT by the squad car, as DPD reported).

After the first round of bullets, Terry was still alive, according to an eyewitness, with his hand(s) in the air as if he were surrendering or crying for help, then the second round of bullets were fired at him. Rather than calling an ambulance, the police waited 10-15 minutes before going to even check to see if he was actually dead.

According to both witnesses, the police were going throughout the hotel, telling people to go back to their rooms. They also had everyone who had photos or videos to turn them over to police, and then delete them.

The family is now trying to prosecute either the involved officers, or the Dallas Police Department. We feel like we have enough evidence for a case, and we have started a campaign to fund all incurred legal fees for this: http://www.gofundme.com/e6mobc

We need an excellent lawyer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Once we have a lawyer on retainer, we can obtain the police report and autopsy report, which have been behind red tape for the family since the incident.

Dallas Police Outfit

  •  (214) 671-3646
  • Aggressors: Jay Jankowski, Michelle Herczeg
  • 1400 S. Lamar St. Dallas, tx 75215

Known Texas-Based Police Accountability Groups

Justice for Terry Groessel – Killed By Dallas Police Employees Jankowski and Herczeg is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights

Free Screening of “If a Tree Falls” Sept. 12th in Las Vegas

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Note: This is a cross-post from the Nevada Cop Block site by Kelly W. Patterson.

September's Radical Movie Night Features a Free Screening of "If a Tree Falls"
September’s Radical Movie Night Features a Free Screening of “If a Tree Falls”

Sept. “Radical Movie Night”

September 12th marks the debut of Las Vegas’ own Radical Movie Night, hosted by the Sunset Activist Collective, co- Sponsored by Nevada Cop Block and Food Not Bombs Las Vegas, and officially endorsed by the Las Vegas A-Cafe. This will be a monthly free showing of either a documentary or a movie with significant social value. The main purpose of Radical Movie Nights will be to connect local community members and encourage active participation within the local community by those within it to promote and empower those wishing to make positive grassroots-based improvements where they live and within their personal workplaces.

The location where Radical Movie Nights will take place is The Sci Fi Center, which many locals already know from its longstanding tradition for showing independent movies and cult classics that are often not available in a large screen setting. (Disclaimer: the Sci Fi Center is not actually involved in the Radical Movie Nights, outside of permitting us to use it as a venue for showing movies.)

In order to coincide with actions against the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (for more info about the AETA and local actions in response to it, see:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/07/animal-enterprise-terrorism-act_n_5659893.html) beginning in September, the first movie that will be shown is ” If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front,” a documentary about the Earth Liberation Front, in general, and one of its members, Daniel G. McGowan, who was characterized as a terrorist by the US government after his arrest for environmental activism actions, in particular.

Radical Movie Nights in Las Vegas will take place every second Friday at the Sci Fi Center

Radical Movie Nights in Las Vegas every second Friday at the Sci Fi Center

The movie, which was nominated for an Academy Award and won numerous other awards, shows the history and personal reasons why those involved in the ELF actions did what they did and how they became “radicalized,” during previous less militant actions. In addition it addresses issues involving the declaring activists, who never actually harmed or ever tried to harm people, terrorists, based solely on property damage.

However, it also interviews and discusses the perspective of the targets of those actions and the effects they had on them. As a result, it is a fairly even handed presentation of the facts involved, which allows viewers to decide for themselves who was right or wrong and why.

 


 

 

About the Movie (via http://www.ifatreefallsfilm.com/):

“In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front– a group the FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.”

For years, the ELF—operating in separate anonymous cells without any central leadership—had launched spectacular arsons against dozens of businesses they accused of destroying the environment: timber companies, SUV dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses, and a $12 million ski lodge at Vail, Colorado.

With the arrest of Daniel and thirteen others, the government had cracked what was probably the largest ELF cell in America and brought down the group responsible for the very first ELF arsons in this country.

IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT tells the remarkable story of the rise and fall of this ELF cell, by focusing on the transformation and radicalization of one of its members.

Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thrilller, the film interweaves a verite chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.

Drawing from striking archival footage — much of it never before seen — and intimate interviews with ELF members, and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them, IF A TREE FALLS explores the tumultuous period from 1995 until early 2001 when environmentalists were clashing with timber companies and law enforcement, and the word “terrorism” had not yet been altered by 9/11.”

Free Screening of “If a Tree Falls” Sept. 12th in Las Vegas is a post from Cop Block - Badges Don't Grant Extra Rights