Mourners come by the hundreds to lay Ezell Ford to rest and to protest his fatal shooting by police ‘This is the breaking point,’ Maurice Bull, one of Ezell Ford’s cousins, said outside the funeral service On a breezy Saturday morning in southwest Los Angeles, they came by the hundreds to lay Ezell Ford to rest and to protest the fatal shooting by police of an unarmed black man struggling with mental illness. “This is the breaking point,” Maurice Bull, 46, one of Ford’s cousins, said outside the funeral service at First African Methodist Episcopal Church, the city’s oldest black pulpit. “It’s got to stop.” Conflicting accounts have emerged about the Aug. 11 killing of Ford, 25, who family said had been diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia. The funeral program described Ford as the life of the party in his younger years, who after the onset of mental illness became a “drifter” who walked the neighborhood “endlessly,” asking for cigarettes.
As we have seen recently with the police abuse cases across the country and as we saw during the occupy encampments, citizens video is critical not just to creating our own media but for documenting what occurs. Repeatedly citizens video has the made the difference between whether people are aware an injustice occurred and has been critical evidence in achieving justice. This guide describes how video should be archived. Who is this Guide for? You are a human rights activist, a small or grassroots human rights organization, or media collective; You are creating or collecting digital video to document human rights abuses or issues, and; You want to make sure that the video documentation you have created or collected can be used for advocacy, as evidence, for education or historical memory – not just now but into the future…. But you are not sure where to begin, or you are stuck on a particular problem. If this is you, then this Guide is for you.
More than 1,000 people protested in Ferguson today. There was a call to action at the event. Organizers at the rally called on demonstrators to drive on Interstate 70 and other area highways at 4:30 p.m. Monday, turn their hazard lights on and stop their vehicles for four and a half minutes to symbolize the four and a half hours that Mr. Brown’s body lay in the street. “We’re going to tie it down, lock it down,” Anthony Shahid, one of the lead organizers of the rally, told supporters from the stage at a park. The following week, if the coalition’s demands were not met, including that Officer Wilson be fired and arrested on charges of murder, another four-minute traffic shutdown would occur on two days instead of just one, he said.
The National Lawyers Guild had legal observers on the ground in Ferguson to monitor protests against the killing of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by a Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. They were also present to help with jail support for community residents. But, while working, four of the NLG’s observers fell victim to the police occupation they were trying to help Ferguson fight and were arrested. As Dennis Black, one of the legal observers arrested, commented, “Ferguson is a pilot program of what’s to come when communities respond to police brutality.” He and others had traveled from Detroit to see a preview of what police might do to squelch uprisings there. Black and two other volunteers were arrested on August 21 about 10:30 pm.
On Saturday August 30th a large protest was held in Ferguson in response to the police killing of Michael Brown, Jr. The crowd was made up of a combination of local residents and people from around the country who are opposed to police brutality and want to see justice in the case of Michael Brown. Black Lives Matter brought 500 people to the event. The protest, which included Michael Brown’s family in the lead (as the video below shows) included more than 1,000 people. Despite heavy rain at one point, the protesters marched through the streets of Ferguson to the police department headquarters. Below are a series of videos from Vine that give you a good sense of the protest.
Dozens of groups rallied outside the U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday afternoon to deliver a list of demands to Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General. They cited specific changes needed to change police departments which they claim are targeting and profiling minorities. Their demands come in the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed youth. They asked for an appointment of a special prosecutor, an immediate civil rights investigation, and prosecution of Darren Wilson, the police officer responsible for the shooting. Organizers are mobilizing on the heels of a building crescendo of national interest in changing police force posture. They sense a climax in consciousness towards achieving justice and equal rights applied by police forces in communities across the country. They want to seize the opportunity to implement their ideas while the enthusiasm is there to do it.
Saturday’s march and rally are specifically demanding the arrest of Officer Darren Wilson, the demilitarization of the police, and the institutionalization of civilian review boards of the police with the right to hire and fire. The Call to Action for Saturday explain: “Residents of the District of Columbia, just like millions around the country recognize that at the root of Ferguson are the social, racial and economic injustices that exist nationwide. They know that Ferguson could really be anywhere and Michael Brown could be any young Black male. According to a report by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, every 28 hours a Black person is killed by a police officer, security, or vigilante in the United States.
The following call to action was issued by the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Council, made up of community leaders on the ground in Ferguson. Protest against police killings, brutality, profiling and legal coverups “This will be a national massive march on Ferguson. People of conscience, from all walks of life, and all over the United States, will come together in Ferguson in the largest single mass demonstration to demand justice for Michael Brown,” said Akbar Muhammad of the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Council. The march demands . . .
A video showing the arrest of a black St. Paul man for allegedly sitting in a public space and refusing to give up his name surfaced yesterday, Aug. 26 — only weeks after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Missouri re-sparked the national debate on race and police profiling. The video, shot by the man’s cellphone, shows his interaction with officers as he attempts to pick up his children from New Horizon Academy in downtown St. Paul. As the officers force the man to put his hands behind his back, he drops his phone and the video goes black, but the audio continues and we hear the man crying for help and proclaiming that his kids are watching. Both officers in the video are white. “Why do I have to let you know who I am?” the man tells the first female officer at the beginning of the video. “I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws.”
Hundreds of mourners gathered at a St. Louis church this morning for the funeral of 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose shooting death Aug. 9 by a police officer began nearly two weeks of unrest in Ferguson. The service began a bit after 10:30 a.m. at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, 5515 Martin Luther King Drive. The church can seat about 2,500 people. Those in the crowd included babies and the elderly, and the attire ranged from ladies in elegant hats to young men wearing t-shirts, shorts and ballcaps. Parked nearby were at least a dozen news satellite trucks. The Rev. Charles Ewing delivered the eulogy for his nephew. He said his message is to heal the hurt, not just in Ferguson but the whole nation. He asked for justice not only for Brown, but for Trayvon Martin, for victims of black-on-black crime, for the victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.
The father of Mike Brown has asked that people call off all protests Monday, the day of his son’s funeral. “I would like for no protesting going on,” Michael Brown Sr. said during an interview on Hot 104.1 FM, a hip-hop radio station in St. Louis. “We just want a moment of silence that whole day. Just out of respect for our son.” Brown went on air this morning with the Demetrious Johnson Show, which runs from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Michael Brown’s funeral is set for 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 25, in a church in St. Louis that can accommodate up to 4,500 people. Three White House officials, Rev. Al Sharpton, and thousands of community members are expected to attend.
It’s been nearly two weeks since a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, shot and killed an unarmed teenager, but the police department has yet to offer a full account of the hazy circumstances surrounding Michael Brown’s death. An official incident report, which the American Civil Liberties Union obtained from police and released on Friday, answers none of the pressing questions that hang over the killing. If anything, it raises new ones. The two-page document is almost entirely blank. It includes the address, time of day and a handful of other bare-bones details, but does not include a description of the scene, quotes from eyewitnesses, names of the officers involved, or any other pieces of information normally found on such documents.
The small city of Jennings, Mo., had a police department so troubled, and with so much tension between white officers and black residents, that the city council finally decided to disband it. Everyone in the Jennings police department was fired. New officers were brought in to create a credible department from scratch. That was three years ago. One of the officers who worked in that department, and lost his job along with everyone else, was a young man named Darren Wilson. Some of the Jennings officers reapplied for their jobs, but Wilson got a job in the police department in the nearby city of Ferguson. On Aug. 9, Wilson, who is white, killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown after Brown and a friend had been walking down the middle of a street.
The body of a mentally ill black woman who was shot and killed by police was brought to Phoenix City Hall today by community activists and the slain woman’s family, who demanded an external investigation into her death. Michelle Cusseaux, 50, was fatally shot by Phoenix Police Officer Percy Dupra on August 14, after police say she threatened officers with a hammer when they went to serve a court order to deliver Cusseaux to a mental-health facility. Community members have joined Cusseaux’s mother in calling for an independent agency to investigate the killing, in addition to the Phoenix Police Department’s own investigation, although Phoenix police haven’t agreed to seeking an external investigation. “We’ve had to take drastic measures,” Cusseaux’s mother Frances Garrett said, standing beside her daughter’s casket outside City Hall.
In a major victory for free speech rights, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a ruling today denying the City of New York’s effort to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s mass false arrest of 700 Occupy Wall Street demonstrators on the Brooklyn Bridge in October 2011. The class action lawsuit was filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a non-profit public interest legal organization, within days of the mass false arrest. The case Garcia, et al. v. Bloomberg, et al., 11 Civ. 6957 (JSR), was argued before the Second Circuit in April 2013. Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director for the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and attorney for the protestors, said: “The decision by the NYPD high command to illegally trap and arrest 700 peaceful protestors was a disgrace. It is one of the largest mass arrests and mass violations of civil liberties in U.S. history. This is a critical victory for justice and the right to dissent in America.”