Friday, November 30, 2007

Black Woman - Tasered While Black - holding her child and pregnant

Hat Tip: Villager at Electronic Village for breaking this story to the afrospear.
Cross posted on the new blog: Tasered While Black

November 29, 2007 TROTWOOD, Ohio -- The FBI is investigating after a Trotwood police officer used a Taser on a pregnant woman. Trotwood Public Safety Director Michael Etter said the incident happened on Nov. 18. He said the woman arrived at the police department asking to give up custody of her 1-year-old son. Etter said an officer spoke with the woman as she held onto the child outside the police department. "(He) attempted to obtain information on both the mother and the child, at which time the mother refused to give any information and became very agitated," Etter said. Surveillance video from the police department shows the woman trying to leave with the child. The officer then grabs her coat in an effort to get her to stop.

Etter said the officer was doing what he thought was in the best interest of the boy.
The video shows the woman struggling with the officer, who then takes the child from her and gives the boy to another officer. The first officer then forces the woman down on her stomach, and he then uses a Taser on her neck. Etter said the officer did not know the woman was pregnant.

"She did not disclose, even after she was arrested, that she was pregnant," Etter said. He said the woman was wearing a large winter coat and had her child on her lap when she was talking to the officer. Etter said the department is cooperating with the FBI investigation, and there is also an ongoing internal investigation to see if the use of force was warranted for the situation.

Etter said the officer involved is still on duty. Trotwood's policy on use of force states that officers should "greatly evaluate each situation with discretion when anticipating the deployment of the Taser on young children, elderly persons and pregnant females."

The woman involved in the case declined to make a statement, saying only that she feels "unjustly served," the television station reported. Officers said the 1-year-old boy was put into the custody of a family member after the incident.

Yes, Electronic Village, The Villagers are more than outraged about this story!

You have lead us to create the new blog: Tasered While Black
We plan to link to the Police Brutality Blog whenever we uncover a taser incident involving a black person.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Killing of Deaunta Farrow

West Memphis Policeman shot and killed 12-year-old Deaunta Farrow.

The victim, DeAunta Farrow, graduated from the sixth grade at Maddux Elementary School .

DeAunta Farrow was killed June 22, 2007 when he was shot by West Memphis Police Officer Erik Sammis. Arkansas investigators have ruled that there is not enough evidence to prosecute Sammis for the shooting.

UPDATE: Special prosecutors, assigned to investigate the shooting of 12-year-old DeAunta Farrow, made their entire case public More HERE

Farrow's attorney, Javier Bailey and representatives for NAN said they were disappointed in the outcome of the investigation.

Sammis told investigators he believed DeAunta was holding a gun the night he was killed. The investigation revealed the gun found near the shooting scene was a toy.

Farrow's family says they do not believe DeAunta was holding a toy gun. They say they believe the toy was planted. Deborah Farrow says she did not see the toy gun until after the state's investigation was complete.

Farrow also said the gun is a replica of those used by the West Memphis Police Department.

Deborah Farrow, mother of slain DeAunta Farrow, says she is disappointed in the outcome of the AR State Police's investigation.

Deborah Farrow, mother of slain DeAunta Farrow, says she is disappointed in the outcome of the AR State Police's investigation.

Farrow also believes race played a role in the outcome of the investigation. She feels if the situation were reversed, with a black officer shooting a white child, she believes there would have been no investigation. She said the officer would have been arrested, not just relieved of duty with pay as Sammis was. Farrow questions why Sammis was able to continue to receive pay during the investigation.

The father of Unseld Nance also spoke during the news conference. Unseld Nance, Jr. was with DeAunta the night of the shooting. Nance, Sr. says he did not know where his son was until after police began questioning him. He feels police forced his son to answer questions in the manner in which he did.

Farrow's attorney and the NAN say they plan to fight the state's decision and also say a major announcement will be made Monday, November 26. Details of the announcement have not been released, but representatives say it is in regards to their investigation.

AAPP says: If this is a cover-up, which is the case many times with these types of shootings of black kids in urban communities, then these officers need to be prosecuted. It looks like a good ol' boy, it was only a black, red-neck cover-up to me.

If this is a case of a kid carrying a play gun,
well, all parents Black parents need to teach their kids not to walk the streets with play guns or any type of gun in their hands, waist, or on themselves at all, the fact of the matter is they take their lives and place it into the hands of a cop, and they could be killed. More from my eye witness

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

And Another One

Another unarmed black man was shot to death by police who "thought he was holding a gun." Kiehl Coppin was only 18.

A young man was fatally shot last night in a hail of 20 bullets fired by five police officers who responded to his mother’s 911 call for help in a domestic dispute in Brooklyn, the authorities said.

The police said they believed that the man, Khiel Coppin, 18, had a gun. But when the gunfire stopped, it turned out that he had been holding a hairbrush.

Officers went into the building at 590 Gates Avenue, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, about 7 p.m. The police said they were responding to a 911 call from the mother reporting domestic abuse and asking for help to “deal with this,” and that on the call a man was overheard threatening to kill her and claiming “I have a gun.”


Two bystanders who said they saw the shooting said that Mr. Coppin was not armed, but was carrying a hairbrush when he climbed out the window and that he dropped it when the firing began. The two witnesses also said they both heard one officer yelling for the shooting to stop.

According to the police, another witness described Mr. Coppin as concealing the hairbrush under his shirt, pointing it outward.

I can't believe that quote made it into the article. Could you try any harder to give the police a pass? He had dropped the hairbrush by the time the shooting started, so why would it matter if he was "concealing it"? And what exactly does that mean, anyway?

Gotta remember to leave my wallet and hairbrush at home when I go out.

Mr. Sanchez said that just before the shooting, he went outside and saw several officers there with guns drawn. Mr. Coppin approached the window, backed away, then returned and stood on the sill, Mr. Sanchez said. When an officer told him to get down, he jumped to the ground and started to go through a gate in the fence in front of the building, Mr. Sanchez said.

An officer told Mr. Coppin to put up his hands, and when he did he dropped the hairbrush and the shooting began, although one officer called out to stop the gunfire, Mr. Sanchez said.

Officers started chasing Mr. Sanchez and knocked him to the ground after, he said, he protested: “Why you got to shoot him like that, for nothing?”

A similar description of the shooting was given by Precious Blood, 16, who said she heard about 10 shots fired, most if not all by one officer. Another officer called out: “Stop, stop, stop shooting — he’s down,” she said, but the shooter kept firing, “like he was playing with a toy.”

The law enforcement official gave a different version of the encounter, saying that Mr. Coppin charged toward the officers and refused repeated orders to stop. The police said they were also exploring the possibility that Mr. Coppin was trying to prompt a shooting, a phenomenon known as “suicide by cop.”

"He wanted us to shoot him 20 times while he was unarmed."

Better hope that holds up in court.