U.N. Human Rights Council will debate whether police killings of black men are modern day lynchings

police-killings-of-black-men-are-the-modern-day-lynchings-unPolice killings of Black people in the United States are reminiscent of lynchings and the government must do far more to protect them, a United Nations working group says in a report that will be debated at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday.

The hard-hitting criticism—drawing a comparison between modern police behavior and mob killings of Black people in the 19th and 20th centuries—comes at a time of renewed racial tension in the United States.

This week Charlotte, North Carolina, saw street riots over the shooting of a Black man, Keith Lamont Scott, by a Black police officer. On Friday, a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Black man turned herself into authorities in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching,” said the report by the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.

Most lynching victims died by hanging. A 2015 report by a non-profit organization, the Equal Justice Initiative, said 3,959 Black people were killed in “racial terror lynchings” in a dozen southern states between 1877 and 1950.

“In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” said the report. “Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Police killings go unpunished because initial investigations are usually conducted by the police department where the alleged perpetrator works because prosecutors have wide discretion over presenting charges and because the use of force is not subject to international standards, the experts’ group said.

They recommended the United States create a reliable national system to track killings and excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, and end racial profiling, which is “a rampant practice and seriously damages the trust between African-Americans and law enforcement officials.”

To improve race relations, education should be “accompanied by acts of reconciliation” to overcome bigotry and past injustices, while federal and state laws should recognize the negative impact of enslavement and racial injustice, the report added.

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Betty Shelby’s online donations include officer endorsed by state as witness in the case

betty-shelby-booked-and-releasedAt least 11 current or former Tulsa police officers, including the president of the Fraternal Order of Police and an officer endorsed by the state as a witness in Betty Shelby’s criminal case, have donated to an online fundraiser for the beleaguered officer.

Shelby, 42, was charged Thursday with first-degree manslaughter in the Sept. 16 shooting death of Terence Crutcher. Crutcher, 40, was shot once in the chest following an encounter with Shelby and other officers on a stretch of road near 36th Street North and Lewis Avenue.

Police have said Crutcher disobeyed Shelby’s orders to keep his hands out of his pocket, though the only video captured from the scene was recorded after that part of the interaction. Available footage, recorded from dashboard cameras and a helicopter that flew above the scene, shows Crutcher slowly walking back to his vehicle with his hands up.

terence-crutcher-4

When Crutcher reached the driver’s side door, he lowered his hands and was shot by Shelby and Tased by another officer.

Shelby was placed on paid administrative leave following the shooting, but was transferred to unpaid leave after being charged.

Scott Wood, Shelby’s attorney, told The Frontier on Friday that his client had received “an outpouring of support” from law enforcement officers across the nation. The fundraiser for her, held on a website called Fundly, had 56 donors and had raised $3,706 of its $250,000 goal by Friday evening.

Thom Bell, a Tulsa police officer, donated $1,000 to the fundraiser and left a message for Shelby, saying “Hang in there Betty and Dave. None of us ever walks alone.”

Det. Margaret Loveall donated $100, according to the fundraiser. Loveall at times works with TPD’s homicide unit, which investigated the Crutcher shooting prior to Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler. Loveall has appeared on the television show “The First 48,” which profiles the Tulsa Police Department’s Homicide Unit.

Loveall does not appear on the state’s witness list, though. The list, filed Thursday by Kunzweiler, identifies people who may be called to testify in future hearings and/or a potential trial for Shelby.

However one officer, Dean Montgomery, who donated $35 to the fundraiser, does appear on the witness list.

Kunzweiler told The Frontier in a text message late Friday that the donation “could be a relevant concern depending on how that officer testifies.”

Posted in African Americans, Black Lives Matter, Criminal Justice, Current Events, Department of Justice, Domestic violence, Gun Violence, Human Rights, Institutional Racism, Jim Crow laws, JusticeForTerenceCrutcher, News, Open Thread, Police bruality, Police violence, Racial Oppression, Racial Profiling, Racism, White Supremacy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Saturday Open Thread | Keith Scott shooting crime scene

Hat tip: Duane Whop Vandross

Is evidence being planted? An object magically appears.

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Current Events, Department of Justice, Gun Violence, Jim Crow laws, JusticeForKeithLamontScott, News, Open Thread, Police bruality, Police violence, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

Friday Open Thread | Betty Shelby Charged With First-Degree Manslaughter in Death of Terence Crutcher

betty-shelby-2(CNN) — Tulsa, Oklahoma, police officer Betty Shelby has been charged with felony manslaughter in the first degree, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler told reporters Thursday.

Shelby fatally shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher after his SUV stopped in a roadway last week.

“We reviewed the facts of the allegations. It is our responsibility to determine if the filing of a criminal charge is justified under the law,” Kurnzweiler said.

An arrest warrant was issued for Shelby and arrangements have been made for her surrender, he said. It was not clear when she would turn herself in.

The criminal complaint against Shelby said her “fear resulted in her unreasonable actions which led her to shooting” Crutcher. She is accused of “unlawfully and unnecessarily” shooting Crutcher after he did not comply with her “lawful orders.”

Attorneys for Crutcher’s family said they were “happy charges have been brought” against the officer and they will be seeking a “vigorous prosecution” of this case that results in a conviction.

The attorneys also expressed gratitude to the Tulsa Police Department.

“Today, we are thankful to TPD, we are thankful to (police) Chief (Chuck) Jordan for providing information to the District Attorney’s office, and we are happy that charges were brought,” attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons said during a news conference.

“This is a small victory,” Crutcher’s twin sister Tiffany told reporters.

“The chain breaks here. We’re going to break the chains of police brutality,” she added. “We know the history.”

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Current Events, Gun Violence, Human Rights, Justice, JusticeForTerenceCrutcher, News, Open Thread, Police bruality, Police violence, Politics, Protests, Racial Oppression, Racism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 84 Comments

Thursday Open Thread | Uprising erupts in Charlotte NC over shooting of #KeithLamontScott

One person was shot and gravely wounded on Wednesday in a second night of unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina, officials said, as riot police dispersed unruly protesters after the fatal police shooting of a black man under disputed circumstances.

North Carolina’s governor later declared a state of emergency amid the disturbances and said the National Guard and state Highway Patrol troopers would be sent in to help police in Charlotte restore and maintain order.

Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney initially reported that a person shot during the protest had died, but city officials later posted a Twitter message saying the individual had been hospitalized in critical condition on life support.

The city also said the gunshot was fired by one civilian at another, not by police. A police officer was also being treated for injuries suffered during Wednesday’s protests, it said.

Putney told Fox News: “We’re trying to disperse the crowd. We’ve been very patient, but now they’ve become very aggressive, throwing bottles and so forth, at my officers, so it’s time for us now to restore order.”

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Current Events, Gun Violence, Institutional Racism, Jim Crow laws, News, Open Thread, Police bruality, Police violence, Politics, Protests, Racism | Tagged , , , , , , , | 72 Comments

Wednesday Open Thread | #KeithLamontScott: A disabled black man shot dead by North Carolina police

keithlamontscottWhen will this end, Lord?

#KeithLamontScott
Disabled
Father of seven
Reading a book while waiting on his son’s school bus
Shot 4 times by police

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A chaotic scene has erupted in the night in North Charlotte after an African-American man was shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting.

Police say they were serving an outstanding warrant when they came upon Keith Lamont Scott in his car. They say Scott got out, had a gun on him, and put the officers in imminent danger. Officer Brentley Vinson shot Scott.

“Man was in his truck, reading a book waiting for his kid to come home,” said a man on scene. “Cops shot him, for nothing.”

Emergency services were called to the scene where they transported Scott to Carolinas Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

“As is standard procedure with any officer involved shooting, Officer Vinson has been placed on paid Administrative Leave,” the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said in a statement Tuesday night. Officer Vinson has been employed with the CMPD since July 2014. He is African American.

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Tuesday Open Thread | Howard University cheerleaders kneeling during National Anthem

howard-university-cheerleaders-kneeling-during-national-anthem

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