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Finally...




After Amber Guyger was found guilty of murder, lawyers for Botham Jean's family spoke outside the courtroom.

S. Lee Merritt called the rare murder conviction against a police officer a "huge victory" not only for the victim's family but also "for black people in America."

"It's a signal that the tide is going to change here," he told reporters. "Police officers are going to be held accountable for their actions and we believe that will begin to change policing culture all over the world."

Another family attorney, Benjamin Crump, cited the names of numerous unarmed African-Americans who have died at the hands of police.

"For so many unarmed black and brown human beings all across America, this verdict is for them," he said.

What happens now: The case heads into its sentencing phase. Guyger, 31, now faces up to life in prison.
 

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In a now-viral video, a law enforcement officer tried to arrest Houston resident Clarence Evans in his own front yard after mistaking him for a different black man who allegedly had a warrant out for his arrest.

Evans uploaded the video of the incident to social media on May 8, saying the officer had pulled up to his house as he was watching his kids play.

The video ― which now has more than 1 million views on Facebook and 4.5 million views on Twitter ― shows a deputy, who is white, holding Evans’ arm behind his back and repeatedly calling him by a different name, saying there is a warrant out for his arrest in Louisiana.



The callous attitude of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman is very telling, indeed.
 

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With his weapon cocked to the side, the Arkansas police officer repeatedly gives Ed Truitt a simple command: “shut your car off.”

An apprehensive Truitt, using his left hand to live-stream the early Sunday encounter on Facebook, begins to move his right arm.

“He’s got a gun!” the officer yells before repeating the last word. “Gun!”

“Where? My hand’s in the air!” Truitt replies, panning the camera to his empty hand. “Come shut the car off, I ain’t moving my hands. He’s trying to shoot me.”

Video of the incident, which took place outside a convenience store in the eastern Arkansas city of Helena-West Helena, has garnered thousands of views online and raised questions about the officer’s intentions. For some, Truitt’s experience illustrated the painstaking steps people of color feel they must take to survive run-ins with law enforcement.



And then the cop adds insult to injury by arresting Mr. Truitt for "failing to comply with an official order". Yikes.
 

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After 200 years, Montgomery, Alabama, has elected its first black mayor



Reed will be sworn into office in November, replacing current mayor Todd Strange, who has held office since 2009 and did not run for reelection. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, prior to the October election, Montgomery was one of three cities with a population over 100,000 in the Deep South that had never elected a black mayor.

During his mayoral campaign, Reed said he plans to help Montgomery’s poorest communities by addressing issues like food deserts and poor water quality. Reed also wants to improve economic conditions in the city in the hopes of making Montgomery more attractive to younger people and businesses. Montgomery is also currently dealing with a limited city budget, and city officials have dedicated resources in recent years to reduce crime rates in the city.







 

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CHICAGO — An internal report investigating 16 police personnel involved in covering up the 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a former Chicago police officer was released Wednesday after being kept secret for almost three years.

The formerly confidential report, written in 2016 by the city of Chicago's inspector general, Joseph Ferguson, revealed that several officers committed numerous ethical and internal violations in order to cover up former officer Jason Van Dyke’s shooting of the 17-year-old, including giving false statements “to exaggerate the threat McDonald posed.”

IMAGE: Laquan McDonald

Laquan McDonald.NBC Chicago

According to the report, Anthony Wojcik, a former Chicago Police Department lieutenant who was at the scene, improperly disposed of three original general progress reports containing detectives’ handwritten notes of the statements three civilian witnesses made the night of the shooting. He then "personally recreated the reports," before disposing of the original notes, the investigation showed.

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The report illustrated a massive internal cover-up that was emblematic of a "code of silence" to protect one another within the Chicago Police Department, as previously documented by the Department of Justice in a separate report.
McDonald’s shooting ignited major protests throughout Chicago and become a key catalyst for police accountability not only in the city but also across the country.

Image: Protesters take to the streets after a jury convicted white Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald on Oct 5, 2018, in Chicago.


Protesters take to the streets after a jury convicted white Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald on Oct 5, 2018, in Chicago.Matt Marton / AP

The inspector general report was kept confidential under city law until Chicago passed an ordinance supported by Mayor Lori Lightfoot authorizing its release to the public last month.

The new ordinance stated that reports that involve “sustained findings regarding conduct that either is associated with a death or is, or may be, a felony as defined in the Illinois Criminal Code and is of a compelling public interest" should be make public.

Ferguson, who investigated and wrote the report, had long called for its release and fully supported the new ordinance.

“The public doesn’t trust government. And it’s not just Chicago government. It’s government generally," Ferguson said to the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this month. "So, the only way to really have confidence, at least in this generation of things, is to put the information out there.”
 
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