Are there too many police or are there too few? In the months since Black Lives Matter activists first organized protests against police violence, the concept of over-policing has become key in understanding the dynamic against which they fight, especially in dramatically over-policed places like Ferguson. Some opponents contend that black communities are actually under-policed, citing rates of violent crime and 911 response time as the reason to increase police presence. The focus on numbers, however, belies the fact that both over- and under-policing have been used to oppress black communities.
On Tuesday night in East Harlem, a man named Tyrone Howard allegedly fired a single shot at NYPD officer Randolph Holder, striking him in the head and killing him. Holder’s death is a tragedy, and despite what New York City mayor Bill de Blasio would have you believe, it has nothing whatsoever to do with prison reform.
In July, a man was assaulted by police offers for allegedly falling asleep on the train on his way home from work. "For what?!" the man yells repeatedly, as officers attempt to cuff him. "I ain't do shit...I just wanna go home." The pain and distress in his voice are audibly clear, and the reasons for which he is being arrested seem arbitrary at best. "Record all of this, please!" he says to others on the subway car. This incident would seem outrageous if the occurrence of police officers abusing their power—a power, we should not forget, that is entrusted to them by the public—weren't so commonplace in New York City.
Is it just Mardi Gras or are all New Orleans cops this cool?
In America, getting arrested is perhaps the easiest part of dealing with law enforcement. Then comes the court fees, probation, and, of course, paying a company to stop posting your mug shot online.
As all schoolchildren know, the Firsteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads, "No law passed by the federal government may be enforced UNLESS it is cool with a bunch of sheriffs of rural counties." Leave it to the NObama administration to flagrantly ignore this Divine Right of Random Sheriffs to Decide About the Legality All Laws Based on Just Whatever Pops Into Their Heads.
By contrasting the ease with which Aurora shooter James Holmes ordered guns and ammunition online with the rapid FBI response when a Muslim would-be terrorist in Aurora sent a single suspicious email a few years ago, Denver Post columnist Chuck Murphy states the obvious in his column today: this mass shooting might have turned out very differently if James Holmes had been named Ibrahim or Mohammed.
On Tuesday night, millions of people on Twitter were talking about the recall election in Wisconsin, in which Republican Governor Scott Walker beat his Democratic challenger Tom Barrett. Some were gleeful; some were despondent. And some were violent: "KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER KILL SCOTT WALKER! Ole Bitch Ass Pig Ass Nigga!!!!" tweeted a fellow named @__SupaMcNASTY__.
Once again this week, the FBI has foiled an incredibly unconvincing terror plot replete with plans that fail to strike fear in the heart of any American. Sami Osmakac, a 25 year-old in Tampa, Florida, has been arrested for allegedly plotting to destroy bridges and bomb nightclubs in the name of Islam. Anyone who's been to Florida knows that destroying nightclubs in Tampa would be a great public service, to the United States of America.
After collecting tips from (drunk? bath salts-addled?) witnesses and obtaining a warrant, a Santa Maria, California SWAT team stormtroopered the home of Hope and Javier Bravo Sr. in search of their son, Javier Bravo Jr. But he was already incarcerated. Which seems like something they should have known!
The Blue Code of Silence might be stronger than ever within the NYPD, but in Florida, cops aren't just snitching on other cops — they're chasing them down the Florida Turnpike at speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour, pulling them over, and reading them the riot act before placing them under arrest.
Emmett DeFrisco became Chicago's most famous cosplay kid yesterday after someone found his homemade, duct-taped, bricks-and-wires contraption in a public park, determined that the unusual object was a Suspicious Package, and called law enforcement. The whole park got shut down because of this thing!
The Washington D.C. police department used police cruisers as emergency vehicles at speeds of at least 80 miles per hour to escort Charlie Sheen from Dulles Airport in Virginia to his show in Washington, D.C. on April 19, 2011. Apparently, arriving in his private jet, Sheen was late for his performance and D.C.'s Homeland Security and Special Operations Division authorized and approved the high speed escort.