police

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Catherine Osborn

To get Brazilians excited about the Olympics, the city government in Rio de Janeiro commissioned a countdown song in the funk carioca style, which is very popular in the city.

Baltimore County police shot and killed Korryn Gaines, a 23-year-old black woman, after an hours-long standoff on Monday — during which Facebook and Instagram, at police request, temporarily shut down Gaines' accounts.

Black youth in Seattle have a message for the police

Jul 27, 2016
The hosts of this podcast, Zubeyda Ahmed and Awal Ibraahim.
KUOW Photo

Seattleites give their perspectives on the recent police brutality issues in the media and weigh in on the Black Lives Matter movement. Then, black youth of Seattle use their platform to speak their mind on these issues that directly concern them.

Prosecutors in Baltimore have dropped all remaining charges against police officers related to the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, reports NPR's Jennifer Ludden.

A total of six officers had been charged in connection to the death. Four trials had ended without convictions — one, a jury trial, ended with a hung jury, and three bench trials returned verdicts of not guilty. Three more trials were scheduled.

Though it's his job to enforce the law, Thomas Wydra — police chief of Hamden, Conn. — is not so sure about the laws on defective equipment.

"You may have something hanging from your rearview mirror. That's technically a violation," Wydra says. "You have an attachment on your license plate. That's technically a violation."

"It's a legal reason to stop the vehicle," he continues, "even though, in the officer's mind, that's not the most important reason why they're stopping the car."

Habtamu Abdi, the Seattle Police Department's East African Community Liaison
KUOW Photo/Caroline Chamberlain

Seattle is home to one of the nation's largest East African communities.

An estimated 25,000 East Africans live in King County, according to the 2014 American Community Survey.

It's a community that consists of mostly recent  immigrants and refugees from countries like Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea.

Sean Conner (left) speaks about his fear of a police encounter while driving.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Anger, fatigue, frustration, resolve.

Those were some emotions that surfaced at a community gathering Thursday with Seattle police. It was a meeting of SPD’s African American Advisory Council, on the heels of a string of tragedies and tension across the country. 


The circumstances of the video seem stark: In bright daylight, an unarmed black man lies next to a patient with autism whom he was trying to help, holding his hands up and telling police he is a therapist at a group home in an effort to assure officers that they aren't a threat.

But the police later shot and wounded that man, in a case that has renewed discussions of officers' use of force.

Dr. Daudi Abe, professor and historian, at the 'Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop' exhibit at MOHAI, Sept. 2015.
KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

Washington state has one of the toughest laws for convicting police officers who kill civilians, but that wasn't always the case.

Seattle-based historian Dr. Daudi Abe shared the story of Berry Lawson, a 27-year-old African-American waiter who lived at the Mount Fuji Hotel, downtown, in 1938.


Former King County Executive Ron Sims speaks at a news conference where he announced that President Barack Obama would nominate him to be deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

I have been stopped eight times by the Seattle Police Department. I wasn't speeding nor did I have an issue with my car.

Four stops occurred in my neighborhood: two on Beacon Hill and one near the intersection of Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Way. I was never ticketed but always asked, “Do you live in this neighborhood” or “Where are you going?”

In an open letter to the nation's law enforcement officers, President Obama mourns the recent killings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., thanks officers for their service in the face of danger and calls for national unity.

The letter, dated Monday, is addressed to "the brave members of our Nation's law enforcement community." In it, Obama says he met with the families of the officers killed in Dallas, and called and spoke with the families of those killed in Baton Rouge.

"Each fallen officer is one too many," the president writes.

The recent targeted attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge have law enforcement on edge. Some departments are telling officers to patrol in pairs when possible, and to be extra vigilant about possible ambush.

Complicating matters is the question of how to interpret and react to the presence of a gun. With more Americans now exercising their legal right to carry firearms, police find themselves having to make rapid judgments about whether an armed citizen is a threat.

A Baltimore judge has found Lt. Brian Rice, the fourth of six Baltimore police officers to go on trial in the death of Freddie Gray last year, not guilty of involuntary manslaughter. That's the most serious charge Rice had faced; he was also cleared of lesser charges.

Three law enforcement officers were killed and three others were injured in Baton Rouge, La., when a suspect fired on officers outside a convenience store.

This comes less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire on police at a protest in Dallas, killing five officers.

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