The incident began when Jacqueline Craig, who is black, called police to report that a white man had assaulted her 7-year-old son after accusing the boy of littering. Tempers flared after a cop arrived, and the white Fort Worth police officer arrested Craig and two of her daughters. The officer has been placed on restricted duty.
Robert Pittenger, whose district includes parts of Charlotte, pegged the violence there this week to black protesters who “hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.” He later apologized on Twitter, saying his racist comment “doesn’t reflect who I am.”
Vanita Gupta of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division sees a “very clear link” between the criminalization of poverty and the growing distrust of police and the government. She says police targeting of the poor entraps African-Americans “in perpetual cycles of poverty, debt and incarceration.”
Gov. Paul LePage again says black narcotics dealers from out of state are causing Maine’s entrenched heroin problem. FBI statistics suggest he is wrong. “It sounds like your governor is acting short on facts and heavy on myths,” says an ACLU official.
Commissioner William B. Evans says his South Boston roots help him connect to the city’s underprivileged citizens. He says, “Sometimes these kids think I had a whole different upbringing and had everything handed to me. I always like to let them know, I slept in a bed with two of my brothers…I had to overcome a lot of obstacles, very much like a lot of you guys.”
The prosecutor in Columbia, Mo., has deferred the prosecution of a University of Missouri professor charged with assault for an altercation with journalists during protests on campus in November, reports the Columbia. Mo., Daily Tribune. Melissa Click, 45, an assistant professor of communication, agreed to a deal in which city Prosecutor Steve Richey will forgo prosecution for misdemeanor assault as long as she completes 20 hours of community service and does not break the law for one year. “This disposition is in keeping with my office's handling of dozens of similar municipal cases and adequately serves the interest of justice by ensuring the defendant will not engage in similar conduct,” Richey said. Click drew attention and widespread scorn after a video of her asking for “some muscle” to clear two student journalists, photographer Tim Tai and videographer Mark Schierbecker, on Nov.
Connecticut police officers last year fired stun guns at blacks and Hispanics at a higher rate than at white suspects, and warned but didn’t fire at white suspects at a higher rate than they did blacks or Hispanics, according to preliminary data from the first state to require police to document their use of stun guns. The new data come as police across the U.S. face increasing scrutiny over their use of force, after high-profile fatal shootings by officers, especially of black suspects. Although stun guns have been billed as non-lethal alternatives to guns, they have resulted in deaths, and reliable information on how police use them has been lacking. The figures were obtained by the Associated Press. State and municipal police reported 641 incidents involving stun guns last year, including 437 actual firings and 204 threats of use.
When Gerald Cooke heard that African Americans were less likely than whites to pass a psychological evaluation to become Philadelphia police officers, it sounded familiar. He tried to fix the same problem two decades ago, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. From 2011 to 2014, 72.5 percent of black police applicants passed the department’s psych evaluation, compared with 81.2 percent of white candidates. In the early 1990s, the disparity was even greater, said Cooke, a forensic psychologist. Then, the passing rate for black applicants was less than 80 percent of that for whites, failing to meet a guideline set by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.