A Louisiana judge has ordered the city of Baton Rouge to release the psychological evaluation that was used in the hiring of officer Blane Salamoni, who shot and killed 37-year-old Alton Sterling in front of a convenience store in 2016.
The order comes days after Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul apologized on behalf of the department for hiring Salamoni, admitting that the officer had a history of bad behavior prior to the shooting.
Sterling’s killing left many outraged and sparked national protests. Surveillance video from that night showed Sterling packing up the DVDs he was selling when one officer, Howie Lake II, confronted him. Officer Salamoni arrived to assist Lake, and seconds later, shot Sterling in the chest.
The officers were responding to a 911 call of a man with a gun at the store.
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Sandra Bland managed to record 39 seconds of video just before she was arrested for allegedly becoming confrontational during a traffic stop in July 2015. She was found dead in a county jail cell three days later, and the Waller County Sheriff’s Office determined her death to be a suicide.
According to Bland’s attorney, the cellphone footage was not a part of evidence turned over by investigators during the criminal case, and it directly refutes officer statements that Bland had become combative during the traffic stop.
Some believe that Bland’s case should be reopened in light of the new footage. What do you think?
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WBRZ-2 (ABC) — A West Baton Rouge grand jury has indicted two officers accused of using excessive force on 14-year-old Isaiah Johnson in October, but the boy’s family believes the charges aren’t harsh enough.
Johnson’s family claimed the school misled them about the incident and accused the staff and officers of mishandling the teen, who they say is medicated for behavioral problems.
Both officers resigned from the department in November after an investigation into the incident began.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS — According to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, white police officers in a Washington, D.C., suburb have used racist slurs, circulated text messages expressing a desire to “reinstitute lynching” and put a black face and Afro wig on a training dummy.
Civil rights groups sued Maryland’s Prince George’s County and its police chief on behalf of several current and former officers. The suit accuses police officials of condoning racist, abusive behavior by white officers and retaliating against black and Hispanic officers who complain about misconduct.
The suit claims the county’s police chief, Henry Stawinski, has allowed racism to “thrive” in his department since his appointment nearly two years ago.
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NEW YORK TIMES — The New York Times has obtained body-camera recordings that document a marijuana arrest earlier this year on Staten Island. The videos offer a rare look at a type of encounter the public seldom sees, and show how aggressively the police will pursue a minor marijuana case, in some circumstances, and the subtle social dynamics that shape policing in New York.
But the videos also raise questions about how far the police will go to make an arrest. Lawyers for the defendant, Lasou Kuyateh, argue that the recordings contain possible proof that one of the police officers planted a marijuana cigarette in Mr. Kuyateh’s car. The officer and police department deny the allegation.
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