Three dead, dozens wounded in police attack on Yüksekova

From JINHA:

jinha-turkey

COLEMÊRG – In the Kurdish town of Yüksekova, Turkish police and soldiers have attacked neighborhoods where residents formed self-defense units. Three are dead.

As the Turkish state escalated its attacks on Kurdish citizens, residents of the town of Yüksekova formed self-defense units in several neighborhoods. Yesterday night at 11:30 p.m., the provincial governor declared a curfew in the town. Five minutes later, police and soldiers launched an attack.

The attack began with a mortar bombardment on civilian areas. As military armored vehicles entered the neighborhoods, violent clashes began.

Clashes lasted from 11:35 p.m. until 7:00 this morning. Electricity and telephone lines went out in the neighborhood as the sounds of explosions rose from the streets. Residents of other neighborhoods chanted slogans of support until the morning came.

At least three people have died in the attack. More than ten have been wounded, some seriously. Residents have looked after the wounded in their homes. With the first light today, hundreds headed to the Orman neighborhood, the center of the clashes. Security forces opened fire on the crowd from armored vehicles. However, the crowd overcame police barricades to treat those wounded on the barricades. Mosques issued a call from their speakers for all Yüksekovans to come to the aid of the wounded. Police withdrew to main roads.

Gunshots continue to echo in the area, where clashes are ongoing. Many homes have been destroyed.

Repression in Denver

Defend Denver:

Over the last year there has been a strong resistance to police murder and terror across the city of Denver. This is only the most recent surge in resistance to police terror in our city, going back to the loss of Paul Childs in 2003 or more recently Marvin Booker in 2010.

Denver Police have been systematically targeting and arresting those actively involved in this organizing. Denver Community Defense Committee, a group which has organized extensive support for families of people murdered by police, has five of its seven members under prosecution or known to be under investigation by the Gang Unit of DPD. Prominent independent journalists, those with an expansive reach through social media, have been targeted and arrested while filming the police in Denver.

At a rally outside the statewide conference of Chiefs of Police on July 20th it was observed that DPD had a handbook with names, photos and details on local organizers or participants in demonstrations against the police. DPD has a history of this type of behavior with the “Denver Spy Files,” (http://articles.latimes.com/2002/sep/10/nation/na-spies10) where local law enforcement had kept files on those involved in social movements for decades. While it was found to be illegal by a federal court to compile such files on community organizers and activists, and while DPD settled with the ACLU and promised to cease politically motivated surveillance, it appears that they have picked up the practice once again.

Since Friday, August 7 at least three organizers in Denver have been visited at their residences by Denver Police officers. DPD has been asking for people by name and snooping around their homes. At least two activists have found out that police officers tried to enter their residences, without a warrant, while they were away from home. Others who have pending legal cases have had more charges added, many months later with no additional evidence, by the office of Mitch Morrissey, Denver District Attorney. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that after demonstrations were held in front of Morrisey’s home to protest his failure to indict killer cops, his office is maliciously adding false charges against police brutality protesters. There was also a petition to recall Morrisey as DA that garnered 20,000 signatures, a petition supported by the same protester community he is now targeting.

This morning two activists who have been targets of this harassment from DPD were taken into custody. A month ago they were detained while they were walking down the street and given a request to appear with a detective for an interview. They then were notified they were to be interviewed by the Gang Unit. Last Friday 8 officers came looking for them at a previous address. Today they chose to turn themselves in and are currently being held awaiting booking and the setting of bond. Please contribute to their bond fund at: Denver Anarchist Black Cross Bail Fund

Knowing your rights does not ensure that the police honor them. They do not care. They are legally allowed to lie to you, and will lie to you. However knowing your rights and methodically going through them might help you in your interacting with the police and might help you later if you end up having to go to court.

  • Anything you say will be held against you. Do not answer questions. Do not talk to the police.
  • If police come to your door, you do not have to let them into your house if they do not have a search warrant. You do not have to answer any questions. You can exercise your right to remain silent and to speak to an attorney. Videotape them from inside your home.
  • If you are stopped on the street ask if you are being detained. If the answer is no, ask if you are free to leave. If the answer is yes that you are free to leave, leave immediately. Get as far away as you can, call friends and comrades who you trust.
  • If the police are searching your belongings or home, say out loud “I do not consent to this search.” Keep repeating “I do not consent to a search without a warrant.” It will not stop them from searching necessarily but it may impact what is admissible in court.
  • If they do have a warrant ask to see it(they can show it through the screen or glass, or slide it under the door) verify that it has been signed by a judge. Make note of the items listed on the warrant of what they are allowed to search. If they attempt to search or take any additional items say out loud that you do not consent to items being searched that are not on the warrant.

Let’s keep our heads up and hearts strong. And remember always, Mitch Morrissey’s dog is an anarchist.

If you are an organizer or activist being harassed, detained or have officers come to your home let folks know at defenddnvr@gmail.com and people can be in touch as quickly as possible! 

Repression only makes us stronger! Haters make us love harder! 

Denver: Safety Manager won’t investigate Internal Affairs cop involved in Landau Case

From the Denver Post:

Denver Manager of Safety Alex Martinez on Tuesday criticized an internal affairs investigator who first interviewed Alexander Landau about his 2009 beating by three officers but said he won’t launch an investigation into claims that she tried to intimidate him and dissuade him from filing a complaint.

Martinez announced last week that there was not enough evidence to support Landau’s claims of misconduct by Cpl. Randy Murr and Officers Ricky Nixon and Tiffany Middleton. He said they would not face discipline for the beating, which stemmed from a traffic stop. Landau said the officers tried to cover up the Jan. 19, 2009 beating and called him a racial epithet.

He took his complaint to then-internal affairs Sgt. Virginia Quinones, who said within the first minutes of their conversation that he would be charged with a crime if his report was false.

“You know, right off the bat, if it turns out that there’s any mistruths, so to say, any lies, so to say, then you — it could turn around and you could be charged. …” Quinones said, according to a transcript of the intake interview.

When Landau suggested that the officers “were intimidated because I’m black or something,” Quinones told him, “Sometimes, it’s not a good thing to play the race card.”

At one point, she told him, “it’s important for us to stand up and admit and be a man…”

Landau said Tuesday he felt the interview was “an uphill battle” from the start.

“We agree it was a poor interview that would be addressed by training, but the interviewer was transferred from Internal Affairs shortly after the interview,” Martinez wrote in an e-mailed statement.

He said Quinones was never investigated or disciplined because of the interview. She now works in the ID bureau, but her transfer was unrelated.

“More importantly, Internal Affairs has been completely restructured with well-trained investigators; that type of interview is not tolerated,” Martinez wrote.

According to the U.S. Justice Department’s best practices on internal affairs interviews, “no threats or warnings of prosecution or potential prosecution for filing a false complaint should be made orally or in writing” to someone who files a complaint.

Independent Monitor Nicholas Mitchell said Landau’s complaint will not be settled until Landau’s claims that Quinones was biased are resolved.

Landau and his attorneys also said the decision not to discipline the officers ignored key evidence, including conflicting stories about a bloody handprint on Middleton’s gun. Officers had said the print got there when Landau reached for the weapon and that it was wiped away, but Middleton said she did not see blood and did not clean the gun.
Martinez has said his decision came after multiple reviews. The U.S. Justice Department also declined to prosecute the officers for lack of evidence.

Atlanta: Anti-police rebellion makes cops retreat 4 times

From Anarchist News:

Today, April 9th 2013, there was a riot in Edgewood, a neighborhood northeast of downtown Atlanta. The area is almost entirely residential and is about a year behind in the ongoing gentrification of Atlanta.

Around fifty people gathered for a “March Against the Police” with drums, banners, and a desire for vengeance at the playground in Edgewood Courts, an apartment complex in the back of the neighborhood. Edgewood Courts contains some of the few remaining low income housing units in Atlanta. Yesterday, the police pepper sprayed a group of kids and beat and arrested a man grieving over his lost father.

The march started off slowly — a few people started chanting All cops are bastards / Fuck the police! as drumming began. As the crowd left the complex, some people lined the streets, looking on. People walked up behind the complex toward the front of the neighborhood. As the first cop car approached, more and more people joined in. At first, the crowd seemed apprehensive about what to do, but all of a sudden something clicked. Contrary to most situations, the presence of the police did not act as a deterrent. Instead, the crowd became more excited and angry as the cops approached. A bottle was thrown at a police car and the momentum and joy picked up. What ensued was something that we will never forget. People began kicking the cop car and chased it away when it began to retreat. One pig gone. Cheers and chants filled the air as the crowd, feeling emboldened, decided to keep going.

The riot proceeded away from the Courts and the police started to put more distance between themselves and the crowd. The intensity grew as numbers swelled, fluctuating between 75 and 100+. The crowd blocked off the main entrance to the Courts, refusing to let the police drive down. What happened next could not have been anticipated.

A cop car was stopped at one of the central intersections in Edgewood. People quickly approached the squad car, even going so far as to lean in the window to shout at the cops while others banged on the side of the car. More and more people drew closer, eventually circling the car. Once it was successfully blocked and the pigs inside were intimidated, they tried to leave. The crowd joyfully sent them off with rocks, sticks, and even basketballs to speed the process. People cried out in excitement, leaping into the air for high-fives and hugs. Throughout the event not a single person made a plea for the police. It was clear the police were our common enemy.

On the way back to the apartment complex, people noticed an unmarked car coming toward the crowd up a sidestreet. People immediately responded by running toward the car and letting loose a rainstorm of pebbles, and then rocks, and then bricks. The cops threw their car into reverse and exited the area as fast as they could. Laughing, the crowd ran back down to the Courts and broke apart. A number of cop cars began circling throughout the apartments but left after people continued to throw projectiles, including a hammer, at the cops. Some kids, who had to be under 10, were even letting stones fly at cops.

All in all the police were forced to retreat 4 times — leaving the neighborhood completely. The crowd of people never backed down. An arrest occurred just outside of the neighborhood after the event; it is unclear if it is related.

There’s a war on between the Edgewood residents and the cops, and the conflict is only escalating. Anger and riotous joy is the response to frequent harrassment. The day before this event the police attempted to manage a crowd of people outside the apartment complex and were met with rowdy resistance. Three people were arrested, but not one went down easy. The cops have been upping their patrols around Edgewood recently, but tonight, there aren’t any squad cars on the street.

Mainstream Media Coverage:

“Neighbors throw bricks, hammers at police cars over alleged brutality,” WSB-TV Channel 2 Atlanta – http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/neighbors-throw-bricks-hammers-poli

“APD police crusiers pummeled with bricks during protest,” 11 Alive Atlanta – http://www.11alive.com/news/article/287484/40/Police-crusiers-pummeled-w

“Two Atlanta police cruisers hit by bricks, rocks,” CBS Atlanta – http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/21926610/two-atlanta-police-cruisers-hit

“Protesters throw items at police cars in NE Atlanta,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/protesters-throw-items-at-police-cars

“Residents protest physical arrest in NE Atlanta,” Fox 5 Atlanta – http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/21926137/protester

Background:

“Cop Threatens Kids With Shotgun,” CopWatch footage from March 19th shot at the Edgewood Courts Apartment, Edgewood, Atlanta, GA – http://atlanta.indymedia.org/local/cop-threatens-kids-shotgun

“Poster: War in the Neighborhood,” An image to be printed as a poster to be hung around Atlanta – http://atlanta.indymedia.org/local/poster-war-neighborhood

Denver police officers won’t be charged in 2009 Landau beating case

From the Denver Post:

The Justice Department on Friday informed a man who was beaten by three Denver police officers in 2009 that it will not charge any of them with civil-rights violations stemming from the case.

Alexander Landau, 23, said representatives from the department and the FBI called him at about 6:30 p.m. to inform him of the decision.

“They said they didn’t feel like they had enough evidence to bring federal charges against any of the officers who were initially involved,” Landau said.

The agents did not expound on the decision, he said.

“The gentleman was saying they just didn’t feel like they had sufficient evidence,” he said. “It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

The decision brought vindication to the officers and disillusionment to Landau, whose federal lawsuit against the city ended in 2011 with a $795,000 settlement, one of the largest payouts in city history to resolve a police-brutality case.

He said Cpl. Randy Murr and Officers Ricky Nixon and Tiffany Middleton tried to cover up the Jan. 19, 2009, beating that left him scarred and suffering “persisting neurological damage.” A photograph of Landau’s bloody face sparked outrage and community protests.

The lawsuit alleged that the officers hit Landau with their fists, flashlights and a radio, and called him a racial epithet during the incident, which started with a traffic stop.

Police said Landau reached for Middleton’s gun during the stop.

In June, the Justice Department informed the Police Department of its investigation. The Police Department’s internal-affairs bureau has completed its investigation into Landau’s allegations, but leaders delayed a discipline decision in light of the federal probe.

Given the federal government’s decision, Landau said he doubts the city will pursue harsh punishment.

Police Chief Robert White, through a spokesman, referred questions to Manager of Public Safety Alex Martinez.

Martinez’s spokeswoman, Daelene Mix, said earlier Friday that the office had not received official notice of the decision and declined to comment.

The officers involved are now vindicated, said Nick Rogers, president of the Denver Police Protective Association.
“It’s pretty simple: The officers did nothing wrong,” he said.

In a separate case, Murr was fired for lying on a police report about an April 2009 incident in Lower Downtown that was caught on videotape, showing officers beating Michael DeHerrera. Nixon was fired in 2011 for lying in a police report about a violent 2009 incident caught on video outside the Denver Diner. He has since been reinstated.

A Police Department roster shows that Middleton also remains on the job.

“Obviously, they’re relieved,” said Sean Olson, who represented Murr and Nixon in the Landau case. “They’ve been living under this cloud of suspicion since the investigation started. … We are happy to know the DOJ now sees what the evidence shows in this case, that no Denver police officers violated Mr. Landau’s rights.”

Landau said he’s not sure what course of action, if any, he might take next.

“I feel like this is unjust. They beat me half to death and then just joked about it,” he said. “I don’t know if there is anything else I can do from here.”

Chicago: 5 arrested during rebellion in response to shooting death of unarmed community member

From Capitalist Media:

Accused of joining a violent mob that formed after a Chicago police officer shot and killed a suspected robber on Saturday, five men appeared in bond court yesterday.

The suspects, ages 19 to 31, all face misdemeanor charges of mob action. Four of the five are also accused of other crimes.

The crowd gathered midday Saturday in the Back of the Yards neighborhood shortly after a “very violent encounter” led one officer to shoot and kill Jamaal Moore, 23, of the 5600 block of South Shields Avenue authorities said.

Police said two officers confronted Moore, who they believe participated in an armed hold-up of a truck driver earlier Saturday. Moore, who police say appeared to be holding something in his hand, engaged in a tussle with one officer.

When Moore charged at the other officer, she feared for her life and shot him, Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Saturday. Officers didn’t find a gun with Moore. He was carrying a flashlight.

The Chicagoist is reporting that 9 folks were arrested. Story here.

South Africa: At least 18 killed by police during miners’ strike

From Russia Today:

At least 18 bodies are lying bloodied and motionless on the ground, after local police opened fire on striking miners, South African news agency reports. Some of those protesting are said to have been armed with machetes and spears.

­Prior to Thursday’s fire violent clashes had killed at least 9 in the mining town, lying North West of Johannesburg. Owned by Lonmin plc, the platinum mine has been the centre of protests since last Friday, with a stand-off originating over wage disputes.

Fighting intensified over the weekend when two police officers were killed- striking workers and local security guards have also been caught up in the violence.

On Thursday demonstrators were joined by a group of women pledging to stand by their husbands as they fight for better pay.