Family demands answers from Chicago police after teen’s death

A family is grieving Sunday over the loss of a loved one they say was at the hands of Chicago Police officers. The medical examiner’s report, however, provides an entirely different account. CBS Chicago reports the family of Steven Rosenthal, 15, says there is no way he would take his own life, but police say ballistics and camera evidence shows that officers did not fire their weapons.

Friday night, police tried questioning Rosenthal because they believed he was armed. He allegedly ran from officers and pulled the gun on himself on the back stairwell of his home in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood.

The Cook County Medical Examiner, who works independent from police, ruled Rosenthal’s death a suicide based on an autopsy and physical evidence.

Family and friends of Steven Rosenthal marched Sunday to Sinai Hospital demanding to see his body. They ended the march at Chicago Police Department’s 10th District, where there were calls for police body camera footage to be released.

This weeks bullshit

What the hell is happening to this world !!!!


Father accused of killing wife and kids expected to be charged Monday

A Colorado man accused of killing his pregnant wife and two children is expected to be charged on Monday. Friends and family gathered at a vigil outside the family’s home.


Italy rescuers search for survivors after motorway collapse kills dozens

Helicopter footage on social media showed trucks and cars stranded on either side of the 80-meter long collapsed section of the Morandi Bridge near Genoa.

At least 35 probably died, Italy’s ANSA news agency said citing fire brigade sources, while the official body count remained at about 20.

A 50-meter high section of the bridge, including a tower that anchored several supports, crashed down with as many as 35 vehicles driving on it.The collapsed Morandi Bridge is seen in the Italian port city of Genoa August 14, 2018. 

Rescuers at work amid the rubble after a highway bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, 14 August 2018. A large section of the Morandi viaduct upon which the A10 motorway runs collapsed in Genoa on Tuesday.

Italy rescuers search for survivors after motorway collapse kills dozens


Major earthquakes strike near Fiji and in Indonesia’s Lombok island

Earthquakes struck near two popular vacation destinations Sunday, one rattling the South Pacific islands of Fiji and Tonga, and another striking Indonesia’s Lombok.

Lombok earthquake death toll surges above 400

Lombok earthquake death toll surges above 400
The quake roughly 200 miles off both Fiji and Tonga measured a massive 8.2-magnitude but was hundreds of miles deep.

Report: More than 300 priests sexually abused kids

A new grand jury report says that internal documents from six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania show that more than 300 “predator priests” have been credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 child victims.

New report details horrific abuse by priests


Police car hits 16-year-old fleeing from bicycle violation

A teenager who was stopped by Sacramento police for not having a light on his bicycle ended up being hit by a cop car going 27 mph in dramatic video released by the department Friday.

Sacramento police vehicle crashes into 16-year-old fleeing from bicycle violation


Nashville police warn residents to be on guard after two killings, string of shootings

Nashville police are warning local residents to be on guard as the search for two suspected killers intensifies.  Other shootings in the same area of East Nashville over the past week have shaken the community. Officials are trying to determine if the crimes are connected.

“These are two just senseless, cold-blooded homicides,” said Don Aaron, public affairs manager of the Metropolitan Police Department of Nashville & Davidson County.

The latest in a string of random and possibly-connected shootings led Nashville police to make an unsettling warning to residents: Stay in groups, and be careful.

nashville-shooting-victims-2018-08-18.jpg

Bartley Teal and Jaime Sarrantonio

 METRO NASHVILLE PD

Hot pursuit of a child driving a car erupts with gunfire

Sheriff defends the actions of a deputy who fired at a car driven by a 12-year-old girl in a high-speed police chase in Mississippi.


Charges filed against teen accused of pushing friend off bridge

16-year-old Jordan Holgerson asked that 18-year-old Taylor Smith be put in jail for pushing her off the bridge, causing her to plunge 60 feet into the water below.


Dashcam shows cop save toddler from hot car

Newly released dashcam footage shows Florida Deputy Bill Dunn rushing to save a 3-year-old girl who was left inside a hot car overnight.

Iowa police accused of racially profiling 2 black men

Police body camera and cruiser cameras show a July 15 traffic stop, which a local activist group claims is evidence of racially biased policing. Wochit

The Des Moines Police Department is investigating a July traffic stop after an activist group published police recordings of the incident and claimed that they showed evidence of racially biased policing.

The activist group, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, is pointing the finger at Des Moines Senior Police Officer Kyle Thies, who pulled over two black men on July 15 after they drove out of Union Park on the north side of the city.

On Wednesday, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement released multiple videos of the police stop, including two takes from body camera footage and two from inside the police cruiser. CCI leaders say the traffic stop is just the latest suspect incident involving Thies and minorities; the group has previously filed two complaints with the police department’s office of professional standards for similar reasons.

In the video, Thies is shown repeatedly asking the two men if they were carrying weapons. He claims to smell marijuana in the car and to spot marijuana residue on the car’s floor. It’s unclear from the video what prompted the stop.

Thies tells the pair that he believes the passenger is carrying a weapon because he is “acting funny.”

“Your buddy’s giving me the idea that maybe he’s got a gun, you know what I mean,” the officer says. “That’s what I think.”

“How?” the passenger asks.

“Just the way you’re holding yourself, man. That’s why we’re nervous, man. That’s it,” he said. “If you’re scared because you got a little bit of weed, that’ll be one thing.”

The officers removed both men from the car.

“You’re making me think something funny’s going on,” Thies says on the video as he pats down the driver, Montray Little, a 23-year-old from Des Moines.

After searching the car, the officers apparently found no drugs or weapons. But Thies continued to interrogate Little while he sat in the back of a police cruiser in handcuffs.

At one point, the officer pushes the man to admit he was smoking marijuana or was around others who were smoking. He threatens to write a citation if the man won’t confess. But Little maintains that he was only smoking cigarettes.

Even after releasing both men, Thies seemed to suspect some foul play.

“I feel like I was missing something,” he said on the video after he re-enters the police cruiser.

Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek said he had not reviewed the videos as of Wednesday evening. But the department will consider their public release as a complaint and begin an investigation, he said.

“We’re definitely going to look into it,” he said. “And there will be an administrative review.”

Neither officer is currently facing any discipline from the incident.

Both Little and his passenger, Jared Clinton, 21, of Des Moines, declined to comment. But Clinton’s mother spoke out, saying that the incident fit a pattern of racially biased policing.

“I’m horrified. I’ve been saying this for years that our kids are barely making it out of routine traffic stops,” Laural Clinton said. “We’ve been lulled into some kind of security, thinking that, ‘Oh, at least you didn’t get killed or go to jail,’ as some prize for being harassed.”

She said her oldest son was harassed by a police officer in downtown Des Moines just eight days before the recorded incident. He was smoking a cigarette outside a bar he was patronizing as police claimed he fit the description of a wanted suspect, she said.

And her 21-year-old has been hassled by police before, she said.

“He cut his dreadlocks off because he can’t walk outside the house without the police stopping him,” Clinton said.

She said she continually talks to her three sons about how to interact with police. Keep your hands visible, she tells them. Comply as much as you possibly can.

“Don’t smoke in your car, keep your music low, wear your seat belt,” Clinton implores them. “I’ve had all those conversations.”

But she couldn’t fault her son, who sat still with his hands visible during the traffic stop.

“I couldn’t be more impressed in how both of them conducted themselves,” she said. “It should be a how-to video — and a how-not-to video for the police.”

Clinton said she wants the public to know that the black community faces these sorts of incidents routinely.

“This stuff goes unnoticed,” she said, “and there are no consequences.”

Bridget Fagan-Reidburn, an organizer with Iowa CCI, said the community deserves better from its police force — particularly from Thies.

“He has a history and a pattern,” she said.

The last two complaints CCI made against him were determined to be “unfounded,” Fagan-Reidburn said.

CCI on Wednesday released several data sets that the group claims shows evidence of racially biased policing. One data set purported to show that the officer in question has a history of targeting young black men and that, in fact, 100 percent of the people he arrested in 2017 were black.

On Thursday, CCI released a statement revising the initial claim about the data on Thies’ bookings. Parizek said police inspected the same data CCI had looked at and found that Thies was responsible for 253 arrests, with 127 arrestees being black — about 50 percent.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, just 11 percent of Des Moines residents identify as black or African American. Another 3.4 percent identify as belonging to “two or more races.”

Bridget Fagan-Reidburn, community organizer with Iowa CCI said, “We, unfortunately, had this piece of the data wrong. But unlike the DMPD, we can admit our mistake and take responsibility. The updated data for Thies’ booking history still tells the same story. In our opinion, he has a clear pattern of targeting young black males, and it has to stop.”

After releasing the footage, Iowa CCI launched a petition calling for the Des Moines Police Department and the Des Moines City Council to end racial profiling. The petition has been signed by over 550 residents in less than 24 hours.

After the videos became public, police received an influx of comments and questions on social media regarding the behavior employed during the traffic stop, Parizek said, adding that they cannot reply to every post about the incident.

“We expect our officers to be tactful and tactical,” Parizek said. “If we aren’t tactful, we may offend someone, leave a bad impression and appear unprofessional. If we aren’t tactical, we may die. A lack of tact can be corrected with one of, or combination of, training, re-instruction and, possibly, discipline. A tactical failure could become irreversible. Ideally, we work to find the balance of the two so that we can be safe, as well as respectful.

“Every aspect of this encounter will be evaluated during the administrative review.”

Thies made $36.22 an hour as of 2017, a little over $75,000 annually before overtime, according to city records.

In the broader picture, racial disparities in policing in Iowa have been the subject of contention in recent years.

In 2016, a report released by the ACLU/Human Rights Watch indicated that black Iowans were seven times more likely to be arrested for drug possession than white Iowans even though studies show that the two groups use illicit drugs at the same rate. That disparity was the second-worst in the nation.

Earlier that year, legislation intended to study and combat profiling by law enforcement failed to advance at the Statehouse.

A Des Moines Register investigation in 2015 included interviews with black Iowans who almost universally said that they believed police singled out minorities for questioning.

 

 

Florida man threatened people 3 different times before shooting man in latest ‘stand your ground’ case

The man charged with manslaughter after shooting another man in a Clearwater, Florida, convenience store parking lot has a history of threatening drivers, according to documents from the Pinellas County Circuit Court.

Michael Drejka, 47, fatally shot Markeis McGlockton in July after McGlockton shoved him to the ground during a dispute over a handicapped-accessible spot. Drejka claimed he feared for his life and said he fired in self-defense. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri previously said Florida’s “stand your ground” laws prevented him from arresting Drejka

Michael Drejka has been charged with manslaughter.

Michael Drejka has been charged with manslaughter.

Drejka was ultimately charged and will make his first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon. CNN has tried contacting Drejka multiple times, but has not heard back and it was not clear whether he has an attorney.

A truck driver parked in a handicapped-accessible spot

About three months ago, Richard Kelly told a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office detective he was confronted by Drejka at Circle A Food Store, the same store where he shot McGlockton. Drejka, documents said, was upset because Kelly parked in a handicapped-accessible spot. The exchange between the two became very loud and Kelly said at some point during the argument Drejka told him he was going to shoot him, documents said

Prosecutor overrules sheriff, charges Florida man in 'stand your ground' case

Prosecutor overrules sheriff, charges Florida man in ‘stand your ground’ case

Drejka then went to his car and was rummaging around the center console, but documents said Kelly drove away. Drejka, Kelly said, also threw racial slurs at him. Kelly is black and Drejka is white

Court documents said Drejka wanted to voice his complaint to Kelly’s employer, AA Cut-Rate Septic Tank Service, so he spoke to the owner, John Tyler. Drejka told the business owner he was lucky he didn’t blow his employee’s head off, documents said.

A woman drove too slow through a school zone
On December 12, 2012, a woman told a Largo Police Department officer that a man driving a black Toyota truck, later identified as Drejka, pointed a gun at her and the passengers in the vehicle.The woman pointed out the truck to the officer. The officer spoke with Drejka, documents said, and he told the officer the woman was driving too slow through a school zone.Drejka denied pointing a gun at the occupants of the car, documents said, but he did have a gun in his vehicle. Drejka told the officer, according to police reports, that he honked at the people in the other car, and the people in that car made rude hand gestures at him.

A teen didn’t drive through a yellow light

On January 10, 2012, Tyler Smith, 18, was driving with a friend when a traffic light turned yellow. Smith decided not to drive through the light and stopped his vehicle.
A truck, driven by Drejka, was behind Smith. Drejka honked his horn, documents said, and yelled at Smith. Drejka held a black handgun out the driver’s side window of his vehicle and motioned for Smith to walk back to his truck, documents said. Drejka then followed the teen’s vehicle, passed it and slammed on his brakes, according to police reports
The teen did not press charges, documents said.
When officers confronted Drejka about the incident, he said the teen’s car cut him off, the police report said. He said he neither followed the teen’s car nor did he show his gun, but did admit to having one in his vehicle.

Update: Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ shooter makes first court appearance
More

Gunman in ‘stand your ground’ Florida shooting charged: officials

A Florida man was charged with manslaughter on Monday for fatally shooting another man during an argument over a parking spot, after police initially declined to arrest him due to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law, officials said.

Alleged shooter Michael Drejka, 47, was taken into custody on Monday, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Police had initially not charged Drejka over the July 19 shooting due to the 2005 law, which grants residents the right to use deadly force if they reasonably believe they are at risk of great harm or death.

Stand your ground

Harrowing video shows routine traffic stop turn into a near-fatal shootout for two Pennsylvania state troopers

A wild dashcam video released by Pennsylvania State Police shows a run-of-the-mill highway stop devolve into a roadside brawl that turns into a near-fatal shooting.

The video starts with a mundane field sobriety test given to driver, Daniel Clary, 22, after he was stopped for speeding, but by the end of the recording one of the officers, Cpl. Seth Kelly, lay bleeding in a ditch with severed femoral artery, according to the Allentown Morning Call.

Clary was shot in the head and hand during the gunplay. He was arrested after driving himself to the hospital for treatment. A second officer, trooper Ryan Seiple, who tried to help with the arrest, was not hit in the shooting.

The two troopers struggled to cuff 22-year-old Daniel Clary on a Pennsylvania highway.
The two troopers struggled to cuff 22-year-old Daniel Clary on a Pennsylvania highway.

Kelly arrived at the hospital clinically dead, but was revived. Doctors gave the officer 66 pints of blood and was eventually able to revive him. After nearly a month in the hospital, he was well enough to leave, but he doesn’t remember anything about the traffic stop.

Clary, who has a history of mental issues, was charged with the attempted murder of two state troopers and convicted on June 29.

The video shows the officer tell Clary that he’s under arrest after he fails the sobriety test along Route 33 in Plainfield, Penn on Nov. 7, 2017. As the officers go to handcuff him, Clary begins to resist. He breaks free momentarily and Kelly hits him with a stun gun, causing the suspect to go stiff and fall into the roadway.

The two troopers drag him back to the shouldering and continue to struggle with him, punching him and continuing to shock him with the stun gun.

They are unable to cuff him as he struggles and he breaks free again, running around the car to the driverside window where he reaches in and pulls out a handgun. He fires at the officers, striking Kelly four times. The trooper went down as he returns fire.

The wounded trooper manages to hurl himself over the guardrail, out of the line of fire. Trooper Seiple continues to fire as Clary gets into the car and drives away.

Clary later tested positive for marijuana.

Northhampton County First Deputy District Attorney Terence Houck released the video after asking Kelly and Seiple for their permission.

“We think the community should see it,” Houck he told the news service.

Clary is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 29.

Kelly hopes to return to the job next month.

Link: Harrowing video shows routine traffic stop turn into a near-fatal shootout for two Pennsylvania state troopers

Baltimore police officer suspended with pay after viral video shows him punching, tackling man

Baltimore police officer was suspended with pay by the department Saturday after a viral video emerged showing him repeatedly punching a man in the face before taking him to the ground.

Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said he was “deeply disturbed” by the video, and that the incident is under investigation.

“The officer involved has been suspended while we investigate the totality of this incident,” Tuggle said. “Part of our investigation will be reviewing body worn camera footage.”

Police said a second officer on the scene at the time of the incident was placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

Attorney Warren Brown, who is representing the man who was punched, identified his client as Dashawn McGrier, 26. Brown said McGrier was not being charged with a crime, but was taken to a hospital and was having X-rays taken of his jaw, nose and ribs late Saturday for suspected fractures from the altercation.

Brown said McGrier had a previous run-in with the same police officer — whom he identified as Officer Arthur Williams — in June that resulted in McGrier being charged with assaulting the officer, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, and resisting arrest. Brown said that in that incident and in the one Saturday, McGrier was targeted without justification by the officer.

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

Williams could not be reached for comment.

Tuggle did not identify the officer or the man who was punched, but the department said the officer has been on the force for just over a year.

At Williams’ graduation from the police academy last year, he received awards for top performance, including for high marks in “defense tactics, physical training and emergency vehicle operations,” for his “academic achievement, professional attitude, appearance, ability to supervise,” and for his “tireless and unwavering dedication” and “outstanding leadership ability,” according to a video of the graduation ceremony.

The police department said the incident Saturday began after two officers stopped McGrier, let him go, then approached him again to give him a citizen contact sheet.

“When he was asked for his identification, the situation escalated when he refused,” the department said. “The police officer then struck the man several times.”

Brown said McGrier was sitting on steps when Williams passed by in his vehicle, then moments later was walking down the street when the officer, now on foot, told him to stop without giving him a reason.

“My client was saying, ‘What is this all about? You don’t even have probable cause,’ ” Brown said. That’s when Williams began shoving McGrier, Brown said.

Tuggle asked anyone who witnessed the incident to contact the Office of Professional Responsibility at 410-396-2300.

“While I have an expectation that officers are out of their cars, on foot, and engaging citizens, I expect that it will be done professionally and constitutionally,” he said. “I have zero tolerance for behavior like I witnessed on the video today. Officers have a responsibility and duty to control their emotions in the most stressful of situations.”

The incident occurred Saturday outside Q’s Bar and Liquors in the 2600 block of E. Monument St. in East Baltimore.

The video shows the officer pushing McGrier against a wall, with his hand on McGrier’s chest, and then McGrier pushing the officer’s hand off his chest. It is then that the officer starts swinging.

The officer throws repeated punches, shoves McGrier onto rowhouse steps and continues beating him until McGrier lands on the pavement. McGrier appears to be bleeding when he gets to the ground.

McGrier appears to try to deflect some of the officer’s punches but does not punch back.

A second officer, who the department did not identify, briefly places his hand on McGrier’s arm as McGrier tries to avoid the blows but does not appear to try to stop the first officer from throwing punches.

Shantel Allen, 28, who said she grew up with McGrier and considers him like a brother, called the escalation of the encounter by Williams shocking.

“I was speechless. I was enraged. I was hurt. I was shocked more than anything. That is really something you don’t expect,” she said. “I truly feel as though this officer needs to be dealt with in a very serious manner, so none of his fellow officers or anyone else in the criminal justice system feels like they can use this kind of force.

“This is a crime. You can’t just go around putting your hands on people,” she said.

Brown said Internal Affairs officers were at the hospital to speak with McGrier. Brown said he also had spoken with the office of Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Mosby’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

The police department said Mosby’s office “provided information related to this case,” but did not explain what that meant.

Several men on Monument Street at the time — who asked not to be named, for fear of reprisal from the police for discussing the matter — said the officer who threw the punches knew McGrier from prior interactions, and that they believed he was targeting him.

They said the officer is young and had previously worked foot patrol along the corridor, but recently began working out of a car.

The men said the officer stopped McGrier on Saturday without good reason, which is why McGrier was talking back to the officer before the officer started throwing punches.

“He knows his rights, and he felt as though his rights were being violated, and he took offense to that,” one man said.

That the officer responded physically was completely out of line, and must result in serious consequences, the men said.

“We want justice. We don’t want things like that to happen. We want him to be held accountable, and not no paid suspension,” one man said.

Mayor Catherine Pugh echoed Tuggle in a statement late Saturday, in which she also called the encounter between the officer and McGrier “disturbing.” She said she was in touch with Tuggle and had “demanded answers and accountability.”

“We are working day and night to bring about a new era of community-based, Constitutional policing and will not be deterred by this or any other instance that threatens our efforts to re-establish the trust of all citizens in the Baltimore Police Department,” the mayor said.

City Councilman Brandon Scott said the department did the right thing by suspending the officer. Scott said he spoke with Tuggle after seeing the video, and the commissioner assured him it would be handled appropriately. He said the officer should be fired.

“You see that video and you see what we are trying to prevent in the police department,” said Scott, who is chair of the council’s public safety committee. “It goes against the consent decree and the work we’re trying to do to rebuild trust between the community and the police department.”

The city entered into a federal consent decree in 2017 after the U.S. Justice Department found officers routinely violated people’s constitutional rights.

The justice department’s investigation began soon after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray following injuries he suffered in police custody. The 2015 incident became a flashpoint in the national conversation about police brutality.

Despite increased oversight, the city’s police department has had numerous scandals in recent months, including allegations of police misconduct.

Police said late last month that they were reviewing a different piece of viral civilian footage depicting a tense interaction with officers. The video shows a young boy being forcefully brought to the ground and handcuffed by an officer.

As the officer puts the boy into a police car, he is recorded saying, “I’m about to send this kid to the [expletive] hospital.”

Jurors recently indicted Officer Carlos Rivera-Martinez on charges of first-degree assault and misconduct in office for an incident that took place July 5, 2016. The officer allegedly beat up a young man, then 16 years old, as the boy was walking downtown on his way to his brother’s house.

Ben Jealous, the Democratic candidate for governor and a former head of the NAACP, condemned the officer’s actions in a statement, saying the video “shows just how far community-police relations have fallen in Baltimore, as well as the work that must be done in partnership with city officials to restore trust.”

Jealous said he was “heartened” that the officer was promptly suspended.

Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, wrote on Twitter that there “must be a swift, immediate, and definitive response” to the officer’s actions from Pugh and the police department. “This is a flagrant violation of the letter & spirit of the consent decree. This is not what reform looks like.”

Ken Thompson, the court-appointed consent decree monitor, said in a statement late Saturday that he had conveyed to Tuggle that the incident “warrants immediate investigation,” and that his monitoring team will be “watching closely in the coming days” to see how the police department conducts that work.

“This is an important moment for the Baltimore Police Department,” Thompson said. “It is an opportunity for the Department to show the Monitoring team, the Court, and the community that when its officers are involved in an incident that raises serious questions about compliance with Department policies regarding the use of force (not to mention the U.S. Constitution) it will move swiftly to conduct a thorough, transparent, and fair investigation.”

Lt. Gene Ryan, president of the union that represents rank-and-file officers, also said he believed Tuggle took “the appropriate action” by suspending the officer pending an investigation.

Ryan said there might be more to the story that he doesn’t know, but that “at first view” the video of the incident showed “inexcusable behavior” on the part of the officer that the department “can’t tolerate.”

Ryan said officers are allowed to use force when individuals are resisting arrest, but the man in the video did not appear to be acting in an aggressive manner.

“I’d like to believe that there is more to it, but obviously, it really makes us look bad,” Ryan said. “That’s something we don’t need right now. We don’t need another black eye.”

Brown said he hopes city officials take the matter seriously, because the treatment of his client is unacceptable.

“The animus, the hatred almost that you could see on the officer’s part, the way he just beat this guy down, was startling. It’s such an ugly act that has such a damning impact on the city as a whole, the police department, police-community relations,” Brown said. “It’s not just an attack on my client, it’s an attack on the whole community.”

How 911 calls on blacks are a new twist on something old: white flight

There’s #SittingInStarbucksWhileBlack#BarbecuingWhileBlack#GolfingWhileBlack#EatingSubwayWhileBlack, and even #WearingSocksWhileBlack. Those are just some of the infractions committed by black people that caused white callers to dial 911.
As stories of these encounters ricochet across the media, it looks at times as if some mysterious new contagion — a quickly mutating form of racial profiling — is taking hold of the collective psyche of White America.
But this behavior isn’t a symptom of anything new. It’s a modern twist on something old, say some historians and those who’ve lived through it. This aggressive patrolling of public space bears an eerie resemblance to another race-induced contagion in America decades ago.
When the courts outlawed overt segregation in the 1950s and ’60s, many whites reacted by trying to “privatize” public spaces. They wanted to carve out melanin-free zones in parks, pools and sidewalks to avoid what some folks called “interracial intimacy.”
That battle led to “white flight,” a mass migration to the suburbs of whites who no longer wanted to share their public schools and sidewalks with people of color. What’s happening now is White Flight 2.0. Whites are standing their ground. Consciously or unconsciously, they are reasserting their belief that public spaces belong to them alone, says Kevin M. Kruse, a history professor at Princeton University.
“What we see now is the same underlying dynamic — the feeling that these public spaces cannot be shared,” says Kruse, author of “White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism.” “But rather than white flight, it’s fight.
“In the generation before, whites angry that these spaces are being shared or taken over by African-Americans packed up and left. Now they’re digging in and fighting.”
The 911 call may be the weapon of choice right now — perhaps made more obvious by the use of smartphones and social media — but some whites have used plenty of other tools to keep people of color off-balance in public spaces. “Black codes” passed after the Civil War mandated that blacks seek permission before traveling. “Sundown towns” displayed placards at the edge of town warning people of color to get off the streets after sunset. During the Jim Crow era, a black person had to step off the curb when a white person approached.
Making nonwhite people hop in public to the whims and fears of white people is an American tradition, says Robin DiAngelo, author of “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.”
That behavior is meant to send a message — both then, as well as now with the 911 calls, she says.
“That attitude is, ‘This public space is ours, not yours. And you need to be in your rightful place,'” says DiAngelo, who is white. “It is the classic, ‘Step down off of that curb, I am coming down the sidewalk and you will submit to my presence. I own this country. I own this place. Don’t get uppity with me.'”
Diagnosing this outbreak is one thing, but stopping it is another. There are no Centers for Disease Control guidelines for changing the mind of someone who sees a black girl selling water on the street as a public safety threat.
But talking to those who have been victimized by these 911 calls — as well as someone who was raised in a community where this behavior was normal — may help.

‘You could hear her voice quivering’

A first step begins with the victims of the 911 calls. We usually see them play their part on camera — the befuddled person of color trying to figure out why they’re facing a police officer.
These moments often become sources of grim humor. People joke about them online. Some have created hashtags like #ExistingWhileBlack and #LivingWhileBlack to try to capture them all.
It’s easy to forget how emotionally damaging such experiences can be. Felicia Dobson, however, offers a reminder.
Her family made national news last month when a white Subway employee called 911 on her family because, Dobson says, she thought they might rob the store.
She and her husband, Othniel, were on a family trip when they stopped for dinner at a Subway in rural Georgia with their four children, ages 8, 12, 13 and 19, and the children’s aunt.
Dobson, a college graduate who works in a hospital as an advocate for cancer patients, says she had already been aware of the rash of 911 calls targeting black people.
“Every time I see that on the news it just brings tears to my eyes,” she says from her home in North Carolina.
Her tears turned to shock when it happened to her. She still can’t figure out why someone would think a husband and wife would bring their kids along for a robbery. A tape of the 911 call was released, and she listened to the employee tell the operator that “I need somebody to come through here please, ASAP. Now.”
“I am still shaking and disbelieving,” says Dobson. “She added information to make it sound like we were loiterers, like we didn’t pay for our food, and we were basically casing Subway. Never said we were a family. Never said we had children with us. She was scared and you could hear her voice quivering.”

Blacks can’t saunter in public without a purpose

David Billings can relate to that fear. It’s part of his family’s inheritance.
He grew up in the small town of McComb, Mississippi, during the Jim Crow era. He saw the panic that swept his white community as the civil rights movement reshaped public spaces. His family and friends didn’t just lose their “for whites only” signs. They lost their ability to control how blacks could move through those spaces.
After integration, the word "public" became a slur, writes David Billings.

“Blacks could not walk through a white neighborhood without a purpose such as going to and from work. They could not saunter or wander through neighborhoods. They could not pause or stop to observe the architecture of a particular house.”
After overt racism was outlawed, Billings writes, whites still found a way to control public space.
“We closed down libraries, pools, theaters,” he says. “We tried to protect ourselves from having to interact with anyone other than other white people.”
Then some whites took it a step further. They built “a private culture in defiance of government dictates,” he writes. Whites withdrew from the “public sphere” across America and migrated to the suburbs to evade integration. The word “public” became a slur. When it was attached to words like “housing,” “transportation” and “schools,” he says, it became a code word that meant poor, black and Latino.
When Billings hears about the 911 calls today, he sees some of the same forces stirring again.
“We feel unsafe if any person of color is in our surroundings and they’re not in a servant’s role,” he says. “It makes us feel vulnerable.”
Billings grew up in small-town Mississippi during the Jim Crow era.

That fear is mingled with something else — what he calls “IRS,” an internalized racial superiority.
It’s a message that’s passed down from one white generation to another, he says, and it’s buried so deep that many whites are not even aware it’s there.
IRS can lead people to do something so unkind and unfeeling that they’re oblivious to it, he says. Billings still remembers how his hometown church hired guards one Sunday morning to prevent blacks from attending — and then proceeded to praise Jesus.
“When I was growing up, segregation was so deep and enforced that it became a way of life,” he says. “I really didn’t have to think about it. It became something that we didn’t even notice.”

Why these encounters are happening now

But it would be a mistake to think that white flight only involved a physical retreat of whites from the city to the suburbs, says Kruse, author of “White Flight.”
They also withdrew their support — financial, political and social — from public spaces they could no longer control, he says.
He cites a little-known battle of Atlanta that didn’t take place during the Civil War, but during the 1950s and ’60s. White Atlantans staged bitter protests during that time in an attempt to avoid sharing space with blacks at public facilities like golf courses, parks and pools.
Some thought blacks carried diseases that could be spread in shared pools. One Atlantan wrote in 1959 that “there is nothing more intimate and integrated than a black n—– sitting beside a white girl on the trolley,” Kruse recounts.
“They believed that these public spaces, which they considered their own, had been stolen from them and given to another race,” Kruse writes.
That resentment spilled over into two bond initiatives in 1962 and 1963. The city of Atlanta was trying to raise $80 million for improvements to schools, sewers and other public works. It also wanted to build a new civic auditorium and cultural center at the city’s biggest public park.
But the bond initiatives went down to a “smothering defeat,” rejected by a margin of almost 2-1 by Atlanta’s white community. They felt like any advance for civil rights meant an equal loss for whites, Kruse recounts.
“They decided if we’re not going to use these spaces, we’re not going to fund them,” Kruse says.
Some of the whites who make 911 calls on black people in public are making a different decision today, he says. They now feel emboldened to reassert themselves because stances that would have been deemed socially unacceptable before are no longer universally condemned, he says.
President Trump has created a new environment. And “taking back our country” has taken on a literal meaning for some white people calling 911, he says.
“Taking our country back isn’t just about larger politics,” Kruse says. “It happens in small parcels. It’s not just taking the nation back. It’s about taking that space back, that park back, that pool back, of taking it back bit by bit.”
Part of taking it back for some white people is not having to figure out why black and brown people in public make them nervous, says DiAngelo, author of “White Fragility” — especially if they never admit there’s a racial dimension to the 911 calls.
“We don’t want to see because it challenges our identity as good people,” says DiAngelo. “And it would require change that (we) don’t want to engage in. There’s a refusal to know or see that serves us.”

Seeking out the messengers

So how does anyone reach a person who refuses to know?
During the civil rights movement, the nation decided it would no longer tolerate a dual public existence for whites and people of color, Kruse says. But while a court or government can force people to take down the “for whites only” signs in public, it can’t force them to dismantle the walls they’ve built in their hearts.
“If it is something that ordinary people are doing, it’s a lot harder to root out,” says Kruse. “If there isn’t the same sort of a major investment of national energy into this, you’re going to have a lot of these isolated incidents crop up across America.”
The women's suffrage movement may point the way to change, says Robin DiAngelo.

White people will ultimately have to stop the spread of these 911 calls because only they have the institutional power to halt the emotions that fuel the behavior, says DiAngelo.
She gives an example from 1920 to show how this could work.
“When women were granted the right to vote, there was only one way for us to possibly get it — and that is for men to give it to us,” DiAngelo says. “I could be mean to a man in a one-on-one interaction, but my group could not deny every single member of his group access to their civil rights. But men could deny every single member of my group access to civil rights. It was on men to change it because they could.”
That kind of change may start within.
That’s what happened to Billings, author of “Deep Denial.” He says he “packed my suitcase full of contradictions” and left his hometown for another world: college and seminary. He became an ordained minister, got active in the civil rights movement and now leads anti-racism workshops across America.
He says he changed because he sought out the “messengers.”
One was an aunt who became a missionary and civil rights activist. Another was a high school English teacher who taught him to think broader than his hometown. They all introduced him to a world “I didn’t even know existed,” he says.
“Most of us have somebody who moves us in a certain direction and opens our world view,” Billings says. “There are always messengers where you live. We have to seek them out.”
Yet there are others like Dobson who have to live in the world they know. This is the world where any banal activity in public — selling water, playing golf, napping — can literally end up with someone facing the barrel of a police officer’s gun.
Dobson knows that #EatingSubwayWhileBlack could have easily become #DyingWhileBlack.
“I thank God that the police officer who came — what if he had been another type of officer?” Dobson says. “We see how that goes wrong in the news. And these are my sweet innocent children, just eating a sandwich. What if that would have happened?”
Many nonwhites have lived with Dobson’s question through much of this nation’s history. They couldn’t “wander” or “saunter” through public spaces. They were constantly reacting to the whims and fears of some white person.
While the recent rash of 911 calls on black people may be new, some say the underlying motivation behind them is as old as “for whites only” signs. As long as jittery white people continue to call the police on black girls selling water on a hot day, or black men wearing socks in a pool, they are unwittingly sending the same message their ancestors did when they forced black people to step off the curb:
“I own this country. I own this space. Don’t get uppity with me.”

Surveillance video shows suspect fatally shot as he ran from police

Newly released video of the deadly shooting of a black man by a white police officer in Tennessee is spurring calls for the officer to be charged with murder. Prosecutors released surveillance footage Wednesday that appears to show Nashville police officer Andrew Delke chasing 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick last month before opening fire. Hambrick was hit three times.

The mayor has called for a comprehensive review of the police department while union officials argue the grainy images do not tell the whole story. Daniel’s family wants more answers.

Victoria Hambrick, supported by her family and attorney, believes video showing the shooting of her son Daniel Hambrick on July 26 is proof that deadly force was not justified, reports CBS News’ Mark Strassmann.

“The police officer chases him with his gun drawn…and at some point he slows down and executes him,” attorney Joy Kimbrough said.

Police say officer Delke was searching for a stolen car when he encountered Hambrick. The video appears to show Hambrick running from the officer before he was shot in the back and head. Police later tweeted a picture of a gun they say Hambrick was carrying and refused to drop. The Nashville Fraternal Order of Police argues Hambrick could have shot the officer at any moment.

“It is our firm belief that Officer Delke acted reasonably under the totality of the circumstances,” James Smallwood, the president of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police said.

Nashville Mayor David Briley called for calm while the investigation continues but the Hambrick family believes this is an open-and-shut case.

“You can see my cousin running for his life. There’s no way that he is a threat. No way and we do want justice served for him. He did not deserve it. At all,” Daniel Hambrick’s cousin said.

Officer Delke was placed on administrative leave after the shooting. Neither the officer nor his vehicle were equipped with cameras. Hambrick’s family, along with the Nashville NAACP is demanding the  FBI to conduct a civil rights investigation into the department. CBS News reached out to the police department for comment from the officer, but has not heard back.

Black Lives Matter protesters crash wedding of cop who shot Stephon Clark

SACRAMENTO — One of the two officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark in March was confronted by Black Lives Matter protesters on his wedding day Saturday, reports CBS Sacramento. Police haven’t released the names of the two officers who opened fire on Clark in his grandmother’s backyard, due to safety concerns.

The small group of protesters had gotten word about the wedding and made sure they were there just hours before the officer was to say, “I do.”

“I think they need to be approached in spaces where they’re a little more vulnerable,” Sacramento BLM founder Tanya Faison told the station.

According to the video released by Black Lives Matter, the officer was gathered in a room with his groomsmen Saturday when protesters barged in.

“I just wonder if you started planning your wedding before you killed Stephon Clark or after? How have you been sleeping since March 18?” said one protester in the video.

Protesters confronted a Sacramento, California, police officer and his groomsmen on the officer's wedding day.

Protesters confronted a Sacramento, California, police officer and his groomsmen on the officer’s wedding day in this image capture from video provided by Black Lives Matter.

 BLACK LIVES MATTER

BLM says its members helped plan the confrontation ever since they found the officer’s wedding website online, with information about the venue, a vineyard about an hour outside of Sacramento.

“We’re not violent, we’re not gonna give to them what they brought to our community, we’re not gonna hurt anyone, but we are gonna make them uncomfortable, and they should — because someone is dead,” said Faison.

But community member Michel Keeley told CBS Sacramento, “As a black man … I’m concerned whenever there’s injustice on any black person. Certainly there’s a right to protest, but I think there are limits when to protest in a public place and the right of privacy for your wedding.”

Sacramento police say since the tragic shooting back in March, the two officers involved have needed additional security. They’ve received a number of death threats and are not working in a patrol capacity.

“People may think that these officers are just going about their lives, but this is a very traumatic event for everyone,” said Sgt. Vance Chandler with Sacramento Police.

0326-en-sacramento-blackstone-1531237-640x360.jpg

Stephon Clark

The case, which drew national attention and sparked protests across the country, is still under investigation, with no word from the DA’s office on whether the officers will be indicted.

A day after the March 18 shooting, police distributed a press release that said the officers who shot Clark “saw the suspect facing them, advance forward with his arms extended, and holding an object in his hands.”

Police video of the shooting doesn’t clearly capture all that happened after Clark ran into the backyard. He initially moved toward the officers, who are peeking out from behind a corner of the house, but it’s not clear he’s facing them or that he knows they are there when they open fire after shouting “gun, gun, gun.”

After 20 shots, officers call to him, apparently believing he might still be alive and armed. They eventually approach and find no gun, just a cellphone.

“I feel that our department has handled demonstrations and protests very well and we have taken great effort’s to allow people to exercise their First Amendment rights but on this one what is the purpose of this?” he said.

That purpose, said Faison, is to remind folks that people are still hurting.

“Stephon Clark’s family is still mourning and suffering. He doesn’t get to be with his kids, or get married,” she said.

Sacramento Police Officers Association President Timothy Davis responded to the wedding protest Monday night.

“The SPOA supports transparency within our Police Department. Transparency brings trust,” he said. “Trust between our officers and the citizens they protect is an important aspect of a safe community. Our police officers are members of this community. They raise their families here. The send their children to schools here. They live their lives as a part of this community.

“Transparency comes with responsibility. Officers deserve to be free from harassment by individuals seeking their own forms of justice. True accountability can only come from our impartial judicial system and from our elected government.

“The SPOA will continue to advocate for transparency and thoughtful improvements in police policies, but we request the respect of our community. Give our officers the ability to safely raise their families alongside you.”