Study Shows Police Killings in U.S. Have Been Widely Undercounted
NNPA NEWSWIRE — After the May 25, 2020 killing of George Floyd by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, there were protests in the streets around the U.S. The moment brought forward even more analysis over police violence. Over the last five years several high-profile killings of African Americans in the U.S. have been caught on camera and forced legislatures to re-evaluate policing policies.
By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor
Police killings in the United States have been massively undercounted according to a study by the University of Washington. The study was published on September 27 in the Lancet, peer-reviewed medical journal.
Researchers compared data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) federal database alongside data from three groups tracking deaths in police custody and news reports. The study demonstrated the disproportionate impact of police killings on Black people in America.
Last summer, after the May 25, 2020 killing of George Floyd by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, there were protests in the streets around the U.S. The moment brought forward even more analysis over police violence. Over the last five years several high-profile killings of African Americans in the U.S. have been caught on camera and forced legislatures to re-evaluate policing policies.
The study in part read that, “across all races and states in the USA, we estimate 30,800 deaths from police violence between 1980 and 2018; this represents 17,100 more deaths than reported by the NVSS. Over this time period, the age-standardized mortality rate due to police violence was highest in non-Hispanic Black people, followed by Hispanic people of any race. This variation is further affected by the decedent’s sex and shows large discrepancies between states.”
Talks around details on language in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Congress ended in late September after a dispute between Republican Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) over what Scott defined as “defunding police.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) told NNPA on September 30 that he has not given up on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and is looking for a way to revive the conversation and move the legislation forward.
“I am not giving up and I’ve gone over it with my staff and asked: What are our options?” Sen. Booker told NNPA.
The study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is a political analyst who appears regularly on #RolandMartinUnfiltered. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @LVBurke
Details of Lynching Death of Ronald Greene in 2019 By Louisiana Police, Just Now Coming to Light in 2021
Ronald Greene was a motorist who was being chased by the nortoriously corrupt and violent Louisiana Police when he tried to escape. He eventually pulled over and was tased multiple times, profanities shouted at him, dragged out of the vehicle, kicked, handcuffed and dragged, face down across the pavement, to his death.
During this lynching, he tried to apeal to the humanity of the officers who included Master Trooper Kory York, by stating that he was sorry, and that he was their brother. That appeal fell on deaf ears.
After his death, the family was told that Greene died in a car accident fleeing from police. That was a blatant lie. The car was inspected and did not show signs of it being in a crash; no blood inside the car, no airbags deployed or major vehicle body damage.
Louisiana police and the District Attorney refused to release bodycam footage of the incident and simply swept yet another murder under the rug. Officers involved in the lynching were caught on tape joking about how they have assaulted and "beat the shit out of" other black civillians.
So how did this come to light? February, 2021, the Associated Press reported on the story, and through sheer determination, forced the videotapes of the incident to be released to them, late May, 2021, through the Freedom of Information Act. They footage was so disturbing that they only released a few minutes of the 45 minutes (or so) that they received.
From the Associated Press, via the Advocate: York, who turned his own body camera off on his way to the scene, is seen on other body-cam footage yanking Greene's shackles and repeatedly using profanity toward Greene before he died in custody.
"You're gonna lay on your f---ing belly like I told you!" the trooper says at one point, according to the police records.
York was suspended without pay for 50 hours following an internal investigation that also led to the termination of another trooper, Chris Hollingsworth, who died in a single-car crash after learning he had been fired over his role in the incident. The AP last year published a 27-second audio clip from Hollingsworth's body camera in which he can be heard telling a colleague, "I beat the ever-living f--- out of" Greene before he "all of a sudden he just went limp."
The family of Greene are demanding charges be brought against the officers involved and the department who covered it up.
Startling Deathbed Confession: Police Had a Hand in the Assination of Malcolm X
According to Democracy Now!: The FBI and New York Police Department are facing renewed calls to open their records into the assassination of Malcolm X, after the release of a deathbed confession of a former undercover NYPD officer who admitted to being part of a conspiracy targeting Malcolm.
In the confession, Raymond Wood, who died last year, admitted he entrapped two members of Malcolm’s security team in another crime — a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty — just days before the assassination. This left the Black civil rights leader vulnerable at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, where he was fatally shot on February 21, 1965.
Raymond Wood’s cousin Reggie Wood, who released the confession last week at a press conference, tells Democracy Now! his cousin’s involvement in the plot haunted him for much of his life. “Ray was told by his handlers not to repeat anything that he had seen or heard, or he would join Malcolm,” says Reggie Wood.
“He trusted me enough to reveal this information and asked me not to say anything until he passed away, but at the same time not to allow him to take it to his grave.”
George Floyd Justice in Policing Act:
According to Black Press USA: The U.S. House of Representatives are moving forward with the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021.
The bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change law enforcement culture, empower communities, and build trust between law enforcement and our communities, seeks to address systemic racism and bias to help save lives.
During the last Congress, the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act was passed by a bipartisan vote of 236 to 181.
Every House Democrat and three Republicans voted in support of the bill, Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Will Hurd (R-TX).
Under the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, for the first time ever, federal law would:
end racial and religious profiling
eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement
establish a national standard for the operation of police departments
mandate data collection on police encounters
reprogram existing funds to invest in transformative community-based policing programs and
streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force and establish independent prosecutors for police investigations
Louisiana Trooper Kory York Finally Suspended For The In-custody Brutalization and Murder of Motorist Ronald Greene
According to Black Press USA: Two years ago, Louisiana State Police Master Trooper Kory York shackled and dragged a handcuffed Ronald Greene, a Black man, on his stomach and violently arrested him following a chase in the city of Monroe.
Greene later died while in custody.
This week, authorities announced they had suspended York and acknowledged that Greene “was mistreated.”
The admission came after Greene’s family viewed graphic body camera footage of the arrest that included York using a barrage of expletives as he detained the Black motorist.
York and other troopers were seen on the video choking and beating Greene.
They repeatedly used stun guns on Greene and dragged him face-down across the concrete pavement, Greene’s family attorney told the Associated Press.
The news service reported that State Police have repeatedly refused to release the body camera footage publicly.
“The agency has been tight-lipped about Greene’s death and initially blamed the man’s fatal injuries on a car crash outside Monroe,” the report noted.
York shut off his body camera, but other cameras captured him pulling at Greene’s shackles and repeatedly directing profanity towards him.
“You’re gonna lay on your [expletive, expletive, expletive, expletive, expletive, expletive] belly like I told you!” York yelled at one point, according to the police records.
COMMENTARY: America’s Policing and Political Practices Inextricably Linked to KKK and White Supremacy
From NNPA Newswire/Black Press USA: Several scholars told the Black Press that the United States, its police forces, and politicians now face a solemn question, “from the Klan to White supremacy, where does America go from here?”
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent / @StacyBrownMedia
Dr. Richard M. Cooper, the co-coordinator of African American Studies and faculty in the Social Work department at Widener University, said there is a hidden assumption in the statement, ‘comprehensive thoughts on the most recent rise of White supremacy.”
The statement assumes a “rise” as an undefined indicator or measure of an increase in White supremacy over an unnoted period, Dr. Cooper submitted.
“For me, White supremacy is expressed in part, as overt White racism as a constant. It is omnipresent,” he continued.
“White supremacy exists in the institutional structures and the social systems of the United States. It has since and even before the birth of the United States.”
With the recent guilty verdicts in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police Officer convicted of killing George Floyd; many opine that America is finally facing its day of racial reckoning.
Some say the murders of African American men and women and other individuals of color are reminders of how White America and its police force have routinely either prevented or undermined the quest for freedom, justice, and equality.
Several scholars told the Black Press that the United States, its police forces, and politicians now face a solemn question, “from the Klan to White supremacy, where does America go from here?”
“The original Klan and dozens of similar organizations rose after the end of slavery in direct response to the expanded rights of Black Americans,” offered Dr. William Horne, a postdoctoral fellow at Villanova University studying White supremacy in the education system and White backlash movements.
“These racist paramilitary organizations worked to roll back their Black neighbors’ newly won rights to bodily security, education, and voting, boasting membership of their communities’ police, firemen, veterans, and wealthy White elites,” remarked Dr. Horne, who co-founded and edits The Activist History Review.
Today’s White supremacist radicals in the Republican Party parrot the rhetoric of “White genocide” used by the early Klan and affiliates while promoting the tactics of voter suppression, intimidation, paramilitary displays, and insurrectionary violence pioneered by the same racist reactionaries, Dr. Horne concluded.
“White power, White control, and White terrorism do not vary by political party and do not vary by White people’s voting patterns. Emphasizing Ku Klux Klan, White conservatives, and White Republicans allows White liberals and White Democrats to pretend to not be daily contributors to and benefactors of centuries of White abuse that encompasses all ethnicities, cultures, religions, and nations of origin that intentionally assimilated into racial Whiteness by controlling and abusing Indigenous, African-Black people, Asians, non-White Hispanics, and non-White Latinx,” said Dr. Kimya Nuru Dennis, an activist, sociologist and criminologist.
Dr. Dennis is also an educator and researcher, and founder of 365 Diversity.
“The Klan represented a large percentage of White people generations ago – masked and unmasked. With the decline in Klan membership, and the recent increase in versions of White supremacist organization memberships, this highlights how White terrorism is the core of the stolen and enslaved Western Hemisphere and parts of the world,” Dr. Dennis determined.
“This is the foundation of local and national governments, police and law enforcement agencies, medical and health systems, K-12 schools and colleges-universities, workforce development and employment, and family services.
Dr. Dennis continued: “Therefore, the question of where we go from here requires no longer pretending the main problem is formal organizations like KKK and no longer allowing outspoken-when-convenient-White-liberals to be declared ‘White ally.’”
“When White people are allowed to smile and be comfortable in racial justice training, courses, protests, and discussions, that means the focus is 100 percent on keeping White people in power and not advancing African-Black people, Indigenous people, Asian diaspora people, non-White Hispanic people, and non-White Latinx/a/o people.”
The idea of Euro-American White superiority traces back to the “age of enlightenment” that posited that the rational scientific progress made by the European powers gave them the position of superiority and empowered them to rule over the world, added Dr. Vishakha N. Desai, senior advisor for global affairs to the President of Columbia University.
“Thus, the idea of White supremacy and privilege connects colonialist practices abroad and racism at home,” stated Dr. Desai, who also chairs the university’s Committee on Global Thought and is the author of the forthcoming book “World as Family: A Journey of Multi-Rooted Belongings.”
“This is a broad generalization, and it must be stated that there have always been alternative points of view and actions. But the ideas of White superiority and the ‘scientific progress’ have been intertwined for three centuries, if not more.
“If we are to create a more inclusive society, we have to first create an idea of mutual respect and humility.”