A Brief History of Slavery and the Origins of American Policing

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 3.47.43 PMWritten by Victor E. Kappeler, Ph.D.

The birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. The institution of slavery and the control of minorities, however, were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities. For example, New England settlers appointed Indian Constables to police Native Americans (National Constable Association, 1995), the St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols. In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation’s first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property. Continue reading

Judge Won’t Dismiss Police Killing Case, Possible Cover Up Involving City Leaders and Law Enforcement

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 6.46.15 PMOriginally Posted to Courthouse News

BY PHILIP A. JANQUART 

San Francisco

A federal judge refused to dismiss all claims that police and a deputy district attorney conspired to kill a man in a sting operation, and routinely use a “tool” to cover up police misconduct.

Charles Burns died on May 10, 2013 in a hail of gunfire after surrendering to law enforcement officers, his parents John and Tammy Burns said in a February 2014 lawsuit against 22 officials and officers, the cities of Concord and Antioch and Contra Costa County.

The 59-page lawsuit paints a chaotic and bloody scene in which Burns was the passenger in a car driven by co-plaintiff Bobby Lawrence. As the two returned from Wal-Mart, where Burns had bought a Mother’s Day card, several unmarked police cars rammed to a stop.

Lawrence said he was hauled out of the car, assaulted and illegally detained for a prolonged period of time.

Burns got out of the car and “jogged approximately 20 feet” before stopping and surrendering to police, three of them lining up “in firing squad fashion” and “unload[ing] their weapons,” even after Burns’ body lay lifeless on the ground “in a pool of his own blood,” according to the 30-page complaint.

His parents say a Concord Police Department dog was then released to attack their motionless son. The dog’s handler retrieved the dog and then stood over him, firing two more rounds into his body. Continue reading

Former Muni top cop says fare-evasion enforcement is in line with anti-­terrorism efforts


The Police Department’s former top transit cop has said that fare evasion enforcement is in line with the intent of federal funding aimed at antiterrorism tactics. - MIKE KOOZMIN/S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO

mike koozmin/s.f. examiner file photo

Police believe it is good policy for anti-terrorism enforcement to include patrolling public transit for fare evaders, according to the department’s former top transit officer.

Last week, The San Francisco Examiner reported that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, uses funding from federal anti­-terrorism grants to pay for fare evasion enforcement, via a group called the Muni Task Force.

Continue reading

Ayotzinapa: 100 Days of Rage, Sorrow and Struggle in Guerrero

Posted in Upside Down World

By Andalusia Knoll

Mexico has not been the same since the forced disappearance in Iguala, Guerrero of 43 Normalista students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College on September 26, 2014.  Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand that the students be returned alive and also to denounce political corruption and the “Narco-Government.” The Southern state of Guerrero has been the epicenter of these protests and a wide range of actions including citizen searches, takeovers of tollbooths, a statewide caravan, the burning of government buildings, and more.

Since the disappearance of 43 students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Ayotzinapa School and the extrajudicial killing of 3 students, Julio Cesar Ramirez Nava, Daniel Solis Gallardo and Julio Cesar Mondragon at the hands of the police, students have suspended classes.

Ayotzinapa

With photos of their missing children in hand, family members of the Ayotzinapa students marched in Acapulco a little over one month after the disappearance of their children. The involvement of municipal police in the attack has led the phrases “It was the state” and “narco-state” to become popular vernacular. Continue reading

Community Victory! Officers who killed Alex Nieto are Named, Public Scrutiny Follows

Photo: Jason Sawyer receiving 2007 medal of valor

Community victory! Officers who killed Alex Nieto finally named!

Today Friday, SFPD revealed to media outlets the names of the officers responsible for killing Alex Nieto. The four officers who killed Alex Nieto are

Sgt. Jason Sawyer

Officer Roger Morse

Officer Richard Schiff, and

Officer Nathan Chew.

The release of the officers’ names is a victory achieved through nine months of constant community pressure for transparency and accountability in the police killing of Alex Nieto, backed by solid legal action. By order of a federal court judge, the names of these four officers and two other officers present during the shooting were going to be made public on Monday January 5th, 2015.  (On Monday we’ll learn the names of the other two officers who were present at the shooting of Alex Nieto, but who did not discharge their weapons.)

2014.12.3 Alex Nieto Rally We Want Names June Jordan

SFPD’s cover-up stumbles

SFPD and the City have carried out a cover-up campaign since Alex Nieto was shot to death over fourteen times on March 21, 2014. We believe they are hiding evidence and information relevant to his shooting. A court order was necessary to get them to release the names of the officers they insistently kept out of the public eye. It therefore comes as no surprise that Sgt. Jason Sawyer, who was the commanding officer at the scene and first to respond, was previously involved in another questionable shooting alongside Officer Furminger, the later convicted on federal felony charges just last month. (Furminger was also one of the killers of Idriss Stelley in 2001.) Continue Reading

San Francisco Police Finally Release Names of Cops Involved In Shooting Death Of Alex Nieto. Now We Know Why They Tried To HIde It

From Adriana Camarena

Posted in Justice 4 Alex Nieto, killed by SFPD

Photo: @violentfanon - FTP march, xmas day

Photo: @violentfanon – FTP march, xmas day

Dear supporters, so it comes as no surprise that one of the officers involved Lt. Sawyer, promoted after killing Alex, had already been involved in another questionable killing alongside none other than Furminger. (Furminger was convicted on federal felony charges last month. Furminger is also one of the killers of La Mesha Irizarry‘s son- Idriss Stelley) The backgrounds of these officers must be publicly scrutinized.

“Lt. Jason Sawyer and officers Roger Morse, Richard Schiff and Nathan Chew were involved in the fatal shooting of Alejandro Nieto, 28, on Bernal Hill on March 21, police said.

Ferguson Protesters Are Occupying St. Louis Police Headquarters

eviction noticeTwenty-five people in Ferguson, Missouri,are occupying the St. Louis Police headquarters. In the meantime, SLPD are busy chasing around a diversion march on the streets. This comes as ongoing anti-police actions around the country have gained momentum, sparked by the most recent murders by police.

PRESS RELEASE:

We have received a cry for help, that as mothers, grandmothers, fathers, grandfathers, brothers and sisters we can NO LONGER IGNORE.

In response to this dispatch, we intend to evict injustice and blight, by occupying St. Louis Police headquarters on December 31st, 2014, at 11am. The decision to reclaim our police department is the result of willful neglect and violence on behalf of the department toward the community, which they are bound, by oath, to protect and serve. Continue reading

Mike Brown Memorial Intentionally Destroyed Christmas Night

From Jacob Crawford of We Copwatch

(CALL FLOOD) Ferguson Police Public Relations Officer refers to Mike Brown Memorial as “a pile of trash in the middle of the street.”

Call Ferguson PD at (314) 522-3100 and tell them what you think of Officer Timothy Zoll and his disrespectful comments. Let them know it’s situations like this where Ferguson Police would have earned some points showing some compassion. Instead, they showed us that their despicable department could care less. Maybe it’s time to disband this KKK outfit in Ferguson.

[Photos] Fuck The Police March: Christmas Edition

 For Background  read: Protestors to Police: No Christmas For You!

 

 

Continue reading

Protestors to Police: No Christmas For You!

Flier for X-Mas Day FTP March (Oakland)

Flier for X-Mas Day FTP March (Oakland)

Police unions around the country are cashing in on the deaths of two NYPD officers by guilt-tripping the masses, attacking protestors (and even blaming the mayor, attorney general and president) for having “blood on their hands.” Tonight New Yorkers defied the calls of the mayor and the police unions to “suspend” all protests by taking to the streets in Manhattan and the Bronx. Here in the Bay Area, residents of Oakland are sharing that sentiment by holding a FTP (Fuck The Police) march on Christmas day with one stated goal: No Time Off.

A handful of organizations and self-appointed leaders, like the well-known FBI informant Rev. Al Sharpton, have rushed to condemn the killings in an attempt to “preserve the moral high ground.” However, many long time anti-police activists and residents of Oakland are remembering Lovell Mixon — a local villain to some, but a hero to others– who killed four OPD officers during the height of the Oscar Grant rebellions. Continue reading