The horrific deaths of Philando Castillo in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, give us an updated and up-close glimpse of police encounters gone bad—but they are rooted in decades of problematic policing in America. “Historically in this country, the police have never really been the friends of the black community,” says Neill Franklin, a former officer with the Baltimore Police Department and current executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P).
Franklin talked with Reason TV Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie at this year’s Freedom Fest in Las Vegas, Nevada, pointing out that slavery may have ended officially in the late 1800s, but a lot of policing was born out of that era and the one that followed, when police deliberately enforced laws in ways that targeted black citizens. Even today, police are tasked with enforcing laws—from driving without a license to missing a court date—that tend to target poor communities and communities of color.
“You know a $250 fine doesn’t mean much to people who have money,” says Franklin. “But when you enforce these policies in poor communities, a hundred dollar fine can devastate a family.” Read the rest of this entry »
Gamer Madhani reports: The University of Missouri student who filmed assistant professor Melissa Click call for “muscle” to eject him from a protest site on campus says he has filed a complaint with police alleging simple assault.
Mark Schierbecker said that he filed the complaint with campus police late Wednesday and was waiting to hear if they would press charges against Click, an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Communication. A police department spokesman, Major Brian Weimar, confirmed the complaint had been filed.
“We are looking into this and following up,” Weimar said.
Click did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Video of a confrontation by Schierbecker on Monday showed allies of the Concerned Student 1950 movement berating another student-journalist, Tim Tai, who was trying to photograph a campsite that protesters had established on the university’s quad. At the end of the video, Schierbecker approaches Click, who calls for “muscle” to remove him from the protest area. She then appears to grab at Schierbecker’s camera. Read the rest of this entry »