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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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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The lethal history of rubber bullets—and why they should never be used on peaceful protesters

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Rubber bullets fired on protesters can kill. So why are we using them—and can they be improved? As protests have taken over the U.S., police officers in Minneapolis , Los Angeles , Sacramento , Kansas City , Chicago , and more have opened fire on crowds—bruising, maiming, and even permanently blinding peaceful demonstrators and members of the press . The shots fired have primarily been with what are colloquially called rubber bullets. 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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How to help Black Lives Matter: 9 things you can do for the George Floyd protesters right now

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The chaotic images of U.S. cities flooding social media this weekend have people feeling helpless, but there are many ways you can fight police violence. Mass demonstrations erupted in cities across the country this weekend to protest the death of George Floyd and draw attention to the ongoing systemic issue of police violence. Tens of thousands of people poured into the streets of cities big and small—Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, New York City—to say enough is enough. Read Full Story

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This interactive map shows police violence during protests

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The tool, from human rights organization Amnesty International, is an effort to illustrate how police violence is widespread and systemic. Amnesty International has documented the “most heinous” instances of police violence across the country during the Black Lives Matter protests and is today launching an interactive map of those acts. 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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Thank Kade Crockford for driving the ban of facial recognition tech in cities

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The activist has become one of the leading proponents of enhancing our privacy and safety by abolishing the technology that would imperil both. According to activist Kade Crockford, widespread use of face surveillance—in which algorithms match real-time and historical video data to people’s identities—would “obliterate privacy and anonymity in public as we know it.” That’s why they have organized local support and worked with seven Massachusetts cities over the past year and a half to enact preemptive bans against the technology. As big tech companies continued to pitch their facial recognition algorithms to police departments, Crockford convinced local police chiefs of the need to prevent face surveillance from being used in their communities, and in June, succeeded in banning the tech in Boston. Crockford is eyeing statewide policy, and people have been reaching out about emulating these efforts elsewhere. “This is not a controversial issue for voters,” says Crockford, who …

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YouTubers are creating monetized videos about racial justice so you can donate to BLM by streaming

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If you can’t protest and can’t donate, you can still generate funds by watching these videos (and the ads). George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked action against police brutality around the world, from protest to a flood of donations for bail funds and Black Lives Matter to renewed calls for legislation that would reform police departments. If you aren’t able to donate money but still want to financially support the movement, YouTubers are creating monetized videos that allow you to support BLM just by streaming with your ad blocker off. Read Full Story

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The Capitol insurrection could not have happened without guns

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With help from the gun lobby, pro-gun rhetoric has become an indispensable element of the far-right extremist movement. On the day Congress gathered to formalize the election of the next president, the world watched as aggressive mobs looted and ransacked the U.S. Capitol with only gentle police pushback. Many observers commented that rabbles freely rioting in the halls of Congress showed a blatant double standard in the police response to the largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters, who were met with 14,000 arrests, military intervention, and the spraying of rubber bullets and PepperBalls. Read Full Story

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