Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Knox County cop fired immediately after photos show brutal choking of student

April 28
Usually, after charges of police brutality, police officials take their time reacting while they follow procedure to determine who did what. But this episode in Knoxville, Tenn., was so extreme and well-documented that the local sheriff fired the officer immediately.
Frank Phillips, a Knox County Sheriff’s officer, was fired Sunday night after a series of pictures taken by photographer John Messner were published in the Daily Mail in Britain. They showed an officer identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Phillips grabbing 21-year-old college student Jarod Dotson around the neck and squeezing him until he fell to his knees.
WBIR reports that law enforcement responded to a “disturbance” near the University of Tennessee where a house party with about 800 people had reportedly become unruly and spilled out into the street.
According to a police report, Dotson ignored repeated instructions to go inside, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. Deputy Brandon Gilliam wrote in the official report that Dotson “began to physically resist officers’ instructions to place his hands behind his back, and at one point grabbed on to an officer’s leg.”
Messner, a freelance photographer who documented the incident, told The Washington Post that Dotson showed no signs of resisting arrest.
Messner’s still pictures, arranged by The Post in the GIF below, show two officers cuffing Dotson’s hands behind his back when Phillips came over and choked Dotson until he collapsed to his knees. Messner said that as Dotson was being pulled up he was smacked in the back of the head, “a snap-out-of-it kinda smack under the circumstances.”
Jarod Dotson was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. He was released from jail on a $500 bond Sunday morning.
In a press release on Sunday night, Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones said:
“In my 34 years of law enforcement experience, excessive force has never been tolerated. After an investigation by the Office of Professional Standards, I believe excessive force was used in this incident. The investigation will now be turned over to the Knox County Attorney General’s Office to determine any further action.”
Nick Kirkpatrick is a digital photo editor at The Washington Post. Follow him on Instagram or on Twitter.

Monday, December 1, 2014

KU Journalism Major Shreds “Case” Against Mike Brown

KU Journalism Major Shreds “Case” Against Mike Brown

864 Votes

Shelby Lawson is a student at the University of Kansas, majoring in Journalism and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Lawson posted the following to her Facebook page: 
“Alright y’all. I’d like to clear a few things up. This is a general address to the long list of misconceptions and inconsistencies and abuses of power that exist surrounding the killing of Mike Brown. I have researched these points and provided sources in case you wish to do some reading of your own.
-The most common misconception I’m hearing is that Mike Brown was significantly larger than Officer Wilson. This is incorrect. On page 198 of the official grand jury transcript, you can see that Officer Wilson testifies he is 6 ft 4 and weighs 210 lbs, the same size as Mike Brown.
-Mike Brown was NOT stopped because he was a suspect in crime. He and his friend Dorian Johnson were stopped for jaywalking, as Darren Wilson testifies to on page 208 of his grand jury testimony.
-Mike Brown WAS fleeing from Officer Wilson when he was fatally shot. Wilson confirms this on page 281 of his grand jury testimony.
-Officer Wilson broke police self-defense protocol, which teaches to disarm and incapacitate rather than kill and teaches officers to go for body shots. Officer Wilson shot Mike Brown twice in the head, after he shot him four times in his arm and torso.
-Ferguson Police ignored protocol and refused to interview or take a statement from the eyewitness present from Officer Wilson’s initial contact with Mike Brown until his death.
-The forensic examiner broke protocol by failing to take crime scene photos. On page 95 of the grand jury transcript, she claims that this was because her camera had died, however, she goes on to describe how she immediately followed Wilson to the hospital in order to photograph his “injuries.”
-Forensic investigators broke protocol by failing to test Officer Wilson’s gun for fingerprints, since Wilson claims that Brown grabbed his gun and caused it to misfire. Page 39, grand jury transcript.
-Darren Wilson was then allowed to break protocol by washing the blood off of himself before it could be photographed, making it impossible to analyze blood spatter patterns and determine what position Mike Brown was in when Wilson first shot him. Wilson recounts this on page 10 of his official police interview.
-While Officer Wilson’s story of what happened that day has changed at least three times, six separate eyewitnesses, four of whom have never met each other, all have identical accounts of what happened. They were never interviewed by police.
-These eyewitnesses all agree that Darren Wilson was the aggressor and that Mike Brown was shot while surrendering, with his hands in the air and that his last words were “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.”
-This is backed up by Mike Brown’s autopsy, which suggests that Mike Brown would have had to be in the hands-up position for the bullets to enter his hand and arm the way they did.
-Furthermore, in a press conference, the coroner who performed Mike Brown’s autopsy relays that there was no trace of gun shot residue anywhere on his body, proving that Wilson’s claim that Mike Brown grabbed his gun, causing it to misfire, is impossible and untrue.
-Ferguson Police lied about the distance Mike Brown was from Officer Wilson when he was killed. They reported it was 35 ft. but it was in fact 148 ft.
-Owner of Ferguson Market states that he did not call police to report a theft of cigars, that the theft had nothing to do with Mike Brown, and that the man on the security footage is not Mike Brown.
-The prosecuting attorney for the case against Darren Wilson has helped raise $600,000 in donations for Darren Wilson, creating a clear conflict of interest.
-The police department that Officer Wilson worked for prior to coming to Ferguson was disbanded after multiple instances of racial profiling.”