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Tag: police shooting

Body Cam Leads to Murder Charge Against Cincinnati Cop Who Shot Unarmed Motorist

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Who knows what would have happened if a University of Cincinnati cop wasn’t wearing a body cam.

But he was, and on Wednesday he was indicted on a murder charge for shooting an unarmed black man in the head during a minor traffic stop, the New York Times reports. 

Prosecutors called it “a senseless, asinine shooting.”

The video showed that Officer Ray Tensing was lying when he said he was being dragged by Samuel Dubose’s car.

A grand jury indicted the officer Wednesday on a murder charge, which is punishable by up to life in prison.

“This doesn’t happen in the United States, OK?” The Hamilton County prosecuting attorney, Joseph T. Deters, said. “This might happen in Afghanistan. People don’t get shot for a traffic stop.”

He added: “This office has probably reviewed 100 police shootings, and this is the first time we’ve thought, ‘This is without question a murder,’” he said.

Other Stories of Interest

Why South Carolina Cop Got Caught Killing Unarmed Walter Scott

Michael Slager

By Scott Lemieux
The Week

He probably would have gotten away with it.

That’s the sobering reality of the video of South Carolina police officer Michael Slager shooting Walter L. Scott as he ran away, not posing the slightest threat to the officer. The utter indifference to human life evident in the video, shot by Feidin Santana, is horrifying. As Scott’s father put it, “The way he was shooting that gun, it looked like he was trying to kill a deer.” After Scott was felled by at least one of eight shots, Slager occupied himself with handcuffing Scott and possibly trying to plant evidence rather than making any immediateattempt to save his life. The phrase “cold-blooded killing” could have been invented for this shooting.

After the video surfaced, the relevant local authorities, to their credit, actedpromptly and justly. Slager was fired by the police department and charged with Scott’s murder by the district attorney. The killing was denounced by South Carolina’s Republican governor and its two Republican senators. In this case, clear video evidence pierced the thin blue line.

And yet, if it wasn’t for the pure chance of Slager’s actions being videotaped, he probably would have gotten off scot-free. Without videotaped evidence, stories of officers fearing for their lives before using deadly force can be difficult to dispute, and local police departments have little incentive to conduct extensive, critical investigations of the self-justifications of officers who kill. Even worse, they do have incentives to cover up even the most serious police misconduct.

“Americans are bombarded with evidence that police officers who use excessive or fatal force will go to great lengths to protect themselves and make sure they face no legal repercussions,” says Heather Ann Thompson, a professor of history at Temple University who specializes in issues of criminal justice. “From the state police’s bloody retaking of Attica in 1971, to the recent police officer killing of a citizen in South Carolina, cover-up is the first line of defense.”

This tendency to cover up represents a very serious systematic problem. A great deal of the criminal justice system depends on the honesty of law enforcement officials. Many criminal prosecutions depend on police testimony, and we often must rely on the investigations of local police when potential cases of misconduct arise. Pervasive dishonesty both lets individual bad actors escape punishment and undermines essential law enforcement activities.

FBI Finishes Investigation of Ferguson Police Shooting That Killed Unarmed Michael Brown

Michael Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has wrapped up its long-anticipated investigation into the police shooting of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, a U.S. official told the Associated Press.

It’s not yet clear whether the Justice Department will pursue a federal civil rights case against former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. But legal experts and government officials agree that it’s unlikely that charges will be filed because of the incredibly difficult legal standard.

The New York Times reported that Justice Department lawyers plan to recommend against prosecuting Wilson, but that Attorney General Eric H. Holder has not yet made up his mind.

A grand jury cleared Wilson in the Aug. 9 death of Brown, setting off protests nationwide.

Hacker Group ‘Anonymous’ Says It Shut Down Cleveland’s Website Over Police Shooting

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Notorious hacker group Anonymous took credit for shutting down the city of Cleveland’s website Monday, prompting an FBI investigation, Cleveland.com reports.

Anonymous said the website was hacked in response to the police shooting of Tamir Rice, who was killed Saturday while carrying an airsoft gun.

The website was still down Tuesday morning.

“The city of Cleveland and our website vendor are reviewing the incident and determining proper preventative measures to be added in order to ensure future attacks are thwarted,” city spokesman Daniel Ball said.

Anonymous posted a video on YouTube, saying Tamir was shot “in cold blood.”

“Police of the United States you will learn in due time once anonymous has shut down your sites that we will not stand for your ignorant untrained rookie cops,” the message said.

 

FBI Has Potentially Damning Recording of Moment Michael Brown Shot Dead in Ferguson

Michael Brown

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents investigating the shooting death of an unarmed teen in Ferguson were handed a potentially damning recording of the encounter with an officer, the Daily Mail reports.

The audio captures at least 11 shots, with a pause after seven of them.

“There sounds like a pause in it (the audio). And when you hear that pause it brings some concern,” said retired Chief Deputy US Marshall Matthew Fog after listening on CNN.

“It is very significant, because if you have a pause there it means somebody had time to think and then fire again.”
A voice in the audio can be heard saying, “You’re so pretty,” before 11 gunshots ring out.

An attorney for the unidentified man with the recording said the audio, if authentic, shows a clear “point of contemplation” while shooting.

Justice Department Orders Independent Autopsy of Michael Brown As Violence Escalates

Michael Brown

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government has ordered an independent autopsy of Michael Brown as violence continues to erupt in Ferguson, the Washington Post reports.

The request Sunday comes as the Justice Department pledges to take a play an intensified role in the investigation of the fatal police shooting of the unarmed black teenager.

The Justice Department is ordering the autopsy because of “the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case,” DOJ spokesman Brian Fallon said.

An autopsy paid for by Brown’s family showed that the teen was shot at least six times, and none of the shots appeared to be at close range. Brown was shot twice in the head, according to the autopsy.