×
police violence
December 10, 2018

A video published on Facebook shows a group of New York City police officers violently yanking a baby away from his mother while attempting to arrest her at a social services office in Brooklyn. The clip was uploaded Friday and gathered more than 200,000 views over the weekend, prompting a police department review of the incident and outrage from local political leaders.

The encounter reportedly began when Jazmine Headley, 23, sat on the floor in the office waiting room because all the seats were filled. "The security guard, I guess she came over and told her she couldn't sit there. So she's like, 'Where am I going to sit?'" said Nyashia Ferguson, who captured the footage. "She was like, 'What is the crime? What did I do wrong?'" Ferguson added. "And then it just escalated."

In the video, Headley is seen on the floor, desperately holding on to her 1-year-old son while a group of about five officers and guards try to restrain her and pull her child away. "They're hurting my son!" she shouts as the waiting room crowd protests. One officer takes out a yellow stun gun, waiving it at bystanders and pointing it at Headley's face.

Headley was ultimately arrested and charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespass, obstructing governmental administration, and, incredibly, acting in a manner injurious to a child. Her mother said as of Sunday she was still in jail and had not been allowed to see her son.

Watch the disturbing video below. Bonnie Kristian

December 4, 2018

An independent autopsy of Emantic "E.J." Bradford Jr., the black man killed by police in an Alabama mall on Thanksgiving, found he was shot three times in the back, the Bradford family's attorneys reported Monday. The bullets' entry point indicates Bradford was running away when a police officer fired on him from behind.

"We believe based on this forensic evidence that this officer should be charged with a crime," said lawyer Benjamin Crump. "There's nothing that justifies him shooting E.J. as he's moving away from [the officer]. You're not a threat when you're running away."

Bradford's father, Emantic Bradford Sr., emphasized the senselessness of his son's death. "My son was murdered by this officer, and that was cowardice," he said. "You shot a 21-year-old person running away from gunfire. Never posed you a threat, never had nothing in his hand. Why did you shoot him? You can't explain that to me, 'cause that ain't training. That's cowardice."

Police were at the mall to respond to a shooting for which they initially claimed Bradford was responsible. A different suspect for that shooting has since been arrested, and witnesses told The New York Times Bradford had been guiding frightened shoppers to safety when he was killed. Bonnie Kristian

August 12, 2018

A Baltimore police officer who has not been officially identified has been put on paid leave after he was seen beating a man in a viral video clip.

The officer pushed Dashawn McGrier, 26, against a wall and punched him repeatedly. McGrier appears to try to move the cop's hand away but does not fight back. He was not arrested and was hospitalized Saturday evening to check for fractures on his face and ribs.

McGrier's attorney, Warren Brown, said his client has had a previous run-in with the same officer. Both times, he says, the officer targeted McGrier without cause, and the first incident resulted in McGrier being arrested on charges of assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, and resisting arrest.

"It seems like this officer had just decided that Dashawn was going to be his punching bag," said Brown. "And this was a brutal attack that was degrading and demeaning to my client, to that community, and to the police department."

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said in a statement she has seen the "very disturbing" video and has "demanded answers and accountability." The police department will review the body camera footage of the officer responsible and that of another cop who was on the scene.

Watch the viral video of the beating here via The Baltimore Sun. Bonnie Kristian

June 27, 2018

One week after an East Pittsburgh police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teen, he turned himself in to authorities on homicide charges.

Officer Michael Rosfeld was booked into the Allegheny County Jail on Wednesday morning and will face criminal charges over the death of Antwon Rose Jr., The New York Times reports.

Rosfeld allegedly shot 17-year-old Rose Jr. after a traffic stop on June 19 when Rose Jr. fled the car and ran away from the officers. The officer was released after posting a $250,000 bail. CNN notes that the severity of the charges are unclear, as court records didn't show whether he was charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter.

The incident, documented by a video posted on Facebook, sparked major protests in Pittsburgh, with hundreds of people marching for several days following the shooting. The next hearing for Rosfeld, who was sworn into the police force just hours before the shooting, is scheduled for July 6. Read more at The New York Times. Summer Meza

May 31, 2018

Police in Wildwood, New Jersey, have released body cam footage of an officer repeatedly punching a 20-year-old woman suspected of drinking alcohol on the beach. The violent encounter between the beachgoer, Emily Weinman, and two cops whose names have not been released was previously seen in a viral cell phone video capturing part of the incident.

In the new footage, Weinman takes an apparently negative Breathalyzer test and declines to give her last name and phone number, asking the police to wait for her aunt, who is over 21, to arrive and claim responsibility for the alcohol present. "That's it, I'm done with you," one officer says. "You're about to get dropped."

Weinman walks away from the officers protesting that she has done nothing wrong, and after she appears to turn and shove the cop wearing the camera, they slam her to the ground, with one officer holding her down as the other pulls her hair and hits her on the head.

The two officers involved have been put on desk duty while their conduct is investigated, but Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano said he thinks the cops "were doing their job" because the Weinman "refused to comply." Weinman, meanwhile, was slapped with a bevy of charges including aggravated assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and underage possession of alcohol.

See the bystander's video here, and watch the body camera footage below. Bonnie Kristian

April 17, 2018

Cambridge, Massachusetts, police tackled and repeatedly punched a black Harvard student in the stomach while arresting him Friday night. The encounter was filmed by a bystander, and the police department has begun an internal investigation.

The student, identified as 21-year-old Selorm Ohene, a math major, was standing nude in the middle of a street, reportedly having a negative experience with hallucinogenic drugs. Several people called the police, and when the cops arrived, they spoke with Ohene — visibly unarmed and not in a normal state of mind — for just two minutes before slamming him to the ground. One officer has admitted to punching him five times in the stomach.

Ohene was taken to the hospital and charged with disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, resisting arrest, and assault. Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard Jr. has defended the officers' actions, saying they made "numerous attempts" to calm Ohene but decided to take him down after "he was observed clenching his fists and moving towards officers."

The Harvard Black Law Students Association reports a "pool of blood" was left on the street after Ohene's arrest. "We demand that the officers who assaulted this man while he was naked, fully subdued, and bleeding on the ground be investigated and held accountable," the group said in a statement.

Ohene was still hospitalized as of Monday night. Watch the video of his arrest below. Bonnie Kristian

April 3, 2018

Nine body camera videos released by the city of Asheville, North Carolina, on Monday show a police officer, Christopher Hickman, aggressively assaulting a man, Johnnie Rush, who was stopped on suspicion of jaywalking.

Rush, who is black, was walking home from work when he was confronted by Hickman, who is white, as well as a second officer, Verino Ruggiero, who was still in training. The officers told Rush he had "just committed four crimes in a row": trespassing by walking across a parking lot and jaywalking "again and again."

"All I'm trying to do is go home, man," Rush replied. Asked why it's too hard to use a crosswalk, he sought to diffuse the situation. "You're right," he said. "It's not, sir. It's not. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. You're right."

Ruggiero seemed content to write Rush a ticket, but after Rush commented that the police could make better use of their time, Hickman moved to arrest him. "You know what's funny is you're gonna get f‑‑‑ed up hardcore," Hickman said. "Get on the ground." He soon had Rush in a stranglehold, punching him seven to 10 times before using a stun gun to zap him and hit him on the head. "I beat the s‑‑t out of his head. I'm not gonna lie about that," Hickman said after the fact.

All charges against Rush were eventually dropped. Hickman has been fired and charged with felony assault by strangulation, as well as misdemeanor assault and misdemeanor threats. His attorney believes he will be acquitted by a jury. Bonnie Kristian

July 26, 2017

A search warrant application for the home of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, the unarmed Australian woman fatally shot by Minneapolis police after she dialed 911, suggests Officer Mohamed Noor fired his weapon because he was startled by hearing someone slap the exterior of the police cruiser.

The application mentions the alleged slap, though it does not specify whether Damond is believed to be the person who slapped the car. A slap would correspond with a statement from the other officer present, Matthew Harrity, who said he and Noor were surprised by a "loud sound." There is no body camera or dashcam footage of the shooting, because both officers' body cams were turned off.

Investigators from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) were granted permission to search Damond's house, where she lived with her fiancé in advance of their August wedding. Per court documents, no evidence was found in the home, and legal experts have questioned why the search was granted in the first place when the shooting occurred outside in the alley.

"I don't understand why they're looking for controlled substances inside her home. I don't understand why they're looking for writings inside her home. The warrant does not explain that to me," said Joseph Daly, professor emeritus at Minnesota's Mitchell Hamline School of Law. "When I read that search warrant, I really cannot find probable cause to search her home." Bonnie Kristian

See More Speed Reads