Police conducted a ‘planned assault’ on protesters, according to a new visual investigation

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Human Rights Watch and SITU Research use 3D modeling and video analysis to show how the New York Police Department tried to suppress a peaceful protest in June. When about 300 people gathered on the streets of the Bronx for a peaceful march one evening in early June, the New York Police Department was ready for them. According to a new report and video evidence collected from members of the public and analyzed by a team of human rights advocates and architects, officers deliberately trapped protesters using a tactic that resulted in violence and hundreds of arrests. Read Full Story

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Will the protests spread COVID-19? The police response is the more likely culprit

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Holding thousands in jail cells and spraying protesters with tear gas could help to spread the coronavirus, which is already disproportionately impacting Black Americans. On Monday night, protesters seeking justice for the death of George Floyd arranged themselves and their handwritten signs on H Street, near the White House in Washington, D.C., where President Trump was supposed to make a speech. About 30 minutes before the city’s 7 p.m. curfew, the United States Park Police, the Secret Service, and officers from the Department of Homeland Security began to shuffle protesters around and block the road, according to accounts from several reporters and protesters present . Ten minutes later, sparks flew into the crowd as law enforcement began setting off flash grenades. Then came the hail of rubber bullets and the canisters of pepper spray and smoke. Read Full Story

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More technology won’t fix the problems with modern policing

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After a decade of mistakes, police departments need to recognize that more sophisticated surveillance technology will only exacerbate bias and abuse in policing. Video of police in riot gear clashing with unarmed protesters in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has filled social media feeds. Meanwhile, police surveillance of protesters has remained largely out of sight. Read Full Story

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This legislative package on police reform is aimed at fixing the NYPD

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The Safer NY Act would make it harder for the police to hide misconduct claims, force them to report demographic data about arrests, and legalize marijuana. As people protested around the country in response to the murder of George Floyd, the nation has seen video after video of police tear gassing, shoving, and shooting at protestors. At massive protests in New York, a police van drove through a protest, and one officer even pulled a handgun on protestors in Manhattan’s Union Square. Read Full Story

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As cities make deep cuts because of COVID-19, police departments are keeping their funding

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Across the country, the police are often the one city agency not facing deep cuts in proposed post-pandemic budgets. As protesters face off against incredibly well-equipped police, they’re asking what that money is for. As images from protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death have spread around the country, a key demand from protesters has been the defunding of city police departments: that cutting the money a city spends on police would, in fact, make communities safer. They’ve pointed to the tactical gear and equipment that the police have been pictured using as evidence that cities spend far too much money on their law enforcement, at the expense of other agencies that often lack funds to offer basic services to residents. Read Full Story

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ALCU’s Executive Director says defunding police budgets will be his ‘North Star’ going forward

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“I’ve been the head of the ACLU for almost 20 years, I feel like I’ve seen it all. This is different.” The ACLU has long fought against police misconduct and racial injustice by supporting efforts to reform the police through lawsuits against policies like stop-and-frisk and conducting investigations that expose internal corruption. But after witnessing the protests—and the police response—across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero says his organization’s main focus now will be on defunding police department budgets. Read Full Story

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