US police brutality under the spotlight

A disturbing video, which has just surfaced, shows a plainclothes police officer knocking unconscious a 17-year-old black teenager on suspicion of smoking marijuana in New York, Press TV correspondent Susan Modaress reports from the city.

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – New videos have emerged showing New York police assaulting teenage marijuana suspects, putting the US police brutality under the spotlight again, Press TV reports.

The suspect is seen lying on the curb, screaming in pain, insisting he was only smoking tobacco. The incident happened June.

In a separate incident, a second video obtained by shows a 16-year-old, also an African-American, being punched in the face and hit with a pistol after a brief chase back in August.

“Black people feel that it’s indiscriminate. It’s based solely upon their race; the fact that the criminal justice system refuses to make those who commit those acts – those human right violations – … accountable for that,” American attorney Roger Wareham told Press TV.

“They sense that black people are not going to get justice, [and they express] frustration with the way the system responds,” he added.

The NYPD is the largest police force in the United States and its conduct has been increasingly under question after a 43-year-old father of six with asthma died in a police chokehold.

Eric Garner was accused of illegally selling cigarettes and died on July 17. His encounter with the police was also caught on tape.

His family announced this week that they intended to sue the New York City and its police for $75 million.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division is now considering a request to investigate whether the NYPD’s “broken windows” crime-fighting strategy violates the civil rights of minorities in New York.

The so-called broken windows policing aggressively goes after very minor offenses — not merely misdemeanors but infractions like littering and sitting on stoops with the aim of bringing the overall rate of violent crime down as well.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio took office this year with a promise of police reform and to repair the distrust between the force and the public, many say now is when the Mayor should fulfill those promises.

Police brutality and the unnecessary use of heavy-handed tactics have become a major concern across the US in recent years.

US police shoot and kill an average of 1,000 people a year, one in every four of whom are unarmed, according to a report by the Police Policy Studies Council.






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