Across the Country, Protesters Vent Rage Over Police Shootings
There were more massive protests across New York City on Thursday over the non-indictment of the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner with a choke hold this summer. Protesters also gathered in Washington, DC, Chicago, Boston, and Pittsburgh, according to The New York Times. For the second night in a row protesters blocked tunnels and streets. The night started peacefully, but later on there were reports of police using pepper spray and pulling people off roads, according to Gothamist. Around 200 people were arrested.
In Cleveland Thursday a crowd gathered frustrated and angry about the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown—an unarmed black 18-year-old who was killed by a white police officer Ferguson, Mo.—and over what they believe to be a violent and incompetent local police force. The Justice Department announced Thursday that it is taking over the Cleveland Police Department, which came under fierce criticism in 2012 after more than 50 cop cars pursued an unarmed man on a high-speed chase before approximately a dozen officers fired over 100 bullets into the car. The Justice Department has been investigating the Cleveland police for over a year and announced the decision just weeks after a Cleveland officer shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice on a playground.
One of the solutions President Obama proposed to help improve relations between law enforcement and residents is more body-worn cameras on police officers. But some experts and community groups say these cameras won’t help get police indicted, TakePart reported Thursday.
Immediately after a bullet from NYPD officer Peter Liang's gun struck Akai Gurley in a Brooklyn housing project stairwell, the officer called his police union representative, the New York Daily News reported Friday morning. A neighbor who heard the gun shot called 911. While Gurley died, Liang and his partner were unreachable by both the dispatcher and their commanding officer for six and a half minutes. They were also not supposed to be patrolling the stairwells, a source told the Daily News.
In order to draw attention to racially imbalanced policing, white people tweeted stories of committing crimes and getting caught but not punished with the hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite on Thursday. Ebony editor Jamilah Lemieux wanted to point out that black and Latino Americans are often harassed by police even when they haven't committed crimes, and so she started the hashtag #AliveWhileBlack in response, according to TakePart.
In other news…
Job Score: The U.S. economy added 321,000 jobs in November and unemployment is holding at around 5.8 percent. This is the biggest addition to the workforce in four years. (via Forbes)
Christie Cleared on Bridgegate? New Jersey lawmakers investigating Governor Chris Christie's involvement in a scheme to create traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge have found no evidence he knew about the plans. Two of his aides, however, acted with “perceived impunity.” (via The Associated Press)
Flu Here: This year’s flu vaccine may not prevent against the most common strain going around in the United States. (via Reuters)
Trans Athletes Can Play: The nonprofit organization that oversees high school sports in Minnesota has approved a policy that will allow transgender students to play on teams according to their gender identity. A conservative group has been fighting the progressive guidelines with sensational ads in the Star Tribune. (via Minnesota Star Tribune)
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