Witnessing And Prosecuting Police Shootings
We can’t let it go. Why, despite all the dashcam video, do police who kill civilians keep walking out of the courtroom free men?
Three trials in the face of the nation last week. All of police who killed black men. All with enormous questions about the justice of those killings. And all the police walked. Again. After all the dash and bodycam video, zero convictions. Philando Castile, Samuel Dubose, Sylville Smith – all dead. The police, all free. It’s an utterly familiar pattern. And yet, we can’t let it go. Is this how we police a race line in this country? This hour On Point: The problem we can’t shake.— Tom Ashbrook
Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. Author of, “Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America’s Criminal Courts.” (@nvancleve)
Charles McClelland, former chief of police of the Houston Police Department from 2010 to 2016.
From Tom’s Reading List
Star Tribune: Hours after officer Yanez is found not guilty in fatal shooting of Philando Castile, marchers close I-94 — “A jury found St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty Friday in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, whose livestreamed death during a traffic stop stunned a nation. Castile’s family called the decision proof of a dysfunctional criminal justice system, while prosecutors cautioned the public to respect the jury’s verdict “because that is the fundamental premise of the rule of law.”
New York Times: Milwaukee Officer Is Acquitted in Killing of Sylville Smith — “The latest high-profile prosecution of a police officer for a fatal shooting ended in an acquittal on Wednesday, as jurors cleared a Milwaukee officer of wrongdoing in the death of a 23-year-old man, Sylville K. Smith. The shooting in August touched off two days of protests and violence on this city’s north side.”
Washington Post: Jury deadlocks in second trial of former University of Cincinnati officer who fatally shot Samuel DuBose — “A judge declared a mistrial Friday after a jury deadlocked in the case of a former University of Cincinnati police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man during a 2015 traffic stop, the latest in a series of high-profile law enforcement shootings that spurred charges but not convictions.”
New York Times: Sacrificing Black Lives for the American Lie — “We may never know why justice is still segregated from black death. Prosecutors, like juries, deliberate behind closed doors. But that has not stopped people trying to find answers. On one side, people say: America is racist, and jurors are like cops — they hate black people. On the other: The police account is indisputable. Black lives do not matter.”
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