TAKEN: How police departments make millions by seizing property

It fits the pattern. Black men carry the burden of South Carolina’s civil forfeiture program. Almost two-thirds of people targeted by forfeiture are black males, according to TAKEN investigation data analysis. Yet they represent just 13 percent of the general population.

Hilary Shelton, the NAACP Washington bureau director, said the organization worries the racial targeting in South Carolina is even worse than has been reported.

“Civil asset forfeiture, combined with the historic and consistent problems of racial profiling on our highways and byways, becomes very much part of a troubling equation,” he said. “It’s been used in a racially discriminatory manner. The law must be fully reviewed.”

The state has a long history of racial discrimination related to property. 

Civil forfeiture is a vestige of that history, some critics say. It links to an established trend of targeted law enforcement that puts more police in contact with non-whites, an exposure that can lead to civil forfeiture, experts say.

Some departments have built a money-making machine on the backs of this type of targeting.

It starts with where police use forfeiture. It’s happening in every urban environment in South Carolina. There are only six cities in the state with a population over 50,000. All of them frequently use forfeiture.

In smaller towns, only about half the police forces use the tool at all, and most agencies don’t pursue many cases.

The system is designed to be applied at scale. The more forfeiture is used, the more money police have at their disposal for equipment, training and for undercover drug purchases.

Though the racial disparities in the data exist broadly across the state, the decisions that lead to civil forfeiture are situational. It’s a traffic stop, or a drug investigation that leads to a residence, or increased patrols in low-income or historically black neighborhoods.

The TAKEN team used census data to analyze the widest disparities between the number of forfeiture cases with black subjects compared with the number of black residents in an agency’s jurisdiction.

The largest racial gaps? The highest disproportionate targeting of black people came from the Myrtle Beach Police Department, followed by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office and the Charleston Police Department.

During 2014-2016, there was one black person targeted for forfeiture by Myrtle Beach police for every 50 black residents who live there. If you roughly extrapolated that rate over a generation, one in five black people would have money or goods taken by police in Myrtle Beach at some point over three decades, despite the fact that the city is mostly white.

The city is 69 percent white and just 14 percent black, according to 2014 U.S. Census data.

In Greenville County, black people were targeted for forfeiture at a rate of one per every 587 black residents during our three-year study period.

In comparison, forfeiture affected one white person per every 4,139 white residents in the county. Greenville County is 69 percent white and 19 percent black, according to U.S. Census data.

“It just sort of reinforces an understanding we already knew — that black residents disproportionately come in contact with law enforcement given the way criminal justice policy is oriented in this country,” said Nicole Porter, spokeswoman at The Sentencing Project, a reform advocacy group.

A piece of this policing story is tied to the highway and police behavior and assumptions.

In one case, a Wellford officer pulled over a black man on Interstate 85 for what he said was failure to maintain a lane. When he discovered cash in the car that day in 2012, the officer called in the top Homeland Security agent in Greenville to help seize it. They’d found what police said were “marijuana particles.”

The North Carolina driver, Lee Harris Jr., said it was tobacco. The officers took $7,008 from the glove box.

“I call them pirates,” said Lee Harris Sr., the driver’s father. The elder Harris is a minister and a military veteran who said the money comes from his bank and from documented Social Security and benefits.

Harris said he had left $7,000 in the car when his son went on a trip to Atlanta. He filed a lawsuit, and after a year-and-a-half, he settled. The government kept $2,008 even though Harris’ son was never charged with a crime.

Sometimes police seize cash when the driver is merely ticketed for a minor violation not related to drugs, according to court records.

Ramando Moore was cited for having an open container in Richland County in 2015; he lost $604.

Plexton Denard Hunter was pulled over for a seatbelt violation in 2015 in Richland County and had $541 seized. Tesla Carter, another seatbelt violation, this time in Anderson in 2015. She lost $1,361.

South Carolina agencies with the highest rate of seizure of property from black people

 

If you’re black and driving in South Carolina, you are more likely to be stopped by police. In 24 states with available race data by traffic stop, the state had the second highest rate of black motorists stopped by state troopers, according to a 2017 study by the Stanford Open Policing Project.

In Greenville County, there were 24 state patrol stops for every 100 black residents of driving age. There were only 15 stops for every 100 white residents in the nine-year study period, according to the project.

Officers have a lower threshold to search black drivers than white drivers, the Stanford research shows, evidenced by data that revealed when officers searched drivers, they found contraband more often on white drivers than black ones.

Yet the scope of action taken by law enforcement and the justice system against black Americans throughout U.S. history makes it easier for an officer to take from a black person than a white person, said Heather Ann Thompson, a criminal justice and African-American history professor at the University of Michigan and author of “Blood in the Water.”

It’s the same reason black people are prosecuted more harshly, are incarcerated more often and for longer sentences and face civil fines and penalties more often than whites. They’re just not as likely to be able to marshal resources to fight back against the justice system, she said.

“It has everything to do with who has access to good defense lawyers and who’s getting pulled over to begin with,” said Thompson, who’s a leading voice in criminal justice reform.

The racial disparity may begin with traffic stops, but it extends well beyond them in South Carolina.

 

Ella Bromell sits in her home in Conway on Feb. 21, 2018. These days, she rarely leaves her yard — she said she lives in fear of losing her 1,000-square-foot home. She’s endured years of efforts by the city of Conway to seize her house, an attempt to shut down drug dealers by going after Bromell.LAUREN PETRACCA/GREENVILLE NEWS

How often are black people in this state the victim of civil forfeiture when the police encounter doesn’t involve being pulled over in a car?

Excluding known traffic stops, police seized money from black people in two-thirds of all cases compared with one-third for whites, our TAKEN data analysis shows. It’s an even more startling fact when considering South Carolina is 69 percent white.

Ella Bromell, a 72-year-old widow from Conway, twice nearly lost her home, though she’s never been convicted of a crime in her life.

Yet the city of Conway nearly succeeded in seizing her house because they said she didn’t do enough to stop crime happening on the sidewalk and in her yard. Young men were using her lawn as a location to sell drugs at night, according to court records.

The fight between Conway officials and Bromell, who is black, began in 2007 and lasted a decade — culminating in court in 2017 when two judges sided with her and wrote that the city “failed to produce any evidence that the residence was an integral or otherwise fundamental part of illegal drug activity.”

Still, Bromell fears the city will try again, despite the police admission in court that they couldn’t say if she was even aware of a single drug sale around her house.

Conway City Manager Adam Emrick said the city has contemplated future seizures in the case of Bromell or similar property owners.

Losing her home would be the end of her, Bromell said. “I don’t want to go nowhere else.”

More: She gave her friend a ride and lost her wages

Thurmond Brooker, Bromell’s attorney, said the law is being warped without the public even noticing. “It’s being used in a way in which innocent people can have their property taken,” he said. “Little old ladies whose property is being trespassed upon can be victimized for a second time.”

Why are black citizens like Bromell facing forfeiture more often than their white neighbors?

One police official said it’s because there’s more drug crime in the black community.

“We go where we’re called,” Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller said. “We police where people are telling us there are problems. We’re not an agency — and I don’t know a police agency — that tries to balance racially its interdiction of drugs off the street.”

The bulk of the drugs and weapons calls the city receives are in minority communities, Miller said. He said he won’t apologize if police tactics disproportionately engage black men and lead to more seizures.

In Greenville County, the Sheriff’s Office initiated 256 forfeiture cases from 2014-2016, of which 150 involved blacks and 85 involved whites.

Greenville city police had 89 cases. Of those, 53 involved blacks and 22 involved whites.

Miller said the city has spent time and money on racial bias training and is working to better track data on traffic stops.

David Smith, one of the architects of the expanded forfeiture laws enacted in the 1980s to fight the War on Drugs, said it’s a great tool for going after significant criminals. Drug lords. White collar masterminds. But increasingly forfeiture has been co-opted by local police forces to take petty cash on the side of the road, he said.

Grant, the Atlanta musician, said he understands how police work and knew right away he would fight to get his money back, even if it cost him legal fees.

“They knew we were young, and we were black,” Grant said. “They pulled us over, gave us a bogus reason. We didn’t consent to search; they searched anyway.”

Grant’s drug charge was dismissed, and though he had proof that he earned his money legally — show schedules, payment receipts, contracts — it could have taken another two years before he could challenge the forfeiture in court. So Grant chose to settle rather than wait.

The state got $500. He got $7,500 back but had to pay his attorney $2,500.

His case was considered a good outcome.

“We’re the ones being railroaded,” Grant said. “It just speaks volumes to where we are as a people.”

More: For years, a SC city tried to seize a widow’s home. It still might.

More: Atlanta rapper fought the law and won

Enjoying the TAKEN investigation series? Please support local journalism by subscribing to The News.

Have you lost property through civil forfeiture? Or do you have information about the practice we should know? We’d like to hear about it. Or about any investigative tips we could work on. Contact our reporters at taken@greenvillenews.com.

Cop Tries To Harass Black College Student But Gets Owned And Taught The Law

 

I’m convinced the first rule in the cop handbook is “Never admit fault.”
You’re being “hostile” when you don’t let them violate your rights. 🤦🏾‍♂️ Classic.
Calling the man “creepy” trying to insult him to get a rise, top quality police
As a former Union Agent representing law enforcement I can say without a doubt most of my time was taken up by officers or deputies that have taken their authority and abused it in this same manner. They harass the wrong person and that triggers a formal complaint to Internal Affairs. And bingo we have a professional law enforcement officer on leave pending investigation. In this specific instance this officer isn’t enforcing the law, he’s enforcing his ego.
It’s shocking how the officer picks on him and so many students are walking by in the video at 2am in the morning.
The male cop says the black man being out at that time of the night is odd, yet several people walk by at different times during the interaction. College students are always out at all times of the night!
The fact that the couple falsely accuses him of being hostile shows that this is something they do to try to justify their next deadly action
“You we’re hiding in the bushes” at what point was he hiding in the bushes lol!
This young man was not behind the bushes, he was in plain sight. And while I’m watching this there’s so many people out and about walking around at two whatever in the morning. They just want to harass him. I’m proud of this young man for standing his ground.
He wanted to arrest him so bad “when you’re going to jail it is gonna be real funny
“I don’t know why you’re being so difficult” “I don’t know why you’re trying to violate my rights”
Notice… this man played him… and didn’t say a SINGLE curse word… didn’t cuss him out or nothing. Just taught him a BIG lesson!
This is a perfect example of cops sticking up for cops even when they know they are wrong. And she is a sergeant. Both of them should be fired for harassing a member of the public.
Much respect to the Brother keeping his cool and demonstrating how the police will lie and still keep their jobs.
I wish we could see them driving away. The UNCG code of conduct is online. It took me 1 minute to search for identification. Nowhere does it say you have to produce ID except in a hearing.
It makes me sick when police start pulling that “get your hands out of your pockets” bull sht.
You know when a cop either says here’s how it’s going to go or here’s the deal, that they are about to violate your rights
It might be beneficial to us all if Cops actually had a collage education.
If he didn’t have that camera running it would have gone a completely different way. ALWAYS RECORD any involvement with LEOs.
“We The People” Seeing an ex cop run this channel appropriately is proof that people that stand up for their rights aren’t anti goverment. Just “Pro, good government “ Cool channel.
You see how he assumed he wasn’t a student, I wonder why? Smh
I like the part where the officer says “if a school administrator asks for your ID, you must provide it”. He’s not a f-ckin administrator.
I think he did the right thing by getting back in front of his camera for his protection
>> Definitely! Especially, when that cop started lieing and said ” Take your hands out of your pockets “, trying to set up a defense for doing something to him! I’m glad the young man recognized what he was trying to do!

>> I agree when the cop started saying keep your hands out your pockets off camera who knows what would of happened. He was walking backwards to his car..lol ..WTF what a !!COWARD

>> Absolutely! I was getting concerned about that also. That cop definitely tried to begin a narrative the he was doing something, anything wrong. Kudos for following through bru!
The crazy thing about some of these cops is they have gotten away with things like this in the past. If it wasnt on camera he would have been arrested and the story would have been different. you see how he stated you were in the bushes, what “THESE” people do at times. Not all, not all, but a lot of them. It’s in them
My handsome black brother,👏🏾 thank you for standing on right. That man who calls himself a cop, is a joke. I hope this gets seen by all my black brothers who don’t know their rights and learns them to stop this tyranny in this country. Great job!
Kudos to this guy! I thoroughly enjoyed watching him calmly and confidently exercising his rights! It sucks that the supervisor that showed up couldn’t just admit the first cop was wrong and just leave this guy alone. This is another good reason why cops get a bad wrap.
It’s hard to stand your ground sometimes, especially if you have things to do, they will argue with you for hours instead of just saying they’re wrong and letting you go.
It is so scary to see this. If the supervisor didnt show up in time he could have been both tasered and arrested on false accusations.
Hate when cops ask “why are you being difficult?”! He is being difficult because you are trying to violate his 4th amendment rights and you’re abusing your power in a situation where you have no authority. Also, school policy (code of conduct) doesn’t trump the constitution, he doesn’t need to show ID even if the cop found the “code”.
This is probably the best video I’ve seen of this type. He successfully made the cops look like a complete clown. “Keep your hands out of your pockets” he should be fired just for that.
It’s wonderful that the brother knew his rights, but he shouldn’t have gone back and forth with the cop, because some cops would’ve concocted some fictitious story, and felt threatened based on the argument which could’ve led to the young man being killed. The brother has the recording which will serve as permissible evidence in Court, or to the Dean/Student Affairs, provide the handbook to the proper representatives at the institution showing the bylaws causing him to lose his job, and lastly file a harassment suit. I’ve seen black men who know the law, and are in law school encounter this same problem, but you just have to think about things from a precautionary standpoint. I was in this same situation, and took legal action based on my understanding of the law. I received a settlement, and the officer was demoted three times, and fired once I spoke and sufficient evidence was provided to substantiate my claim.
Has a cop ever talked without lying? Non-stop lies from beginning to end. Tyrant.
These public officials seem to be drunk on their perceive authority. Thank goodness for the first amendment auditors that bring the ignorance of these public servants to the forefront for all to see.
Love how there’s literally a truck full of ppl in the back and this is the person he choose to harass. Just pathetic and unacceptable
Good job. Lots of NC folk comply with Law Enforcement whether they’re right or wrong especially if they (the citizen) is black. I encourage everyone to exercise their rights but most won’t , even the young (I’m 55) but I’m glad this brother did…
Cops love to say “why you so hostile?” Lmao okay dude.
I’m pro law enforcement but both cops were fighting for dominance and their behavior was strictly driven by their ego. The student gets a grand slam as he handled this perfectly, wittingly, humorously and very smoothly. Nice job!
I love this guy, he knows his shit! Cops need to learn, sometimes, just walk away and drop it, it is not worth the fight.
The funny part is you’re going to leave either way” bro, that got me so good!
That young man clowned him and took away his perceived authority while having fun with it. The point is the young man knew the laws and his rights. He had a quick counter for everything officer ” I’m going to assert some authority on you ” presented.
It’s sad to see and hear in almost all of these cases the sheer amount of ego hunting and zero intelligence of the letter of the law!
How sick our these control freaks?
I love when cops say “why are you been difficult” when they are violating your rights. A good cop that covers or standby for a bad cop is as bad.
5:18 “I don’t know why you’re being so hostile.” I really hate it when they pull these petty moves.
Why is it that the police find it impossible to just go without giving advice or attempting to get you to comply with something!😂
Another cop that doesn’t know the laws he’s supposed to upload but harrasses and makes up lies to justify trying to violate this mans right to record in public. The lady cop is just as wrong for attempting to back her fellow officer and they should both be charged with harrassment, or any other violation we can make up…like they do.
Cop “I‘m trying to help you out” how is trying to get his ID and threatening to arrest him helping him out?
He really really wanted to take him to jail he would do anything to take him to jail if this man was not recording he would be in jail and I’m 95% sure that that officer fabricate as much lies as he possibly can to keep this man in jail just because he was “defiant“ he was doing what he should challenge the law in the correct way what a looser
So the sergeant comes and explains that everything he’s doing is perfectly legal with the photography and all but then she starts the cops explaining. Then she starts the bullying. I need you to move over here 20 ft over here so that you’re on a different property even though it’s all public property but I have to flex my muscles and tell you what to do otherwise you’re a free person walking around in a free area and we certainly cannot have that.
Shout out to the brother. I hope he’s still safe and standing up for our rights! ✊🏾 And ffs 2am is early on a college campus on the weekend. Clearly a big party or event just happened.
The pettiness is what really got me.
Police officers often enjoy to assert their power and more often than not, they end up looking foolish while attempting to violate citizens rights.
There was nothing hostile about this young man. He just knew his rights. Police are never on your side and will use your information against you.
Man bro I love when cops get taught the law they’re supposed to know then try to pull the power play move
This is extremely frightening to me how uneducated the officers are.
The amount of ignorance in these LEOs…..astonishing, yet sadly not unexpected.
Now She’s doing the “Police Culture ” Thing by trying to save face and be in Authority!😔🙄
I think it’s funny when these cops say, I’m telling you, no matter what you must obey!
Lmao I love how this dude laughs at how stupid situation that he’s in. Full Respect XD
I love how they try to grab control of the situation when they have been upped! We know why he was stopped. Look, I don’t have time to argue with a rent-a-cop, either arrest me or leave me the hell alone. My mans said he was “behind the bushes.” LMAO
This was beyond beautiful! Bravo to this young man! 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾 Racial profiling. Glad I saw this, I live in NC… very familiar with the campus. I’ll be sure not to allow my daughter transfer here. I was worried the boss would be in the same bs and she was…. The first officer was a straight up liar like most of them are…trust me I know. Just separated from NCDPS. Wicked and corrupt bunch of people.
Cop is a butt-hurt liar. He said he would “arrest” him if he didn’t ID, and yet NO ID, no arrest.
I love the fact that you always remind people to learn their rights. I’m gonna go review right now matter of fact. Would I have left? Prolly… Fact is the police terrify me. I’ve been afraid of the police since I was six years old. I’ve been living in a nation under terror for thirty years. The problem is, in a court of law, the police are automatically above any suspicion, as though police are never criminals. The police almost never report crimes committed by other members of law enforcement, and there were even police that actually operated as a gang. Gang mentality needs to go. Get it out of America. How? Get rid of stupid laws. Legalization of most drugs requiring addicts seek their drugs from a federally mandated facility where no one will ever overdose, no poison will be in the drugs and tax dollars can be collected instead of spent locking them up. Furthermore addicts would be exposed to narcotics anonymous literature et cetera, and drugs would become affordable so crime would decrease further. Hands and mobs, having nothing to sell, would be forced to go back to gambling, rackets etc, or go out of business altogether. So locking people for drug addiction and start treating them. They’re just people who either want to party, or are suffering. Why is that illegal? If we followed the letter of the law every single American would spend several lifetimes in prison. The average American commits three felonies EVERY DAY without even realizing it.
I don’t know why you’re being so difficult and hostile” “You’re behind the bushes” “Student code of conduct says to provide your ID”. The mental gymnastics of police officers is crazy.
Both the cop and sergeant didn’t know the law. Mind boggling as to how they think that they can manipulate the law and try to threaten him with an arrest. Gosh this student was one articulate, brave and fierce guy. He just had no time for their bullshit.
Great video. I laughed several times – especially when he kept asking if the cop was mad.
It would have been absolutely perfect if dude ended up letting the cop know he was studying to be a civil rights attorney. Lmao. Oh man that would have been perfect!
The Cop “knows” he’s right, yet 1st he said the Man, or according to Cops, the “Suspect”, wasn’t a student, then, he said he was, then he said he knew the Law, Yet, at NO time, did he arrest the “Suspect”. 2 Cops for about a half hour, for a DEADLY situation, like this. We don’t have enough of these Brave Heroes out there, and we Clearly need to Hire more.
Great video!!!! Can you do a video explaining what would happen in this same exact case if the officer decided to push his authority and falsely arrest him? What would this young man go through after being arrested? A ride to jail and time wasted seeing a judge that decides he was in the right over the officer? And then what most likely would happen to the officer for not knowing the law and possibly just knowing a policy that has no weight to the law?
“Either way you’re gonna get in your car and leave” , had me LOL.. You crushed em dude. Good going!
What a wonderful young man. They really are relentless lying demons and they took so much of his time. Harassment, absolute harassment, they really should be punished for this.
So when you disagree with a cop you’re being difficult even though the cop is wrong and you were right.
Are these real cops? Or rental cops? The “lady cop” is reaching, by telling him where he can and can not film. These cops need to look for the real bad guys!! Go away little cops, go away!!!!! Lol!!! He states he is not “mad”!!!
It is so nice and refreshing to live in a country where you can walk,drive any time night or day and the cops would not stop you and ask for I D,even when they stop you for traffic violation they dont demand you to get out of the car and handcuffs you..
No matter how much these cops get proven wrong. They can’t help themselves but they give some kind of directive, they have to boss somebody around and express their perceived authority onto others. And if we don’t listen they get so butt hurt
How hard is it for cops to just walk away and say have a nice day? Children just refuse to be wrong
Cops keep referring to the school’s Code of Conduct, but initially the first officer demanded to see his I.D. when he assumed that the man “wasn’t” a student !
Officer: “ it’s strange to be out here at 2:00 in the morning”
30 other people proceed to walk by.
The sad part is he really wanted him to go to jail for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!! I hope his superior reprimanded him

 

He called the cops bluff when he said, he was going to arrest him. The cop back peddled, and tried a different tactic. Good for this man for standing up for his rights. The extraordinary length these cops go to, to have some measure of control over this man is ridiculous!
I love when people excercing their rights is not cooperating and being suspicious. It’s not a law no matter what. It’s code of conduct. You know they’d just arrest if they were right.
Be very careful of the advice you give on this platform! Being correct and surviving are not always synonymous! He was lucky…. to be on University property and a University student. What if someone in this comment section attempt to do the same thing except there are no witnesses around? Potentially end imprisoned on false charges or dead. YES… Stand up for your rights…but be smart about it. If you know your rights are being violated, and you’re recording…. COMPLY with the Officer… and get home safe!!! THEN get in contact with an attorney and file charges against the Officers involved AND the department. You will not win on the side of the road….let the attorney win in court!!!
>> Now that Officer did violate that students 4th Amendment Rights. The Sgt. Knew her Officer was wrong…and she still tried to cover for him. Comply…make it home alive… then contact an attorney. That’s the smartest approach.
When a cop tries to get someone to move a few feet it’s about one thing, control. Honestly, in this case what does it matter other than ego?
Clown tried to frame the guy outside of the view of the camera by asking him to stand outside of the view while insinuating that the man had something dangerous in his hands.
Legend has it that the cop is still out there looking for the rule to this day..
So, do rights go away after a certain time of the night? Am I ok to film from 7am to 9pm but 9pm to 7am it’s against the law?? It is SO scary how many cops don’t know the laws they are supposed to enforce.
“We’re definitely not trying to violate your rights, we just really want to violate your rights.” – Female cop.
The cop was difficult, but tells the student he’s being difficult. What an a hole.
It would be so nice if the public was allowed to question these cops and their superiors in public on camera for everyone to see and hear, as to why they do what they do , why they violate peoples rights , why they lie , why they cover up and their superiors should answer to why they just get pushed around from one precinct to the next and they’re not dealt with especially when they have so many complaints and their superiors should also answer the question as to why these cops are never properly trained and that the public knows more about the law more then the cops do…
As a white woman, I don’t know all these rights either. I’ve been stopped many times too…. BUT I’m always compliant. I believe you live longer that way. On the other hand, not knowing our rights is why we have lost SO many of our freedoms. Kudos to knowing your rights!!!
Police officer: I don’t understand why you’re being hostile/difficult. Translation: I don’t understand why you’re not allowing me to violate your rights.
The officer said that he was hiding behind a bush.He was standing out front on the sidewalk,even the cop noticed that before he got out of his car.Wow smh
He still violated his 4th amendment right when he looked in his bag. 🤦🏾‍♂
It blows my mind how many officers use that “why you being difficult” when a person quotes his rights and stands up to the cops tyrant ways!
Standing up for your rights is hostile Standing up for your rights is being difficult
I’ll be honest with you years ago I would have just shown my ID and been bullied but nowadays after watching Auditors and videos like this I have learned a lot and I appreciate it. no more getting bullied by the cops and record everything and don’t talk to them. Thanks
Guy approaches a man minding his own business, demands he leave, demands he ID, demands he explain himself, accuses him of hiding “behind bushes” and of possibly being a sexual assaulter… Then questions why he’s so hostile.
🤣 she tried to at least get one up on him. “You have to stand over here for us.” Umm no I don’t. Haha Well done. 👏🏽
This student stood his ground and left unscathed. It makes me wonder if he is in his United States or North Korea. This overreach by cops needs to be corrected..their threats of arrest are limiting freedom of movement of law abiding citizens. Unless there is a law enforced curfew you cannot stop a person from being out of his/her home/place of residence at any time. This is control without consent.
At the school I attended COC did indeed list showing your student I.D. to security and cops. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of people walking back and forth, so how is he unusual or suspicious? Besides, why sets up a camera on a main road if you intends to commit a crime?
The officer backed up like he was going to be attacked. The SKIN COLOR of the student to the officer is a threat. The officer is TROUBLE.
2 years to become a hairdresser, 6 months to become a cop. What do you expect
This is why there are so many innocent people in prison. Thank God everyone has a camera now to record their own evidence.
” we are definitely not trying to violate your rights” while we keep demanding your papers
I love how when they’re talking a group of people across the street are walking by you can’t make this shit up
Cops in the USA seem to confuse a hunch with suspicion, something your supreme courts have actually described in various rulings very specifically to be different, what the difference is and why it matters. Im European and even I know that.
Kudos to this young man however he could have exercised his 5th Amendment right to not talk to the police. What boggles my mind are campus cops who think a state university, with an ELECTED board of Regents, like a city council, is private property or as if it’s somehow restricted. With VERY few exceptions a public university’s campus sidewalks and streets are always open to the public. That university sidewalk IS A PUBLIC SIDEWALK and ignorant cops like this one doesn’t have the authority to kick someone off a public sidewalk.
This was a great project. It basically shows how the ego of the average cop won’t let them admit when there wrong and how there training and initiation for the suppose greater good has failed when the other cop cared more about protecting the other cops feelings over the rights of others (the greater good)
Scariest thing is the baseless warnings the two cops kept hurling at this student and they kept telling him that he did something wrong even though they knew that they had absolutely no “Reasonable – Articulable- Suspicion”. Both of these cops are on ego trips. End Qualified Immunity Nationally Now!

Here’s why I’m skeptical of Roland Fryer’s new, much-hyped study on police shootings

When Fryer (an economist by training) tells the Times that he got interested in police shootings because of “his anger after the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray,” and (in Fryer’s words) “decided I was going to collect a bunch of data and try to understand what really is going on,” that should be another humongous red flag.

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It implies that Fryer assumed he was doing something pioneering, rather than asking first what work was already being done and what he could add to the existing conversation. This is something that often happens when people in “quantitative” social sciences, like economics, develop an interest in topics covered in other social sciences — in this case, criminology: They assume that no rigorous empirical work is being done.

 

police shooting by race

 

Ask yourself: How broad is this data? How broad are the claims being made about it?

The Times report does explain the data that Fryer and company used in the new study. But it turns out it’s not nearly as broad a sample as the conclusion “these results undercut the idea that the police wield lethal force with racial bias” would suggest:

(Fryer) and a group of student researchers spent about 3,000 hours assembling detailed data from police reports in Houston; Austin, Tex.; Dallas; Los Angeles; Orlando, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and four other counties in Florida.

That’s 10 police departments in three states, with a majority of them based in major cities. That allowed Fryer and his team to compile a database with a lot of different shootings — about 1,330 over 16 years, from 2000 to 2015 — but not a lot of different police departments or institutional cultures.

When it comes to policing, this is especially important, because so many issues of crime and policing are local. Different cities have different approaches to police-community relations; different tensions; different standards for use of force. (In fact, the cities Fryer and his team worked with are all members of a White House initiative on policing data launched in 2015 — and the kind of department that thinks data collection and transparency are important is likely to have different priorities in other regards than one that isn’t.)

 

In comparison, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report database includes records from thousands of police departments around the country. The number of shootings in the Fryer data set, spanning 16 years, is about equivalent to what the Uniform Crime Report compiles in two or three.

More importantly, the UCR report includes not just major cities but small towns and rural areas; not just diverse cities but less diverse ones; not just departments that think carefully about data collection but departments for which it’s just a needed chore to qualify for government funds.

 

Ask yourself: Is the question the study answers the same one the public is asking?

The most revealing passage in the Times article is probably the one explaining what Fryer and his team didn’t include in their study:

It focused on what happens when police encounters occur, not how often they happen. Racial differences in how often police-civilian interactions occur reflect greater structural problems in society.

In other words, Fryer and company found that there weren’t big racial disparities in how often black and white suspects who’d already been stopped by police were killed. But they deliberately avoided the question of whether black citizens are more likely to be stopped to begin with (they are) and whether they’re more likely to be stopped without cause (yup).

Avoiding those issues makes sense for the question Fryer was trying to answer. He wanted to know what happens between the moment a police officer stops someone and the moment he pulls the trigger — and how those sequences of events vary by race.

But when people talk about racial disparities in police use of force, they’re usually not asking, Is a black American stopped by police treated the same as a white American in the same circumstances? They’re making a broader critique of the “greater structural problems” in society in general and the criminal justice system in particular. They’re saying that black Americans are more likely to get stopped by police, which makes them more likely to get killed.

Eric Garner was killed in 2014 when police tried to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes. Philando Castile had been pulled over 52 times on misdemeanors (including for driving without a muffler and not wearing a seatbelt) before he was shot and killed last week. Michael Brown was stopped by Darren Wilson for walking in the middle of the street.

Maybe it’s possible (maybe) that those encounters would have been just as likely to escalate to the point of lethal force if each of those men had been white — but it kind of misses the point to say that, because if they’d been white, the encounters probably never would have happened.

Controlling for variables is an extremely important thing in social science. It allows you to figure out which factors actually matter and which ones don’t. In this case, Fryer and his team have given us suggestive evidence that among major-city police forces, police in tense situations are not unusually likely to shoot black suspects. They’ve made a valuable addition to the literature. But it’s just that: an addition, not a discovery, and not the last word.

Chris Hedges on trauma & teaching writing in prison

 

Since 2013, Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and host of The Chris Hedges Report, has taught college courses in drama, literature, philosophy, and history at East Jersey State Prison (aka “Rahway”) and other New Jersey prisons. In one such course, after reading plays by Amiri Baraka and August Wilson, among others, Hedges’ students wrote a play of their own. The play, “Caged,” would eventually be published and performed at The Passage Theatre in Trenton, New Jersey, for a month-long run in 2018 to sold-out audiences. In his latest book, “Our Class: Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison,” Hedges chronicles the journey he and his class embarked on together. Joining Mansa Musa on Rattling the Bars, Hedges speaks about his book and the transformations he witnessed among the men he taught behind prison walls.

 

Chris Hedges is the former Middle East bureau chief of The New York Times, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a columnist at ScheerPost. He formerly hosted the program Days of Revolt, produced by TRNN, and currently hosts The Chris Hedges Report. Hedges is the author of several books, including “America: The Farewell Tour”; “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America,” and “Our Class: Trauma and Transformation in an American Prison.” Read the transcript of this video: https://therealnews.com/chris-hedges-… Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

 

 

Extremely important Chris is to get students to write about trauma, real experiences. It is for most of us therapy , a breakthrough of communication of trauma. Again, thank you for being the example for all of is, a man with a moral compass. PLEASE RUN FOR PRESIDENT. (CHUCKLES) It is a dream for many of us. THANK YOU.
I read that play “Caged” a couple of years ago. It was very good. Much better than I was expecting. Such a sad story, but a very important story and play. I highly recommend everyone read it.
Mr. Hedges goes directly to the defining features of the U.S. It’s really nice that he can account for the humanity in one of the most systematically inhumane systems.
Of course they need to silence Chris Hedges. He’s legitimate.
Excellent interview. Not easy to see the subject matters through the context of the prison system unless one has been in it.
<– found a copy of “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.” I should read it sooner than later!

 

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Shortly after our story aired on how police put LA resident Daniel Alvarez in handcuffs for a bogus traffic violation, he was pulled over again for allegedly switching lanes without signaling. In this episode of PAR, we explore the continued use of questionable traffic stops to harass people like Daniel, and what these troubling tactics say about the state of American policing across the country.

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