In all of the 1,356 allegations of racial profiling made against the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Commission couldn’t find any evidence profiling.
A Dec. 15 report by the Police Commission investigated racial profiling allegations spanning from 2012 to 2014.
Police Commission president Matt Johnson told reporters, “I don’t think that anybody believes that there are actually no incidents of biased policing. The problem is we don’t have an effective way of really adjudicating the issue,”Quartzreported.
The LAPD isn’t the only police department to fail to hold officers accountable for citizens’ complaints. Chicago police faces similar criticism, the New York Timesreported:
The trove of information — thousands of pages of officers’ names and brief descriptions of each civilian complaint against the Chicago police from March 2011 to September 2015 — provides a rare look into the cloistered world of internal police discipline.
For example, the data for 2015 shows that in more than 99 percent of the thousands of misconduct complaints against Chicago police officers, there has been no discipline.From 2011 to 2015, 97 percent of more than 28,500 citizen complaints resulted in no officer being punished, according to the files.
A Michigan lawmaker is defending himself against charges of racism by pointing to his one African-American employee.
Republican State Senator Marty Knollenberg is being strongly criticized for remarks he made during an education committee meeting.
“You mentioned these school districts failing, and you mention economically disadvantaged and non-white population are the contributors to that. I know we can’t fix that. We can’t make an African-American white. That’s just, it is what it is,” Knollenberg said, according to local affiliate WXYZ.
“I was disgusted to hear any human, especially an elected official who is responsible for creating policy, to talk that way,” Rep Brian Banks, (D-Detroit) told the station. “It is clear you have some built in racism. It is clear you are out of touch with reality. As an elected official, as one of your colleagues, you owe us an apology.”
Knollenberg told a reporter from the local station that he’s not racist and those who know him would surely vouch for his character.
“If they knew me they would know that I am not racist at all,” he said.
Knollenberg insists that his comment was taken out of context during the education reform meeting.
“I have an African-American employee who works for me,” Knollenberg boasted.
He admits, however, that he regrets having offended people with his comment.
“I can apologize to people who felt that way,” said Knollenberg. “My passion is for improving education and making sure every single child gets a good education. We should not have failing schools anywhere.”
Fulton Co. is Atlanta, so Lawson seems to be telling Baker to go back to his mostly black county. According to the Census, in 2014 blacks comprised only 27% of Cobb County’s population.
Baker asked Officer Lawson what he meant by the comment.
“I said Fulton County,” Lawson replies. “Do you want to step out and talk to me?”
“Why do you need me to step out of the car?” Baker asks.
“Go back to Fulton County, sir.”
After Baker drives off, Lawson seems to explain to two other officers why he has problems with blacks.
“I lose my cool, man, every time. Why do I got to deal with (stuff) like that. This is the (expletive) America we live in, ain’t it?”
Lawson didn’t have to “deal with” anything though, since Baker only asked if he could leave. A simple yes or no would’ve sufficed. As with so many police incidents we’ve seen, many ending with deadly consequences, it is the officers who escalate tensions. In this case, Lawson taunted Baker, then goaded him to step out of the car.
Furthermore, any officer who admits to losing his cool “every time” he has to deal with a black person probably shouldn’t be on the force.
Lawson has been reassigned to another unit pending an investigation.
Cobb police acknowledge that Lawson violated police policy and have reduced Baker’s tickets to warnings.
“I’m a teacher. If I say something like that to a child, there would be a firestorm and immediately I would lose my job,” Baker said during an interview. “Obviously, he’s not there to protect and serve me, or people of color.”
County Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who is also African-American, accused Officer Lawson of aggressively following her to the point that she thought he was going to ram her in the back.
Cupid said Lawson “was not there to protect and serve. He was there to harass and intimidate.”
The Department of Justice began investigating the death of a Georgia teen over a year ago and now we’re learning more details about the case.
Kendrick Johnson’s dead body was found in a rolled up gym mat at his Georgia high school in 2013. Even though a coroner concluded that the teen suffocated while trying to retrieve his shoe, inconsistencies led the deceased teen’s family to conclude that foul play was involved in the teen’s death.
An independent autopsy report found blunt force trauma and concluded that Johnson’s death was the result of a homicide.
Also, the surveillance video provided by Lowndes High School was suspicious, as it only showed a few seconds of Johnson and was “jumpy, with students intermittently appearing and vanishing, and they bear no obvious timestamps”, CNN reported at the time.
Johnson’s family filed a $100 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against brothers Branden Bell and Brian Bell–both sons of an FBI agent–over their alleged involvement in Kendrick Johnson’s death.
Now documents obtained by CNN as part of that lawsuit seem to indicate that witness intimidation is alleged in the case as well:
The filing includes the six-page affidavit from Criminal Investigator Nelson Rhone. According to Rhone, allowing attorneys to depose witnesses and collect evidence as part of the discovery process at this juncture would, among other things, “seriously jeopardize the federal investigation” and would “prematurely alert subjects of the federal investigation to evidence against them.”
Rhone also claims that allowing discovery would have a “chilling effect on witnesses who have yet to testify before the grand jury and may result in additional witness tampering.”
So far this is the only new information we have on the investigation.
Even though her employer claimed the slur was directed at a co-worker, Wolfe “alleged that she used the N-word as a figure of speech in a sentence and that it was not directed at a particular person,” the judge wrote.
If a person knows a word is offensive, their intent doesn’t matter, the judge found.