5 Memphis Police Officers Charged In Beating Death Of Tyre Nichols

Five Memphis police officers fired last week in connection with the beating death of a 29-year-old Black man were arrested and  charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping.
L-R Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean. (photos: Memphis Police)

The 5 Memphis police officers who were fired last week in connection with the beating death of a 29-year-old Black man were arrested on Thursday. All were  charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping. Continue reading “5 Memphis Police Officers Charged In Beating Death Of Tyre Nichols”

Former Police Officers Found Guilty Of Violating George Floyd’s Civil Rights

Former Minneapolis police officers have been found guilty of violating George Floyd's civil rights when they stood by as former police officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd by holding his knee on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes
L-R Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane (mug shots)

Three former Minneapolis police officers have been found guilty of violating George Floyd’s civil rights when they failed to intervene as former police officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd by pressing his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes.

Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng now face the possibility of life in prison. Continue reading “Former Police Officers Found Guilty Of Violating George Floyd’s Civil Rights”

News Round-Up: October 5, 2021

Pride flag flies in the breeze

Some news items you might have missed:

The Advocate: Southwestern High School in Piasa, Illinois, held a flag-themed day, and one student brought a rainbow Pride flag. A fellow student told him to get rid of the flag, and when the first student asked why, another schoolmate began punching and beating him while trying to take the flag away. The accused attacker has been charged with aggravated battery. Continue reading “News Round-Up: October 5, 2021”

Derek Chauvin Sentenced To 22.5 Years In Prison In George Floyd Murder

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison after being found guilty of second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter.

From Mother Jones:

In Minnesota, the maximum sentence for unintentional second-degree murder — Chauvin’s most serious crime — is 40 years, but the recommended sentence for people with no prior criminal record is 12.5 years. Judge Peter Cahill said on Friday that he added 10 years to the presumptive sentence “based on your abuse of a position of trust and authority, and also the particular cruelty shown to George Floyd.”

With good behavior, Chauvin, 45, could be paroled after serving two-thirds of his sentence, or about 15 years.

Prosecutors had asked for a 30 year sentence, and Chauvin’s attorney asked for probation and time served.

It’s worth remembering that Chauvin tortured Floyd to death, in public, in front of children. People are sentenced to life in prison for far less.

Here’s the sentencing by the judge as well as the statement Chauvin made today:

NYC Pride Reverses On Gay Cops Marching In Parade, Then Reverses Again

The logo for NYC Pride 2021

The logo for NYC Pride 2021

Heritage of Pride, the group that organizes New York City Pride events each year, reversed it’s decision to ban gay armed police officers in uniform from marching in this year’s Pride Parade last night.

The original decision, announced last week, sparked days of controversy voiced by the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL).

So, last night the general membership voted to allow uniformed gay officers to march in the parade

“By a 55-40% margin (5% abstaining), they voted to let GOAL march in uniform with concealed weapons but NOT to have an ‘NYPD’ contingent in the parade,” wrote Andrew Humm on Facebook. “Andre Thomas, the co-chair, resigned as did some other people of color at the meeting who were left in tears.”

But at 1:30am, the HOP board announced they had reversed the reversal, saying they “voted to set a new policy regarding GOAL’s participation in an effort to be mindful and focus on our mission of creating safe space for marginalized communities.”

“It fell under our purview to do so, as elected representatives of this organization,” continued the board. “We firmly believe that this decision is in the best interest of our community.”

Having decided the officers “will not march armed and in police uniforms,” the board shared it may consider allowing gay officers to march out of uniform and without armed weapons.

The Executive Board of HOP cited past actions by police officers against LGBTQ people and POC as the reasons for excluding armed police officers in uniform.

The NYPD, and policing across America, is fundamentally flawed. These are institutions started as slave patrols, and continue to oppress Black, Brown, Indigenous, POC, LGBTQ+ individuals, and individuals who stand at the intersections of these identities.

Over their lifetime, Black men have a 1 in 1000 chance of being killed by the police. LGBQ people are six times more likely to be stopped by the police.

Nearly 3 out of 4 of lethal anti-LGBT hate crimes committed against transwomen and girls.

Transgender individuals who survive violence are 3.7 times more likely to experience police violence compared to non-transgender survivors and7times more likely to experience physical violence when interacting with the police.

Until 2021, transpeople in New York could be arrested for wearing clothes that did not correspond with their sex assigned at birth. And after over 267 complaints related to abuse of force by NYPD when dealing with protesters, only two officers have faced serious disciplinary action.

In the past year, as Black Lives Matter protests spread across the nation following the murder of George Floyd and other Black men, HOP notes that NYC police officers attacked queer people who took part in the protests.

HOP also points out that the gay rights movement was born out of a vicious 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn gay bar.

That said, due to pressure from LGBTQ advocacy groups, the NYPD issued an official apology in 2019 for the 1969 raid as well as for years of brutal treatment of LGBTQ people in the city. In their statement last week, GOAL made note of the work being done by gay  police officers to improve relations between police and the LGBTQ community.

As I reported last night, the New York Times editorial board penned an op-ed this week calling the banning of gay police officers by HOP a “misstep.” The Times added that the decision “disproportionately affects L.G.B.T.Q. police officers, many of whom have been fighting for reforms; they shouldn’t be judged, and even set back, by the worst behavior of their colleagues.”

Officer Investigated After Video Shows Suspect Being Punched While Restrained

A peaceful protester is punched by a Louisville police officer while four more cops restrain the man
(screen capture via Facebook)

Disturbing video posted to social media appears to show a Louisville, Kentucky, police officer punching a protester as four other officers are involved in restraining the man.

From WLKT:

A Louisville Metro police officer is facing an internal investigation after video surfaced on social media of him striking an individual several times in the face.

The video was posted to Facebook Sunday and shows five police officers involved in the attempted arrest of the man at Jefferson Square Park.

The video shows the officers force the man to the ground, and as that’s occurring, one of the LMPD officers begins striking the individual in the face. Once the man is mostly on the ground, the officer can be seen repeatedly striking the individual.

The four other officers continue to pin the man down as they try to arrest him. 

The man, identified as Denorver Garrett, was booked on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Chief Erika Shields said in a statement, “This raises serious questions and is not consistent with LMPD training.”

Read the full article here.