UPDATE: 7-15-13 To our great relief the felony charges against Tremaine McMillian have been dropped! The voices of the more than one hundred ColorOfChange members who called the State Attorney and the video of Tremaine's violent arrest were all critical in stopping this grave injustice. As we saw in Tremaine's story, police brutality and discrimination is a national epidemic. We must continue to safely monitor police activity and hold officers accountable.
This past Memorial Day, while playing on the beach and bottle feeding his newborn puppy, Tremaine McMillian and his friends were stopped by police. Confused by the unprovoked police stop, Tremaine walked away only to be chased by Miami-Dade police officers who then violently tackled him to the ground, placed him in a suffocating chock-hold, and handcuffed him, causing Tremaine to urinate on himself in fear. The incident was filmed on a cellphone by Tremaine's mother who watched on in horror as police brutalized her son and then arrested him on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Miami-Dade police immediately cited a "dehumanizing stare" as the reason for the violent encounter and arrest.
Outrageously, Tremaine still faces felony criminal charges with a trial date set for July 16th. There is still time to stop this henious attack on Tremaine's humanity and future, but officials need to know this injustice will not be tolerated.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has the power to drop the charges. Can you please take a few moments to call and urge her to drop this unfounded case immediately? And when you do please ask your family and friends to do the same.More »
In a candid display of police brutality and the implications of cop watching, officers in Hawthorne, CA unjustly arrested Leon Rosby after peacefully exercising his right to film police activity — and then fired four fatal rounds into his 3-year-old dog, Max. Rosby was filming the multiple police cars and armored vehicle that responded to an armed robbery call when he quickly became a target of overly aggressive and discriminatory policing tactics.
Police allege that music coming from Rosby's car interrupted their focus, although the above video clearly shows Rosby documenting police within his legal boundaries. Speaking in an interview Rosby clarified, 'The music may have been a little loud but I was complying...I said, 'Sir, I want to make sure nobody's civil rights were being violated.'" He was immediately put in jail overnight on charges of "suspicion of obstruction" and barred from keeping the remains of his dog.
The incident highlights the inherent risks of cop watch, the importance of cop watching in a group, and how valuable it is to film police activity as proof and exposure of misconduct.More »
This Friday (July 12), Sundance winner Fruitvale Station will open in select theaters around the country prior to its nationwide release on July 26. The film explores the life and murder of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, a young Black man who was fatally shot on a train platform by Oakland Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer Johannes Mehserle in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2009. The shooting was recorded by several bystanders and ignited massive public protest demanding Mehserle be held accountable.
The film has been widely received as a humanizing and unabridged depiction of Oscar’s story. In the clip above — exclusive to ColorOfChange — actor Michael B. Jordan, who plays Oscar, reflects on how this role prompted him to consider his responsibility to live compassionately.
To see Fruitvale Station in your neighborhood, find available showtimes here. If you haven’t already, pledge to monitor the media during the George Zimmerman trial as we demand higher standards from the media for its portrayal of young Black men.More »
On January 8, Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin issued a ruling demanding an end to the use of Stop and Frisk outside of "Clean Halls" buildings in the Bronx. Operation Clean Halls permits police to patrol, interrogate, frisk, and arrest suspected "trespassers" in 16,000 private residential buildings disproportionately located in Black and brown communities. Judge Scheindlin's ruling orders the NYPD to stop performing trespass stops outside clean halls buildings in the Bronx unless officers have reasonable suspicion beyond a "hunch".
This is the first time a federal court has found a portion of Stop and Frisk to be unconstitutional, paving the way for further legal action. But Stop and Frisk won't go away by itself — we're ready to continue our efforts in 2013. Please join our campaign to demand an end to Stop and Frisk.More »
This past New Year's Day marked 4 years since Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Oakland resident and father, was brutally killed by BART police officer Johannes Mesherle. Grant was unarmed, restrained, and laying face down on the train platform when Mesherle shot him. Even though the racist murder was caught on video and broadcast around the world, Mesherle served a relatively light sentence of 11 months in an L.A. County jail. National outrage spurned massive organizing, including 20,000 ColorOfChange members who signed a petition expressing their discontent at the case's handling.
Communities of color — disproportionately young Black males — have long-experienced the kind of systemic police violence seen in the Grant case. Throughout 2012 we've seen that police Stop & Frisks create encounters where racial bias and police overreach collide and can quickly turn violent.
Moving into 2013 and remembering Oscar Grant, Remarley Graham, Alan Blueford, and the countless others who didn't make national headlines, the importance of fighting police violence could not be more clear.More »
Court hearings have begun in a lawsuit, by civil rights groups against the City of New York, alleging that the NYPD have been illegally stopping mostly Black and Brown people outside low-income apartment buildings in The Bronx. The lawsuit targets a 1991 anti-crime program called “Operation Clean Halls,” in which landlords give the NYPD permission to patrol their buildings to look for trespassers.More »
If you haven't yet, take a moment to watch this powerful video about the toll New York City's Stop and Frisk policies take on communities of color. It also offers insight into the lives of officers who feel their jobs are on the line if they don't make these discriminatory, unlawful arrests.
On the eve of City Council's first public hearing on the Community Safety Act, which would hold NYPD accountable, TheNation.com released this video. Watch to hear secretly-recorded audio of officers' shameful treatment of a local teen and interviews with veteran policemen who discuss how they're pressured to target people they have no reason to suspect of wrongdoing.More »
Last week hundreds of New Yorkers joined ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), rapper and activist Talib Kweli, and partners for a rally at City Hall calling on city officials to end the NYPD's abusive Stop and Frisk program and to schedule a vote on the Community Safety Act which will be discussed in a City Council public hearing on Oct. 10.
“Targeting Black New Yorkers through the use of biased law enforcement practices such as Stop and Frisk creates two separate and unequal New Yorks based on race,” said ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson. “A program that is rooted in racism cannot be reformed, it must be dismantled. The Community Safety Act is a first step toward ending Stop and Frisk and bringing real accountability to the NYPD.”More »