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Articles by Edward Lyon

Athlete Settles Tasing Suit Against Milwaukee Police

Milwaukee city attorney Tearman Spencer and assistant city attorney Robin A. Pederson sent a letter to the city’s Common Council on November ...

Texas Police S.W.A.T. Woman Over Anti-Cop Bumper Stickers

$12 Million Settlement Against Louisville, Kentucky

 

by Ed Lyon 

A settlement with family was reached in the death of Breonna Taylor of Kentucky, an unarmed Black woman who was killed when undercover Louisville Metro police “blindly” fired 10 rounds into her apartment on March 13, 2020, the result of a botched raid that began as Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were sleeping. [See August 2020 CLN, p.48.]

The family’s lawsuit, resolved in mid-September 2020, cites battery, wrongful death, excessive force, and gross negligence. Taylor received no medical attention for more than 20 minutes after she was wounded, dispatch logs reveal, The Courier Journal reports.

Taylor was an emergency medical technician who battled for victims of the novel coronavirus before she became the victim of a no-knock warrant by overzealous cops.

The Taylor case got more exposure after the May 2020 killing of George Floyd. The video of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Officer Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes brought awareness to the everyday perils Black citizens face from police. Her death set off protests across the world along with Floyd’s. 

Representing Taylor’s family were Lonita Baker and Benjamin Crump, who brought a civil rights deprivation and wrongful death ...

Exodus of a Baker’s Dozen

 

by Ed Lyon

Since the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd while in police custody, protests against police brutality and systemic racism have grown. And, as various protests and incidents of excessive force by police make headlines, police chiefs are beating a hasty exodus from troubled departments. 

• In California, Los Angeles Schools’ Police Chief Todd Chamberlain resigned after defunding of his department by 33 percent resulted in 40 vacancies remaining unfilled and a force reduction of 65 officers. 

• In Georgia, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned after Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot by now-fired police Officer Garrett Rolfe. Although Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms accepted the resignation, she stated Shields would continue to serve within the department in a position “yet to be determined,” turning the resignation into a demotion. 

• In Kentucky, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer fired Chief Steve Conrad after cops and National Guard soldiers shot restaurateur David McAtee to death. Conrad was fired because cops were not wearing their body cams, not because McAtee died. 

• Prince George’s County, Maryland, Police Chief Hank Stawinski resigned after complaints by 13 minority officers were aired by the American Civil Liberties Union. They had ...

Less Lethal Munitions Still Deadly

Incidents like these probably went a long way to inspiring the development of less lethal munitions used by police at demonstrations that become disruptive and even riotous. Less lethal munitions may work in theory, but over several decades, their use has probably maimed and killed more demonstrators than real bullets.

According to Plumas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Ed Obayashi, the primary objective for using them is “to inflict pain to gain compliance and to disburse a crowd,” he told USA Today. He added that if demonstrators remain noncompliant with police instructions, “firing on the overall crowd could be justified.”

Less lethal munitions are actually viewed as lifesavers by giving police a “knock down option to disable threats from a safe distance without killing the target.” This further enables police administrators and supervisors to downplay less lethal munitions’ misuse “as conduct violations rather than weaponry problems.”

The three most common types of less lethal munitions are bean bags, rubber bullets, and paintball ...

Kettles Are Used for Teas, Kettling is Used for People

The traditional method used by police to control riots or crowds is dispersal. This is effected in many ways like using tear gas or even water cannons. No more people, rioters, protesters, or crowds. Pretty simple.

The U.S. has a combined jail and prison population of 2.3 million of its citizens. If rioters, protesters, or just crowds of people disburse, there is no way to enter them into the nation’s ever-growing ranks of criminals. Kettling solves that problem.

The idea is to confine the rioters, protesters, or crowds in an area from which they are unable to escape. For residents caught outside their homes or passers-by caught up in a kettling operation, they become collateral damage. Even if they are not later convicted of anything, they now have an arrest record.

In early June, a group of over 600 peaceful protesters in Dallas, Texas, were effectively kettled ...

Successful Alternatives to Armed Police Response

Barry Friedman runs New York University’s Policing Project. He points out that police officers are molded from a “one-size-fits-all-model. Police just aren’t trained to do a lot of the things they end up doing. They are trained for force and law. So you get force-and-law results.” The old saying “when you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail” is particularly apt with respect to cops, so some forward-thinking municipalities around the country have stopped sending hammers to every type of emergency service call with unsurprisingly positive results.  

Currently, activists across the country ...

When Police Caught Lying, the Spin Begins

Many police officers have become the opposite of what they were meant to be. Even when caught on video committing atrocities against the citizens they swore to protect, they downplay and even get away with the evil they have done by lying and spinning the facts.

Take for example Buffalo, New York, on June 4, 2020. In clear daylight, the city’s Emergency Response Team (“ERT”) marched toward peaceful protesters. Two ERT cops shoved an elderly man down with such force that when the victim’s head hit the ground an audible “thunk” is heard as blood runs from one ear. The ERT leaves him.

The cops tell the press he “tripped and fell.” The Lie.

Then a video of what happened appears on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Uh oh: The Truth.

A Buffalo police captain explains the cops’ perspective was based on a camera ...

The Warrior Cop Mindset

Police Body Cams Are not a Cure-All

There is a growing movement to defund ...

 

 

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